Well today was an interesting day, we were moving the boat 2 hours up the river – or that was what was suppose to happen !!
An hour into the journey and Myra was helming and got distracted by a faulty speedo reading, the boat stopped suddenly. We had run aground on a sandback, stuck good and proper, going nowhere fast. We tried our best to get off but the tide was going out and there was no way we could do anything.
There was some maintenace guys nearby on a barge who came to help but although they tried for a while to pull us free the tide was beating us so we gave up. We gathered some of our things together in case we had to leave the boat and the boat started to lean to one side. We got the dingy and outboard motor ready and started to change into some warmer clothes. I was just changing into a pair of trousers when Porac shouted ‘shes going over !’, i gripped onto a couple of lines and the boat fell on her side into the water. It was very calm and quiet when it happend so no damage was done, she just splashed into the shallow water.
We got off the boat into the dingy for saftey reasons and went to talk to the guys on the floating barge again, they had agreed to help us out later by bringing their boat back out but their boss had got wind of it and refused. We went back to the boat and she was now laying on her side in the mud looking very sorry for herself. The only thing to do was wait for high tide to lift us back up and floating again, high tide was midnight and it was now only about 6 o’clock.
It started to get dark and various people started to come out like small fishing boats, kayakers, etc, apparantly it wasn’t an uncommon problem to get stuck there but that didn’t make the boat owners feel any better !! A bit later a guy turned up in a dingy in the dark and asked if he could help, he was an English guy who had a boat anchored up nearby. He offered us a hot meal and somewhere warm to sit so we all went back to his boat, his wife managed to turn a meal for two into a meal for six, we brought a couple of bottles of wine with us so had a nice meal and a glass of wine or two.
We went back to the boat a couple of hours later as we wanted to be onboard when she started to refloat. We sat on board for about an hour and she started to move about slowly, another hour and she was off the mud and floating steadily getting back on her feet and upright. At 10 o’clock the volunteer coast guard came out with a powerful rib to stand by in case we weren’t able to start the engine and drive way. At about 11 she seemed to be off the bottom so the coastguard dragged as away from the shallows into deeper water, we started up the engine and everything seemed to be fine, no water on board anywhere and no apparant damage.
We dropped anchor for the night had a beer and then went to bed. At no point did i feel in any danger and it was all rather good fun although i did feel very sorry for Myra and Porac as it could have ended up in a very different way.
My lasting memory of the day was when we had decided to get into the dingy and Porac had appearred from below with a carrier bag of beer, the boat then fell over and a dozen tins were thrown everywhere, we mananged to salvage about 8 and sat in the dingy having a beer as the boat was lying on her side. Very surreal. Ooopps………..