Saturday, 27 August 2011

Summer Autumn Cruise 2011 (1-7)

Day 7 Clarence Dock to Kirkstall Moorings.
Saturday 27th August 2011

The weather had improved as the rain almost petred out. Now the wind had freshened up quite a bit. but our time was up on the 48 hour moorings and we would have to move. We moved to the pump outpoint and did a general fettle of the boat. It was very difficult to turn the boat around and face upstream. I had to tie off the front end to the mooring to swing the back end round with the engine.

Oddy Lock needs some urgent attention. We had to open the sluice to fill the top lock as the leakage had drained the lock. The leakage was such on the bottom gate that we also had to open a ground paddle to lift the level in both sides of the lock to clear the cill. After closing the centre gates the and filling the top half of the lock water was now cascading over the bottom gate.

As it was a bank holiday weekend the towpath velodrome was very apparent and we saw a few close calls with cyclists passing walkers and fishermen at high speeds. When we arrived at Garden Lock the inevitable had happened and a cyclist had swerved to miss a walker and was down with a suspected dislocated shoulder. Other cyclists continued to pass him by at high speed without slowing down. One group urging each other to "go for it" as they passed by.

We reached Kirkstall lock at 15:10 to find that the locks were closed - even though BW said they would be open until 4pm. I rang the BW emergency line at 3:30 and some one rang me back at 15:45 to say that the locks would close at 4pm. This was due to the need to conserve water. The problem with this conservation was that the bottom gates were open. The top gates were leaking on the mitre and one of the top sluices was part open. This shoddy working with water pouring through was compounded when we found out that the lock had closed at about 2:30. 

The up shot was that we and another boat that had arrived had to reverse back along the canal about a mile to find a safe place to moor up for the night..I spoke to a fisherman who confirmed that the lock had been closed by a "man in a white van" half an hour before we arrived". Maybe it will be something I will chase up with BW at a higher level. Watch this space. 

At the moorings we spotted a mink trying to sneak up on someones chickens. Poppy was sent to see it off. It disappeared up a small drain much to Poppys annoyance!

Went out with the bat detector and noted Pipistrelles and Daubentons plus other myosis species. Then a Tawny Owl started calling at about 4 am in the tree next to the boat. I took the dogs for an early morning walk.

Daily Total
Distance: 4 Miles.
Locks: 8
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 1
Engine Hours: 1795.6

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