This could be a long post, sorry folks, but to do it justice I'm going to start at the beginning.
We left Rugby because the predicted storm hadn't arrived and the sun was out. Deciding to make for All Oaks Wood and hoping to arrive before storm Brian did make an appearance, we left our mooring just as a Rose hire boat came past. Expecting to be on a go slow all the way it was nice to see them keep to around 3mph.
And pleased to see that more offside vegetation had been trimmed back especially at the bridge where it was almost impossible to see if any boats were coming. (Before and after photos).
|No chance of seeing an oncoming boat|
|Improvement is spectacular.|
|Yea...you can see the bridge.|
About this time the wind suddenly picked up, trees swayed, leaves and small twigs rained down upon us. Crikey not happy about cruising past that amount of tall trees as I didn't fancy trying to dodge any falling branches. Had storm Brian finally arrived? Hmmm...About time we found a mooring!
Before All Oaks Wood and after bridge 35 was a lovely long length of mooring, in the open and away from any trees. We found the only bit of concrete which had steelwork attached and someone had left a nice bit of rope tied to it just right to secure FS's stern rope. Ian managed to get the chain down between the ironwork for the bow rope and we thought that we had now found the perfect mooring.
But.....and this is where I first felt concern for a cruiser owner but which then rapidly turned to frustration and anger as I watched what he did to another boat.
Glancing out of the window I noticed a cruiser across the canal which appeared stuck on the other side. It soon became obvious that he was unable to free the boat so Ian and I went to see if we could help. Shouting for him to throw us a rope we were completely ignored. In fact, all he did was try to push himself off with the pole. Shouting again at him he eventually turned his head. I again asked him to throw us a rope. He pointed to his ears with a hand gesture which I understood to mean he was deaf and then in broken English asked if we spoke French! Ah, now I knew why we had been ignored but instead of him looking at the hand gestures I was giving him (a throwing motion with one's hands) he again turned his back and completely ignore us.
Suddenly another boat appeared from the direction of the woods. We managed to convey to them this cruiser owners plight. As good Samaritans, they said they would tow him off but they too had no joy in trying to communicate with him even though he must have known they were going past. Took some effort but finally, he acknowledged them. A rope was thrown but instead of tieing to his T stud he tied it to his rope and then to the T stud. This meant a towing line that was really no use nor ornament because it was now much too long.
|Here he was getting ready to release his line.|
|And thinks he is now free from the mud.|
Now, this is where it went horribly wrong. No sooner had the cruiser got pulled out when the wind took it and deposited him further back and again on the field. So the good samaritans reversed to have another try. Line attached again but directly to the T stud and he was pulled out for the second time. Then he put the power on!!! The bow swung around and crashed straight into the moored boat...not once...not twice....but four times!
|Didn't get very far before he was stuck again.|
|Back comes the good samaritans.|
The story doesn't end here. With no one on that boat, I thought I would pop a note through their cratch explaining what happened, giving the cruiser name and number and leaving my email address. Before I had a chance to complete the note the owners came back. So I did no more than high tail it over to the boat and present the details personally. They were understandably gutted, as I would have been, and ever so grateful that, not only did I give them the cruiser details but the photos as well. They showed me the damage...OMG...it was horrendous! Large scratches on the paintwork in two places and two of the window frames were dented and damaged beyond repair. How that chap hadn't smashed a window is amazing! Of course, the boat owners were insured but they need to phone C&RT to check on the owner of the cruiser and get him to pay for the damage. I wish them luck on that one!
|This photo was taken from FS and I zoomed in. Doesn't look too bad from here but the owners (Steve and Lesley) let me see for myself and yes it was bad. Two new window frames and a possible repaint on the Starboard side.|
And today's wildlife comes from the Serengeti! (okay not really but it could have been)
And the hedgerow,