Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Big One (1-3)

Tuesday 3rd April 2012 - Southfield Reservoir Moorings to Castleford Flood Lock

A cool grey April morning that has little in the way of  encouragement for getting under way, with an early start. So a more leisurely start to the boating day is called for. I reached down the boat hook and went fishing for the high power light I dropped into the cut last night. More of a surprise was when I hooked it back out! So now it has been left to dry out for a day or two before charging it up again.

I was awake just before dawn and spent some time listening to the dawn chorus. Blackbird, Pheasant, Lapwing, Robin and many other birds could be heard. Many of the birds are now singing for a mate and attempting to establish a territory of their own.

When spring comes early as it has this year it encourages the birds to nest and raise a brood. However, success is not just hatching a clutch of eggs it is in feeding and rearing the brood to the fledgling stage. When the weather goes cool, this can remove much of the available food source (insects, grubs and spiders) from the food web. However rain is the biggest immediate problem as it can soak the nest and chicks.

Some birds will attempt to raise a second brood if the first brood fails. However some birds have a single large brood and a one time breeding strategy for survival. Now is going to be a difficult time for many birds so it would be good to purchase a box of meal worms just to provide a little extra alternative (insect) food on the bird table. Chicks need the insect carapace to provide kerotin to build feathers with.

Many bushes and trees are starting to flower, I hope that the frosts are over otherwise some of the tree fruits may not be around in the autumn.

Enough of the wildlife chat - back to the basics of boating. The Humber Princess passed during the night. Making her way back to Goole to load a fresh cargo of oil. We have not come across her since our last Summer into Autumn trip at the end of the season last year. No doubt we will see a few more large cargo vessels on our present boating plan.

The "mystery voice" called today as someone scrambled out of their back door "Hello, we enjoy reading the blog" Which was then followed by a cheery wave. However, we had already passed the boat and I had not noted the boats name. Note to self: I Must Pay Closer Attention! To be honest I don't often refer to boats by their name and location. Some people might prefer to keep the anonymity of their exact location on the cut. But whoever you are, thanks for the greeting.

So what else happened today - After turning left at the top of the new junction. We are now entering one of the commercial routes (Aire and Calder) which tend to be long, straight and featureless. However, for me I prefer this type of terrain to the high banks of the main rivers which restrict what you can see when passing. We are still on the big button controlled hydraulic locks and so the windlass will not be required for a while yet.

The rain continued to fall all day, it was the occasional heavy downpour with a constant light rain in between the heavy showers. Wildlife was noticeable by its absence. A few other boats were seen coming the other way. In the main it was only the hardy few who continued to cruise.

I was allocated Dog walking duty combined with a bit of bat monitoring at the same time. However, the cold wind and the rain it was carrying put paid to any chance of monitoring bats tonight!

Daily Totals
Miles: 16.9
Locks: 4
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 4.9

Rosie's Running Totals
Distance 552.5 miles
Locks 578
Swing / Lift Bridges 100
Tunnels 6
Pump-outs 8
Engine Hours: 2023.0


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.