Near Collision

It was damn hot yesterday, and Hubby and I were so shattered and drained, we decided to take a nap in the afternoon.
Flaked out on the bed with the doors and windows open, we snoozed until there was a helluva commotion outside with panicky voices bordering on hysteria.
‘What the hell……………….??? ‘ Hubby was up, quickly followed by me, and as I watched his backside disappear through the helm doors, I turned towards the bow and was confronted with the view of a boat trying to park IN OUR CRATCH!
bb other sideIf it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of our newest neighbour (Tuppy’s daddy) leaping aboard to take over their tiller and Hubby rushing to the end of our pontoon finger to push the other boat away from our hull with his bare feet, we would have been hit and severely damaged, with the offending boat ricocheting off us and smashing into the brand new Plastic Pig berthed alongside us.

The bloody idiots were going too damn fast trying to manoeuver their boat back into the berth opposite us, a boat they weren’t familiar with (having borrowed the keys from Uncle), with a tiller that was missing a vital securing pin and therefore useless trying to steer, and by a guy who almost fell off the back as he had absolutely no idea what he was doing.
If he’d fallen overboard (he was able to pull himself up having got his feet and shins wet), he would have been dragged under the hull and possibly chewed to pieces by their propeller. It didn’t help that the wind had picked up and was blowing us, them and every other boat in the marina, all over the place.
The back of their boat isn’t like ours and there is only standing room for the helmsman, not 5 giggling females ranging in age from 12 to 30 as well. There also wasn’t a single life jacket in sight.

Our friend parked up with no mishap (pure skill and experience), and the Sextet of Twits made no effort whatsoever to take lines or tie ropes off. After two minutes, it was obvious they didn’t know how, so he ended up doing the lot.
hitchBy the time Our Hero came back to our side to a round of applause, the fools had unloaded the boat and legged it up to the car park, flip-flops flapping and shirt tails trailing.
They were very lucky to avoid injury, collision with another vessel/s, and to have an experienced guy around to get them out of trouble.

We had no experience in boating, but we do have common sense, and know you do not try to take on the wind at high speed (4 mph plus in a 40 foot narrow boat is fast in a confined space) trying to moor up.
When Hubby took possession of our boat last July and brought it from our purchase place here, we paid a guy to give him one-to-one tuition for the three and a half hour journey.
It was the best £100 we spent.
Yes, there are courses you can take, some in your own boat and originally we were going to sign up for one, but they cost a fair bit, and we never seemed to get round to it.

river 13 5 2It was ages before we took the boat out. We waited for ‘ideal conditions’, no wind, still and calm waters, and even then we took our time, practicing turns and reversing at the widest points of the river when no-one else was around.
We weren’t afraid to ask for advice, listened to people’s tips and suggestions, realised that S L O W is the key, and each time we went out, we ventured a little further.
We got to know the boat and how she handles, as each vessel, even the same make/model/design will be different.

I leave all the parking to Hubby.
His co-ordination skills are better than mine and I am easily flustered. But we work well as a team and I can be on the bow making sure we don’t get too close to anyone as we reverse in. I can tie off ropes, adjust fenders if need be, and pull her into a better position if necessary.
Saying that though, I shall be doing a lot of tillerwork going through the locks this week.

The wind is a pain, as it can catch you when you least expect it, everyone will tell you and warn you about it as they have all experienced it.
As our little group discussed the near collision, we all agreed that none of us would have taken our boats out in that wind yesterday.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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11 Responses to Near Collision

  1. Guess you can have not-ideal neighbors even on a boat. Maybe it’s worse on a boat – at least I don’t have to worry about my neighbor’s house colliding with mine! It makes for an amusing story, though – glad no one was hurt.

    • They were exceedingly lucky, and we’re glad they were just visiting rather than permanent live-aboards like we are. Plastic Pigs don’t bounce like steel narrowboats. We weigh in at 8 tonnes so if they’d managed to do damage to us, you can imagine what wouldn’t be left of the cruiser.
      We have a smashing little community here and get on with everyone, residents or not. I wonder if we shall see the Sextet Twits again? 🙂

  2. colinandray says:

    Its really scary what some people will do without any forethought or planning. Presumably you have fenders (aka dolphins or old tires) ready to throw over the side if a wind does push you towards a lock wall? You have a great adventure imminent………… enjoy! 🙂

    • We have three fenders each side, 2 at the back plus a great big ‘conker’ type thing, and a similar one on the front. Jetties along the river bank where boats can moor up have got the rows of tyres, and we do have a complete rubber bumper all the way round as well.
      We have been told that Narrowboating is a contact sport so we are well prepared!! 😀

  3. Wow – glad that the situation was able to be handled… Why were those people out on a boat without an experienced person????

    • Heaven only knows. The boat is privately owned, and this was family apparently. The guy was dutch, and we know from our honeymoon that Shit and Bastard are the same in both languages. Also adrenalin is brown, but this motley crew certainly took the biscuit. I don’t think they even thanked their saviour either.
      Even when you hire a boat for a holiday, you are given some basic instruction beforehand. Speed, or lack of it, is paramount when you’re trying to moor up, go through a lock (tomorrow!!), or turning round! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Look out! | pensitivity101

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