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The Tuesday Night Club on Tour
6 - Grove Hill Lock to Brigg - Tidal River Hull, Humber Estuary, River Ancholme.
Monday 1st July 2002
We surfaced around 07.00 with overcast skies and cast off soon
after. John had his new crew member, Robbie, who goes back to John's BR days.
John worked out that we should leave around this time. The consensus of opinion
with the locals was that you should try to meet the flood coming up the River
Hull around the Stoneferry Bridges, that way there will still be enough air
draught under all the swing bridges. The question was really what time to leave
to achieve this, the River Hull is a fickle river!
VTS Hull weather reports were not too hopeful, they were for decreasing winds, but veering west to south west - a wind over tide situation, seeing as we would be going up from Hull to South Ferriby on the flood, as least is was virtually neaps. By Sutton Road Bridge (09.15) we started getting the flood - too early, so went nearly flat out to make the bridges before there was insufficient headroom. Frogmoore was leading and we had one rather large fright! An old oil barge, with no horn or working VHF, was flying up on the flood - BACKWARDS!!! John managed to miss it in Frogmoore, Neil held Earnest back as the equally startled barge "captain" got the barge right over to the bank - the River Hull is not very wide, even at high water. John heard afterwards that this barge was just used for transporting oil up and down the River Hull to various depots.
Still we ploughed on against the increasing flood - the bridge decks started to get nearer our roof. Eventually we made the Old Harbour, in Hull at the end of the river. We were still worried about the wind speed, VTS called out to some yachts out in the Humber, they thought that the swell had definitely decreased. Fone calls and VHF communication to the BW Hull Marina proved fruitless! The final thing that made Ian Clarke decide to "go for it" was the small plywood cruiser that was sheltering in the old harbour, with apparent engine trouble. He shouted across to Ian "You can't take that THING out THERE!"
After faffing about in the Old Harbour for 15 minutes we left at 10.15. Neil had nearly got Earnest seaworthy, the exhaust extension was on, things were all stowed on the floor, with just the gaffer taping of the side doors to do. We pulled out into channel and started to feel the force of the flood, the swell did not seem bad at all. Neil decided to drop some more water, so turned the galley taps on.
All was well until we were coming up to the Humber Bridge (11.05). Here the sea became very choppy, short waves caused by the current. (We now know that this is the infamous Hessle Whelps - a hard stone bottom that the tide likes to argue with.) Later local knowledge informed us that we should have made across to the south bank, out of channel, there would still have been several feet of water over there at this state of the tide.
Neil had some mopping to do as a bit of water came in under the cratch cover. As we passed under the Humber Bridge, we could see the calmer water beyond. By the time we reached the calm approaches to South Ferriby we wondered how the tidal choppy wave effect could change so quickly. Because Earnest had been going it a fair bit, NB Frogmoore had really lagged and was a long way out. We arrived to a waiting South Ferriby Lock. The lockies thought that as Frogmoore was so far behind, they would lock us through separately. After the outer gates were opened, the large road lift bridge was raised to enable us to get in the chamber. We would of course be going DOWN to the river. Soon the outer gates were shut and we started our descent, as this was happening the road bridge was lowered on top of us.
By 11.40 we were tied up on the water point. Frogmoore was another half an hour before it emerged, by which time we had filled with water. We found out that diesel was available, but decided to fill up on the way out. A quick visit to the "Hope and Anchor" pub ensued to calm our sea nerves. We all feasted on excellent food and a good pint. We must admit this was a surprise for this venue. The only other patrons were a load of police, from the Humberside armed response unit!
Of we set again at 14.20, we still had an impossible itinerary to keep up with, we did not want to break into our two "recovery" days! After the excitement of the estuary the Ancholme seemed rather dull. There was the cement works at South Ferriby, a nice suspension bridge, then a few cast iron accommodation bridges...then Brigg. Brigg was a BIG disappointment!
We took the old route through to the town and arrived on the sanitary station 16.30. This was rather stupidly built (presumably by Tesco, as a planning gain), right by a new by-pass bridge. This bridge was completely open on the towpath side and was obviously the haunt of the local yobs. Many tins of house gloss paint had been thrown every where.
John had not got water at South Ferriby, so tried it here. Even the Frog Boat could not get into the side properly, so Earnest breasted up. The BW style water post needed a mooring pin to lever down the flap as it was so rusty. After this John tried the tap.........NO WATER! the post was open at the bottom, the base cover having been ripped off and yet the plumbing seemed OK. Neil thought they might have turned it off inside the very recent sanitary station. The sanitary station was opened by a Nene type Abloy key - complete disaster inside, absolutely everything had been smashed up. Neil stood guard as the others went shopping as some yobs lingered about.
There were also a couple of elderly people wandering about. These turned out to be civic helpers that told tales of woe about the waterside part of the town. They said visitor moorings and a sanitary station should have been built at the leisure centre on the other side of town. While we where chatting Neil picked up the half empty tins of paint, saying he would lock them up in the remains of the obviously now re-secured sanitary station. While we were not looking a couple of yobs whizzed passed on their bikes, picked up the cans and flung them at the bridge supports. Neil put the remains in the sanitary station stores.
After John returned he said that he had already spoke with a contact at Glanford Boat Club (on downstream of the island formed by the new and old courses.) There was a mooring free that we could use and they had water and a primitive, but functioning sanitary station. Frogmoore winded and found the mooring and Earnest reversed back and breasted up against Frogmoore. That night we all ate in, I can't remember if it was an excellent totally fresh Martin Wilson spag - bol, or an Ian version of a Beeky stew.
Coming up to the Humber Bridge - the infamous "Hessle Whelps". Humber Estuary. Bloody excellent picture by Martin Wilson!
Looking back at Hull, under the Humber Bridge. Already the sea has calmed down. Humber Estuary.
Going round Chowder Ness - making a bee line for South Ferriby. Humber Estuary.
The cement works at South Ferriby. Humber Estuary. Picture Martin Wilson.
The cement works at South Ferriby. Humber Estuary.
Looking back at the Humber Bridge - NB Frogmoore II is the tiny spec under the bridge to the left of the green light float. Humber Estuary.
Final approach to South Ferriby. You have to go round the tiny buoy (in front of the cement works) to miss a spit. Humber Estuary.
South Ferriby. The "Hope and Anchor" pub dead centre, sluice to right. Tidal haven beside the pub. Humber Estuary.
Waiting to enter South Ferriby Lock chamber, as they raise the road lift bridge. River Ancholme. Picture Martin Wilson.
South Ferriby lock, we have dropped about six feet to the river level and the bridge is being lowered. "Comrade" and "Amy Howson" are now back home. River Ancholme. Picture Martin Wilson.
Earnest on the water point above the lock. The periscope exhaust is by the side, ready for a grease up. South Ferriby, River Ancholme. Picture Martin Wilson.
NB Frogmoore eventually arrives. Neil is togged up after having washed down Earnest to get the salt spray off. South Ferriby, River Ancholme.
South Ferriby Sluice from the salty side. Humber Estuary. From our Explo day out.
The "Hope and Anchor" pub at South Ferriby. From our Explo day out.
The tidal haven beside the pub at South Ferriby. From our Explo day out.
Looking downstream at the Humber Bridge from South Ferriby. From our Explo day out.
Looking across the Humber Estuary from South Ferriby. From our Explo day out.
Looking across the Humber Estuary from South Ferriby. Read's Island in the foreground. From our Explo day out.
South Ferriby Lock and the "Hope and Anchor" pub. From our Explo day out.
South Ferriby Sluice from the River Ancholme side. From our Explo day out.
Looking up from South Ferriby visitor moorings. River Ancholme. From our Explo day out.
"Amy Howson" and "Comrade" at home in South Ferriby. From our Explo day out.
Looking back from further along the coast to South Ferriby and the Humber Bridge. From our Explo day out.
Approaches to Brigg. River Ancholme.
Our overnight moorings in Brigg at the Glandford Boat Club. River Ancholme. Picture Martin Wilson.
The Tour Continues...
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