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2021, Covid & The Fate Of The Norfolk Broads

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Miles
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2021, Covid & The Fate Of The Norfolk Broads

Post by Miles »

Time Will Tell.
RMS_Lusitania_while_sinking_.jpg
So what on Earth awaits the boating community of the Norfolk Broads for 2021?

No doubt that 2020 was about as predictable as the path of a headless chicken, day by day, everything was taken away, then restored and then taken away again...ad Infinitum. All concluding with being enormously busy and sold-out.
From one extreme to another with the click of a finger.
Even boats sold so quickly once the message was clear...nobody is going out of the country on holiday.

Most people I speak to are quietly predicting a similar playout of last year. Restrictions get lifted and the whole country goes out to play, gets reinfected and the pubs get closed again.

However, what if that is not the case?
What if the restrictions do not get lifted and the boating season never starts?
No hire boats...I can live with that :lol: but no boating season and what if people still could not get to their boats to even check on them.
Weeks turn into months, boats go mouldy and start to sink because the batteries have long gone fat, bilge pump packs up and the inevitable happens.
Sounds extreme but the reality is that this could be the way 2021 unfolds and the reason for thinking this is it is happening now.
12,000 boats registered on the Norfolk Broads and not one of them gets tolled because nobody can use them.
That would mean the end of the Broads Authority too as they can not exist without third party boat owners and their contributions of fiscal fees.

I guess nobody really knows as nobody has realistically been here before.

One postulate I would hint at being almost guaranteed is an influx in residential boaters.
If people are losing their income, homes or livelihood? then it would make perfect sense to move on to a boat.
I personally believe local councils and the Broads Authority should prepare for this eventuality and not as a social or marine problem but more of an opportunity.

With literally weeks remaining till the start of the boating season, I really do take it one day at a time because in 8 weeks time literally anything could be happening or worst-case scenario...nothing happening.

All I can add is that my very first boat trip down a sun-soaked river is possibly going to be one of the best moments I could currently wish for and just how nice it will be to see so many familiar faces. :D

Phoenix.jpg


Short Term Discomfort, Long Term Gain...
Graham
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Joined: April 8th, 2020, 9:54 am

Re: 2021, Covid & The Fate Of The Norfolk Broads

Post by Graham »

Make for an interesting read Miles.
Especially the part that says 'no hire boats' It brings to mind those moments of last year, cruising on an empty river, mooring at an empty St Benet's without fear of getting a chip out of the gelcoat or much worse. It was as near to perfect as it could be. But then all hell broke loose, 'hire-boat-hell' And on many levels. Not a great year for broads incidents.

Who knows what will happen. New variants of the virus, how long will the vaccinations offer protection, schools returning in March, I am sure after a week or two everything else will follow. Then as you say maybe back into more restrictions / lockdown. Basically rinse and repeat.

A walk around where I keep my own boat tells a sad story, shore power run out on a few, the white turned various shades of green. I know for a fact that the boat behind me has lost power to its winter heating, I contemplate putting a splitter in my own shore power and connecting theirs up. It depressing to see the condensation on the inside of the windows.

I dont think people will be in too much of a hurry to pay tolls this year. No-one knows how everything will pan out. Lessons have been learnt now from how BA treated people last year. No doubt the speech will be the same from pac-mans puppets. And if lockdown continues the rangers will be cruising up and down with their little blue light on (useful early warning for the less than desirable people who decide that they want to help themselves to a free outboard) Stopping to take 'happy-snaps' of the empty rivers and themselves to post on Twitter.
Although worth adding that on a couple of occasions last year during the lockdown I had my car parked outside my boat and they went straight past me, take into account I could have been anyone. I could see them coming at least 10 mins before they went past thanks to their pretty blue light.

A very good point about residential boaters. And certainly something that the non elected should be looking at regardless. All I can say is that last year a live-a-board took up camp at a 24hour close to where I moor (obviously the 24 hours was irrelevant) And it added a sense of security knowing that they were there. Certainly a deterrent to anyone wandering around looking for an opportunity.

Interesting times ahead!

Ha! Yes I too look forward to that first sun drenched cruise. Hopefully a few weeks maybe of less traffic. :roll: :D


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