On sailing a Folksong – Saturday morning

I went down to the boat on Friday evening to spend a few days on board.

The following morning, having worked out the early routine, I made a cup of tea and sat with my head out of the hatch to enjoy the peace in the morning sunshine and watch the tide as it slackened towards high water. Today was the top of the spring tides – (0903, 5.4m; the still higher 5.7m due just after 2200). I cannot remember seeing the level so close to the top of the Cattedown Wharves (below).

A blast on a ship’s horn and the bow of Bro Deliverer, registered in Goteborg, appeared from behind the sheds – adding a different shade of blue to the scene and totally changing the perspective. A tug and the pilot boat tripped alongside her.


She nosed into the turning area and came around stern first. The tug scurrying around while the pilot boat stood off with an air of dignified watchfulness.

A yacht motored briskly out of the Yacht Haven, promptly eased off and drifted gently, waiting for the ship to slip up river stern first.


A few minutes later, a pleasure boat left its berth on the outside of the Yacht Haven pontoons and hurried around her bow to pick up its first passengers of the day.

Meanwhile, Bro Deliverer came level with the wharves and, with a little help from the tug, eased sideways into her berth. Lines were thrown and she came to a stop, dwarfing the cranes and sheds.


All was over in 20 minutes or so – a well rehearsed routine, neatly accomplished by the ships crew, the crews of the tug and pilot boat as well as the shore crew.

My brother rang at this point to say he was five minutes away. Time to row ashore.