Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Tunnel

We walked round Westport Lake early in warm sunshine after an overnight snow fall. We saw pieces of old pottery on the shore line looking like sea shells. There were a few water birds about like ducks, moorhens, coots, tufted ducks, geese, swans and others.
We set off to our appointment with British Waterways to travel through the 2 mile Harecastle Tunnel. It opens at 11:30 but the boat which went earlier was able to pass through.
We then had to wait an hour for two working boats to come through from the other end! The old tunnel had sunk in the middle so much of our roof ‘furniture’ was removed. At one point we had to squat down to avoid hitting our heads. After about 45 minutes we emerged at the other end. It was a bit noisy with the ventilation fans on full blast and it was just pitch-black looking back.
The water at the northern end was red with iron which coated many of the following locks. Some of the locks were doubles so we made good progress with our two boats.
In two days we had got down to Hassal Green, having done 18 locks in over 8 miles. We have earnt our Sunday day of rest.

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