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Sunday, 4 June 2017

Wakefield to Skipton - Lemonroyd to Leeds...Leeds to Apperley Bridge

The chug from Lemonroyd to Leeds was yet more new ground for us.  After a brief cruise along the canal passing through Woodlesford, we were soon back on the river Aire -

The usually good Nicholson's guide wasn't as accurate as it could have been on this occasion - presumably as a result of recent 'flood alleviation work' that's been going on.  It wan't always obvious which way we should have gone... luck must have been on our side though as we seemed to make our way through without incident.

Although at least the city officially welcomes boaters...

We quickly topped up the water tank and continued on our way through towards the locks.

Once through the flood/weir lock, we were back on the river for a short section again.  

At this point, we weren't entirely sure which way to go as there was no indication.... luckily for us, a little yellow water taxi suddenly appeared and it all became obvious..

On going through the lock, we noticed the unsual paddle gear.

 and before long, we were safely tied up on the 48 hour moorings...  

The planned trip out for Sushi was amended in favour of an economy burger and drink in a Weather spoons - £10.50 all in for us both... OK so it was nothing special - or even very nice but it did mean neither of us had to cook and didn't break the bank.

The following morning we set off at silly o'clock to get through the rough parts before the drunks become a nuisance...  

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Friday night in the centre of Leeds might  have been noisy... but given it was raining, instead, we were tucked up and asleep long before 10 - in fact, the only noise we DID hear, was that of the other boat which pulled in along side a few hours earlier...  

THAT said, in between the rain showers, we were able to sit out on the back deck and watch all the people coming home from work and doing their thing...  SO many people milling around early on - walking dogs, exercising and just "being" was quite a tonic.  SOME of them, not yet realising it's BEING and not DOING which is important.  Still, they came and went and once the rain set in, were never seen again.  Come to think of it, neither were we I suppose lol.

AS planned, about 6.30am we set off to get through the badlands.  As we left Granary wharf, the sun was shining and what looked like a lovely day lay ahead... good news for US... bad news for the lock keepers trying to keep order on the staircases ahead.

For water passing through the heart of a such a busy city, it was nice to see this couple of swans protecting their only remaining offspring...

It's  a shame the area has such a bad reputation as it was actually quite a scenic cruise. ... quite a hard voyage in parts - well I say parts, just 1 in particular - LOCK 6 - something was wrong with the left hand bottom gate as it just would not shut. We tried fishing around under it with our pole and having tried phoning CRT (to no avail) decided to force them as shut as possible and then TRY to fill the lock anyway - in the hope the water pressure would finish the job.... it did in a fashion but it took a long time and felt like a bit of a bodged attempt.

The lock keepers on duty further on helped us swiftly through the 2 staircases...  having already prepared the locks for our arrival  - when asked how the knew we were on route they said the water levels let them know... 

Both were not looking forward to the day ahead when the local scum-bags enthusiastic drinkers will make their jobs very difficult....   We were wise to follow the navigational notes and boater rhetoric... and will do so on our return journey.

ONCE through the locks, we were in to swing bridge territory...  Andy rather liked stopping the traffic/pedestrians to get the boat through.

we HAD planned to stop for the night in Rodley but as the sun was still shining, we carried on to Apperley Bridge instead.

WE moored for the night near the marina entrance and went out for tea to a local pub... it was nice enough but the service was a bit slow... either that or we were over hungry!

We'll  need to top up the water again before we head for the Bingley 5 rise.

Until next time....

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