Day 15

Last night I thought I’d done seen of the eight locks at Stone, but this morning their were still two left. Then one at Barlaston and four at Stoke, though lost count and thought I’d done five. Most of them I met someone coming down either just leaving the lock, or waiting to enter when I left so not too much work.

After a cool start it was getting quite hot by the time I reached Stoke, so I found a spot for lunch and a snooze, then on the Harecastle Tunnel. The tunnel is too narrow to pass a boat coming the other way and too long and curved to see one coming so for efficiency CRT operate a one way system, north in the morning and south in the afternoon. So nothing for it but another rest, I’m scheduled to be first boat through tomorrow at 08.00.

I finally got around to washing one side of the boat once the sun had gone down somewhat. The other side will have to wait until I moor the other way round!

After the tunnel tomorrow it’s only a very short distance to the Hardings Wood Junction where I will turn right onto the Macclesfield canal. Never been that way before. The alternative is to go straight on to the Bridgewater then follow that into Manchester, but I grew up close to the Bridgewater and cruised it in 1984 so the Macc will be a change. There are some partial lock closures though so I hope I can time it right…

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