Friday 30 August 2013

Harecastle tunnel

We are in pole position for the rush to be first through the tunnel today. Blue sky and sunshine outside, black inside I suppose. The tunnel we will use was closed in the 1970's to repair subsidence, but it is OK now we are assured, although haunted by "The Boggit". Maybe more on that later ? (Several men died during construction).There are1rail and 2canal tunnels, all interconnected by smaller service tunnels, which tend to give surprising visions as you pass. We are moored at the south tunnel entrance next to the UK's most Eco-friendly office building, built by Google seven years ago but never occupied. JCB ( of digger fame) aim to move -in soon apparently. 
The White House was built for the tunnel-keeper but is now a holiday-let

The one and a quarter miles of tunnel passed without incident, although it varies in height considerably and boy, is it cold in there. The damp cold gets through to your bones and the cold showers every once in a while do not help matters. It is also noisy when you consider there are three huge extractor fans and several boat engines running at the same time. The canal at this point resembles oxtail soup, because of the soil chemicals in this area apparently. 11 closely packed locks warmed us up somewhat, fortunately with the welcome help of two other boat crews. We stopped for lunch before tackling a similar number this afternoon. Who said boating is relaxing?

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