I hear from a variety of sources that the Cambria Team are currently well pleased with the three guys who have become our regular crew. Obviously we know from past experience of the Skipper Ian Ruffles and First Mate Denis Johnson but we now have a brilliant new-ish recruit as 3rd Hand, Reggie Andrews. These guys all work together really well and we have some recent pictures of examples of this. They are particularly good with the Young Carers who come to us on sail training breaks sponsored by the Rotary Club and we have had lots of good feedback from the trainees.
Reggie is a dab hand with the barge boat and our new, more powerful outboard which he has found can be used in some places as a very effective method of propulsion in and out of confined spaces. Cambria, as you know, has no engine, so moving when there is no friendly wind can be an issue and Gillingham Pier, where we are currently based, is one where the tide goes out, leaving you high and dry. The guys can now bring Cambria in towards the Pier ‘too early’ when there is not enough water, so that she grounds near to the dock. Reggie hops into the barge boat and runs a line ashore so that as the tide finishes coming in she can be ‘warped’ alongside as she would have been ‘back in the day’.
The barge boat (and Reggie) is also the method for getting her out to deep enough water for a day’s sailing when the trainees are due to arrive at a time which would be low tide. The barge is moved out at high tide and the trainees are ferried out in the boat. She can also be turned round at the dock using this method. The stem or stern are secured and the barge boat used to swing the ‘other end’ round. It works as long as there is not too much tide or windage. They tell me the boat is good for about 3 knots, so provided any adverse tide flow and/or wind do not combine to more than that we can still move in the direction we want to.
Sounds like fun but I’m sure it’s all hard work and hard-won skills. Fair play to Reggie and the guys. There are plenty of us who envy you the chance and the life! Well done to you for making it happen.