Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Thursday 30 July 2009

Jorvik at last!

This morning at 0730, the sun was shining brightly and it looked as though it was going to be a glorious day. But it was not to be, by 1030 there was a thunderstorm and the sky fell down and rained all its clouds on us! We commenced our journey an hour or so later, hoping for a dry one, but Barry got soaked once more just outside of York. Ah well, we arrived at last and although the river level is fairly high, it still looks fairly safe – for now!

It seems that Barry is not the only one in strife for the inaccurate predictions, today’s headlines are all slating the weathermen who promised the British a ‘BBQ summer’! Oh dear, I don’t think so! Maybe a BBQ June if you’d got your skates on, but certainly not in July and disappointingly it is reported that August is looking likely to be a wet month too. Still, there’s always the possibility of an Indian summer in September …

One of the many tour boats that cruise up and down through York

This one was collecting people from the Naburn Lock where we'd moored

On the way to York after the first thunder storm of the day had passed

Another boat heading away from York amidst all the cruisers

An unusual sculpture on top of the railway bridge at Bishopthorpe

Some of the permanent moorings left a little to be desired

These were moored around Bishopthorpe

'The Palace' home to the Archbishop of York. Very humble looking residence - not!

Lots of boats use the river

All shapes and sizes

The Millenium footbridge on the outskirts of York

The old Dockyards

The Kings Arms on the left, called the 'Flooding Pub' because of the number of times the rivers come through it

Lovely old buildings with arched exits onto the river

The angel adorning the middle of Lendal Bridge
We’re moored up right next to the railway bridge, about a 10 minute walk to the station, so we took a walk there and picked up my tickets for tomorrow’s travel to Birmingham and Bath. A short stroll along the wall and we were into the centre. We decided that the Jorvik Viking Museum sounded interesting and we’d splash out and pay an entry fee for once. It wasn’t what we’d expected, more of a Disneyland ride than anything, but the exhibition of artefacts at the end was interesting. As my mum and dad were originally from the North of England (Sunderland and Huddersfield respectively), then my original roots may be from the Danes who dominated this area of the country.

The view from the railway bridge towards Lendal Bridge. Northern Pride fourth along

One of the tour boats. We get a short snippet of commentary as they go past, sadly always the same bit

York Station, when first built was the largest in the world

You can walk around the old city wall which takes you right around York

Interesting looking building

Sandra spotted "The Scream" face in one of the paving stones on the wall

Flower bike, wouldn't be too comfortable had thorns on the seat

Clock on the 'St Martin-Le-Grand' church. The clock was originally installed in 1668, but has been restored several times since.

'The Three Tuns' pub in the centre of York

Not sure what this is all about. Might have been the sex trade street!!

So much of York is like this
We had an amble through the Shambles, a gaze at the majesty of York Minster, then back to Sainsbury’s for a spot of shopping to keep Barry in food and beer for his weekend alone.

Lovely old sweet shop in The Shambles

The Shambles where these two houses are almost touching

View of York Minster between the buildings

Statue on the corner of bookshop alley

Some views of the impressive 'York Minster'

This evening we were picked up by Tim and Catherine dinner and wine at their home in small place south of York called Bishopthorpe. The Archbishop of York has a palace there, one of only two Archbishops in the country we're reliably informed. It certainly looked palacial.

Katie and Amy, a couple of livewires

Katie, Tim, Amy and Catherine
We had an awesome evening getting to know one another and meeting their children Amy and Katie, two gregarious, giggly, beautiful blonde girls. The food was great and the champagne, wine and port flowed far too freely! We decided not to catch the last bus home but got a taxi back to the boat in the wee small hours. Barry will meet up with Tim again over the weekend.

Catherine gave me a list of some of my ancestors going back as far as 1620 which is just amazing! I now know that we are second cousins once removed, and the name of my 8th great grandfather on my father's mother's side (!) was called John Drake and my 8th great grandmother Ann Wright. She has got an incredible amount of information, it was faascinating.

Tomorrow I'm off to Bath for my English hen weekend and returning to York late on Sunday with my eldest sister Katherine who's coming to do the river to Ripon with us, until Wednesday evening.

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Northern Pride - the love boat!

True to forecast, the rain has persisted it down heavily today. After a lovely cooked breakfast including bacon, eggs and speciality Yorkshire sausages, we said goodbye for now to mum and dad and went through the lock just after 1230hrs – I had my life-jacket on and the anchor at the ready! Barry got me to practice picking it up a couple of times just in case I needed to throw it in the river; boy it's heavy, my guess would be 15kg (about 3 large babies, being a midwife that's how I judge the weight of things!). It’s a breathtaking drop down from the Selby canal and I’m not looking forward to us driving back into the lock from the tidal Ouse on the return journey!

Irene & Don

The line up of boats across the canal from us at Selby Lock

The sunflowers are poking out, but hesitating because of the lack of sun!!

Able seaman Sandra all set to go

Is that farewell, or au revoir

That's what we've got to aim for on the way back


I took the first shift at the helm while Barry tried to load yesterday’s photos onto the blog with limited success. He took over after an hour and a half as I was getting very cold and damp, and we both had some welcoming hot soup.

The swing railway bridge at Selby

Next is the swing road bridge. Wouldn't want to be caught in a traffic jam on the bridge when they needed to open it!!

This mill is still working. No 'trouble' here!

An old wharf on the river

The swing bridge at Cawood on the Ouse. Obviously some of the boats aren't too accurate at getting through with all the protection
The Ouse is a large tidal river, with many logs floating down which it's best to avoid if possible! I always think our little boat looks so lost on the big rivers, bless it. We arrived at Naburn lock around 1530 and moored up just on the other side, it was just too wet and cold to continue up to York today! Bloody English summer!! Where did Barry’s promised heatwave go?

The twin locks at Naburn. Weir to the side, we went in the left lock

We did get a few hardy spectators

After a wet and chilly day, we had a cosy night in and one of the things we did was to google 'Northern Pride'. We were astounded to find that our blog was 7th in over 4 million possibles for the term. A rather intriguing finding was the 'Northern Pride' is actually held in Newcastle and it is the LGBT (lesbian/gay/bi and trans) annual festival of the north (! Hilarious! Barry thinks we may have hit on a winner - another hit was for the loveboat of 'Lesbilicious - the web's tastiest lesbian magazine' an event organised recently by this organisation for Northern Pride, though unfortunately it was cancelled at short notice for some reason. Check it out on:
So does that mean we're more or less likely to sell our boat with such a name? Post your thoughts in the comments box below, or send us an email!

Our mooring this evening - Sandra chats to a Scottish couple who were admiring the boat and wishing they had the money to buy it

This evening there was the most spectacular sunset, fingers crossed that it means a sunny day tomorrow ...

It looks like the sky is on fire!