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Saturday, May 31, 2008


Leaving the Aire & Calder navigation at Knottingley and passing through Bank Dole Lock we are now on the River Aire and joining the rivers steady flow for 6 miles and 1 more lock(Beal) brings us to West Haddlesley Flood Lock which would be locked in times of high water levels.
Not much to see along this stretch of the R. Aire as the banks are high and very steep. What was seen were 2 lambs in big trouble, the first had its head in a loop of string on a gate and was making some very distressing calls for help, no chance of landing on these shallow edged high banks so hopefully the farmer will find him. The second lamb had fallen down the bank and was again crying for help at the waters edge with no chance of getting back up the steep bank, the youngsters were not the only ones to come to grief on the high banks as we also saw an adult floating by.
So on through the flood lock and we are now on a narrow little drainage ditch........oh no i was forgetting what a canal looked like after those wide deep rivers of course its`s the Selby canal.
The clue was passing under Tankard`s Stone Bridge pictured below. So 5 miles of canal for a change, at least there were plenty of trees and waters edge vegetation so plenty of nesting Coots, Ducks etc. and a lot of young being shown the neighbourhood by mum. Plus the odd heron posing in a bush or a Kingfisher flying by. Idyllic, Heaven, Peace, Freedom you can see I`m enjoying myself.
Arriving at Selby Basin above and in the picture the sign says York or Goole and to the right the lock that when the lockie says the time is right out you go onto the tidal Ouse. Must remember to go left for York as i`m not insured to venture down to Goole or Trent Falls not that i would want to with shipping ten times or more the size of what we`ve encountered on the rivers so far. Might end up swept down the Humber out to sea and end up in Zeebruger or however you spell it.
Above another view of Selby lock and you can see it`s a sharpe turn into the lock off the Ouse, not easy when the tide is taking you past, and that lock only takes 2 narrowboats at a time unlike Naburn from York that can let 6/7 out at once. Car park? Boat park? Try to find some pics of a busy locking session for a mini blog next.
So above out of Selby, out is easy just move the tiller the tide does the rest, onto the Ouse for a 2hr 20mins cruise to Naburn. Only had to stop twice to bail the water out..... No sorry Lynda only joking look at the pic it`s like a mill pond.... It was a pleasant journey a bit overcast but dry at least. After about an hour the incoming tide we were travelling on speeded up the journey but as we arrived in the picture below at Naburn Lock it had lost its force and we just cruised into the lock.
The weir is a common feature at locks on the rivers but poses no problems in normal river levels.
Naburn Lock is 5 miles from York and as we didn`t want to moore in York over a W`end, we stayed a couple of days on the moorings in the lock arm. Not much here but 3/4 mins walk and there is a Caravan/Camp site with a shop for basics inc papers. It opens 08.30 and 15.30 for a couple of hours each time or a 25 min walk across a field is Naburn village with just a pub and a post office tat opens 3 days a week, the p.o. that is , heaven forbid the pub just 3 days p.wk.
Also at the caravan site gate a bus will whisk you into York in 20mins. Failing that in the pic below a water bus leaves the lock moorings sat/sun into the city centre. Bet the boaters don`t use it, coals to Newcastle springs to mind. Must be popular with the campers though.

So a nice cruise up to York passing many moored plastic boats, Gin palaces or Tuppeware boats as we Narrowboats call them, the river passes some history as in the pic above. You can just imagine the scene years past of boats plying their trade un-loading at buildings like the Bonding Warehouse above.

Above our city centre mooring, the city centre being on the left of the bridge downstream.

Just leave you with a pic courtesy of Tina of some hitchhickers, and we`ll have a look at York next time.

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NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs