Just a quick post today otherwise I’ll never get the round up of last year written, a bedroom decorated and panto designed!
During the day we received two notices from C&RT. One from Damien regarding boating during lockdown. The 14 day rule has been suspended and only essential movement is allowed as it was during the lockdown in March. The biggest difference for boats in this lockdown is the weather.
On social media there are photographs of wonderful snowy white canal scenes, the occasional footage of boats breaking ice (preparing their hulls for blacking) and many a photo of cosy interiors with stoves glowing in the corner of the cabin keeping everyone toasty warm. I have to say I’m a touch envious.
However, this is very different to the first lockdown because of the temperatures. In March we made sure we were on a pound with everything we needed. But now I suspect we’d choose a mooring closer to a water point and road access for deliveries in case we got iced in. In winter you become more aware of what the weather may or may not do and plan accordingly, locked down or not! I suspect the moorings either side of Nantwich Junction Bridge are highly sought after, this is where we sat out the Beast from the East.
We hope everyone has found somewhere good to be for the coming weeks and that the heroes of the canals, the coal boats keep you stocked up with fuel of every variety.
Looking through the Coronavirus and boating FAQ section on the C&RT website I came across a section on the Boat Safety Scheme. Every four years your boat needs inspecting to check it meets current guidelines for safety. You can’t get your boat insured or licensed without an upto date certificate. Oleanna is due her first one this April. During Lockdown 1, C&RT gave people extensions to get their inspections done, but this time it’s different.
‘The Government guidelines are clear that those needing to access homes to carry out work can do so. Those needing a certificate should do their best to use a local examiner to minimise non-essential travel, and let us know if they are shielding or isolating so we can arrange an examination as soon as possible once it is safe to do so.’
The other email from C&RT is one sent to people moored on the Aire and Calder regarding the breach.
‘The navigation is being kept at a reduced level from Ferrybridge to Pollington to limit the amount of water flowing into the section below Pollington where the breach is located. Until a better solution for protecting the breach is developed and implemented it may be possible, by prior arrangement only, to lock craft upstream through Pollington, Whitley and Ferrybridge. This will have to be scheduled around water control operations and water level at the breach site. It is hoped to reinstate some user functionality from Whitley to Ferrybridge soon.’
So there may be a way off the pound where the breach is. But does this mean boats who are currently upstream of the breach can escape? Or that crafts can be locked upstream through Pollington Lock? Last night we read it as the former, this morning we’re not so sure.
However, Oleanna will be staying put. She has a mooring, we are in lockdown, the caisson stop gates are closed and we have nowhere else to moor her. So we continue to watch for news at the docks.