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Monday, 7 August 2017

North by North West.

Just as we were about to leave a boat turned up at the water boat and services so we decided to have another walk around Boroughbridge. (I wonder what the locals call the place as it is a bit of a mouth full to say, never mind write). By the time we got back another two had arrived so we waited for them before pushing over to top up with water and much more importantly fill up with fuel.

They were very friendly and soon had me filling up. I took 160 litres so was glad to get some in the back end. The boat does seem to handle better with it. One of our gas bottles had run out a couple of days so I got a refill for that too. Mind you it had lasted since last September. Just as an aside, we bought a much better kettle for the hob this year. It has a wide base and is thicker too. It is amazing how much quicker it boils! Oh the diesel was 65.9/ lt. Heading upstream and having a long boat we had to have the bow almost in the bridge hole to get the hose to the stern. They had no stern gland water resistant grease so we pulled back over to the visitor moorings and I walked to the marina and bought a couple of 500gm tubs.

Once underway we were soon passing under the A1 motorway. The growth in motor vehicles is very evident as when it was first built to bypass the town it was 2 lane. Next to it has built a 4 lane road.

We were followed by a cruiser that hung back as we rounded the gently curves of the river.

The run to Westwick Lock was quite varied and this made the 3 miles soon pass.

Westwick lock rides up the weir of the River Ure and is quite picturesque. It is quite isolated, only 10 people lived in the parish in the 2012, but still there were a few people gongoozling as they ate their snap.

 I have never seen this before on a lock beam (I don't think) but what a great idea, a sliding extension to help with the large gate, but not get into the way.

Soon after we passed the grounds of Newby Hall. There are several landing stages for patrons of the House and gardens to moor to. There was the children's park and water features as well as the very narrow gauge railway that goes round the site. There is a small gap in the trees as the southern vista from the hose opens up and I was able to snap a glimpse of the house along with the visitors. I don't suppose they would be happy for you to moor at the steps here.

A little further west and the front of the house opened up for a better view. Coal paid for Sir Edward Blackett to have the hall built in 1690. He sold it in 1748 to Richard Wedell who engaged Robert Adam and others to add wings etc.His son William housed his large collection of Roman relics in the house. Apparently the house was identified as suitable for the Royal family to use in case they had to be evacuated from Buckingham Palace in WWII.

After Newby Hall the river once again starts to resemble the River Thames, with out the traffic.

A further 2 miles and we are ready to leave the River Ure Navigation and join the Ripon Canal. It looks as though it would be still navigable for a while at least, and at this water level. There is a sailing club just round the corner so we would get there at least.

The first Lock off the river is Oxclose and the top gates are quite leaky. Luckily there were several people there to lend a hand to force it open. Once out on the canal it was strange to be enclosed by reeds and rushes and to potter along at canal revs.

This Dad and two sons left the lock before us, and then we overtook them before arriving at bell Furrows Lock where they looped past us as we rose in the lock. There were a group of people who were fascinated by the whole process. One guy siddled over to me at the back end and asked how it all worked. He was so tickled with it all you would have thought that I had given him the secret of eternal youth. We have so many people comment as we pass through the locks this year on the North East canals and rivers that they have never seen a boat actually use the locks. Use it or lose it I say. Come and see how lovely it all is up here, and call in to Hull, City of Culture 2017. (I hadn't mentioned that for a few blogs had I).

The last lock in the two mile length of the canal is Rhodesfield Lock and after that it runs alongside the road into Ripon. There is one mooring just above the lock and then about half way along there is a couple by the services on the offside just before the footbridge above, just for shorter boats I would say though. 

The basin at the head of the canal has a bit of weed in it but I put the stern behind the boats and the wind blew the bow round nice and easily before heading back to the line of moorings that we had passed. There were two narrow boats there, but one left. I would say there is room for 4 good length boats.

I know the northern reaches of the NE river and canal system are quite exotic but this little square at the basin reminds me of a quiet little square in France. We have come a bit of a way but not that far!

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