The dark comes early in November and so the workshops are coming to the fore. ‘Willsbry’ is blasted and put in for epoxy coating and the smaller workshop houses a classic wooden 28′ Twister and a small launch in for new engine beds, clean up and paint but it is quiet on the yard. There is even time for Simon to take out his own hardworking launch and give it some tender loving care.
The laying up season continues, with those who like to eek the last moments of the season finally giving up and coming ashore. The hard is getting full and the annual game of chess begins, only with rather bigger pieces. If only we knew at the start of the laying up season which boats would be arriving and when. It could then be a well ordered process but life on the yard is just not like that. Experience helps us to avoid a checkmate situation and with a little bit of a shift round, everybody fits in.
The travel hoist remains busy all year round with the launching and lifting of all types of craft. This month a 65′ dutch barge arrived from Bristol by transport to be lifted and put afloat ready for her journey down the river to Woodbridge. Later a 60′ wide beam canal barge arrived by road to go afloat and towed up to her new home in Ferry Quay.
The yard looks bleak as the rains fall and the days are grey and uninviting. Hardened dog walkers still use the river path but the water itself is empty of river craft except those who make their living on its waters. It is the season for moorings to be checked and plans to made for the busy months ahead.
The river belongs to nature. Swans grace the surface, while the seal pops in for a feed in our basin from time to time.