Sitting here happily in the boat, it has been a peaceful afternoon following our walk up to the supermarket for kidney beans to go with our chilli today.
It’s the first time we’ve walked that kind of distance (a mile each way) since I did my knee in, so it was a good test of stamina and endurance.
Maggie has been a bit unsettled (read pain) and we wondered at one stage if there was something wrong. However, she appeared to be delighted to be going for a long walk and sniffed everything possibly sniffable on the way.
Anyway, we have had our dinner and had just settled down when two narrowboats came in in tandem, and proceeded to berth opposite us.
Not a problem you might think, but most of those berths are allocated and not for visitors.
It is not unusual for boats to come into our basin looking for the pump out or fuel facilities as the signage sucks and what is needed is a big arrow pointing away from the entrance and a couple of fancy flags flying at the sites accordingly. Not rocket science.
Hire boats in particular just come in and berth as they please, assuming that because they are 70 feet they have the right to.
Anxious that they might slot in where our friends are due back shortly, a quick call to the office confirmed that neither were expected and one of the staff came down to ‘help’.
Before they could secure their ropes properly, a discussion was being held on the pontoon when I took the dog out for a wee. Not that I would pass them on the way you understand, but from the dog walk I could get a better view of what was going on (or off) 😉
By the time I got to the end, both boats were untied and reversing out of their choice of berth to head back onto the river, where they puttered beyond the Marina’s visitors moorings and facilities to go under the bridge where the overnight lock moorings are.
Of course the price difference may have had something (a lot) to do with it.
In bad weather, marinas have a duty to take in travelling boats until it is safe for them to continue. However, the sneaky suspicious part of me thinks perhaps these two had thought they could moor up, go up to the office, and act all innocent at having entered a private marina, yet because they were ‘settled’, would not be asked to move on.
This has happened before, and in one instance, the hire boat arrived knowing everyone in the office had gone home, as we overheard him saying he did this every year thus avoiding a charge as he’d be gone by morning.