Somehow the day flew by. Our 5.15 Nayburn Lock booking began an hour early as only one sluice was working which meant a very slow, millimetre by millimetre, emptying lock. Out onto the tidal section, we seemed to be pushing against the water, perhaps the tide hadn’t quite turned. The boat in front soon left us for dust and it dawned on us that almost 15 miles without much tidal assistance was going to take a very long time so we sped up, the engine got a workout. Barely two miles in and the clouds bucketed it down, huge rain – even the drainage channels along the roof couldn’t keep up. We stood like drowned rats watching big river stuff pass by.
Clothes changed and fire lit things began to cheer up. The boat that blew us away had come back into sight and the tide had picked up carrying us a little. Plenty of enormous obstacles bobbed about, round the final bend we figured the flow didn’t seem too fast and decided the notorious Selby Lock turn should be okay. The boat in front went first before moving into the lock, it’s strange motoring past a lock space supposedly for you. A couple of minutes later we’d turned, straightened into the flow and moved into our lock slot. It was pretty good fun and didn’t even register on the scaryometer but conditions couldn’t have been kinder and the engine behaved very well.
In the lock and dropped by 8.30, the gates swung open revealing the muddy flow of the Ouse. Second out, the nose was swept by the water and the end whipped round to follow. We soon built up a fair pace and the miles ticked by. With the tide just turned the water was low – mudflats and all sort of items long lost to the Ouse marked the way. The boat in front seemed to be going almost impossibly slowly and as tempting as it was to rip past them we held our position. Around eight miles in another narrowboat caught the end of our line. The Canal and River Trust widebeam couldn’t resist burning past us all, shame he didn’t think to check on his VHF to see if the Nayburn boats had been fired downstream, a near boat slam that would have been like a rocket up the slow go infront. Conditions are everything but it’s almost spring tide and the tidal experience up to York was no big deal.
A great trip from Nayburn up to York. From ingeniously adapted boat houses to grand bridges spanning the Ouse there’s an overload of sights to take in. Having let Murk out for a run around at Nayburn we were the last of the boats to arrive in York, five minutes conversation with two guys on a boat in Nayburn Lock meant they’d kindly kept a look out for us and called for us to moor alongside until another space opened up.
As city centre moorings go it would be hard to top this one, bang in the middle of York with the Ouse flowing past the window.