A new stretch of waterway is always a great reason to get up and get going in the morning, and today was no exception. We had yet more lift bridges to do – they were all different- a big learning curve!! Although interesting and different,it makes for quite slow progress and also all the different “quirks” of the swing & lift bridges take some getting used to- you think that you’ve just got the hang of it and the next bridge is operated entirely differently!
At Thorne Lock, I was very confused, as there was a bridge right next to the lock and I couldn’t understand how one was supposed to finish the lock operation and retrieve the key in order to operate the bridge, which needed to be operated at the same time as the lock. A very patronising lady from South Yorkshire Boat Club was no help at all and just queried whether we were a hire boat! I have never been so close to pushing a person in the water before! As it turned out, the bridge didn’t need a key in order to be operated and was just pushed open manually before we came out of the lock. We left the SYBC people huffing & puffing in our wake ( I think that she thought I’d emptied a full lock on her “right of way”- I didn’t, just pressed the wrong button and started filling it by mistake!).
We found a fabulous boat yard at Thorne, so we filled with diesel and went on our way again. Cruising up here is very green & pleasant and the Stainforth & Keadby offers lots to see and do- a welcome change after the near lockless Witham!
Soon enough we were heading towards the New Junction Canal and getting excited to be on new waterways again. A great aqueduct over the River Don was great and the guillotine gates that come down to protect the navigations was something I’d not seen before. We came to Sykehouses Lock and that had a swing bridge in the middle of the lock!!! Goodness, it was ALL so different! We got to hold up some traffic, but not for too long and we were below the lock, declaring that enough was enough and we found a great mooring spot below the lock.