It began in a snowstorm in Biddulph –
…. where we had our first night aboard and aground in our new home.
Before too long Special Delivery provided a splashdown for Calliope at Reading and we took charge!
Life at the Marina was crowded, but fun, with Spring sunshine making a reluctant appearance on days when Stu and crew were alone …….
…. and disappearing when we had visitors aboard! This was our first family cruise, to Sonning, Feb 15th.
The skies began to lighten, the days began to lengthen. We began to explore the river, rurally up to Goring (three times – we like it there – good pub, beautiful weir, wonderful wildlife) …..
…. and palatially, down to Windsor Palace (the Queen was in residence the first time we visited),
and Hampton Court (Henry VIII seemed to be away) ,
where Calliope was treated to a royal sail-by of the Queen’s ‘Gloriana’ on river trials for The Magna Carta 800th celebrations.
As the crew’s courage and capability grew, Calliope explored further downriver, through Kingston (where lurk Wednesday sailors) …
… to Richmond on the tidal Thames (where lurk river monsters and dangerous ‘Eddies’) ….
…. and on to be laid waste on The Grid at Chiswick for bow thruster inspection (nice pub there too!)
It was then time to trace the source of the Thames, so an upstream voyage was plotted. Passing through many locks …
… under many bridges including Wallingford, a town of much history and beauty ….
… past Henley, well before the Regatta ….
… onward to Oxford, where the Thames transmogrified into the Isis, the bridges became smaller – superb helmsmanship from Capt Carr …
… and the river-side buildings were grand.
Whatever next I wonder???
I have heard tell of brave consideration of a trip to Limehouse!