Today’s weather was markedly more pleasant than yesterday. The temperature was barely warmer, but the wind had eased and the sleet kept away. The view from the breakfast table over the Cheshire Plain was one of the things that attracted me to this mooring.
We’d passed Ramsdell Hall Railings four times before on Bartimaeus. Each time I’d thought we should moor there, but we had a reason to press on. I was intrigued by the unusual fence. Like so many things on the canal-side it doesn’t justify a long trip, but if you happen to be right there…
The sign doesn’t explain why there is a fence here, or why the posts were shaped the way they were, but it does confirm that I’m not the only one to take an interest.
To get any further south we will have to go through the Harecastle Tunnel. According to the Canal and River Trust website, bookings have to be made 48 hours in advance. Slots are only available southbound at 8am and 10am. If I had noticed in time, we could have booked for this morning and headed for the entrance yesterday.
Initially annoyed not to have booked earlier, I hatched the improved plan. Leaving the marina northbound yesterday, made the pump-out easier. Today we went on a mile or so before turning in a winding hole. We then returned south to the stop lock at Hall Green and moored up just before the Red Bull Aqueduct for lunch. This would all have been less pleasant in yesterday’s weather.
After lunch, we walked ahead to the northern portal of the Harecastle Tunnel to see what the mooring options were. There was plenty of space, so I went back for the boat. Meanwhile Clare and Bryn went to the supermarket (other supermarkets are available). They rejoined me just as I had finished mooring up near the portal. We had a chat with another boater who had arrived behind us. That stopped abruptly when the hailstones started. We dashed inside pleased with our lucky timings yet again.