Monday, 26 January 2009

How High's The Water Momma?

I distinctly remember this as one of Bro's inane questions, to which he assured me the answer was "Five feet high and risin'!" If only....

You will deduce from this, it's back to the watery Norfolk Broads for today's story time. Pull up a bollard and I'll begin.
Graphic pictures may have stored themselves in some corner of my addled brain, but signposts (as per names of the places of which I'm about to speak) are conspicuous by their absence. So, at some anonymous little backwater, be it sufficient to know, we had found a perfect spot to tie up for the night. It was only mid afternoon when we chose this quiet nook, so there were not too many others who'd beaten us to it - something which was always a concern. All designated moorings were as renowned as carpark spaces for never being empty on demand.

This particular place was almost a mini bay. Its horseshoe shape curved invitingly in front of us, as the higher banks at the entrance sloped down towards the centre of the curve. I think Bro was steering. He and Dad took it in turns, so this is not to be taken as gospel, but one of them was, that's for sure. They gallantly steered close enough to the bank for me to hop off the boat, to catch the mooring line when it was lobbed at me. They cut the engine, so's the boat would have a gentle docking ( lesson from first day's head on charge had been well noted). I duly caught the rope, and endeavoured to comply with their shouted command of 'Pull!'. Normally, despite the boat being bigger and better than me, it would bob along happily after a relatively sedate tug, until the stern was parallel to the land and able to be secured.

Not this time.

I planted my feet more squarely and heaved again. Zilch. I took a deep breath and did a regular 'Heave-ho'. Still nada. Now I had both Bro and Dad telling me to pull, with ever increasing vehemence; one of them took pity on me, and added their efforts to the mix by using a boat hook as a kind of punting pole to lever the boat into the required position. Rien de rien.

After several minutes of huffing, puffing and raised levels of testosterone on the part of my two male relatives, a Norfolk native who'd been sitting on a nearby upturned rowboat, smoking his pipe, explained in his wonderful Norfolk accent that the water was only about eighteen inches deep, and we were aground... Even Atlas himself would not have been able to shift the boat, let alone me. We had ignored the fact the waterway was tidal, and as we'd hove to at low tide, the only way we'd ever float free was to wait until the tide turned and lifted us off the sandbank.

Irate relations calmed down at once, and I felt vindicated, for it was not because I was a weak and feeble woman that the boat had proved recalcitrant. Honour was saved.

Of course, the Old Salt with the pipe could have spoken sooner and saved us much embarrassment, but I guess he was enjoying the spectacle of foreigners freaking out. Can you blame him?


  1. Yet again big smile over here!
    (can't wait for the next episode)

  2. Nope, can't blame him a'tall! BTW, what's a bollard...and is it edible?

    PS You have blog bling to collect over at my place. Come and git it! :)

  3. Jinksy - one of the joys of living in a tourist spot is that one can watch tourists do daft things and say nothing! It is lovely reading about the Broads - I have had lovely holidays there myself.

  4. Can't blame him at all, and now I know what a bollard is.

  5. LOL!! didn't see that one coming...that is too funny!
    hee hee hee

  6. You look just like my Elsbeth, except that you are real.

    Aaron (aka Robert aka Mulled Vine)

  7. I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time!


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