Monday, February 09, 2009

Good luck Charley and Martin!

This morning, two of our friends left the harbour on the start of their journey south to Nieuwport in Belgiun. Once there they will wait for fine weather before crossing the channel and making their way up the Thames to their new mooring at Tower Bridge in London. They've been here for about nine months. At first they were just visiting Lise, our Danish artist friend, but then they sold their own barge in London and decided to look for a replacement over here. After months of searching, they bought the lovely clipper Albatross - just as the pound crashed and all the benefit they had from the former exchange rate was lost. Nothing daunted though, they have gone ahead with the purchase, and after a spell on the slips getting it checked over, and a few engine problems that had to be fixed, they are finally on their way.

I happened to be walking Sin when I saw them starting out, so I snapped a few photos with my phone camera in between waving goodbye and wishing them a safe journey....a heartfelt sentiment as the weather is horrible at the moment: stormy, wet, cold and generally unfriendly towards poor skippers and their mates who have open steering and nowhere to shelter. Good luck, dear friends and I hope you've made safe haven tonight.


  1. The trip to Neuiport is great in itself but trust they will wait for a suitable weather window for the crossing......i promised myself id never do it again in a barge :/

    If the moorings at Tower Bridge are the same ones im thinking of, then the views are fantastic, but the river can be a bit lively from the trip boats.

    Gods speed to them

  2. Wow, great looking boat! I wouldn't want to be out in the weather at all...good luck to them!

  3. Flying in tourist class can't quite compete as a way of moving home with that, eh? There's an old-world feel to their plans, though I'm sure the crossing of the canal is quite an ordeal and really dangerous in poor weather conditions.

    Hopefully everything went well for Charley and Martin

  4. Safe Sailing. Good luck to them indeed. xo

  5. Once again I am reminded of the richness of your life on the water Vally. You have a wonderful, eclectic circle of friends, all of whom seem to have their priorites in life worked out so well. I'm sure life on a barge has its stresses, and maybe at times all that is different from we landlubbers is the size of the living quarters, but there are times when I get glimpses here of a simplicity and purity of existence which is quite special.

    Your friends sound like adventurers of the best sort. As indeed are you VeePee.

  6. ooh looks like we're getting new neighbours then! I'll be sure to take some photos of their arrival here at Tower Bridge. :)

  7. What a lovely sailing vessel!
    Good luck and may your seas be calm.

  8. Thanks to everyone for the good wishes for Charley and Martin. We shall hopefully be able to pass them on this weekend, as we may go down to Nieuwpoort to see them.

    Geoff, the moorings are new ones but on the opposite of the river from the ones I think you know. The views will also be great there, and the water equally choppy! I think they will wait for a millpond type of day. They are having a professional pilot on board though, so hopefully all will be well ;-P

    Thanks to you String. Yes it is a lovely boat isn't it? They hope to sail with it at some juncture.

    Maria, the channel crossing is known to be risky, so we shall be holding thumbs and everything that crosses for them.

    Thanks to you too Grace, and yes Margie, there is a richness to this well as a kind of fundamental simplicity - oe of the things I like about it most.

    Melissa, thanks! I've left a comment on yours too and I hope we will meet up with you sometime when we come over and see them on the other side ;-)

    Dale, it is lovely yes. Why don't you come on over and take a looksee?

  9. You know, from this view, there’s a tremendous appeal to the boat life. Those seas look truly bluer from my immovable perch in New England. But having read your brilliant stories about life on the water, I know it is not the cut of everyone’s jib, it's not just a matter of anchor's aweigh, and it takes skill and resolve to master, before you can really enjoy the beauty of the boat life. Like many, I envy you and Koos, but while I might want to go where you and your friends go, I have a feeling there would be many Irish Pennants with a hopeless landlubber like meself. I’d be a disaster.

    I wish them godspeed.

    Best to you, be well, be lucky,

    Ps. I used to work at St Katherine's Docks wearing square tails and a hat greeting American tourists back in '86. Had many an expensive pint in the Dicken's Inn.

  10. Thanks so much Paul. I had to look up Irish Pennants, but now I know what they are, I quite understand. Still, I'm sure that even if you were a disaster, you would be so with the best of good humour ;-)

    St Katherine's dock is a very busy and trendy place to go these days, but I still love that part of London, probably because it still has some of its old dockland feel, no matter what they do to it!


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