Thursday, 30 June 2011

All 'ell at Ellesmere

The Ellesmere Tunnel looks innocent enough in the Nicholsons Guide, a mere 87 yards underneath a main road. But the entrance to it is on a 90 degree corner so it's completely blind and - as you discover only when you get there - it's strictly one-way!
And, of course, there was a boat coming. I'd dropped Vicky off to take a peek into the tunnel as soon as I saw the problem but, too late, the boat was almost out. I tried to reverse but was already turning in so the boat came back on the left (or wrong) side of the canal. And there, despite my efforts, it stayed - stuck.
Eventually the other boat came past me on his wrong side but by now three other boats had formed up behind me on the correct side so the exit gap was narrowing. And another boat was on its way through the tunnel. As they tried to get out between us all, they got stuck! So now two of us - one facing each way and on the wrong side - were stuck and blocking the whole tunnel.
And another boat was coming through.
I finally managed to reach my pole and pole us back across to the correct side, helped by some Germans on a hire boat (we is it always the Germans who take charge - same thing happened on our cruise a couple of years back) and everyone struggled free and got on our way.
All a bit of fun but, to be honest, a BW warning sign advising that the tunnel was one-way and blind might have been a good idea.

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