Friday, March 20, 2015

Whoever invented digital cameras, I thank you!

Otherwise I‘d have paid for the developing and printing of several dozen fuzzy, blurred, overexposed and unusable photos of this morning near total eclipse. I tried, I tried…

Set the aperture to minimum, that’ll be f8, then. Set the speed to the fastest possible, 1/3200. ISO 100. OK. Two tinted lens stuck together in front of the lens. Here we go…

Got some interesting cloudscapes… 08:14IMG_3825

I like this one with the jib of the wharf crane in the picture. No sign of the eclipse, though. And it’s started, 09:15IMG_3847

No idea what happened here! – 09:17

At the height of the eclipse, 09:33

It was also visible as a reflection in the canal. A bit more interesting, too.IMG_3865

A bit of a waste of time, really. I did get one good one, however…IMG_3884
Off the TV coverage, taken from a plane above the Faroe Islands!

Back down to earth, then. Having filled with water and disposed of the rubbish we took advantage of the empty lock left by a boat coming down. While the lock was filling this heavy load crossed the A34 bridge below.IMG_3888
Four tractor units and two multi-axle bogeys supporting the sledge carrying what looks like a huge transformer. ALE Heavy Lift.
There was a long queue of rather frustrated motorists behind…

We got good use out of Lock 42, a boat in each chamber going in opposite directionsIMG_3890
In the background the branch to the Macclesfield Canal heads over Poole Aqueduct.

Lock 41 is the last on the climb on the western side of the summit. We couldn’t use our normal technique of leaning on the cill while the lock was filling, those ridges prevent the fender from sliding up.IMG_3891
The chimney is down ready for Harecastle tunnel.

Hardings Wood Junction, the 1 mile branch heads back and over the main line to meet the Macclesfield Canal at Hall Green.


There was no one waiting when we arrived at the tunnel, and we were waved straight in after a short safety briefing. Following the death of a boater last year there is now a recommendation for the steerer to wear a life-jacket.
It’s likely that Mr Holgate banged his head on one of the lower sections near the middle of the 2926 yard long bore.

You do have to keep your head down…IMG_3902

…but the changes in profile are well marked.IMG_3901

Red-stained flowstone in one of the wetter sections.IMG_3903
We had a good run through, 37 minutes daylight to daylight.

Out into the sunshine again, looking back at the fan house which draws fresh air through the tunnel. It was built without air shafts.

Brindley’s original 1777 tunnel is on the far left. Subsidence has rendered it too low for navigation, the tunnel in use now was built 50 years later under the supervision of Thomas Telford.

We didn’t have much further to go, a mile saw us pulling up alongside Westport Lake.

Westport Lake moorings

There were a couple of boats here when we arrived, and another two moored up soon after us. But it’s not exactly busy.

We’ll move on to Etruria tomorrow.

Hi Jennifer, Peter. I'm doing the job myself, hiring a dry dock at Canal Cruising in Stone for a long weekend, Friday am to Monday am. When are you due over? There's a good chance we'll meet up somewhere.

Locks 3, miles 3¾


Sue said...

How on earth do you manage to take pics in a tunnel Geoff!

I am useless in tunnels!

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

I got a set of photo's of the eclipse just like yours. Could it be our technique at fault?