Sunday, 19 October 2014

Jolly boating customs!

Another dark morning , the threat of dreadful wind tomorrow., it's all leading towards winter at a tremendous rate.

All the boats are coming out of the water. The small harbour that gets so busy in the summer is now positively empty..but the main event of the season often takes place over half term....the laying up!

I have some very good memories of laying up suppers....

Nothing makes firmer friends than a good summer of boating followed by a really good meal out and the essential emptying of all the half empty bottles of booze.

Here in Cornwall most boats are lifted out of the water but inland boats can often be left moored in marinas where they are sheltered from the worst of the weather!

When during the eighties we had a cabin cruiser on the Great Ouse we had to take the decision every year but most years she was left floating to be visited regularly all through the worst weather...

Some unlooked for complications often arose!

The year we found our boat sitting on the landing stage after the river had flooded comes to mind....

The golden rule in icy weather was not to get onto the boat if it was embedded in ice because it was possible to hole the hull by the strength of disturbed ice!

We often met old friends whilst visiting our boat and friendships made then have in many cases lasted a life time...

I still play scrabble every day with one such friend thanks to the Internet.

Another good friend who has helped a lot in the aftermath of grief is another old sea dog!

I have no boat to lay up these days but when our friends arrive to do this most will drop in en route...

I send my prayers to those now involved in the laying up...leaving your boat through the winter takes a sort of faith....that she may emerge intact during the Spring!

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