Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Tunnel Day.....we've done it!

The journey up the 32 locks was worth it as it is beautiful up here.  Plenty of good mooring and lots of walking places and just fantastic scenery.( I do realise that if it was pouring with rain I would not have been so eloquent about it!)  We just wish we had come up a couple of days earlier so we could have lingered a while.   It was just magical there




The village of Diggle
In a grassy open area just behind us are a series of stepping stones, every third one has an inscription in the manner of a snakes and ladder board.






All the way up the locks a very busy train line kept us company
About 9.30 Rick and Brian who were to be Geof'f's guides for the trip appeared and asked us to move up to the tunnel so we could be measured.......or rather Petroc could!




Diggle Portal

Rick pronounced that we could fit easily!!   Good job as the thought of having to turn around was not inviting.

Rick was to be Geoff's mentor and Brian would be in the support vehicle which shadows the boat  in the adjacent tunnel.

we had to wait for one boat coming the other way, and then 1/2 an hour for his fumes to die down in the tunnel, but they were off by 11.30

Getting togged up
Dig that hat, which Geoff said was very necessary as he hit it several times
here we go
Bye Bye Petroc....
Meanwhile Barney and I repaired to the nearby Wharf  Mill which has a lovely coffee shop whilst we waited for our number 184 bus to take up over the top.

Rick had briefed me on where to get off the bus to minimise my walk to the Marsden portal.  This worked well as I had my iphone with my maps so I could follow where we were...it would have been useless to depend on the bus driver as he hadn't a clue where I wanted to get off!
Looking down on the Marsden portal from where I alighted the bus
Rick's instructions were impeccable and I arrived at the Marsden Portal about 1/4 hour before Petroc and Geoff.   I checked in with the control room and discovered that they were past the last of the 4 emergency adits so it was good timing.




I think Geoff was still smiling.
It was a bit different from his trip through with Epiphany in 2010.  Then he was able to sit in the bow with Fi and generally watch the world, or the rock, go by.  This time it took a lot of concentration.   Sadly no pictures inside the tunnel as I was not brave enough to go through, but there are plenty on Epiphany's 2010 blog when Geoff travelled with them.
We then had a brief stop to collect our (Petroc's) certificate before moving down to the top of the locks.  We plan an early start tomorrow to try and reach Slaithwaite...now we have learnt that it is pronounced  slough it

Total distance:3.63 miles 
Elapsed time:2h37m22s  (Tunnel time approx 1 3/4 hours)
 Locks:0
Bridges:2 
Average speed:1.39 mph (1.39 lock/mph) 

4 comments:

nbEpiphany said...

Well done Geoff. An ambition achieved. Hope the east locks treat you well. Enjoy the scenery and isolation! From a very hot and busy T and M. ;( Fi x

Adam said...

It's a trip I'd love to do. One day, one day...
I'm interested that you didn't even have to take the cratch down. Is Petroc particularly low? And did you get away without any damage?

Gillian Lovegrove said...

We havent found any major damage yet.....

Petroc is not particularly low I dont think, but she measured well within the limits

The only thing we were advised to take off were the nav lights

Gillian Lovegrove said...

We havent found any major damage yet.....

Petroc is not particularly low I dont think, but she measured well within the limits

The only thing we were advised to take off were the nav lights