Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Summer Autumn Cruise 2011 (1-3)

Day 3 Junction of New Cut and the Aire and Calder Navigation to Bulholme Lock
Wednesday 24th of August 2011.

It had been a cold night as low as 5C and a thick fog carpeted the canal until the sun burned it off at about 9am. I spotted a pair of Cormorants on the Pennine Trail footbridge over the canal with their wings in the crucifix position drying their feathers in the early morning sun.

The weather was very warm again today. We made good progress as all the locks were either set for us, or the locks were manned by Lock keepers. Quite a bit of commercial traffic around as we came up against the Humber Princess returning from Castleford empty. I was a bit peeved by the Humber Princess crew as she was deliberately accelerated out of the confines of the lock at Pollington which channelled the water creating a large bow wave. This threw our boat on the lock moorings around much more than normal. I will be writing to the manager of the operator to express my concern.

We watched at Whitley Lock an Ariel ballet performed by a Red Kite and a small group of Carrion Crow who were mobbing it. The Red Kite was going round and round in lazy circles as it rode a thermal. The Crows were careful to remain behind the Kite at all times. A spectacular display of indifference by the Kite and bravery by the Crows.

We paused for lunch just before Sheppard's Bridge. The run up to Ferrybridge Flood lock was uneventful. The flood lock was open and we soon left the cooling towers behind us. We only met one large barge on its way down which was being pushed by a tug. Unlike the Humber Princess they showed some consideration and slowed down a little. This then gave us a chance to turn in on their wake to cross at right angles.

Later we spotted a Kittwake flying along the canal just before we arrived at Bulholme Lock. As we moored up for the day Poppy chose this time to fall over the side into the water. We had to hold the boat out from the bank until she swam clear. She seemed to be quite happy about being in the water. However, when we landed her, it was straight into the shower for a wash and brush up. The Memsahib also took the opportunity to give Abbey the same treatment.

The rain started about 7pm. I checked for bat activity after dark at 10pm but it was too wet for them to come out. It was a very warm and humid night.

Daily Total
Distance: 16 Miles.
Locks: 3
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 1790.6

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