Thursday, 20 September 2012

On the Canal


On the Canal


I took a reluctant trip to IKEA recently ( looking at new kitchen for this French cottage of mine) and took the opportunity to walk along the Isle et Villaine canal for a while. Two interesting low cost DIY attempts to get afloat here. One obviously more practical than the other – although if your ambition is simply to cruise a canal, I suppose a caravan on a raft shouldn’t be sniffed at. 

Equally interesting, the water was perfectly clear, so clear in fact that you could see the bottom. Now the reason for my interest is that four years ago when I brought my little Channel Island 22 through here, the water was green and murky. So what has happened? Well after a few enquiries, it seems that someone has emptied the contents of a home aquarium in the water. The aquarium contained a plant that home fish keepers use the keep the water clear. Problem here is that this weed seems to thrive and multiply when it is cut up by boat propellers. Not only that but the cuttings form a kind of mat which resembles a sort of green chopped strand GRP matting. Excellent stuff for blocking engine filters.
  
So the water looks unusually fine and clear yet boat after boat engine is overheating as they come through the Canal. I had dinner with a couple of Jersey shipmates the other day as they came out of the canal on route home. They described the journey as a nightmare. Heaven knows what the authorities will do to restore the situation – hope they sort it by next year though because that’s when I hope to make the trip to the Atlantic via this waterway. Might have to paddle!


Seaward