Monday, 18 June 2012

Back on the canals

We watched a irridescent orange and purple sunset over a farm of giant wind turbines last night in a spot so quiet the only sound was your own breathing. Beautiful.
The first miles of the South Yorkshire Navigations are straight as a pressed trouser leg. Rather like the miles of Fossdyke we've just left. But they're immediately more enjoyable because rather than hiding between high flood banks the canal rides up above the surrounding flatlands so you can see for miles.
There's also stuff to do – swing bridges every mile or two, an ingenious slide-back-out-of-the-way railway bridge at Vazon (one of only three in Europe) and mechanised locks with baffling looking control panels. And, being a canal, you can moor pretty much where you like instead of having to search out a free pontoon space.
Tonight we're moored at Thorne, a small town that's tied firmly into the canal by two marinas, a boatyard and a site for Jonathan Wilson that used to be the base for Louis & Joshua boatfitters.
Away from the waterfront, it seems a bit down on its luck these days with too many shuttered shops and a mish-mash of those left open. Almost certainly the fault of the recession on top of deeper unemployment issues in the area.
But the sun is shining and tomorrow promises to be a decent day too so we'll see what we find on a waterway so empty of moving boats you seem to have it all to yourself at times.

No comments: