Monday, 29 August 2011

Summer/Autumn Cruise (Week 2)

Summer/Autumn Cruise (Week 2)

Monday 29th of August 2011.
Summer into Autumn Cruise 2011.
Day 8 Kirkstall Moorings to Salts Wharf, Saltaire.

The wind increased during the night and was quite fresh when we awoke. This called for a later start but we were under way by 9:30. I had to back the boat out of the marina, which I did with few problems and got a well done from a gongoozeler watching from a bridge. We were soon back at Kirkstall Lock and all of the useless none waterways locks had been removed. The bottom gates are such a bad fit (heavy) and with no willing helpers to hand, we had to open both sluices on the top gates to help shut the bottom gates. So much for saving water!

We were followed out of the marina by Thames Mystique where like us they had passed the night. We have been in and out of their company for the last few days. We wanted to take on Diesel at Rodley, however there was a loud rock concert going on and while the boatyard was open, it was deserted. So we pressed on in one of the occasional spells of sunshine we had today. We took on board 110 litres of diesel at Apperley Bridge Marina at £1.30 and 83p, fixed 60/40 split. Thames Mystique passed us and we eventually passed them again later when they were moored up.

Forge Locks (3) were done without problem with a gallery of people out enjoying the bank holiday. At Newley Lock (3) there were a couple of lock keepers to lend some support and we passed through in double quick time. Dobson Lock (2) we had to wait for a wide beam to do their descent before passing through. At Field Lock (3) their was a lock keeper on duty and we soon passed through the flight.

There was little boating traffic encountered throughout the day. However, we did notice that other boaters would leave locks with gates open or the paddles not closed. We came across one couple out gongoozeling who were going on their first hire trip on the Monte in a couple of weeks. They were very excited about the prospect. In hindsight we should have invited them on board to cruise up one lock and get a look and a feel for the boat – maybe next time!

We arrived at Salts Wharf (a 7 day mooring) near bridge (207E) at 6:30 in the evening in the middle of a downpour of rain. We had the whole mooring to ourselves. The blustery wind made mooring up quite difficult. We also had a problem lighting the fire. Unbeknown to us there had been a fall of soot onto the stoves baffle plate, that was blocking the chimney flue. I need to get my brush on a rope down the chimney and give it a good cleaning.

Saltaire is a World Heritage Site, thanks to its preservation as a Victorian industrial village. Mill owner Sir Titus Salt built the village for his workers and today Saltaire attracts visitors to its magnificent Victorian architecture.

Went out with the bat detector and we had good numbers of Pipistrelle bats and other myosis species that we were unable to positively identify. I think we also spotted a possible Pipistrelle colony in an old disused wharf building nearby.

We watched a program on TV with Stephen Fry talking about the top 100 gadgets that had made our life easier or in my case more difficult. However, by the time we had counted down from 100 to 35 we tumbled into bed for the night so we never did find out what the top ten must have gadgets were!

I woke up at 4 am with Poppy giving long deep warning growls, when I heard voices I had a look through the window. There were four men hanging about on the towpath who were looking over a fence into a construction yard. I turned on the bow light and they quickly walked away down the tow path.

Daily Total
Distance: 10.5 Miles.
Locks: 12
Swing / Lift Bridges: 10
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 1799

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