Today is my birthday... I've had a bit of a lay in (it was 5.48 when I got up) and are currently sitting in front of the fire (that I've lit myself) looking out over the countryside in Silsden. We hadn't planned to come this far yesterday but as it was a lovely warm and sunny afternoon (and the forecast for today was grim) we thought we'd chug on a bit further once we'd gone up the Bingley 3 and 5 rise's.
Rewinding to Apperley Bridge for a moment - when we moored up there on Saturday afternoon it was glorious... so much so, I was actually sun-bathing on the roof for a couple of hours whilst Andy read and watched the world go by... when I say go by not in the case of 3 rather
Oddly, for whatever reason, on this occasion i wwasn't in the least bit bothered by them... I seem to be adopting a 'live and let live' approach these days. OK so they were a bit crass but for all their drinking and larking around, they weren't being offensive to anyone and generally interacted with passers by in a friendly fashion... especially the
Andy on the other hand took against them ... and as with all "niggles" ... once they start, it's hard to stop them festering lol.
LUCK was on his side as eventually it rained and they cleared off.
We'd moored just near the entrance to the marina (not in the way of course) and looking out of the hatch we saw this unsual family unit...
The swans didn't seem to notice one of their offpring was actually a duck - they were never more than about 3 ft appart the entire time we were moored.... and the same when we set off yesterday morning.
Before we set off though, we'd run a load of washing through on the batteries - they only dropped by about 7% for the 30 minute 30 degree cycle... helped I suppose by the kettle of hot water I poured in the drawer at the start of it.
It promised to be a lovely day and after an electric swing bridge, we had a twin lock with the wataer point at the top.
Whilst the tank filled, the washing went in the dryer and an old man appeared in his pjs from a boat moored near the water point... I though he was going to complain about the engine running but he was a solo boater and just fancied a chat - smashing old fellow and (considering it was sitll before 7am) quick witted and sharp as a pin.
Once full, we pottered along towards Bingley and encountered our first (proper) staircase of the day....
I won't lie - they're hard work on our own - trying to keep the boat stable is difficult.
Luckily for us, after a few more swing bridges, we caught up with a hire boat from Bear boating we'd seen leaving Apperley Bridge the day before.
An old couple - he 85 and her late 70s. Andy had referred to them as a posh looking pair but we soon discovered they were just like us... but a bit older.
We palled up with them for the rest of the day and that made BOTH our locking ups much easier.
What WAS nice about them in particular, was that the lady was skipper and husband lock-wheeling... a rarity and we had a lovely natter in the locks... so much so, that on occasions our respective crew had to shout at us to point out we'd crept a bit too far forward and were soaking the front of our boats.
Once we got to the Bingley 3, we had a short wait for the lock keeper to turn up so Andy went ahead to look for him. He called back on the walki-talkie to say they were preparring the staircase and we couuld go in to the bottom lock shortly.
They leaked quite a bit so the front of our boats got a wash no matter WHAT we did - them like us being circa 58ft, it was quite a tight fit.
The paddle gear on the gates was in good order though.
once at the top however, you've a swing bridge that needs to be opened BEFORE you can get out of the lock... a bit of a design flaw me thinks.
NEXT was the famous Bingley 5.
THIS time, the keeper had the gates open ready for us so we just chugged straight in (and as I was in front, I picked what I thought to be the best side to avoid leaks...) - (that fell down later on as it changed as we went up lol)
Plenty of Gongoozlers - they got in the way a little bit but Andy can be quite firm and moved them when required.
Note ANOTHER ruddy swing bridge as you come out.
We had planned on mooring in Bingley but as mentkoned earlier, the weather was nice so we chugged on a while longer with our new boating palls - sharing the swing bridges. ONE of which was stuck and needed a bit of a push with the front button to open... NOT sure how w'ed have done it going the other way though - come to think of it, we'll find out on our return journey knowing our luck.
The scenary now was lovely and the chug up to Sildesn was just smashing.
Along with the views one side and on occasions the gardens the other, we felt blessed.
Until next time...