On Thursday morning we left Mow Cop behind and made a slow cruise to Hardings Wood junction, turning right and mooring on the rings outside the Harecastle tunnel ready for our passage on friday.
Bright and early the C&RT boys turned up and after a short delay we were waved into the tunnel. Harecastle tunnel is 1 3/4 miles long and is narrow with very limited headroom. Going south there is no light at the end of the tunnel! As you aproach the end you can hear a roaring noise (This is a big extractor fan which removes the fumes) and two steel doors open letting you out into, hopefully, the sunshine. On this occasion it was murk. The trip through Stoke on Trent is punctuated with the remains of the pottery industry for which it is famous. There are a few factories still in operation and the bottle kilns, now cold and stark, remind you of past glories.
By mid afternoon we had negotiated the five Stoke locks and the rain had started, so as we aproached Trentham lock it was decided to call a halt, and we moored up as the rain turned to a downpour.
Much brighter this morning for the journey into Stone where we are moored close to the town for the weekend.