Sunday, 23 June 2013

Stuck on a sandbank!

Well - that was an 'interesting' day.  It started very well indeed but it soon got complicated.  Cruising up the River Thames, on an unusually wide stretch which is notoriously shallow at the edges, there were two rowing 'eights' coming down the river towards me.  There were fishermen on the left bank and with the rowing boats obviously demonstrating that they were 'less than expert', the best option seemed to be to go to the right.

Now, in retrospect, I know that was the wrong decision - and indeed 'less than expert' on my own behalf.  In addition to the above, there was a very strong wind blowing from the left.  It was an inconvenience that was waiting to happen - and caused me a great deal of embarrassment, along with the possibility of a huge bill from a rescue service - e.g. £300! 

I should have held a steady course up the middle of the channel - and certainly I will next time.  Powered boats might have to give way to manually propelled boats but after causing me a massive problem there was not a word of apology from them.  I wish I had sunk them both! 

After 5 hours on the sandbank and two failed attempts at towing, another (more competently crewed) narrowboat named 'Dragonfly' persisted for long enough - at least an hour - to help me, and subsequently and consequently got stuck themselves.  I felt very guilty about that of course.  By then I was getting free, but a third boat came along and pulled the second one out before I had chance to go to their rescue. 

I should mention that there was never any risk of injury, and the boat is unharmed.  Only my pride is injured.

All I had on board to thank my rescuers was a cheap (but cold) bottle of white wine and some cans of beer, but they seemed to accept them quite willingly.  It was the least that I could do in the circumstances.

5 hours on a sandbank and wading in water up to my waist wasn't entirely on the plan for the day!

1 comment:

Tony the slightly unstable genius said...

Well done Sinbad. Perhaps, upon reflection, the purchase of that lovely boat may not have been your best idea? Worse than that thought is the fact you didn't have ample quantities of booze on board incase of such an occurance. Shame on you!!!