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flickadancer

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  1. Go slowly past moored boats. Don't drink and steer. Don't moor on lock landings or swing bridge landings. Don't get into a lock and eat your breakfast/lunch whilst sitting in it. Don't moor in winding holes. All things I have seen hire boaters do, apart from the first of course as mostly they hare past our moored boat at top speed and look very puzzled when asked to slow down.
  2. Pat at Newbury Marina has very reasonably priced fuel. He's definitely cheaper than the fuel boat currently going up and down the canal and contrary to rumours that are being put about, the fuel is for anyone, not just people who moor their boats at his marina! It is a calibrated pump so you know you are getting what you pay for, no condensation possible, guaranteed good quality pure diesel.
  3. While browsing for something else I came upon this posting and felt that although it is out of date I should add my penn'orth. We have a Metrofloat (Henley) which is getting on for 70 feet long and has two bedrooms and is indeed like a floating appartment as we knew we could not share a narrow boat, no matter how long, with a teenager. And it is fine for cruising. We are a little tied with our son being at school but were off for two months in it during the summer and it handled like a dream. Okay it is big, but if you take your time and handle it with respect it is absolutely great to travel in and gives you all the space you need as well. As to heating - we have a stove as well as the fitted radiators and have absolutely NO need for supplementary heating at all. We are snug and cosy all winter long to the extent that we have to take jumpers off frequently and fan ourselves as we are too hot. The pump out toilet must have a big enough tank as we only pump it out every 3 weeks or so, although we do feel the water tank could be bigger when cruising. The engine is wonderfully powerful (we let a friend we met cruising on his narrowboat try it out and he was blown away by the power) and the bowthruster very helpful. The only bugbear we have with it is the tiles on the floor in the shower which we are going to have to renew as the grouting is wearing away. We plan to be away for more of the summer as our son goes off to boarding school soon and the only sad thing is that we can't do the whole network as she is a widebeam. Having been on narrow boats belonging to friends I am not sure I could manage one as I get vertigo and the rocking makes me feel quite ill just when someone gets on and off. Our boat feels so nice and stable although you never forget you are on a boat. We can reverse it easily (well, I should say my husband can as he is helmsman) and turn it in surprisingly small spaces. We love our boat and would not want to swap her for anything.
  4. Sorry, just not been back on the forum. I've read all your replies and thanks for them all. Didn't know where to post this so put it in general. Firstly, we weren't in the back end of beyond. We were in Devizes between the wharf and the top of the Caen Hill Flight. We had gone down slowly with the dog to look and see if there was space to moor at the top of the flight so we could be away first when it opened at 8 the next morning. There was space so I went back to the boat on my bike and my husband walked back with the dog. She was fine, leaping up at him excitedly in her spanielly way, until she suddenly was sick and then shortly afterwards collapsed on the tow path and her tongue started to go blue, her eyes rolled back in her head and she could barely breathe. He was between the two bridges which is in the centre of Devizes (virtually) which surely any fool could find if they live and work in Devizes so there was absolutely no question of him not being able to find us. He had left his phone on the boat so the fisherman who was fishing there used his phone to call the first vet who was out on call but would have come out. The first vet recommended the second vet who wanted to know details of location, type and age of dog and what was wrong with her. The fisherman passed on the fact that as we were on a boat we couldn't get the dog to the vet and he then, and only then, said he would not come out. The moment the boat was mentioned the tone of the conversation changed. My husband has Ankylosing Spondilitis and he had a great deal of difficulty carrying the dog (helped by the fisherman) which he also thought did her no good whatsoever as it further obstructed her breathing, and took far longer than it would have done for a vet to hurry down from a parked car at either of the bridges. They finally got her to the fisherman's car (which the fisherman had to go and get which took even more time) and drove to the vets. The vet was more concerned that my husband could pay than in treating the dog. The bill was £500 in the end, not the suggested £100. He then told my husband to leave and go and ring up with our phone number. Meanwhile one of the relief lock keepers who were brilliant had come to get me and I raced (with my 12 year old son and his friend) to the vets on our bikes to be told the same - ie "go away and get your phone number". I luckily know them (husband never knows them and relies on me) so I gave them the numbers and they wouldn't let me in to be with her. Thinking my husband was in there with her, I took the boys back to the boat in the wharf and found my husband waiting there. They had thrown him out. Much frantic googling later for problems in dogs with breathing we finally got a phone call from the vet saying they had done what they could and given her adrenalin and a tube into the lungs to help her breathe and she was still no responding so she was suffering (heavily sedated though) and they needed to put her down. It was an awful decision to make but you have to make it to be kind. So my husband (she was his special dog) was not there with her when she was put down which he would have wanted to be. We have never been thrown out of any treatment of any of our animals and we have had many animals over the years. We have never had a vet refuse to come out to any of them. We have even had them come out to put to sleep old pets we did not want to take into the surgery and upset as it was more peaceful to do it at home. We went in and paid the bill the very next day and the one person at that surgery who was nice to us was the receptionist who gave me a hug when I burst into tears in the reception area. The vet tried to tell us (when we spoke to him over the phone) that even if we had had an epi pen to inject her with the moment it happened it would not have saved her but I do not believe him. Otherwise why do people who suffer from allergic reactions carry them if they are no good when you have one? The reason the adrenalin etc did not work was that they gave it to her too late. If they had come out and done it on site on the canal towpath it would have taken them five minutes to get to us. As it was it took nearly an hour to get her in there and that resulted in her dying. Nothing takes away from the fact that the vet could have been with my husband and the dog in a fraction of the time it took my husband to get her to the vet. Looking on the vet's website they offer home visits. Now whereas the towpath cannot be classified as a home visit neither can a horse (as cited by another poster) having an accident on a ride be classed as one. Would the vet refuse to come out to a horse that had been hit by a car? Or would the rider be forced to bring the horse in dragging its broken leg? My husband is convinced it was from the moment the word "boat" was mentioned that the attitude of the vet changed. He made an assumption associated with that word and a decision not to come out to our dog. Now our dog is dead.
  5. Hello, I thought I ought to share this with you. On the 24th of July we were cruising on the K and A canal when our dog (out walking about a mile from the boat with my husband) had what the vet later described as a severe allergic reaction. He didn't even have his phone but a fisherman and several passers by and two wonderful lock keepers rang the local vet for him. The first was out on a call but would have come but the second, on hearing that we were on a boat, refused to come out. It took 45 minutes to carry the unconscious dog to the kind fisherman's car and drive to the vet - it would have taken him about five minutes to get to my husband. The result was that the dog died. The vet later tried to say that even if we had possessed an Epi Pen and injected her immediately she would not have survived, but we think he was covering himself. We have discussed this now with other boaters, having initially been in a state of total shock as she was only a middle aged dog in very good health and used to long walks. The moral of this story is - "if you need the vet for your pet do NOT tell him that you live on a boat as he will assume you have no money and refuse to come". Or at least this particular vet did. I would hate to be accused of tarring them all with the same brush (the first one would have come out) but it is better to be safe than sorry. Or say you are on holiday and they will not make assumptions and discriminate against you. You can imagine how we are feeling about this.
  6. Hi, we have a vetus 6kw generator installed on our boat for which we cannot get hold of a key to open the box. It is in an enclosed box as it is a hospital generator and very quiet but we have searched everywhere for a key or tool to open it and not come up with anything. Don't even know what it is called. Plus we have a problem in that the generator is not taking up raw water now and therefore not getting enough coolant and we can't use it. Can't even get at it to see if it is the water pump. All suggestions gratefully received.
  7. Thanks everyone. I think we will have to try to make one - I was just holding out a faint hope I might be able to buy a ready made one still. Eventually my brother outgrew the bunk and my parents bought him a small tent but he wouldn't sleep in it, so my sister and I fled there as we couldn't bear sharing with him. It too was very old fashioned being a green ridge pole without any liner, but we infinitely preferred it to sharing with the person we called "boybrat" in the dreadful way of older sisters, or at worst "Pilsbury" because he was fat.
  8. Actually, hubby is right. Did I say "have to"? No, I didn't. I said "should" as in advisory. The whole idea of shutting it for a day is to stop continuous use on a path being used only at the landowner's discretion. It can be closed at any time of the year for any amount of time but most landowners go for Christmas Day. If they decide to do so. Entirely up to them. The reason is to prevent people including public bodies claiming a continuous use right and then having the permitted way statemented as a public right of way. The whole issue has been muddied and confused by Blair's right to roam policy which in theory hubby is in total agreement with but would rather see the existing rights of way network fully reinstated, waymarked and utilised by all user groups ie foot, hoof and wheels.
  9. Hi, when I was a child we had a caravan and my sister and I had the settee beds but my brother had a sort of hammock affair which I believe is called a "pipe cot" which consisted of two bars, one fixed to the wall of the van and the other which unhooked during the day so the bed (made of plasticky sort of canvas like deck chair material maybe) hung down the back out of the way. At night you just lifted the lower bar and hooked it into brackets on the wall and he had a very comfy bed. I would like one for our boat so my son can have a friend on board but can I find one? Not for love nor money. Tried the local caravan shop and he said not even listed in any of his brochures and he'd never heard of one. Scoured the net and only found one in County Down which is no longer a for sale frustratingly as it sounded like it might have been a manufacturer. Anyone know where I can get one? Before the summer that is. Thanks
  10. Hubby says if they are permissive paths they should be shut for one day a year.
  11. Yes, K and A between Thatcham and Woolhampton, on the cut not the river part and it is good mooring hubby thinks. Or okay mooring and it is a welded steel sign in the bushes. Surely there is room for everyone? I guess the anglers shouldn't forget that if it wasn't for boats the canal wouldn't be here in the first place.
  12. Hi, just moored for overnight and cycled on to see where we could moor the next night and found lots of signs on the footpath saying "no mooring" actually on the towpath not on the opposite side. With the name of the fishing club. (TAA) My question is can they do this? It seems a trifle unfair to me as these signs were in places that would have been decent mooring. Another question - can they set up and fish on the lock landings? Odd place to want to fish but we had one setting up this afternoon regardless of boats coming through. Would be interested to know the legality of putting up no mooring signs at any point on the towpath for any reason. You can expect to be prevented from mooring in hazardous places but not to benefit fishermen.
  13. My husband was a Rights of Way Officer and he says - "cyclists should give way to pedestrians on a towpath, common sense dictates, unless it is a designated cycle way but again, if the cycle way is combined with a public footpath then cyclists should give way to pedestrians" . "dogs should be kept under control - if there is any doubt over its behaviour then it should be kept on a lead and if it is inclined to agression it would be advisable to have it muzzled purely for your own financial security and certainly on a lead through any fields containing stock" "and if anyone should pick up anyone else's property (dog) without just cause they are leaving themselves open to prosecution because unless it is actually acting agressively then you cannot prove its intention". "If someone threw someone's pet into the canal and for example it could not swim and drowned they would be open to prosecution which could be very expensive indeed. Everyone should use the amenity of the towpath sensibly because it is not a single user group amenity and it isn't all that long ago that the towpath had no actual designation as a public right of way at all. It was a working environment." Hope this helps.
  14. Thank god I don't have a stiff neck then! Poor bloke. But I still feel like someone kicked me in the stomach, and having had a horse do that to me once resulting in a chipped kidney, I do know what that feels like. By the way, I fear reprisals for naming and shaming too publicly I am afraid or I would post that photo here. And it is a VERY dirty boat both in habits and appearance. And to an earlier poster - don't assume someone who says something about "dirty boats" means what you think and automatically must have a brand new hyper expensive one themselves because it may not be true. Or that they are rich which was also suggested.
  15. Hi, feeling a bit better today. Sorry if I came over as generalising but I happen to know that a fair number of moored and fully inhabited boats near where I live don't come to the Elsan disposal point nearest to them. Should I suppose then that they go to one that is further away I wonder? And the person I saw emptying his elsan into the canal was definitely not emptying a bit of wee! You could see the brown solids coming out. Utterly gross. Sadly there is also a great deal of dog poo all along the towpath. I have dogs myself and always pick their poo up and put it in the provided bins, and it really annoys me to find some people don't as we have a dog that thinks other dogs' shit is an appetising snack and we have to keep her on a short lead to stop her indulging. Of course cows etc poo in the canals and rivers and all manner of other animals, but that doesn't mean that WE should think it normal to emulate them, particularly when Elsans contain chemicals harmful to the ecosystem. When I said "dirty boats" please take it to mean those with bad habits rather than in bad condition - those surrounded by junk on the towpath, with roofs covered in junk etc. Although mostly those that are surrounded in junk are also in not such good condition. Oh dear, am I offending another section of boaters with this last couple of sentences? I don't mean all of you, just the ones who actually have dirty habits so if the cap fits, wear it. Don't bury your heads in the sand and say no-one does it, please as I see on here that it isn't just me that has seen people doing revolting things on the canals. I certainly don't mean to imply that everyone does it! My husband and I don't do it and nor do any of our friends. But I have the photographic evidence that some people do, so I have been forced to put two and two together and conclude that I have ingested something very nasty that perhaps I might have avoided if the canal was a little cleaner. As a boy (when the canal was not open to boats before its restoration) my husband was able to swim in it frequently and it not only looked clean (but weedy) but also was clean. At least he never got ill from doing so. This has made me think - doesn't weed in water help clean it? You put it in fish tanks and ponds don't you? And there appears to be none in the canal at the moment. I may be wrong of course as I am not a scientist just a worried canal user. I wonder if more weed would help it to be cleaner? I remember it being very weedy (and you could see the weed clearly) when I was a child as the outboard on our dinghy kept getting clogged up. Another problem....... Hmmmm
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