Thursday, 23 June 2016

No mobile phone signal in Harecastle Tunnel

And why should there be, you ask? We all know that mobile phone signals struggle to penetrate buildings and boats sometimes, let alone hills and tunnels. But since the death of a boater in Harecastle Tunnel a couple of years ago things were supposed to change. The waterways press reported that CRT was installing repeaters to enable emergency calls to be made from within the tunnel. The tunnel keeper on duty at the south end told us that, despite a successful initial trial, the technology has not worked. And then there is the question of what constitutes an emergency. The tunnel keepers have been told that a breakdown in the tunnel is not an emergency, and the system of blasts on the horn is to continue.

We left our mooring near the facilities at Etruria just after 0900 and stopped after a couple of hundred yards at the gas place (13kg for £19.43). At the tunnel we were 20 minutes too late for the convoy going our way, so we topped up with water and waited.

To add interest, Admiral class Effingham came along.

The young owner has had the boat only since the beginning of the year and has been working on fitting out the back cabin. The boat looks in very good condition; the owner is saving up for cloths. The gunnels look to have been made to take the blue fibreglass covers that other Admiral class and River class boats have, but the hoops and blue tops don't go together.

The tunnel is sporting a new profile gauge .

When the time came to go through we were the lead boat and did it in half an hour. We stopped just below the first lock to go to Tesco; I took the opportunity to cycle to Home Bargains. Then we made good progress down the locks, tying up for the night above Pierpoint Locks. Here Jan is steering into Lock 51.

Well, the polls have closed, we hope our postal votes arrived in time to be counted, and this time tomorrow we should know our relationship to the European Union. We shall not be listening to Jim Naughtie and Carolyn Quinn all night; tomorrow morning we should have a good idea of the result.

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