Winter’s on its way
Editor Peter Fellows hangs up his tiller pin for the year.
After the boat spent the summer on the River Great Ouse, my last cruise this year was back up the River Nene to Northampton, which coincided with the Indian summer at the beginning of October - wonderful to be in shirt-sleeves instead of waterproofs! The aim was to get the boat back onto the canals before winter storms made the Nene impassable, but we needn’t have worried: I travelled with a narrowboat having a draught of 30 inches, and they were told by the EA that, due to lack of rainfall in the catchment area, the river was too shallow for them to proceed and they should hole up in White Mills Marina until it rained again! Generally, the locks and river are well-maintained, so CRT will not have to incur vast expenditure if, or when, they take over the navigation, but there were a few places where tree growth restricted the river to a single boat width. This is not due to lack of cutting back over the last few years - some of these trees must be 20 years old.
Boats are built to keep water out, but this also makes them good containers for gases and fumes - especially carbon monoxide. ‘Black-spot’ colour-changing CO indicator cards are not good enough: they do not give an instant warning of dangerous CO levels and have no alarm to wake you up. CO alarms are designed to protect you from CO produced by incomplete combustion of any fuel (including LPG, coal, charcoal, wood, paraffin or diesel used in domestic appliances such as cookers, boilers, stoves, etc.), or from exhaust fumes from a boat’s engine or generator. The main causes of CO build-up in a cabin are faulty, badly maintained, or misused appliances and escaped flue gases from solid fuel stoves.
The (mostly) ups and (a few) downs of chairing NABO
Mike Rodd looks back over the last three years.
With our AGM looming, this will – sadly – be my last column as your chairman. When David (gently?) twisted my arm as he held me out over the K&A from the balcony of the pub where the Council had been meeting at Bradford-on-Avon, I (willingly?) agreed to do a three-year stint. I firmly believe that organisations like ours should be continually refreshed, and I am delighted that we have been able to find someone like Stella Ridgway to take over the reins, if she is elected at the AGM. I have so much enjoyed my time in office and it has always been a great privilege to be associated with NABO in this way. Council meetings are a sheer joy to chair, and I could not have wished for more dedicated and thoroughly pleasant and professional colleagues.
Lock failures, too much vegetation or too little water?
Editor Peter Fellows offers some choices for NABO to focus on