Saturday 6th May 2017
A slight change of plan from the previous evening and we would now put a few more locks and miles behind us in preparation to head into
Sheffield on Sunday.
So that would mean a phone call to CaRT to book the passage through the Tinsley flight of locks – no problems and we had a time arranged for Sunday morning.
Now to get on with getting there.
From our cruising on Friday we had completed a couple of the big locks that were all electronic – saves a lot of physical exertion, but there is that dreaded “push-button” injury to the index finger that needs to be avoided at all costs – I suggested to Diane that she alternate hands and use her thumbs as well.
|Even Doncaster appears to be popular - so be ready to have to breast up|
First up was Doncaster Town Lock and true to form, whenever you want to get somewhere by a certain time and you set off early, there will be a hold-up.
The lock equipment wouldn’t work!!
We thought it all through, logically, and found that the sluices on the top-gate were actually left open; so up we went to rectify that, but it wouldn’t move – cannot do anything physical with it either or else the lump hammer might have appeared.
Perseverance triumphed and we ran the top-gates through their cycle; everything closed and then went down to the bottom gates – yes, it worked and as Diane went off to get the boat (her fingers and thumbs were feeling the strain), I worked through the cycle.
With Doncaster Lock out of the way we settled down to some gentle cruising – it is really lovely along here and with plenty of water, plenty of width to the navigation we could not have been more content …..
|...and a significant waterway it is in its own right|
….except for the rowers – probably because they do not see too many boats along here, but why do they think that they have to occupy the full width of the waterway – especially one this wide; so you have to slow down and wait for them to see you and then for them to get over to the right side – at least once we had to use the horn to warn them of their foolishness.
We made it as far as Sprotbrough lock after pacing a couple of boast of fours – all women as it turned out – worked our way through the lock and then decided to moor up and visit the village – the management thought it would be a good idea.
|Sprotbrogh Lock and they veered into the side channel before turning around to return|
|who is that cute lockie on duty?|
|and another huge one..|
|On the walls of most locks we found these fresh-water mussels - not sure|
that I would eat them, but as the water receded they would squirt out
the water in their shells
|We left the boat with company - well no company|
It was an excellent idea, except for the bloody “mountain” that needed to be scaled – “she who must be obeyed” was not impressed, but as it was all her idea I didn’t need to say anything.
Eventually at the top and we found a delightful village, resplendent with all of the pre-requisites for a small village – church, post office, butcher, newsagent, corner store, tea rooms, bar/restaurant etc etc – a bit more than the average.
The PO is attached to the butcher, so she disappeared into there to get her Saturday paper and a half hour later she came out with the paper – and pies and burgers and …and….and – suffice to say that the butcher can now send the kids to university.
Timing is all important is so many things in life and it was perfect for a visit to the tea rooms for a morning break…and a late breakfast.
The place is pretty busy but we found a table and placed our orders and waited – the coffees arrived (for us we would think that the barista needs more training) and waited and waited – after a couple of other tables (who arrived after us were served with their orders), ours arrived.
I do wish that these places would learn that serving hot meals in colder weather requires that the plates should be either warmed or be hot – not cold – half the food was just warm – but I will say it was quite tasty.
After that it was certainly time to move on and we made our way back down the hill and to the boat to resume our cruising – we still had quite a way to go.
|...up closer you can see the millions of bricks used in the construction|
|more reminiscent of the Thames from last year - just plain lovely|
More locks and more miles and more locks – the landscape changed as we went through other industrial areas, but always the water was deep and wide – a fact that we can attribute to the 380-tonne barge that we had seen the day before.
|Kilnhurst - the moorings on the right are those where we stayed on the return trip|
|The weir at Aldwarke lock|
Finally after an exceptionally long day (for us) – over 6 hours cruising we moored up above Eastwood Lock on the secure moorings to enjoy a peaceful evening and plan our next day
15 Miles, 8 Locks
YTD: 361 miles (581 km), 177 Locks, 15 Tunnels, 5 Lift Bridges, 13 Swing Bridges
Total: 4993 Miles (8035 km), 3338 Locks, 139 Tunnels, 71
Lift Bridges, 185 Swing Bridges