Saturday 9th June 2012
At last we're on the move again. This morning we climbed the final lock to the summit and moved along to the tunnel entrance to wait for permission to enter. This is the first time we've travelled from north to south in Harecastle Tunnel, and the last time we came through was before I fitted the top boxes. The tunnel keeper asked me to remove my bicycle from the top and then eyed up the boxes. His opinion was that they'd be OK, but the tunnel gauge at the entrance would say yea or nay.
There were 3 boats on their way through from the southern end and our wait would be about 40 minutes. The tunnel keeper did give me one piece of advice which I've never heard before, "keep your speed up in the tunnel, and it will help you to keep straight", I've always gone through at a normal throttle opening, which in a tunnel makes it a bit slow because of the limited area for the water to flow past the boat. This time I tried to go much faster and it seemed to work, the boat stayed straighter than normal and didn't require so much fighting with the tiller.
Our transit time was just about 35 minutes and we're now moored up at Etruria for the night, lovely surroundings, with a statue of Brindley for company.