Cruising Notes

We have had a bit of a strange winter, normally it's sort of calm and boring and we go and have our medical check-ups and sort out boat. However this year has been a little different. We had a bit of rain. There were a few flood warnings.

No folks, this was not photo-shopped. This was actually what happened. There as a little bit of carnage on the waterways and a few boats were lost.

As I remember it these are two separate rivers, the Severn and the Avon and you can just see the lock that is suposed  to join them in front of the building.

Some boats broke free and found the quickest route to the nearest weir.

Some just misjudged the situation. Getting stuck under a bridge is a hazard at the best of times, let alone on a swollen river.

All in all there was chaos. Marinas became rivers, Boaters were marooned on their boats still tied to their moorings as rivers rose, and some were even dropped on the bottom as lock keepers tried to lower booms to get the water out to sea and increase the river gradient. A lot of boats a few miles from us were grounded in order to save Cambridge from flooding. In general the rivers are still being kept low to drain the water table as much as possible.

So something approaching normality prevailed for about 3 weeks then it got cold. In this country freezing temperatures are considered cold and under -5C is very cold simply because it's unusual. My apologies to people in countries that get really cold (but I doubt they have a significant, live aboard, boating population).

Now cold is boring, but freezing fog produces beauty in nature. It was about -4C and foggy so we decided to cruise down to Ely. We had to un-freeze our mooring lines with a blowtorch as they were as hard as iron and had been knotted. Then we set off in varying visibility.


please note the front rope, still frozen.

However the reward was the next day as the sun shone.

So now we have a little bit of snow and the UK comes to a halt in snow as we, as a country, have never really learnt to deal with it. Snow tyres and snow shovels are almost unknown items and the results are predictable.

We are warm, and intend to stay that way. We have enough coal on the roof for the next six weeks at least. The river is flowing at a reasonable rate which makes it difficult to freeze. We are in good shape except that the outside boat maintenance is not getting done. Instead we have been planning and plotting (including this years cruise).

Anyway a short video to give you an idea of just how inventive boaters can be

Have fun and keep warm (if you are in the northern hemisphere).