Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Stuck in a lock (with two other boats)

Saturday 16th August 2014: Knottingley to Barnby Dun

This post could equally well have been titled: Another day, another power station. There is still coal mined here!

First, though, the washing machine saga. The green plastic housing contains one of the two motor brushes.

I'd like to unscrew the brush housings in order to free up the brushes - if indeed they are stuck - but I need a box spanner to get at the bolts.

I did manage to poke the carbon with a screwdriver which may have freed the brushes up slightly ...

... as when Jan tried the machine on Sunday it actually spun. This is the first time it has spun for two years! Let's hope it will be all right now.

OK, back to coal. This is Kellingley Colliery from the Aire and Calder, promising "tomorrow's energy standards today".

It's not easy to see in my photo, but there's a huge mound of coal (slack?) just behind the sign.

And this is another power station, presumably fired by the coal from next door.

Do you see the house on a pole on the left? There are quite a few along this stretch of the navigation.

I assume they're for birds of some kind.

Much of this bit of the Aire and Calder looks like this.

Straight, wide and deep, with flat farmland on both sides.

When we turned right onto the New Junction Canal it was more of the same, only with lift and swing bridges. And it was even straighter. Five miles without the slightest hint of a bend until the very end.

But it was along here that we encountered our first problem with the electro-hydraulic locks.

At Sykehouse Lock we entered the empty chamber with two other boats, and then found that the operating panels wouldn't work. The fault condition light was showing, and nothing any of us could do would make it work. Someone eventually managed to get through to CRT and we were promised help "in less than an hour".

A young boy from one of the boats had seemingly been pressing buttons at random, and this appears to have upset the system. The CRT man did arrive in less than an hour and soon had the lock filling. The lock is complicated by the presence of a swing bridge over the chamber. This has interlocks to prevent lock operation if it is closed - I think this had something to do with it. We were held up for more than an hour here in all. As we left the now-working lock I was interested to see that the traffic lights showed both red and green simultaneously.

We eventually got to our planned mooring at Barnby Dun. (Photo taken this afternoon 19th Aug)

The next day was Sunday; we went to the parish church where we were warmly welcomed. After the service David and Penny drove home, dropping me off at Cambridge Station on the way so I could get a train home. I spent that afternoon and the whole of Monday mowing the lawn, trimming a hedge and doing various other essential jobs.

Today (Tuesday 19th) I returned to Jubilee by train, and we have moved to good secure (BW key) moorings in Doncaster.

I must write about the train journey - perhaps tomorrow. Now it's time for bed. I hope the Minster clock doesn't keep me awake. It chimes every quarter.

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