Thursday, 9 July 2009

Busmans Holiday

With Willawaw snuggled up in a boatyard, awaiting her drydocking slot, we moved back to the house for some R and R, away from narrowboats and inland waterways.

I arranged to meet up with an old friend, for a pint at the Old Ship pub in Heybridge Basin, near Maldon (on the east coast).

As we sat outside in the summer sun, supping our beers, he uttered those immortal words.

One of the most foolish sentences that can come out of a man's mouth.

"I've bought a boat - I only got it yesterday - do you want to see it ?"

It turned out that he had bought a 20-year old Microplus GRP cruiser.

When I was a teenager in the mid-seventies, my father bought us a Microplus 502 and it was my first proper boat.

That was it - I had been hooked, reeled in and landed !!

His co-owner turned up and it transpired that neither of them knew much about boats.

However, fortune must have been smiling on them when they parted with their cash.

They had fallen on their feet - for the money they spent, they got a good deal.

Before we knew it, somebody suggested we went for a spin.

We started the Yamaha 50HP outboard, cast off and headed up the Chelmer Navigation.

I taught them how to handle lines, gave them tips on boat handling and then, when we came to our first lock, I showed them how to safely work a lock.

A chance meeting ended up with them getting a boating lesson and me reliving my youth and happy memories of boyhood boating with my father.

Anyway, some 5 hours later, after helping them with anchor rigging and a few other things, I wended my way home. 

I can think of much worse ways to spend an afternoon.

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