Day 8

Sunday – another R&R day waiting to go through the tunnel. I can’t believe that we are 1 week into the trip – we’ve done so much already I need to keep looking back at the photies to remind myself.Breakfast was from the Watersedge cafe here at the tunnel entrance and very nice it was too.

A couple of walks into Marsden to the store. Sharon is preparing chicken tikka masala from scratch for supper – I don’t know how she does it with such limited preparation/cooking facilities ⭐️ 

I’ve been looking anxiously at the tunnel roof height and WYVERN’s air draft – I don’t think there’s going to be much room to spare but 🤞she fits through. 

I have a Standedge tunnel canal brass plaque to join the others on the rear door but I’m not mounting it until we are safely through so as not to tempt fate. Us boaty types are very superstitious 🔮

A very pleasant surprise and added “Brucey Bonus” is that we can go through under our own power. I had assumed we got pulled through by the electric tug.

The last 2 days have been a welcome and much needed rest but we are restless to be on our way tomorrow so as to make our rendezvous at Heritage Narrowboats by May 5.

The weather forecast is for rain all day tomorrow ☹️hey ho! At least it will be dry(ish) in the tunnel.

Trains!

Ever since leaving Riddlesden the canal has been followed by one railway line or another. Every overnight mooring we have heard the sounds of passing trains either in the distance as on the Aire & Calder or very close like here in Marsden/Standedge tunnel. It’s obvious really given the geography of the valleys where transport makes use of the natural passages through the hills and favourable contours (the Grand Contour of J F Pownell at 310 feet above sea level is a special example). Anyway, if you come this way be prepared for the noise of passing trains in the night. Looks like we will be ok on the Macclesfield canal as the rail line there is dismantled 😄

Day 7 – a day of rest

A really useful rest and maintenance day today.Got lots of little jobs done on the engine and cleared a load of rubbish from around the propeller.

Sharon had time to sort and organise the inside storage and “stuff” so we feel a lot more “together”. Agreed to have at least 1 rest day per week.

James dropped in as he was already in Huddersfield just down the road from us and joy of joys collected a bag of laundry which will be dropped off to us next weekend all fresh and clean. Perfect!

The very nice Canal & River Trust lady at Standedge Tunnel has allowed us to moor up at the tunnel entrance this evening which is a great help not least because that’s where the water point is and we were getting a bit low.

It also gives us pole position for going through the tunnel on Monday as we need to keep to schedule to arrive at Heritage Narrowboats marina at the end of the Macclesfield canal on Friday 5 May where we are booked to stay while we go to a family bash in Wolverhampton that weekend.

Thanks also to Tony & Pete (really nice guys)who run the Marsden Shuttle for helping out with our mooring.

Tempus Fugit.

Arrived at Standedge tunnel

The reports of the lock gate damage were much exaggerated and we were able to pass through with ease and have arrived safely at Standedge tunnel well ahead of our booked slot on May 1. Having checked with C&RT there is no chance of going through early so we will spend a relaxing and “sorting” couple of days moored up in Marsden. Already spotted the pub😄Today’s challenge was the low water levels in the pounds – several times WYVERN got grounded and we had to let water down from locks above to float her off and to get into lock chambers. Lock 33E was a particularly tricky one.

Despite this we made very good time and arrived in Marsden at 1pm having started off at 7am.

I’m very pleased with the frugal diesel consumption still have 3/4 tank full. Our domestic water may become an issue as we can’t top up until we are actually moored at the tunnel entrance and that won’t be until 5pm on Sunday. It should be ok but showers have already been taken just in case 😱

Handy boating tip: lay your side fenders on top of the gunnels before doing this stretch a couple of the locks are so narrow that you will get jammed in the lock entrance if you don’t 😱