Whenever we journey northwards from Stone or we are coming southwards towards Stone there is an unwritten rule on
“Thou shalt stop at Barlaston for Sunday lunch”
Without missing a beat the schedule is always backtracked from Sunday at Barlaston to where we happen to be and the intervening days divided up into chunks of travel to meet the end result.
And so it passed this past few days – we were moored outside the Trafford Centre a few days ago – at least it seems like it was only a few days ago – and the notepad is out, the canal planner is out – by Tuesday we need to be at such and such a place; and similar for Wednesday and Thursday and the rest.
|no more side trips my lovely - we are not going down onto|
|amazingly there was not a single boat moored on the 24hr|
moorings up at Anderton and only one on the 48hr ones
|Lifeboat pod in the marina yard at Northwich - I think Diane|
just took the photo to include the guy on the right
|keep to the right lest you meet the same fate !|
And now here we are in Stoke having travelled 80 lock-miles in the last few days – but by golly we are on schedule – the captain says so.
|approaching the area of the breach at Dutton|
|inside Harecastle tunnel...|
|this is the 9th time through but the first photos we have taken|
|very pleased to see this as we filled up with water - out of the tunnel|
Now we can relax just a bit – only 6 miles and 6 locks to go – and then we can make it back to base after Sunday – after the roast lunch.
Despite the miles and locks, it has been a bit of fun – working through them all and looking forward to the end of the travelling day – back into a routine going through them all.
|some lovely person has (or people have) crocheted hearts...|
|... and flowers and put them on the lock gates along the Cheshire Locks|
She does the locks that are close together and I do the ones that are much further apart – there is some centralised theory of the conservation of lock-mile momentum – all I know is that my legs are tired by the end of it.
|as you can see these two locks are close together - so it was my|
turn to steer and Diane's turn to do the locks
Anyway, late in our journey today came another of her classic comments –
Diane had control of the tiller and I was lounging around on the back deck keeping out of her way.
I must give the precursor to all of this by our experiences on the Lancaster canal last month – she was terrified of all of those cruisers – not so much that they would hit us but from what she could do to them with 17 tonnes of steel hitting fibreglass – but back to today – along the nice straight from the Harecastle down to the lake there is a bit of a dog-leg and we were a bit away from it when around the corner appears a cruiser – there is immediate consternation about it and I said to her that she could handle it OK – it was a wide enough stretch of canal – the reply was that she had the "wrong shoes" to take on the responsibility of not hitting it.
Now I am concerned that the shoe industry is missing a tremendous opportunity with the huge need for cruiser-tackling footwear. Even if we were to find it, I would not be certain that it will be in her size or the right colour to go with the rest of the outfit – what a crises!!
44 miles, 36 locks, 4 tunnels
Totals: 1835 Miles, 1367 Locks, 60 Tunnels, 29