Sunday, 31 August 2014

Confused and two visitors

The CRT signage at Castleford Flood Lock is quite confusing.  This following photo explains why.

The timber posts (red arrows) have signs stating water point mooring only.  The large CRT sign on the building (blue arrow) states “Visitor Moorings” (no time stated).  Paul,  the green arrow points to the self pump-out station.  I guess these two boaters have decided that it’s a 14 day mooring with handy water and pump-out access.

The first boat looked rather interesting.  I initially thought it was from a James Bond movie.

But then I realized the UK government was probably copying the current Australian government illegal immigrant asylum seeker policy.  The boats would sail from Indonesia and when they reached the Australian international search and rescue zone the occupants would call SAR on their satellite phone to advise they were sinking and required rescuing.  This strategy worked with the previous government but the current Liberal-Nationals arrive on scene with one of the following.

Source: ABC Australia

The orange stealth boat is then towed back to Indonesian territorial waters and released.  I wonder if the UK Border Agency is about to do the same and how many illegal immigrants do they expect to find in Castleford? Winking smile

We departed Castleford around 9.00am and headed down to the water point immediately before Bulholme Lock.  OK, we filled the tank yesterday, but we’re trying to get into a routine of filling the tank whenever the opportunity avails itself.  The top gates on the lock appeared to be already open?  And they were!  That’s because there is a third set of gates half way down the lock.

Initially this was rather confusing (for me) but Jan seemed to take it all in her stride.  She locked me down and whilst I was carefully attempting to manoeuvre onto the landing below the gate a cheerful looking male appeared and in a Kiwi accent said “Hello Tom, I have something for you!”  First thought was “The bloody Tax man has found me!”  It was blog reader Don McCoskrie from Waiheke Island, NZ.   Don had left a comment on my 26 July blog post about the problem extracting the pins from the camera plug <link to post here>.  He had come all the way from NZ to give me his pin extraction tool.  Well…… Not really….. Smile  Actually he and Joy were over in the UK on holiday and had made a special effort to find us so he could give me the extractor.  So there we were moored on a lock landing out of sight and he still managed to find us.  We invited both of them aboard and were having a chat when boats arrived from either direction wanting to use the landing.  Just our luck.

Don and Joy on board Waiouru

There was just enough time to show Don my latest purchase which I’m still salivating over.

A set of articulated ratchet and open ended spanners.  Just under £10 at Aldi.  Our meeting was cut short, but were very pleased Don & Joy took the effort to find us and say hello!

Waiouru enjoyed the wide and deep water and at 1500rpm we were rocketing along towards Knottingley.  There is a large coal fired power station at Ferrybridge.  My understnading is commercial traffic has creased on the Aire & Calder so I assume this coal unloader is no longer used.

There are also coal conveyor belts across the site leading from some huge coal stockpiles.

After looking at the scale of the operation you realize your own carbon footprint is rather insignificant.

Ferrybridge Flood Lock is usually open but we had been told by a passing boater that today it was closed.  However we found another boat exiting the lock towards us as we arrived.  Time for that Lotto ticket purchase!  Jan didn’t have to get off as a man was already operating the controls.  He told us he was a volunteer although he wasn’t wearing a CRT blue top or life jacket.  Nevertheless, we were grateful for the assistance.

Ferrybridge Flood Lock with the power station in the background

We are now moored in Knottingley.  As you can see in the following photo it’s obviously a popular spot because moorings are at a premium.

Yes, that’s Waiouru moored on the right

I’ve already done a recce and found the pub at the far end of the moorings.  Around the corner is the Chinese Takeaway and Sainsbury’s Local.  We might have a takeaway tonight.  Yes, I did check… there are a few local cats and they don’t look worried.

There were quite a few blackberries on the path beside the boat but someone has now picked them.  I do like blackberry sponge pudding  <hint hint darling!>

Leave you with a view of the canal at dusk taken on the phone yesterday whilst out blackberry picking.

1 comment :

Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

Don crept up on us too, near Birmingham a few years ago.

I recon he must be using some good maps to find you and, perhaps a boat from Shire Cruisers.