Moved back

22 Dec 2013

The dredging activity has finished and the volunteer workforce at the club has begun to rebuild the pontoon structures. This will carry on into January but there's enough of it built now to allow some boats to move back. The club is also keen to minimise the cost (as the club is paying for the various temporary berths around the harbour).

My temporary berth down the river was ok but very exposed and turbulent. On the hard sand Elsa sat up on her keel stub looking very ungainly. I was able to walk all around her at low tide and I took the opportunity to get the rudder off and took it to a metal fabricator to get a new blade built.

So when the word came that it would be good to move back, I wondered how I could do that without the rudder. Steer her with the outboard alone? Maybe that would be ok in a wide flat smooth area but in that turbulent place with other boats around I wasn't sure. I went down on Friday lunchtime to see what to do and met John Bewsey who immediately said - shall we go get your boat? Mickey was there driving one of the club RIBs about, and we had about half an hour of tide depth left. I wasn't dressed for the occasion but I had a spare lifejacket inside the boat - so I walked down and began to untie the numerous mooring lines as Mickey and John drove the RIB alongside and lashed up a tow. We just got off the berth before the tide drained away and towed her back to the club.

Tucked into a corner now she's in a much more sheltered spot, which is good as there is some serious stormy weather forecast for this week.

I went back today, Sunday, to check all is ok. Brewing up some cup-a-soup I noticed it was a bit damp inside the boat, must be the cold weather and condensation, and I only just had enough gas to boil the kettle. I put on some extra lines ready for the incoming storm. Back in the clubhouse at lunchtime, just about to have a coffee, when one of the guys Dave came up and asked me to help move his boat round. He too was not happy down the river on those exposed moorings, the boats really slam about and jerk at their lines. Today it was almost too turbulent to do it but with a bit of help from a third bloke, Dave got his boat backed out without incident and we rode back to the club and tied her up. Dave will be next to me when the pontoons are all rebuilt, taking the space formerly occupied by the super race boat Fingers Crossed which has gone on to new pastures.

I'm going to get the engine off in Jan and get it serviced, and there's some wood I want to varnish, and the new rudder is ready for collection, plenty to do if the weather's ok!


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