Thursday, 6 October 2011

Summer Autumn Cruise 2011 (7-4)

Thursday October 6th

Southfield Reservoir to Long Sandal Moorings
Day 46

I was greeted by a biting cold wind in the early hours of this morning, the harbinger of the winter months that lie ahead. The dogs had been restless during the night and we picked up on their mood. I noticed a low tapping noise that turned out to be an off-side boat fender that was being moved around by the wind. After I moved it (at 3 am) and let them have a sniff around on the tow path so that they knew there was no one around they then settled back down again. I put a bit more fuel on the stove to help them settle. Creating the warmth inside Rosie that helps to make them a bit more soporific than usual.

Today's weather forecast is for wind and rain. The galley slave reported that she needed to restock the larder so a move at some point is on the cards. The depleted battery bank is deteriorating badly now and they are in need of a good long charge to give us enough power to last through the whole of a non moving day.

I have now found some 125 Ah replacements on the T'inter Web. I downloaded the specification sheet so that I could check the physical size as well at the connection type. They come with a 4 year warranty and are of the calcium plate zero maintenance type. I shall be ordering up four when we get back.

I noticed large groups of Swallows passing through all heading South so we will not see them until next year. The Swifts seemed to have abandoned us by the end of last week and I have not seen a House Martin for at least two weeks, not even during the warm spell that we had last week. Large numbers of floating leaves are building on the canal, we have a large raft of leaves that has built up between the bow and the bank.

Waved a farewell to Diane and Mick and ships dog Jacob on Nb Ionamia as we left the moorings at Southfield. We are now heading South West as we start make our way back to our home mooring. We still have ten days before we must be back home. So we will be dawdling the last leg of our Summer into Autumn cruise hoping for just a few more days of dry weather to enjoy.

The wind meant that the boat was crabbing down the canal when the wind was at its worst. Syke House Lock was its usual challenge made worse by the wind. I watched a buzzard circling as the lock filled. However the highlight of today’s cruise was the black ominous cloud coming towards us as we approached the guillotine flood lock and aqueduct over the River Don. The wind started gusting violently and forcing the boat off course. Then the torrent of rain and hailstone began this made visibility almost nil. However we were committed to go for it as it would have been impossible to stop and moor up. We made it by a bit of nifty tiller work and gunning the engine at the right moment.

The vortex created by the super strong gale force wind passing over and under the aqueduct was pulling the over spill back round under the aqueduct and throwing it back up into the canal. It was like watching the vapour trail vortex on the edge of a plane wing. Water disappearing in sheets on our left and then the reappearance on our right a moment later. We were not worried as we were now inside the narrow aqueduct and quite safe. Plus we were wearing our new head to foot Gortex Waterproofs, we still got wet! The boat and us got a full power wash as we passed through the maelstrom.

We stopped at Barnby Dun to dry out and to fill the water tank. My hands were freezing with the wet wind chill. I had to warm them round the stove. A boat passed through the lift bride as we were filling up. When we went to set the lift bridge it started to lower the road barriers and then tripped out. We had to send for BW to come and reset everything.

First job on arrival at Long Sandal Lock was to do a pump-out. We were in luck as the pump out had been left on pause and so we were able to use the four minuets remaining to empty the tank. A free pump out in our case but we always leave the pump outs on pause when we have finished. So this time we got a payback for our spare time left on the various BW pump outs on the system.

Getting onto the Long Sandal mooring was a real challenge the wind that was gusting to about 40 mph. We had to use a shore line and the engine to work our way into the tow path side. We ended up moored facing in the wrong direction!

The gale force winds meant that I did not bother to go out with the bat detector. The gusts were far to strong to risk walking the tow path. Another night for lighting the stove!

Daily Total
Distance: 8.5 Miles.
Locks: 2
Swing / Lift Bridges: 7
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 1
Engine Hours: 1977.7

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.