The Gates Of Goole. 8th February

Bramwith Junction to Viking Marina, Goole, Aire and Calder Navigation

Good Morning

Sunrise on this mooring is wonderful, the windows needed a touch of decondensationing before we could really appreciate it with a cuppa in bed. It was another chilly morning, a breeze had got going which would help with winding when we set off.

Mick’s Christmas present

The VHF radio was turned on in case we could hear Exol Pride or one of the gravel barges radioing the bridges. It crackled a few times, but nothing was audible we decided that we were unlikely to meet a big barge mid channel today, anyway we’d likely see them miles off as most of the canal we’d cover today have very very long straight stretches.

Left straight on not right straight on

Sadly my back hadn’t improved overnight, so Mick was on duty for anything low down, but I’d see how I did operating the bridges along the New Junction. We winded and headed left. The Don doors open and waiting to let us across the aqueduct.

Don Doors

The step up from Oleanna to work the first bridge was a touch high, but I managed it without too much of a problem. Key of Power in and the bridge turned.

Next Top Lane Lift Bridge nobody held up here. The road surface had big chunks out of it waiting to be resurfaced. Then Kirkhouse Lift Bridge where I managed to hold up two cars, one a C&RT van.

Now the long long length with little to break it up. A zoom in with the camera wasn’t clear enough to make out what colour light there was at Sykehouse Lock. The house that had been for sale last year now has two big barges moored outside it, both in need of a bit of money spending on them, wonderful shapes though.

Sykehouse Lock with Sykehouse Lift Bridge partially open in the background

As we got closer to the lock we could see that the volunteer who must just about live in the control tower had spotted us, the light was green, but the swing bridge was still closed. We pootled on up closer.

A Great Egret

On one of the banks was what looked like a Heron, but it was far too white. When it took off we agreed that it was the size of a heron, held it’s legs and neck like a heron. So it must be a heron. Now I’ve been able to look at the photo closer I believe it to be Great Egret. According to the RSPB website they believe there to be 8 to 12 breading pairs in the country and around 72 birds that winter in the UK.

Lock open but not the swing bridge

The chap came out from the tower with his dogs, crossed the bridge to close the barriers and then pushed the bridge clear for us. Another C&RT chap walked past, a number checker, and asked if we’d seen a big barge moored by the house. We had, along with a second boat. He set off to walk the near 2 km to take down their numbers, then walk back again. That job must keep him fit around these parts.

Thank you

Down the lock we went. We spied people at the next swing bridge who looked like they would operate it for us, which they did. The chap in high-vis was taking photos of the bridge, it was having an inspection.

Up ahead at Sykehouse Lift Bridge there were three C&RT vans and four chaps. The hut by the bridge suddenly sprang into life as we arrived a cloud of black smoke coming from an exhaust in the wall. There must be a generator in there for emergency power. They left us to work the bridge, taking notes of things as it raised and lowered. It’s apparently the time of year when all the bridges are inspected. They all headed over to check a barrier after I closed the bridge and didn’t seem too phased by the huge biff the bridge made when it finally made contact with the ground! It certainly made both Mick and myself jump.

Norf ahead

Straight on to the junction with the Aire and Calder where we turned back towards the east. This stretch, well all of today’s waters are so very familiar, yet things have changed since last March. Drax was churning out power and the breach site still looks in good order.

The giant log cabin by the Alpacas has windows now and an almost completed roof. Then the building nearer to Rawcliffe has new windows and it’s roof is finished, it also has some new render and looks quite smart.

Goole ahead

The last slight bend and we were on the three mile straight to Goole.

Back through the gates of Goole we were back where we’d spent so much of 2020 and 2021, stuck due to the breach and lockdowns. Hopefully the gates won’t close on us this time! The visitor moorings were full, but across on the 14 day moorings there was plenty of space. The big grey boat that has been moored outside the Auction place is now for sale, if you’ve got £350,000!

Left by the black and white boat please

Mick swung Oleanna to the left into Viking Marina and we made our way into the corner where we’d moored before. On our pontoon a big cruiser, but to the other side of it a new pontoon. We pulled in, meeting our new neighbour, tied up and headed to the office to check in.

Hello Viking, Hello Lisa!

It was good to see Laird again and Alastair who did some work for us last year. Mick has a short jobs list for Alasdair whilst we’re at Viking. Once we’d paid our mooring fees and got a fob it was time for lunch, do the chores and pack our bags. Due to my bad back we actually left with less than we’d arrived with, Mick carrying everything.

Goole Station

There was just under half an hour before the next train, so we power walked it along Albert Street, through the docks to the station. We had five minutes to spare, unfortunately not enough for us to get Advance tickets. The ticket machine wanted us to pay for the route to Scarborough via York! Thankfully the train guard would allow us to buy tickets from her instead at half the price.

Dusk over the Humber

It was a pleasant journey back to Scarborough, no need to change trains, just sides so that we’d get a view of the Humber Bridge followed by the sea at Bridlington.

As we walked up the steps to the house the new security light was triggered. This also triggered a reaction from Tilly. As soon as she realised it was us there was SO much shouting, the whole street could hear her! Many cuddles and chin rubs later things calmed down to a very loud purr.

About time!

Claire She had been nice, kept offering me Dreamies, but she hadn’t let me out so I wasn’t entitled to any! I felt I had to turn my nose up at them. That’s the longest She and Tom have deserted me for. They should have been back soon after the second flap on the magic food bowl opened! And when they did come back they smelt of Bramwith Junction outside. How dare they!

At least it meant I got lots of head nudges and cuddles.

With our mission accomplished and Oleanna now tucked up in Goole we have our own winter maintenance to do in the house. So blog posts will be as and when we visit Oleanna for the next few weeks. We have cruising plans, but not a definite date to set off yet. So the blog will be tucked up for a while too. See you soon.

1 lock, 11.8 miles, 5 bridges, 4 held up, 2 bridge inspections, 1 volunteer, 2 woofers, 1 mooring, 0 Joan’s Chinese! 1 boat plugged in, 1 train, 1 very VERY pleased cat, 1 hour of cuddles, 1 feline shadow.

4 thoughts on “The Gates Of Goole. 8th February

  1. Ade

    Ditto get your back well again! Enjoy your house and being beside the seaside again.
    Looking forward to more travels when you set off.

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