Thought I'd write this sat in the bath. All this water helps me remember hehehe
Ok lets move down the river a couple of hours. apart from it being dark and the passing dredgers it was just a slow boat ride.
Off in the distance, I could see the shape of two headlands meeting. I was pretty sure my marina was on one of then so point and shoot and on we go. Eventually I saw the first flashing red marker. I lined up with the headland and the tower I'd noted earlier and decided that was good enough for me. good enough in it was red and it blinked and seemed like a good place to be a light. I trudged on and eventually saw the marina lights. I knew I was low on fuel and fortunately low on draft so i short cut up to the marked passage. I was about 100 yards away from the markers when BANG !!!< the sodding engine slipped off the ropes and smacked into the rudder. I was floating around like a spare dick at a prostitutes wedding with nowhere to go. Out in the river I heard the gentle groan of a high powered engine. I turned on my useless phone and waved the light at them. " Going my way?" I asked politely. "ARE you in difficulties sir" came the reply.OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH SHIT !!!!!!! It's the coasties.
"Ahem, yes sir I seem to have got meself stuck here and have no steering or power, any chance of a little tow?"
"Stand by sir we shall review the situation. Do you have a life jacket sir". "Yer of course I do"...."Could you put the jacket on sir". Well no I couldn't because I didn't have one. I actually had sod all but a big stupid grin.
They towed me into the nearest point on the marina and began their 500 point boat inspection. These are the inspections that land you fines of thousands of dollars, boats impounded and general upset in your day.
"So this is gonna cost me how much?" I asked one of the crew as I flopped down on the cockpit seat and rolled a cig. It was game over of course. "Dunno sir, that's the skipper has to deal with that".
The skipper returns. "Ok Simon, I'm writing you up for a warning this time. Get all that gear sorted and don't let me see you back on that river 'til everything is done"
I was close to tears. Not sure whether to laugh or cry, but too damn tired to do either.
"Ya kiddin right?"
"No Simon, your story just broke my heart, now lets try and find your buddy".
They tried every phone number they could and were even prepared to get me a taxi to go find Mac. I declined but thanked them profusely, by laying on the ground and licking their boots . I'll never ever have a bad word to say about the coastguard again.
The final act follows shortly.
Simon is a confused, wandering Englishman that ended up in the wilds of West Virginia.
Janise is his American partner, who's sole aim in life is to stop him petting the dangerous wildlife or some other stupid whim he may pursue.Like boating perhaps......