Since the last post we’ve travelled the length of both the Calder and Hebble Navigation and the Aire and Calder Navigation and we are now moored right in the centre of
Leeds at Clarence Dock.
The Navigations along the rivers Calder and Aire consist of stretches of canal and lengths of navigable river which are wide and obviously flowing which makes for some fast sections going downstream and slow ones going up. On Friday morning the lock keeper at
let us down the very deep Tuel Lane
Lock and even helped us down the two following locks which was very generous of
him. This took us off the Sowerby Bridge Rochdale Canal,
which we have followed from Manchester,
down onto the Calder and Hebble. This
navigation had some interesting problems in store for us. First it has some lock paddles which can only
be operated by a spike. A spike consists
of a length of wood cut with a squared end which you insert into a wheel to
turn it to open the lock paddles to let water in or out. So it was a case of first fashion your spike
and then use it.
|Cutting the square end - or fettling as they say up here|
|Using the spike to operate the paddle|
The next problem with this navigation was the size of the locks. We had read that they would allow boats up to 57 feet long and there was some talk of taking longer boats. Our two boats are both 57 feet long. So we drove into the first lock with two boats side by side and let the water out to drop down. We then found that it was impossible to open the lower gates:
|Tight at the bow - David is trying to lift the fender, but that did not resolve things|
|Tight at the stern too|
|Wide River Calder - crossing under the M1|
|Coming into Wakefield - note Pas Meche turning onto the next section of canal|
It reminded us of our days on the
We travelled through
and on to Stanley Ferry where the canal crosses the river Calder on an
aqueduct built to the same design as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, albeit 100 years before the latter.
|Stanley Ferry Aqueduct|
From Stanley Ferry it was a short day to Lemonroyd to the South East of Leeds first going downstream on the Calder to Castleford and then turning upstream on the Aire for a few miles. David and Victoria had arranged to finish their journey with us at Lemonroyd and Pas Meche now has a permanent place in the marina just above the huge lock there.
|Pas Meche in her new home|
After a day not boating yesterday we left Lemonroyd for the short cruise of around 6 miles into
Leeds. The last mile or so was against quite a
strong flow of the river Aire and then up the final lock turning acutely into
Clarence Dock where there are a few visitor moorings.