Stoppages on the canal system
One of the most attractive facets of life on the canals is the freedom that comes with it. Not many have the advantage of being able to take off on an adventure at the drop of a hat, and take along all the home comforts that come with life on a narrow boat. This being said, there are times when the adventure you have in mind is not always possible. Every now and then stoppages can occur, which may mean a change of plans is necessary.
When it comes to stoppages, preparedness is key. When planning a trip it is always a good idea to check online for any stoppages that could impede your progress. If any navigation closures should occur, it is much better to know in advance. Only finding out once you arrive at the stoppage in question can be disastrous.
There are several reasons why stoppages can occur, the most common being for necessary repairs to be carried out. Whether it be a leaky lock gate, a damaged bridge, or one of countless other possibilities, it is vitally important that canals be maintained. Generally speaking most repairs are carried out in the winter months, when the system is much less busy, and with plenty of warning. However, of course, there are sometimes incidents which can not be planned for, and emergency repairs are necessary.
So much of our canal system is surrounded by nature, and I think most of us can agree, we wouldn't have it any other way. This does mean however, that from time to time branches, or sometimes entire trees can fall directly into the canal. this can prevent boats from being able to pass, and cause a stoppage whilst it is cleared. If you should notice any foliage, or anything else for that matter, that is blocking the canal, you should report it to Canal & River Trust.
Canal levels can fall and rise. Whether it be down to leaky lock gates further along, or prolonged spells of warm weather, it can present an issue. If the water levels should fall too far, the canals can become to shallow for passage. It is best to keep an eye on water levels, especially if you are planning a trip. When boating on the river, water levels being too high can also present an issue. It is advisable to check the levels in advance, if you suspect they could be too high.
If you do have to travel on the canals throughout winter, we at Venetian Marina hope you stay safe and warm. Happy cruising!