Posts Tagged ‘new junction’

Day 30 – Sprotbrough to Whitley (via Goole)

Thursday 23 July, 2009

The weather was much better today. We started off down Sprotbrough Lock and were joined by a large boat called Ethel. By the time we reached Doncaster Lock we were joined by a third boat, but still there was plenty of room in this enormous banana-shaped lock.

Alex stepped off briefly to revisit Tesco. He returned carrying a Debenhams bag (since they still had no carriers) containing four bottles of alcohol. It was barely 11 o’clock…

We pressed on towards Bramwith Junction and beyond, along the length of the New Junction Canal. BW assisted us through Sykehouse Lock, with only Michael operating the gates on the swing bridge. Turning right at Southfield Junction we “sprinted” the six miles to Goole, used the facilities, and retraced our steps.

The question of where to moor for the night arose and Great Heck seemed like a good idea since the nearby pub was recommended by the Nicholson’s guide. Unfortunately, due to piling works, there was nowhere to moor and no access from the towpath. We continued to Whitley Lock and moored just below the lock, alongside a string of fairy lights. An on-site security guard has now started a generator to illuminate them, pollute the atmosphere with fumes, annoy the local boaters, and drown out the noise of the nearby M62. A nearby boat has now moved. I thought BW were short of money.

Menu: semi-full English breakfast or sausage sandwich; ham sandwiches; homemade chicken, leek and bacon pie followed by cheese (and port!) etc.


Day 27 – Woodlesford to Stainforth

Monday 20 July, 2009

First thing this morning Michael rang the lock keeper at Selby to see if the tidal passage to York would be possible. With the recent rain there was still a lot of “fresh” coming downstream and although he thought passage may be possible within the next couple of days, we decided to adjust our schedule and do the exploration of the South Yorkshire Navigations first, before heading to Ripon later.

The day dawned with beautiful sunshine and after breakfasting we headed off downstream through Woodlesford Lock towards the cavernous Lemonroyd Lock. Michael has memories of going upstream in this lock a few years ago, in a hire boat, in the dark! It’s still very intimidating with its over 13 foot drop.

At Castleford Junction the flood lock was in use. This was a lock grab for Michael since his previous trips through here had the lock fully open at both ends. The lock is a peculiar shape, and enormous. This proved to be the first of many assisted passages through locks today since various commercial craft were on the move.

We stopped for a shopping trip at Knottingley for various supplies including gluten-free items for Alex who is still waiting to hear from his doctor. Whilst moored we were passed by a huge barge, pushed by “Little Shuva”. The photo will best describe its vastness!

At Whitley Lock control was commandeered by the BW lock keeper before draining. A commercial craft was on its way downstream behind us. Thankfully we managed to clear Southfield Junction, onto the New Junction Canal, a few moments before it caught us up. We passed through several swing or lift bridges before traversing the Don Aqueduct and turning left onto the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.

Pubside moorings were found in Stainforth so we felt the need to oblige…

Menu: usual breakfasts; ham salad; steak with peppercorn and onion sauce, followed by cheese.