Friday, 15 July 2016

Nothing lasts forever

Leaving the scenery – and the sunny, blue skies
No, nothing lasts forever; not mooring high amid the rolling Dales and certainly not the sunshine!
Over the past two days we have made our way down twelve locks to the Aire valley below and to the castle town of Skipton. We've also made our way from sunshine, through a day of sun and showers to today when it just pee-ed down all day long. But we are here now and will be for a long weekend.
Bank Newton locks are prone to leakages
We had a last look at the beautiful rolling hills as we weaved through the snake-like twists of the canal that lead to the six Bank Newton locks. After being so quiet for so long, the canal has woken up now we are in Yorkshire and the locks were busy with boats. It was the briefest of breaks after these before the Gargrave locks, though we only tackled three before mooring, amid the first of several rain showers, in the village.
Where the chip shop now has a sign. Either they read my earlier blog entry – very unlikely – or had one on order but, anyway, you can't miss the place (or is it 'plaice'?) now because there's even a board on the pavement outside. Incidentally, when I went there a couple of days ago I asked for cod – I should have known better: northern chippies sell only haddock which, I now know, is a far superior fish.
A Leeds-Liverpool short boat passes us at Gargrave
Today the weather forecast promised only rain but, lured by the apparent absence of the wet stuff, we set off anyway. And, of course, it rained. Heavily. All day.
At Gargrave the canal goes over the fledgling River Aire
Skipton is only four miles from Gargrave but there were three locks to dispatch and then four swingbridges. To add to the work we managed to run aground twice; once because the pound was low leading into the day's first lock and the second time while landing me off to work a swingbridge. Not what you want in wet weather. Or dry, come to that.
The final swingbridge was an absolute bar-steward to move – it took the combined efforts of Mrs B and me. Seemingly it's renowned for being stiff. If that's the case how about someone sorting it out!
All in all, we were pleased to get to Skipton which is the first town we have moored in since, since I don't know when. It's a handsome place and, if the rain holds off, there should be plenty to keep us occupied.
And finally...

Meet she sheep-pig. Sorry ram, but you're not a looker


  1. I have a feeling they're called "Texel" - we saw some last year when we hired from Pennine in Skipton and headed off towards Foulridge... ugly buggers I'll grant you

    1. Thanks for the info - behind that ugly mug lurks a very fine sheep so it seems.

  2. I was in Skipton and Saltaire on Wednesday on a works outing. Idly wondered whether our paths might cross but never really expected to miss you by so little!