Thames barge race weekend

So it is the midde of July and we have been out in the boat quite a few times already this year.  This has included a number of trips down the river, anchoring overnight in the stour or Orwell and returning late on Sunday.  On various of these trips we have had guests.  For the Thames Barge Weekend, Lisa and Christine joined us and we set off on Friday evening so that we could get a nice quiet spot overnight.  We were a little late…some people may not have heard the phrase “tide and time wait for no man” (or woman), so we missed freeflow through the lock. We had out and it is a little breezy but quite nice. Unusually we made a little mistake in the lock and slightly marked the hull but cif or magic sponges will get rid of the mark.  We just need to chalk it up to experience.  We decide to pick up a mooring buoy opposite Suffolk yacht harbour which is nice sheltered from the wind and settle down for the evening.

The Thames barge race is run from just down from Pin Mill out to sea and back again on this occasion and we can see the start line from our mooring.  imageIn fact from the start line all of the Thames barges aim straight at us since we are on the inside of the first imagecorner in the river! It gave us the opportunity to put the camera through its paces.

So we spent a few hours taking photos and fishing with wonderful views of the river and fantastic weather, by English standards. The may also have been a small bottle of Prosecco drunk as the girls all caught up having not seen each other for some time.

The sailing vessels look wonderful and completely different to the yachts you generally see so to see a number of large barges coming down together is a sight to behold.

Once all of barges had gone past, we decided to go off ourselves and pop our noses out to the North Sea for a short while before anchoring down the Stour for the afternoon for music, some fine food and “fishing”, where you dip your rod and don’t catch anything…..a bit like a good Saturday night when you were young and unattached  🙂

However, with the weather we agreed that we would try and get onto half-penny pier and caught up with the great guys there with their amazing stories – you know who you are.  On Sunday, we wandered round Harwich and eventually decided to go round the napoleonic fort.

When we returned to the boat, Maria started preparing the cocktails while Lisa and Adam started attracting “randoms” to join us and chat.  Then, Amanda and Mark arrived on their new little (and second) yacht, Bobby. They rafted up next to Mariadz and joined us for a drink.  We discussed the possibility of staying overnight, but Bobby was bumping up and down on the Easterly like Captain Pugwash’s boat, and so they decided to find themselves somewhere quiet to stay the night.  A fantastic nights sleep and then the next day we took our time and meandered up the river.

A fantastic relaxing weekend. 🙂

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