|Onto the Selby Canal – but where will we moor|
The rain soon stopped and we headed to Knottingley where we turn off onto the River Aire. More moorings and it's now 5pm...but the air is thick with chemical fumes from the mysterious works that surround the canal.
|Timeworn Bank Dole Lock with abandoned lock house|
There are moorings just the other side says the guidebook. But they are full too. No choice, then. Keep going. It's a canal; you can moor anywhere. Except you can't because the canal is entirely rough edged with shrubs, reeds and trees. It's lovely (we saw two kingfishers in the first mile) but that doesn't help when you're tired and hungry. That mooring we turned down at Knottingley looked like a big mistake.
But, hold on, there in the distance is a short length of stone wall. It's a mooring, just one boat long, with rings, bollards and even picnic benches. It's delightfully isolated. And it's empty! So at 8pm we finally tie up for the night. The perfect spot: it waited for us.
|Water skier on the River Aire - just a little bit quicker than us|
|This is the massive Pollington Lock on the Aire & Calder|
Sadly there's virtually no commercial traffic on these waterways now - the trucks on the M62 that runs parallel with the canal carries the loads these days. The waterways have also suffered from the demise of the Yorkshire coalfields – one of the last, the vast Kellingley pit that fronts the canal is due to close at the end of next year. Evidence of the pain south Yorkshire has suffered from the loss of its staple industry is easy to see as one travels through the local towns.
|Kellingley Colliery and its derelict loading wharf|