We set off the next morning the sun was shining and we were feeling happy and pleased to be on our way again and not too far behind our vague schedule.
That is until we went around a bend and heard that awful grinding sound again – we slowed and stopped; we had again run aground. Martin tried some manoeuvers but to no avail. So again we contacted the Canal & River Trust – they said we should call the Canal & River Rescue as we would need to be pulled clear again. This we did and after several conversations with the CRT and our insurance company, received an estimate for rescue for £1030. I think it was one of those situations where choice is not an option so we had to bite the bullet and agree. Luckily it would seem that our insurance would cover all but the agreed excess. We sat and patiently waited – after all it was a lovely day. We heard the sound of a boat approaching and a narrow boat came around the corner, Martin waved and shouted at them to go around us but they kept on coming and took us on the inside of the bend and they too became stuck.
We were pulled clear by the CRT Rescue team – they fixed a steel rope from the opposite bank and we went on our way; with much waving and ‘thanks’.
We were now running late so had a berth booked at Beeston Marina – we just had to go another couple of miles…..we reached an area on the river known as Barton Island we headed to the west of it as directed by the signs and maps and then….. that grinding sound again… we couldn’t believe it – we were stuck again. We debated what to do as we were again out in the middle of the river – I called the CRT rescue crew as we had their direct number from our previous conversations – luckily they had not left the previous grounding scene and said they would come and see if they could help again. At this point Martin decided he needed to get a rope to shore for safety reasons and went into the river – at some points it was only up to his knees and then it fell away to nothing.
It seems that the lack of river traffic during the pandemic, the floods of late last year and early this year and then the really warm and dry spring have all had a hand in making the river unstable.
The rescue crew arrived again – bless them – and pulled us clear – we decided our only option for the moment was to return to our previous nights mooring, open a bottle of wine and rethink our plans in the morning.
Thank you Canal & River Trust Rescue; Pete and team.
Also thank you to the lovely lady from the insurance company who was as concerned for our safety and welfare as much as the policy small print.