An earlier than usual start, we arrived at the Harecastle Tunnel with the boat in a mess figuring there’d probably be a bit of a wait, needless to say we sailed straight through, not moaning about that though. The only boat heading south it was surprising to find only one waiting at the other end too. On past West Port Lake, the water began to wind round old potteries – a stretch full of interesting buildings, some worn out and forgotten and others on the up, Burleigh Pottery’s makeover seems to be finished now.
Even on the dampest of days there’s something about Etruria that seems to sparkle through the gloom, perhaps it’s the arm that leads off to the magical land of the Caldon or maybe it’s the edge of the earth sheer drop three locks – don’t know, but it always seems a good place to re-travel. Stoke came and went and was soon replaced by fields. Barlaston moorings are full with an interesting mix of boats curling their way along the piling. Heavy rain bought a burst of activity about half an hour ago – sliding hatches, banging doors and cratch cover zips – everyone disappeared into the world within their boat.