Saturday, 7 January 2017

The Midnight Streaker

There was a rather cold looking streaker outside the boat at 2am this morning. 

To explain how this occurred we need to wind the clock back 5 minutes.  We were suddenly woken from our deep slumbers by the rocking of the boat and the sound of breaking ice.  Jan’s first sleepy thought was a boat was on the move.  It took a few moments for our eyelids to unstick and focus on the clock.  2am!  Who moves through ice at that hour. I got up and looked through the front doors.  The canal was frozen over and there was no sign of a boat moving.  The sound of breaking ice being thrust under Waiouru’s stern suggested the boat behind us must be leaving (we are moored stern to stern).   The noise was very loud and I decided to investigate.  On my way to the stern I glanced out the porthole to discover there was a 350mm gap between us and the towpath.  The thrust from the other boat’s propeller must have loosened our stern mooring rope.

Upon reaching the  stern deck I immediately noticed the boat behind hadn’t moved and it’s engine wasn’t running.  Our stern mooring rope was off the bollard and dangling In the canal.  Looking towards the bow I could see one young male slowly walking away and two others running.  Then I realised the bow mooring rope had been slipped off the bollard.

It was rather obvious that these three miscreants had removed our mooring ropes from off the bollards by rocking the boat which had loosened the ropes sufficiently to slip the double loop over the head of the bollard.  We probably wouldn’t have realised they had set the boat free except for the sound of the breaking ice.  

I jumped off the stern onto the frost covered towpath dressed only in my y-fronts to discover the soles of my warm feet sticking to the frost.  It took us five minutes to get Waiouru back onto the mooring and resecure the ropes.  By then I was starting to go blue!  Needless to say, once back in bed Jan was none too keen on me warming the soles of my feet on her.   Of course the chances of the scoundrels returning were rather remote.  However it still took us some time to get back to sleep!    


John said...

Very unfortunate Tom. After once being cast adrift from a bollard I now regularly put a plastic cable tie, as close to the bollard as I can, whenever using them to moor. I assume they are effective as the ropes are always in place the following morning.

Tom and Jan said...

John we move so often I think it might cost us a fortune in cable ties :-) Hopefully it's the first and last time this will happen!