Monday, 26 June 2017


Today's Canal - South Yorkshire Navigation

We awoke for our early departure to a bright blue sky and warm temperatures which stayed with us all day.

After turning around - much less windy than last night when we reversed back to the water point - we passed through the swing footbridge that crosses the entrance to the main basin.

We were to be accompanied down to Eastwood today with another boat that had been here for a week. They are artists and selling their wares to passers by.

One of the earlier commercial buildings is Sheaf Quay house which was built in 1820's originally as offices for William Greaves and Son. The basin closed for commercial traffic in 1970's and most of the buildings gradually fell into disrepair until re development project took them on in the 1990's. This building was at first a pub but that closed before very long and is now offices.

About time this poor chap was allowed to retire from his guard duties and have a well-earned rest.

We continued along the summit pound - much as before - and arrived at the top lock just before 9 o'clock. It was already unlocked and set for us and so, together with nb Hekla, we started down. Turned out that Dave, the lock keeper, had meant for us to start at 9:15 and so caught up with us at the third lock. However, he also had another boat to help down that was starting at the small marina just below the summit.

As a result we were left quite a bit to ourselves but, as the other boat was joined by a friend to help them down the flight, we were not over-stretched. But we did need to be careful as there was quite a flow of water over the top gates and our boat has to reverse almost back to the waterfall in order for the bottom gates to be opened.

Dave popped up every so often but mainly at the deep lock 7/8 just to make sure we were ware of the danger.

At the next lock, another lock keeper who we had not met before took over and helped us down to Holmes Lock.

Oh, and look! There was Dave again at the penultimate lock waiting to shake hands and bid us farewell.

We only had the bottom lock . . .

Christine opted to walk the bank for the next couple of locks.

We had been warned to keep a lookout for a work boat at the next weir. They were replacing one of the large orange buoys that protect the weir but which had been set alight by some locals!

Jordan's Lock, just after the weir, is little more than a flood lock. But Mike had to make a trip down the weed hatch as we picked up some plastic bags just a little earlier.

And so to Holmes, the last of the locks that are kept locked and where boats are accompanied.

At Rotherham Lock a CaRT person was working there and told us to keep a lookout for the oil tanker. However, we should be able to get to Eastwood before it arrives as it is a bit behind its usual schedule today.

In fact it was quite a bit later when Christine spotted that the traffic light had turned red (indicating that the lock was no longer on boater-operation). We were just in time to see it making ready to come out of the lock and on the short distance to its destination and time to unload its cargo.

As can easily be seen, it is the maximum size for which these locks were intended when the navigation was upgraded in the 1980's. Narrowboats for comparison.

After lunch we walked to the Parkgate Retail Park for some shopping, including some new shoes for Mike.

7.5 Miles - 15 Locks

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