Saturday, 16 June 2012

Getting a bit choppy

Getting a Bit Choppy
The Golden Cloud 16/6/12

As You may have heard on the national and international news, over the last week or so, the river I call home (the River Leri) has has some serious flooding. Luckily like Noah, I got myself an arc before these floods arrived, and so unlike the villages of Tal-y-bont, Dol-y-bont, Borth and Llandre, as well as the countless caravans who I share the valley with, when the floods came, the water just passed peacefully under my keels!


The event was quite exciting and kept me onboard for a few extra hours but other than that was just another adventure!!! 

The day when the floods came started like any other at Ynyslas... Windy.
But that day the wind was different, it blew hard and strong, and for once being on the water was quite different to land. Every gust changed my perspective on life, from sea, to sky, to sea, to sky! It was getting a bit choppy.

As I knew I had no chance of paddling ashore as per usual, I decided at that point to row an anchor chain from my boat to shore, that way at least I knew there would be a way out if things went wrong!

In the process of putting in the anchor, I had a bit of a bear grylls style manly moment. A gust of wind (on that day we had gusts up to Force 10!) blew me back on the bank, and as a result I slipped and gashed a hole in my foot. Needless to say in the moment I didn't even notice, but by the time I returned to the boat, it was starting to hurt. So I decided to reduce the gangreen risk, and boiled up some water, put in a dab of flash, and with a scouring pad brushed out all the mud from the river... I must admit it kinda hurt!
The cut post cleaning up, was alot more impressive when my foot was covered in mud and blood with the cut open wide!

Then I settled down with a mug of hot cuppa soup, and got ready to sleep through the storm.

As the night went on, the waters only rose, the tide never went out, Lloyd of the boatyard tried to wake me up by beeping his horn and flashing his lights at me from the bank. He'd been told of what was to come and wanted me to get away to saftey! (although in all honesty I was probably in the safest place!) Needless to say, I slept through it like a baby!

I woke in the morning to the sound of police sirens, then Lloyd tried again, and this time I woke up! He took me to shore, for me to find the area a police cordon and was being evacuated! The flood waters rose all around. We sat on the bank watching it all, as the land around us flooded the boatyard was fine! Maybe I shouldn't be supprised, as Ynys is Welsh for Island, and Ynyslas boatyard was the only land for miles around!

As the morning became evening, and the weather settled, I hoisted my bedding up the mast to dry it out. Tomorrow was another day, and this was just another adventure!

The flood was just another story for the boatyard, but it also brought with it free gas bottles, and firewood, we even saw bikes and tables float by!

Since the floods have receeded, and I've been back to the usual ways, with the exception of the extra fun of collecting tree's from the river and sand bars for firewood!

During my search for firewood yesterday, I also harvested a bucket of Samphire, a small succulent plant highly prized in culanary circles, should go nicely with my dinner!

Onboard the flood showed up a few leaks and a few worries, so I've now wired up the VHF so I can call for help if the worst happens, practised crank starting the engine and rigged up an interior tent so I'm dry from the leaks.

This evening the rains are falling again, and the wind is howling too. Who knows what will float down the river tomorrow!


  1. Tiffany Bourgeois17 June 2012 at 04:41

    Allo Joe! Glad to see the boat is coming along nicely, I thought of you when I heard about the storm, happy you made it through ok. Must say, your outlook and attitude toward your life is pretty refreshing, and it was really nice talking with you again on my second time through Aber.

    x. Tiffany (the solo chick from WV)

    ber. , oh

  2. Hi Joe, glad you made it through the storm ok, the boat looks great- happy for you!