Saturday 20 April 2024


Today was an alarm clock day as we needed to pass through Harecastle Tunnel today. We were away just after ten past eight. The first transit is 8 o’clock and I new boats were waiting at the south end, so maybe they would come first and we would be in at about 9 o’clock. On thing I didn’t realise was that we had a good frost overnight and as we turned the bend after the aqueduct things were still quite white.DSCF9291

For any boater who is having problems bending to put in Nappy Pin mooring hooks, this could be the answer. (maybe they couldn’t reach the ring)DSCF9293

When we arrived at the tunnel there was no one waiting, they had gone north to south first with three boats and we would have to wait just over an hour for two to come the other way, the second was the best part of quarter of an hour behind the first. By the time we entered there were four more behind us. To say the tunnel was damp would be an understatement, fog until the last 300 meters and several water spouts coming through the roof, I was within 50 meters of the end when the first door opened. They must be having a busy day because there were four more waiting to go north.
Back in the sun and we were soon going past Middle Port Pottery, the painting on the concrete wall behind the towpath is fading away.DSCF9294

Beyond the Pottery CRT were running a junior fishing instruction day again, they we just setting up last time we passed, at least today its not raining.DSCF9295

A short stop at Etruria to use the services passing the legs at the bottom of the garden and then back DSCF9296

out and down the locks, following the boat that just left the services who hat the whole flight with them.The railway crosses the canal at Cockshutes Lock and there looks to be some interesting rolling stock left in the sidings, a poor shot over the fence from a moving boat. DSCF9300

We also had a goose keeping an eye on us to make sure we wound the paddles down properly DSCF9297

Once all the locks were out of the way it was full steam ahead, well slowing down for the permanent moorers at the rifle range, there is major redevelopment going on just before here and itsDSCF9302really starting to take shape. Then it was on passed the entrance to the stadium where the Oat Cake boat and the beer boat were doing a good trade,DSCF9303 I entertained the crowd by badly disfiguring my very expensive double skinned stove chimney on the bridge, I am sure it just cleared on our way up. We met lots of walkers making their way to the match and as I type this we can hear the chants and cheers going up. We are moored in the same spot as coming up, a few yards ether way and we can’t get close to the edge.

Today’s Journeyimage10 miles, 5 locks in 5¾ hours

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