January 7th, 2008

This morning it was very windy. According to the Met Office, the wind was 30mph with 50mph gusts, which made for an entertaining bike ride into work!

Just as I was getting a coffee, I got a phonecall from my neighbour Helen, to say that Innocenti was in danger of coming adrift, but that they were getting things under control. What had happened was that the force of the wind (which was coming across the fen and hitting the boat broadside on) had ripped out the two mooring stakes and the boat was only being held to the bank by the stern rope, which was tied around a solid metal post set in concrete. When Helen, Gabriel and Phil started to rescue the boat, this post and concrete block were being dragged away from the bank by the combined force of the wind and current.

I got a text later on saying it was secure, but reckoning that they’d lost the gangplank. This was a pain, as I’d actually borrowed the gangplank from Phil (he’s got a spare one) after the last one vanished downriver when the boat last came adrift. I decided to shorten my afternoon at work and go and check on things – when I got back to Waterbeach I found all the boats tied up very securely and I put a couple of extra mooring lines on Innocenti just to make sure. Phil, meanwhile, had found the gangplank on the other side of the river (it floats, being wooden) and retrieved it, so I was saved the cost of a new one for him! I’ve subsequently bought a long piece of wood to make a new one, but it’ll have to be painted before I can leave it outside. Another job to add to the queue…

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