A few days ago we decided to ask about our recorded sightings for the last year. C&RT have number checkers who walk the towpaths and record the position of boats along the navigation. Your position is identified to a particular kilometer. This is so that they can check you are moving in accordance to the terms and conditions of your licence. As Continuous Cruisers we need to move every 14 days to a new place and be on a bona fide navigation, not just going back and forth in one area.
We’ve never worried about covering enough miles to satisfy our licence. Last year we covered 1199 miles and so far this year we’ve achieved 120, some boats struggle to cover 20 miles in a 12 month period. So at times we get referred to as Proper Continuous Cruisers.
Our request was put in out of interest and returned a few days later, the last time we did one was when we were on NB Lillyanne in 2015.
It’s interesting where you don’t get number checkers. In 2015 we had no sightings at all on the Huddersfield Narrow or Broad Canals (even though we’d booked to go through Standegde Tunnel), yet we got spotted twice in one day on the Erewash Canal.
Our report this time misses out our trip up the Stainforth and Keadby Canal even though we booked to go through Cromwell and Keadby Locks. No sightings either on our way to or from Sheffield, the flight into the city also has to be booked. We were then picked back up at Goole.
Periodic sightings on our way over the Rochdale Canal to late April, but then nothing until we reached Rugby at the beginning of June. From here there are sightings down into London and then Hanwell before we headed onto the River Wey and Thames which are not Canal and River Trust waters, so we disappeared for a couple of months.
On the Kennet and Avon we were spotted at regular intervals, three times whilst cruising. I don’t remember the notes on whether we were moored or cruising back in 2015. The number of sightings on the K&A wasn’t surprising as it’s a popular canal with mooring difficulties. There were rumours when we were there, that the local boaters know when the number checker will be round, so they move onto a 48 hr mooring shortly after the checker has been through. Their number is checked the following week and they push off early the next week before they get checked again. This enables them to stay in one place for two weeks and not just the 48 hrs!
The next sightings were once Mick got off the Thames in November and we were stranded between Oxford and Thrupp for a while due to flooding. Whilst we were there we talked to the local Enforcement Officer and our over stay was allowed.
No sightings during December and we’ve only been spotted twice since we’ve been in Birmingham.
All very interesting for us.