Monday, 10 March 2008


The pontoons at the harbour are being extended so the big boat, Vigilance, which normally spends the whole winter safely tied up, has spent the last couple of weeks in a precarious position on the shore of the loch. Why not on her summer mooring? Because the running mooring for the little boat, Ripples, has snapped and the broken chain can't be replaced until we get some fine weather. To make matters worse, Ripples' gunwhales are finally giving way so her days of useful service on water are over. The replacement boat, as yet unnamed, is not yet ready for launching. We can't leave Vigilance hanging on a mooring in the middle of the loch with no wee boat to row out to reach her.

So Vigilance is tied up on the shore, enduring the storms. She floats at high tide, and is beached as it goes out. Yesterday, as the water level lowered, she toppled over too fast, onto a sharp stone. Water dripped from the resulting hole. This morning, the pressure was down to 960 and it was two days after new moon - the resulting spring tide was enormous. This, coupled with a south-easterly wind, had tugged one of the ropes free. It is nerve-wracking and I'm just an onlooker, not the one tying the knots and wrestling with tyres and fenders.

The tide's been right out and it's coming back in again now. She'll be floating again soon. How much water is she taking through that hole?

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