Thursday, 12 July 2012

Negotiating a 57.6 ft lock with a 58ft narrowboat 

We have finally finished the Huddersfield Broad Canal and moved on to the Calder and Hebble Navigation.

But not far.

The River Calder is in Amber condition, which means you can proceed with caution.

Whilst in the last lock of the Huddersfield joining the Calder we saw a boat heading towards the lock we were in. The river current was quite strong, and his engine was unable to slow him down in time. So he hit the lock gate.

After we had descended and opened the lock gates to join the river,  the boat awaiting to enter the lock had only tied up using a centre rope. This meant that the back was out, blocking our passage.

As we had to negotiate around this boat and entering a strong current, we also had to go under a bridge.

As we left the current started to take us.We had to use full throttle to enable us to manoever and continue.

The next problem was less than 200 yards ahead. We had to do a U turn to go through the flood lock gates, which luckily were open. Gauging this is always difficult, as you have not become accustomed to the river current. We had gone past the turning as to allow the current to, in effect take us around. However it was so strong we had to once again use full throttle, and going sideways, we went through the gates, only touching the front as we did it.

We then went through a lock to join the river again. This went well.
As we travelled downstream we saw a sign on a bridge. "Weir ahead turn right"
What we didn't see was the right turn straight after the bridge.
So once again we had to turn against the current, and pass the turning going sideways. Full throttle and waiting for the bang, somehow we went through unscathed. 

At the next lock we were informed that the river had once again risen and we could not proceed.
So after 2 miles we are once again waiting for a river to subside.

River Calder
River Lock

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