Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Just to let you know we’re still here…

Nothing much happening I’m afraid. But it looks like things are stirring a little, with the government starting to ease the lockdown restrictions. CRT have followed this by allowing limited boat travel.

Those who have a permanent moorings can visit their craft and even go on a short out and back cruise from today, and from Saturday those of us who live aboard are let off the leash and can cruise, short distances for a start, but not restricted to travel for key services only.
On June 1 all restrictions should be lifted and normal cruising is anticipated to be possible. A lot can happen between then and now though. Fingers crossed.

At the moment sections of the northern canal network have chained-up locks to prevent unauthorised access in order to save water after the dry spring. But these are not the only canals with water supply issues. The Panama Canal is also having problems.

The 51 mile canal, crossing the isthmus (fine word, that) between the Caribbean and the Pacific opened in 1914 and has recently undergone improvements to allow larger vessels to use the waterway. Each lock on the 86-foot climb to the summit level at Lake Gatun uses a massive 22 million gallons of water to fill, although the use of side-ponds (like Watford and Foxton on the Leicester Line) reduce the water consumption a little. Compare that to our Lilliputian locks, broad ones take around 53,000 gallons, narrows only around 31,000.

Lower than average rainfall and higher than normal temperatures mean that the lake’s level is dropping, and restrictions on vessel sizes and surcharges have had to be introduced.

Miraflores Locks at the Pacific end of the canal.

That’s it for now, we’re keeping in touch with the northern branch of the family using Zoom, the Midlands branch by phone. All well, so far.

Keep well, TTFN.

Locks 0, miles 1


Tom and Jan said...

Hi Geoff,

I've passed through the Panama Canal (twice) back in the 1950's when my father was transferred to the UK for three years. Back then the peasants travelled by sea as air was far too expensive :-) Oh, I noticed your blog list has the wrong address for our blog. We went back to using the blogger address after I decided not to pay for a personal domain name. We're now

Stay safe as the UK COVID19 response plan concerns me!


Carol said...

Glad to hear that you're both still here Geoff, and that you're both well. Take care. xx

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Tom, Jan
I reckon the canal is a bit bigger now, at least the locks are! Have changed the link address, ta. It's a bit of a balancing act, with this virus, between the economy and public safety. We'll only know who did right and who did wrong when it's all over, I guess. Keep well.
Hi Carol. Yes we're fine, a little bored but we should be able to get going again soon. I see you've a new view now. I bet you're missing the bird watching!