Warwick (rare Madagascan tortoises)

As we have access to a car for the next week we had a trip up the M6 to Northwich to see a boat builder.  We are still keen on down sizing to a boat only 57 feet in length so we can visit those canals in the North that we cannot currently visit.

First we had to walk from Warwick to the top of the Hatton flight of locks to pick up the car.  On the way we were following a CRT inspector.  These guys are the equivalent of traffic wardens and take note of boat registration numbers.  They can then track and fine those that overstay at moorings.  Mooring limits are anything between one and 14 days depending upon the popularity of a spot.  Generally, out in the country it is 14 days and in the middle of towns, 24 or 48 hours.

The records these guys take are also used to check boats are licenced and that the appropriate licence restrictions are adhered to.  We have what is known as a continuous cruiser’s licence which means we have to cruise a minimum number of miles each year and not just back and forth between a couple of bridges (what is called bridge-hopping).  The idea being that if you are a bridge-hopper then you should really pay for a permanent mooring.  Having covered nearly 1,000 miles and 1,000 locks since last November we are definitely continuous cruisers. 

We also passed a dog walker in a uniform with six dogs, all off the lead – Buddy was particularly interested in the smallest dog.

When we got back to the boat in the evening we found that “Green tomato man”, as Karen calls him, was moored behind us in their boat Anganoka.   

When the couple (Don and his wife – I’m useless with names) saw us they came and said hello – we have been passing each other whilst cruising for the last few days and always waved.  We had a lovely long conversation with them.  Coincidentally they have a mooring in Newbury near where we used to have one.  They live on their boat from March to November each year and return to their marina for the winter months.

They called their boat Anganoka because they lived in Madagascar for eight years studying and conserving the rare Anganoka tortoise with Gerald Durrell.  Very little was known about this breed of tortoise until their studies started.

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