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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 15

Posted by indigodream on 13 July, 2015

Saturday 4th July

Wakefield to Stanley Ferry

Approaching Fall Ing lock again - but this time with a working gearbox :-)

Approaching Fall Ing lock again – but this time with a working gearbox 🙂

The engineer rang us on Tuesday to confirm that Indigo Dream was fixed – hurrah! Apparently, when he took the old gearbox apart, a small piece of metal fell out – we’re not sure where it came from but it was enough to jam the cogs!

Despite our excitement at Indigo Dream being cruise worthy again, we set out late from Surrey this morning and didn’t get to the boat until 3pm. When we arrived, we quickly loaded the boat and I left Richard to sort out our water supply and check the engine while I went off to Sainsbury’s for supplies.

We asked the kind folk at the residential moorings if we could fill a drinking water bottle, and they generously let Richard fill the bottles and our water tank. We were relieved, because we were about to go onto a new waterway and weren’t sure how many water points we’d encounter. As it happens, we needn’t have worried – there are abundant water points along the Aire and Calder navigation.

We did wonder about staying on the mooring for the night, but the obvious presence of three cats on the nearest residential boat made up our minds!

Definition of happiness...

Definition of happiness…

The first lock of the day was the gargantuan Fall Ing Lock – I don’t think we’ve seen one this big since our last trip on the Thames. It took an age to empty the lock and get onto the river. But I was just happy that the throttle was nicely free, making me wonder how long that piece of metal had been in the gearbox.

I picked Richard up on the lock landing and we cruised downriver – it’s still the River Calder here, but transformed from the shallow rill that sang through the Pennines to this dignified waterway that has seen its fair share of industrial traffic. The stretch below Fall Ing lock was lovely – wooded and tranquil, but past the flood lock it changed character. The woods gave way to a hard bank with fine moorings on both side of the river. At first, the moorings were sparsely populated but as we got closer to Stanley Ferry the moorings filled up – there are obviously residential moorings on one side, but the signs suggest that there are visitor moorings on the other.

The river was more than wide enough to turn Indigo Dream, so we ventured as far as the marina but turned before we crossed the aqueducts.

It's a long way down to the river - this is still the Calder, but now it's the Aire and Calder navigation...

It’s a long way down to the river – this is still the Calder, but now it’s the Aire and Calder navigation…

We cruised back upstream, despairing of a mooring by the pub – there was plenty of room available on the visitor moorings, but it was all in short sections between the widely spaced boats. We decided to squeeze into a space by the bridge, at that point, a moored cruiser got the message and kindly moved back a bit to make room for us.

The towpath was buzzing at Stanley Ferry – it was a lovely evening and the pub was an obvious attraction, as was the fine dog-walking available in the nature reserves flanking the river. We were preparing to go to the pub when a young couple with a husky/german shepherd cross strolled by. The man of the couple was a diesel mechanic giving out cards to the moored boaters – ah, where was he a fortnight ago when we broke down? 🙂

Archie was impeccably behaved with their dog (his thing with husky types has been mercifully dormant on this trip), but we didn’t take any chances. The couple were very interested in boating life and were contemplating buying a small narrowboat, around 40′, for weekends and holidays. They couldn’t be liveaboards because of a commitment to their family farm. They were so pleasant we gave them a tour of the boat – they were very appreciative and, like many people, were surprised at the sheer levels of comfort available on a well-equipped narrowboat.

Lush....

Lush….

We eventually got to the pub, passing a large husky who evidently lived on a cruiser nearby. It’s very vexing when people leave their dogs loose on the towpath – “he’s very friendly” said the woman as we sidled past, the husky coming right up to the hounds, making it difficult to get past. Luckily, the hounds were very well-behaved, but Ollie is very frail and doesn’t need to be crowded by a strange dog.  I mean, I’m very friendly, but you wouldn’t want me to come right up to you and start leaning on you!

We’ll come back to this boat because the owners and their friends later showed that they were both inconsiderate and irresponsible…

But first we enjoyed a huge dinner at the Stanley Ferry pub – modern pub grub and plenty of it! The pub’s enormous, with a large patio area. Dogs are not allowed inside, but it was warm enough for us to sit outside.

Beautiful evening...

Beautiful evening…

I was feeling a bit weary on the way back to the boat, especially as we now had to sidle back past the big husky. By now the boat had loud music playing and a little towpath party going on. The husky came out again, but as we passed, I heard one of the party tell Richard to watch out for a dog along the towpath that was a “nasty piece of work”. We thought that she was warning us about a dog on an adjacent boat but no, IT WAS HER DOG – tethered to a bollard about a boat-length away. It was too far away for her to stop him from lunging at passing dogs but she seemed to think that giving people a warning was the same as her controlling the little beast. Fortunately the dog decided not to take on Henry and Archie, but it had a lunge at Ollie – I was so angry and swung the bag of sheepies to deflect it. No harm done but honestly…..

Of course, I did the British thing and had a rant to myself and on Facebook, reckoning that if the stupid woman couldn’t work out that leaving an aggressive dog tethered without supervision within reach of passersby on the towpath was a bad idea then no amount of telling  would make a difference. Later on, inevitably, there was the sound of two dogs having a right scrap 😦

For a while, there was the sound of passers-by on the towpath, but once the pub closed the mooring was quiet and we had a peaceful night….

Today’s Trivia

I thought that “Fall Ing” lock was an unusual name but I didn’t wonder about it until I saw the word “Ing” crop up on other road/lock signs. I wondered whether it was a Yorkshire dialect word and so it is! Apparently “Ing” or “Eng” is an ancient Viking word meaning “meadow near the water” – how apt:-)

Photoblog:

Is this a giant hogweed? If so, they have a real prolem along this river - they're growing abundantly and the sap causes serious phototoxic skin reactions...

Is this a giant hogweed? If so, they have a real problem along this river – they’re growing abundantly and the sap causes serious phototoxic skin reactions…

Conveyor to nowhere...

Conveyor to nowhere…

This bridge looked disused with its garnish of vegetation....

This bridge looked disused with its garnish of vegetation….

But there are trains to wave at....

But there are trains to wave at….

Broadreach Lock - a reminder that the river can be moody....

Broadreach Lock – a reminder that the river can be moody….

We wanted to get closer to the pub but these moorings just upstream from Stanley Ferry would be a hound-perfect place to stay...

We wanted to get closer to the pub but these moorings just upstream from Stanley Ferry would be a hound-perfect place to stay…

But it might be best to avoid cycling along this towpath...

But it might be best to avoid cycling along this towpath…

Stanley Ferry felt like Clapham Junction after the quiet waters that we've been cruising since May..

Stanley Ferry felt like Clapham Junction after the quiet waters that we’ve been cruising since May..

 

 

3 Responses to “Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 15”

  1. Kevin TOO said

    Sue said… “I mean, I’m very friendly, but you wouldn’t want me to come right up to you and start leaning on you!”
    Kevin said… Oh I don’t know, I’d risk it for a biscuit… but don’t tell Richard… LOL

  2. indigodream said

    Oh Kevin, that made us chuckle – especially Richard!

  3. Bruce said

    Kevin, you beat me to it!

    I hadn’t realised until the other day that the Hogweed phototoxicity lasts for years, be careful out there.

    Cheers

    Bruce

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