The Goole Escape, Barn Refuge. 28th May

Torksey Low to Top to Low

A good sleep was had by all after all that fresh air and vitamin D yesterday. We decided that if we could get up the lock at Torksey today without having to come straight back down then we would so as to give Tilly some freedom. She’s been cooped up inside for ten days due to us being in the marina, then at Selby the road was too close to the boat for our peace of mind.

Mick called the lock at about 8:30 when we thought someone would be on duty. We were redirected to a mobile number where he got an answer phone, so he left a message.

Is the light green?

A few minutes later as we relaxed with our cuppas in bed the phone rang. ‘Just emptying the lock, come in on the green’. Oh Blimey, like NOW! It was fine for us to take our time, if someone arrived on the top side of the lock before we got there they would turn the lock. With the amount of fresh on the river at the moment the lock could be used just about anytime within working hours. No need to wait for the tide to provide enough water to get over the cil.

Lock ready and waiting

We got dressed and were ascending the lock just after 9. One Lockie and two volunteers in civvies helped us up. Our return was discussed.

Tomorrow morning we’d be able to pen down before the tide started to come in, however Lincoln Cruising club were going on a Bank Holiday jolly to Newark, so there might be 14 or so cruisers all wanting to get down onto the river for the tide. We’ve been here before when above the lock has been rammed with boats from the cruising club waiting for the next mornings tide. We checked the lock closing time today and when the tide was due in the morning, 09:54. Tilly would make our decision for us.

On the Fossdyke

The visitor moorings were quite busy but there was space for us without having to be on the bend. There was ample width for us to wind and then pull in to have breakfast.

The stern doors were opened along with the side hatch and Tilly set off to explore, which included checking out the cruiser behind us a couple of times until I reminded her of the rules! We however sat down and had breakfast.

Happy tail

Heather had a slightly convoluted journey back to Bleasdale, a bus from the retirement village to Gainsborough which passed behind The Folly and the interesting white house we’d passed yesterday at near dark. Then it was a couple of trains, a journey of a bit over two hours. Thank you Heather for your company over the last couple of days, it was lovely to share our wonderful cruise with you, good luck for your adventure.

Bye Heather

Yesterday I’d had a call regarding my next show, just as we were approaching Howden Dyke Island, it hadn’t been a good time for an hour long conversation so I climbed the bank to see if my phone signal improved. EE not so good at Torksey but our emergency boat phone is on O2 and had full service, Lynda rang me back and we chatted away for an hour.

Wonderful Hawthorn blossom

Dark Horse Theatre have been planning their next touring show for over a year now, it should have been out on the road this last February, but we all know what got in the way. So over the last year I’ve had various conversations with Amy their Artistic Lead about #unit 21. Next February they will mount scenes from the show to an invited audience, this then will hopefully lead to a tour in the future. My work (set and costume) would mostly need to be done for this, adjustments for the tour would follow. But the costumes would be required for a photo shoot in a few weeks.


Best get my designers hat back out of the cupboard.

Tilly came and went for quite a few hours. We pottered away the day, me mostly writing up our epic voyage and editing the photos!

Heading back to the lock

We’d given Tilly a cut off point of 2:30pm, if she was home by then we’d go back down the lock this afternoon, if not it would wait for the morning. She came back in bang on time, so the pram hood was dropped, the lock keepers were radioed and we were on our way again. They were a touch surprised that we hadn’t even got as far as Saxilby, but that wouldn’t have been fair on Tilly.

Are there fewer tea pots than there used to be?

By the pontoon earth works are in progress. A sign at the top of the walkway off the pontoon boasts about Elms Moorings, a new shower block, pontoons and electric hookup. The earth works are however nothing to do with the sign, the flood banks are being improved with piling.

A few cruisers arrived from elsewhere and moored on the pontoon. We wondered how busy the river would be tomorrow, would we be in for a shock.

Torksey Low

2 locks, 0.83 miles, 1 wind, 5 hours, 4 cheeses divvied up, 1 goodbye, 1 hour work call, 0 EE phone signal, 0.5 internet, 1 rest day.