There was a period of concern early yesterday evening when it started to rain quite heavily. I’d only finished applying the second layer of top coat to the handrail at 3pm. Had a good skin formed on the new paint or was I going to be applying a third coat. It looked OK this morning so all is well.
The ropes were pulled through the rings at 9.30 this morning and Jan then worked us up through the last lock for the next couple of weeks. We were the only boat at the northern end of Harecastle Tunnel and were advised one boat was coming through in the opposite direction so there would be a short delay. I did ask the tunnel keeper if we could use the other tunnel but apparently it was closed for the day!
The tunnel keeper informed us he was heading to Australia on holiday in a few days time. Apparently and his wife are visiting Melbourne and Perth. We suggested he take a coat and some warm clothes for Melbourne. It might be spring there but Melbourne weather is unpredictable!
I thought we had collected something around the prop as we entered the tunnel and we seemed to be going quite slowly. However Jan recorded the transit time and it was our fastest to date at 30 minutes.
Another brief stop at the southern portal to top up the water tank and then we headed to the moorings beside Westport Lake.
Along the way we passed signs of another recent canalside
Neither of us can remember what was here…. but its now gone!
There was a terrible noise from under the boat as we went beneath bridge 128. Eventually I managed to free a length of heavy duty cable but could only hang onto the outer insulation.
There were plenty of vacant moorings beside the lake and we settled down to have lunch before our second trip.
We walked up the hill into Tunsall. There appears to be some redevelopment going on in the area with a new retail park. I wanted to go to Aldi
for more chocolate. Their specials for the week included a dremel at £19.99 which I consider a bargain. The Aldi at the Kidsgrove end of Harecastle Tunnel didn’t have any in stock. However I had more success at Tunsall.
For the uninitiated a dremel is a multifunctional electric tool. The head oscillates and can be fitted with a variety of blades. The Aldi version comes with a sanding head, wood saw, tile saw and scraper. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the cardboard packing box also contained a bag for the tool and attachments.
Another “thing” to find room for in my wardrobe!