Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hanging around.

That’s what we seem to be doing at the moment. While there’s a threat of ice we don’t really want to be moving off the Llangollen Canal, and towards the end of the month the long-range forecast predicts another cold spell.

It actually works quite well; I’ve a half marathon at Oulton Park on the 8th March, so we’ll book into a marina for that weekend. The preferred spot seems to be Swanley Bridge Marina, we’ve stayed there a couple of times before. I can get a car out of Crewe, and the race course is only about 10 miles north. So we’ve three weeks to get back up to nearly the end of the canal again.

So after pottering about for a few days just out of town, we returned to Ellesmere today.

Where we’d stopped is a good spot. Very nearly deep enough, handy for the winding hole and with a dry grassy towpath. Apart from the molehills. They seem to be very industrious around here… Oh, and thanks to Lesley for pointing out that the little blighters can swim well, I was a little concerned for their welfare if they burrowed too close to the canal.Surprised smile

Leaving this morning.

It’s been a bit grey and damp these last two days, and today was much the same.

We only had a 15 minute cruise to the service wharf where we topped up the water and got rid of rubbish, then headed down the arm, winded at the end and tied up.

Turning round at the end of the Ellesmere Arm, probably the last time this winter.IMG_3565

We’ll stay here tomorrow, I’ve an 11 miler to do in the morning so I’ll need a lie down afterwards…

Although we’ve been hanging around a bit, we still meet the Continuous Cruising “Guidance for Boaters Without a Home Mooring” This controversial document seeks to establish ground rules for mooring on the canal network, but is considered by many to be too vague and open to interpretation to be workable. Notably, those who live aboard but also need to stay “local” for school and work are deemed to be in breech of the guidelines if they don’t move out of the neighbourhood, It’s the term neighbourhood that is open to confusion, as it’s not clearly defined.

Now, I’m not going to get into a debate about the rights and wrongs of those who choose a canal-based lifestyle merely to be able to live cheaply and work in a major city, although it’s obvious that some boaters seem to take advantage of the existing confusion.

In order to address this issue, the C&RT has recently released a Policy Statement. It still fails to clearly define the central question of what is a neighbourhood. But what it does do is recognise that these are often local problems and that a central solution is not appropriate. The burden of control of moorings is thrown back into the lap of the local offices and Enforcement Officers. The policy states, somewhat optimistically, that
“…if you are worried about your range of movement, or want to know more about what else you need to do to comply with our guidance, please speak to your local enforcement officer (or contact your local Trust office). In many cases, making some small adjustments to a cruising pattern is enough to meet our guidance, while in other cases taking up a home mooring may be more appropriate.”
I can see that happening, eh.

Locks 0, miles ½

1 comment:

Tom and Jan said...

Don't let SBM sink your boat Geoff!