Well, we had our race yesterday in the Thames match and we duly beat the suggested “main rival”, SB Thalatta, to a class win but you can see from the attached Dave Brooks photo that it was not a very exciting event. It took place in very light airs and was eventually abandoned due to lack of wind. You can see from the picture, the sails hanging slack from the rigging and the almost millpond smooth sea which give the picture the look almost of a model boat on a park pond. I was joking with Dave that we had brailed up the bottom edge of the mains’l so that the Skipper could see for’d and avoid any high speed collisions. Dave thinks it was done in case “they woke up suddenly and found something exciting happening”. Ah well, that’s barge racing, I guess. We do have a couple of pictures where the merest suggestion of a breeze gave some movement and Cambria can be seen ‘ahead’ of Thalatta, so we won the class and picked up a shed load of trophies at the celebration afterwards in the excellent Three Daws pub in Gravesend. I will ask one of those who attended and/or raced, to provide some kind of report when they have recovered from all that muscle-wrenching battling with the elements and save the old girl from dire peril broaching or getting swamped…..
That well known ‘social networking site’, Facebook has become a rather lively, entertaining place in which to pick up the latest info on Cambria’s where-abouts and the comings and goings of plenty of other barges, including Edith May, Kitty, Thalatta, Xylonite and many more. If you don’t “do” Facebook, merely because you have heard bad things about it or you are nervous of it, then I’d urge you to go dip a toe in the water. You don’t have to open the flood gates to all sorts of idiocy, you can pick and choose who you would like to hear from and what you’d like to hear. Just join groups like “Sailing Barge Cambria” (or others) and all you’ll get is the “feed” from sources you like and respect.
Lately, ‘we’ have been at Pin Mill where Skipper Richard Tichener has had the barge up on the blocks so that he could get the trainees hoe-ing barnacles off the bottom and lower sides, and painting. Roving reporter Dave Brooks took the opportunity to nip to Pin Mill and got these superb and unusual views of Cambria. Says Dave, ” The locals didn’t recognise her with the black leeboards so when in Pin Mill do as Bob Roberts would have done and paint them”. Tim Kent of SB Xylonite catches us up with the latest “youth-speak”, telling us that his 12 year old son says she looks “sick” but that this is a good thing, the latest modern version of “wicked”. Shipwright Ryan Dale chips in that it looked better last year with black leeboards on which was written “RYAN” in good gloopy brown Faversham Creek mud. (Nice one Ryan! Wonder how that got there!)
There are also some nice pictures posted of Cambria moored by (and then seen through the windows of) the Butt and Oyster pub in Pin Mill.