Friday, 18 September 2009

September Cruise - Day Eight

Quite a productive day today. We set off just after 8, and were soon back in the outskirts of Stoke. We soon passed Windsong, and said hello to Roger and Pip. We saw them a couple more times during the morning.

We raised the Ivy House Lift Bridge, went through, put it down for some pedestrians to cross, and raised it again for a single hander. We moored up on some excellent new moorings (although currently in the middle of a building site) just through the bridge, so our friends Brian and Mike could walk the couple of hundred yards to Enterprise Rent a Car, to get back to their car at Norbury Junction.

We carried on to Etruria and carried on north. We stopped for diesel and a pump out at the very convenient wharf at Festival park Marina. At the next bridge, which is blind and on a bend, we saw the bow of a boat and heard a horn. Adrian was at the tiller and put us into reverse. But the Anglo Welsh boat coming towards us failed even to slow down, and hit us pretty hard. Adrian suggested in strongish terms that slowing down might have been a good idea, to which the man on the tiller replied that he'd sounded his horn! A few further words were exchanged, to go along with the green Anglo Welsh paint the boat had donated to us.

The Trent and Mersey seemed very wide after the confines of the Caldon. The site of the Shelton steel works is pretty sad, having been cleared and left. The moorings at Westport Lake looked pleasant, and wildlife was plentiful. But we carried on to the Harecastle Tunnel. We had a wait of forty minutes or so, which gave a good opportunity to look round the site and chat to the tunnel keeper. He asked us to take a pair of garden shears to the keeper on the other side.

Realising there was a washing machine at the Red Bull services, we bought a BW card. Then it was our turn to head through the tunnel. The doors really do clang shut behind you, and there really is a haze inside. But we could see the other end virtually all the way through. The journey took just under 40 minutes. We've seen the orange coloured water in photos, but its orangeness still took us by surprise. We dropped down two lock, and moored in the Red Bull pound, about a hundred yards inside Cheshire (which I think means we're now in the north). We found the BW service block and started some washing. While waiting for it to finish, we walked up to the aqueduct, and down to the Red Bull pub for a drink.

12 miles, 6 locks. (97, 68)

1 comment:

Simon said...

sounds like the very bridge where I had a similar incident - my own timidity at what I saw to be a blind bridge from my side was proved useful, as after sounding my horn to no answer I headed through only to have to reverse out of the way of a speeding monstrosity, who accused me of not sounding my horn early enough. I pointed out I hadn't heard there's at all, and they replied 'well we didn't sound it' as if that was perfectly reasonable...