Saturday, 8 August 2009

Life (or death) on the Ocean Wave

Friday -
Well, we got the boat yesterday - Oh My God - what a palaver. You know how hot it was well, we had to sit in the ferry queue for an hour to get across the river.

Then the oars for the dingy were missing & we had to wait for the previous owner to bring them round. The tide was falling so we then had to get the dingy out of the toast rack & Mike got absolutely soaked when he sat in it. He rowed it to the pontoon then went back to the car to take it to the park & ride as there's nowhere in Dartmouth to park for more than 2 hours. Whilst he was gone I waited on the pontoon near the dinghy in case anyone moaned that we were in the wrong place. Can you imagine standing on a pontoon in the middle of the Dart in that heat yesterday - not funny.
Eventually Mike got back & rowed the dingy over to the boat & climbed aboard - like an arthritic crab;

He then started to remove the covers & there I was, still marooned on the other pontoon getting hotter & hotter.

Then up came a young woman in a boat - can I pull in here for a minute she said. Well, my husbands coming in here to pick me up but if you like to give me a ride over to the next pontoon I'd be ever so grateful. Ok she says & off we went.

Saturday - to continue yesterday's story -
The next thing was getting off the mooring !" I thought we were going to hit all the other boats but managed it eventually & went over to the fuel barge.
When we get along side grab the rope - says Mike. Well, I did as I was told, Mike couldn't find neutral so he went from full astern to full ahead & my poor arm is now 6 inches longer than the other. At one time I was more out of the boat than in it so eventually let go & we drifted away. Must have been an hilarious sight to all those around & we were SO embarrassed. Decided to forget the fuel & headed for the sea.

At the mouth of the river we were hailed by the river patrol & told off for going too fast & by then I was really questioning whether we had done the right thing!
We turned around & headed back to the mooring as we were low on fuel & then it was the fiasco of getting the boat back on the pontoon. Mike edged in slowly & said - can you jump off & tie up?????? Jump ? - me Of course I couldn't - silly fool!
I couldn't reach the cleat so ended up putting my fingers in a hole in the pontoon deck & pulled us in. Thank God for that I thought & then started worrying about how I was going to get back to land. Luckily, the guy in the boat in front offered me a lift in his rubber dinghy;


I got in without capsizing it but got my bloody foot stuck under the fuel tank so couldn't get out. how humiliating was that.
Mike was left to put the covers on the boat and rowed our dinghy back to the toast rack. All this time it was absolutely boiling & I was feeling exhausted. Got the park & ride bus back to the car & came home.
That's about it. Our first day of boating. Guess why I haven't gone today??



  1. I could just picture the scene JJ - can you see the funny side now? I'm a land-lubber at heart but don't mind a cruise now and then! A

  2. Not again surely!!!
    I remember the last time......or is this the same story?
    I love, love, love your description Jean - and can imagine the looks you got from those Dartmouth upshots!

    Sea legs take a a lifetime mucking about in boats! And what about the knots - do you remember how to tie them from Brownies? Ooops, we didn't do Brownies did we?

  3. What a wonderful post!!! You wrote it so eloquently I felt I was right there with you, and you had all my sympathy because I know how I would have felt if I were in your shoes. Have to say though, having a boat does sound like a lot of fun.

  4. Mary, yes same story which I thought worth publishing here for posterity.
    Brownies - yes I was a brownie & still know the differnce betewwn a reef knot & a granny!


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