Saturday, 28 May 2016

No More Hills and Valleys – Saturday 28th May

This morning we left Ferrybridge with its iconic cooling towers dominating the skyline and river bank.


Soon we were passing the turn onto the River Aire which takes the boater towards Selby and the River Ouse. We turned right passing Hirst Boatbuilders Yard with lots of unusual old boats.


This area is full of old coal mines and power stations and a little way passed the now derelict  Kellingley Colliery we were flagged down by two girls to try and help  rescue a deer which could not get out of the canal. Unfortunately it had swum into the brambles and trees and we could not get close enough to get a rope onto it and it was too heavy to give a push up with the pole. The girls told us that at least 5 deer a week drown in the canal because they cannot get out. Sadly we had to leave the girls to try and coax it out to their side of the canal.


At Whitley Lock it started to get busy with boats waiting to come up as we went down, something we have not encountered in the last five weeks.IMG_7546

On the long reach to Pollington Lock there were lots of fishermen just setting up there pegs and I could not get over the amount of Kit they brought with them on their wheelbarrows.


The Hills are now far behind us and we are travelling through the flat lands of South Yorkshire with long views across the open countryside.IMG_7550

Because the canals are wide and deep we move along quickly and here you can see the bow wave on Autumn Years as they draw level with us. The dinghies were sailing on a reservoir opposite our turn onto the New Junction Canal which leads towards Sheffield.m2

The lift bridges on this canal are enormous  because they have to cope with very large tankers and here I am operating the first one and holding up the local tractors and cars.


At Slow Lane swing bridge we met 12 boats coming the other way; 10 of these were from the Strawberry Fields CC which the Sykhouse Lockie had told us about.


The canal crosses the river Don on this aqueduct with huge guillotine gates at either end. The water from the canal was flowing over the side of the aqueduct as we went across so it was a good job the railings are there to stop anyone falling over the edge.


A quarter a mile further on we made the sharp left hand turn onto the Stainforth and Keadby Canal and here we were back on manually operated locks. Fortunately three boats were waiting to come up which helped as the gates were very heavy for the girls to operate.


A short way down the reach after the Barnwith Swing bridge we moored up for the night and went aboard Autumn Years for afternoon tea with delicious home made scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. I was too slow to get a picture before we had eaten most of the scones.


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