Engine Checks. 5th May

Goole to Newbridge Farm to Goole

This morning we went to see Laird, the chap who owns the marina, to hand our notice in. Mick is still working on actual dates for us leaving Goole, but having to give a months notice we really hope we’ll be gone within that time. We chatted things over with him and to see if he could impart any knowledge on Trent Falls, sadly he couldn’t as he’s never had the opportunity to cruise round here.

Get on with it!

The sun was out so we made ourselves ready to push off, it would be silly not to make use of a nice day by staying put now that there is a stretch of canal to cruise. With the extra ropes we’ve been using to tie up here due to fluctuating levels and a short pontoon this took a while longer than normal. I gave the bow a big push at the front and we reversed away from our mooring.

We turned right, away from the docks and headed towards the caisson. Three boats sat on the visitor moorings, this has been their home since November, all members of the Goole Escape group. We waved as we cruised past, conversations about dates soon to be had.

Turning out onto the canal

Exol Pride and Fusedale H sit tied together, going nowhere soon. Such a sad sight. No point in them heading up the way for jolly like us, they wouldn’t be able to wind for one thing, whereas we can do that almost anywhere along the stretch of canal heading out to the west.

At the old Waterways Museum carvings stand outside, one winking as the other reveals herself! We wonder if the moorings outside will ever be reinstated as it’s a very long length to be left empty.

The two and a half miles or so to Rawcliffe Bridge we only saw a few fishermen, no boats. Oleanna’s engine needed to be checked before she has to cope with tides, so Mick opened up the throttle, kept to the centre. This would be impossible on your average canal but at 3m deep and very wide it’s not too much of a problem going fast. She covered the water, me checking the temperature gauge every now and again, a steady 80C, all well.

Rawcliffe Bridge

A slight vibration noise was coming from below, we’ve heard this before when the weed hatch lid hasn’t been tightened down fully. Please note our weed hatch is completely separate from the engine bay, so therefore there is no chance of water entering the engine bay and causing us to sink. Maybe we need slightly thicker blocks of wood under the locking mechanism than before, or maybe the coats of blacking have affected something.

Happy boat

I’d been excited at the prospect of them pushing the outside away and moving it again. But now I wasn’t so sure! I told them as much at the back door, then I shouted at them! They ignored me and said I’d get used to it again!

We slowed our speed passing the marina at Rawcliffe Bridge. The boats here were stuck between the breach and the stop planks at the caisson for months with fluctuating levels. At least there is now a route out should they choose to take it and a short distance to pootle should they want to.

M62 to New Bridge

More fishermen lined the banks. The last little kink in the canal before the M62 bridge and we could make out New Bridge where just beyond the breach site is. I managed to zoom in with my camera. I could see the cofferdam, a chap in high vis and diggers moving about, all quite hazy at nearly two miles away.

Cofferdam ahead

We carried on to near the chimney that stands on it’s own on the north bank, winded and then pulled in. Now where were the mooring pins?! We’d need tyre fenders, these weren’t attached to ropes yet! We managed it in the end watched over by the second mate.

Stop faffing and let me out!

As Tilly knew where she was as soon as I opened the cat caravan the other day we had no hesitation in granting her shore leave. In fact a little bit of encouragement was required. A short walk along the towpath with plenty of sniffing and admiring the view, which contained no cats what so ever!

Tilly came and went working her way through quite a lot of ‘Thank you for coming home’ Dreamies. We had an early lunch and when Tilly reappeared she was licking her lips we suspect she’d found a friend to enjoy for lunch too. Her first in over six months.

A walk up to look at the breach was next passing numerous fishermen, apparently since the breach the fishing has been really really good along this stretch, maybe it’s something to do with the water being pumped round the cofferdam and all the extra air in the water.

Lots going on

I’m saving telling you about the breach until tomorrow as today was way too exciting for just one post and tomorrow will be a boring day in comparison.

Tilly had a few more hours coming and going, or snoozing on the bed through the afternoon. I got my work out and Mick worked on our escape plan.

From New Bridge

He made phone calls to the Lock Keepers at Selby and Keadby. Selby was just the answerphone, but a chap answered at Keadby. He was a relief keeper so wasn’t willing to offer advice. Over the next few days they were expecting several boats from our direction.

On Friday there is one boat headed out from Selby. They are hoping that when they reach Trent Falls or End, the tide will be such that they will be able to turn up onto the Trent as the tide turns and help push them up to Keadby, no beaching or anchoring for them.

Over looking Drax

Then on Monday three boats are setting out from Goole an hour before high tide. Originally this was two boats who had hired a pilot to go with them, another boat has decided to tag along. They will make their way to Trent Falls anchor for quite a few hours. Then about 40 minutes after the flow starts they will have enough depth to start to head up the Trent to Keadby. Mick estimates their journey will be around 12 hours and on a spring tide. We’re not too keen on doing the trip on a spring tide and four boats all anchored might be interesting once the tide comes in and starts moving them about.

So it’s still looking like we’ll head to Selby before going down stream. But a chat with Selby is a must.

During the afternoon I got a text from my doctors surgery offering me my second jab at the Rugby Club in Scarborough. I went to the website to see when appointments were available, another two weeks and only on one day. Would that day coincide with the perfect day to go round Trent Falls?!

Mick called his surgery and as yet they don’t know when the next batch of vaccine will arrive with them, but he was told he could go through the NHS website to book elsewhere. A look with various options of location came up with similar dates to Scarborough. Would we be able to make it to some of the venues in time? Should we just head to Hull? Until we know which tide we’ll be taking, we will not book anything. Jabs are important, but so are tides. I however have booked one for Scarborough just in case, I can always cancel it if we can get them elsewhere.

Back through the caisson

With some work achieved and Tilly home we decided to head back to the marina. Staying out overnight would be lovely, but tomorrow is an early start with a trip to Scarborough, so we have no choice.

The cruise back wasn’t so sunny, dark clouds were looming. It still felt good to be moving on the water again. Tilly considerably quieter inside than on the way out this morning.

Back into Goole

Of course as we came through the caisson gates the wind picked up, it started to rain. Mick turned Oleanna back in towards her pontoon and I hopped off the bow at the first chance. An Andy manoeuvre to get the stern in was needed to fight the wind, trying not to grate the paintwork on the bow with the overhanging pontoon was quite hard. The centre line was tied to a cleat to stop Oleanna being blown onto our neighbours. The bow line tightened, centre line loosened, a touch too much. Stern line passed over, pulled in, all as it started to SNOW!!! Well thank you!

0 locks, 8.23 miles, 1st cruise this year, 1 wind, 1 months notice, 1 nervy cat, 1 boat speeding along, 3 moving boats, 27 fishermen, 1 breach visit, 2 sides of the bridge, 1 Inn started again, 2nd jab invite, 2 much happening at the same time, 1chat with a lockie, 1 answer phone, 1 friend, 1 happy cat, 1 snow shower, 4 very very cold hands, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.

4 thoughts on “Engine Checks. 5th May

  1. Ex Mr Blue Sky

    You must be so delighted to be on the move again. Tilly too. It sounded like an excellent shake down jaunt. The boat looks just like new.
    All the best for getting the right tide to escape. We look forward to stories of your new adventures. Oh, how we wish we were there on a canal too. Sadly, not to be for us for some time.
    Hugs Clare and Graeme

    1. Pip Post author

      It was very good to be moving again, even if it was only for a few miles. We’ll be heading back out that way when the weather improves

  2. Anonymous

    Excellent to see you cruising again and Tilly on the towpath.
    All systems tested all systems are go go go!
    Escape Group stand by…………….
    Great post nice to see the boat on move lovely photos.

    1. Pip Post author

      Don’t get too excited Ade! There is a while to wait for everything to come together for us to leave sadly. But we are that one bit closer

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