We had a late start from Skipton as Carolyn was not happy with the fit of her new walking boots and decided to go back to the shop and change them . Eventually pulling pins at the stupid late time of 10.45 we cruised through Skipton and then back out in to the countryside.
We were so surprised to see these Oystercatchers high up in the Pennines. We have never seen them before on the inland waterways .The oystercatcher is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a 'V' between the wings. Because it eats cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited. Breeds on almost all UK coasts; over the last 50 years, more birds have started breeding inland. Most UK birds spend the winter on the coast; where they are joined on the east coast by birds from Norway.
It’s lock 31 and it’s the first time we have ever seen ground paddles like this. I took Inca in to the lock and no matter how hard Carolyn tried she could not lift this or the other side paddle. Not wanting to climb down the lock ladder so we could swap over I had to reverse out of the lock so that Carolyn could take Inca up the lock while I did the paddle.It seems that the secret to operating these paddles is to lift it in one action and not do it slowly as you would with a normal paddle.
We moored for the night after a good 4 hour cruise just below the Bank Newton flight of locks for the night and met the local full time lockie who said that he would be on duty in the morning and lock us up the flight of 5 locks. With them having the wooden handle type paddles Carolyn was more than happy with his offer of help.
Shouldn’t laugh at this hire boat out of control but it is
silly hire boat season again and there are a few out on this stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool canal. As always we let them get on with it unless we see that they are in real difficulties and then we will step in and offer advice and help if they want it.