Day 28 leaving Leeds
There are exciting days and very exciting days on the canal it seems. Today was a very very exciting day, or so my bearded one maintains, I think my long haired one thought it a little stressful.
After a lot of deliberation and advice from various boaters that my owners had met, they made a navigational decision, this was to return to home base on the River Trent as was originally planned way back in the Spring.
This route on The Trent was to be the quicker from Leeds and this was one of the deciding factors as we could apparently not afford any unforeseen delays or stoppages etc which were more likely on the alternative routes.
We left Leeds in the late morning in a leisurely fashion, taking advantage of a short dry spell and there being no great hurry, we joined the River Aire flowing fast out of the City. After a short while we were obliged to make a sharp left into a flood lock. The swift current, the high following wind and the sudden appearance of the said turn placed my long kennel on a mud bank from which no amount of persuasion from my bearded one would extricate!
A line, thrown to a passing pedestrian and his obliging help as a tug, saved the day. He managed to pull our stern into deeper water from where my bearded one was able to regain navigational control. This was about half an hour at stress level 5.
The next drama was the stern rope of my kennel that had been used in the rescue. When this was thrown back to my bearded one, unfortunately, a part trailed in the water and became entwined somewhere beneath the waterline. It was not around the propeller which would have been more serious but it was firmly stuck and the only way forward was for my bearded one to cut it loose. No harm done, half an hour, stress level 6
There followed a very pleasant interlude for them, I was assigned guard duties, it was a visit to Thwaites Mill. This has been preserved and is maintained as it was, a water powered plant devoted to the manufacture of putty. They returned to me full of enthusiasm and reported that it had been very interesting. I was then taken out for a game of football.
Back on the Aire and Calder navigation, this was all a bit scary, not only were we running on rivers that were flowing at a caution rating of “orange” due to the unprecedented rainfalls the locks were enormous, sized to accommodate large commercial traffic which fortunately we did not meet. There were no lock keepers on duty. Stress level 4
Being on a river most of the time, there were few opportunities for me to get off and walk indeed there were no mooring opportunities either and so they relied on information from their maps to find a safe haven for the night. The chosen one was above a flood lock that refused to operate and it was getting late. Stress level 7.
A diversion from the planned route was necessary and it was nearly dark when Captain bearded one moored up at a safe refuge. I was allowed out to play, they Seemed to be thirsty.
My photos are my long haired one posing in front of the range in the Mill owners house (museum). The second is one of the enormous locks.
Sent from my iPad