Friday, 7 October 2011

Summer Autumn Cruise 2011 (7-5)

Friday October 7th

Long Sandal Moorings to Sprotborough Moorings
Day 47

The wind built up steadily until about 2am when the trees opposite the mooring took a bit of a battering. After that it steadily declined so that by 7:30 it was just a strong breeze and almost flat calm by 9:30am. Later the sun came out and was warm but the wind began to build up again and tempered what little warmth there was.

At 8:30 a BW team arrived to start their days work with the Ure, Wharfe II and the William Jessop. By 10:30 the job was done. A sunken cruiser which we had seen on our way out was recovered bit by bit with a grab and transferred into a mud bucket.

Being in a recovery mood, I joined in and recovered a large Calor gas bottle floating along the canal. The bottle must have been blown in by the gale force wind of the last few days. It had not been in the water for long and as the gas tap was shut it still has some gas remaining in it.

Poppy the dog has come into season, this makes a normal placid dog into a grumpy short tempered monster. Reminds me of someone but I have not been able to bring them to mind yet! So on their morning walk with the Memsahib, the dogs decided to pick a fight with each other. The result was that Abbey is now nursing a sore leg and getting an extra allowance of cuddles from everyone. Poppy is in the dog house, a position I know only to well.

We stopped for a shopping expedition at the Doncaster visitor moorings. Whilst moored up we spotted a large group of Swallows travelling South at the start of their long journey to Africa. I think it was Aristotle who said “One Swallow a summer does not make” but one large group of Swallows travelling South does make for Autumn for me.

We passed through Doncaster town lock and while I was waiting for the Memsahib to finish closing the lock, I went scrumping for a few apples from the tree at the side of the pontoon. The river level seems to be a bit low and so the flow was quite reduced. It was a pleasure to cruise in the warm sunshine without the gale force wind of the previous day. We passed a single narrowboat heading down river and exchanged a cheery wave and hello. As we cruised on a little further we were greeted by a child with a cheery “hello” from a riverside cottage. A quick check of the watch proved that they would be just arriving home from School.

We arrived at Sprotborough and quickly passed through the lock onto the moorings. We intended having a quiet night – however the Wyre Lady booze cruise guests were their usual good natured if somewhat noisy motley crew. They returned late in the evening and disgorged the revellers onto the tow path and in a short while they had all been whisked away in waiting vehicles.

Some of the trees have been removed round the moorings and some much needed repair work is being carried out on the tow path. The effect of removing the trees has made access available to a satellite TV signal for the first time. The Memsahib watched a repeat of the first program in the new Merlin series that she had missed.

It was a very cold clear moonlight night and only a single Pipistrelle bat was detected. Another night for lighting the stove!

Daily Total
Distance: 7 Miles.
Locks: 2
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 1981.0

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