Although logs of voyages have been a feature of boating websites for many years, web logs (or blogs) are now the latest web development that has caught the imagination of many people. There is blog software available that makes it easy for anyone to publish on the web and update a log or diary of their life. The first boating blog I came across was Granny Buttons www.grannybuttons.com which was mentioned in last November's issue. Now another two boating bloggs have appeared; Moore 2 Life www.moore2life.blogspot.com, the blog of Ann and Chas who have been living on a narrowboat and enjoying travelling the canals since 2000, and Retirement with No Problem www.choiceforum.co.uk/blog/noproblem.html, the blog of the narrowboat 'No Problem' the home of retired couple Sue and Vic.
More traditional personal websites include Spellbound www.shef.ac.uk/spellbound/index.html the log of a 2003 trip, nb Rodbaston www.rodbaston.fsnet.co.uk with trip reports, photos and links, and the Home Page for Cath and Nigel Bromley http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/square/gd86/index.htm whose pages include a Canals section with trip logs and a canal game that lets you navigate around the system.
The Friday Night Club www.fridaynightclub.org.uk (not to be confused with the Tuesday Night Club www.tuesdaynightclub.co.uk) covers the canal trips of a long-established men's drinking society based in the small Oxfordshire village of Chilton. Nb Rufford www.rufford.org.uk was built in the autumn of 2004 and was lowered into the water on 14 January 2005 at Stockton.
IWA's 1996 National Rally www.martens-foto.de/canals/canals-index.html is about a narrowboat journey to the IWA's National Rally at Dudley in 1996. Extreme Narrowboating http://willerup.com/boat/bath.html describes boating between Bristol and Bath in flood conditions. On the site Artist on the Waterways www.waterwaysartist.co.uk you can view oil paintings and prints by Sylvia Hankin, who is a member of the Guild of Waterways Artists. Towpath Talk www.towpathnews.co.uk is an online version of the magazine. River Stort - History www.stortfordhistory.co.uk/guide11/river_stort.html is part of an excellent Bishop's Stortford and Thorley History and Guide site that will also be of use to visiting boaters.
Oundle Cruising Club www.oundlecruisingclub.co.uk is a small, friendly club based in Oundle Marina midway between Peterborough and Northampton. Gloucester Harbour Trustees www.gloucesterharbourtrustees.org.uk were originally constituted in 1890 and are responsible for a large area of the Severn Estuary and the tidal reaches of the rivers Severn and Wye. Crew-Safe www.crew-safe.co.uk are specialists in the Crewsaver and Yak range of lifejackets, buoyancy aids and accessories.
The Lady of Arden Narrowboat Cruises http://lady-of-arden.com provide traditional narrowboat cruises down the Stratford-upon-Avon canal and Saddleworth Canal Cruises www.saddleworth-canal-cruises.co.uk is the home of the Pennine Moonraker - the first narrowboat to operate on the Uppermill section of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Kennet Cruises www.kennetcruises.co.uk is a small company that offers day hire for up to 12 passengers and a 4-berth narrowboat for period hire plus party charter hire for parties of up to 44 passengers.
Site of the Month
Floating Down the River www.the-river-thames.co.uk is Ian and Dot Hart's personal pages covering the River Thames, with a link to a separate site about exploring Europe by boat. Although there is a page giving details of Heart's Content, their Broom Ocean 34 aft cabin cruiser, most of the site is devoted to lots of useful information about the river. It is also a website that is kept up to date. When I visited the site in January it already had a very full list of Thames events for 2005, month by month, with December being the only month having no events at all.
Clicking on the Thames Information link produces a menu page listing everything a visitor to the Thames might want to know from its geological history to swan-upping, including; testing your historical knowledge with an interactive River Thames timeline, natural history, the meaning of place names, navigation, hotel and trip boats, locks, bridges, pollution and clean-up, moorings and other subjects. There is a lot of useful information on each of these pages all well presented and illustrated with appropriate maps, drawings and photographs. When I had my first boating holiday on the Thames in 1957 there was only one power operated lock on the river. This site tells us where it was, when it was built and why it was not to become the pattern for today's mechanised locks. This is typical of the level of detail contained in these pages.
The site covers both the tidal and non-tidal river and although the authors cannot get their boat under Osney Bridge the river above Oxford is not neglected. If you are planning a trip on the Thames this must be the place to start.
If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW
readers should know about please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.