Feature: What to do when the keys go overboard

I HAVE added to the list of things going overboard. The latest item was my keys. We had just returned from the pub and as I stepped over to the boat, the keys decided to jump from my hand and fall down the gap between the bank and the boat (about three in

I HAVE added to the list of things going overboard. The latest item was my keys. We had just returned from the pub and as I stepped over to the boat, the keys decided to jump from my hand and fall down the gap between the bank and the boat (about three inches).

The problem was that I had just fitted a high security lock that a bank would be proud of. We stood looking at each other in the cold and dark for what seemed like ages. Then I remembered that when fitting the lock I had removed a part of the hatchway and after a bit of fiddling I managed to gain access. So a night spent sleeping in the car was avoided.

However, I now had the problem of re-closing and locking the doors because our high security lock refused to retract itself without the key so a magnet was required to fish for the keys.

The only magnet I could think of was inside a very good quality Kenwood speaker. I had no choice but to butcher it and with a bit of cord from the curtains I had the means to retrieve the keys. This is not as easy as it sounds, because although moored, the boat moves quite a bit. Luckily, after a while they were dangling from my Kenwood magnet.


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Spiders like boats. I sleep especially well on the boat but tonight Mary woke me up from a deep slumber at 3.30am to evict a particularly large specimen making a web above our heads.

Of course, I was not allowed to kill it, so into the kitchen to get a tumbler I went and proceeded to trap the beast. Having got it securely imprisoned, I tipped it out of the window, unfortunately the window was on the river side, so instead of being squashed, it drowned instead.

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In the meantime, Mary made me a cup of tea and we spent an hour chatting about, among other things, the difficulty she had getting to sleep. Then we went back to bed. I laid there for about half an hour trying to go back to sleep to no avail. That is why I am sitting here at 5.43am writing this while Mary is sound asleep next door.

Smeagle the cat, once known as the killing machine, has settled in really well, but ever since the swan episode, she has developed a phobia for anything with wings, even sparrows which send her into a shaking fit.

She is happy on the boat and happy on the shore. It's the bit in between that's the problem. Her strategy is to move from one bit to the other at super speed.

I was sitting on deck when Smeagle was making one of her shore to boat transitions.

The only problem was that she was adjacent to the wrong boat. Before I could call her, she launched herself onto the deck and straight into the cabin. I don't know who was more surprised, the owner of the boat or Smeagle, but after a pause of just a few seconds, she flew back out at twice the speed.

Every morning we get a squadron of geese fly by just a few feet from the water, a sight that never fails to impress us, along with herons, kingfishers and hawks. We spend the evenings (even cold ones) on deck with a glass of wine just taking in the silence, the stars and tranquillity.

We are enjoying every minute.

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