Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Return journey

Monday 22nd to Wednesday 24th May 2017

The return journey from a canal which terminates can be seeing the same things again but in reverse and to some extent that is true of our trip back to York with a stopover night in Boroughbridge.
But a friend of ours some years ago pointed out that going along a canal in one direction is vastly different to going the other way and once again he was correct.
The day itself played an important role in how we see things on the way back and in anything, a little bit of sunshine can be truly delightful.
Ripon to York for us is 2 days and we gently cruised along on both days seeing things that we had missed first time around.

Certainly we missed the "dalmation" cows

On our trip up from York to Boroughbridge, it rained for the first 10 miles and in that situation you do not look around so much; fine houses that we had not seen were suddenly easily visible; places that one or the other had not seen because a boiling kettle beckoned were now to be admired; also just knowing what would be coming up and having a second chance to look at it again.
We knew it was coming up, but I have to say that the sign was almost a bit too late.
Approaching Linton Lock, the sign is right on the cutting and is less than
fully erect

You should never just go through the motions of the trip – a life on the canals and rivers is interesting almost all of the time….

….and can be quite eventful without even looking for it.
We had been fore-warned about the locks leaking a lot and in more than
one of them, the back deck was deluged
The unusual lock winding mechanism that we encountered
on the way up to Ripon, but this shows it.

This guy scampered away as we approached

More sand martin nesting holes

We were about a mile or so from mooring up in York when we were coming under Clifton Bridge; one of the tourist boats (quite a large one) was a good 200 metres in front and coming towards us when it decided to suddenly (in our mind it was sudden) turn to port and commence to wind.
I say suddenly because there were no horn signals to indicate that the captain was going to do what happened; there was no way that we could not be seen; and there was no acknowledgement of any kind of apology.

I can see you, surely you can see us...

....mmm, maybe not or maybe couldn't care less, because "I am bigger than you"

....so I will just do as I want to anyway...

...so you can "#@%&; off"

We needed to slow down completely – almost to a full stop – to avoid being way too close to the vessel.

The boat quickly picked up some speed; we kept pace with them at our normal cruising speed and then moored up pretty much in the same place that we had vacated a few days previously.
So I guess for anyone coming to York, I would say just be careful of the tourist boats – a one-off episode like this can be written off as just a bit of bad luck, but as I will explain later, this was not isolated.

We settled down to have a bit of a rest – after all we had been cruising for 20 miles and the concentration on keeping an eye on everything and on the landmarks we were passing means that when you finish you suddenly feel a bit exhausted.

We had nothing planned for the rest of the day, but being a lovely sunny day, there were plenty of people about, just enjoying themselves and having a great time – being near to the water has a calming and positive effect on most people.
Having a couple of drinks as well usually enhances that feeling, but for some it can have the reverse effect.
I have to commend the local constabulary for their excellent work in patrolling the area, particularly along the riverfront – the one that we saw was very quick to have a chat to a group of young lads (and a couple of young lasses) that they might wish to move along and leave behind what they had been consuming – all done very quickly, easily and without any fuss.
A good feeling from the police officer involved – Thanks a lot.
No matter where you are, The Minster is a point of reference
The next morning after I had finished most of my work for the day, we were off to the Yorkshire Museum for a newly opened exhibition that had been advertised prior to our previous departure from York – a Viking exhibition, which looked to be of great interest – so we were off to see that.
There really wasn’t much else that we would want to see in York, and so I made the call to the Naburn lock-keeper to arrange our outward passage from the lock for the following morning (it would be at 8:30am)
But for now it was off to the museum.
For the relatively small sum of just £15 we had entry into the whole museum, of which the display we had sought was just one part.

From pre-historic times, through the Roman times and then the Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and the Englich Civil War we were transported to the past of York.
It was excellently presented and chronologically presented as well – there was none of the back and forth between different periods that can easily happen.
We have gained such a good knowledge of quite a lot of British history and times that it is comforting to see that it all fits in perfectly with each other and not get lost in some parochially mis-direction.

After enjoying all of that, and realising that we had been inside on a lovely day, and that we had an early lock appointment for the following morning, it seemed right that we set “sail” and had down to Naburn Lock – just an hour and a half away (and no locks).

As exciting as it had been coming into York over a week previous, the entry and exit to and from York was anything but – the words hair and raising come to mind.
I have already related the experience that we had the previous day with the tourist boat, well again today we had another one with another one.
We were following a tourist boat down the Ouse (not by design, just by timing) about 200 metres astern and preparing to pass under Skeldergate Bridge behind her.
Luckily I had been paying attention and saw yet another of these blasted tourist boats coming upstream – I could see them and in particular, I could see the wheelhouse, so for some reason I cannot fathom, I do not understand how the skipper at the tiller was not concentrating on what was going on and decided that he should just boldly cruise through the centre archway when the rules state that boats heading downstream have right of way.
We needed to take action to avert a potential problem and come to as close to a complete standstill as we  could – I didn’t much care for his wave of thanks as he passed by.
All boats – yesterday and today were from the same company – so maybe their training program is not as scrupulous as one would want it to be – just me supposing.

So, in a way we were feeling quite happy to be getting away from any further possible mishaps and heading down to the lock.

Sun, cruising, clear water – the earlier episode was forgotten for the present time and we moored up on the lock moorings and strolled down to chat with the lock-keeper about the passage tomorrow.
Nigel, the lockie, was very helpful, about the times, the journey and the best approach for Selby Lock.
From our initial lockage through Selby, to York, to Boroughbridge and Ripon and the return journey we had been  leap-frogging nb Predator 3 along the way – we have chatted to both Jackie and Cyril  - they are simply lovely people and so very much down-to-earth and have a wealth of stories about their adventures on the system, so it was nice to be again sharing the trip back to Selby with them tomorrow.

32 Miles, 6 Locks
YTD:  501 miles (806 km), 234 Locks, 15 Tunnels, 9 Lift Bridges, 18 Swing Bridges
Total: 5133 Miles (8261 km), 3385  Locks, 139 Tunnels, 75 Lift Bridges, 190 Swing Bridges

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