For some reason we had expected a longish day’s travel: instead we left East Marton at 9.20 and had moored at Gargrave by 12.30. I walked until the first locks at Bank Newton. It’s a very winding stretch of canal with wonderful views. To my right, sometimes close and sometimes in the distance I could see the lane that we followed yesterday as a short cut. Alan dropped well behind Blue Point because a black Labrador repeatedly jumped into the canal to swim in front of the boat. Finally it’s owner called it to heel. We were bemused by many signs along the canal, just across the dry stone wall, saying BAD LEAK. What did this mean? I couldn’t see any signs of water leaking down the embankment.
The six Bank Newton locks were despatched with efficiently. There is noticeably more boat traffic now that we have passed Blackburn / Burnley, with quite a number of hire boats, so we crossed with a couple of pairs of boats. We passed one hire boat in the pound before the final lock in the flight. They should have gone ahead of us but had a rope around their prop and the lock keeper was helping them sort it out. They passed us at Gargrave later so all was OK. We had slight waits at the three remaining locks as we were hard on the heels of another boat.
This is a very pleasant mooring spot at Gargrave and it’s a short walk into the village centre. The houses are all beautiful stone, with new builds blending in seamlessly with the old, but the A65 road to Settle and the Lakes channels very large lorries through the centre and makes crossing the road tricky if you don’t walk to the one crossing. The River Aire was following a gentle path through a wide gravel bed and looked very attractive indeed, with stepping stones across. The rain held off this afternoon, the washing dried on the line and we had a very pleasant walk around exploring every lane and quieter back road.
Today we did 3.93 Miles and 9 Locks
Statistics so far:-
2576.84 Miles, 1519 Locks, 137 Swing Bridges, 90 Lift Bridges, 45 Tunnels