Saturday, 8 November 2014

Drifting boats

Its a fair old distance from London to Milton Keynes. It means 68 locks 1 swing bridge and a whole lot of speeding up and slowing down and a certain amount of frustration.

One notable frustration was after I passed the Globe Inn in Leighton Buzzard. I heard a voice from above which turned out to be a lady boater of my acquaintance. A little way along the canal I met a hire boater. He nodded and said hello, but nothing else.

A little further along still an oncoming boat  was giving me no space even though the canal was wide. I recognised the boat which had frequented Thrupp during the summer.

The lady onboard called out as she passed. “There is a boat adrift up ahead. We have been grounded for the last hour trying to pass, this is why we are keeping over we don't want to get stuck again”, she said. Her logic astounds me.

So now I have passed two people who are aware of a drifting boat. (the hirer must have been there as well  as he was so close to the other boat). Neither of them made any effort to re-tie the boat.

When I arrived on the scene the boat DAVRO, a good 60 foot, was right across the canal. DSCF2022 The side hatch, as you can see, was open  and with a persex insert, surely they would not have gone out with the hatch open. I had no other choice than to secure the boat. I moored with a centre line and a pin.

I boarded the boat along the gunnel to get a rope. I noticed the slide was insecure. I called in, nothing! I picked up the centre line and made to step off the boat when a very bewiskered head popped up out of the slide.

He asked, “What’s happening?” I explained. “Never heard a thing,”  he said. We secured the boat and I was on my way.

What amazes me is that the other two boats did not try secure the boat.

It was nothing special we all would do exactly the same thing. People are always telling me about drifting boats, but they never try to tie them up. I tie up two or three a year so why cant the people who tell me, just do it? Why do they assume that it is someone else’s job?


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

I have tied up many boats over the years and often heard the comments from other boaters. One I remember was at Herlston where the couple onboard were having an afternoon snooze and woke up as I polled the boat round

Anonymous said...

It's so ignorant. We often retie boats only to be watched by people or to be shouted at by whoever owns the boat. Manners cost nothing.

Sue said...

We tied one which had drifted across the cut as we came up the Oxford.

One boat had pushed past but as Vic boarded the bow and started walking to the stern to grab a centre rope the side doors came open and a half asleep chap asked what was going on!

Vic was lucky that the doors didn't swing open just as he was walking down the gunnel.

We have moored many a boat that has been adrift over the years.. It does amaze me too just how many boats we have seen shove them out the way, leave them to stray back and go on their merry way!

Malcolm said...

I've secured my share of drifting boats over the years, the last one was at Brinklow in September.
One of the pins had pulled out and only after pulling the boat to the side and fetching my hammer did someone appear from the slide to inform me that they were having dinner!