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Friday, 1 November 2019

Skipton on to Leeds and the end of the season...

We left Skipton on a bright (but very cold) Saturday morning - chugging on all the way to Bingley in readiness to head down the locks on Sunday morning.

That journey is getting a bit tedious now... well for me at least with all the blooming swing bridges (23 in all I think - 2 of which are generally left open)... It's WAY too many but on this occasion my crew was far more capable and just got on with them -  We'd made good progress and arrived in Bingley Technically in time to head down the flight before they closed for the day... that said, that would probably have meant the lockies working longer than they'd perhaps want to, so we tied up and I went over to book us in for the first passage on Sunday morning.

I must say, Bingley are the best lock flight crew I've come across thus far - no fuss or hassle just nice, helpful blokes... none of the annoyance /aggravation caused by one of the chaps that runs the next manned staircases at Newley/Forge - there's a proper foool there that no matter WHEN you arrive, ALWAYS tries to delay you for one pointless reason or another... usually so he can have a long slow cup of tea, or just talk rubbish at you...  

I've gone off on a tangent - which is too early in this post... especially as the idiot mentioned above was encountered a couple of days later.

SO Bingley...  

We shared the locking down with a really nice hirer family ...  I'd had a chuckle the night before as obviously they were not used to "fires" and when I went to the service block, they'd had flames leaping out of the chimney... by the time I'd done my ablutions, all the doors/windows were open  and they'd clearly been sweltering lol.

They were just going down the 5 and turning at the bottom as they had to have the boat back for 9 the following morning - having made a mistake of going past the last winding hole at the top and not being able to face the long reverse back to it lol.  

We hung back and let them wind in peace - and to be fair, the chap on the tiller made a pretty good job of it... better than my most recent attempt at the Rendezvous lol.  

Stopping briefly at the bottom of the 3, we had breakfast and then continued on to Saltaire... the colours are lovely now and a side from leaves on the prop now and again, it was a pleasant chug.

Once tied up, we all went off for a wander and for the first time I actually went into Salts Mill Museum.  I must say, whilst full of things to spend money on, it's really rather nice.... managing NOT to spend any money, I then retreated to the Boathouse bar and had a glass of wine whilst watching the world go by...  I DO like places that allow dogs in - although I'm not too sure about them being on the furniture.

The guests were due to leave in Saltaire but as they were going to get a train to Leeds, they offered to help me get down to Apperley Bridge (and through a few more swing bridges) instead...  I enthusiastically accepted this so we pressed on the next day and in fact got as far as Rodley... which meant I only had 3 bridge to do on my own

A blooming cold day ahead when I took this selfie and I've made a note to self to get some of those handwarmers to slip inside my gloves - WHICH are electrically heated already but still not enough.

AS mentioned earlier - the only annoyance on my journey from Rodley down into Leeds were the 2  triple stair case locks... that are "Controlled" by the most annoying and unhelpful lockie you will ever come across - without exception, every time I pass through them he tries to hold me up... it's not just me, it's every boater I've talked to...  WHY CRT have him back each year (he's a seasonal) is beyond me.  When I pulled up at the top, there was already a boat waiting to go down so I thought "great"... no excuse to keep us waiting - I was wrong... when I went to the "welfare hut" (where he hides to drink tea or whatever) he did the usual "you're not in a rush as you" routine... and went on to say the chap at the top was 'waiting for his crew to come on a train form Manchester...  and he'd be here about 11.30... it was just after 10...  On this occasion I put my foot down and said that I didn't want to sit and waste all that time as I wanted to get down into Leeds before it got dark...  reluctantly he condescended to work me (and the other boat who in fact was happy to go down and wait for his crew at the bottom) down....  

Once through, both flights, I carried on my way into Leeds, filling up with water in Oddy locks on the way down (having done the  final guest laundry  loads for this year on route)...

btw- the "tap" isn't in the book but IS there but you have to be in the top lock (or have a really long hose) to use it...

Having arrived into Granary Wharf about 3.30, I spent a night in there before taking a walk down the river to Clarence Dock to see if there was a space to plug in down there...  the river had a bit of water in but it was in the Amber so once I'd returned, I made a quick dash down there ...  The exit from Granary (Leeds Lock) on to the river is a bit awkward  when there is a bit of flow... MORE so when single handing but on this occasion, I bumped into a group of Geordie lads who were having a (drunken) day out on the train and they crewed for me - passing both windlass AND Handcuff key back to me so I didn't need to tie up on the water taxi point..... here I am - plugged into Shoreline and have been tumble-drying everything in sight lol.

The weather has take a turn for the worse again so rather than get back on the river and be washed down stream, I'm going to sit in here for a couple of days and launder everything that will fit through the washer and dryer... I'm becoming obsessed lol

Util next time...


Corby said...

It was a real treat to spend time on your boat Mark.
I had worried that my lack of mobility would hamper my enjoyment of the holiday but you did all you could to make me at home and John really enjoyed his time crewing with you.Many thanks again.

Ade said...

Nice 1 Mark, bit of R&R for you now.