While I'm on the subject of tunnels and things which go wrong in them, I don't think I have told this story before.
Day 12 of my retirement cruise on Shadow saw us on a cold April morning heading south through Husbands Bosworth Tunnel. The fire is lit, there's light at the end of the tunnel, and all is well with our little bit of the world.
*** BANG! ***
Something was round the prop. Oo-er! This hasn't happened to me in a tunnel before.
I cut the engine. Fortunately the boat had sufficient momentum - just - to drift out of the tunnel. I steered, sort of, by pushing the back end away from the tunnel walls. Once out of the tunnel we drifted conveniently to the bank. So now it was down the weed hatch for me, and fill the kettle for Jan. (To pour hot water into the weed hatch, of course.)
To protect my arm against the cold I wrapped it in a bin liner. This acted like a wetsuit, a thin one, but it made a difference. I tied string round all the tools I attacked the debris with, so that I could retrieve them if I dropped them because of the numbing cold.
I think you can see how cold I was!
... and stopped for a hot coffee.
Then I resumed sawing and pulling and turning and cutting and getting cold, until ...
... eventually ...
... at last ...
... at long last ...
The time of the above photo: 13:17.
Three hours is what it took. Three c o l d hours.
Oh, and before you ask, no, they were not our pipe fenders.