Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who Put the Lights Out

We left Etruria at the very early hour for us, of 8.30am!

We stopped for fuel at Longport Jetty and filled the tank.  I am still confused with this self declaration lark; the fuel girl said a lot of people declare 100% heating and charging!!  I replied my name is not Jimmy Carr and declared a little bit!  Elaine's brother, Trevor, also joined us at the wharf - he came to help Elaine with Heartbreak Hill !
We passed a couple of old working boats on the way to the Harecastle Tunnel ...

We arrived at the entrance of the tunnel....have I mentioned that I hate tunnels?!  We were the only boat there so the BW chap waved us straight through - he said that there was one boat in front but he was nearly through the over-2km tunnel.  We quicky donned the rain jackets and went through the entrance.  Once inside, they shut the doors and turn on the very noisy extractor fans. This is the third time through this tunnel so no big deal, except that as he shut the doors the tunnel was full of smoke and I couldn't see a bloody thing ...I nearly had a trouser accident!  The fans came on but I was really struggling to see; I asked Elaine and Trevor to shine the torches on the wall so I could get some kind of reference.  The smoke was clearing so I grabbed my glasses and put them on so I could see a bit better, but I was still struggling to see properly.   I asked Elaine to turn on the nav lights, as they shine off the walls and also help in sitting in the middle of the channel.  About 10 mins into the trip Elaine asked me how I was going, I answered that I was really struggling to see properly - it just didn't seem right!  Elaine then shone the torch in my face and said "You 'kin idiot - you have got your sunglasses on!"  Phew ... normal glasses on and away we went - still don't know what was in front but, by christ, it put out some smoke!

The rest of the trip went very smoothly although it did rain a bit !  Elaine and Trev and some other boaters were very entertained by a chap in his garden, which backed onto the canal.  He had created a scarecrow that apparently turned his head when you shouted 'Jim'!  He had them going for quite some time until they saw the string in his hand ! 

A lot of the locks are doubles but also quite a few have one side blocked or filled in.

A swan kept attacking the boat at Thurlwood!

We stopped for the night at Hassall Green and went for a walk up to the 'Romping Donkey' pub (as advertised in Nicholson book).  Unfortunately the Romping Donkey had bolted;  the pub was either being demolished or rebuilt - so back to the boat for dinner and drinks!

We also found this poor little bugger (collection box for RSPB) - it was sitting on a wall beside the Romping Donkey - it still had a penny left in it ... that was nice of them !

 'til tomorrow ... !
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  1. Laughed at that one. Paul - you're trying to be a mushroom :-)