Kirk Sandall to Sykehouse Lock to too close to the shooting range, Aire and Calder Navigation
The Saturday morning Geraghty Zoom conversations included the Waverley’s third pier hitting incident, Scottish Safe Houses and a toaster lottery. Good to see everyone as ever, just a shame Fran trying to share a Japanese stretch with us all, meant we all got pushed to the side and were left with a big white box on our screens.
Mick headed off on a bike for our Saturday morning newspaper finding that new shops have appeared near to Kirk Sandall Station, presumably because of the increased housing in the area. He not only returned with a paper but also a battery for the CO/Smoke detector in our bedroom, at last we can sleep safely again.
With Tilly back on board we pushed off and headed to Barnby Dun Lift Bridge. Here it took sometime before there was a suitable gap in the traffic for me to press the button and of course I pressed the wrong one, encouraging the bridge to stay closed! This bridge is the only one I’ve come across where the Open button isn’t on the left hand side of the panel and close is there instead. Another gap was waited for and the button quickly pressed, another vehicle passing through the red flashing lights, causing me to take my finger off the button just as everything had started to sound!
Eventually the barriers and bridge closed to the road. A group of cruisers, one familiar one from our time at Naburn, arrived but all seemed to be pulling in before getting to the bridge. As the bridge lowered two Council vans faced each other, ready for a race to see who could get through the barriers first. It was a tie.
A bag of rubbish was disposed of and we carried on our way. The Bramwith Junction mooring was avoided, obviously a field must have been spread with muck which had attracted all the flies the other day, now that we’ve just about got rid of them all we didn’t want new ones.
Which way to turn? Left towards Leeds and Goole? Or right towards Thorne and Keadby? We chose left, back onto the New Junction Canal.
Under the Don Doors and on towards the first bridge. As I hopped off we could see that the following bridge, a lift bridge was raised, were we following someone or were they coming towards us. With about a half mile between bridges I looked very carefully to see if I could see an oncoming boat, if there was I’d wait before pressing the buttons on the bridge. We must be following someone, wonder if we’d catch them up before reaching the lock?
I pressed the button and just as Mick was pushing off I saw the bow of a boat appear from behind some trees heading in our direction. They were too far away to wait with the bridge open so I closed it and walked on to the next one to stretch my legs.
The next few bridges all seemed a lot further apart going this way and with nobody to play hopscotch/leapfrog with they all took a bit of time, not helped by an awkward wind.
With Sykehouse Lock just in view we could see that a lift bridge was raised ahead, would that boat get to the lock before us? Well as the bridge stayed upright for a longtime and there was another bridge in between them and the lock we were there long before them.
Swing bridge, gates, down, by now the boat had come through the swing bridge ahead of us so it would have been daft to now close the lock up along with the bridge just to get my key out again. I waited for them whilst Mick brought Oleanna out of the lock to moor, it was way past our lunchtime.
We waved the boat on who were grateful for me working the lock for them. As they rose I spotted a white car on the offside patiently waiting to cross. By the time the bridge was back in position Mick had come up to help so we each did a barrier allowing the car to cross.
Tilly got her second outside to explore as we settled down for some food and a cuppa. Very quickly we realised our mistake. There was no internet, well an occasional glimmer, the smallest of carrots dangled. This was not a case of a new simcard sorting itself out, we were in a dead spot. We wouldn’t be staying here for the night.
Tilly was encouraged home and we pushed off again. The last of the lift bridges was reached by another boat just before us. The lady could see us but not her own boat, she tried ringing through to tell them to hold back, but the chap on the helm didn’t answer his phone. So for a moment there were two boats facing each other one slightly more under the bridge than the other. We managed to reverse and hold a position despite of the wind before it was our turn. All the time a seagull sat high above enjoying the view from the highest point.
Should we stop where the midges had bitten us? No they’ve only just settled down now.
Which way to go again? Left towards Pollington Lock and Leeds? Or Right to Goole? Left won again, we quite like it at Pollington and could do with a top up of water.
Quite a few boats were pulled up on the offside, a Saint Bernard dog barked at an old black Lab asleep behind some railings, then the visitor moorings came into view. Full. Plus a cruiser moored on the water point! No space for us then.
We winded and headed back the way we’d come hoping to find a nice little patch on the off side to tie up to. This showed itself a short distance away from the Spa and Shooting range, but fortunately they had stopped the clay pigeon shooting for the day. We tied up with plenty of long grass for Tilly to zoom and pounce in, her third outside of the day!
I had a catch up chat with the London Leckenbys. Josh has been back at school for a couple of weeks now. There has been a covid case in the school but Josh and his year bubble will not have come into contact with the person, who is thought to be a maths teacher. He’s also started back with his guitar lessons and band rehearsals. Life seems to be returning to a kind of normal for them, but at the moment no plans have been formulated to meet up. Living week by week, we’ll see where the country is at in a few more weeks.
1 lock, 9.35 miles, 2 lefts, 4 lift bridges, 3 swing bridges, 31 held up, 1 boat helped up, 0 internet mooring, 2 treat cheeses, 0 space for us, 1 wide open mooring, 0 trees, 0 gunshots, 3 outsides, 5 hours shore leave, not all taken, 1 last meal of Calveley bacon from lockdown, 0 bacon in the freezer after 15 weeks, 7.