Friday, 4 May 2018

Jacaranda goes topless

They say that Poor Planning Prevents P**s Poor Performance which is why I carefully checked the height restrictions of the Harecastle tunnel some time ago.  7'6'' was the number I found and I measured the boat at 6'6'' so no worries.  Get to the tunnel entrance and the CRT tunnel keeper took one look at the boat and told me that the limit was 5'9''!!!!!!!!!!  We nudged up to the height guage over the entrance and yes, he was right.  It didn't help that with all the recent rain the water level was up 6 inches.  So what to do? It was the solar panel boxes that were the problem.  First thoughts were to remove them somehow but there would be nowhere to put them.  There was no way they would fit inside the boat.  The solution was to take the panels off and lay them down on the roof next to their wooden bases.  Sounds easy? Hah, an hour and a half later with much help from the tunnel keeper and we were ready and I'm glad we did it as the tunnel is incredibly low in places.  In fact while we were rebuilding the boat on the other side another boat came out and the guy on the helm had blood on his forehead - apparently he head butted part of the roof!
So we are moored just south of the tunnel now and plan to head up the Caldon, through Stoke on Trent tomorrow. The only problem might be more low bridges, still at least I can reverse away from them.  With the forecast, a nice country pub is the aim for Sunday.

Friendly tunnel keeper showing his carpentry skills.

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