Friday, 9 September 2011

Hireboat change over day!

I have a tale to recount - A few days ago when we were in Skipton it was handover day for the hire boats. I noticed that there was a large group of people stood around the near by swing bridge. I was chatting to our mooring neighbour when several hire boats came along at the same time. The lead boat misjudged stopping for the swing bridge. He gave the bridge a good clatter as they came to a stop. The second and third boats slowed down and came to a stand behind the lead boat, which was now parked across the canal.
However, they were all about to be joined by a wide beam that was proceeding at a very good pace. We both yelled at the same time at the bod on the tiller. (an American as it turned out) he was busy looking the other way. We shouted to put the boat into full reverse gear. However it seemed that he only put it in neutral. The die was cast!
It was a slow motion accident about to happen in front of our eyes. Everyone held their collective breath. There was one huge bump as he met the third boat. He glanced off and continued down the outside and into the back of the second boat. Then he slid in between both boats. He only stopped when he came through to hit the first boat in a broadside T bone.

In a moment of pure comic genius my mooring neighbour said "I just love watching handover day". The ensuing arguments erupted between the crews with claim and counter claim plus lots of shouting. Then one of the group of spectators who had gathered, helped the situation enormously when he gave a spontaneous round of applause and then the others spectators all joined in. I was tempted myself!

It was at that moment I realised that I should have had my video camera working. I could have made a few quid from one of those "the misfortune of others" TV shows. I have also come to love handover day at Skipton, next time I will have my camera at the ready.


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