November is the month that navigates us towards deep winter. The daylight is retreating, hatches are battened down, narrowboats  are winterised, then we settle down in front of fires and reflect on the year. November is especially poignant as we remember those who have died in WW1 and WW2 and particularly this Sunday November 11th, it being the centenary of the end of The Great War.

As the year draws to a close so do the canals. Throughout the canal system repairs and maintenance start in earnest from November through to March. The local waterway works affecting cruising from Swanley Bridge Marina will be the repairs to Hurleston Locks, commencing 2nd January; and Swanley Lock No 2 from 21 January to 8th February 2019. Always check the CRT website for updates and those mischievous ‘unexpected’ closures that pop up every now and again to thwart our best laid cruising plans.

The opening lines from Kenneth Rexroth’s poem – Falling Years and Early Snow seems appropriate to end this blog entry, the words help us to remember all those who died in both World wars, and the wars since.

In the years to come they will say,

“they fell like leaves

In the autumn of nineteen thirty-nine”