Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hey, Nicholson's - you missed out this tunnel!

We're coming to the end of the Rochdale Canal now, having tied up in Sowerby Bridge just above Tuel Lane Lock this afternoon. I shall be sorry to leave this canal; yes, it's been hard work, but the scenery has more than made up for it. And the showers of rain haven't been too terrible, and they've certainly kept the canal topped up. I love locks anyway!

Some of the best views were as we looked back. This is as we left Hebden Bridge.

As we approached Sowerby Bridge I saw what looked like a tunnel coming up. There was nothing in Nicholson's to suggest this. It was indeed a tunnel, and over the portal was an ominous "left bend ahead" sign. You have no time for you eyes to adjust to the difference in light level before the bend. You wouldn't want to meet anything here; a collision would be hard to avoid. Thankfully the tunnel isn't very long, but it must bend at least 45 degrees. Interesting!

Here's another "looking back" view. I'm going to have to do this canal again, but in the other direction so I can see what I missed the first time round.

Three hours after leaving Hebden Bridge we arrived at the lock landing for Tuel Lane Lock. We could go no further as passage down the lock and through the tunnel (another bendy one) has to be booked. I'd booked this morning, so we're in the 0900 slot. We should be down straight away as the lock is full and there is just one other narrowboat on the lock landing.

I omitted to take any photos of the deep lock, so I'll have to make amends tomorrow. It's an inch or two short of 20 feet drop, and is reckoned to be the deepest lock on the system. Immediately after the lockie-controlled descent (all crew has to remain on board throughout) you're into the tunnel under Tuel Lane. One side is town; the other is countryside. You pop out just above locks 2 and 1, then it's the Calder and Hebble Navigation.

The Calder runs through Sowerby Bridge; a kayaking slalom course has been set up.

I was hoping these paddlers would shoot the rapids lower down, just the other side of the road bridge, but they went the other way.

After an excellent meal in the Wetherspoon's pub (the Commercial Inn) (Tuesday steak night) we returned to Jubilee where boaters Les and Ursula of Clemency joined us for a drink. They are moored below the locks; their daughter was in our son's class in the village First School.

(l-r: Jan, Halfie, Les, Ursula)
You can't see is directly in the photo, but I had lit the fire (the first time since reblacking it). It is August, after all. The giveaway is the blurred blade of the ecofan.

David and Penny should be joining us tomorrow afternoon; it will be good to see them.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I was caught out by that tunnel too and I DID meet another boat! Starcross still bore the marks when I sold her!