Archive for July, 2008

A Day in Leeds

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Paul and I decided we liked the mooring in Leeds and we would stay another day (despite lack of grass, poo bins etc.). Just as well really as it tipped down during the night and continued throughout today. So we both worked all morning and into the afternoon. Last dash back to the Armouries museum to spend a couple more hours seeing the exhibits. This is the doorway into the Museum – really attractive and inviting –

Armouries Museum Doorway

Then we topped up with shopping, filled up the water tank and chatted to all the boats who had arrived during the day. We took the dogs out for a last walk when it was dark. Jet managed to fall in, just by the boat. In his excitement getting on and off to see where I was he just didn’t look and well, in he went. Fortunately he always wears his harness so Paul reached down and dragged him out. I grabbed my camera and we went for a walk.

This is the stairway of the museum all lit up

Staircase at armouries

And this is Clarence Dock all lit up. Lots of boats moored up next to us on the right.

Leeds Baisin

Leeds and a trip to the museum.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Arrived in Leeds early this morning met two boats from the Banbury Arm “Blenheim and Hatton” coming through Leeds Lock. What a small world. They were off to York having spent the night in Clarence Dock by the Royal Armouries Museum. Thats where we were heading and as you can see there is plenty of room. That’s us on the right hand side.

New Dock in Leeds

Popped into the museum (building on left) where they have an amazing exhibition “Arms & Armour from the movies”, such as the Lord of Rings Trilogy, Narnia and The Last Samurai. Recommend it to all you Lord of the Rings fans….and it is free. We also saw a falconry display and some jousting skills.

Took dogs for a walk along the river. Jet has been adding to his wardrobe – a jogging top from the bargain rack in the bushes.

Jet with jumper

Work life balance…

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

We just missed out on an opportunity to be on Look North lunch time today to be interviewed about the joys of living on the waterways. Not sure if they found a willing victim as we don’t have TV. But if anyone saw it please let me know.

Since we set off back in June to get the boat blacked, we’ve been working off and on, sometimes on the move, catching 30 minutes (or 5) between locks or swing bridges. It brings a new dimension to work life balance, which I am interested to explore, and looks as if we will get the opportunity well into September, as we won’t be back in Banbury before then.

Is this so different working in an office, with the phone ringing every 5 minutes, someone asking a question or yet another meeting. It is difficult to focus on the real work tasks that need full attention. I still run the problem of planning a phone call to only find when the time comes there is no phone signal. Even moored now in the centre of Leeds the 3G signal is intermittent.

So here’s to flexible working on the move.

The sunny weather doesn’t help – but who’s complaining!

Thorne to Woodlesford

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Early get-away again. Lots of long straight canals, so Paul turned on the auto-pilot….the tiller strings worked a treat.

Tiller string

The bridges appeared very regularly, and were very big. The plus was they were electronic, with barriers and lights and sirens (which I enjoyed).

Lift bridge

The dogs got into the routine and made sure they got plenty of rest in between getting off to do the bridges and locks.

Dogs resting on back counter

We passed one of the few working collieries, Paul thinks it is now owned and run by a cooperative?


Got to Woodlesford really late. Three very long days, doing emails and work in turns as we are going along. Hopefully a short day tomorrow into Leeds. Night night!

Onto Keadby

Monday, July 28th, 2008

At 8am it was life-jackets on, as we set off from Torksey, with Paul on Feroxylady and Richard on Baby Blue to travel down to Keadby.

Paul on Feroxylady leaving Torksey

Again we left on the ebbing tide we were told to arrive at Keadby at 1 pm to catch the incoming tidal water. There is a sand bar just outside the entrance to the lock at Keadby, which will catch you when the water is low. Trouble is you don’t want the incoming tide to be too strong as it can push you around as you turn accross the current to get into the lock.
Beautiful weather all the way.

Paul and Richard

Though we had to watch out for the commercial ships…

Sand barge

It goes almost without saying – but Paul did a fantastic turn into Keadby Lock, going at full speed to match the current. He then managed (still at full speed) to position our boat between Paul and Richard’s, waiting for us in the lock. He remarjed to me that he probably would have struggled to make that a year or so ago!

Stopped for luch in Keadby then went on again with Richard and Paul to Thorne. Moored up for the night on the BW finger moorings, which were safe and pleasant. Great walks for the dogs nearby. Crashed out and had an early night.

An evening at Torksey

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Gentle cruise back to Torksey on Sunday afternoon, where we were penned down onto the river moorings to be ready for an early departure to Keadby the following morning.

Boats (and owners) of all shapes and sizes went down the lock together.

Torksey Lock

We moored up and were joined again by Chris, Kerry and Josh for the afternoon. They bravely walked through the field to the mooring, passing a group of horses waiting to come down the bank to get a drink from the river. We had a lazy, pleasant afternoon and Paul cooked a tasty supper.

Later that evening a guy called Paul on Narrow Boat Feroxylady who was coming out of the lock to join us on the mooring, shouted that one of the horses horse had got its leg trapped in a wire fence.

Horse with wire on leg

I grabbed our bolt cutters, and, with another guy to steady the horse and catch the loose end of the wire, managed to free the “stallion”. Yes he had all his bits, but being a cob kept on poor grazing and probably needing a drink didn’t seem too bothered with me waving bolt cutters under his nether regions. Our good deed for the day.

Chris, Kerry, Josh and curry

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Another scorching day. Lazy morning, a bit of shopping then we all (us plus dogs) caught the bus into Lincoln to meet up with Paul’s brother Chris and his fiance Kerry (Kerry’s son Josh was spending the day with his Dad). Lunch at a waterside bistro then back to Chris and Kerry’s for supper. Paul offered to cook a curry………we discussed having a bar-be-que but decided to play safe as the weather was dodgy with thunderstorms on the way.

Chris goes to look for a water pistol in Josh’s shed, with a bit of help from Jet. Jet is obsessed with sheds. We think its because the doggy toys were kept in a shed in the exercise pen, where he stayed at the Blue Cross kennels.

Chris and Jet and the shed

Kerry does a bit of dog training – Pip crashes out (she knows it will be a late night) but Jet only has eyes for Kerry!


Josh arrives home later in the afternoon and changes into his football gear, grabs his bike and we all go for a walk to the park.

Josh on bike

The curry was consumed late in the evening and we took a dog-friendly cab back to Saxilby. Thanks for a great day!

Nearly at Lincoln

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Left Cromwell Lock 9.30 and took the ebbing tide to arrive at Torksey for about 1.00 ish. This was so there was enough water to let us into Torksey lock, to be “penned up” from the river onto the Fossdyke Canal. The Fossdyke goes via Lincoln all the way to Boston (on the Wash). It was built by the Romans and is one of the oldest navigations in the UK.

When we arrived, moorings at Torksey were pretty packed so we decided to go onto Saxilby. We found a lovely mooring under some willow trees which provided a bit of shade in the baking sun. It was the hottest place in the UK at nearly 30 degrees according to Lincoln radio. Whew!

Mooring at Saxilby

Meeting up with Les

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Now at Cromwell Lock, that lets us out onto the tidal Trent. We met up with Les (the lock keeper) who we met here last year, together with Sean, who was based at Stoke Lock. We moored up alongside Les’s boat “Country Rose”

Country Rose and Daniel Oakley

After a quick hello, Les went off to work and I took the dogs for a walk. Les was doing a spot of gardening…

Les at work

Jet had a long run…

Jet has a run

Off to Torksey tomorrow – if we manage to get up in time.

Boozy days

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Its hell out here – on the river Trent. Its funny but the same thing happened last year – boozy nights that is.

First stop after Hazleford was a stop at Muskham Ferry (as the moorings at Cromwell Lock were full). We were the second boat to arrive.

Musham Ferry

We met up with Mary and Raymond who encouraged us to have a refreshing beer after a warm days cruising. And one beer followed another…..

Anyway we spent a very enjoyable evening with the other boaters