Trent Boat Handling www.trentboathandling.co.uk has a new site offering boat handling courses and theoretical training to suit both the novice and the more experienced boater. They also offer a boat delivery service over the East Midlands region within two days journey of Nottingham or futher in special circumstances. They can also accompany you on your first cruise in your own newly acquired boat, or on your first trip onto the tidal River Trent.
More about Trent boating can be found on Phil and Theresa's Boating Activities http://homepage.dtn.ntl.com/philip.watkins2/ personal pages which cover the family's boating on the river, the Fossdyke and adjoining waterways, aboard their cruiser Cyrtoceras.
A site I have missed mentioning before is WOW - Wild Over Waterways www.wow4water.net, a partnership between three waterway organisations - BW, the Waterways Trust and the IWA to promote our waterways to young people. There are some games for all to play and more available to those users who register as well as facilities for schools, a message area and other information.
Water-Ways www.water-ways.net is a site with the ambition to cover all the navigable waterways in the world by 2005. German, French and English versions of the text are provided to support this international effort. A look at the index for Great Britain shows an impressive list of waterways to be covered.
This is an unusual canal in that it has its own Basingstoke Canal Authority to run the canal and in that it has more water supply problems than most other waterways. Its website www.basingstokecanal1.freeserve.co.uk/society.htm is run by the Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society who describe themselves as the Guardians of the Basingstoke Canal. The society's history and its current need to raise funds for more back pumping is explained on the site, as are many of its other activities such as working parties and the running of their trip boat John Pinkerton, which is always in need of volunteer crews.
Another site connected with the canal is the Accessible Boating Association www.accessibleboating.org.uk. The ABA is a Charity, which provides boating opportunities for people with access difficulties on two self-steer hire boats based on the Basingstoke Canal. Madam Butterfly is a holiday boat having berths for up to 7 persons and Dawn (also available with a skipper) is a day boat offering covered accommodation for up to 6 wheelchair users and their carers.
The Basingstoke Canal Boating Club www.boatingclub.org.uk was formed in 1989 to encourage boating on the canal and now holds boating events and fundraises to improve the waterway's facilities. If you are planning to visit the canal it is useful to know that this site has a list of boating facilities and local services.
Galleon Marine www.galleonmarine.co.uk is the only holiday hire boat company on the canal and offers three classes of boat for from 2 to 8 people. This site is a good example of how small companies can "punch above their weight" on the web. It is very professionally produced, with lots of useful information and layout and details of the boats on offer. They also have attractively presented local information and pictures, advice on routes and all the information you would expect to see on a boat hire site.
Site of the Month
You may find this month's choice of site amazing either because we have got to the thirtieth appearance of Clicking on Canals before it has been selected for this spot or because such a well known site as British Waterways www.british-waterways.org should need to be mentioned at all. Although featuring it here will not significantly raise the profile of the site, as it might for some of the smaller websites, nevertheless quality will out and the merits of the BW pages need to receive their overdue recognition. As you might expect this is a large professionally produced site with a wealth of information, not just for boaters but for walkers, cyclists, anglers and others with an interest in the waterways. Education, Waterways Societies, Museums, Events, Heritage and Environment are all covered and there are various search facilities to help you find what you are looking for. For boaters there is access to all the stoppages and an excellent set of dynamic maps for each waterway, although if you are using a mobile phone to connect to the internet you may find it better to use the basic maps. Mobile users may also appreciate the text only version of the site.
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.