Barking-Chiswick-Barking Cruise

16th June, Friday. The weatherman has promised a great weekend so we are out of here and off to our old stomping grounds @ Chiswick. Glorious day with little breeze full on sunshine and shaping up to be a real scorcher.

Katie was on time to lock us out 1500hrs and we made our way down Barking creek to the Thames which invited us with a power guilde up through London and on to Chiswick on the flood tide mooring @ the visitors pier, Chiswick 1940hrs. A Cracking afternoon sail.

Spent the evening catching up on all the gos’ with the Chiswick RNLI boys. Hadn’t realised how much we had missed their cheery banter. Great to see Mark back to work soon after a long illness. Check out their website http://www.chiswicklifeboat.org.uk – and by the way a donation could be an excellent conscious vote. They do work 24/7 on the river. Thanks Guys for a great evening our regards to the rest of the Team and we promise to catch you all again before too long.

17th June, Saturday. Our dear Kiwi friend Kathryn Doddington arrived +/- 0900hrs to be introduced to quarters and was obviously excited at the prospect of be part of the return trip. She had spent the previous weekend with Tam and Di Morrall on Friesland i nCambrai, France reterning with her French Canal Skippers Ticket. Well done that girl.

Propective buyers arrived for a viewing, yes the word is out we are selling up, and took them out for a spin to Wandsworth and return to Chiswick dropping them off around noon. Lovely people (Names witheld for obvious reasons).

Ken, Top brass for the Chiswick Sea Cadets dropped by to say hello. As did a few other old faces.

1415hrs – Eager to catch the remainder of the ebb we reluctantly slipped lines, heading down stream for Margaret Ness (Our overnight mooring).

Waved to Jack Pawsy and Sandra with friends on their sweet little ship taking the tide upriver. She is looking great Jack, Sandra too!. Centre of London heaving with tourists. It seemed as if every passenger boat available was out in trade. It was rather busy. Our pushing the tide made for a slower passage and the wake from the cats’ did at time make for heavy going.

After passing through Tower Bridge the engine started to flutter indicating dodgy fuel. Managed to moor on the pontoon just before Greenwich Pier and drain both tank sacks and the engine filter sacks. Diesel black and full of grit and water. Started the engine and with all checks complete sailed on to Margaret Ness having moored closed down the engine @1945hrs.

Beautiful evening meal lovingly prepared by 1st Mate (Caroline) and up the wheelhouse with after dinner drinks and music and long debrief on the day. Kathryn shot over two hundred pictures some of which I will add when they arrive. 1130hrs we all agreed time for bed with light out before witches hour.

18th June, Sunday. All up to greet a bright sunny morning. Coffee and short breakfast with engine start 0700hrs for the short hop to Creekmouth, Barking Creek entrance catching the last of the tide before the turn. A call to Katie assured us the lock gate was open. We moored with engine close down about 0900hrs.

Yet another exciting cruise enjoyed by all.

Post-winter update

Just found my username and password so best bring you all up to date – briefly.

Experienced a very quite winter aboard snug and warm thanks to the Stanley. We had to think long and hard on such a huge price tag when designing this unit into the new galley, but on relfection it has proved an invaluable trouble- free investment. The climate control was so perfect the “house orchid” threw no less than 13 spikes. after so many years it still has not re-aclimatised from NZ!

1st April we moved home to Barking. “Moving house with a barge is such a doddle in comparison to a conventional house move”. Experienced a few teething problems with the utilities but otherwise we are very happy with our new home and the community spirit as just super. Best of all there are no more aircraft overhead very 90 seconds, especially the 0447hrs red -eye every morning. No train or car noise on the odd duck quaking and after a short walk to the station the city is only 17 minutes away to be precise – great.

Now I have access again you can expect regular updates. My filing system was never that good!

For those friends outside UK our landline number is: 0044 2085911219. There is no change to the email address. It is still we2@lifeafloat.com