Sunday, 15 July 2012

Stranded In Selby for 9 Days!

Captains Log         Start of Plan C of World Cruise
Canal Date                             15th July 2012
Location                                 Castleford North Yorkshire.

While we were over-nighting in Selby, it rained – rather a lot! BW informed us that we were going no where for a while. The environment agency had locked the flood gates at each end of us. This was only a precautionary measure and we could continue our journey probably the following day. It rained continually and extremely heavily all day, all night and all the next day and all the next night! I have not ever scene rain fall like that. It was the sort that one might expect in a tropical monsoon. Not what you would expect in the middle of an English summer.
We were moored in the basin on a canal. Even the canal raised up more than a foot. The river Ouse that we had just come off was up 20foot and in danger of breeching the towns flood defences. It was above the tidal locks, only the EA flood gate saved the canal and the town.
I spoke to BW and they said that we would be here until Monday or possibly Tuesday. Not an issue, we have all the facilities we need here. Loads of pubs, take-away, Indians, Chinese and if needed there were shops where we could even by fresh food. If one has to be stuck anywhere then this is the place to be.
As the days passed even more rain fell. Not as heavy or prolonged as the first 48 hours but still heavy rain fall. It soon became obvious that we were not going to move on Tuesday.  I had a talk to Fred the very friendly lock keeper. I told him our plans were to join the Trent and go to Lincoln. He said in is best Yorkshire accent “not this year mate. The Trent will be in & out of flood for weeks following this damp spell. You best think again, your boat is too nice to sink on that river!”
I noted the sincerity in his voice, he was not joking he really meant what he was saying. Pam & I then sort of changed our mind and plan C was made.
Plan C it to retrace our path, keeping off rivers as much as possible and do the mighty Trent another year.
We eventually got out of the basin on Saturday morning 10 days after stopping for one night. We made friends while we were there. We had to offers of Christmas dinner if we were still there. Even the lock keeper ran to us as we left just to say bon-voyage.
The first 6 miles were along the Selby canal and that was fine. Then we came to the River Aire. That was a different animal altogether. Although the flood warnings were in the lower amber. The river was running very fast with whirlpools everywhere. And as always the flow was against us. With loads of power and a bit of concentration we made progress. We stopped at Castleford. We met up with out old friends on Snowbaby who were moored on the same visitor mooring. It was nice to see them again. This is likely to be the last time this year as we now go our different ways. 

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