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Friday, 7 July 2017

Going to Goole.

High water at Barmby barrage was to be around 1730 and we had passed the Apex Light at Trent Falls at 1415 so we had three hours to get there before the High Water and it was about 20 miles. No problem.

Blacktoft Jetty is a place of refuge for vessels when unable to proceed further due to failing tides or other reasons. If the ship is running late for some reason it may not reach Goole before the tide starts falling. As each shipper wants the ship to carry as much cargo as possible they are loaded to a draft which allows for the rise of the tide plus an under keel clearance of 0.2 mts for a daylight passage and 0.3 for night time. If the tide starts to fall then you will run out of water before you get there so as the water here is deep enough to stay afloat at low water it is safer to stop here, and similarly on the way outward. Always a tough call to make. The jetty was built by the Aire and Calder Company between 1873 and 1881. There was a jetty master who lived in a nearby house. If we moored there we would be charged.

The next point of interest is the lighthouse at Whitgift. It was built by the Aire and Calder Co. as a navigational mark and is still used as such today. It has a steady red light in it, and I'm unsure why they would have gone to the great expense to build as structure such as this

Also in the village of Whitgift is the church of Mary Magdalene that dates from 1304, replacing an even older building. It is Grade I listedIf you look closely you will see that the clock has a Roman numeral XIII instead of an XII! I have heard that it was because a local man was to be hung at midday so there was no midday! I also heard that as there was a pub next door and no 12 it never had to close!! Probably it was just somebody wasn't very good at Roman numerals.

The view to the north west along Reedness Reach was quite pretty in the still air. The Reedness red beacon is a splash of colour in a sea of greys, blues and green.

Looking back at the village of Whitgift you can see that it sits below the level of the flood wall. All these villages were subject to frequent flooding until fairly recent times.

There are very few roads in the area and no bridges before Goole, but the farm land is very productive and there are many halls that were the 'big houses' of the rich land owners. Whitgift Hall was one and here at Saltmarshe is another. The Saltmarshe area was given to the Saltmarshe family after the Norman Conquest and they lived there continually until the early 1970's when the last Saltmarshe died. The Hall was built between 1825 and 28 for £4000. When I used to come up and down here the then owners were often to be seen sat on a bench by this light and would raise a glass of something when we passed. You always seemed to be set on to these stones too, so I kept well away from them today.

As we looked to the south west down Swinefleet Reach the numerous wind turbines seemed very large, but were not making much electricity today.

A feature of the Ouse to Goole are the reaches at Yokefleet and Swinefleet. In these areas the main current swings from one bank to the other in a fairly straight length. This means that there is more of a build up of sediment as the current slows. They were sounded daily (except Sunday) when I was a pilot, but I'm not sure how often it is done these days. There are two routes to pass from one side to the other. One is usually a little deeper than the other so if two vessels meet at the his point the deeper one gets the deeper water. To ensure that you are in the right place ar these leading boards. When the triangle is in line with the square you are on the right line. Obviously you have to allow for the current setting you sideways too.. In my day it was obviously redundant at night as you couldn't see them!! However you learned to look for a gap in the trees silhouette, or some thing similar. There was a lady in this reach that was paid to keep her porch light on to assist. I notice now that the leading boards have little lights on now, taking all the 'fun' out of it now!

At Saltmarshe Jetty there is the tide board and you can see it is reading just under 3.2 mts of water, so basically we have carried the tide up with us as it is almost the same reading as when we passed under the Humber Bridge. The 20 sign is not the speed limit but the No. of the light beacon. It is here that you have to report to Goole Docks so that they can tell you of any movements around the locks. In past times I would now be slowing down and getting ready for Goole Bight which is a 90deg. turn in the river. There is a ness on the inside of the bend and the current pushes you onto the bank on the outside if you go too slowly, or too close. No problems today, and no out bound ships, yet.

Safely round Goole Bight and looking down the reach towards Goole and the docks. It has taken us just an hour so the equivalent of 10 knots speed.

In the centre of the picture the concrete buttress separates the Dutch River, to the left from the entrance to Ocean Lock and the Dock complex to the right. It was built in 1635 as a way of draining the surround land that the River Don regularly flooded from it many entrances. It had been navigable for those brave enough and in the 1990's a factory about half a mile form this entrance and through a swing bridge reopened. You had to back dwon from here, through the bridge. One ship got stuck in the bridge hole and so cut off Old Goole and the villages to the eats for weeks as the alternative route is many miles round. Ocean Lock is the most modern lock, built in the 1930's I seem to remember and is the largest lock. It can be used at no cost by pleasure boaters between certain hours and you can just see a cruiser in the lock waiting to pen down to head up towards York.

A little past Ocean Lock is Ouse Lock that is no longer used and you can see has a build up of mud at it's entrance. Victoria lock is less wide than Ocean lock but it does cut out a few corners of the dock sytem for some moorings so is a better bet for some vessels and is still in use.

We have now left Goole behind and are heading further up the Ouse down Sandhall Reach and heading on to new ground for me, well in a  mile or two anyway. But that will be in another blog.

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