Sink or swim - a confession by Ron Stoddart


Our small riverside town used to have a very old sign on the quayside displaying an obsolete harbour master’s number to ring before placing a mooring.

Turning to locals for advice, I was told to wait until evening and place a marker in an unused location. If after a few weeks there were no objections I could lay a mooring.

We set off with a very heavy lump of concrete with marker buoy attached in our small tender. Having almost fallen in getting it overboard, imagine our horror when, rather than sink as expected, it floated downstream towards all the moored yachts.

We had misjudged the depth and the line attaching the marker buoy was too short so the buoy kept the concrete off the bottom.

Chasing after it, we retrieved it without damaging any boats, but on our return ashore, were met with gales of laughter from the locals gathered in the river pub gardens.


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