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Saturday, 12 April 2014

First swallow of the year, yesterday.

Yes we saw our first swallow yesterday and i forgot to report it. Somewhere near Doncaster it swooped over the canal. I wonder if they got a boost up from Africa by the Saharan sand wind of earlier. It think it must be two or three weeks early for them in this part of the world. We have now seen another today. Not massive numbers perhaps but the fore runners. We have even seen our first ducklings on the River Don in Sheffield. David the Lockie at Tinsley told us that there are no ducklings on the Don navigation as there are too many mink, and we haven't seen any so it must be true!

After setting off we weren't long until we came to the Junction at Bramwith and retraced our steps by turning right from the River Don navigation on to the Stainforth and Keadby Canal rather than heading north on the New Junction Canal and over the Don Aqueduct.

The fork in the road with Goole and the New Junction Canal straight on over the Don Aqueduct and our route to the right to Keadby on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.

Soon Bramwith Lock came up, the first use of the windlass for a while. The moorings seem quite nice, especially after the lock as there is a nice facilities block there. We stopped there to do the business and fill up with water. Whilst filling up I had a look out of the compound and the River Don is still running next to us. It is a little more confined than when we were actually on it recently but north of Doncaster it is tidal.

The Don Aqueduct with the guillotine gates at each end. Water can be seen flowing over the edge of the canal into the river. As the river can flood up to higher than the canal the gates have to be closed to prevent the waters breaching the banks.

Bramwith Services. The swing bridge is just where I am standing.

After passing through the swing bridge we pootled along, passing through Stainforth and arriving at Thorne Lock and were fortunate enough to have a boat coming out of the lock. The swing bridge at the head of the lock is very difficult to open on your own but half the job was done. The visitor moorings are at the facilities block just before the Pricess Royal Swing footbridge, on short pontoons. We tried but we stuck out far too much to be comfortable, even with the scarcity of boat movements, so we moved off and moored up next door on another berth.

We pooped into Thorne for some baking items and to see if they had any boots for me. I came away with a pair of Karrimore boots at less than half price. I hope they become as comfortable as the ones I have now. I spot painted my work on the fore deck after but then it started to spit and now means that I will have to rub it down and start again. Never mind, no rush, and it is sealed with rust converter.

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