Thursday, 22 November 2012

CART Weather Warning for Boaters.

I see the weather has taken a turn once again and now returned back to summer conditions.  including floods, hosepipe ban and water shortages.

Last summer I had been wondering for a while if the winter weather would be any better than the summer or like beer - either mild or bitter. So I decided to get in touch with the CART helpline to see what they knew. They said that they were not certain at this moment in time - But as a precaution it might be a good idea to collect dead wood from the canalside for the fire. I told everyone else on the marina that whilst CART was not certain about the exact detail of the long term weather for the coming winter period. They had recommended that we should collect fire wood as a precaution.

I was asked a couple of weeks later by a fellow boater if there had been any update from the CART helpline on the winter weather forecast. No one had been in touch, so I rang them up again to enquire. CART again said they were not sure of how the winter would go. However some further early indications were pointing towards a cold winter. It would be a good idea to continue to stock up on logs. I passed on the update once again to everyone at the marina. 

It was about this time that we had several of our towpath tidy days organised amongst boaters in the surrounding area marinas. Everyone was having a good time clearing the towpath and foraging for dead timber and old logs for their stoves.  So a couple of weeks later I rang the CART helpline again. This time CART said "It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed. Most of the early indicators were now pointing in the direction of a very poor winter to come." I passed on the bad news to everyone.

Now that the area around the marina was clear of litter and all remnants of dead wood. We decided that we would buy in a load of wood from a supplier to supplement our growing stocks. Most boats in the marina were now displaying healthy stocks. But there were a few boaters still travelling much further afield, continuing to forage the banks and towpaths. It seemed that we had collected together almost every scrap of waste wood along the canalside for miles in each direction.

A couple of weeks later, I rang the CART helpline once again. I enquired about any updates to the long term weather forecast. I was informed that all the indicators were now pointing to a prolonged and bitterly cold winter. Possibly one of the worst on record. I said "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very prolonged and cold?"  "Absolutely," the CART helpdesk person replied. "I can assure you it's going to be one of the coldest winters ever." 

I asked "How can you be so sure?" The CART helpdesk person replied, "Our secret boat recorders which we have dotted around the canal, we use them for covertly spying on boat movements. Have reported that there are boats in many northern marinas piled high with wood and  the boaters are collecting wood like crazy! I can assure you it's going to be one of the coldest winters ever." 


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