Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, June 09, 2019

It does get worse before it gets better.
Thursday 5th June - Cappy to Corbie

Most of the way today was a proper delight.  As we drifted past nesting aquatic birds, musk rats, floating duck enclosures and caught glimpses of flowering market gardens we felt a bit sorry for those who’d turned back too soon.  For the first hour though, we may have considered joining them.

“Just 200 metres more” said the friendly lock keeper, “and then the weed is no longer a problem.”   Well the friendly lock keeper quite possibly has never owned a measuring tape and if he did he must have failed elementary surveying, although technically he may have been correct.  After his “few hundred metres” lay a minefield, for there, all the stray bits of weed uprooted in the eradication process had collected for a kilometre or so, floating thirty centimetres deep with vast swathes of string algae growing amongst it.

Ten metres into the quagmire our propellor was doing a fair impersonation of a rotating stick of green fairy floss, and progress was negligible.   For a time one of us was seriously contemplating carrying out a reenactment of the good old days, when proper canal boats were pulled along the tow path by women in harness.  The other of us it has to be said was less enthusiastic regarding that particular solution, so we persevered, eventually popping out into the wonderland previously described, hoping that in the few months until our return, the council will have completed its cleanup or at worse, a few more boats will have passed, creating a clearer path!


Vallypee said...

Ah yes, the demon weed. That was a bad stretch two years ago when we were there, but yes, it passed, although we didn't stay long on the Somme, so had to go back through it.

Ian said...

Youse will be rewarded for your fortitude. Even more so if the dread prospect of retracing this particular path entices you to overspend your planned time in the extensive weed-free zone downstream.

Glass half full.

Chatting to the folks familiar with the waterway, they told us the problem with weed is compounded by increasingly strict environmental regulations that prevent them having a RHG on scouring out the weed, so it grows back far more quickly than it did in the bad old days before we cared about the weeds in a river.

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