It was such a beautiful day and the water was like a mill pond so we decided to take the boat out this afternoon.
We needed to fuel anyway, so having told the Marina staff we would be making our way to the fuel pontoon, we unhitched the ropes and started her up (or was it started her up and unhitched?) .
Getting her out of the berth was quite straightforward, and it was nice that our friends 4 boats down came out on their deck to take a photo of our maiden solo voyage, not to mention the crowd on the entrance to the Marina which had gathered to wave us off.
We puttered up river in order to turn round for fueling but were coming in too fast and kind of jostled the jetty a bit. Thing about narrow boats is that they can take such abuse very well. If we’d had a fibre glass cruiser, it would have been a different story.
The tank took 43.7 litres to fill, so our estimate of a 50 litre tank wasn’t far off. Although cruising and domestic fuel is the same stuff, charges are different and normally it’s a 40/60 split (the latter being domestic) , but as we already had a little in reserve, all of ours was classed as domestic at the lower rate of 88p a litre, so much cheaper than filling up the car!
It was really pleasant chugging up river, past the sailing club moorings and fields of sheep dipping their toes along the river bank.
There were other craft on the water where everyone keeps to the right and wave as they pass. Very civilized and friendly.
I took a go at the helm, and am confident going forwards in a straight line. Hubby was practicing turns and going backwards, much to the surprise of waterfowl and some rather nervous looking bull rushes, but he soon got the hang of it.
The dog seemed quite content, sticking her nose out into the wind and taking it all in. She wasn’t too sure when the bow thruster kicked in, but other than that, she took it all in her stride, eventually curling up in the bow and falling asleep.
This isn’t actually a picture of Maggie, but you get the idea. Hubby has adapted a standard walking harness by making a large roped loop so that if she does go over, we have something to grab hold of/hook on to so that we can get her out of the water.
We seemed to be traveling really fast, but were only at the first notch on the throttle which is about 4mph. This is as fast as Hubby’s mobility scooter used to go, and I was terrified when I had a go on that! His mother was a little demon on hers, so heaven knows what she would make of this.
Getting back into the marina berth was not so straightforward, but luckily, other than our friend on the pontoon waiting to take a rope for us, we had no spectators, and Hubby could take his time.
It was like the dreaded 3 point turn on a driving test, but more numerous.
He had decided to reverse into our holding bay, but to do that, he had to swing the boat out, narrowly missing another narrow boat on the berth opposite us. Our friend was giving encouragement, and pulling us in, then I jumped off the boat onto the pontoon and was manually pushing it away from the sides.
Note to self: we need more fenders!!
Hubby seemed to be getting a little confused with forward and reverse, but at least he kept the speed down and didn’t shoot off in the opposite direction taking our friend water ski-ing on the back!
Safely back on shore, we secured the ropes (I’m getting better) and left everything tidy. Hubby was shaking a bit, and the dog was desperate to get on dry land, so I took her for a walk.
It would appear that we did have witnesses to our adventure, as the girls in the Marina office said we did very well on our first attempt.
So did the guy out walking with his granddaughter.
And the old lady walking her two dogs.
And the young couple who arrived on Monday and like our boat!
Next time it’s my turn to take her out and bring her in.