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FreedomBoatingHols last won the day on May 31

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  1. I am not at all sure that the number of people that died solely of Covid-19 is relevant. People are dying. Vulnerable people are dying because this disease is causing massive complications. Maybe we wait until all the sick people have been killed off..... The future IS important. Tomorrow is important and, for thousands in ICU, so is their next breath because there are still 300 or so people passing every day from the effects of this. Opening the economy too soon and too quickly is likely to make the infection rate rise. We keep hearing about how masks are important, yet today, my son's school sent out a missive that tells us that the education department does not recommend them. Why is it appropriate in shops and not classrooms? After all, the child could go into a shop without one, contract the virus and then take it to school. None of these questions seem to be addressed. There seems to be no joined-up thinking or communication between government departments and this causes more confusion and, for me, generates a very real reticence to actually get out and try to be "normal" because I don't believe a word of it. This draws into something someone else said about following what the scientists are saying which is increasingly at odds with the Government message. Given that the Government wants "normal" or as close to "normal" as we can get, you would think and hope that it would invest the time in communicating messages properly to help us back to whatever normal will look like. My son is in Year 10, facing exams supposedly next year and the school wants to know if we will send him in given the latest missive. What's more important right now? Health or exams? Given the serious amount of leeway that the education system is going to have to adopt in the next few years because of this, the exams seem less important right now than keeping safe. Quite how Maurice can consider the is government doing a good job is beyond me. The death numbers alone are staggering and the closest thing it has to anything being "world beating".
  2. In the UK, the Excess Death Rate is more like 50,000. The government is relaxing lockdown whilst we are stlll at Level Four 4 of its five level "thing" whilst the "thing" itself clearly states that "Gradual relaxation of restrictions" will only begin when the level goes down to three. This is receiving quite a lot of media scrutiny now. There was rumour that day boats could be hired form 15th June, but no statement on this yet. The Heath Secretary said earlier that their review period for lockdown would now be extended from 21 to 28 days so that better monitoring of lockdown lifting can take place. It seems clear that they don't know the Rs from their elbows and our infection rate remains alarmingly high but desite this, lockdown is being de-restricted and against their own published programme. You really couldn't make this up. The problem won't get any better in my view. Once the government says you can do X, people go out in their hoards and descend upon beaches, country parks, riverbanks, beautispots and everyone appears surprised that they weren't the only person to think of going there! Once boat hire is permitted to open again, places like Wroxham will be deluded with people, some of whom may be infected; we really have no idea, but we know that the possibility of infection increases with movement and congregation of people. With the daily infection rate pretty stable and the death rate being similarly stable, fag-packet statistical analysis states that the R rate must be similarly stable (accepting that the numbers have a lag). As these figures appear to have plateaued, adjusting lockdown must be being used to "nudge" the scales - to tip the balance and see what happens. It could go either way. Of course, there are areas of the country with high rates of infection still. The North West isn't doing so well, I understand. It's also thought that Broadland has yet to peak. As you begin to look more and more at the numbers and the responses, you begin to wonder what the lifting of restrictions is really being driven by. I remain highly cautious and am in no rush to get things moving again on the rivers and want to see real evidence rather than bluff and bluster.
  3. We all suffer from this problem: the often mistaken belief that our thinking is right and that our mind isn't for changing. It gets much worse though when this attitude spills into giving advice that may put others at risk. We've seen a not too dissimilar thing in government over the last two weeks.....
  4. Really? I can't quantify the risk of an RTA, a wildfire, lightning strike or breaking a glass in the sink and slicing my finger half open (yes, I have done this). I accept there are risks to putting my shoes on each morning as I *might* put my back out but I don't sit there contemplating the possibility or likelihood. I once lost my finger to a pulley on a running engine; I would have said, before hand, that the chances of this existed but were minimal though a moment of stupidity was all it took. Never looked back and thought "oh, i must quantify that some day". I doubt I'll make the same mistake again though. As for gate latches, yep, they are metal, the virus is KNOWN to be able to live for up to 72 hours on external metal surfaces (surely you accept this is a given), and therefore, infection is possible. And I don't have to quantify it, I just need to be aware (ALERT even) of the possibilities.
  5. And one that the hire industry fully embraces. Not the complete solution, but its one tool in armoury. Biggest problem actually is the concept of "relatively cheaply". In the grand scheme of things, it's low cost but to an industry that is traditionally low profit and has just suffered 3 months of zero revenue when it should have been exceptional revenue (just look at the weather), and these "relatively" low-cost items begin to stack up. PPE is astronomical cost right now, but we have to buy it just to operate in this nerw world of record low income.
  6. No, I don't forget about daily risks; I understand them and this led to my comment about gate latches which you disbelieve. How is it possible to operate any business that has back-to-back bookings and shoehorn in 48 hours of downtime between each one? There are just a few ways this can happen: 1) with customer agreement that they will not get what they booked and paid for 2) by having a significant ability to over-supply the demand 3) a combination of 1 and 2 Given that the 2020 season will have been stripped from around 30 weeks to perhaps 10-15, the chances of any seasonal business being able to make enough money this year to see winter out is debatable. However, to manufacture some kind of over-supply situation will limit revenues to the level that seeing even September out will be challenging. Nobody can afford to have boats sitting around for 48 hours earning nothing especially when the cleaning and sanitising of them is properly understood. I know I have issues; I do not expect to survive and this, in part, is why we have refused any holiday deferral into 2021. The writing is on the wall for seasonal tourism businesses around the country and most will see significantly increased costs and seriously depleted revenues as social distancing prevents covers in restaurants, eblows on bartops, 1/4 capacity on rollercoasters and one in every 5 seats in cinemas, theatres, and other entertainment spaces empty. There is an expected resurgence in domestic tourism on the horizon, but so too is a massive recession. Whatever survives immediately after lockdown has to make it through a closed season too.
  7. Sorry, I bow to your superior knowledge of how viral epidemics spread uncontrollably. I don't know how many times we have been told that the virus can live outside on metal surfaces for up to 72 hours. I have lost count. I also bow to your knowledge of how the holiday industry works. Sure, let's get a boat back in on Saturday and tell the next guests they can't have it until late Monday, but they still have to return it on Saturday so we can let it settle for another two days. That'll work. How do you show somebody how to drive from being outside? With respect, you don't run a boat hire company and it is very easy to sit at a screen and type just how easy everything must whilst having little or no first-hand knowledge. I really don't care if you have any qualms over it. My wife is in a significant AT Risk category from this infection and I have an absolute duty of care to everybody who holidays with us and to my family.
  8. With respect, there is no main issue. There are a bunch of very new and little understood risks to this whole scenario. Cleaning is just one issue and actually a relatively easy one to manage as it will be just ONE person on the boat with appropriate equipment and materials. Handovers are a BIG problem as it should involve the whole crew but this is impossible if social distancing is to be observed. Reception will be very different and strict arrival slots will be needed too. We will encourage people to bring their own, clean bedding. There's so much more to the matter than you would believe, including the fact that the BA will not permit operation until it has signed off risk assessments. And we still don't have a date as to when this MIGHT be able to start. There's plenty of chatter from the industry and the Canal & River Trust is getting it's knickers in a real twist, but the facts remain that DEFRA is in charge ultimately and then the BA and then the individual yards need to get going again. None of this will be easy.
  9. Boat handovers will be very challenging and I am scared of the risks. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be socially distanced whilst showing somebody how to pilot a boat. This will create risks that will be hard to mitigate or minimise.
  10. You do have a view because you refer to them with a derogatory name, "nimbys". I find this view most strange. Who would want people from outside the area potentially bringing in a virus that has had hitherto little hold? You seem to feel that the residents of Southwold are in some way concerned for their health and also their livelihoods. Selfish buggers. And why did they let all their property be bought up as second homes in the first place, eh? Brought this all on themselves, silly sods. There's a similar concern in these parts. With around 100 day boats in Wroxham and Hoveton, these now sleepy villages will be OVERRUN with people from outside the area as soon as hiring begins again. You think there isn't concern here too? What shall we do? Support tourism at government level to ensure that it survives two winters back to back or let a virus loose on it and see how well it copes? THE KEY THING that everybody who says that the risk of overnighting is low or nil is missing is this. If one person with the virus comes and leaves it on a gate latch, that's 72 hours of potential infection on that gate latch. The risk is low. If 10 people use 10 gate latches in 10 marinas, the risk has grown but not 10 fold because more and more will follow because Lockdown no longer applies to them. Expotential growth isn't hard to grasp, unless you particularly want to do something you are explicitly told you can't do but see others doing, especially high-profile people; at this point, the risk, in your heads, is low. Making people go home makes people think twice about the value of the journey in the first place and nobody here should forget this.
  11. Don't bet on nobody patrolling and don't bet on the rangers not passing on details. Also, the Police Launch is road mobile.
  12. Nope, you must return to your main residence. However, we all know that this is now being ignored by many people and we all know why. A couple of weeks back, the practice was uncommon. In the last week, it has balooned. Two weeks ago, I would have been annoyed by it and tempted to call it in. Now, I am more tempted to knock on windows and yell "good on-ya". There are lots of people doing as they please because there is no credibility left in those that tell us what we should do and defend their mates when they are banged to rights.
  13. I have been walking out with my camera for a few evenings and doing videos of the area. I have noticed a growing number of people on holiday on their boats; there were at least three last night and I can assure members that I am not confusing holidays with liveaboards. If I had observed this in the middle of last week, I would have been angry that people were not following the rules. But it's not last week, it's now and what I am angry at is the double standards and the ensuing situation. People are CLEARLY saying "stuff it" and I have to say that I can't blame them. I am incredibly angry over the situation which isn't political in the sense that it's one party against another; it's the government taking us all for mugs. Anyway, if anyone is interested in the video, have a little calm down:
  14. How long was that? https://www.becclesandbungayjournal.co.uk/news/oulton-broad-water-rescue-coronavirus-lockdown-eased-1-6651301?fbclid=IwAR1yilFJKZMK_FN5KNvdVeDX7KpszXwu8uz3hD2VjGAAKTy2uvFoqYwCZoA THIS is why it was prohibited before. Just amazing
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