Sunday, 31 May 2015

Firstly, a big thank you

To George and Kath of N.B Syrus. They arranged a mooring for us at their boat club and we had power and water for the duration of our stay!  Then we went out twice, in a car!  Sheer luxury.

It was so very nice to meet with them again. It has been three years, but seemed like yesterday.

Having arrived at their mooring just south of Barnoldswick on Thursday afternoon and knowing the forecast for the following day was dire, we decided to sit tight.  This allowed us to catch up, washing, drying and sorting out the boat. Even had the vacuum out! Ali decided that the shower needed re sealing. Why you ask is this her job? Coz she does not trust me with a sealant gun, paint brush, or any other item that requires care.

So between going out for the evenings, we caught up.

Their mooring is truly stunning. Looking out over rolling hills, with the sun all day. Beautiful.

On Saturday, a weather window told us that it was time to move on. Saying our farewells we made our way into Barnoldswick and who should be pulling off their mooring as we rounded a bend but N.B. Twizzle. So the day was set with the old crew working in harmony once again. The scenery towards Gargrave is truly stunning, with the canal following the contours. For once, the weather smiled upon us. Not hot, but pleasant and we were able to soak in this fantastic scenery.

We have now entered territory were boats actually move and this adds to the experience.  We are now on the descent and the locks are a breeze with two experienced lock handlers in Ali & Sue, as well as Quentin and myself of course!

By mid afternoon we had reached Gargrave visitor moorings. Tied up and we all went for a walk. It was perhaps unfortunate that we were all thirsty and hungry, as somehow we gravitated to a hostelry. I think it would be fair to say that Quentin and I did perhaps over imbibe, just a little bit... Ali and Sue perhaps have a different perspective on this. Safe to say, I slept really well!!!

Sunday morning was foul. Raining and windy. We sat tight until early afternoon, then decided to go for it. The forecast for Monday and Tuesday is horrendous, with high winds and rain. Thinking we could sit this out in Skipton was our rationale, so off we set.

The initial locks were no problem, but as we left the shelter of the hills, the wind struck. We negotiated the first swing bridge with only minor problems, but approaching the second we were stymied. It was broke, a van sitting atop whilst some welding was taking place. The wind was now truly horrendous and I was blown onto the offside bank. There was already a boat waiting, who thought we were mad.  When the repair was completed, Ali and Quentin heaved our bow off the bank and I went for it under full power. And made it easily, but could not stop! Had I done so, I would have once again been pinned. So I carried on alone until I found a sheltered spot.

Ali assisted Quentin getting through, as well as the other chap who insisted upon being bow hauled through the bridge hole and then moored up!

So the merry crews carried on, with Ali aboard N.B. Twizzle until we reached Skipton. Extreme boating or what! We had waves!!!

So now moored up for the duration. We actually have a water point in hose length and have a much more sheltered mooring. As a reward for the endeavours of the day, we went out for a meal, again!!!

A beautiful few days cruising, now hunkered down. I can think of far worse places than Skipton to be marooned in a storm.

12.5 miles
15 broad locks
5 swing bridges

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