While we were moored at Saul Junction there was much activity over in Davis’s boatyard. We had caught a glimpse of this lovely old wooden boat lurking behind another and now it was being moved to enter the dry dock. First they tried to pull it in backwards but it seems that it was too low in the water.
So with the aid of ropes and the overhead crane they manoeuvred it around to try it bow first. It still wouldn’t go in and some of the heavy interior fitments and ballast were removed by crane and by hand onto the quayside.
Although this is reminiscent of that Titanic moment, he was just attaching the chains from the crane to lift it a bit to coax it forwards. Anyway it wouldn’t budge, so after much head scratching, postulating and discussion they all went home as it was getting late.
The next day a Smiths grabber arrived and took some more of the boats innards out and it began to rise out of the water revealing it’s rudder.
Between them the crane and the grabber stripped her insides out and she floated into the dock easily then. I learnt a little about this shapely old fishing boat by asking a few questions. Her name was ‘Lucia’ and she had been submerged near Gloucester and had been brought down to be scrapped. So by this evening her demise will probably be complete, a sad ending to such a beautifully crafted wooden ship.
All the other boats were pulled around by ropes and re-moored which gave me the opportunity to photograph ‘Susan’ the first butty to be built by them taking eight months to complete. Would you like one like this Ruth? We were contemplating having our bottom blacked here, but they are far too busy this year!
Both of the Willow Trust boats are kept busy cruising from 11am-3pm most days. You can judge how big they are as that is Oakfield moored on the right of this picture. Well we have been kept well amused with some of the boat movements during our brief stay down here.