entry Jan 22 2007, 05:21 PM
mooring fees and marinas are a touchy subject under the Honey Ryder roof at the moment,
I know I've expressed my dislike of our current mooring situation before but it really is something that eats me up inside because first of all, I feel like we've been treated like mugs and secondly the place we are forced to stay at, is for me at least, like living in a warehouse environment. Impersonal and without feeling, it's all business and money and absolutely no personality or basic human kindness (this is the marina management I'm talking about not the residents)
The people we've met in the marina are generally very nice and friendly, and have offered help when our gas system was down and been quite nice to us despite us being the "new people". I may joke about upsetting them by our uncouthness, but at the same time I'm suprised that the previous owner of our boat hadn't even told the people they lived next to that they were selling the boat.
let me explain the story of how we became unwilling captive worms on the Penton Hook,
we bought a boat in the above named marina, it is on the River Thames and at the time of buying the boat, the river was running a bit but wasn't impassable. Before the boat can be moved it needs a new set of batteries and some other essential maintenance bits n bobs.
so we completed the sale and were waiting while everyman and his dog took a lengthy 2-3 week holiday at the end of December... except I didn't want to be on holiday, I wanted to be taking charge of a narrowboat.
we arrived at the marina during the public holiday time expecting access to the boat, but found that it was locked away behind a gate. After a bit of umming and arring (and The Man telling me if the police arrive then it's all my fault I made him break in..) we decided to find a way around the fence and made our own access to our boat so we could make good the repairs etc.
January arrived to reveal the river running like a train and was now impassable.
Now everyone is back to work fatter than before and wearing a hang over of holiday excesses and the back to work blues, no-one is particularly feeling in the mood to be pleasant since the season of goodwill only lasts 14 days.
We are stuck in a marina positioned between two closed locks, a flooding river and see no way out until the spring.
we enquire about lifting the boat out and transporting it a few miles to the canal to be told there's no transport because everyone is doing the london boat show. And even if there was transport available it will cost in the region of £1500 or more. Arses.
We really are stuck in the shit.
The marina charges "london prices" and then some more on top for good measure. So for our little shoe horned spot ( with neighbours each side around a meter away) under the Heathrow flight path, on a river we can't cruise on, in a grandioso marina with London style manners and we have to park in the mud because every bugger around us has 2 or more cars and take up all the spaces, we are expected to pay a little over five thousand pounds, yes, thats right £5000 for a year. No fucking kidding.
Still, its got nice toilet facilities. £5k for a comfortable dump seems quite steep to me.
lesson learnt this time: never buy a narrow boat on the Thames again in winter.