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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Out on the Ouse.

We woke up to a fair wind blowing along the cut but otherwise a nice day for another adventure.

The pontoon at Barmby is very quiet and we slept very well. I had a few jobs to do like water etc but had time as the tide time for our departure would be about 1100.

We watched this barn owl hunting this morning. It must have some young to be out in broad daylight and it had been a dry night too. It is always a pleasure to see them in action.

I walked over to the control cabin to have a word with Rob and confirm the time he wanted us. I took this photo to try and show the back wash at the right hand corner of the approach to lock but it doesn't come out too well. You can see a little of the current and winds waves on the river itself though. The lock is quite small and the other side of the wooden piles below the walkway on the left is the weir so it is important that you don't get them mixed up!

The grounds of the barrage are kept beautifully by the barrage keepers and it is a nice place for a walk. The Transpennine footpath runs over the lock too. I had been trying to contact the lock keeper at Selby but we seemed to keep missing each other. He now called me back and suggested that I arrive at Selby about 1230. I was now booked out from Barmby at 1100 so I would have to waste a bit of time on the passage.

We are once again in the lock, with little room, and nowhere to moor up to. Mind you they are very gentle with the ingress of water. We would be penning up into the River Ouse and off once again into a tidal river. It seems to becoming quite routine now.

Helen must be getting used to it as she is smiling so obviously a lot less apprehensive than when we penned out of Keadby Lock on the Trent for our trip down the Humber to Hull (City of Culture 2017, if you didn't know). The water seems to be rushing past, more noticeable due to the bits of tree that are being carried along with it.

The speed of the river meant that as soon as we were lined up after turning out of the lock I was down to tick over. In fact when ever there was a straight I went into neutral and just drifted up with the tide, just using a little chug ahead to straighten up. Dominating the skyline for quite a distance is the 120' spire of St Mary the Virgin church in Hemingbrough. The church originates from the 12th Century and the spire was added in the 15th Century. Up until Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries it was a minster church. It has some beautiful wood work and is said to have the oldest misericord in the country. This is a little 'tab' on the bottom of a fold up seat in the chancel of a church that even when the seat is folded up the 'tab' allows minimal support for the a standing figure during long periods of prayer etc.

As the River Ouse twists and turns different aspects are presented and the white prominent water tower at the north end of Hemingbrough village shows itself. It was built in 1958 to boost the water pressure in the public mains. The angle of 'Holderness' shows we are just drifting up sideways with the current. The sharp bends in this area are called Hope's I wonder why?

At Newhay the river makes a big bend of about 160 degs., from almost north to about SW and you can see both legs of the river, either side of the ness in the picture. A little like a bigger version of the Swans Neck on the River Avon. I'm not sure whether this is Hemingbrough Hope or Upper Hope.

The river from Barmby has been quite wide, and with the tide been quite high we have been able to get extensive views. There are several farms close to the river but there are few roads that come alongside. The tide was still burbling up with many ripples and eddies. It was quite interesting to see the way the main current followed the outside of the bends, but on the inside debris got marooned in the slack water behind the bend. You certainly have to be aware of the set of the current, particularly when just dawdling like us.

Looking to the south east as we pass down Barlow Reach you get a picture of Drax power station seemingly hiding behind a Teletubby mound. I assume that this will be ash etc rather than anything else and must look better after it has been landscaped.

The river is lit with light beacons. They are generally on the outside of bends but also in the middle of longer straight reaches. They have some nice names such as 'Cherry Orchard', 'Brown Cow', and this one No.28 is called Thief Lane which is at the end of 'Marrowbone Reach'. It would be really interesting to find out how they were given these names in the first place. Also along the bank are kilometer posts with the distance from Naburn Lock.

The tide was still coming in quite strongly and as the Selby Lock keeper had told me we would pen up towards high water I continued to dawdle along, enjoying our time on the Yorkshire Ouse.

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