Sunday, July 7, 2013

Onwards to Leeds on the Calder and Hebble

So the Wimbledon men's final has just finished and a very exciting match it was too.  A well deserved win for Andy Murray.

For the last  two days and the next couple of weeks (or so the weather reports say)  it has been very hot.  The weather station in our boat was showing 31.1 outside just after 3pm today and 29.9 inside !  I do not do well working locks in such heat.  Yesterday it was no so much any tough locks, it was more just mid-day sun for 4 hours was energy sapping.

The locks on the Huddersfield Broad Canal which we did yesterday was interesting to say the least.  Although the locks were built as wide locks, they were not built to the 70ft standard of all other locks.  At 59 ft we had (or should I say Andrew had) to tuck the bow (front end) into the 'v' of the bottom gates and keep the stern (back end) in the center line of the top gate as the cill at the back was curved allowing the rudder a bit of extra space.  It was a skillful and a bit of a nerve-racking procedure.  Unfortunate for our newly met friends, John and Barbara, they just  caught the cill on the first lock out of Huddersfield and dislodged the rudder.  Luckily for them there was no major damage and we left them moored above the lock waiting for assistance.  They did not have long to wait and the guys were able to re-seat the rudder without to much difficulty.  They let us know they were sorted and continuing down the locks.

After we had moored up and Andrew tried to get me a tv signal so I could watch the end of the womens singles, without much luck, he went back up the towpath to give them a hand.

So just a few pictures to give some idea of the short locks.


Dropping the camera !!
 This was because while taking some pics, Andrew thought we were cilling.  Because I was taking the pics I had to drop the camera to run back to the front gate to drop the paddle.  Luckily though it was the front rubbing strake (a small lip to protect the bow a bit) which had caught on the edge of the lock.  As I was running back it slipped of and all was well !!  Apart from the adrenaline coursing through us both :)

Not much safety room at all
The bow tucked in behind the gate
All of this made for a very slow descent and some maneuvering to get the bow out from behind the bottom gate and get the boat out the lock.  In the end it took us 4 hours to complete 8 of the 9 locks.

some of the views, again a deserted mill on the canalside

and some wildlife


Small section of a large shoal of Roach above lock 1 and they were still all there this morning

In the evening, once we had all recovered, Barbara and John joined us for dinner.  With the weather being more pleasant by this time we had it out on the towpath.  Another great end to the day.  I really should have taken some photos as it was the first time that Andrew and I have actually sat outside to have dinner !!  and the second time this year for Barbara and John.  The temperature dropped rapidly though once the sun set completely, which at this time of year was well after 9:30pm.  We called it a night when I started to get rather cold.  I suspect it was because I had been so hot earlier on in the day.

This morning we set off a bit earlier to try and beat the worst of the heat.  Andrew helped John and Barbara through the last lock on the Huddersfield Broad and we waved them off as they were going in the opposite direction to us.

John approaching the lock

Barbara closing the top gate

Next to open the bottom paddles

Keeping the boat off the cill

Compton in the lock
 gives you some idea of Ashdown in the lock and we are 2 ft longer than nb Compton

A last wave goodbye

And off under the bridge on the river
Thank you Barbara and John for the very enjoyable company over the past week.  Hopefully we will meet up again somewhere on the cut :)

 We then pulled pins and popped down the lock onto the River Calder taking a sharp turn left towards the Cooper Bridge Flood gate and heading north.

Passing through the flood gate
and from the other side
Andrew looking quite contented :)

The locks along this combined river and canal Calder and Hebble Canal seem to be a combination of short and long.  The first lock we had to do the diagonal again but the second lock was no issue and we were able to share the lock with another boat.  Hopefully we will get back to normal length locks soon as it really is a bit of a palaver doing the diagonal stuff.

Once we got through those 2 locks there were some lovely shaded visitor moorings and I was already wilting fast and it was only 11:40 but we moored up.  Sitting under the trees with a book and cup of tea was quite relaxing and it was not long before I had cooled down,  oh and just in time to come inside and watch the tennis :D

As the afternoon has passed the clouds have come over and the temp has now dropped to 26.4 outside and 28.3 still inside (no breeze through here !)  The sun though has moved across the canal and what was nice shade this morning has naturally gone. This should not stop us having dinner on the towpath again, you never know ;)

So here we are on the Calder and Hebble on our way to

Fall Ing  (who named these places!!)

Just watching QI about owls who make the sound tooit toowoo.  Turns out that one owl does not make both sounds but one tooits and the other toowoo's.  Naturally the question was which sex does which.   The suggestions was that the female ALWAYS has the last word (Andrew chuckled !!) Turns out though that the female says 'twit' and the male says 'who?'

So who's the twit now then :D

Have fun everyone and take care until next time  <3

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