Coal Gone ColdPosted: June 28, 2014 | |
It was bleak out there today with barely a boat about. The flow is almost non-existent, there wasn’t a breath of wind but with rain setting in all around and the water opening up, it was one of those occasions when the boat felt very small. Power stations injected unsettling interest along the way.
For the most part surrounding land is still owned by the Coal Authority – massive subsidence over the last 50 years has left the area waterlogged and unsuitable for everything other than birds, long runs are protected with giant metal piling in order to prevent the whole lot seeping into one boggy mess. Up until recently the navigation provided a watery conveyor belt to over 30 collieries throughout the North East. Oil and grit are now main cargos.
The last leg was on the Selby Canal where a cow stood firmly stuck in the water, a fireman watched from afar waiting for the rescue operation to begin. It did, with a speeding boat on a blue light, carrying a vet with a tranquilizer gun.
A picturesque mooring this evening considering the trip here, mountains of Himalayan Balsam overhanging lilies poking up through thick green sheets of duck weed – a water enthusiast’s beautiful nightmare.