Up the River to the Winter Berth

It was time to take Aphrodite up the river to her winter storage on the quay at Topsham. Due to her draft we are always restricted by tide and need to come up on a four meter spring tide.

Neil, who has a boat near the mooring, kindly volunteered to assist me in bringing the boat up as I was uneasy about the behavior of the the engine due to the fuel bug.

With an early 0600 start, spring tides do encourage early and late starts, I picked Neil up and we were rather surprised an early morning traffic jam on the road to Starcross. We were running half an hour late, "threw the dingy in the water", started the outboard and headed to the boat with a nagging feeling in my head that there might not be enough petrol.

Thankfully, the sea was flat and little wind so we went at full throttle to try and make up some time

Jumped on the boat, started the engine, not even time for a cup of tea, and headed with a few other boats up river.

About a half mile from the quay I decided to slow down and see what would happen with the engine on tick over. As anticipated the engine cut, Neil's face turned very pale and I sprung into action to restart the engine quite confident that she would start at the first turn of the key and she did.

Plan B was a "hot approach" to the quay as I knew the engine would do its usual trick and cutout, Neil quickly stepped off the boat onto the quay and tie up to anything that looked like it might not move, with four tonnes of boat moving at a knot and a half he executed the plan superbly and we came to a stop that did not look to ungainly!

I prefer to walk away and leave to the lift to the guys on the crane, as the last thing they really want is a concerned skipper looking on like an expectant father and we headed off to Route 2 for a full breakfast and a mug of steaming hot tea.

Aphrodite was ashore again and set up for the winters work.