June 25th/26th 2011 – Guests on board

Having gotten the train from Woking in Surrey, we met with Shell Bell at Stoke-on-Trent in the early afternoon. After a swift cup of tea & a tour of the boat for Claire, we were on our way, heading North towards the Harecastle Tunnel. Having never done a lock before, Claire was thrown in at the deep end as we immediately had to navigate our way up through the 5 locks at Stoke. Thankfully Sheila, now an expert at the locks, was able to pass on her knowledge & (somewhat surprisingly…) Claire soon got the hang of it!

The knowledge being passed on

By the end of the day we moored up about half a mile from the south entrance of the Harecastle Tunnel. As guests we were then treated to a lovely homemade cottage pie, a few beers & some fishing, even Claire managed to catch!

Ben in fishing mood

On Sunday we woke early for some more fishing & breakfast, then at half 9, we trundled to the tunnel, where we were greeted by the tunnel keeper who told us what to do in the event of a breakdown inside the tunnel. The tunnel is 2897 yards long & took about 45 minutes to travel through, it was also very cold! After the tunnel we branched off the Trent & Mersey canal to join the Macclesfield canal, which took us back over the Trent & Mersey via an Aquaduct.

entrance to the Harecastle tunnelinto the tunnel we go

By midday we stopped for a healthy lunch of bacon & sausage sandwiches. Claire was finding the canal life tougher than expected & had to ‘rest her eyes’ for a while!

yet another crew member dosn't last the distance

After lunch we carried heading north through Congleton, the 12 locks at Bosley & eventually moored at Gurnett Aquaduct, where we headed to the Sutton Hall pub for some well earned dinner!

Norwyn set the crayfish trap in the evening, using some sweetcorn as bait, & by the morning two adults & one baby had fallen in!

crayfish trapped yes Andy Lawrence it does work

Ben & Claire – Guest Bloggers!

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