Tuesday 11th August
Gargrave to Barnoldswick
We’d invited the crew of nb Jubilee over for coffee before they caught the bus for their adventurous trek to Malham Cove. This persuaded us to get up early, which meant that we got to meet a lovely brindle greyhound girl on her morning walk – eleven and half years old; the boys greeted her nicely but the girl’s owner was a bit anxious – even at her advanced age, the greyhound girl gives her mum the runaround!
The crew of Jubilee gave a very persuasive description, both of Gargrave Village and of Malham Cove; we’ve marked them both for future visits, particularly if we can get closer to the cove by car! But today we needed to cruise. Sadly our guests couldn’t stay long, buses to Malham are infrequent, in fact, they’d probably end up walking several miles back to the boat – they were undaunted!
In the meantime, we had another coffee and set off around 10.30am, with the weather pleasant but cool – my new fleece jackets came in very handy!
Today we shared locks with a different hire boat, granddad Terry, on the helm, was a cheerful soul and I soon had him doing tandem manoeuvres into the locks – this is such an efficient way to travel on quiet flights! He seemed well chuffed at mastering this new skill, and at one lock where he came in after me, he did so confidently and at speed :-) In the meantime, his eleven year old grandson had fallen in love with Indigo Dream, I gave him a little tour, anyone who loves my boat is ok with me!
We were treated to yet more spectacular scenery today – the Bank Newton lock flight is stunning and the canal beyond meanders extravagantly around the contours. This is a landscape to fascinate the geologists, with its distinctive post-glacial features plain to see. The humpy hillocks (drumlins?) were as regular as upturned basins. I thought I’d try some research into moraines and drumlins, but I didn’t get too far, there are many authoritative articles but few photographs to make sense of the scholarly prose. Geologists don’t mess around, their history of the Dales starts many many millions of years ago and I don’t have the patience for it; though I would love to be able to “read” this fascinating landscape.
Barnoldswick was surprisingly down at heel after the glories of the surrounding countryside, but at least it has interesting industry, being the home of Rolls Royce. The Rolls Royce facility has comprehensive security with a high concentration of CCTV cameras – hardly surprising as I’ve since found out that the Barnoldswick plant manufactures fan blades for aircraft engines and has been a part of its defence business. Despite the security here, Rolls Royce has dedicated some leisure facilities for the use of the whole community.
We had booked a 3-week mooring with the friendly folk at Lower Park Marina just past the main industrial sites. Barnoldswick seems to be a popular mooring spot – there is almost half a mile of offside online moorings leading up to the marina (by bridge 152) and well-occupied visitor moorings towpath side. This narrowed the channel quite considerably and I’m glad we only met oncoming narrowboats!
We stopped off at the marina office to confirm our mooring spot and were delighted to find that we would be on an offside pontoon just beyond Bridge 152. Each pontoon was full length and fixed, making for a stable offload for our senior hounds. Richard got a cab back to the car while I got the boat and packed and got acquainted with our friendly neighbour, who has been a resident of Springfield Marina on the River Lea.
Because the canal meanders and doubles back on itself, the car wasn’t actually that far away by road, so Richard was soon back and we set off. Although it didn’t feel as if we’d pushed the cruising this weekend, we had travelled far enough West to be taking the M6 home instead of the M1 – hurrah!
We had originally planned to cruise one of the next two weekend, but when we looked at the logistics we decided to stay at home and concentrate on our main cruise at the beginning of September, when we’ll have two weeks of uninterrupted cruising without the commuting – bliss!
I’m posting a few photos of hire boat Tamarind – and here’s a link to the album on Facebook – hope it works, it’s set for “public” – hope that Terry and family will pick them up – he can be proud of his helming :-)