Wednesday 28 September 2011

Summer Autumn Cruise 2011 (6-3)

Wednesday September 28th

Knottingly to Southfield Junction
Day 38

A good start to the day as the sun was soon up over the horizon. A heavy dew on the boat overnight made giving Rosie a wipe down her port side very easy. A light breakfast followed a visit to the boat yard and we were able to establish that we would not get onto the slipway before Monday morning.

I spent some time down in the engine bay topping up the batteries with water. I suspect that one of the batteries is going faulty and discharging the battery bank over night. We had already promised ourselves a new set of batteries for the spring. So we may need to review the purchase date.

We watched Battlestone carrying a load of sand travelling up river towards Castleford. Its good to see cargo still being handled this way. We passed through Whiteley Lock and Pollington Lock under the control of the lock keepers. We shared Pollington Lock with Two other boats.

Taking advantage of the good weather, we decided to make a visit to Goole. We passed by Kellingley Colliery site was unusually silent as the shift was cancelled due to the recent death of a miner in a roof fall. Coming from a mining family and knowing that the working conditions underground can carry great risks. I certainly identified with the tragedy that has befallen this family.

Every one remembers the 1966 tragedy of Aberfan. When a colliery spoil heap collapsed into homes and a school, killing 116 children and 28 adults. The miners and their families have paid a great price with their lives over several hundred years in enriching this country. Their reward was to be treated as shit for political expediency and the decimation of their industry under the Thatcher Government.

We watched several large skeins of Greater and Lesser Black Backed Gulls passing high overhead to the East. The new ploughed fields alongside the canal were very attractive to large numbers of Gulls and Rooks. One ploughed field held a large number of Lapwings. Almost each mile of canal has its own resident Heron.

A very sedate pace along the canal brought us to Southfield Junction. We decided to stop for a late lunch and then after eating and enjoying a couple of beers we decided to stay put for the night. For most of the late afternoon and early evening we could hear a Long Eared Owl calling. Moored nearby is Nb Pipistrelle who also have a couple of dogs aboard. 

A widebeam called Walrus, last seen moored in Knottingley came along the canal at some speed. They slowed down far to late before the junction to reduce the large bow wave that rattled every boat on the moorings. Battlestone returned empty heading for Goole just as dusk was falling cruising past the junction at a gentle pace. The effect as Battlestone passed the end of the junction was almost as nothing when compared to Walrus. Just a gentle rise and fall. After dark another wide beam boat came into the moorings with only the green navigation light was working.

We spent a bit of time sat in the dark just admiring the stars. It is so dark here that the Milky Way was easy to see. Last time we stopped here we detected three types of bats and in good numbers. This time only a few Pipistrelle were detected.

Daily Total
Distance: 10 Miles.
Locks: 2
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 1952.7

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