Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The end of the line

Not sure there is an equivalent for canals rather than railways ... end of the cut I guess.

Catching up on the most recent cruise now....the delay being around photos on the camera not my laptop.

After waiting around for the steam train to pass to get this shot...

...we plodded along the section of canal that is now my valley walk. This is from Consall Forge to the basin.  Beautiful it is on the boat as it is walking. It was a nice pleasure to hear Percy's engine filling the quietness of the valley.

We just crept under the gauge for the tunnel.... just that did not inspire confidence for the main event later that morning !

Then it was the best section of the canal  - deep in the valley just the chug chug chug of Percy's engine to keep us company.

I walked to the tunnel with Rachel aboard Percy doing the technical bits....

So the tunnel. When we brought Sylph our share boat here some years ago we winded as she would not have done the tunnel. Before the gauge I thought we would have no problem. ... I did have doubts ....

The winding hole is a hundred yards or so  before the tunnel so if we bottled it now it meant a slow reverse back....nothing ventured etc, so with Rachel on the bow for a little extra steerage (gloves on and hood up - she was very brave as she does not like such environments ) and me on the back at tickover we went in. It was horrible. As close to pot holing in a narrowboat as can be experienced. I literally was crouched down peeping over the hatch feeling all the cobwebs hit my face trying to hold a line.... at one point I did consider stopping and reversing out as I was sure I was going to insert Percy into the gap like a cork in a bottle..... then the bow made sunshine and I duly followed with so much relief but instant concern for the return trip ! 

It was worth the effort, we watered up - which would help the return trip by lowering the bow a little more and locked down into the basin. It was pleasing to see two other boats had made the challenge, no doubt experts at the tunnel.

We then walked home !!

Part of my planning was to make this cruise as easy for us to swap crews and we were about a 20 minute walk to our cottage. So we did just that walked back and collected the car.

We had a quiet night after Rachel's run into Derby to see her mum. I stayed aboard and cleared the junk hole the  forecabin had become.

All in all a beautiful cruise and a fitting start to my reinvention as a non working member of society !

The return trip detail are next.....


Andy Gic said...

Great photo's especially Percy with the steam train... one for the cottage wall.

Nev Wells said...

Hi Andy,

Yes it'll certainly find a place somewhere. One I have planned for for some while so t was nice to get the mooring and get the train.

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser http://nbharnser.blogspot.com said...

Take your time lining up before you enter the tunnel coming back, you need to get the bum well to the left BEFORE the nose goes in.

Nev Wells said...

Hi Brian, we are back at our mooring now but your advice is wise. As I was so concerned I did what you have advised and pretty much stopped before the entrance and lined the boat up which meant as you advise getting the stern to the tow path before the bow was in the tunnel.

What I was not prepared for was an enthusiastic new crew and the turn from the basin lock plus the arrival of a trip boat .... made for an interesting 10 minutes !