Monday, 31 March 2014

Heading for home.

I left Brum Wednesday  morning and managed with the problems mentioned earlier to get as far as Bridge 2 on the Stratford Canal. Thursday saw me at Lapworth worn out. Rather than take a day off I decided to go to Saltisford. I know Keith on Hadar has not been too well so I thought it might be nice to pop in and say hello.

Saltisford for those of you that don't know is an old canal arm  at the bottom of the Hatton flight. Of course to get there from Lapwprth one has to traverse the 21 locks in the Hatton Flight. This is no mean task. 21 double locks, very heavy gates and vertical worm drive paddle gear that takes 22 turns of the windlass to raise and in some cases 22 turns to lower. By the time I got down to about lock 10 I was worn out again. That was when the thunder and lightning started coupled with the snow and rain and at the same time as if to mock me glorious bright sunshine throughout. WTF!

When it was over I did two more locks before a chap asked if he could join me the rest of the way down. We tied the two boats together and I drove them while he did most of the leg work. I think we reached the bottom of the flight about 5.30. I was moored up in Saltisford by about 6.30 and went for a cuppa with Keith and Jo.

Poor old Keith has been in the wars. At one time it was touch and go. It was fortuitous that they had recently obtained the residential mooring on the arm and that made things so much easier for Jo. Keith is recuperating now, taking things easy and steadily gaining weight.

After the Hatton I decided to have a rest day. Saltisford has all the facilities one could want. So out came the washing bag. Despite my best efforts I failed with the washing machines and had to be rescued by Jo who is conveniently moored by the laundry. I had managed to completely scramble the brains of two of the machines to the point where they didn’t know which day of the wash it was! Sainsbury’s was just down the road so I stocked up there on essentials choc and cake being the main items.

Sunday saw me on my way. Marie who I had been breasted next to was going to Aldi’s so we shared the two locks on the way. Marie got waylaid at the bottom collecting  wood while I continued and met up  with 8tch who used to work for OXNB but now works for Kate NBs. 8tch felt the bottom Cape Lock operate so was kind of expecting me to appear. I have been trying all this winter to buy a Nicholson’s Book 3. They are as rare as rocking horse turds. Just by chance I asked 8tch if they had one in the shop as my rather rain soaked muddied copy I bought 8 years ago needed replacing. Yes they did it was £15 my old one was £13.

While in Leominster I moored outside the the Morrings pub. There s a sign that says 48 HOUR FREE MOORING CUSTOMERS ONLY! That was like a red rag to a bull. I bought hinges at Homebase for my folding doors because I have misplaced the ones I had. Two were £3.69 but a pack of eight were less than 9 quid! Go figure!

The hire boat season appears to have started with a vengeance! While having a cuppa before setting off I could hear a boat the other side of the bridge. It took ages to arrive, but when he did he was winning the race. I called out to him that he was travelling too fast to which he replied, “It’s alright I’m mooring here”. What that had to do with the cost of chocolate frogs I don’t know, but he over shot the mooring behind me and with much ado in the reversing department ended up across the canal like a lemon. I called VIKING to report their inane ability to hire boats to fecking idiots! This arse would have travelled a long way at that speed. “Thumb up his arse, picking his nose, he will cause havoc where he goes”.

Being an idiot myself I can’t bear to be in the presence of real experts so I left. Before doing so I picked up my thick black marker pen and amended the  customers only sign,

I had a pallet on the back deck which, having fished it out of the canal, I was getting bored with it and needed to dispose of said pallet. I picked up a sandpit cover as well on the way to the next lock where as luck would have it there was a rubbish point. I got up the lock and as I was leaving a lady asked if I would wait at the next lock for them. This proved to be a good idea as we shared the locks al the way to the Blue Lias easy day! It turned out they had already done the Hatton 21 that morning! My heroes!! The day before while I was having a rest day they came up from Stratford 38 locks!

We all spent the night in the Blue Lias well half of it we were bushed (I wont bore you all with the Blue Lias being a type of stone from the local area).

Groan!

At a recent CRT meeting in Leeds this question came up again.
Why do continuous cruisers pay the least amount of money and don’t comply with the rules of continuously cruising? Why don’t Canal & River Trust levy a basic mooring charge on top of the licence?
I’m sorry but if people insist on asking questions based on mis-information they will never get an answer.
 
AS a CCer my licence cost me £833 for full access to the whole canal system.
 
As a marina moorer it costs £833* for full access to the whole canal system.
 
Now please correct me if I am wrong but £833 is the same as £833. So I ask how am I paying less?
 
I am not, but those that cant spend their life out on the water think that because they need somewhere to park their pride and joy I and others like me should pay for something we don’t need.
 
In a marina usually there is Electric, Water, Services and security and not to mention somewhere to park their car while out on their weekend jaunts. For this they have to pay the marina owner (it doesn't matter who the owners is). The Marina has overheads which he has to pay. This includes among other things council tax and also a connection fee to CRT water. This really has absolutely nothing to do with boaters. When a marina owner set his prices he charges enough to cover his services and overheads plus a handsome profit, after all he is in business.
 
In reality the owner doesn’t have to pay the connection fee and CRT could dam the entrance to the canal. That way Marina moorers would get cheaper moorings. Then in order to go boating every boat in a marina will simply have to get their boat craned out of the marina onto the canal what could be easier? There is one drawback an in-out-in-out crane lift could cost £200 each time, but not to worry think of the money being saved  by not paying a higher marina fee!
 
I have mentioned Mr Norman Bate here before he is not a lone voice. He is a marina moorer of some renown who will berate CCers for being CCers because they overstay yet he will overstay often and in the not too distant past stayed two weeks on a 48 hour mooring and last year said he was prepared to overstayed in London pending the birth of the new Royal oik! The Norman’s of this world will continue to break the rules while berating everyone who does not fit into their idea of a boater. The question I ask is why is it ok for marina moorers to overstay and not CCers? Now many Marina moorers are going to fly off the handle and say they have never overstayed on a visitors mooring. I will answer, There are two types of boaters those who have overstayed  on a VM and those that are going to’.
 
I know boaters, in both camps, that have “never overstayed” spend three nights on a 48. Arriving late on Friday evening and leaving early on Monday morning is 60 hours. Even using time compression techniques practiced in all walks of life ‘60 is about 48’ does not wash!
 
The CCer question will rise time and time again, but we must remember we all pay the same licence fee for our boating** the fact that some of us don’t get to enjoy it as long as others is not a good reason to make the others pay more for what is in actuality the same licence. Maybe the argument should be for the marina moorers to pay less that way marina moorers might just get the support of the CCers.
 
*For a boat the same size
**For boats the equal size

Sunday, 30 March 2014

I only hope…..

…..this creature was dead when these bastards did this!!!BhFpaeVIMAAIkL8 I suspect not!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Too near the top!

Today I set off from Brum on my way south. I was just passing Gas Street Basin when I caught something around my propeller. As usual a 20 minute stop to remove a knot of plastic bags. A relatively uneventful trip to the visitor moorings at Bourneville where I stopped for lunch then decided to clear up the grass area behind the moorings. By the time I had finished I had filled a one ton builders bag Which happened to be lying around. I phoned CRT to arrange a collection (it is a CRT area) because I couldn't get the bag on my roof.

I set off and hadn’t gone 100 yards when I caught something around the propeller again! This time it was a dressing gown belt plastic bags and a 12 foot cargo strap complete with the hook.  It was so tightly wrapped around the prop I had to disconnect the drive and move the prop back to loosen the strap which then came off easily.

I hadn’t gone a hundred yards when I picked up something else there being no rings where I stopped I pulled the boat back to where I had been. There I took a car inner tube off the prop. Bored now!

About another mile or so along the canal the boat tracked over to the right and despite my best efforts hit the bank. I reversed away several times before I was able to get back on track.  The water there is very shallow despite being recently dredged. This is because the dredge is put up on the far bank And when it rains it gets washed back in the canal. CRT engineering at its best!!!

With a two foot draught I shouldn’t be lifting rubbish off the bottom or indeed touching the bottom, ever! Methinks the bottom needs to be lowered somewhat. And that somewhat needs to be closer to the original design spec.

Odd!

That bag of rubbish there in the pic was collected from the hedgerow and around the bridge. As I walked back to the boat the boat in font on the tow path side passed by me. He stopped and moored where you see him. As he was mooring up I threw my bag on the roof and cast off. The chap in front rapidly cast off and stayed in front of me for the next few miles. Why he did this I do not know. Stalker? Assassin? Fan? Then he stopped somewhere else!

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Is it me ….

….or is this picture wrong?

DSCF0768 There were many cars on the road but none of them clamped

I have one of these….

DSCF0730 …. because irresponsible drug fuelled junkies leave these….DSCF0731…..lying about where children and animals can get harmed.

If these bastards cant be responsible enough to clean up their shit they should stay at home while they are fucking up their life.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Free!

Now where do you think these came from? There are a lot to be found of various sizes all over every place I visit. We all walk past them and notice them not.DSCF0608They are clipped around almost every lamppost in town. The signs they once secured long since gone. I suppose technically its theft to take them, but the council will never remove them and if they did would put them in the bin.

They really are litter and being a litter collector I walk down town with a pair of cutters in my pocket. Some that I ‘saved’ are nearly half an inch wide (they don’t come cheap). So between us all we can rid the country of this blight and have a enough cable ties to last a lifetime.

If you should find any that are still holding up a sign check the date if its passed I consider it to be litter.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The trouble…..

…….. with these new stainless water stands is……. DSCF0490people leave them open!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Banned!

Well well well yesterday I put this picture up on Facebook which I got from Twitter.BjBFT5MIgAAl5d5 Saturday morning I had a message that a complaint was made and that it was being reviewed. Then they said I should remove it, because it contains nudity or Pornography.

I didn’t remove it because I didn’t believe the people at Facebook would actually delete this. I cannot imagine what small minded moron thought this was worth reporting, but as with all these things arseholes are always anonymous.

I cannot believe that Face book keep the names secret. I should be allowed to know what arse reported this picture because I dont want such small mindedness on my friends list or having access to my page. The perp is obviously  mean minded moron to find this picture offensive. Total coward.

Anyway Facebook deleted the picture and banned me which is why I haven’t posted on Facebook today. I hope this works when I link it to Facebook

Locks 4 & 5 Atherstone

This is the short pound between locks 4 & 5 on the Atherstone flight. There are two set of mooring bollards one for each lock and there is a large space in between. The coffin dodger in the middle of the picture is not, as one might think, sitting in the space between the two lock moorings: no he has positioned himself between two bollards.

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He must have a licence so he has a copy of the rules. Being a coffin dodger is not a good enough reason to break the rules.

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Curdworth Bottom Lock! B & F

It’s quite obvious he/she shouldn’t be parked there, but some people are just not clever enough to understand. Maybe CRT should stop selling ex Lock keepers houses to morons? Or perhaps a hot ash can emptied on the bonnet might convince them they are not human!!!!

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Where’s Molly

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What’s wrong with this picture

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Celebrity

Ah so that’s where Del Boy got to! DSCF0700 

Rodders girlfriend is in the back! DSCF0702

Thursday, 20 March 2014

I heard today that……

……my mothers house has finally been sold. To most its just a house. To my family it is where we grew up. To me it was my life. I hadn’t been there too many times in the last few years, but it is where I started my life. When my folks moved mum was pregnant with me. They hadn’t been there much more than a month when I arrived. Well that’s the story mum used to tell. More recently she would say her waters broke as she stepped over the threshold. Today is a sad day.

Goodnight Mum love you.

CRT Work boat slightly out of date.

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Discrimination

DSCF0494 I am a bit miffed that they keep making these offers “Two 4 One and children Dine Free. What about single people? Don’t we get a break? Why should we pay more for our food than everyone else?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Smoking

I missed an opportunity last month to celebrate an anniversary. It was February 27 five years ago that I smoked my last cigarette. I did have a couple of puffs a two years ago, but it made me feel sick.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Phillip Henson RIP

My dear friend,
          I am so very sorry you didn’t get the last few months they promised you. Trish says you are at peace now and I hope that really is the case.
          I enjoyed the time we all spent together though such times were too few. Others might not understand but we both had similar thoughts on many things. We were well on our way to being the greatest of friends.
          I will miss your jokes and your portly persona. Never again will we meet up on the river and share a beer or two. I remember you introduced me to scallops October 2009 when I was on boat-about down the Thames and we hooked up at Desbourgh.
          I felt very much a part of your circle of friends when you invited me to your house while I was moored at Walton.
I am truly honoured that you wanted me to have the Waterman and I will cherish it.
          If there is an after life I feel sure we will meet up and sink a few beers together once again! It was an honour to pass time in your company, I shall remember Teddington with you and Trish last year fondly. I am glad we had that time.

goodbye dear friend.

Maffi

FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY

Florida Court Sets Atheist Holy Day! 
Gotta love this Judge!
You must read this......a proper decision by the courts...for a change.

In  Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days.  He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days.  The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.
The case was brought before a judge.  After listening to  the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring,"Case dismissed!"
The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case?  The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others.  The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and  Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays.."
The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."
The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists."
The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.'  Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned."        ; You gotta love a Judge that knows his scripture!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Nuneaton…….

….Is a shit hole, but the sunsets are good.DSCF0542 Every time I stop in Nuneaton (five times now) two motor cycles ride along the towpath at full speed. I do know they have no number plate but haven’t seen them in the dark so I don’t know about the lights. I feel sure that some day/night someone is going to get hurt.  DSCF0545 I spoke to a local boater tonight who told me they do it nearly every day and he himself was forced into the bushes by them late last year. I have reported this before but will have to do it again on Monday.

 

Twelve I think

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Friday, 14 March 2014

Ukraine

I am not sure what is going on in the Ukraine but what I do see is worrying. It seems the people have risen up against the legally elected Government and this in not legal. To me the Ukraine elected their government representatives based a) what the candidates said they would do b) the understanding that the representatives were employees of the people. Very much in the same vein as we do.

The Ukraine government failed in their duty to the electors and, as it now appears, lied to the people. Very much in the same vein as our candidates lie before, and continue to lie, after they get elected.

If a legally elected  government fails in its promises to the people then surely it is not a legal body. The people of the Ukraine were surely right to protest. Any government that opens fire on its citizens is, apart from being bereft of morality, a failure and should be expected to stand down; not only by their people but the world at large.

Now ‘world leaders’ are saying the uprising was wrong. Well they would wouldn’t they. David Cameron and Barack Obahma are probably worried that we the people might just follow the Ukrainians and rise up against our governments because they have also forgotten why they are in the hot seat.

Now in comes Russia. I think Putin is a bit of a hard man. The deposed leader of Ukraine went running to him crying “They took away my cushy job!” WIMP!!!

It appears part of Ukraine want to be Europeans and the other part wants to be Russians. As I understand it Putin has put soldiers into the Crimea to protect the wishes of the people there.

The EU seem intent on taking Ukraine in its entirety into Europe. And though they have no army are prepared to fight for that to happen. This unelected band of pirates could possibly drag us into WW3.

Cameron and Obama are prepared to impose travel restriction and freeze finances in the hope of convincing Putin to back off. Putin has all the GAS!!! Cameron and Obama are stupid.

Things to note a) This is not the Cuban Missile Crisis although it could develop to that magnitude. b) we do not have a ‘world leader’ of the calibre of JKF.

The sad thing is that ,despite all the wars and the lessons learned in the last 100 years, we are going to allow a lying cheating scumbag, David Cameron, to make decisions that require a man of far higher calibre. Maybe it is time the Muppet stepped aside. We no longer have an army big enough to consider taking on the Ruskies. And in all honesty in the 21st century we should be past all this posturing especially when it is done by tossers!

We should stay out of this it is not for us to get involved.

Tony Benn

A man of great integrity!

David Cameron can’t spell integrity!

Tonight on Any Questions one ‘guest said he was ‘destined not to get far in British politics’.

I suppose that was because he didn’t enter into the Liar Olympics like David Cameron et al.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Bob Crow….

….was a giant of a decent human being who stood up for the ordinary man. He didn’t, however, stand tall enough to move into his own home and release his council house for a needy ‘ordinary man’.

Stuff stored!

A recent story in the press said that there was £35 billion worth of stuff being ‘stored’ in peoples houses. I have for sometime been concerned about the fact that you cannot buy just one screw, or say three nails which though in itself is not such a bad thing (you will eventually use the others you have to buy on other projects) there are things that you do only need a specific number.

A pair of door handles for instance, but you are conned into buying two for a 25% discount. The second will sit in the shed for the rest of your life. On the one occasion that you find someone that needs that handle to replace a broken one of the same design you decide that yours might break so you keep the spare ‘just in case’.

We buy 2-4-1, we buy packs of 5 when we only need 2, we buy packs of ten when we only need three, packs of 25 when we only need 5, packs of 50 when we only need 8, I recently had a need 16 3/16th pop rivets, I had to buy 200!

I wonder how much ‘stuff’ that should be in the shops/stores on their shelves is actually stored in drawers/sheds in every household in the country. Even someone who is just starting up in a small flat has screws, nails, cup hooks etc.

We all buy ‘stuff’ that we don use, but can we always buy stuff that we do need/use. As a boater we will nearly all use a lump hammer to put pins in the bank, but try and get a new handle for it from the DIY shed and they will say ‘they don't do that, but you can buy a new hammer’! And if you are a proper boater you will still keep the head of the old hammer.

So all the ‘stuff’ you buy that you store at home is really wasteful and you only have it because the DIY companies are packing for their benefit not yours. 

 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Bloody Windows 8

I was so pissed off with huge downloads I switch them off. I now have 34 updates pending, total size 430 Mbs. I’m sorry but MicroSoft issue a sub-standard product and I have to pay for the fix? I don’t think so. Now feck off!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Sweet!

Grand children are so sweet! Shame about the taste of the parents.

Eide

Friday, 7 March 2014

I have the nicest readers

Hi Maffi,

You don't know me. I live in Northern Ireland.

I have a mild interest in canal boats. My wife and I have friends who live near Foxton Locks. Every time we visit, I insist on going there.

I follow a few canal boat blogs, but yours is top of the list. I have read your complete blog from the very start. I like the way you write and the way you act, you say what you mean and mean what you say.

You stopped blogging for a while and I greatly missed your blogs, I’m glad you are back !

This is completely out of character for me to email someone I don't even know. I don't know if this is even a current email address for you. Maybe I’ll get a mention in your blog. Maybe not.

Anyway, keep up the blog, keep up the good work and maybe, just maybe, I will meet you sometime at Foxton.

All the best

Martin

Who’s been writing in MY book?

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More flooding he he!

So a water leak on the Daventry Road  finally came to the attention of the water company. They sent their ‘soldiers’ along to fix what was really a trickle down the bank and into the canal.

So the troops set to digging up the pavement to access the leak so it could be repaired. Well, I don’t know if they found the leak they came to find, but they found a bigger one. ‘Twere fecking huge!

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Needless to say the ‘treasure hunters’ retreated back to the relative dryness of their van whilst waiting for reinforcements.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Fly tipping!

In the middle of nowhere a bag of rubbish and what looks like an electric lawnmower. WHY?

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Think!!! Before you moor.

Travel along any canal and one is likely to come across places where the offside vegetation extends quite some distance out into the canal. Often over half the width of the canal.

So one would think that when a boater is preparing to moor up he might avoid such places rather than force other boaters to run through a slalom, but no they all seem to moor without thought. This particular chap moored between two patches of overgrowth.

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Then there is the chap who insists on mooring on a bend.

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And the bozo who has a breasted pair at a bridge hole when a couple of hundred yards away there was a straight stretch with Armco Pilling.

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Good day!

What a fabulous day it has been. I took my cratch cover to have the damage from last years Harecastle event repaired. Later Mort Bones came to visit with Boots. Molly and Boots are always so pleased to see each other. Then Ronnie Paine came to replace one of my cover zips. She used a zip recycled from an old tent. Wonderful job!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

I just don’t understand ……..

…….what is difficult to understand about the 8 til 8 rule. If you are having trouble with it let me explain. Between the hours of 8 pm and 8 am it is not good form to run your engine or generator. You may not be able to hear it whilst watching your TV but those of us that don’t have time to watch TV or don’t even have a TV can hear it. We find it annoying that you turn your engine/generator on while we are trying to finish a painting or working on a poem or magazine article or writing the next page.

Now you might say why do we have to work at night? The answer is simple BECAUSE IT’S QUIETER YOU MORON!

If you must run your engine/generator at night go out into the middle of nowhere and do it. Alternatively you could get a smaller TV (you cannot seriously need that 40 inch monstrosity on a boat) or you  could get your system fixed, but please don’t run it near others or it may end up in the canal.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Spring has sprung, the sky is leaking.

Last night I moored up at Crick in the pouring rain. I awoke this morning to glorious sunshine streaming through the window. Molly was eager for a walk and we set off down the towpath. On the way back we detoured to the village shop where I bought some bacon and bread having run out a few days ago. Back on the boat I fixed a bacon butty before setting off on my way.

The sun was fab all the way down to the junction. Then shortly after turning right to the tunnel the heavens opened And I got drenched. I was pissed because I could see the sunny sky over Braunston.

I entered the tunnel wringing wet. Someone was coming the other way. As we passed he asked if it was raining. “Yes,” I said. “Yep same out the other end too,” he replied!

I came out of the tunnel slowly, hoping the rain would stop. No such luck! I was thinking about mooring up until the rain stopped. Molly was a very soggy doggy and I was dripping all over the hexboard step. Unfortunately there were peeps at the lock so I thought I might as well take advantage. Peter Grey was one of the CRT peeps at the gate. I decided to go all the way down.

The rain stopped. The rain stared. The rain stopped. The rain stared. By the time I reached the bottom lock my skin was the only thing stopping my body from being dissolved by the rainwater which, by now, had permeated all my clothes. Molly looked so sad, a bit like ET in the bicycle basket. I moored up near to Gongoozlers two boats away from nb  Islonian the ‘Vapes’ boat

Sunday, 2 March 2014

All along the Leicester

It is noticeable along the GU to Leicester that there has been a lot of work put in recently. Much of the towpath has been levelled by dredging and back filling the trenches that have been appeared behind the piling. There has also been a lot of tree doctoring, but nowhere near enough. The long straight between bridges 46 & 47 is, in most places, so overgrown that two boats will find it difficult to pass.

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