Two To The North, One To The South. Breach 42 12th April

The first boats to cross between Sykehouse and Pollington Lock happened today. The passage is assisted and pre-bookable with C&RT.

Two Lock Keepers and a volunteer were on hand to see boats through. Apparently ten boats had booked passage, but only two headed northwards from Sykehouse and one southwards from Pollington.

The pound is being kept low, some say to help protect the cofferdam at the breach site. Others that there is another leak between the reservoir and Pollington Lock. But what ever the reason it looks like the low water level over the last three months has affected the banks of the canal in several places. With less water pressure in the pound the piling in places has fallen towards the water. At Christmas I posted photos of areas where this had happened on the Aire and Calder, there are now patches on the New Junction Canal.

Boxing Day 2020 Aire and Calder

Levels at Southfield Reservoir are obviously low too. The sailing club is looking elsewhere for it’s members to sail for the foreseeable future. Luckily the normal depth of the Aire and Calder is around three meters in the main channel so the passage between locks didn’t necessitate any boats scraping the bottom today.

One of the boaters moored at Rawcliffe Bridge visited the breach site today and had a chat with the engineer in charge. According to his post to the Goole Escape group it is looking like the breach will not be repaired until the late summer. C&RT are in talks with ABP regarding Leisure boats using Ocean Lock. Also they are looking at removing the stop planks at the caisson in the next couple of weeks, this will enable boats currently stranded at Rawcliffe Bridge to move to Goole should they want to.

Hopefully the stop planks will remain out which will mean that we’d be able to give Oleanna a bit of a blast up the cut to check everything is running smoothly before heading out onto the Tidal Ouse and Trent. It would also give boaters who don’t plan on escaping Goole the chance to at least get out from the marina for a short pootle.

Elsewhere on the network non liveaboards can now stay overnight on their boats. Some areas of the network will get very busy as they did last year when Lockdown 1 ended. But in other areas there are problems, another culvert is causing problems on the Llangollen. At the Figure of Three Locks on the Calder and Hebble, which has just reopened, a large plastic pedestrian barrier was drawn through the lower ground sluice paddle box this morning, damaging the paddle so the lock can no longer hold water. Hopefully this will be sorted soon.