Gertrude is not my Aunty.

Storm Gertrude is making her presence felt as winds of up to 90 mph continue to hit us.
It was windy yesterday evening and throughout the night, but having checked and double checked our ropes, Hubby slept through it all, Maggie most of it, but I seemed to hear and feel every individual movement as the boat was rocked from side to side.

Our basin has four ‘rows’ made up of two outside lines with fingers facing in, and a herring bone centre ‘spine’ with fingers reaching out to the sides in the middle. Each finger will moor two boats, one either side, and in the majority of cases, each is totally secure on their ropes accordingly.
However, with narrowboats being longer than the cruisers, some longer fingers are designated to accommodate them but even then there can be more boat than pontoon.

bb other side Digital Camera

When we originally came here, we berthed to the left of the finger (as above) and thus entered the boat on the starboard side.
Our boat is 41 feet long, and as we were tied to the shortest side of the finger due to the shape at the back as it joined the edge walkway, it was a bit of a balancing act on the gunnel trying to gain access through the bow, especially when we wanted to fill our holding tank with fresh water. You can see in the picture on the right that three of our windows are parallel to the pontoon boards, but the fourth (and our bow) is out above the water.

However, being parked on the ‘other side’ gave us several vital extra feet of pontoon as you can see below.
bb movedThis was really useful when we came to do our little revamp last year, especially getting bulky stuff on and off the boat for the job. It took a bit of getting used to accessing from the port side though, and to stop us falling in the drink if we forgot, Hubby put the boat hook across the cover door.

Across the way are some lovely narrowboats, most considerably longer than ours at 50 or even 60 feet, but only three or four are live aboards.
One in particular is swaying more than the rest of us put together in this wind.
It’s over 60 feet long, and the couple who own it have winterised it, so we won’t see them for a few more weeks yet.
It’s moored on the shortest side of the pontoon finger, so basically only half the boat can be secured as there is 30 feet more of it than pontoon. The result is that the bow (pointy end) is being blown across the open water as the boat is only secured by centre and back ropes.

Narrow boats are built to take some knocks (we were told in Stratford that boating is a contact sport), and luckily there is nothing moored alongside them.
All being well, it shouldn’t sustain any damage, but it is a bit unnerving to see it swinging out so far.
It’s almost hypnotic!


We had a seventy footer visit overnight last year and that was a little worrying, but luckily there were no incidents or accidents, unlike in the other basin where a guy in his new wide beam (about 60 feet by 12) bashed, crashed and ricocheted into just about everything en route to his berth.
There is an insurance claim pending, he has been instructed to take professional certificated instruction, and at the moment is not allowed to take his boat ANYWHERE without a qualified member of marina staff at the controls.



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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6 Responses to Gertrude is not my Aunty.

    • Bless you, thank you so much. We are quite secure having double ropes in four places. At least now the water level has dropped, we’re not quite so exposed and have our banks back!

  1. Tara R. says:

    Where I live in Florida, hurricanes are common. The first year we were here, a Category 4 storm made landfall near us. After the storm, one of the area marinas reported a boat had been stranded high up in a tree. Crazy weather.

    • Apparently it was like that in 2007, when storms and floods hit, leaving boats parked in trees and car parks, trees collapsed onto boats, and cars were written off when car parks flooded too. We’ve been told that the water level was up to the fourth step going up into the office, and the shower blocks were knee deep in water. After Gertrude has finished, we have another windstorm coming our way, but whether that will be ‘Henry’ (the next name chosen) hasn’t been announced yet.

  2. Pingback: Storm in a Tin Cup | pensitivity101

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