We had moored up in Oxford between the railway and a clock tower. Not an ideal spot for peace and quiet but it was OK. We were tight up against the boat behind leaving space in front for a 60ft boat to moor. After the space was a short narrow boat filling the mooring space. We were close to the lock near the Thames and I went down to help boats through and watch the boats. One came through and was looking for moorings. I said there is space between us and the short boat. The visitor was only 58ft which would have gone in easily.
I walked back to IDUNNO and found the visitor boat mooring on the end which was not easy as there were no rings to tie to. I said "Go in front of the short boat and moor there, plenty of room. the owner said" I looked but there is not room". I just said "OK". I told Gill and she suspected that the owner was not a good driver and could not get in the space. Who cares anyway? The owner then said "We want to be in the sun and we are not staying long". I just sat and watched them tie up.
Ten minutes after mooring up, the owner and helper get off the boat and go to the short boat, they proceed to untie it and drag it 30ft to the next set of rings. I asked them what they thought they were doing, interfering with another boat. They said they wanted more space as they were in a no mooring zone. I said again, "You could moor between the boats". "No we can't" was they reply.
After some discussion, he assured me it was standard practice to move boats like this. I assured him it was not on the canals and if he touched other boats he might find more of a physical response rather than a verbal one. I then added, "Do not ever think about moving mine without asking me first" . This rather heated discussion dragged on with no satisfactory conclusion apart from raising his blood pressure. He went on about rescuing boats which were blocking his way by becoming untied. This of course is not moving a boat it is re-mooring it where it was. Anyway he assured me he would never touch my boat.
I just sat and watched them tie up in the new position. They still needed a mooring pin on the far end and I noted with some joy that the first four attempts at hammering the pin in failed as the ground was too soft. The owner took control and really hammered it home. I was not convinced but as my advice had been dismissed earlier I kept my mouth shut.
They went into town and kept looking back at me in case I went and untied their boat or worse. When they were out of sight, a hire boat came past a bit fast and the water movement pulled out the mooring pin. The boat proceeded to float away at one end and block the canal. It took me a millisecond to decide not to do anything in the way of helping.
All in all a good result, he would have had a safe mooring if he hadn't known better. I can imagine the reaction of our boating friends if he had tried moving their boats without asking. Anyway advice from Don should not be ignored otherwise the curse of IDUNNO will strike.