The day started on the Aire and Calder and we sped through the three mechanised locks with alacrity in company with a family from Ripon, on their cruiser. Castleford brought a crossroads and passing through the flood lock we moored for an early lunch, took on water and popped to a nearby very small shop for brown barm baps and milk. Because of the lack of water the several flood locks we have passed through have all been open and its all been very easy.
Post lunch a further mechanised lock took us onto the River Aire, out of the Peninne area and into the North East. Its a wonder Alan and I aren’t having nose bleeds we are going so fast. The Aire at this point is a most imposing and according to Nicholson a commercial waterway and we were looking out for the 600-tonne tanker and gravel barges it warns of. Disappointingly the best we managed was a narrowboat and a cruiser. We did pass Ferrybridge Power Station which was quite momentous for us because we have been driving past it on the road and looking at the river for the past 35 years.
Ferrybridge brought another junction as we turned off the Aire and Calder, through Bank Dole Lock and onto the River Aire. We travelled through that lock, and the following Beal Lock (Nicholson says its an 8ft lock but it was more like 16 inches) with an enthusiastic family of Geordie novices. The River Aire itself was a tad reminiscent of the Severn with views only of the rather dull banks. The only interest came from negotiating the many sharp bends.
The final waterway for the day was the Selby Canal which we reached at West Haddlesey flood lock. We had hoped to spend the night at the moorings above the lock but they were full and on we went, discovering that the banks of the Selby whilst very pretty make mooring impossible. Luckily there was space for one boat at a high concrete walled mooring at a place called Gateforth Landing and here we are. Its an attractive place with lots of good farmyard smells! We are booked through the Selby tidal lock at 4.30 tomorrow so should have time to motor into Selby and do some shopping before being swept up the Ouse.
Today we did 19.44 Miles, 6 Locks
Statistics so far:-
1710.15 Miles, 1060 Locks, 112 Swing Bridges, 72 Lift Bridges, 32 Tunnels