Day 57: Leeds or bust!

August 30th, 2010

Kevin came out for a Sunday afternoon jaunt from Wakefield to Leeds. It started easily enough, getting into the boatyard over the wall and getting away without being arrested…

At Fall Ing Lock the Calder and Hebble joins the Aire and Calder Navigation. The lock was occupied by two boats when we arrived, but wouldn’t equalise – it took three of us to push the gate open.
We carried on to Stanley Ferry where we stopped for a pump-out and lunch. The pumpout here also has a stupidly short hose but fortunately it just reached.
The A&C is a big, big navigation, with huge power-operated locks. On a weekend there are no lock-keepers but it’s easy enough to work the locks. Unfortunately, the lock-moorings are not placed sensibly and with the high winds (gusting 40mph!) I managed to spanner Innocenti sideways into a line of moored boats, prompting some shouts of “you bloody idiot” or words to that effect. Honestly, what’s with placing long-term moorings right at the approach to locks? BW seem to do it in all sorts of places (Hatton Top Lock is my particular un-favourite, as there’s almost nowhere to stop and wait for the lock), best stop grumbling before I turn into a correspondent for Narrowboatworld.

At Castleford we turned left and headed through the flatlands of relandscaped collieries and up towards Leeds. At Woodlesford Lock I stopped on the right-hand landing and tied Innocenti with the centre line while Kevin went to drain the lock. As I stood and waited, suddenly the bows was drawn out by the wash from the paddles, and the centre line caused the boat to heel sharply to starboard. There was a loud crash from the cabin, and Kevin hit the emergency stop to close the paddles. I got alongside again, tied up using bow and stern lines, and went inside. Most of my crockery had escaped the cupboards during the roll, but the final casualty list was just two sideplates and two cereal bowls! Lucky…
According to the lock-keeper, who surfaced shortly afterwards, this does happen from time to time, but no-one seems to have seen fit to erect a warning sign…

We motored on into Leeds and finally moored in the very smart new Clarence Dock development (the smartest visitor moorings ever, with water and power at the piers!) and went for an excellent curry.

Day 57, Wakefield to Leeds, 17 miles and 11 locks.
Total so far 583 miles and 496 locks.

One Response to “Day 57: Leeds or bust!”

  1. LornaJane Says:

    Hehe, it was rather an excellent curry – great to see you :)

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