Tuesday, 29 August 2017


Here I am Rune
Distance 4.3 miles
Total 2814 Locks  130 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3991.5 miles

Just a short trip today to bring us back into Thorne where we plan to remain for a couple of weeks. After that it will be heading south for the winter via the Calder and Hebble and also the Rochdale Canals. It will be something of a pleasure to get back onto canals where we aren’t right up towards the length limit since it becomes a bit testing to be always watching the length in locks.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Kirk Bramwith

Here I am Rune
Distance 6.2 miles
Total 2813 Locks  130 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3987.2 miles 

Today’s weather, once again unusual for a Bank Holiday, has been superb and the trip from Sykehouse Junction down here to Bramwith went like a dream. With the number of boats on the move today we hardly had to do any work at all except steer the boat. Travelling down the New Junction canal there are six swing bridges and a lock all of which normally delay the travelling time a bit. Today it seemed to work out that, for one reason or another, we only had to operate one bridge. The first bridge was operated for us by a boat ahead whereas the second was operated by a boater who was obviously on a mission since he overtook us between the bridges. No point in getting older if one doesn’t get wiser and if he wants to overtake, then I’m more than happy to let him. This meant that although he was the first one to the bridge he was the last one to leave it.

The next object was the lock with swing bridge over it, today there was a CRT lock-keeper on duty so that was all done for us by him. I was at the front of the lock and led the way out but, ‘man on a mission’ who clearly hadn’t learned from the last time, overtook again between the bridges (me, I’m happy to let him) which meant that once again he was first to the bridge and had to operate it for the rest of us. 

Now once again at the leading position, this meant that for the first time we had to pull over and operate the next bridge for the convoy (one out of six, I can live with that!) and as we approached the final swing bridge, there was a cruiser coming the other way who operated it for us all. So all in all a nice easy trip.

We are only about 4 ½ miles from Thorne now so will comfortably be there tomorrow morning.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sykehouse Junction

Here I am Rune
Distance 6.6 miles
Total 2811 Locks  130 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3981 miles 

Once again a fairly short hop from Old Whitley Bridge down here to Sykehouse Junction. The weather, most unusually for a Bank Holiday weekend, was superb. I now have slight tanning to both my feet and legs again. With only a couple of locks to do today, the rest was just along wide and straight canals, none of which were particularly challenging. We managed to pass through the first lock with 4 other narrow boats (they seem to travel in flotillas up here) which made it a whole lot easier, in fact we didn’t have to do very much at all since the lock was worked by the crew of one of the other boats.
The second lock we had to work ourselves although on this occasion we waited for three other boats that were behind us to catch up rather than wasting water.
The overnight mooring here at Sykehouse Junction is ideal, we are alongside Southfield Reservoir so I was able to watch a fleet of dinghies sailing earlier today, there is plenty of wildlife (principally geese) and we seem to be quite a long way away from any road noise.

I think that tomorrow we will go as far as Bramwith Swing Bridge where there are possible moorings and a Sanitary Station and leave arriving back in Thorne until Tuesday.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Old Whitley Bridge

Here I am Rune
Distance 16.5 miles
Total 2809 Locks  130 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3974.4 miles 

The original plan was to stay in Selby until Sunday morning but on Friday we’d decided that we had ‘done’ Selby so the decision was made to move on Saturday morning instead. A fairly straightforward sort of day, the Selby Canal had less weed in it than it had when we came down it so the passage through there was without incident. I’ve counted the Haddesley Flood Lock this time (I didn’t count it going up since it was open at both ends) since we had to actually operate the lock, although the difference in levels was mere inches. Out onto the River Aire was again a comfortable trip, no real flow against us to speak of, averaged about 3.8 mph most of the way through to Beal lock where we met a group of 4 boats coming down (1 narrowboat and 3 cruisers). After the lunch stop at Beal it was then through to Bank Dole lock and then up and back onto the Aire and Calder Navigation. My plan had been to moor at Whitley Lock but, finding the moorings full, we returned back about a third of a mile to Old Whitley Bridge visitor moorings. 

Since it is Bank Holiday weekend it is possible that my mooring plans may be subject to change but the current hope is to moor either at Sykehouse Junction or Sykehouse Lift bridge, so tomorrow will be a fairly short day’s travel.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Here I am Rune
Distance 6.7 miles
Total 2806 Locks  130 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3957.9 miles 

So our final bit of Tidal water went OK today, about 1 hour and 15 minutes brought us from Barmby Barrage back here to Selby. It was interesting to see just how fast the river was flowing with an incoming Spring tide, I think on yesterday’s posting I said that it was possible to zip through Selby at 7mph if you got your timings wrong, I would say that you would go through a lot faster than that! 

We left Barmby at the recommended time of round about an hour before high water at Selby, well we left it a bit longer than that and didn’t set off until about 45 minutes before high water at Selby, even then the tide was still flowing pretty quickly. To get clear of bankside obstructions it is necessary to give the engine a bit of drive (only about 1700 rpm) when you first come out of Barmby Lock, well that short burst gave us a speed of about 7.5mph which was a lot faster than I wanted as it would have got me to Selby very much too early. I cut back to about 1400 rpm and was still travelling at 6.6mph so dropped right back to tickover which gave us a speed of about 6.2mph, I couldn’t go slower than that, as if the boat isn’t actually travelling through the water (the above speeds are speed over ground) then you lose all steerage.

 We held much the same speed (both in rpm and speed over ground) pretty much all the way to Selby Road Swing Bridge, getting there at about 9.15am, which should have been high tide. At that point I put the boat into neutral and let it drift with the tide, still travelling at 3mph. As we got towards Selby Lock the flow had slowed to about 2mph but it still meant that I wasn’t able to steer straight into the lock, it was necessary to turn the boat around to face into the current to then turn into the lock (I had been hoping that I wasn’t going to have to do that). There were two cruisers in the vicinity waiting for the railway bridge to be swung for them, so the turn had to be completed early since there is a period of time when turning that you have no control over the boat as it is swept sideways and I suspect the cruisers owners would have been too happy with a collision with 18 tons of narrowboat, we’d win that particular contest but it would do a fair bit of damage to them.

All went OK however and we will now be here in Selby probably until the weekend.

The two cruisers waiting for the rail bridge to swing.....

.....and RUNE just drifting towards Selby on the tide.