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Archive for July 8th, 2015

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 13

Posted by indigodream on 8 July, 2015

Monday 22nd June

Ledgard to Wakefield – Some locks still only 57′ long but unlike yesterday at least we can go through forwards.

If the lock length is inconsistent, it's nothing compared to the variety of paddle gear! This is a gate paddle operated with a standard windlass...

If the lock length is inconsistent, it’s nothing compared to the variety of paddle gear! This is a gate paddle operated with a standard windlass…

There’s nothing better than a lie-in on a working day!

Except it wasn’t much of a lie-in – at 8am, Henry Beanz let me know that he was desperate, so I took him and Archie out for what was meant to be a brief pyjama walk. I hadn’t bargained with meeting another greyhound walker on the towpath! Rossi was his first greyhound, and they’d been together for a year – the owner was totally head over heels and besotted with his hound – we ended up chatting for over half an hour! Now I know that all greyhound owners are besotted, but there’s nothing like that flush of joy and amazement that you experience when you first adopt a hound ๐Ÿ™‚

By the time I got back on board I was rather chilly, but totally awake, so that was my lie-in finished! Nonetheless, we had a very relaxed start to the day – we’d done a large chunk of today’s cruising yesterday so we didn’t need to rush. Although we were well-stocked with food, we couldn’t resist the lure of Lidl and topped up on a few extras. The car park was surprisingly empty and despite being adjacent to a large store, the mooring had been very quiet.

Bt this is a ground paddle, operated by handspike...

But this is a ground paddle, operated by handspike…

As we were getting ready to leave we sawย  a rare sight – boats on the move! Three community boats and a fibreglass cruiser – amazing! We hailed the community boats and wished them a good cruise – the helm dryly remarked “oh yes, a boat full of excited teenage girls – what could possibly go wrong?!”.

We eventually set out mid-morning, enjoying every aspect of the navigation. After the rush of community boats, we didn’t see anyone else on the move until the end of the day. These northern waterways are a gem ๐Ÿ™‚

We had to laugh above the Thornhill locks, some youths cycling along the towpath told us, in all seriousness, that the canal was closedย  further on. We were a bit concerned until we reached the lock – it seems that the lads didn’t realise that you could move through a lock!

Just below the Thornhill locks is the turn into the Dewsbury Arm – we uhhmed and ahhed as to whether to explore it, especially when it proved to be impossible to turn straight into the arm from the lock (well, for a 60′ boat anyway). But it went against the grain to leave the arm unexplored, so I did an elaborate turn involving reversing Indigo Dream into the arm then doing a full 360 degree turn to get her in bow first! There is plenty of room to wind a boat here!

A weir and a sharp turn - this navigation has it all...

A weir and a sharp turn – this navigation has it all…

We were pleased that we’d taken a wander up the Dewsbury Arm – at first it’s reminiscent of the Slough Arm, quiet and slighty despondent – but there a nice surprise at the end – quite a large marina with short pontoon visitor moorings and very friendly staff at the marina office. There’s plenty of room to wind a 60 footer here so we turned and reversed onto one of the short pontoons. Richard checked with the marina office and we stopped here for lunch and a bimble with the hounds. We toyed with exploring the nearby town, but we decided to move on to Wakefield.

The trip to Wakefield was full of interest, short locks, long locks, disused locks, interesting bridges, river sections, canalised sections and some quiescent weirs – it’s got it all. The hounds enjoyed a great bimble at the “Figure of Three” locks, where an adjacent meadow gave Archie some splendid rummaging opportunities.

We’d had on and off weather all day – mainly cool and overcast with the odd shower; but as I opened up the

Steady on boys...

Steady on boys…

engine for the deep, wide river section leading to Wakefield, the heavens opened. I urged Richard to stay inside, it was torrential, and drips from my long waterproof coat soon filled my waterproof boots! Luckily it cleared as we came into Wakefield so we were able to assess the moorings. There are moorings just inside the flood lock, but the best moorings are between the second road bridge and Fall Ing lock. The nearer you get to Fall Ing lock, the nicer it is, but we moored closer to the town to shorten the walk to the shops and railway station. There are mooring rings all the way along this stretch.

It wasn’t late when we moored up, but I was very weary so we didn’t go to explore the town. However Richard did venture out to Homebase (it was further than he anticipated) to buy a length of wood to use as a handspike. Our lovely hardwood spike had unexpectedly snapped earlier in the day; the longest “broken length” still worked as a spike but we then managed to leave that behind at one of the later locks – d’oh! Homebase was a bit pathetic but as he walked back he discovered we were moored round the back of a timber yard – d’oh, somewhere to visit tomorrow.

I don’t recall what we did with the evening, only that the views across the meadows and the reflections in the still waters were lovely. The mooring was very quiet, with very few passersby – perfect for us and for the hounds ๐Ÿ™‚

Photoblog:

Rush hour on the Calder and Hebble..

Rush hour on the Calder and Hebble..

Sly acess to the towpath...

Sly access to the towpath…

Nice artwork...

Nice artwork…

More attractive artwork...

More attractive artwork…

This is one of several beautifully presented and maintained signboards at Shepley Bridge :-)

This is one of several beautifully presented and maintained signboards at Shepley Bridge ๐Ÿ™‚

Interactive sculpture - there as a few of these along the towpath in this area :-)

Interactive sculpture – there as a few of these along the towpath in this area ๐Ÿ™‚

Hmm, quite right Henry, I don't think we'll moor there!

Hmm, quite right Henry, I don’t think we’ll moor there!

There are some interesting bridges - a gret contrast between the functional pipe bridge and the ornate ironwork of the railway bridge...

There are some interesting bridges – a great contrast between the functional pipe bridge and the ornate ironwork of the railway bridge…

I liked the look of this stretch leading to Schofield Bridge - I think the hounds would have a good time here :-)

I liked the look of this stretch leading to Schofield Bridge – I think the hounds would have a good time here ๐Ÿ™‚

Everyone needs a comfy chair...

Everyone needs a comfy chair…

But poor Archie doesn't even have a sheepie to lie on (though the new padded decking is a big hit!)...

But poor Archie doesn’t even have a sheepie to lie on (though the new padded decking is a big hit!)…

Rummaging at the end of the Dewsbury Arm...

Rummaging at the end of the Dewsbury Arm…

Excellent rummaging at the "Figure of Three" locks

Excellent rummaging at the “Figure of Three” locks

But they were soon ready to get back to their beds :-)

But they were soon ready to get back to their beds ๐Ÿ™‚

Some industrial remnants - hard to visualise the boats that must have tied to those substantial bollards, let alone the industry that supported them...

Some industrial remnants – hard to visualise the boats that must have tied to those substantial bollards, let alone the industry that supported them…

WET!

WET!

The hounds were very sympathetic to my plight on the helm - NOT!

The hounds were very sympathetic to my plight on the helm – NOT!

The railway viaduct in Wakefiled is really grand - the iron span is very delicate compared to the castellated stone piers...

The railway viaduct in Wakefield is really grand – the iron span is very delicate compared to the castellated stone piers…

View back towards town at the Wakefield moorings..

View back towards town at the Wakefield moorings. We forgot to photograph the Hepworth monolith, that’s just a bit behind those flats.

Ths photo doesn't do the view justice, but there are lush meadows on the offside with some fine dog-walking by Fall Ing lock.

This photo doesn’t do the view justice, but there are lush meadows on the offside with some fine dog-walking by Fall Ing lock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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