We woke this morning to find the canal covered in a very thin layer of ice and checking the weather station found that the outside temperature dropped to -5.6° last night, but it wasn't long before the sun was out beaming down on us.
We decided to wait until 11 o'clock to set off to let it thaw a bit, we only had the boat hull blacked last month so didn't really want to cut it off at the water line. The boat moored ahead of us but travelling the other way set off about half ten and the ice didn't look to bad.
As we headed south the ice got harder and thicker, up to about 8mm in places but mostly much thinner, we had to cut a channel all the way to Heritage Narrowboats, after this we found that someone else had already been through.
This canal is renowned for its elegant turn over bridges, these were built to allow the horse towing a boat to cross the canal without un-hitching the tow line, a horse walking towards us would pass under the bridge on the left of the picture, climb the spiral ramp, cross the canal and then come down the ramp on the straight right hand side.
A couple of days ago I mentioned the towpath closure at Hall Green Lock, I took a photo today and as you can see the ends of the rails stick out over the water, this side of the rails is the lock and the other side the water point and visitor moorings. So if you leave the moorings or stop for water before the lock you have to hake you crew back on board to pass the barriers that stick out over the water, then pull in again so they can work the lock. This barrier is because of a damaged bridge about 300 Mts away.
We continued on to moor for the night on the Red Bull Aqueduct as tomorrow night we will be going to The Red Bull pub for Christmas dinner with The Trent and Mersey Canal Society so we didn't want to be iced in miles away.