Temporary mooring

24 Nov 2013

The club moorings are a desolate place at the moment. Most of the boat are lifted ashore and standing in the car park, and the pontoons are being dismantled ready for a dredging operation due in December to clear away the mud and sand and give us more depth.

I decided to keep Elsa in the water over winter – I don’t have any work to do on her which would need her out, and I keep thinking I might even go sailing. The club arranged a temporary berth for her down the river at another club’s moorings. A couple of other guys have the same arrangement and moved theirs during the week and I managed to do mine today. I went down at low tide to survey the new spot and it was flat sand and clear of obstructions.

My friend David, who has a pretty little red yacht Tigger, offered to help me. Haven’t used the boat for several weeks but the outboard started on the second pull and ran happily. We knew the other berth was much shallower so we’d waited until about 90 mins before high tide.

David sat on the foredeck ready with the boathook and I drove her slowly down the river, incoming tide against us but a bit of a breeze behind us. We turned into the moorings and I looked backwards to turn the engine even slower when she stopped dead with a bit of a crunch – aground. I looked forward and David was gone from the foredeck....and bobbed up beside the boat waist deep and dripping wet. The sudden stop had tipped him forward and he’d rolled into the river! This was all a bit unexpected and it was a cold day so I was very worried but he stayed in the water, waded to the pontoons with a rope and hauled himself out. Still aground but only a few minutes later we managed to push and pull the boat round and into the berth. Still worried about David but he walked back to the clubhouse where he had spare trousers and fleece, then he came back to help me finish tying her up:

These moorings are a bit more exposed but it’s a handy short walk from the clubhouse and she’ll be fine there for a few weeks, I used plenty of ropes. The lesson though is to check the depth and not attempt to move unless it’s actually deep enough.....


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