Friday, August 25, 2006

Support from Government

Once again it seems that government investment in our valuable rivers and canals is about to be reduced. Those of us who use the 'navigation' will be expected to pay even more. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have apparently mismanaged our hard earned taxes which will cause a severe loss of subsidy to the Environment Agency and British Waterways.

Please do write to your MP to complain after you have confirmed this situation yourself.

BW and EA will be suffering yet more redundancies so be sympathetic to their workers as it was not their fault.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Two Items


We are keeping in touch through the internet with friends and family. Many other boaters use it to write 'Blogs'. A way of writing a diary for anybody to read. A hi tec 'tow path telegraph'. It is also a source of information, education and entertainment. The navigation authorities have their web sites which tell us about current problems and we can quickly report back any problems we encounter. There are 'News' pages which we often read about boating issues. Our boat was recently featured in a picture taken by Sue as we encountered a low bridge in Bedford. The owners of the narrowboat 'Ramys Home' write a 'Blog' and we have met them at St. Noets.

Environment ?

Have just found out that most of the 'plastic' cruisers on the river have 'sea toilets' ! That means it cannot be safe to swim in the river anywhere near them ! This is why there are so few facilities to dispose our 'Elsan' cassette contents ! We have only coped so far by carefully planning our trips between the facilities. Water is thankfully readily available. It is a quite 'medieval' attitude on the Environment Agency's part to even allow it to happen. After all, towns and cities have to make sure that only pure water is returned to the rivers. Next year the Inland Waterway Association are organising a large boat gathering at St. Ives next year and those boaters will be needing proper facilities. And we wonder how they will all get there knowing that access and facilities are very limited between Peterborough and Denver.

Friday, August 18, 2006

CD Recording

While at St. Noets I have created a CD with 22 tracks copied from my collection. I used Microsoft Media Player to create a 'Play List'. Then used a 'Screen Snatcher' to print the label for the CD. At first the CD would only play in the computer. The CD player rejected CD RW disk that I had used. Then I 'burnt' (recorded) a Write Once Read Many (WORM) CD which did play in the CD player.

Technical: The Audio files on a CD cannot be copied directly. WMP copies the data to a file on the computer then converts them back to record your selected tracks on the CD.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Wind in the Willows

After that event we went back to Bedford marina to tidy up, use the facilities and stock up at Tesco.

Priory Marina

The summer has gone for a while. Our trip back to Great Barford was accompanied by strong winds and cloud. Many of the willows were bending over, reducing height, and some had fallen in the river. We made our way round them carefully as they had reduced the navigation to half its normal width. Easy going down that deep lock at Castle Mill then through another past 'R Island' and arrived to find several cruisers on the GOBA mooring. We took on water by the Anchor Inn and moved up to settle down in the shelter of the trees at the EA moorings. Wont be lighting up the Barby to night!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Return to explore

Having attempted to get to the end of navigation at Bedford on the river Ouse we turned round and stayed in the marina. We have enjoyed 'discovering' the rivers of East Anglia including the Nene. Now we return to 'explore'.

'R' Island

We had discovered this mooring on the way up river just south of Great Barford. We stopped again and set up camp with Sue & Vic's family. We got both boats in past the weed into a secluded spot surrounded by trees. Set up the tents and lit the B B Q just before it rained! So we packed up the tables and chairs and ate inside. It seems such a shame that the school holidays missed most of the hot weather last month.

Weed collecting

The weed cutting machines have been busy between Bedford and Great Barford and the operators kindly agreed to clear the weed from our mooring spot provided by the Environment Agency.

Tent city

The mid summer family gathering assembled at Great Barford. We arrived a day early as the weed cutters were clearing the weed down stream. Filled up with water and got a delivery from Tesco on board. Then moved over and set up camp. Over the weekend we had 3 tents set up and 17 people including 6 children and one great grand mother arrived. Plenty of activities for the children were supervised by adults and organised by the eldest child. The whole event was enjoyed in warm sunshine with B B Q's each day.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

End of navigation ?

Moved on to Bedford to try and get to the 'end of navigation' on the river.

Low bridge at lock

This stopped us getting to the 'official' end of navigation.

But after squeezing under several very low bridges we turned round at the last lock in Bedford and stayed a night in the Marina. Free for GOBA members. One day it is planed to 'cut' a new canal to link Bedford and Milton Keynes. Would have been useful to go that way to join the Grand Union canal. But we will have to turn here and 'explore', on our way back, the rivers Ouse and Nene.

Low bridge in Bedford

Had to remove items off the roof to get under this.