Dickens Event Rochester - Cruise to Chatham [and Back!]
By Editor, Jun 7 2018 04:13PM
We set off from Shepperton and Teddington marina's on Thursday evening; Jacamar and Blue Diamond departing from Shepperton, with Enterprise and Venture leaving - Bagpuss & Co having already made the journey down earlier in the week, and would meet us in Chatham.
We settled in early, readying ourselves for the early start on Friday to follow the tide downstream through the city of London and out into the estuary, before turning back up the Medway at slack/rising tide.
The journey went to plan - mostly; one boat suffering engine issues, first Port then Starboard... and another's radar failed - which of course it would do when you actually need it, on the tidal part!
We made a steady pace to Chatham, locked in and settled down. Drinks and and exchange of travel tales on Blue Diamond, followed by dinnner at the local pub, the Ship and Trades.
Saturday was spent mostly in and around the fun of the Dickens event in Rochester, and then a group dinner in the eveing; which included an impromptu presentation and song for Les and Magraret [a.k.a Mr & Mrs Bagpuss] who were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary...Congratulations indeed!
Sunday was a day at leisure, with several of us visiting the Dockyards at Chatham.
We returned on Monday back to Teddington, before taking the final stretch to our home moorings on the Tuesday.
The return passage was good, although the weather closed in and turned grey and cold.
Only one incident of note, Blue Diamond was brought to a near stand-still very quickly, from 15kts, by a large roll of plastic safety fencing that had somehow been disguarded in the Thames and which was floating just under the surface - it apeared astern after reversing the engines and it kicked clear. An interesting experience!