I know that we were sparring partners a while ago, but don't give me that rubbish about only needing to open one gate... What about the next boat along, which happens (as in my case) to be a seven-and-a-half-tonner, single crewed, with the only crew-member trying to enjoy a holiday!

I was NOT amused on the Medway. Every lock I came to was set in my favour, but with only one gate open. Thus, I had to moor downstream of every single one, get off, open the other gate, motor into the lock, shut down etc etc. Damn rudeness. If they can't be courteous to larger boats, let's weld one of every pair of doors in place, and close the navigation to anything over six foot beam.

Bear in mind my orignal reaon for visiting the Medway was to evaluate it as a river to buy a property with moorings on, and install Mrs Alpha etc as riverside dwellers while keeping the boat going. We're at Bray now (on the Thames) and, broadly, happy with our lot.

My main gripe is with poorly-researched magazine articles which show all the potential plus points without raising a single one of the valid negatives.