Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Too much Coffee, Too many Cigarettes

It hasn't stopped raining. And it's been a nerve frazzling week. Wondering if we would drift up and over the bank, or not. We came sooooo close. But thankfully, skillful water management by the thames lock keepers kept everybody safe and sound. Hat tip to you, Gentlemen.

Lashed a pole to the stern, so that it could ride up the wall. And dangled our mudweight over the bow, so that could do the same. It would have given us about a six feet safety margin, should the river have poured over into the meadows. But, thankfully, it didn't.

safety pole
A dutch barge owner ('Flat Over Crest') got set adrift by the Salter's Steamer. He was sat on his throne, as you invariably are, when such things happen. The first thing he knew about it, apart from the obvious 'north sea' rocking about, was that trees were proceeding rapidly past his window. Thankfully, his engine was running at the time, and he managed to berth himself before getting swept down into the bridge or any other boats. A big boat like that could do a lot of damage. He was still a white shade of pale, when I talked to him about it over an hour later.

ear drops?
Unfortunately, I am stuck here for another week. There is no improvement in Sumo's ear condition, and now he's on steroid tablets too. I have to take him back for another checkup next week.

When the river has stopped flowing so rapidly, our good friend Adam has volunteered to come and help me move the boat down to Sonning or Bourne End. Very grateful for that, as I wasn't looking forward to doing it on my own. Especially in the heaving rain, and without a life jacket. Cheers, Ad.


  1. Never heard of a mud weight, what do they do?

  2. Hi Paul and Elaine.

    We made ours from half a bucket of concrete, and a short length of chain. Cost us a fiver. (versus the £100+ anchor).

    You chuck it over the side, and all going well, it stops the boat from moving. If you have to use it sacrificially, and cut the rope, then it isn't such a tragedy.

    It also gives us peace of mind to have a mudweight at the rear, and an anchor upfront, when we're underway. In case something like this happens.. (from the canal forum).

    Having been caught out on a non-tidal river with a failed engine, I can confirm that a mud weight thrown from the stern is really useful if you would like to get the boat into the bank, by throwing it towards the bank repeatedly. Certainly beats standing on the back waving the tiller and floating downstream with the current.