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Hovercraft? - Internet software for the arachnoid cow?
October 5th, 2011
01:02 am

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Hovercraft?

For the last few years, autumn new moons have seen me heading off to Hunstanton to go walking in the Wash taking photographs. This has been a surprisingly enjoyable activity and means that Geograph now has pretty good coverage of the eastern Wash down to Wolferton Creek. But I'm running out of squares. I think there might be one more square that I can reach from Hunstanton on foot, and then I'll have to find something else to do.

The obvious and sensible alternative (insofar as any of this is sensible) would be to try setting out from a different shore of the Wash, maybe between the Ouse and Nene, or all the way around near Gibraltar Point. This would involve quite a lot more travelling, though, and in the former case quite a lot more mud too.

A more technological solution would be to accept that the sea is a silly place to go walking, and that maybe a boat would be a better way to get around. Except that if I'm visiting sandbanks a boat is likely to get stuck, so clearly what I need is a hovercraft. Hovercraft aren't cheap, costing much the same as a family car, but I can afford that, not least because I'm not supporting a family, or a car. A low-end cruising hovercraft will do maybe 30 mph, and has an endurance of several hours, so it's quite a practical vehicle. There's a boat park in Hunstanton it could be stored in, and I could even bring it up the rivers as far as Bottisham Lock (the Conservators won't let hovercraft on their bit of the Cam).

On the one hand, it's clearly utterly ludicrous that I should go out and buy a hovercraft. On the other hand, hovercraft!

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:atreic
Date:October 5th, 2011 06:43 am (UTC)
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Oh, that is such a cool idea.
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From:bjh21
Date:October 5th, 2011 11:21 am (UTC)

Re: Paperwork

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As far as I can tell, there's no licensing of non-commercial operators of hovercraft. Non-commercial hovercraft under 1000kg also don't need to be registered under the Hovercraft (General) Order 1972. I would need a licence (strictly a certificate of competence) to operate a VHF radio, and to register a hovercraft if I wanted to bring it into the Great Ouse system.

Sadly, regulation 20 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 does indeed ban hovercraft from the roads.
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From:shermarama
Date:October 5th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
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Hovercraft! I was thinking a canoe would do (a one-man Canadian draws about six inches or something ridiculously small) but clearly a hovercraft is superior.
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