When we woke this morning the winds weren’t too bad but we knew they would get much stronger as indeed they did. In fact as I write this in the evening we are really being buffeted. It seemed sensible therefore to stay put and go into Leeds by bus. There are frequent services and it’s much cheaper than the bus fares in Hertfordshire (for those of us that still have to pay). It was a short walk from the bus station to the Armouries Museum and we headed there.
The Museum is full of treasures and one could spend many hours if so inclined. I have a somewhat lower tolerance time for museums and prefer to dip in and out. However the torrential rain and howling winds outside made it prudent to stay put.
There is a mooring basin below the Armouries which would be a good place to stop should we stay the night in Leeds. Leeds Lock is also below and we watched from the fifth floor as a hire boat from Sowerby Bridge was blown into the bank before they made the moorings. It was obviously very shallow and they were immediately on a lean and had a dreadful time getting off. To our horror a couple of people jumped on the roof and used their pole to push off from there as they teetered near the edge and the wind howled around them. Then another grabbed the other pole and did the same thing and a broom handle was also wielded. They finally managed to reverse away from the side and get into the lock and we have learnt what to look out for when we tackle the same stretch tomorrow. It really was horrific conditions for them.
I had had my own crisis yesterday. As we finally made it through the faulty swing bridge I came into the side to pick Alan up. As I jumped off with the centre rope the wind pulled the boat out but the rope wound itself around Alan’s ham radio aerial base. The boat was going further and further out and I was almost on the last inches of rope so made a huge leap onto the stern of the boat to untangle the rope. The aerial base was worse for wear so Alan had to replace it today at Maplin. He says it was on its last legs anyway.
Statistics so far:-
2604.35 Miles, 1538 Locks, 172 Swing Bridges, 90 Lift Bridges, 45 Tunnels