Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A white knuckle ride

Anyone who has crossed the tidal Ouse from Denver to Salters Lode will tell you it is not for the faint hearted. We entered the lock at Denver, rose up on the tide and then had to wait ages for the right moment to be released to dash up to Salters. Eventually the lockkeeper shouted "Go" and Herbie nervously crept out onto the tide way. Actually it felt disappointingly benign at this stage, but it made up for it later on.
Soon we saw a narrowboat emerging from the other end.
Just as well we did because the lock entrance is almost impossible to see until it is too late. Can you see the entrance he is emerging from? No, neither could we, but we had to get into it in one shot.

At last we glimpse the edge of it. When should we turn?

There was a stiffish breeze blowing against us so I thought I'd turn late to avoid being blown back short of the proper entrance. However, what I had failed to recognise was that the tide was pulling the boat stronger than the wind and in the opposite direction.

Now I was at right angles to a very narrow entrance and being rapidly swept past it. Nothing for it but to pile on the revs and go for it. We got in fine but it was far closer to disaster than it looked.

Looking backwards, you can see the grand entrance we had to aim for whilst being sewpt down the tide.
Anyway, now we were safely on the middle levels. Safe provided that you can get under the low bridges!

Tomorrow we hit March to rendezvous with Rosie Piper and her crew Irene and John. Herbie and Rosie have never met but I suspect they will get on fine.


VallyP said...

Eeek, that sounds like a close shave Neil! Glad you made it unscathed. That entrance is tiny! Would you have ended up on the rocks if you'd missed it? I always thought narrowboating was such a gentle pursuit too...not if you're an adventurous type like the Herbie it seems! Good pics too.

Anonymous said...

Oh heavens, now I'll have to ban Richard from reading your blog - that sounds like just the sort of adventure he'd enjoy on Indigo Dream! Glad you made it through safely.

James said...

Did the lockkeeper give you a score, though? I'm in very good-natured competition with James on Kestrel about that...

I think this is about the closest you'll get to Extreme Narrowboating!