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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Away in the wind.

We are back, and I must say it is nice to be on the boat again. We got to Thorne in lovely sunny weather but it was very windy. As we unpacked the car and settled the animals back in their second home we came across an acquaintance from our home town. She very kindly offered to drive with us to Keadby and bring us back, after hearing that we were heading that way and I had to go home again on Friday. I got the joining jobs done by the time Helen got back so we had some lunch to see if the wind would drop. By 1400 it may have dropped a little, but we decided to go anyway. Blue Water Marina is quite tight for a 59' boat and opposite our pontoon were a few plastic boats, just where we would end up if the wind caught us. We used a spring on the next boat to hold the bow up into the wind and it worked well. We cleared the tight entrance without touching the side and we were on our way.

The wind was right behind us all the way to Keadby so it wasn't too bad. It did make it interesting getting on and off the bridge landings. This is Wykewell Lift bridge and as it is on a more busy road it is fully automated, and it worked at the touch of the button.

Wykewell and this bridge, Moore's swing bridge, were both less than a mile from the marina so we were getting tested from the off. This bridge is automated, other than the barriers.

Helen is on her way to open Maud's Swing Bridge. She managed to get it started but it stuck. As I was making my way to help a man from a car went to help and we were soon through. The man told us about a car that was parked where the pushing arm traveled and when trying to open the bridge the lady lost control and the arm dented the whole back of the car!

Medge Hall is the name of the level crossing of the railway that runs parallel to the canal for along distance to Keadby. The name of the manual swing bridge is Crook O' Moor Swing Bridge. Obviously when there were sailing barges up this canal it was not so easy for them to stop to open the bridges so the wife of the lines man who lived close to the bridges would open them, for a fee.

Between Medge Hall and Godnow Swing Bridge there is a kink in the canal that marks the boundary between Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

I wonder if this gaggle of swans was a family of cygnets from last year.

Keadby Power Station was initially a coal fired power station that opened in 1952 and closed in 1986. In 1997 it opened, reformed as a gas power station. Last time we were here in 2015 it was in deep shut down. As you can see it is working now as it won a contract to provide standby power later that year. The Keadby Wind Farm is owned by the same company and is actually the largest onshore farm in England.

Looking back to the new bridge that was put in to build the wind farm. We later passed a mooring that would have been the berth for supplying coal to the power station. The sun on the canal was shimmering in the sun.

I had to give Helen a hand to get the Vazon Bridge open against the wind that had really gusted up.

Once through the swing bridge we had a bit of a wait for the signalman to find a suitable gap in the traffic to open the bridge.

Having had help to get the car to Keadby it has saved me getting the stopping train from Althorpe, via Crowle and to Thorne South.

Once the bridge starts to open the operation is fairly swift and we were soon through and on the way the the end of the canal.

The action of the sliding railway bridge is to sort of pivot sideways and ends up parallel to the actual line. It was built in 1926 and is actually run from 6 batteries of the kind that used to be used in submarines. It was built like this as they need to keep the original bridge working as they were building it so had to use less space.

We are through and you can see the Vazon swing bridge beyond the railway sliding bridge. There is just a basin between.

There was one other boat at the moorings and we passed them, swung round and took water before heading back out past him, swinging again and making fast. After getting secured I set to sanding down some damage that had occured to our tunnel band at the mooring. We are now fed and watered and can relax. Macy really seems to enjoy being back on the boat as she is back to her old self again.

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