As some of you may know I have been sailing the duck punt on the Aylesbury arm of the canal system.
I then thought that I would take it for a dip in the Thames which runs fairly close to my house
I had assumed that I would have to pay for a license to anyone who accosted me at the chosen launch place - but the chances are, this being January I would be unlikely to see anyone from the Environment agency outside of the comfort of a portacabin.
After the briefest of exchanges about where to launch the boat on the Thames Forum I realised that I would have to buy a license for the duck punt or be regarded as a waterborne tresspasser and all round bad egg.
So I decided that I would have to find a portacabin and give a man from EA £7.00 for a six day license.
In the end, the thought of spending the first half hour of my alloted sailing time finding an EA man I gave my credit card details to an organisation called Canoe England who have charged me £37 for a year''s license to almost everywhere in in the UK canal and River system.
I have just printed oout my membership details. That is the beginning and end of my relationship with Canoe England.
The £37 is great value - as long as I spend a lot of days this year on the inland system - in a sailing canoe
Tomorrow I will sail for about two hours. I have no idea if I will sail the duck punt again this year on inland water.
Am I cad for taking an unlicensed sail on the Aylesbury Canal in the first place and would I have been a complete bounder for taking the punt for an unlicensed saiil across Port Meadow or along the reaches at Kelsmcott.
Needless to say I always license and third party insure the slug -
it is a big ugly boat with an engine
but it does seem to me that a canoe should be small enough to sllip under the bureaucratic wire. It is the moost minimalist of water craft. What about a wave ski or an inflatable canoe - some of which are excellent. I have seen lots of them being used on the canals and rivers. Do they have to be licensed? Does a lilo need a license?
What does happen to the £37 tomorrows sail is going to cost me
Be gentle with me chaps. I am in a moral dilemma - I ponied up because of peer group pressure. Does this make me a bad and/or weak man
Last edited by dylanwinter; Today at 21:53.