Yesterday Cambria returned to Faversham’s Standard Quay under tug tow from the old faithful Iron Wharf tug Pep and was spotted by friend of Cambria and maker of the Red Sails film, Mike Maloney. Mike was good enough to photograph the occasion and has emailed me a good few pictures, so thank you for that, Mike.
Today, another nice picture from the Catherine De Bont Facebook spread. This one is also taken on the up-River adventure the guys went on to get the barge up to London for the QDJP. As Catherine says, “a few familiar faces”; Hi Steve, Cathy, Mark and Frank and (the only one doing any work!), Richard T at the wheel. I was not sure about the Mark C baseball cap on backwards, dude look, for a bargeman, but Cathy says “yes he likes to think he’s a cool dude, bless him!! I look freezing and I was, but it was an amazing day spent with great people and we both wish we could do it all again”.
Meanwhile I was smiling at the fact that in Ireland, where I now am, Dublin is having its own tall ships festival (see website http://www.dublintallships.ie/volunteers/ ) and they have been calling for volunteers to help with the day. Realistically this is serious stuff and the site says “Up to 1,000 volunteers are required for The Tall Ships Races 2012 – Dublin to give visitors the warmest of welcomes, help create a great atmosphere and an experience they will never forget. Offer your experience, volunteer your skills, learn something new and have fun doing it! There is a huge variety of voluntary roles including Production, Hospitality, Ship Liaison, Media and Marketing, Event Coordination, Stewarding and Volunteer Management.”
I just wondered whether if a gang of Cambria volunteers armed with paint rollers and tins of Rosy Glow showed up in a mini-bus, we might be put to work. Cambria Volunteers on Tour!
Our old girl has now completed her session entertaining the Bawdsey Haven Yacht Club and has completed another charter for Respite Care for Young Carers up in the Gravesend area, based on the ‘camel’. Her next task is with Skipper Ian Ruffles and Denis Johnson culminating in being brought to Faversham Creek on the Sunday noon tide. She then sits in Faversham for a couple of weeks, which brings us round to the 1st July.
Denis was reporting last night that it was “nice to be down below out of the rain” but telling me that we still have not plumbed in (chimney) the little Colin Frake “Faversham” stove yet. Ian reports this morning, matter-of-factly that “that was the busiest night in Gravesend reach for ships that i can remember”. Rockin’ and a rollin’ a bit, maybe? I remember when Dave B, Mrs Dave B and I were alongside St Andrew’s Wharf last year it would get a bit choppy and the poor old girl would be working her fenders a bit hard trying to bang lee boards off the concrete wall, mainly when the small cutters were dashing about. The huge Kobelfret container ships could whisper past with barely a ripple.
A blog is probably no place to be publishing a “stop press!” notice but just in case we can do any good.
Griselda’s Traffic Census on Faversham Swing Bridge, you may have seen has been on and then off (Kent County Council were going to do it themselves). Well as of about 05:30 this morning, it’s back on, so if you were thinking of getting involved, please do now contact Griselda Cann-Mussett again. As she says, “New STOP PRESS. We DO need volunteers for a traffic census. We have two practice sessions: 9-10am this Saturday (16th June), and again Tues 19 June. The counts will be for 12 hours on the 24th, 26th and 30th of June. Shifts are 2 hours. Please contact me a.s.a.p. if you can help.”
Meanwhile, I am now playing on both the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ websites, so I hope you can see this blog in both places. If you know the location of the new pages and fancy getting involved as a ‘critic’ or checker, there is a ‘comments’ box on the new site. I appreciate some of you are probably getting frustrated not knowing where the new site is but that is because it is still under construction and testing and has not been fully released yet. Patience, friends. Everything of import will continue to be published on the ‘old’ site for now.
You think you can just ‘drive’ your barge up the Thames for the weekend and moor it against a handy buoy? Oh, No, No, No, NO! This is a Proper River with a serious port and the weekend is a State Occasion in honour of Her Majesty the Queen. There are procedures and protocols to follow, son! I have to admit to a guilty smile when I hear about some of the hoops we have to jump through to show off our barge but I love that we are part of it all and I love that we are a ‘serious’ organisation and that our Chairman is the esteemed Rear Admiral Bruce Richardson CB FNI.
Boss of Volunteers, Basil e-mails me with some detail on the ‘hoops’ of which I was completely unaware. Did you know for example that you don’t just string up a load of bunting round your barge; there are even Correct Naval Procedures for hanging bunting. The International Code Flags are used to “DRESS” ship. In nautical practice, it is said that the flags are ‘worn’ and not ‘flown’ by the vessel. Officer’s flags, club burgees and national flags are not used as part of the bunting. The ship is dressed at 0800 and remains dressed (at anchor only, except for a vessel’s maiden or final voyage) until evening colours at sunset.
The ‘hoist’ is done in the following sequence . . .
- The yacht ensign or national ensign at the stern staff
- Courtesy flag (if in foreign port) on starboard flag halyard
- The Union Jack may be displayed at the bow staff
- Club or fleet or association burgee on a pig stick to masthead or to the ‘starboard spreader’, alone, on its own and separate flag halyard
- A rainbow of International Code flags are then arranged from the waterline forward ‘up and over’ (that is to all mast heads) to the waterline aft. Flags and pennants are bent on alternately. Since there are twice as many letter flags as numeral/repeater pennants, it is good practice to follow a sequence of two flags, one pennant, two flags, one pennant, etc. A weight is used as a sinker at each end of the string of flags at the waterline fore and aft.
The sequence of the code flags can be any order but the following is the long accepted ‘recommended order’ to give a harmonious colour pattern. This also avoids the possibility of a hidden message being set in the hoist.
Starting from the waterline forward, to the masthead(s), and to the water line aft . . .
A B 2 U J 1 K E 3 G H 6 I V 5 F L 4 D M 7 P O Third Repeater R N First Repeater S T Zero C X 9 W Q 8 Z Y Second Repeater
So now you know! Basil tells me that we were the only barge who ‘Dressed all Over’ correctly although some other barges “had a reasonable go at it”.
More on this tomorrow.