Sunday 29 April 2018

Riddlesden, Silsden, Skipton and Gargrave... and ongoing technical issues.

SO then... IGNORING the computing issues for a moment, lets have a quick re-cap on the last few days.

We'd spent the night moored Saltaire Side of the big aqueduct over the river Aire... woodland mooring with enough depth not to clonk into the rubble on the canal bed.  After a peaceful (if wet) evening, we chugged along to the bottom of Bingley 3 - where right on cue, the heavens opened and the wind blew a hoolie.

We had to wait it out here for a while as there was a boat coming down AND a widebeam in front of us to go up.  To be honest, the wide beam had tied on a bit too far back, meaning we couldn't access any of the bollards  and as the side was paved, couldn't bash a pin in either... that was a pain in the arse frustrating because it meant one of us had to get wet holding the boat alongside until he began his assent.

WHEN I say one of us, you'll gather it was the ginger one!

SUCH is my lot.  Anyway... after a while the sun returned and it wasn't too bad for long.

Once the wide beam was up, we began our climb and I made a note for future reference to move the plants off the gas locker BEFORE going into the lock

Once through the 3, we chugged on to the 5 where another boat was just leaving.

Still behind the fat bottomed girl widebeam, we thought we'd have to wait a while but once he'd cleared the 2nd lock chamber, the lockie arrived and began working us up.  

It took no time to get to the top (with Andy and Patty helping when they remembered!) and although the wind DID cause a bit of a problem as we excited the staircase, before long we were filling up with water outside the cafe again.

Onwards took us to Riddlesden where we tied up for the night and Andy began experimenting with Tofu.  We had a back up plan involving a local pub but in the end it turned out OK  and it was time to put our feet up.

After a wet and windy night, we cast off and headed towards Silsden.  LOTS of swing bridges on the cards today, with Andy and Patty behaving like naughty school kids on every one!

It really was a blustery day...  We popped into Snaygil boats as we approached Skipton for a pump out, handcuff key and top up the domestic diesel...  they tried to enforce a 60/40 split but at 85/1.30 something that was never going to happen.  I explained  that as we pay 64.9p "at home" for the domestic, there is no way we're paying  any more than 85 there.  The deceleration is of OUR intent and not for them to police.  You could  argue that even when the boat is moving, if it's moving to charge the batteries and heat the water it's NOT being used for propulsion....  

I'll leave that there for now...  Late afternoon, we arrived in Skipton and moored in the basin.

Not long after we'd done so, a returning hire boat moored in front of us for their last night...  we got chatting and it transpired they'd enjoyed it but NOT the hard work/bad weather or cold boat... Andy seized an opportunity to give them a leaflet and before long, we had 2 ladies and 2 dogs on board having a nosey around,

Once they'd left, Andy began another culinary masterpiece - well some kind of veggie pastry thing....whilst I made a lemon drizzle cake - FINALLY getting Patty roped in to helping out! UP until this point, she'd preferred to skive  supervise.

 unbeknownst to me, whilst making the butter icing, she doctored   improved it with a splash of wine.. which might have made it curdle a bit...  no matter, it tasted ok and didn't last long!

We spent a couple of nights in Skipton  managing to create a lovely leek and spinach  bake AND dessert (not spinach obviously)

and  Patty returned from her exploration of the town with a lovely bottle of  "local Gin" as a gift - it's 48 % so we'll have to take it steady!

Yesterday morning, (after buying some coal from Pennine cruisers AND watching 6 day boats go out), we set sail to Gargrave.  A bitterly cold day but  enjoyable non-the-less.

At Gargrave bottom lock, we met up with a hire boat doing a lock for their first time...  Oh how we remembered how panicking that feeling was.

we shared what we've learned without patronising them and hope they enjoyed the experience...  

Once moored up, we had a wander into town for a few bits and bobs from the coop AND pint in The Old Swan - it's changed hands since we last called in but the new folk are friendly AND have lovely (if chubby) old Labrador that was drooling over the barman's lunch.

Until next time...

Saturday 28 April 2018

AED put to good use...

Well, having fecked about with the laptop for way too long, I decided to try and "re start it"...  Finally the aed has come into it's own.

"stand clear"...

ANYWAY - it's up and running again although I've lost a lot of photos I'd not backed up in to the cloud yet... hmmmf..

AND as yet, I can't encourage it to talk to my phone successfully.... ffs....

Tomorrow, I'll try again.

Friday 27 April 2018

Still here but Laptop has died on me...

Just a quickie - we're all still here, fit and well and enjoying our trip .... CURRENTLY moored in Skipton for our 2nd night but will be heading off early doors.

My laptop has thrown a wobbler and is currently attempting repair... WHEN it fails, I'll dig out my box of disks and start all over again.


I'll update properly when I get the ruddy thing woring again - meanwhile, rummikub and fire stoking duties are calling.

Until next time...

Wednesday 25 April 2018

New Guest arrives and brings with her the rain...

After some lovely summery weather of late, winter Spring has returned and along with it Rain, Rain and more Rain...  We don't mind the rain too much but when it's with wind (of the meteorological kind) it's a bit pants.

Hey ho...  such is boating.  We'd returned from Apperley Bridge and spent another night moored in Saltaire - THIS time, accompanied by 4 other boats.. 1 lovely new (2 week old ) one and 2 of Bear Boats'... ALL of who were listing badly when morning came.  I'd been out in the night (3am this time) to loosen ropes even further and push us off whatever obstruction was causing the list...  it's not a shelf as such but "rubble" - presumable from the previously collapsed wall .  It wouldn't take a lot of effort to remove it - in fact, I'm considering buying a pair of waders to do it next time we pass through!

ANYWAY - moving on, we doubled back to Shipley to meet Patty at 12.30...  my PERFECT directions were ignored and she got (a little) lost finding her way to the boat.  I'd gone up to meet her only to discover there were 2 ways out of the train station.. doh... oh well, at least I now know where Aldi and Macdonalds are for future reference.

Turns out, Patty is also an old  experienced boater - alsas no longer with a boat.  You know when you instantly "take to someone"? ... well we did and it took no time for the wine to begin - preceded by a bottle of bubbly as a "thank you" from us for being the first person to book when I put the website up on line.

We nattered for a couple of hours - hoping the rain would subside but when it didn't, donned our outsidey wet weather clothes and chuggged off. 

We settled for the night a short chug below Bingley which we'll ascend today before hopefully retiring in Riddleson .

Until next time...

Monday 23 April 2018

Exaggerated reports of "ropes being cut" in Apperley Bridge...

Leaving Saltaire, we set off back to Apperley Bridge on the most beautiful Saturday we could have hoped for...

It was a pleasant cruise and we spent most of it at tick over.  We did have a problem with a local gate on the triple staircase (I forget it's name) and it took me an age to fish out most of the detritus blocking the gate paddle.   We bumped into a few local boaters we know and some others helped us down the staircase... mainly because they were by now all waiting to come up it!

I was able to reciprocate at Dobson's staircase later on as a couple of solo boaters descended.

Since we set off from Wakefield the other week, we've bumped into a few boaters - all keen to warn us about mooring in Apperley Bridge due to boaters having their ropes cut by scrotes.  Now whilst local knowledge IS always important - sometimes, it should be taken with a pinch of salt...

Why am I bleating on about this? - well, IF we'd have listened/acted on the various Chinese whispers (no offence to Mr & Mrs Chinky Chonk intended) we'd NOT have stayed in Apperely bridge for the last couple of days.  HAVING spoken with "proper locals" it turns out that yes ONE boat had it's ropes cut but it HAD been moored above Dobsons Lock and the perpetrators are already known to the boys in blue...  bored dope smoking youths - and whilst being bored /doped up isn't an excuse for anti-social/criminal behaviour, it could  be interpreted as "youthful hi-jinks"... we were all young once ... although I can't remember that far back personally!

ANYWAY - point of order...  Having spent a couple of days moored here AND witnessed Saturday evening  patrols (for want of a better word) by local PSA's  would like to state we've NOT felt unsafe at all.... NOR seen any anti-social behaviour.    IN fact, I'd go as far as to encourage people to come along here and support the local Marina /chandler and coffee Shop...

WHILST I'm on a rant on the subject of the boat yard here...  I'd phoned ahead ( twice as the number in the OLD Nicholson's belongs to the old owners not the current ones) to check the price of diesel - using a fair bit at the moment with the heating coming on early to save keeping the fire in now it's warmed up a bit...  The bloke I spoke to (in Crick as it happens) said he wasn't sure but he thought it was 70p a litre and whatever declaration folk want.

ON arrival (Saturday afternoon I think ) Rob the chap who runs the place (and coffee shop owner) said it was 96p!!!  I explained when I'd phoned I'd been told it was 70p ergo, as we didn't actually NEED any, we'd give it a miss.

Helpful chap - phoned the boss man who explained he'd got muddled and told me what HE pays for it... even that seems dear given we get it from a garage up the road for 64.9p.... I'm waffling.  LONG story short, he'd sell it to us for the "moorers rate" which worked out at 85p... STILL expensive but by then we'd tied up, boarded another craft to get in and  Rob had gone out of his way to be helpful - ergo, we got some.

I picked up a flier for their coffee shop and whilst my photo of it isn't the best, you can read the opening times and their phone number... it's a bright, clean and friendly place.

Having spent the last couple of days here, today we need to do a shop in preparation for our next guest  who joins us tomorrow in Shipley. We'll give the boat a bit of a clean and tidy before we head back up Dobson's lock to fill with water and then end the day back in Shipley .

Incidentally, when on the visitor moorings the other evening, there we were sitting out the back with a glass of wine watching the sun go down and a boat came in behind us (it'd been out for 5 days I think) 

It's crew meticulously cleaned/polished and tidied it before departing the following morning... we  think it's a share boat (Paradigm Spirit) - and if you're lucky enough to be a part owner, we can vouch for how much effort and attention to detail LAST weeks users put into readying it for the next ones.  

we were exhausted just watching them!

Until next time...

Saturday 21 April 2018

Saltaire and Shipley...

We're quite in love with Saltaire now...  having finally found a bit of towpath with enough depth of water/lack of obstructions in it) we tied up a few hundred yards from the beautiful church.

The towpath here is SO busy...  the early morning joggers begin about 6 am and the late night "stagger homers" continue when the pubs close - none of the noise being menacing though and for the most part, everyone passing by being really friendly.  

Of course, the sun being out DOES make all the difference - it's just a shame there are so few places you can pull up along side and even when you can, you still have to leave the back end to wander out in order to avoid scraping noises all night.   

Whilst we were tied up (loosely) we noticed the canal pushing us about a bit - shortly after, we spotted in the distance "Fair Maiden" (I think that was the name) pushing the canal our way.

We exchanged a few friendly words as they passed by and they commented too on how few places they can actually tie up.  Still, at least they'll have made a bit of a path through the bottom of the canal for us to follow in a couple of days lol.

I received a text from Ebay/ Argos to say the new TV Ariel had arrived in Shipley branch and was ready for collection...SO, on the hottest day of the year so far, off we set following google maps...  Once collected, we did a reccy on the station so as to be able to direct our next guest to the canal/Ellis the shortest route. 

Once back on board, I fitted the new Ariel and we went walking again - this time the other way and did a lovely circular route up the towpath, across the aqueduct (ignoring the sewerage works) and then down the side of the river Aire  to Salts Mill.

It really was a lovely walk and felt like mid summer .

It's a shame Saltaire doesn't do more to encourage boaters to stay here - and by that I mean making a few decent depth areas where boats can actually tie up easily... AND a water point somewhere between Dobsons Locks and the top of the Bingley 5 would be helpful too.  Hence why we're heading back to  Apperley Bridge today as we need water and have some rubbish to get rid of.

Until next time...

Thursday 19 April 2018

Name the Dog breed and a quick bottle of champers

We decided to spend the night tied just above the Bingley 5 rise locks - so as to be near a water point to replenish supplies after we'd done a few loads of washing...

Whilst nattering to a local boater, I'd been warned about the shelf on the left but - confident our big fenders would keep us far enough out, ignored the advice not to moor there...

As predicted I woke up in the middle of the night feeling quite slopey ... ergo, a trip outside in my undies was required to loosen the ropes to quite an extent and push the boat out further... SO far in fact, that I couldn't leap back on easily and ended up having to pull it back in by the rope, totter on the roof for the pole and then push it back out again... I'm sure someone in one of the houses will have seen me and thought 'what a plonker' (or something a bit stronger).

NO matter - by morning I noticed we weren't the only ones to have been caught out - this hire boat was wedged firmly on it.

We decided to move on a bit and accompanied another boat doing the same - sharing swing bridges and got as far as Keighley before we decided to stop... actually that's not quite true - we saw several lovely stopping areas, with views across Airedale but NONE of them had enough water in for us to be able to pull in.  In fact, we got stuck a couple of times trying.  Hey ho.  AS it happened, we ended up on the visitor moorings not far from the Marquis of Granby pub - next door to a fruit and veg shop.

The view wasn't very nice but the towpath DID include a fair number of friendly/chatty dog walkers...  we fell in love wtih this one (the dog not the walker) and whilst she did tell us the breed, we can't remember... he was a lovely fella  - took to Andy easily but me less so as I'd been banging mooring pins in when they walked past.

Once all the laundry was done we sat down and opened a bottle ( Lidl's finest  - a £9.99 bottle of their champagne...  really quite nice for the money ) to celebrate having completed out FIRST full week with guests on board and the realisation of the long held dream to do it.

Content with how marvellous we are, a plan was hatched to walk into town and find Asda ... we'd seen it in the distance when we did the last swing bridge... that turned into a 1.2 mile hike BACK up hill (on return that is) from said store, carrying 12 bottles of their new budget wine range... it's very drinkable but carrying them back to the boat was thirsty work... by the time we got back, we'd lost a couple in transit 😈

After a night in Keighley, we set off back towards the Bingley locks, stopping before hand to fill up with water (Again) ... it's amazing how much water 4 loads of washing and a few showers uses up.  You take it for granted when you know where water points are - THIS one we stopped at, isn't in Nicholson's but is in Pearson's... Strange...

Descending Bingley we met the same lock keeper that had brought us up so skilfully on Monday... nice chap and at the bottom of the 5 I passed him up a bottle of wine as a thank you - not realising he would also be doing the 3 too...I'd put another bottle a side to give to that one but with it being him, it'd seem a bit too much - he can have it on the way up next week when we return with our next guest.

We ended the day in Saltaire (well just out of) as once again, we're struggling to get close enough in - annoying the visitor moorings where we COULD fit in easily are limited to just 6 hours which isn't helpful!

Until next time...

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Bingley 3 and 5 Rise - in the Sunshine...

Well, Yesterday morning arrived and after a bit of a miserable night before, the sun was shining as promised and we set off from our woodland mooring.

School boy error the night before in that we moored under trees which deposited all sorts of 'bits' (can't spell debris?)  to the boat roof and solar panels over night... hmmf...

Still, it was a pleasant morning chugging as we headed up through the locks and towards Bingley.

They're assisted passage ONLY now (as is denoted by the sign stuck to the bottom gate...)

As we penned up, the keeper on the bottom 3 confessed he's only just began working these - having moved down fro Gargrave...  I was unsure whether my decision NOT to use a centre line was going to be a good one... turned out we assended in total (and gracefeul) control - WELL done that man.

Onto the 5 rise and we attracted quite a crowd of observers which followed us all the way up... once again though, all went well - if a little wet in parts....

Once at the top, we filled up the water tank before moving on a little and tying up for the night - unfortunately on a bit of a ledge which became quite annoying as the night went on - to the point that I awoke around 1.30 and had to go outside and loosen the ropes as we were leaning quite a lot as the water leaked down the flight...  By morning proper, it was even worse and we ended up having to use the gang plank.  It's a shame really that they can't put in a couple of concrete lintels to allow for more visitor moorings here.

On the plus side, whilst moored her, Lady Teal the 5 * luxury hotel boat came up the locks and I took the chance to go and introduce myself to the proprietor Nick.  He's been very kind in offering help and support should we need it - they also filled up with water and then went sailing on by... I DID take a photo as they sailed off into the sunset but once again my phone was playing up and it didn't register.  

This morning, we said goodbye to Alan and as I walked with him to meet his taxi, I noticed the lock-keepers letting water down the 5 locks to bring more boats up... that in turn made the pound even worse so we decided to move along a bit and have ended up in Keighley for the night - on the visitor moorings.  I did have a miss-hap in the winding hole (caused by the wind) and need to source a new antenna now - meanwhile I've done a bit of emergency repair work... alas NOT good enough to get a tv picture but at least the Radio picks up still..

Until Next time...