Cambria’s 8 days in St Kat’s is now over and Maggs Casey Kelly sends us this very nice picture of ‘us’ in the locking out. Maggs tells me she is sorry to see us go and we have certainly enjoyed ourselves, feeling well looked after and getting the chance to show Cambria off to way more people than would normally see her. I was there for the first weekend, of course, but Boss of Volunteers, Basil has now caught me up on the further adventures.
The remaining days of our stay were a bit quieter than the first mad weekend, with a footfall of around 60 on the weekdays and then some busy weekend days, when 700 souls came round each day, so that we estimate that well over 3000 people were shown around during the stay.
On the Tuesday our hold played host to the premiere of the latest Simon North (barge) film “Noble Life” which saw another 30-40 aboard and where plenty of copies of the film were sold. I have asked for one for myself and I will review that for you when I get my copy. Being the biggest vessel in the Festival and that having the biggest possible meeting-space, we also played host to a drinks party for all the boat owners in the Festival, apparently attended by 50-odd folk. I bet that was a bit crammed below decks but I understand they all had a good time and enjoyed their chatting and yarning.
Now it is all over and Ian Ruffles (Skipper) and the crew have sailed Cambria down to Gravesend Pier where they had the usual fun and games getting the anchor to ‘stick’ while they sorted out lines and came alongside. There is no bite on the river bed there and we end up paying out yards and yards of chain to try to create some friction while the barge drifts downstream on tide or wind, threatening to mix it with the mooring buoys. I gather we have 130 yards of dolly line and we needed most of that length this time to get a line ashore so that we could dolly-winch ourselves back upstream to the pier. The joys of engine-less barging. Fair play to Ian for knowing what to do!