Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Goodbye to York

Hi Everyone
Here we are at the end of another stay and getting ready to move on. The stay in York has been very nice the marina is very nice and the staff great very helpful with bus times etc the other boaters who are permanent here have also been extremely friendly its just like being on Fettlers. Noreen says the shower block, Toilets and Laundry are the best she has ever seen. But everything comes at a cost and it wasn’t cheap but when you are out on the move you need to just moor up plug in the electric and just sit back and CHILL.
Our Keith and Carol came Sunday and left this morning we have had a couple of great days together lots of fishing a god trip into York yesterday we even found a mooring. If you ever get the chance whilst visiting York try the Melting’s Pub just over Lindle bridge they sell the most fantastic chip buties   and a great range of real ale well yes I know not completely in the diet but hey who cares they were extraordinary real chips cooked in fat not oil Ohhhhhh
York like any other city is full of tourists and lets face it we need them all that Yen pouring into to the country. the Shambles and the Minster are still thronged with crowds though I was again annoyed with the minster; years on entering you could ust say “I am here to Pray” and you walk in, Now it’s a Spanish Inquisition and really not worth the effort OK its nice to pray in the surroundings of a minster but God listens where ever you are and I flatly refuse to “Pay to Pray” But I let the Tourists pay for the up keep of one of the worlds greatest Churches and it is a very expensive building and I will talk to God where ever I am.
We are booked in to go down onto the Tidal Ouse to Selby  tomorrow morning at 08.30, we have received a few conflicting stories about restrictions on going down river between the 2 July and the 8 July because of high tides However when Noreen spoke the lock keeper this morning he did not mention it so we are going. If my next Blog is from the canal We Made it” if its from Hull or the North Sea “we didn’t “ Maybe its time I had that Chat with MY MATE UPSTAIRS?????
The trip home ward is relatively plain sailing though I am sure there will be many tales add to the blog. As we are too long to go back a different way except for the river Trent and that’s a no go as we haven’t enough time before going to Australia at the end of August we will just retrace our steps its not as boring as it sounds we are meeting up with Stev and Phil on their boat Blossom and travelling back together as far as Wigan with them
Though before that we have to attend a funeral in Rufford one of our dear Boating friends has died and we dearly want to be there to pay our respects and say good bye. Travelling does sometimes throw stuff at you that you can never plan for I am sure with all our friends assistance we will be there


God Bless

Tucked up for the night, we have never moored in such a quiet place 

Morning Coffee in the lounge 

This is a piece of art work on a disused railway bridge it is a great piece of local art
end of the marina moorings at Naburn

the gang together in York  
Careful mooring in York, at the moment do not moor after Millennium bridge and 
before the town bridge you will be grounded on rocks.

Entering York

Noreen Kath and John out side the Minster

Friday, 26 June 2015

YORK End of the Line

Here we are again

Wednesday morning dawned not to bad grey but dry, we were due at the lock ready to go down at 12.00 as  usual at any lock there is always a queue so we just sat there and waited our turn. The lock keeper is the one in charge and for safety reasons splits the boats up so that the lock is never crowded it was fine really as it gave John and I time to see how the boats manoeuvred out of the lock and onto the River Ouse as at this time we were going out on a high tide. No nautical terms as I would get more confused than you.
Everyone going down looked a little apprehensive and in some cases near hysterical. By the time our turn came around I was first in the lock and so first out of the lock I could see the sign of relieve on Johns face as I would be leading the convoy of four boats. We were instructed by the lock keeper that we were to stay where we were until he waved us out as he would have to check for oncoming boats and debris whist waiting for the signal to go I did noticed in front of the lock gates a tree going passed at about 15 knots down river it was then that the lock keeper gave the thumbs up, with a big deep breath I pushed Buggerlugs in gear and head her out into open water the tide was running from my starboard and I wanted buggerlugs to go to port anyway the tide was pushing my bow in the right direction and within no time we were travelling in a straight line (sort of)
Ahead was quite old a three arch bridge like most bridges on tidal waters the pillars of these bridges are bedecked with all sorts of debris The lock keeper informed us all that when approaching the bridge we were to go through the centre arch. However as I approached and lined the boat up I realised that the tree I had seen raging past the lock gate was now blocking the right hand Arch  I swung the tiller as hard as I could and with all my power held it there Buggerlugs responded wonderfully and soon we where heading crab like through the centre arch looking behind I was glad to see the other boats had seen what I was doing which gave them plenty of time to get themselves lined up for the centre Arch. From that point on the journey was rather uneventful if not chaotic I never expected to see so much debris it was like a slalom course for narrow boats. We had the usual Trees, logs, traffic, cones however I was not expecting to notice a dead cow and later a dead Goat
After an hours sail we were in slack water (the tide had stopped coming in) and the river became slow and quiet. On reaching Naburn lock we had completed our trip on the tidal Ouse. For after this the Ouse becomes none tidal and a mile from the lock we were on our mooring at York Marina. Which is a very pleasant spot and will do for a week we have water and electric here so we can sit back and take it easy having facilities enables me to get the boat ready for the return trip Today I have done a engine service so that’s now out of the way.
The only thing that is annoying me here is the bloody Plastic Chickens (these are the fibreglass cruisers Dad always called them Gin Palaces) some of these boats are in the 100s of 10000s and are big enough to cross the channel, and should be moored in a harbour BUT  here they are the problem is that they have very little draught and therefore with the speed they cruise at cause great waves in their wake, ( the rivers do not carry a speed limit) In my opinion these boats and boaters are only on the river for two reasons COST and Ignorance, its cheaper on the river, here they have a better chance of Posing to the tourists, its Friday and since 15.00hrs I estimate 25 boats have left the moorings and headed up to York about 45min cruise there they will monopolise all the mooring what ever there are, when moorings have been exhausted they will breast up mooing side by side for the weekend and then start drinking and partying making it uncomfortable for all the other boaters .The other reason they are not in a harbour and subsequently being on the sea is: you need to know something about sailing, something that these daft buggers know nothing about. That tirade is about the sea going Cruisers, not the river cruisers that are smaller and built for the river we must not get the two confused.
Tomorrow we are off to Ripon we are not able to get Buggerlugs there as the locks are too small so we have now reached the limit of our journey north next week we turn south for the trip home.
God Bless


Some of the Debris to be Negotiated 

Best not go any further Just notice the pile of debris awaiting to be leashed onto the river 

Noreen in our new home cafe for a week

Our first day off in York

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Travelling from Leeds to York entails sailing on a number of rivers and joining canals, through some really wonderful scenery even though it is Yorkshire scenery its not so bad.
You also have to go through some strange towns and Villages, one such town is Castleford famous for its Rugby League club. Yesterday we Moored up for the night in Castleford whilst there we took the opportunity
To gather a few supplies mainly Maggots for fishing. So with google map in had and listening to all the instructions  we set off for the tackle shop after numerous wrong directions by google we found the shop however it was in Carlton Lane not Carlton street that’s where google became confused. Having found the bloody shop we found it was a specialist Carp fishing shop and being so did not sell Maggots I had never heard of a Tackle shop that didn’t sell maggots But hey now I have, The very obliging owner of the shop put me in touch with another tackle shop only ten min away so all ended up well on that score, As my lump hammer (required for knocking in ground pins when mooring up) had gone missing in Leeds (people will nick anything if its not tied down)  So we called in the hardware shop next door and tried to get a lump hammer and the only one I could get was one that had a bolster chisel sold with it now there is not much use for a bolster chisel on a boat I tried explaining to this very pretty Yorkshire Lass that I as a boater had no requirement for the Chisle so could I just have the Hammer Nay lad came the reply “its either all or Nowt tis up to theee “ then all of sudden that girls beauty went right down the plug hole. Only a few hundred yards away there was a shop that from the exterior look for all the world like a Garden centre the outside  pavement  was covered with platers, tubs, plants bags of compost and soil a whole assortment of gardening material, on looking into the shop one could see a large variety of fruit and veg, Not unusual for a garden centre to sell fruit and vege what was odd was the shear volume and variety of it there really was veg there that I had no idea of I can only imagine that it something they give to the Rugby players. This shop had one more surprise for us towards the back was one of the biggest wine shops I have ever seen it was vast stocked with some very interesting wines and amazing array of world wines Then came the biggest shock walking back outside, we realised that we were on the forecourt of a drive through off licence cars were zooming in and out among all the gardening merchandise stopping to load the boot up with as many cans of ale as you could cram in I can only imagine that again it was for the Rugby League Players (well they did beat St Helens the night before) The only ither drive through Booz I have seen before was in Australia this was my first in the UK. Walking across the street and back to the boat we were having a laugh and saying how strange the shops were Then Noreen remembered she wanted Milk and across the raod was what looked like a little News agents so we crossed and walked in, and to be sure the front looked as it should with racks of mags and papers Noreen asked for milk and was escorted around the back this again was a shop like the Tardis that just kept revealing more space for this room was packed to the ceiling with Groceries and a fridge for the milk, to get back to the till was an even bigger revelation as we had to pass by the Fish and Chip counter?? On reaching the outside we both double checked the exterior there was no signage to the fact that this tiny little corner shop was in fact a Tardis combing a News Agent, Tobaconist, General Store, Green Grocers and Chippie
What  PLACE Castleford is a place if you are passing is a must for a shopping experience never mind the Trafford centre Get this en up to Castleford for a reet Yorkshire shopping experience

Tomorrow we eventually get onto the river Ouse and head for York John and I went to reccy the lock that tomorrow will drop us down onto the Ouse tonight was low tide and the drop is about 30ft but you can only go through the lock at high tide and hopefully the drop will be a lot less and the river running a lot slower because on leaving the lock its a very tight turn into the river, fingers crossed everyone.

God Bless

It was rather cold yesterday so Noreen wrapped  took the helm
Leading the convoy on a very wide river

Wide rivers make for even wider Bridges 

Art work at Selbey River Lock

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Visiting Leeds

Hi everyone
Well we arrived in Leeds last Wednesday in a gale force wind, this trip seems to have been dogged by high winds and I cannot describe a worse sailing condition, Great fun for a sailing boat but bloody hard work for a narrowboat. Mooring in Leeds are very scarce we intended to moor in Clarence Dock which is just below the Armouries each mooring has its own water and electric however in their infinite wisdom CRT have sold all but four of the mooring to long term mooring (people who want to live in the centre of town cheaply) unfortunately this seems to be the trend in major towns and cities genuine boaters who are cruising and  wish to visit are being overrun by these boats that never move and are used as cheep housing.
The four remaining moorings are only 48 hours which is no use to us so we are moored outside the Double Tree Hilton Hotel it’s a good mooring and we have been quite happy here.
Leeds is a fantastic city very cosmopolitan some great shopping areas and wonderful Victorian arcades plus a market that’s sells everything with a unbelievable array of stalls. Food stall selling produce from every corner of the world including Fish, Meats, Fruit and Vegetables all under one gigantic roof and an outdoor section it is well worth a visit.
John and Kath arrived yesterday so Monday we are all off to York I do believe we will have four boats travelling down to Castleford together there the flotilla will split half  turning to Port heading to york and the rest turning to Starboard heading for Goole down to Castleford should take a day and a half and York should take the same. So by Wednesday next week we should be in the marina, for all interested parties we have booked into a Marina near York  NABURN MARINA. Its about 5 miles outside York so we can sail in to York have a visit and sail back So Buggerlugs will be accepting guests for that period
Its two years since Buggerlugs was on the river today I had to get the drag anchor out of moth ball and get it ready with all the other paraphernalia for travelling on the tidal river.
Tomorrow being fathers –day we are celebrating with Mass in Leeds Cathedral followed by Breakfast in Weatherspoons with John and Kath HEY We know how to live it up in the fast  lane??

God Bless All


Monday, 15 June 2015

To all the non boaters  apologies because my explanation of a staircase lock was rather weak so I have sent a couple of pics to assist with the explanation?????
We managed to get into Leeds yesterday and took the first vacant mooring which was in Granary Wharf outside the Hilton its not a bad mooring so we may stay a few days Leeds is a very interesting city to explore.

sorry they have come out upside down

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Saturday 13 June 2015

We always knew we have to negotiate the Biggley 5 rise and the Biggley 3 rise but as we have done them a few times before neither of us gave the task much thought, after all its only a set of locks, Now it maybe we are a little older, the locks have become shorter, the boat become longer or all three. I have no idea what;  but this time they were really a nuisance they are classed as 60ft locks which in theory they are however if you are descending in the lock  and you measure from the cill to the hinge of the gate they are;; though the problem starts when the lock is closed (which they have to be to work ) the gates swing in by about four feet which means as a 60ft boat you end up with your stern stuck to the cill wall and you bow stuck in the recess where the lock gate have to be so you can get out.  It takes a lot of careful maneuvering, great seaman ship and a lot of swearing to get out of every bloody, whilst you are conducting your fetes of maneuverability you are being soaked by water cascading  from the leaking lock that you have just left, some were like having ten hoses turned on you others were less only nine hose pipes.
Now to none boaters I guess you will have been lost in the first sentence, all I can suggest is you google “ rise locks” or staircase lock,  as they are more complicated than standard locks. However for a change the person who has all the work to do is the one in charge of the boat those working the lock there job remains the same
Those with boats  anything less that 60ft the locks are very simple. I also think that there are more Swing Bridges on the Leeds and Liverpool canal than any other in the country every other mile I am sure they have built new ones since we were last up here.

On the plus side the weather has been wonderful such a change on last week, we have been travelling with a boat called “DUNRUSHIN”  WITH Mike and Liz aboard, its always better to travel together when facing all these swing bridges we do one they do the following and so on that way out of 10 bridges you only man 5 and it really speeds up the journey we said goodbye to them this afternoon as they were staying in Appley bridge but as true boaters another boat who we met in skipton has joined us for the last day into Leeds.
This morning we awoke to a terrible drizzly day and its that Yorkshire drizzle that soaks you through so we left it until 09.45 and then made a dash for it however it soon cleared to be a lovely day and we got that beautiful smell that you get after a hot dry smell and then some light rain which clears the dust it was such a clean fresh smell. But its now 20.00 and its raining again.
All well we shall make Leeds Tomorrow and hopefully a good mooring 


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

As Maryanne, Steve and Pippa went back yesterday we broke out of Skipton this Morning. We called in at Skipton boats to see Ian (who wasn’t there)  so we had a pump out, Diesel and bought a few parts to keep the old tub floating, I feel much better after the enforced stop over in Skipton my voice has returned and the head cold is much better Mats birthday today and Thomas tomorrow So happy birthday to you both I am glad the parcels arrived in time. Skipton served us very well and it was great to share a few days with Maryanne ,Steve and Pippa Noreen and Maryanne even managed to get us all to go shopping in Harrogate. OK it’s a very nice place and it was appointed the happiest town in Britain last year, but it would seem nobody had told the miserable shop keepers we spoke to, or maybe like in france they ignored us when they recognised our Lancashire accent??. We attempted to get into Aunt Betties, as this is the place in Harrogate to eat  for lunch However as always there was queue going down the street so we passed on that one (I wonder if they invent queues just to give the illusion of popularity?????)
The trip up from Skipton to Riddlesden which is just outside Keighley is such a very pretty run one of the nicest pieces of canal you can travel on however in the 12 miles distance there are 14 swing bridges (two are unused) which makes it a long slog for no mileage anyway its been a beautiful day with wall to wall sunshine.
I have just spoken to John and he is now only two days behind so we should all be together by time we get to Leeds and head onto the Ouse. Looks as if we are getting visitors tomorrow Phil and Steph are thinking of coming over and as it happens there is a lovely pub just down the canal.

Sleep Tight 

from Skipton to Keighley is very picturesque 

Harogate Aunty Bessies  

Mum says "where the bloody hell did you come from "

This Heron followed us for about two miles

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Well what a wild 48 hrs that was, I have never known such powerful winds this time of year, but with the weather it is what it is, you can dress for the wet and the cold but the wind in my opinion there is only one thing to do and thats moor up and wait it out.
Yesterday was a beautiful day, after a good clean up around the boat and putting everything back in its rightful place we decided to hop the bus and take ourselves off to Settle it being a place we use to visit quite a lot, a very sedate day really just a good walk and a good lunch, Going  took 35mins by bus coming back took 20 I think our European driver must have been on a promise, as you know from my past experiences on buses I do tend to nod off and Noreen has to apologise for me being spread across the floor after the bus taking a corner at 60 and me half asleep Well what our for if not to apologise for their husbands????
Today we hit Skipton with a tour around the castle and the parish church both extremely interesting yet not exciting. Though the day was productive as I have started on repainting our Name sign something I have been meaning to do for months.
We had word from Kath and John todayDue to the lack of water and pounds being empty  it took them 8 hrs to get up the Wigan flight they must have been exhausted  I make it now they can be only 4 days behind us, as we are staying here until Monday because Maryanne is coming over on Sun/Mon and possibly  Julie on sat that should put Kath and John very close it will be great to be teamed up again

Keep  smiling

A bit of catch up work 

Noreen just finished Polishing Buggerlugs she looks Gorgeous 
so does Noreen

The fish climb at Settle helping the fish get to the spawning grounds up river 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

At the moment we are sitting out the storm that we have been expecting all day
This morning I knew we had to leave our mooring at Gargrave having used up our three day mooring allocation, I do hate boats that overstay, so I tend to try and not do it. So again I ruined Noreens sleep by starting the engine at 06.45 again she astounded me with more words she says her Dad had taught her.?? However my early start was to be proved right, for after taking on water, doing three locks and three swing bridges in an increasing wind with speeds up to 30mph. Having made great time we entered Skipton at 10.30   and had the pick of at least three moorings we (Noreen) decided to take the one opposite Morrison’s much to Noreens  pleasure  I agreed . By 14.00hrs the moorings were all full the boat astern and the boat forward and a few other boats we have come to know  are boats we have been this has been passing and being overtaken by since Manchester, quite a little convoy for over a week so we are now all huddled together sheltering from what can only be described as a very violent storm I have had to use ratchet straps to hold down my top box covers and taken everything else off the roof.
That sounds quite horrific but really it is quite calming all the boaters are “in the same boat” and all have decided to sit the next 24hrs out. There is a great deal of camaraderie with sharing of ropes and straps (it would appear I am the only on with spare rope and straps but Jim astern is sharing beer so all is equal in the end.
I would normally put pics on the blog but who wants to see pics of waves on a canal???????
I am now off to bed and see what the morning brings.
As I was out last night in that storm lashing my boat down and helping others do he same and getting soaked doing it I awoke this  morning to a sunny yet still windy  morning. In the night I have developed a bad cough, soar throat and sneezes, so its off across the road to Morrisons for some paracetamol, Strepsils and lemons OH yes and a full English that should sort out the bloody cold.
Cary on Boating

Big Al