An Inch Short. 16th March

Bramwith Junction

What a grey day! Even Tilly wasn’t impressed, preferring to spend much of the day asleep inside. With rain forecast for 1pm we had a choice of moving off this morning or staying put. The next proper mooring can be quite popular, this time of year especially so as there is parking, water and bins. An hours cruise to find out and if full it would be another hour back again, bringing us into the window of rain opportunity!


We decided to stay put, we like this mooring even on a grey day. A walk around the junction was on the cards and there was enough time before we’d get wet.

As we walked down to Bramwith Lock we could hear an engine, then see a flag between the trees, coming along the New Junction. It was Pax a kind of cross between a Dutch barge and a trawler that had been in Goole. They turned towards the lock where some friends had already opened the gates for them.

A narrowboat arrived below the lock, pulling into the lock landing, as we walked past we had a chat with the chap. This was to be his first solo lock, the boat new to him, maybe only by a few days. We wished him luck and carried on to where a footpath heads off to the Don Doors.

The side you don’t get to see from the canal

Water was spilling over the edge of the aqueduct, more so than yesterday when we’d crossed it. I was amazed at how little space there is below the trough to the river flowing beneath. The sides of the trough have plenty of extra support to help it withstand sideways pressure when the river is in flood.

We climbed over the top to the other side, sadly no view along the New Junction as the guillotine gates were in the way. But it being so grey the pictures wouldn’t have been too appealing anyway.

Looking up the New Junction

Was that a Chiff Chaff? It was! A sign of spring.

I so love Blackthorn blossom

We crossed back over the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation. The first Blackthorn blossom opening up hunting for the missing sunshine. Bees buzzed round. Was that a Woodpecker we could hear? Spring with all it’s new life.

A small boat in an expanse of water

The single hander came round from Bramwith Lock heading towards Long Sandall. He’d been helped up the lock so still had his first solo lock to come. We wished him well, his next obstacle being Barnby Dun Lift Bridge.

Pootling along

A looooonggg LOUD horn could be heard. Was that someone annoyed to be held up at the lift bridge?

Then another blast. Within a few minutes we could see where it had come from, Exol Pride! I so hope the single hander had been warned about the big blue boat, suspect the Looooonggg blast had been suggesting he got out of their way!

There she goes

We stood and watched as Exol came past, a slight change of engine note before the junction, was that for us or just an adjustment before crossing under the Don Doors? The canal took a good half hour before it returned to calm.

A little after 1pm it started to rain. With whistling wind accompanying it we were glad we’d decided not to move today. Instead I sat in front of the stove and knitted, nearly a whole sock today, just short by an inch or so. Mick pottered on the computer whilst Tilly inspected the insides of her eye lids.


Today we added another option to our escape routes southwards.

  1. Out of Keadby to Cromwell
  2. Head across the Pennines, most probably by the Huddersfield Canals.
  3. Head down the Ouse to Trent Falls and onto the Trent that way.
  4. Cancel a trip to York by boat to meet with family and get through Thorne Lock before it shuts. Have a day trip by train instead.

The jury is still out.

It’s time to add a recipe to the Baking section. Tonight we enjoyed the last slices of my Bakewell Tart.

Click on the photo to get to the recipe

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 walk, 3 waterways crossed, 1 solo boater, 1 Pax, 1 big blue boat, 4 signs of spring, 1 reluctant cat, 1 inch short of a sock.