A large group met on Saturday at Teddington moorings with a meal at the Tide End Cottage in the evening.
Sunday morning Lady Weaver (David & June) and Crestal (Sandi & Andy plus crew member Alan Darby) were waved off by the other club members, as they set off on the 9¼ hour journey downriver to Queenborough Harbour on the Isle of Sheppey. We were met by a really helpful harbourmaster who invited us to moor on the Pontoon and recommended the Flying Dutchman pub which served good grub at reasonable prices. The sun shone and the view over the harbour was idyllic. A great start to the voyage.
Monday morning we set out to sea, heading for Burnham-onCrouch. Past the rather eerie masts of HMS Montgomery, sunk in the estuary during the war, and now following the marker buoys away from land. Eventually sigh?ng the Essex coast we sailed on into the River Crouch estuary. Burnham is a long way up the river, but scenery is lovely. We spotted seals both in the water near to the boats and basking on the shore. Having re-fuelled, we were directed to our moorings and shared our stories of the voyage so far – over a drink, in true nautical fashion.
Tuesday was time for wandering along the coastal path into the village. In the evening Sandi & Andy went off to the pub whilst Alan, Dave and June shared a superb Chinese takeaway meal from the Golden Dragon – delivered in 20 minutes to the marina.
Wednesday morning we set off at 11am from Burnham reaching Chatham, on the river Medway around 6pm. A long uneventful trek, but water like the proverbial millpond (thank goodness!)
Thursday morning Sandi and June did some food shopping, then we all hit the Shopping Outlet Centre! Shoes, Cadbury’s shop – what more could anyone want? All five of us ended the day together in an Italian restaurant in the centre.
Friday we made a 7.30am start and headed down the Medway, round the coast and up into the Thames estuary again. After entering St. Katharine’s Dock we moored up in the west basin and in the evening had a fantastic meal at “CAU” restaurant –
Carne Argentina Uniqua. The “servers” as the American’s call them, were wearing T-shirts with CAUBOY and CAUGIRL written across their chests. Some invaders had entered the marina, taking photos on board the boats during the evening in spite of their so-called security provisions. During the night, the occupants of Crestal were awoken at 2am by young men on the bow of their boat. A very disturbing experience for them. We changed pontoons after that.
Saturday we relaxed in the sunshine, and soaked up the atmosphere. In the afternoon David & June went to the Duchess Theatre to see “The Play That Goes Wrong”. The weather being perfect for a walk, they went from the Aldwych down to mbankment, then meandered along the Thames Path all the way back to the marina passing seven bridges along the way. Meanwhile, Sandi & Andy had a visit from their daughter and boyfriend while David, Alan & June had a drink then another yummy
dinner, this time in the Slug and Lettuce.
Sunday relaxed in the sun until time to leave for 2pm lock-out, back to Teddington then on to Weybridge. Unfortunately, the Weybridge moorings were full so Crestal carried onto the Thames Court for dinner whilst Lady Weaver had to spend the night outside Thames Lock before heading up the River Wey and home on Monday morning. An excellent cruise and very enjoyable company.