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Posts posted by magnetman

  1. 31 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

    They can do lots of things, but none of them well.

    They do looking aggressive quite well with that sharp beak. If they knew about it they could use that to cause severe injury. 

    7 minutes ago, cuthound said:


    I always think the natural habitat for baby moorhens should be on the end of ladies slippers and on the top of bobble hats... :)


    Grebes are afraid of people due to previous hunting for the feathers to decorate hats. 

  2. I've seen loads of kingfishers on the Thames this spring. Dozens and at one time there were several of them presumably involved in a spot of light intraspecific competition or a territorial dispute. Quite a lot of agro between two of them a bit like when the coots start fighting. 

    13 hours ago, beerbeerbeerbeerbeer said:

    But I’ve never seen a heron catch owt 🤷‍♀️

    I saw a heron consuming quite a large duckling. The legs went in last and I remember them sticking out the side of the beak still frantically flapping around while the swallowing process was initiated. 


    Also once saw a cormorant with a large eel. Took quite a while to get it under control. Looked like the fish was going to win then the bird threw it up in the air, eel went straight and dropped right into the bird's wide open beak. Byebye. Brilliant bit of work. 





  3. On 07/06/2024 at 18:47, BEngo said:

    The stenching agent is a mixture of mercaptans- an 'orrible liquid which smells worse when burned.  It is prone to all the lighter components evaporating and then building up in the bottom of the bottle.  Known in the LPG Trade as " heavy bottoms"!


    Stand the orrible  bottle upside down *Outside*  for 24 hours, then, whilst still upside down,  with the outlet connection pointing at something safe, and not tooo close,  crack the valve for 2 seconds then shut it.  That will get rid of any gungy stenching agent.


    Or just get a replacement gas bottle if you can stand the cost.


    Good tip. 


    They do vary a lot. The last time mine ran out it didn't smell at all but I have occasionally had them smelling bad for a long time before empty. 


    Ethyl Mercaptan isn't it? 







    Also known as https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanethiol#Uses



    Also used as warning system in mines. 

  4. Maybe he realised at the last minute the bridge was not rated for his lorry. 


    Whats the bridge rated for?

    If he was over weight but couldn't stop then diverting to the side could have avoided a significantly more serious problem. Lorry partly in canal is better than lorry on collapsed bridge in canal. 

  5. 51 minutes ago, Stroudwater1 said:


    It’s ironic  that Marsworth locks are within a mile of the Bulbourne workshops closed in the early 2000s and  now converted to houses.



    A bit sad really in a way and not a particularly good sign. 


    However if the locks are still working alright then thats good news. I wonder if the lack of weight is going to cause another problem perhaps with the gate anchors or the pot and pintle setup at the bottom of the heel posts. 



  6. 6 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

    What struck me is that according to the Beeb reporter, there would seem to be about ten bridge strikes a year. or even more if they are minor ones. I thought we were supposed to have decent driving standards in this country? 






    not sure about the theory of having decent drivers. I don't drive anymore as there are too many idiots but at one stage I had someone holding his phone to the side window and filming me also looking out rather than ahead of him because he had a range rover (that crap chav rangie not a real one)  and I had a little suzuki hatchback and I was going faster than him and overtaking. 





    It was probably the small car v big car mentality. I always drove fast on motorways. I remember the Jaguar Ford rubbishmobile coming up behind flashing his lights.  I gave way then he slowed down in front of me and eventually moved across so I could carry on with my high speed journey across a section of land desecrated by having TarMac laid over it. 


    Much prefer Boats these days and trains !





  7. 3 hours ago, Lady M said:

    These days, unfortunately in my view, canoeists are allowed to paddle through some shorter tunnels.  They only have to show a light on the front so you have to remember to look low down on the water to see if there is a canoe in front of you heading in the same direction.


    This is exactly why I think the publicity image is dangerous. 


    I suppose it is all part of the Great Dumbing Down but it does have the potential to cause nasty 15 ton v less than a hundredweight Boat collision issues. 


    Torpedoes needed here I think. 






    If there are any survivors in the water then strafe the blighters !

    Something a bit Marchioness about it all. 

  8. It is an interesting thought. I have for a while wondered when the CRT will start charging people to use Limehouse and Brentford locks. 


    They have some sort of power to charge tor 'services' but surely a tunnel is part of the canal. 

    1 minute ago, Hudds Lad said:

    It's C&RT's own canoes you'd be using hence the charge, not just pole up on the day with your own craft, so in theory that limits it.

    Ah. Boat hire. That makes sense. 

  9. Yes I noticed that and it is a good point. I was just thinking if the general idea is that its okay to canoe through tunnels someone is going to go through Braunston tunnel and get into trouble. 


    Not everyone takes note of signage or the requirement to book. 



    Presumably when the canals were commercial something was done to avoid the day trippers in their Rob Roy canoes using the tunnels.


  10. 16 hours ago, Mike Todd said:

    . What I do not know is whether we now know if the original engineers consciously took gate leakage into account when sizing the bywashes and weirs - some locks, in any case, only pass water through the lock.

    Some paddles on the Grand Union have windows. Stockers lock is an example. Small square holes in one paddle at each end. This is a solution to the problem of the next lock down (Springwell) being deeper and therefore causing a net loss of water from the pound. 


    Usually a window will be appropriate where a river goes out of the upper pound and bypasses the next pound. 


    I believe Aynho and Shipton weir locks on the Oxford have windows. 


    One of the locks on the GU which would benefit significantly from windows is the top lock of Sarah's two at Cassiobury. It would prevent the short pound going too low. 

  11. This is a bit of a dodgy publicity image as it may insert into people's heads the idea that they can go through canal tunnels in their canoes. 


    In sime circumstances this would be enormously unwise and I seem to think they are not allowed anyway. 





    The last thing needed is to get all these inflatable canoes and paddle boards venturing into tunnels. All hell will break loose and there could be nasty accidents. 


    But if the team leader is allowed to do it then presumably everyone else can as well. 

    • Greenie 4
  12. 43 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

    Surely all this OTT security will just lead miscreants into believing there's something REALLY worthwhile stealing from your boat, and rather than than deter them have the opposite effect?


    Have you considered burying your pirate booty onshore instead? Nice bit of secluded woodland, X marks the spot on a hidden map type of deal?

    You could then go full-Rambo with deadfalls, trip wires, poison arrows, tiger pits etc. Possibly even an Indiana Jones-style giant boulder to chase would-be treasure hunters ;) 

    Broken bottle traps are good as well. Dig holes and idly throw the empty beer bottles onto them. The smashing sound is great. Cover the holes with natural sort of material and wait for invaders. The screaming as they cut themselves up on the glass is great ! 



    An unusual and rather clever deterrent I once came across on a canal Boat was steps down into the front well deck which were not fixed down. Anyone boarding with permission will be advised not to use the step. Anyone boarding without permission who uses the step will find it slips onto the well deck floor and they either go back out of whack themselves somewhere on steel. 


    Nobody can really argue with this in law because it is your right to not maintain your steps properly. 


    I think you could probably keep your ash bucket in the landing zone as well. 

  13. I remember a Boat on a creek off the Thames which had a big hand painted sign. WARNING. ACID TRAPS. 


    After a while the PLA, who own the creek, ordered the sign to be removed. 


    It got me wondering what sort of acid it would be. Could be a bit nasty.


    "This area is protected by highly trained squirrels"  is quite a jovial alternative version. 

  14. 11 hours ago, Tim Lewis said:

    I have seen this picture on Facebook at Brick Kiln lock 


    That looks a bit naughty. 


    Heel post no longer connected to balance beam ?

    It seems like something one could fry or barbecue. 


    I wonder if the CRT should look at inviting educational tours and perhaps set up one of those mobile coffee things. Making wife better by water and all that jazz. 


    isn't it. 

  15. The females and ducklings seem to be around Cliveden. The males go elsewhere. I did see 19 mandarin duck males in a riverside garden at Laleham a few weeks ago. I don't know what the people who own the chalet were doing and have never seen such a concentration elsewhere. Next time I am down there I shall do some investigations. 





    I formed a theory that the ducks were imported as ornamental birds and therefore do not have it in their genetic memory that humans do really bad things. 


    Other wildfowl know about humans being bad but these ones seem to have had a reset or not been subjected to aggressive behaviour. 


    This could explain why the males disappear. They have incredibly beautiful feathers. Yars ago the great crested grebes were hunted for their feathers to adorn hats and they still know about it as they are very afraid of humans. 


    Tiny brain but lets face it they can just flap their wings and fly away. Might not be a big brain but its a bloody effective one ! 

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