With my previous navigational skills gained on the Norfolk Broads, I elected myself as captain, my wife was vice captain and my aunt was chief cook and bottle washer.
The Calder & Hebble Navigation is 21 miles long and finishes at Wakefield there are 27 locks and some flood locks. Every half mile there is a canal side pub serving food too numerous to mention.
We chugged along at 4MPH after a mile we came to our first lock I steered the boat to the canal side to allow my boatmen to run up to the lock so our progress was unimpeded, they did a fine job.
After a couple of miles we came across a pub and had lunch and a couple of beers. after 14 locks I gave my boatmen a rest and we moored up overnight. The narrow boat had a shower and all mod cons,
although the TV had a blanket thrown over it, whilst the girls got showered I went off to find a local newsagent, I did'nt find one but I did find a PYO field of strawberries and raspberries, I thought farmers got up early to milk the cows I suppose 5.0am was too early for them but we did enjoy the fruit.
We continued our journey to Wakefield and after 27 locks I rewarded the girls with a pub lunch The Jolly Sailor Thornes Lane Wharf, Wakefield,
and very nice it was too after an hour of walking around Wakefield we returned to the boat. I had left the boat moored next to an oil bunker
and rather than start the engine and manouvre into position I used a boat hook slipped on the wharf and fell headlong into the water when I
serviced I was covered in black oil the boat was in the middle of the basin my two crew members were on deck doubled up with laughter at my demise, another passing boat retrieved our boat and moored it for us.
My crew members were still weeping with laughter and disappeared behind a building after a few seconds I heard them shout me as I went
around the corner I was met by by a torrent of water from a hosepipe they had found. One of the guys at an industrial unit allowed me to have a hot shower.
This is the end of Part 1 from Sowerby Bridge to Wakefield part two will be through to Selby.
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