After the longest break we have ever had from Herbie, we return this weekend with some trepidation. Did the calorifier (not drained) split open in the 16 degree frost they reported at Crick? Is the diesel tank full of condensation water? Is the starter battery flat? Oh it’s stressful having a boat.
Part of the reason we haven’t been cruising is of course the water situation. Should we be adding to the problem by going around wasting water through locks just to enjoy ourselves? Next week we plan to make our long postponed trip to Market Harborough and back, which means going down through Foxton locks and then back up them again 48 hrs later. Will the lockie frown upon us? I’m sure I shall feel guilty, but considering we haven’t moved for nearly 6 months, not too guilty.
As to the rest of the season, we’re finding very difficult to plan a long cruise because of various home and social commitments. How about the upper Thames – another long desired target? Hmm, crossing the Oxford canal summit which has restrictions, then the upper Thames itself. Quite shallow up there I reckon. Will the EA be closing locks? I reckon they might.
At present the most likely next cruise of any consequence after Market Harborough would be Stratford upon Avon in June. Six days and 96 locks each way at six hours a day according to canalplan. We might stretch it to three weeks. Always assuming there is a route through any stoppages.
Our plan to go to Chester will hopefully go ahead in September if there is any water to go on. At least by then the Shroppie will have less traffic than the summer hols, when it can get a bit manic if memory serves me right.
Don’t get a boat – you’ll have too many sleepless nights murmuring “what if . . “
Four Hours later
Aaaarghhh! Now I read on Canalworld forums unconfirmed reports that the lockies at Foxton are indeed asking people their reasons for descending the flight and if they only want to go down and come back a couple of days later, they are being asked not to do it. So that's that then. now what do we do? Restrictions to the right, restrictions to the left. At least we're on a 20 mile summit pound, so I suppose we can cruise up and down that and perhaps pop down to Welford (although Welford lock may be closed). This summer I can see us doing more camping and less boating.