Saturday, 30 August 2014

Steam, the Elephant, and where’s Tom?

Poor Jan is already starting to suffer from RSI in her main right pinkie.  No windlass required; just push buttons!  We turned right out of Clarence Dock and almost immediately entered Leeds Lock.  For the next couple of weeks it looks like Jan will be suffering from windlass withdrawal as all the locks are now electric.  It wasn’t long before we reached Thwaites Mill where we could see a thin column of smoke adjacent to the moorings.  To our surprise the smoke was coming from a small static swivel steam powered jib crane.

The crane operator appeared to have a suspended load and as we got closer it appeared to be a wet cylinder.  Initially we assumed it was being removed from one of the adjacent boats.  However as we passed it appeared to be a replacement boiler for the crane.

We arrived too late at Fishpond Lock to share it with a boat already going down.  The locks are huge and totally dwarfed the sole descending narrowboat.

We almost felt guilty refilling the lock just for Waiouru.

Not being in a hurry we elected to stop for the night on the visitor moorings above Woodlesford Lock.  Jan’s finger was sore! Smile

It was a relatively quiet night, despite the nearby railway line.

Jan was concerned that the elephant on the far bank might have caused a disturbance, but it appeared to be content to quietly watch the boats go by.

Today’s cruise to Castleford was very tranquil.  The navigation was wide and deep which appeared to suit Waiouru.  We made good progress with the engine running at 1500rpm.  This is quite high for us.  Normally the Beta would be doing 800-1000rpm.

Lemonroyd Lock proved to be the deepest we’ve been through this season.  Jan actually lost sight of Waiouru and had to walk to the edge of the lock to check her location before opening the gates.

Don’t worry darling… your husband is still with you!

A bit of a panic at Castleford Junction.  Just as I was preparing to line up on the turn into the junction a dutch barge shot out of the lock across our bow.  I thought he was going to turn towards us and tried to go around him only to suddenly realize the boat had no intention of turning.  Hard reverse on my part prevented a collision.  The passenger on the other boat called out that there was another boat behind it.  That was useful information but I would have preferred to have been advised of their intentions.  However it all worked out well and we’re now moored at Castleford.

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