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  1. Yeah - I actually meant that, but typed otherwise! I've swam in 14 CuMets of water (that's fourteen tonnes of water passing you every second) - and it was fun (I was training, it really was fun). But it's about technique - going with the water and using it to your advantage, rather than brute force and trying to swim against it...you go feet first, on your back, and use your entire body like a rudder to get you to where you want to be, rolling onto your front at the last minute to do an agressive swim. The turbulance in a lock is a little different though, and far more unpredictable than a follwing river. The Swift Water Rescue manual states "Rescuers should be aware of the additional hazards present around a lock such as unusual water currents which exist when the lock is opened", and goes on to say "When the sluice gate is released, a rush of water will create a large amount of turbulance downstream of the gate, which may be inside of the lock if the upper gate is opened" Anyway - I went canaling last week, and I lived to tell the tale
  2. As part of my job I am a swift water rescue technician - which means I jump into fast moving water to rescue people - usually people who have fallen out of canoes or attempted suicide. For that, I wear an enormous amount of PPE, and my bouyancy aid is like this: Now, that is total overkill for the canals and rivers - because you only want something that will save you in the event of an immersion - at work I am almost certainly going in the water, often only a couple of degrees above freezing, so I have to adopt a slightly different approach. If I'm bimbling about near the edge of water (a guide is 3 meters, but that's only a guide - it could be 20 meters if it's 20 meters of steep sloping bank), and don't want the bulk of a full bouyancy aid I'll wear an auto inflating crew saver: These are light weight, and as a previous poster said, you don't notice you're wearing it after a while. Remember to do the crotch straps up though - their crucially important. If someone takes a dip, there are two immediate things that happen - one, they panic a bit normally, and two, they will almost certainly suffer a cold water shock - Cold water shock response is perhaps the most common cause of death from immersion in very cold water, such as by falling through thin ice. The immediate shock of the cold causes involuntary inhalation, which if underwater can result in drowning. The cold water can also cause heart attack due to vasoconstriction; the heart has to work harder to pump the same volume of blood throughout the body. For people with existing cardiovascular disease, the additional workload can result in cardiac arrest. Inhalation of water (and thus drowning) may result from hyperventilation. Some people are much better able to survive swimming in very cold water due to body or mental conditioning. So - strong swimmer or not, concious or not, you really want to keep your mouth and nose above the surface if there's a chance of taking a bath in cold water. The response is totally involuntary. I spend a lot of time around water both for leisure and work, and even when I'm fishing, or perched at the stern of a narrowboat, I pop a Crewsaver on. Canals, and narrow boating, IMHO is very safe and low risk. Taking a dip may even be seen as a rite of passage (I've done it!). Being prepared for that soaking is the important thing. I am sure the OP will have an amazing time on the Avon ring, and a few sensible precautions will enhance that. There's a few things to do if someone falls in (engine in neutral, lock paddles shut etc..), but the boat yard willl tell you all of that, and should also provide life jackets (in the last few years of hiring, we have been provided with auto inflating Crewsavers). Have fun, enjoy yourself, and like travelling in a car wearing a seat belt, be safe.
  3. I find at that speed you tend to adopt a hydrofoil effect, so the bow wave is quite minimal ? Been thinking about shared ownership or even buying for a while now - even looked at a boat to buy this year.....
  4. Hi, Just returned from a cracking 1 week holiday on an ABC hire boat (Mandarin Duck - I can heartily recommend the boat and the company). We started and finished in Worcester, and it was our first time on a river. Anyway, we made a time-lapse (with some aerial footage too) of the adventure. Sadlt, a tech failure meant that West Hill Tunnel got missed from the video, but it's not a bad 20 mins!! Have a look here and tell me what you think! Happy boating!
  5. We ate at the Admiral Nelson last week whilst doing the Warwickshire ring - stunning pub, stunning location, stunning food. stunning beer. Fantastic staff. Can't recommend it highly enough.
  6. don't really want to get into a Hirers Vs Owners debate - I think it should all depend on experiance (perhaps hours at the helm?) I consider myself of low to medium experiance - hired boats every year for a week for the last 15 years, and a few times before that, and I've also crewed (including steering) 44ft sailing yaughts across the English Channel. I would in no way call myself an expert though. I've just got back from a week doing the Warwickshire ring, and I met some delightful owners who were more than happy to talk about various techniques (one was impressed when he saw me springing off, and another actually told me to go faster while I was passing him whilst moored!) However, there was a small minority of owners (well, just two actually) that didn't have the same opinion to hirers... 1) Upon entering the staircase at Bascote - I was one of a pair going down (both hirers) and there was a single (owner) coming up. The bottom lock was set in the owners favour, and it was obvious that the owner boat should enter the lock, and that when we let water into the sytem the two hire boats enter the top lock, and descend, in order to save water. With a little bit of centre rope tugging (hire boat one enters bottom lock beside owner's boat, hire boat 2 shimmies sideways across top lock, owner's boat enters top lock, hire boat one shimmies sideways in bottom lock, hire boat two enters) it's perfectly acheiveable. the owner was absolultley adamant this this could not work, and that you could only have two boats in the system at a time, which meant us waiting and them using the lock set in their favour. Now, I didn't mind waiting (I'm patient, and If I wanted speed I wouldn't be narrow boating!) but the woman on the owner boat got really shirty with my wife, and said in a very huffy manner "You couldn't possibly know what you're doing - you're only hirers!". 2) Approaching lock 9 on the B&F at Dog and doublet - boat going down in front of us, boat waiting to come up. Moored boat just beyond pub, so I pulled in by the pub to allow crew off. It was a little windy, so I held it on the centre rope while the boats in front sorted themselves out. Once the lock was free, sprang off, just as an owner boat came out of lock 8 behind me, with one of their crew walking to tow path - she was about to get level with my boat on foot. As she saw me move off, she waved frantically at her husband to hurry up "or we'll miss the lock". I entered the lock and she approached me asked me what I was doing - I explained that I had been waiting for the lock, and she actually said "I know, but owners have priority over hirers". Thankfully she walked away at that point in a huff. I think, what I'm trying to say is, there are good boaters, mediocre boaters and bad boaters, and they can't be put into hirer / owner categories (I'm not implying that anyone on this thread did, btw) - but nothing replaces experiance, and 10 minutes instruction at the beginning of a hire is not really enough. Hire firms are never going to insist on more though - such as some kind of qualification - because it would cost them business.
  7. I found that logging out of you tube and logging in again on the device that the chromecast app was on solved it.
  8. Just thought I'd ask before I break some ancient CART rules....is it OK to listen to a radio quietly (like Radio 2 or 4 style) while steering your boat.... Usually I'm more into locking when we're cruising, letting someone else steer, but I broke my leg a few weeks ago, and whilst I'm well on the road to recovery, I'm not going to be walking the towpath to the next lock....., which means I'll be the one at the stern next week while my son and daughter do the locks. I'm not talking ghetto blasting american rap, but I do like to listen to PopMaster on radio 2.....do people do this? Is it OK?
  9. I think some people are genuinly concerned that they are wasting the emergency services time sometimes - that's sometimes good, sometimes not so good - I listen to Radio 2 in my office on the fire station, and I remember once hearing "Sally Traffic" warning people about a serious accident on a nearby A road - made me wonder how serious as we hadn't been called, and then about 2 minutes later the bells went down for us to attend the exact same RTC which was multiple people trapped. Someone had actually called the traffic line at Radio 2 before dialling 999! Anyway, back on topic - the CRT website on this matter made me chuckle - it says.... " When the situation is urgent, but not an emergency - please call our 24 hour emergency contact number." - so - if it's not an emergency, we're to call their emergency number.
  10. Hi, I'm doing the Warwickshire ring over (originally 7 days) from a Friday to Friday - starting and finishing in Rugby. I may have an additional 3 days to add on to the cruise. Seeing as I need to be in Birmingham on the Monday night of the cruise, I can extend after then. Do I... 1) Turn left at Fazeley Junction and explore up to Sawley 2) Explore the Ashby Canal Thoughts? Thanks
  11. Thanks Howard - I found those two websites about 5 minutes after posting this! Shulda Googled! Would also be keen to hear from share owners with kids / school teachers in the family to see how they coped with being limited to school holidays...
  12. Hi, I'm seriously considering taking the plunge (!) and buying a boat - I've been looking at NBs that are around the 55ft to 60ft mark, and in the £35K to £45K price bracket, but I've come to the conclusion that what I want is a little outside of my price range, once you add morrings, licences, insurance, maintenance etc.. So I started looking at shares, but I don't want to be restricted to a 1/12 or 1/24, and also, the fact that my wife is a school teacher restricts us to weekends and school holidays (unless I leave Mrs Robster at home....). So that got me thinking, what might work is buying a 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 share of a boat with some willing friends....problem is, I don't have any friends who share the same passion as me for NBing, so, is there a way I can meet people in a similar situation to me, see if we all get on, and potentially buy a boat together. There would be some contractual stuff to do, I guess. Buying multiple shares of a 1/12 is one option, but with normal monthly budgets averaging £100 to £150 - the monthly spend would become more expensive than maintaining a larger share (if that makes sense!) maybe some kind of dating site for potential boat owners is needed!!!! Thoughts?
  13. I drive a 2015 Hilux for work (it has blue lights and sirens). I like it..... positives... Selectable 4 wheel drive and selectable high and low ratio when in 4 wheel drive mode. Selectable diff lock Negatives... Stock tyres are pretty much useless off road High centre of gravity (but that might just be our configuration) I would always suggest having an off road course if you're going to be doing any significant off road driving - you'll be quite amazed just where you can drive a vehicle with the right techniques.
  14. No - you have the same opinion as me - and I told her - it's just that the whole experiance of the Rochdale 9, espeicially at lock 85, was a little unpleasant. I'm nowhere near as qualified as you, Nick, but as a firefigher (we also do Ambulance Co-Responding on our station) we do see a fair amount of unpleasant things, and I do try to educate my children accordingly - they are also pretty switched on as a result. Anyway - going off topic. I loved the Cheshire Ring by the way - and would recommend it to anyone, I guess I just had a bit of a bad experiance.
  15. Oh my - I'm away over Easter and cannot wait to wind my 15 year old son up with this.....If you happen to see a bloke with a broken leg steering a boat whilst laughing uncontrollably while a teenager tries to pull it along with a rope - give credit to Jack for the idea!
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