Having kept watch since Alan’s aborted cruise to Chatham, the red board warnings were finally removed and we were able to take to our boats for the first time this season. The weather was on our side too, what glorious sunshine.

Alan discovered the new air horns fouled the canopy as he took it down, fortunately in the marina, not as we approached Windsor Bridge! So, with that fixed, we set off on Friday and had an extremely pleasant run down. We were gradually joined by Pieces of Eight, Prime Time and Kerry Anne as Saturday progressed. So the usual chats and drinks took up the rest of the day.

 Shakedown cruises really serve their purpose, Phil had forgotten to bring tea bags and I forgot hand cream! In the evening, at The Crown, we were joined by Ann and Dudley, Jean and Tony, Denise and Roger. Sadly Scilla and Neville had part made the journey only to run into traffic jams that made it impossible to continue. We were sorry not to see them. The menu was not as comprehensive as we have previously experienced at The Crown (poor Linda was really looking forward to her fish pie!!) but we all found something to suit and it is of course the company that makes the evening more than the food. We had our usual good chat and laugh and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. It eventually came to an abrupt halt when we saw a storm approaching and we were dressed for the sun!

Sunday was another glorious day so more chats and drinks, visits to Nauticalia and relaxing until Pieces of Eight left because they were troubled with a defrosting fridge and Kerry Anne left to sort out Phil’s mum’s house. We and Prime Time stayed until Monday. Unfortunately the weather had changed, it was windy and chilly. Just before Staines our engine alarm went off, the engine was overheating. Alan tried the usual possibilities but to no avail so we made the journey back on one engine. With the fast flow of the river and the wind it made steering quite tricky but we got back without running into anything!! It would appear that something, such as a plastic bag, had attached itself to the water inlet and wasn’t allowing water in to cool the engine. All sorted now.

Thank you everyone for a great weekend and thank you Julia for organising it. We look forward to seeing you again at Cookham.

                                                                                                    Sue Darby