Thursday, 28 April 2016

Through the tunnel to Etruria

Things went pretty much to plan today. We got away just after half seven, Sheila steering and the weather unseasonably cold. Indeed, there had been a light fall of snow in the night and it was still lying about as we set off. I had to be cautious crossing the gates of the stop lock with the snow lying on the foot boards. It's hard to believe that it's the first of May on Sunday.

It took an hour to the tunnel where we were alone, though followed by a boat that had worked up the locks on the T & M. There were no boats coming through from the South, so as soon as we'd had the abbreviated safety chat (since we'd been through already this year) we were clear to go. Sheila made a quick passage of it by our standards, just 39 minutes according to the tunnel keeper at the other end.

I made myself a coffee and started the washing machine while we were underground. The quick run along the summit pound got us to Etruria before half ten. We'd originally planned to shop at Sainsbury's this afternoon, but since there was plenty of time before lunch and the weather was due to deteriorate later, we went straightaway.

It's a little bit of a walk up hill to the store but no big deal, certainly not by Macclesfield standards. We got what we wanted and were back at the boat with quarter of an hour to spare before lunch. I relit the stove, which had had to be extinguished for the tunnel, and we stowed the goodies. Soup and sandwiches restored us physically and we've been taking it easy this afternoon.

Sheila has hung out the washing to dry and I had a shower, rejoicing in being able to warm the stern of the boat with the Webasto. The weather has indeed deteriorated markedly, raining cats and dogs and blowing with it. Hopefully it will have calmed down a bit by morning but it looks as though walking to the pub will be a soggy experience.

Ah well, all the more excuse for a roast dinner, winter grub for wintry weather. Tomorrow, down the Stoke locks, probably in the rain, to tie at Barlaston once more.

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