Thursday, June 26, 2008

A bit of sanding, a bit of painting, a bit of cruising....

We spent a couple of semi-productive days on the mooring above New Marton Locks.
Tuesday we spent on Corbiere, stripping the paint off the left cabin side. Yesterday the weather turned against us, wet and windy till mid afternoon. So we rewired Carol’s tunnel light so she can switch it on from the rear control panel, instead of having to dash through the cabin as she approaches a tunnel!

Later the weather improved, so I took a chance and got the second and final coat of black gloss on the left side below the gunwale on Seyella. Just a bit of touching up on the red on the bow and that’ll do for the next few months.

Today we decided to move on, heading down to Frankton Junction with a plan to turn onto the Montgomery Canal tomorrow. Carol was out of essentials, so went for a walk up to St Martins, while we shoved off down to the locks. As soon as we set off it started to rain, but we had an easy passage through the 2 locks, boats were leaving both locks as we approached, and there were others waiting to come up as we left. So we were through after just 40 minutes.

The rain was now coming on quite heavily, and the wind had picked up. So we called it a day just below the lock. I don’t get any joy out of cruising in wet, windy weather.

I see BW have issued a warning about drinking water in the Northampton area. It’s going to be a bit of a pain for boaters having to boil all their water. But at least they can move their homes into unaffected areas....

“Boiling of Drinking Water in Northampton, Daventry and West of Daventry

Wednesday 25 June 2008 until further notice

Anglian Water customers in the Northampton, Daventry and west of Daventry areas are advised to boil drinking water before use. **Please take note of this when using any waterpoints in these areas.**
Only once drinking water has been boiled and allowed to cool should it be used for drinking, preparing food or cleaning teeth. This advice also applies to pets.
For more information, visit

Enquiries: 01908 302500

More stoppages on this waterway:

You can find all stoppages at the url below:”

The problem apparently relates to a water treatment plant at Pitsford, although the water authority haven’t yet isolated the cause. BBC Northamptonshire story here.

And my heart goes out to the 15 year old girl who had her legs trapped by a swing bridge on the Ashton Canal in Droylsden, Manchester. She has lost both limbs below the knee as a result. This happened last Friday, and BW have launched an investigation. The Daily Mail has the story here.

One thing that worries me is the implication in the quotation

“They [swing bridges] are locked and can only be opened with a special key, which is issued to all boaters.”

I don’t know whether this bridge is locked with a BW “Watermate” key, or a handcuff key which is more common in the area. But both of these are readily available from boatyards and chandlers, so are not as the article seems to imply, the sole preserve of the boating community.

Watermate Key and Handcuff Key, both readily available to boaters and non boaters.In fact, during our trip down the Rochdale, several of the security devices on the lock gates had been cut off or broken. And of course, the accident begs the question of how far BW can go to ensure the safety of the public. The Health and Safety Act uses the phrase “Reasonably Practicable”. In the final analysis, people have to take responsibility for their own actions.

Locks 2, miles ¾

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