Friday, 17 October 2008

Real boaters do it with a rope!

Any boater worth his salt knows there are somethings that are 'gospel'. Such as no matter how long a rope is it will at some point be just that little bit too short. Or no matter how slow you are going someone will tell you to slow down. Or even if there is smoke pouring out of your windows someone will always ask if there is a fire. One more:- in any group of non boaters comprising of 2 or more people someone will ask if it's cold in the winter.

Likewise any boater worth his salt knows you don't get off a boat single handed without a rope. Well most boaters know. Last night I did a short run in the dark. The tunnel light was pointing too high so at a convenient rail bridge I placed the bows on the bank and stepped off to adjust the lamp. Not realising that the contrast between the bright lamp and the dark behind it would stop me from judging distance at the front of the boat and I couldn't see to step on to the boat.

The front of the boat drifted away across the other side of the canal following the stern and laid itself neatly against the wall. Oh dear what to do?

Well I cursed a bit then I cursed a bit more and if that wasn't enough I cursed louder like that was going to elicit help from above. There was no way to get across the canal unless I shimmied up the bridge and climbed across then jumped down in the dark . . . er I don't think so.

After about ten minutes the boat started to move very slowly backwards not a lot of good because even a suicide mission off the bridge would soon be out of the question, but lo and behold (do people say that anymore) as the boat drifted back the bow came away from the wall. Using all my 'mental power' I willed the boat to come to me.

It took about 20 minutes all told to from when I stepped off until I stepped back on again which given the stupidity of the situation wasn't bad.

4 comments:

kh said...

"stupidity of the situation" 9/10 for honesty but if you hadn't told us we would not have known.

Having said that I expect the good Dr would have indulged in a bit of schadenfreude and told us. (Hee! Hee!)

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

You were lucky there was no one about to witness such a cock up

Anonymous said...

Stupid boy Pike . Well aleast you got back in the warm.

Now one must learn form one's mistakes, oh the joys of boating.

Allan

Simon said...

I meant to leave this comment ages ago...

I 'lost' Tortoise for a short while at that bloody lift bridge just above the Duke's lock visitor moorings, which I had to traverse three times in September. It's a pain anyway as it's heavy, and there's no easy way of tying it down (I put a stake in the last time). The slight current at that point means that the boat passes through on it's own, so as soon as the bridge is up the boat goes through whether the bridge is tethered or not...

Anyway, I was pulling Tortoise through my rope, but she bounced off something on the way through and ended up too far away from the bank for me to catch... thankfully the current then helped as after a bit she swung across the canal just before the next bridge hole and I was able to get back on board. Somebody did walk past, but obviously thought I knew what I was doing* and didn't say anything...

(* or just thought I was an idiot)