Alisha’s doing temp work near Sheffield until the end of June, so we’ve decided to stay there for a few weeks. Sheffield is a dead end, as far as the navigation goes, so once her job ends we’ll have to head back the way we came.
The Tinsley Flight of 11 small locks has to be traversed to reach Sheffield. We booked passage 24 hours in advance: Derek from British Waterways met me at Holmes Lock and worked all the locks to Sheffield, while I did the driving.
These locks require a windlass to operate. Which makes a change after all the huge automated locks we’ve got used to lately.
I really must find out the proper name for these poles. You can put your rope through them to hold your boat steady against the side of the lock as the water level rises or falls.
At 60 foot, Audrey Too is apparently the maximum length for a boat in these locks. The BW guy suggested I keep the boat’s bow nosed into the top gates, because that was safer than letting the stern hit the gates behind.
At one lock, whilst the water level rose particularly slowly, I daydreamed for a moment, only to realise the tiller had got jammed under the platform of the lock behind me. A wooden platform sticking out so far into the lock isn’t something I’d seen on a lock before. Fortunately the BW guy was quick to bring the water level back down a few inches to release the boat.
Once through the locks it’s a short trip to the moorings at Victoria Quays, past steel workshops and these sturdy looking bridges.
It didn’t start raining until we were at the penultimate lock, and the shower was heavy but quick. On arrival in Sheffield’s Victoria Quays there was a rainbow.
The moorings in the canal basin are not owned by British Waterways but by Calder Valley Marine, a private company. They like you to call ahead to book a mooring spot if you’re planning to visit. The facilities are good here: we’ve got a great temporary mooring, with electrical hookup, water, Elsan and bins all nearby.