Wednesday 29 February 2012

Healthier Eating

Since the New Year we have been making a concerted effort to eat a little more healthily both at home and on the boat. So far the plan is paying off, even without changing our daily routine too much or including a deal more exercise we are both starting to slowly shed the pounds.

Some of the changes have been quite simple, for example swapping steak mince for turkey mince or Quorn mince vastly reduces the fat content of meals but does mean that we can still eat some of our favourite meals such as stuffed bell peppers and lasagne. We are also eating more chicken and turkey in place of pork, lamb or beef in meals such as curries and fajitas. Choosing lighter options for our dairy products such as olive spread, cheese, yoghurt and milk has also greatly reduced our fat and calorie intake, another simple change that is easy to implement.

We have always been great lovers of fresh fish. We have a delivery fresh from Grimsby once a month which ensures that our freezer is always stocked up with a variety of fish and fish products. We aim to eat at least two portions of fresh fish per week and aim to cook a variety of meals with it, rather than stick to the trusted method of grilling it which can get quite boring.

Breakfast was always a bit of a sticking point. We get up early for work and didn’t always fancy eating in the mornings. This usually led to snacking before lunch and more often than not on the wrong things. Now we both sit down for breakfast together with a bowl of cereals, a cup of coffee and a glass of fruit juice. We both seem more alert on the drive to work and have completely cut out the snacking before lunch.

For lunch we both have a sandwich on a mid-sized granary roll. The filling varies from day to day but usually consists of tuna, turkey or ham with light olive spread and a selection of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, sweet corn and bell pepper.

Evening dinner is the main meal of the day. We like to eat a range of different foods and try out new foods on a regular basis. A selection of our favourite meals are:

  • Grilled sweet chilli chicken breast, rice and salad

  • Turkey lasagne and salad

  • Fish pie, new potatoes, baby carrots and green beans

  • Turkey Thai Green Curry, rice, prawn toast and tiger prawns.

  • Stuffed bell peppers and salad

  • Grilled Tuna, new potatoes and salad
Cooking healthier meals afloat has also proven to be much easier than we anticipated. It takes no more effort to cook up a healthy offering but the benefits are becoming clear. Again we are starting the day with cereals and juice, scrapping the bacon sandwiches and full English breakfasts and reserving them for special occasions only. Evening meals are usually kept to a simple quick meal, usually consisting of grilled fish, chicken or turkey ,which are easy to prepare after a few beers. With the purchase of the slow cooker we have also been able to prepare healthy Sunday lunches as well, normally consisting of slow cooked Cajun chicken or turkey, potatoes, stuffing and asparagus.

Hopefully this will have shown you that by making even seemingly small changes to your diet you can make a big difference to your health whilst still enjoying the meals you like and enjoy. Over the coming months we will no doubt have some great healthy yet tasty meal ideas for you to try out for yourself.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

The Anchor

The anchor, a piece of emergency equipment or a mooring opportunity? However you view it for anyone cruising on river navigations, estuaries or coastal waters carrying one is a must. You may not need it but if you do it could save your life.

Choosing an anchor can seem like a minefield, so many types to choose from, so many weights and sizes; do you want chain or rope? It is important to select the right anchor for the job, too small and it won’t hold, too large and it will be difficult to man handle and take up too much space. Anchors must be sized correctly to the boat.

We have a 10kg Delta anchor on Naughty-Cal which is slightly over sized for the boat attached to 50m of chain which in turn is fastened to the boat with a webbing strap which is easy to cut should the ground tackle need to be cut free and dumped. The Delta anchor is a good all round anchor and we have successfully set it against a decent flow in sand, mud and rocky bed conditions. It also has the benefit of being weighted so that it falls in the correct fashion to help it grab the bottom; the only downside to this is that it often comes up the wrong way around for our roller.

The anchor needn’t be reserved for emergency situations only. River navigations often have limited visitor moorings and rafting up is not uncommon. If you fancy a quiet night, why not find a secluded spot out of the main navigable channel and spend the evening on the hook? Peace and quiet guaranteed. You do need to ensure that the anchor has taken hold of course, by gently reversing off the anchor as you lower it you will eventually feel the bow of the boat dip as the anchor bites and takes hold. Now lower enough chain/rope for the given depth of water and sit back and relax. To raise the anchor use the boat to do the hard work by gently motoring up to the anchor position taking the strain from the chain/rope making it easier to pull in.

We have spent some great time at anchor and in the right conditions it can be a very relaxing way to pass the time of day or night. It is a shame more boaters don’t embrace the anchor and see it as much more than safety equipment.

Monday 27 February 2012

Tackling Torksey

With the weather throwing us a decent weekend we had to make the most of it. All of the jobs we had planned for the weekend went straight out of the window.

We had a laid back Saturday morning, having a little lie in we made ourselves vertical at around 8.30am, getting showered and having a couple of cups of filter coffee whilst listening to the local radio station. Eventually motivated we set about scrubbing Naughty-Cal. The colour of the water sloshing off her suggesting that this wash was long overdue. With the boat gleaming in the sunshine we set off in the general direction of Torksey, Cal seemingly happy to be off the mooring, lazily cruising down the deserted Fossdyke. We had a little pit stop at Saxilby so that we could have a spot of lunch, Mexican Chilli Bean soup and fresh crusty bread. Just the ticket. With our bellies filled we set off once more heading down a stunningly beautiful winter scene, the Lincolnshire countryside displaying all of its winter finery. All too soon we were on the approach to Torksey and choosing our mooring for the evening. With the afternoon to waste away with friends we had the chance to catch up over a few drinks. With the sun setting over the horizon we headed off to the pub for the first Swan Pie of the year. Fantastic as always and with bellies filled to brimming we headed back to the boats to get tucked up in bed.

Sunday dawned bright and early for me anyway. First job of the day was putting the chicken in the slow cooker along with some new potatoes ready for lunch later in the day. After a few cups of filter coffee we set out for a Sunday morning walk, making the most of the sunny yet brisk winter morning. With our appetites worked up we set off in the direction of Saxilby to find some bacon and eggs for brunch. Again the river was still and quiet, not another boat in sight as we swept peacefully through the gently flowing waters. Finally we moored at Saxilby and had a spot of breakfast. Another boat loomed into sight, Devocean was on the prowl, so a trip to the pub was in order of course.The Sun Inn has recently reopened and the staff here are very friendly and open to new suggestions. After a couple of pints we set off for home. By the time we were safely tucked up on our berth, dinner was well on its way to being cooked, so we added the asparagus and baby corn and left it for another hour to simmer away. With a couple of final evening beers, we ate well again before getting ready for the weekly grindstone that is work.

Friday 24 February 2012

A Gentle Reminder

As we move forward through February and the mornings start to get lighter and the evenings start getting longer, boats around the country are starting to be awoken from their winter slumber. The peaceful winter waterways will soon be making way for the hordes to return and the busy season to begin. So it is about time we had a gentle reminder about mooring and more specifically tying up in a sensible manner.

There are far too many boat owners out there who believe that a couple of ropes, one fore and one aft, loosely tied at 90° to the bank will suffice. Quite simply they won’t, with this arrangement you will get excessive movement as any boat passes, however slowly they pass. The situation is made even worse if they are moored using pins as the excessive movement of the boat and the snatching of the ropes will break the pins loose and set the boat free and of course this is always someone else’s fault.

With a little extra time and care spent mooring up you can greatly reduce the movement of the boat due to passing boats, wind or tidal conditions. A couple of spring lines are all that it takes. Rigging up spring lines takes a few moments extra but makes for a much more comfortable time on the boat. To set spring lines is simple. Send out your normal bow and stern lines ideally at an angle of around 45° to the boat however this is not always possible or practical. With the bow and stern line secured take a line from the bow of the boat to a point on the bank adjacent the stern of the boat and a line from the stern to the bank adjacent the bow and secure them as necessary. The scissor effect of these two ropes will keep the boat against the bank side but will also reduce the fore and aft surging as other boats pass.

The above method would require very long ropes on larger vessels so a method for normal length cruising ropes can been used instead. You send out your bow and stern lines as normal and then take the loose ends back to a cleat located amidships on the vessel. This creates the triangle effect we are looking for but requires much shorter ropes. If no cleat is available on the boat, then shorter lines can be used from the bow and stern cleats/studs/bollards and returned to a secure mooring point on the bank side as close to the centre of the boat as possible. This will again provide the triangles we are looking for that vastly reduce fore and aft motion.

In the photograph above we have used the two rope spring method which we use most of the time on the canals and on smaller non tidal rivers. It is a simple way of quickly and effectively securing the boat whilst reducing surging motion. We tend to only use the four rope method on larger rivers and in busy towns or cities where extra ropes mean extra safety and in sea ports and harbours where the extra lines are needed to soften the effect of passing commercial and fishing vessels both of which make huge wakes which take a considerable time to settle down again.

The beauty of spring lines is that they don’t have to be excessively tight to work effectively. This is great on rivers where you need to allow for the rise or fall of the water levels but still want a comfortable time on board. The flow of the water will keep the boat against the mooring using two of the lines in the process. The opposing two lines will reduce the fore and aft motion of the moored vessel due to passing boats.

A little extra time and effort is all that it takes for a more comfortable night aboard. With a little practice setting spring lines becomes second nature and will become part of your normal mooring routine. We don’t even think about it now, we always moor using spring lines. It takes us no longer to moor our boat then someone messing around trying to secure two loose ropes to the bank but we have a greatly more comfortable time onboard and we don’t feel the need to scowl at passing boaters, however sensible or not they may be.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Branching Out

Our local supermarket is currently selling dwarf fruit trees for the bargain price of £7 each, two for £10 or three for £14. They are stocking a wide variety of different fruits so we have found room in our garden for another three trees.

We currently have two apple trees, one cooking variety and one eating variety, a plum tree and two cherry trees in the front garden. The apple and plum trees are starting to become established and reliable croppers, we planted these five years ago when we bought our house. The two cherry trees have been planted for a little under two years so have yet to produce anything of a crop. You can’t expect instant results from young fruit trees, they need time to acclimatise to their surroundings and build up a good and healthy root system.

We plan to buy a further cherry tree, a pear tree and a second variety of eating apple from the supermarket. This should give us a further variety of fruit in the coming years but will also provide some extra colour to the garden in spring. During the summer they should also, once established, provide some screening from the car park adjacent our rear garden.

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is incredibly rewarding and doesn’t have to be expensive. Our current fruit trees have cost us a little over £20 and should provide us with free fruit for generations to come. Adding to our urban orchard should ensure that we can produce even more of our own fruit in years to come but will require a little patience on our part to allow the trees to settle into their new surroundings and grow into healthy and happy specimens.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Easter Holiday

With just six weekends left, that is just twelve working days, we have to get Naughty-Cal ready to cruise for our first holiday of the year at Easter. This will be a hard task and will involve some long weekends of hard graft.

As well as preparing the boat we also have a lot of planning and preparation involved with this trip. We need to check the tide times and tide heights for the week, contact Goole Docks to arrange entry onto the Aire and Calder Navigation through the massive commercial Ocean Lock and we are also planning a meet up of Canal World Forum members for a BBQ at Woodlesford during the week. Taking holidays on tidal waterways, and the coast, requires a lot more planning than your typical canal holiday as you are very much restricted by the tide times and restraints.

The holiday will start on Good Friday with an easy evenings cruise along the Fossdyke to Torksey. We have done this trip many times and it is always a peaceful way to start a holiday. It is also a good chance to check that all is well with Cal’s operating systems before heading out onto more serious waterways. We usually end up in the White Swan for a drink or two before last orders and it always seems to be a fitting start to a holiday.

Saturday will be a long day afloat. The aim is to head out onto the tidal Trent as soon as Torksey Lock can let us out and have a potter down to Gainsborough where the river becomes the jurisdiction of ABP. From here it will be an hour and a half sprint to Trent End at 25 knots to beat the tide and arrive whilst there is still enough water to enter the anchorage and drop the hook. We will then have a three or four hour wait for the tide to start running in again and give us enough water to travel up the Ouse and enter Ocean Lock on the free lockings. We will spend our time at anchor having a spot of lunch and enjoying the peaceful surroundings before raising the anchor and heading for Goole. Once on the Aire and Calder we will meet up with our friends on Chrisnico and head off up river to Pollington, a place we have visited before and really liked. Not least because there is a good Indian restaurant in the village within easy walking distance of the moorings.

Sunday will again be a long day if we are to get to Woodlesford for our planned BBQ party. We will have some twenty miles and five huge mechanised locks to negotiate before we reach our destination. If we have a reasonably early start we should make it by mid afternoon, just in time for the party to start and get into gear. It will be nice to put some names to faces as I have spoken, via the internet, with some of the people who will be there for a few years now but we have never met face to face.

Monday will thankfully be a much quieter and easier days cruising with just seven miles cruising and three locks before we reach our destination of Clarence Dock, Leeds. We will hopefully be moored up and ready to explore the city by lunchtime. We are undecided as to whether or not we will have one or two nights in Leeds and will take this as we find it. If we fancy a second night we can do that and have a couple of slightly longer cruising days on the way home. There seems to be so much to see and do in Leeds that we will be spoilt for choice.

On the return journey we will be taking a slightly different route to the out bound leg. We fully intend to stop for the evening again at Pollington and it is just past here that we will turn onto the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, heading for Keadby as our point of exit onto the Trent. We have done this section of canal before so know where we can make up some time if need be or where we can slow down and stock up if time allows, but the aim is to be at Keadby for Friday evening ready for a Saturday morning tide back to Torksey. We will need to stop off in Thorne to fill up with diesel but other than that we have no plans for this section of the navigation as much will depend on how long we stay in Leeds.

This trip to Leeds will be a great warm up cruise for the year ahead with lots of varied waterways to explore. It will give us chance to have a high speed blast down the Trent, drop the hook and spend some time at anchor and also to explore some sections of the Aire and Calder that we have not previously had the chance to visit. This trip should highlight any problems we are likely to have throughout the year and give us the chance to check that everything is working as it should before this year’s big adventures on the sea. If any potential problems are highlighted we will have a couple of weekends before the next break to put them right.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

A Change of Scenery

We have been happily moored at Burton Waters for three years now and whilst we are very happy with the marina and the lifestyle we have there, it does have to be said that the same old stretch of Fossdyke and Witham that we visit during weekends when time is stretched is starting to wear a little thin. We are considering a temporary change of scenery for a month or two during the warmer summer months.

Boston is high on the list of contenders for our temporary summer mooring. It is close enough that we could easily get the boat there in a weekend but far enough away that we have not yet gotten bored with that particular stretch of river Witham. Boston is also ideally situated for easy access to the sea. The Wash estuary provides lots of options for weekend salty water cruising when the weather and tides will allow. Perhaps the only downside to a temporary mooring in Boston will be the additional forty five minutes travel time on both Friday evening and Monday morning.

We have also considered a temporary mooring on the Trent at either Newark Marina or Farndon Marina. We like spending time on the Trent and this will still be a pleasant change of scenery but it won’t offer the chance of salty water cruising as the Boston option would. The big plus point of a mooring at Newark or Farndon however is the travel time which will not be a deal different to our current journey time to Lincoln.

Naburn Marina, on the Ouse, is also on the list of contenders. We love cruising on the Ouse through York and beyond and although we wouldn’t want to leave the boat there on a permanent basis due to the restrictive weekend cruising, a month or two here would make a pleasant change. Travel time from Sheffield will in theory be a tad quicker than to our current mooring at Lincoln but downside is the more restricted cruising grounds and lack of weekend cruising on salty or tidal waterways.

One last option we are considering for our summer mooring is Fossdyke Yacht Harbour on the Tidal Welland. This option will give us excellent access to the sea and a shorter travelling time than Boston but on the flip side there are of course some downsides. If the weather is foul then there are few inland cruising options and Fossdyke, although a pleasant enough village is small and not exactly happening. Although the newly reopened pub does look nice it could become an expensive summer mooring if we spend every weekend in there due to inclement weather or unsuitable tide timings.

As you can probably see we are still leaving our options open and as yet have no firm plans for the temporary summer mooring. We have met a great group of friends at Burton Waters which has confirmed our decision to keep our mooring on E Pontoon, however they do say that a change is as good as a rest hence the hunt for a temporary summer mooring.

Monday 20 February 2012

Sea Fishing

Sea fishing, we are not very good at it but as we have a sea boat and we take her to sea for our holidays throughout the year, we do have a try at it. Unsuccessfully so far it does have to be said, but we do try.

Last year on our way back from the Broads we tried our hand at Mackerel fishing but we got it all wrong and didn’t even get a bite. A quick word in the ear of the local sea fishing trip boat operator soon put us right though and hopefully this year we will catch our first sea fish that we will then be able to BBQ later in the day.

Hopefully with the help of the local fishermen we can look forward to some great fresh fish this year. With trips planned to Whitby, Scarborough and Wells next the Sea, all working fishing ports, we have every chance of catching a few free and incredibly fresh meals. What could be fresher or tastier than BBQing you’re freshly caught and filleted fish?

We are going to make some minor modifications to Naughty-Cal to make sea fishing from her a tad easier. We are going to add a pair of stainless steel rod holders to the transom of the boat. The main reason for this is so that we can set up the rods whilst still moored up in harbour, threading line through hooks and rigs whilst the boat is rocking and rolling with the seas motion is incredibly difficult and also quite sea sickness inducing. Having the rigs set up and ready to go will give us more fishing time and much less faffing around at sea.

We also plan to buy a collapsible bucket. On the off chance that we do catch a fish or two then we will need somewhere to put them whilst we have a chance to get back to shore to gut and fillet them. A collapsible bucket will take up very little room whilst stored away, but filled with sea water should prove to be a great catch hold, assuming we manage to catch anything to put in it of course.

We do like to do a spot of fishing, be it at sea or on the river. We are not very good at it but it does provide a relaxing way to spend the day on or by the water. As with anything you can make fishing as cheap or as expensive as you please. We don’t spend a lot of money on fishing gear but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy it just as much as those who spend thousands on their gear and fish every week come rain or shine.

Friday 17 February 2012

A Humble Jumble

Well what a disappointing boat jumble it was this year. The quality of the stalls fell well short of our expectations and the majority of traders were not willing to haggle or barter on their prices. We didn’t buy anything from our shopping list but we did pick up a few items we will use throughout the year, so all was not completely lost.

First up we bought a pair of oars for the dinghy from the Burton Waters stall. When we bought Asbo, our dinghy, one of the oars was missing, so we removed the one remaining one. Now that we have a pair we can paddle around as well as using the engine. We will also be able to get back to safety should the outboard engine decide to breakdown at any time. For £7 it was rude not to buy them when we really did need a pair. They will need some slight modifications to make them fit the integral rowlocks on the dinghy but that isn’t going to be too difficult a job, so come some better weather we will modify them and fit them.

Our next purchase was some new sea fishing gear. I needed a new rod and Liam’s rod was getting a little shabby and beaten up so we bought a new pair of rods and a new reel for my rod grabbing a great deal with the two rods and one reel coming in at just £25, less than the ticket price on the reel. We didn’t even feel the need to haggle with this chap, he did it all for us. We expect he didn’t want to take all of his stock back home with him. The rods are heavy enough to tackle some sea fish but also light enough for everyday use on the river catching pike and other larger coarse fish. We also bought some new feathers and lures so the fishing tackle box is restocked and ready for the coming season. Now we just need to catch the fish, not always as easy as it sounds.

We also stumbled into some new and old friends throughout the morning and had a chance meet with Simon, our narrow boating friend who accompanied us on our trip to West Stockwith last November. This was a great chance meeting as we have bought his 3kW inverter which he no longer needs or uses. We have been after a larger inverter to power the kettle and toaster so this was high on our list of this year’s jobs to do. Our original plan had been to buy a 2kW version but this one has come up at the right price and at the right time so we will have this one which will give us a little extra in reserve should we buy any higher powered electrical goods. We now just need to pick it up next weekend and install it in time for our Easter holiday at the beginning of April. More jobs to tackle in the next few weekends.

This may not have been our most successful visit to the Boat Jumble but we did still walk away with some good bargains and some useful items. The items we were looking to buy will have to be bought from elsewhere, most probably Morton Boats, who always have as good deal for us anyway.

Friday 10 February 2012

Haggling Time

It is that time of year again where we need to get our haggling heads on and drive some hard bargains at the Newark Boat Jumble. Each year we attend this jumble and it usually proves to be a successful and worthwhile Sunday morning of bargaining.

This year we have a few items on our list of wants, needs and must haves, including 30-40m of 12mm navy blue Marlow braid on braid mooring rope. We currently have a set of four 10m long lines on Naughty-Cal but we need a pair of slightly longer lines for rafting up in sea ports, often two, three or four boats abreast. It is courteous to send your own lines ashore to take the strain from the inner boats lines so long lines are a must have item on board. Last year we bought 40m of rope for £23.50 so we are aiming for about the same sort of price again.

On the rope subject we are also after some matching navy rope for the grab line and mooring rope on the dinghy. This can be a smaller diameter 10mm braid on braid line which will then match Naughty-Cal’s mooring rope and fender rope. Hopefully as we are buying so much rope we should get a decent deal on 10m or so of 10mm line.

We are also looking for a couple of crew bags for our clothing and other assorted weekend and holiday gear. Our current suitcases have had three years of weekly use and are starting to show signs of their age. A nice pair of new crew bags will hopefully fit the bill and do the job just fine and again as we are buying a pair of them we hope to be able to do a good deal on the price.

No doubt there will be other stuff that we end up buying as well, there usually is. But we always end up walking away feeling as though we have done some good deals. Let’s hope that this year is as good as the last three have proven to be for grabbing bargains and great value purchases.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Special Places

As you travel around the system you often come across a place that is so special that you have to revisit again. We have come across a lot of places special to us along the way both local and much further afield and we hope to visit all of them again in the near future.

Below is a selection of pictures showing just a few of the places we love dearly. In just three short years we have travelled far and wide and in this our fourth year with Naughty-Cal we hope to find yet more special places to add to our ever growing list.

Newark, the jewel in the River Trent’s crown.

West Stockwith at the start of the Chesterfield canal.

Wells next the Sea, the first place we visited by sea and what a way to start our salty water cruising careers.

York on the River Ouse, a historic city with plenty to keep you occupied.

Blakeney Bay. A tranquil spot to while away a few hours on the hook.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Much A To Do About Nothing - Part 2

Hot on the back of last week’s topic about tidal waterways and the fear they tend to generate, here are a few pictures of Naughty-Cal and ourselves cruising on our local tidal waterways. Hopefully they will show the wide variety of scenery and the different character of the many different tidal waterways local to us, all within easy reach of our home mooring just outside Lincoln.

Without cruising on these tidal waterways we would be restricted to cruising on the Fossdyke and River Witham. As much as we like both the Fossdyke and the Witham we also like to explore new waterways and discover new places.

It may seem like a giant leap of faith for some to venture off of familiar and benign waterways and into the unknown of the tidal reaches beyond, but if we never take the opportunity and embrace the experience then there will be so many places that we will never see or go to. We have been extremely lucky with the places we have been and seen so early on in our boating careers but only because we have grasped the opportunities as they have arisen. Go on, get out there and explore, there are so many special places just waiting to be discovered.

Trent Falls

Tidal Trent at Keadby

Tidal River Witham, Boston

Tidal Ouse

The mighty River Humber

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Much A To Do About Nothing

For some people the mere mention of tidal waterways sends them into a frenzy. They panic, they fret and they generally work themselves up into a dithering state. Why?

I’m not entirely sure what all of the fuss is about. Yes you need to do a little bit more planning and your journeys are dictated by tide times but that needn’t be a worry. If you plan your trip with the help of someone knowledgeable (we find the lock keepers a great source of local information) and have the correct charts for the area in which you will cruise and know how to read them then there is little to worry about.

If you hang around any marina or mooring place for long enough you will start to gather together a whole series of horror stories about the local tidal waterways. Burton Waters is a great case of this. We have moored there for three years now and have heard a great deal of myth relating to the River Trent, the tamest and smallest of the tidal waterways in the area. More often than not these tales come from people who have never dared to venture out onto the river; they are passing on stories third and fourth hand. The problem with these stories is that if people new to boating get wind of them it puts them off the tidal rivers and they never explore them for themselves, they never get to make up their own mind and continue to plod along on the same old stretch of non tidal water too scared to venture to pastures new.

We chose to ignore these stories of which we heard plenty and made our own minds up about the local rivers. Within a couple of months of buying Cal we had ventured out onto the Trent visiting Newark and West Stockwith before taking on the task of heading down the Trent to Trent Falls and heading back up the mighty Ouse to York and Ripon beyond. A trip that most boat owners at Burton Waters will fail to undertake in their time at the marina which is a great shame. The Trent is a much feared river and in all reality it is a lovely place to spend some time afloat and opens up doors to many great and varied cruising grounds.

It is a great shame that people generate this fear and hatred of tidal waterways. They have a character and a feeling all of their own, quite unlike the gentle waters of the non tidal rivers and canals. With a little extra planning and thought trips out onto tidal waterways can be rewarding and fun, a far cry from the bleak picture painted by some.

My one piece of advice would be to make up your own mind. Don’t let others make it up for you but do prepare and do stay safe out there. Accidents and incidents can and do happen, but they also happen on relatively benign waterways as well. Enjoy your time on tidal waterways, they are a gateway to cruising grounds far and wide reaching and should be treated with the respect that they deserve.