Our two week excursion down the Thames and up along the East coast, taking in various stops along the way, essentially;
Teddington to Chatham,
Chatham to Ipswich Neptune
Ipswich Neptune to Woodbridge,
Tichmarsh to Burnham-on-Crouch
Burnham-on-Crouch to Chatham
Chatham back to Teddington, then home
In the end only three of the original four vessels set off; Bajan Princess, Blue Diamond and Bagpuss & Co. Venture unfortunately having to stand-down.
We were incredibly fortunate with the weather. Mostly sunny, with F3~4 calm seas. Only a couple of days did we have to reconsider plans, when the wind started to pick-up. But even then it was only gusting F5~6, and we could perhaps have continued with the original schedule but in the interests of enjoying, rather than enduring, the ride we opted to change plans slightly; dropping Shotley from our list of stops, and returning from Chatham a day early. Although to be fair the later change still left us with the bumpiest ride of the trip, back up through the Thames - all of us suffering from more than a light splash of sea-spray!!
We met and ate together on numerous occasions, but were also not in each others pocket all the time.
During the trip we celebrated Tracie’s birthday about Bajan Princess; thank you Graham & Philippa for arranging the cakes and prosecco!
More than once the radiowaves were treated to the, rather unofficial, radio call:-
Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old fat furry cat-puss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright
Be golden and light
Bagpuss, Oh hear what I sing
To which Les would respond "Bagpuss receiveing, over" - no doubt having heard it all before...!
Woodbridge was probably the favourite stop with its nearby small town and very pleasant marina. We all managed a good walk around and some fabulous weather, as well as the run up and back along the meandering Deben River.
We were very pleased to have Philip join us aboard Blue Diamond at Woodbridge, for the cruise back to our home mooring. Amongst other things, he and Tracie delighted at spotting "Swifallows" ... not being practiced ornithologists determining a Swift from a Swallow became to dificult, hence the creation of a new breed!
Bagpuss & Co, showing a turn of speed at sea.
Low Water - Sill at Tide Mill Marina, usually covered by ~2m at HW
'Dog TV' at Chatham kept Shadow ammused for the evening!
Bajan Princess and Bagpuss on our way into Tichmarsh