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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

River riding.

We had an early awakening this morning. No, it wasn't the cat but the Humber Princess making it's ballast passage back to the Humber. It passed us at Doncaster at 0600 so it must have been by the lock over night. We went into the market again. The second hand market wasn't too bad but we didn't get anything and there were very few stalls for the farmers market which was a surprise. We did buy some pork and haslet and some veggies. Helen went back into M&S and took the plunge with a pair of shoes she had been lusting over. Thanks to my Mum who gave her some vouchers for Christmas. It was cold this morning compared with yesterday. After getting back to the boat and filling with water we set off.

New use for old canal warehouse, a furniture depot.

We didn't get very far until we were brought up short at the lock. The red light was on showing that it was not available for boaters use. After checking everything we called the local number. I was aware that there is a stoppage tomorrow as they have divers coming to free a sluice. They told us that the keeper would be there in about 30mins. Good time for lunch and try the haslet. For those that don't know it is a pork meat loaf sliced like a cold meat. Lovely in a sandwich with a bit of pickle or chutney. By the time we had licked our lips we were waved in the lock.

Totally hands free lock operation at Doncaster Lock.

We were now on the River Don that has been running alongside the canal all the way so far. The current was benigh and it was pleasant as we chugged past the Prison built on an island where the old power station use to be. Nick named Doncatraz! The river wound backwards and forwards, sometimes near the steep valley sides and sometimes just between the flood banks. 

Three bridges, the first a railway in use, the second a railway out of use and the third the A1(M).

Spotborough lock showing the size they are to accommodate the 200' barges.

I think that this area would lock special with the trees in leaf and the edges rubbed over. There is so much rubbish about after the rain of the winter it would also hide a lot of that too.

Another disused railway aqueduct at Conisbrough that was very impressive and a shame that it can't be utilised as a footpath or green way or something as it is very impressive as it marches across the valley.

Conisborough is also home to a Norman castle. It is unusual as the keep is cylindrical. It was only when we passed it that you can see the rather extensive walls around the area. Hopefully we will be able to get up and have a look on our return.

We moored just off the river and back into the canal cut at Mexborough Low Lock in a very quiet spot. It was supposed to be light rain for a lot of today but it has held off. The Saharan was settled and every time we move a rope there is the dust below it. I must get round to giving the boat a good wash down. On the whole though she has survived the winter well. The fire was lit and we settled down a  peaceful night with Helen having her Master Chef fix.


  1. Often looked up the river from the A1 towards the railway bridges but never seen a boat, looking the other way looks nice.

    1. Hi Andy, how often do you do that from roads, and when you actually cruise the canal below it always seems better even than it looks. It seems that a lot of the original industrial artifacts have been swept away with more recent changes but there is still loads to enjoy on the Don. Cheers for now.