Monday, 21 June 2010

The GPS says Leeds!

Yesterday was very windy. We had intended to travel as far as Wakefield, investigate the market and the fishing tackle shop and then move on. However, we decided that as the moorings looked secure and the wind was horrible that we would stop at Wakefield and carry on towards Leeds today. I was very disappointed with Wakefield, the market is rubbish and the rest of the shops are very "retail" and uninteresting. Except for Alexander's and Morgana. Alexander's sells fishing tackle at very reasonable prices, and also air rifles, cross-bows and long bows. Morgana sells "goth" style clothing, I just couldn't think of an excuse to treat myself to an ankle length black velvet coat and the emerald green velvet skirt which I could just about afford was only in a small size, small I am not!

We got woken early by the police knocking on the boat, they were looking for someone reportedly seen aboard a narrowboat in the area. It shouldn't be allowed on a Sunday morning.

As all the locks from Wakefield to the centre of Leeds are big, very big, at least 140ft long and 17ft 9in wide, Chris and Ray decided to breast the two boats up so that it only takes one person to handle them. It makes us about 14ft wide but we are still tiny compared to the gravel barges. The boats handled remarkably well and it made it a very easy day of travelling. Apart from the first lock they were all automated locks so it was just a question of pushing a few buttons. At some it wasn't even that as there were lots of other boats on the move and it only takes one person to operate a lock no matter how many boats are sharing it. We had five boats including ourselves in one lock. Ray was doing all the steering as Morgana tends to pull to the right but Almyne goes nice and straight but will follow if you change direction. Ray reckons that today's miles and locks count double for him as he has brought two boats all the way. I'm not convinced.

We have moored for the night near Woodlesford where we have a nice view across the River Aire. We are planning a bonfire for the summer solstice tomorrow so will stay here until Tuesday. We might take the train into Leeds tomorrow or we might wait until we get there by boat. The GPS says Leeds but we still have about 4 miles and 3 locks to the centre of Leeds.

Yesterday's journey 3.3 miles and 3 locks.
Today's journey 12.9 miles and 7 locks.
So far we ave travelled 323.6 miles, 356 locks, 12 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 9 tunnels.

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