Friday, October 31, 2008

Winter Edition

As it is now 1st November and the clocks have been set back an hour so daylight disappears about 4.30 pm and the cold is getting colder, we are knuckling down to face it head on. Well head on is hardly the right term as we get snuggled down with every opportunity really. We have had temps down to -2 only with highs of 9 and on Wednesday it snowed in the area. The first time snow has fallen here since 1935. Even the ducks are hidden in the riverside bushes and we haven't seen a squirrel for about 3 weeks. One dresses with as many clothes as one can fit on then adds jackets, beanies (not a pretty sight really) gloves and scarves and that is just to get out of bed.

No, I am stretching it a bit but sure need all those items when out in the breeze when it comes up but it doesn't stop the hundreds of kids attending the huge fun park, Thorpe Park, which is situated down the road a bit from here where all the rides like Ferris Wheels and Roller Coasters etc etc seem to be outside and goes until 9pm and the squeals from the kids shows they are not too cold or it may be the age gap perhaps.

People seem to still use their boats to get out on the Thames etc for a day out or a touch of fishing. The fish they catch is called Blink which about describes the size, but the anglers maintain they are ideal for bait for the bigger fish which are yet to be seen although there are some very large carp around the marina I am told which they do need to catch and get rid of.

I just wish I could show them pics of my mate Kerry Andersons very recent afternoon fishing in northern Hawkes Bay. where he caught 2 large crays, 3 snapper and a couple of gurnard I can imagine their eyes would have gone to water. Boat owners are now winterising their boats if they don't intend to use them over this period and we will have to do some of that ourselves so need to find out just what we need to do.

I know we often poke fun at our English cousins about how slow they are getting things done and it is easy to be critical but I have to tell you that from what we have seen the adage is correct. No one seems keen to get anything done quickly if it can be done in twice the time. We have had two instances which just made us note in awe. Firstly, three weeks ago we asked the local ship chandlery/repair shop to come and have a look at our wiring system to see if anything needed to be changed to make its use simpler (for us anyhow) and he wrote it in his diary along with our mobile phone number and you guessed it, to date nothing, zilch so they can't be too short of work or money.

We had another company come aboard to set up a Raymarine TV satellite dome so we could watch TV wherever without having to change the aerial position etc, here and in Europe. This was done under Rhonda's instruction so she could watch Coronation Street at all times when it is on. Well, the install took two full days due to the tradesman not arriving until 11.30 am and then having to go back to his base a couple of times for 10 mins which turned out to be 3 hours both times so we will see how all this pans out when it is time to pay the bill as they said "A day should be ample". Some of the local boat people say this is pretty normal really so I guess we will have to get used to it. Even in food shops there can be long, long queues as often there will be only one person serving while 4 or 5 others potter about making food up etc ignoring customers wants and needs. I am amazed how patient people can be. It sure wouldn't be tolerated in Kiwiland. Pretty much the same practice follows in the department food stores so we are practising our standing in line every day.

I have mentioned before about our proximity to Heathrow Airport and at any time of the day or night it seems we can see planes coming and going. The sky gets criss-crossed with vapour trails and it is not uncommon to have up to 7 sets of trails or lights in the clear night skies, however, the other night I counted 10 sets of lights as the big birds were taking off or circling ready to land. Quite a sight really.

While we are waiting to sort out a deal on a car, we are using public buses and trains and the services offered are quite marvelous as when you ride the buses they weave through the smallest roads in some of the suburbs which appeals of course to the elderly in fact some times you think that it is only the elderly who live here but then take a look at the cars and the parking lots and shopping centres and you realise just how many people of all ages are on the move at any one time. Parking is a nightmare with free parking almost out of the question and the parking areas charge a lot really and god help you if you over park. It is heavily fined and then towed in the blink of an eye. Most cars are the smallest models available due to parking and taxing plus the narrowness of many of the secondary roads. Gee, when you are riding a bus you just have to shake your head in amazement when you look ahead and see how narrow the road or lane is with cars often parked on one or even both sides and the bus has to manoeuvre through with other traffic coming towards them. It sure makes you appreciate the skill of the bus drivers and can understand a little better why the authorities are so tough on double or miscreant parkers.

Rhonda's Comment: A furry, woodland creature just to make a move on Ken's wallet.

Today as the weather was fine but overcast with temp of 12 degrees we decided to go to Staines and went to the movie Quantum of Solace, the latest James Bond thriller. Cost to get in to a matinee session GBP 6.65 so it is not cheap entertainment as you can work out, however, it was a good laugh and the special effects and stunt acting was amazing. Home to a very excited Harry as you can imagine then off for a walk in the big park which neighbours on to here where you can go fishing if you buy a licence, however, dogs are allowed to run loose so with a pathway of about 1 km it gives one a good bit of exercise.

There has been some rain further up stream over the past week and as a result the marina level has risen about 300mm or more so at least the ramps down onto the fingers are not so steep. The Thames has gone a bit muddy in colour too but I am told that this rise can drop as quickly but to expect this to happen over the winter months which may well restrict barge travel during this time.

Yesterday the city held it's official turning on of the Christmas lights in Regent Street and surrounding areas with thousands standing in the streets awaiting some obscure boy band, well it was to us, to count down from 10 to zero (a real achievement I would say judging by the look of them). The display on TV looks great and we hope to bring you pics of it in the next few weeks when we visit the area at night armed with our cameras.

Well to not be out done by all this excitement, Harry and I went for a night walk as the evening was clear however, upon our return back to the boat somehow when doing his usual jump from the dock onto the boat he slipped and fell down beside the barge and the jetty and momentarily disappeared below the water. When he surfaced I could only see a bit of him (thank goodness for his white colour) as he tried to dog paddle away from the boat but luckily he turned back when I yelled at him so by falling to my knees I stretched out and grabbed him by the collar and threw him back on the dock. So much for my crook shoulder but it worked and he was safe. Gee what a picnic with Rhonda issuing me with a hundred orders of how to ensure he never does it again etc. I must admit the old adrenalin pumped for a few hours. Today we watched him getting on and off the barge without any problem so it must have been a lazy jump last night, one which we hope he will not repeat, ever.

Today we heeded that famous saying by Lord Nelson "England expects every man to do his duty" and while that was in one of his famous sea battles, we followed suit to do our bit by travelling into the city to New Zealand House to cast our votes for the election of which the results will probably be known before you get to read this blog.

We could not help but notice all the preparations in the city for next Wednesday's memorial services for the 11th hour of the 11th month, 1918 when the armistice was signed to end the so called Great War ( World War 1 ) when over 9 million lives were lost in just 4 years and in which I had an uncle fighting and returning to new Zealand as a wounded and ruined man and Rhonda's grandfather's service in Gallipoli, Ypres and the Somme. As it is 90 years since that date, only about 5 old Tommies still live and they are aged from 109 to 112 which is amazing in itself.

We are looking forward to the commencement of the Rugby proper with New Zealand playing Scotland tomorrow and Australia and South Africa also touring, so our interest will be high. So sincere thanks again to those folk who have emailed our blog efforts, it would be great to see a few faces appear on The Followers section if you can manage it. Please keep that Kiwi and Australian news coming through and wish New Zealand well for the election tomorrow.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well here we are at the going down of the sun in the west or is it the east. I am confused daily by being in the northern hemisphere but as Rhonda says I am always confused anyhow.

Rhonda's Comment: When did I ever say that!!!!

The skies are clear blue today after a late storm yesterday which arrived about an hour after we had unloaded a truck with our 17 tea chests and wheeled them down the marina ready to lift on board. What a mission, glad we are a bit fitter with all our walking etc. Just got the stuff onboard when down came the rain. Never mind, we cracked a real bottle of champagne tonight to celebrate our efforts and it sure seems more like home I must say. Rhonda is attempting to make real spaghetti tonight after several glasses of champers so who knows what we will get.

Thanks to those good people who have responded to our emails and blogg page as it makes us feel so much closer to home as they say. To those who have put their pics on the blog page, a very special thanks.

We look at the Herald on-line and the news in Kiwiland is about as dark as it is here re financial matters except we don't appear to have so many rascist attacks or comments but that might only be a feeling at this time. I can't believe some of the rubbish which is printed, however, I am sure we will get the same here.

Just to let you know what marina life is like, we have a South African family here with two small boys who are being schooled aboard boat with some lessons being given by a blind man called Thomas who is amazing really, he lives on a nearby boat. He has a seeing eye dog, black labrador called Magic who is wonderful to watch guiding Thomas around the marina fingers. Thomas sails his large dutch styled ketch with the help of his wife. They have two small children whom will also be home schooled. This fellow has amazing hearing and other non sighted skills, so much so, when Rhonda was introduced to him this morning with Harry he asked if all was well on our boat so she replied that we were concerned about the water pump and he said yes it has been sounding off colour for some time so needs attention. His boat is about 30m away from where we are berthed so it just shows you. One of the other people who were in the discussion pointed out that he has these amazing skills to hear when mechanical things are not right, tell you what needs to be done but cannot do his own. There is an amazing mixture of folk living aboard their boats so look forward to meeting them as time goes by.

There is a Club at the marina, The Penton Hook Yacht Club (very toffeee nosed), however, as they will let Harry in we will probabaly become members so we can buy a meal from time to time and get a drink. The other day, I had a pint of Fosters and Rhonda had a small scotch and coke. GB 6.50 which we reckon equals NZ$ 15.50. How does that sound to you kiwi drinkers who know the prices?

We have also been asked to join the local community club nearby who operate on some nights only and then on the weekends however, we have been warned if we go there on a Monday night which is Bingo night to be sure we don't sit in someone elses place as it can turn quite nasty so we will have to arrive late to see what seats are left over I guess. Most of the locals have little or no knowledge of New Zealand but are slightly ahead of the Americans who thought New Zealand was part of South Africa. or Greenland and so on. We as a nation still have a lot to do to bring the world up to date eh.......

A couple of days ago we visited another marina who have a larger chandlery than Penton Hook. Well when I say it is larger it is rated as the biggest on the Thames but would fit in the rear corner of Smart Marine, Burnsco or Sailors Corner. However, they did come down here yesterday to tell us what we needed in water pumps and TV set ups so $10,000.00 later we are somewhat ready to get organised we hope. After taking two buses and then walking 20 mins from the last bus stop and then repeating it to come home, we have decided we may look for a small runabout car for the winter but we will have to see what the market is doing. While prices have fallen here like in new Zealand, MOT, Insurance and Road Tax is heavy, so we will have to weigh it all up. Just the thought of walking the streets in the winter frosts which have already started on the odd night is not appealing but we will see. It is possible to rent a car long term for about GBRP 1600.00 for 6 months with free monthly mileage of 2000 miles and all we have to do is pay for petrol , so that is looking tempting at this time so we will have to do our homework.

Rhonda's Comment: We had to stop for numerous cups of tea on this mission to Shepperton Marina and back.

Last night, Saturday, some folk who have similar barge to ours invited us over for drinks and nibbles which was just great. Their barge is so well set up and was finished off by a special bespoke company so it is quite magic inside. I will get some pics when the opportunity arises. The wife is a semi retired school mistress and he is a full time excec winder upperer as he calls it liquidating companies throughout Europe for the big company he works for. In addition to our selves they invited another couple from another boat. He was a big striking fellow who sure enough turned out to be a retired Bobby. One of the old school I would think and then another fellow came along who is employed by airlines to work on cabin crews training with the new hand held computers which records all the inflight sales of drinks etc and automatically re-orders from base scource etc. At this time he is with Easy Jet so is really busy. He related some great stories to when he was working out of Auckland for Air New Zealand on several 3 month stints and what a great time he had. He is a great rugby follower so we got on well. He chooses to live on his boat here as it is so convenient to London central and to Heathrow. A couple of the fellows were relating when they had the big floods here a few years ago when instead of walking down to your marina you had to climb up steeply to get onto your boat. They also recalled when the marina iced over for a couple of days and also when they had over 5 cms of snow over everything. None of these things we are looking forward to, but will have to grin and put up with it if it happens.

Rhonda's Comment: Just check this Bread and Butter pudding made by the clever hands of me - really, truly.

As promised here are some local supermarket prices for food so you can do you own homework doing conversions etc

15 Panadol tabs 1.53
100gms honey roast ham 1.69
2 pork chops( small) 2.50
onions 305 gram 0.28
potatoes 800 gram 1.19
bananas 640 gram 0.54
table salt 400 gram 0.29
nestle kit kat 0.42
wholemeal bread Vogels UK Made 1.29
50 w light bulb GE 2.00
house white chardonnay M&S 3.79
pkt tea bicuits like(griffins wine biscuit) 0.49
For those of you who have complained about your winter temperatures, just spare us a thought as the forecast for tomorrow morning is down to -2 so the pontoons will be as slippery as a butchers to say the least. So the heaters are full on in preparation as there is sleet and snow promised to follow.
Rhonda's Comments: Yeh, I can't wait to see snow.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed

Hi folks,

Here we are at the close of our first week in London so will give you an up-date of what we have done.

After leaving the kids including Harry behind at Auckland Airport which was hard under the circumstances, (Rhonda has just stopped crying now) including suffering the damage I sustained after falling off a small wall into a ditch at the Takapuna boat ramp area the night before while taking Harry for a walk in the dark which tore my shoulder quite badly. I honestly thought I had broken it, however, after seeking medical assistance the following day at the local chinese medical centre who gave me heaps of acupuncture until I almost passed out, so decided that I had to give it a chance to heal on its own.

I have to say it has been very painful and lifting bags etc has been bloody murder, however, we boarded our flight to LA and it was pleasant enough if you enjoy that sort of thing. We really wasted the next two days relaxing and that was ok but LA is LA. On the following morning, we were collected by a pick-up bus to be taken some 1 hours drive to meet up with the Luxbus luxury coach for our 5 hour trip to Las Vegas. As usual on such coaches they had a tour guide who was Russian and turned out to be an absolute scream with her descriptions of what to expect as we toured along. Some Americans who started being quite rude to her were soon eating out of her hand as she dished out some very funny chat to and at them.

We were just amazed at the desert country side which is just dry tussock or bare earth country for hundreds of miles. Not a sign of any animals of any kind. What a waste, if only water could be piped into the area it would be amazing cropping ground etc. Every so often we would pass a house stuck out in the middle of nowhere generally looking like a run down western set out of a movie. No sign of John Wayne or Roy Rogers however. All of a sudden out of nowhere there would appear a shopping mall and truck stop. The size of these shopping centres was amazing with every main name super store you could think of and some of them bigger than the new Albany centre. From what we could gather these serviced large areas and were there associated with mining for what product, nobody seemed to know.

We stopped at one place where we were warned by our Russian guide not to be taken in by all the tacky souvenirs they sold etc and gee was she right. I have never seen such a collection of glitzy junk in my life but still some people, mainly Americans had to buy while filling themselves up with huge pizzas and drinks. No wonder they are so overweight and I have sympathy for folks who had to share seating on the bus with them.

All of a sudden we were nearing Las Vegas and that too was a big surprise, as we imagined it would be a town in the desert mainly surrounding the casinos etc but it is a city spread out over this barren dry ground and god only knows how the locals live in these areas. The suburbs are like Kiwi high density layouts with no shade or pools to be seen. Great roads, 3 lane minimum up to 5 lanes each way giving rapid access to the city centre and on from there.

We were off loaded at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. This pyramid shaped structure plus an additional accommodation tower just throbbed 24 hours a day with gamblers and drinkers and those chasing the whores. From the moment of entry we were set upon by "sales people" offering deals on shows and blocks of land and timeshares. After settling in and making good use of the huge pool they had in use, one of three, we ate and then went "out on the town to see the amazing light and forecourt shows which each casino puts on". After one block which was huge and included the new construction of City Centre Building costing just a mere US$9 billion, we were knackered so caught the monorail back and that was the last we saw of the bright side of the city which has up to 8 million (I think this is correct) visitors a year from all round the world.

All night and all day long the gambling goes on at all levels of value. It is mind boggling but very phoney and to Rhonda and I it was a turn off. Getting old and stodgy I hear you say. We did book for and went to a live show of Chris Angel Mind Freak which I had been following on Sky kiwi TV however this too was a real let down as it was enjoined with one of the Cirqu du Soleil shows and failed to come up to the mark. Half of the crowd walked out before he was finished. A real pity as I had rated him one of the cleverest illusionists I had ever seen. Take a look at your TV and see if you agree. Though the next morning we did read reports that show was given a bagging on opening night in September. Wish we had read this before we went.

Rhonda's Comment: The best things about Las Vegas was driving in, seeing Elvis and flying out.

We flew out of Las Vegas from their busy, busy airport and the 1 hour plus flight to San Diego was good in that we could well see all this waste country from 29000 feet. For those who don't know San Diego it is a marine city with beautiful waterfronts and huge naval bases and layouts however for over 30 years the council has been arguing over what to do about a new airport. They must have been trained by kiwis as nothing has been done so hence the only runway is right in the city centre so jets are whistling in between buildings. So much for the old Hong Kong airport criticisms. This is amazing to see and listen to. The military come in on the same flight path but then swing away to an island where they have a landing area of their own. The problem is immense but as they have left the problem for so long there is no ground left for redevelopment so it all just sits bursting to the seams.

There are parts of this beautiful city which one could really enjoy living in like Coronado Island which is a dream and when you look back at the history of the area you will also appreciate what it has to offer along with fine waterways, Sea World, the worlds famous San Diego Zoo and now a whole new Wild Life park along with Mexican and Indian centers with all their culture and history.

We spent several hours on the USS Midway viewing and listening to pre-recorded commentary at designated stations which was most interesting and in some areas retired pilots or crew from Midway gave many talks on their role on board this magnificent vessel. The USS Midway was the largest aircraft carrier ever built for a long time and was eventually decommissioned and set along side the main waterfront as a tribute to the navy and aircrews who flew off her during WWII (and it should be noted it was on these decks that General MacArthur accepted the surrender of the Japanese military), Korean and Vietnam wars right up to the Gulf war. She is mind boggling and well worth a visit even if it is just to get a feeling for immense military power and strength.

Rhonda's Comments: The photo is of Ken in an Ejector Seat!!! Read into this as you will.

We could well have stayed there a couple more days but had booked a bus to take us back to LA. This turned out to be a smaller type luxury bus which we were the only passengers booked that day so had a great trip with a nice young fellow who knew his history and geography for the area so well. As you are following the coast there are huge tracts of land on both sides of the freeway owned either by the army (Fort Pendalton which is well known) on one side and the Marines and Seals bases and training areas on the other side. There are areas where growth of tomatoes and such vegetables are grown in huge fields as well, so all in all it is a very interesting trip.

Back into LA, same hotel for the night so we could repack ready for our flight to London the next day. After checking in at LA and being put through the 3rd degree re contents and weight of luggage and what we had in our clothes etc plus removal of shoes and being shouted at for not moving fast enough, my comments that the original settlers coming in to USA via New York's Ellis Island couldn't have been treated much worse, Rhonda's calming influence settled things down and we were then treated ok by a couple of staff who helped us through. Gee I hate that airport.

Rhonda's Comment: We left NZ with 5 bags no hassles, we left LA with 5 bags and we were nearly locked up - we might have had a bit more extra hand luggage!!!!!

Air New Zealand fly this sector to London using the new Boeing 777 aircraft which are ok but gee they really do squeeze the seat size even in the so called Premier Economy class which we were lucky to fly. Never mind, we got a bit of sleep and enjoyed a sunny arrival into London and again just walked through customs without a comment or question to be met by the old boat owner who after burying Rhonda in the back seat of his European sedan so she couldn't see or be heard(not bad thing really!!!) drove us out to the marina where "Somewhere" is berthed. Gee she is BIG and we kept going over her getting a feel for everything before the old owner left us to it to settle down and unpack the 7 suitcases and soft bags plus shopping bags we had bought with us.

The marina is large with approx 250 berths holding all sorts of boats and opens out onto the Thames after a very twisting causeway which winds around all the berths. The marina facilities are extensive but somewhat run down we feel and the staff at the marina office were quite negative until Rhonda gave them the suggestion that they would have been so much better to have at least welcomed us into their midst as we would be spending money to pay their wages etc. This got a fair response and they have improved I have to say.

The next day we were taken by the old owner to Staines our local shopping and main centre where we purchased a phone and bits to get the computer working etc. Even here we found the local Asians who run all the phone shops etc really prepared to have a go at ripping us off but due to our joint skills we sorted them out as well. Apparently they are known throughout this country for being the biggest rip off merchants in this field. It is good to be in communication though so the texts and emails have been flowing.

Day three saw Rhonda and I off to the BIG SMOKE> London Central first walking a mile to the bus then after busing for 10 mins another mile walk to the train to Waterloo then another big walk to the Underground for a trip to Oxford Circus arriving right at lunchtime. What a bloody madhouse with a million people heading in every which direction to get fed etc. We walked for another mile at least to get to our new HSBC bank for our appointment with an ever so gay Miles who really was so helpful and got us all sorted in about an hour so off we went to Selfridges 4th floor to have a lunch. No wonder people here are so slim with all the walking and the cost of food, however, we enjoyed our Curry.

Our trip home in reverse order to getting into town laden with packs and parcels was fine until we got off the last bus and after walking some 100 yards or so Rhonda asked me what I had done with the brief case containing my wallet, my camera, the phone and all the bank details including pass words etc etc. To say the s..... hit the fan is an understatement really and we were panic stricken. Didn't know the bus company, phone number or even had a phone to ring anybody and as it was almost 6pm the lack of people around amplified our disastrous situation. With Rhonda in tears, I turned around to pacify her and at the roundabout we had come from, here was a bus which in the gloom looked somewhat like the one we had got off. Well luck favours the brave as they say, so I set off at a full gallop (yeah I was running) waving my umbrella with Rhonda in hot pursuit and despite her feeling sick from an awful cold she has picked up, coupled with this performance of mine, we flagged the bus to a stop and was rewarded by a passenger coming to the door with the briefcase all in tact. To say we were lucky is a huge understatement and was like winning Lotto I guess as you will imagine the ramifications of being here at this marina with no money, no credit cards, no phone and no ability to contact anyone who could help.

We had tea and literally fell into bed exhausted awaiting the next day to be able to pick up Harry who had flown for the previous 24 hours to get to us. The old boat owner said he would pick us up at 11.00 am to go to Heathrow to get him, however, he had business meetings so at 1.30pm we were at the bus stop determined to transit the area between us and Heathrow to go and get our little mate when Ross, the old owner turned up at the bus stop and drove us to get "H."

A very joyful reunion was experienced after some hullabaloo at the Animal Collection Centre, (some of these people have no idea of customer service believe me) however we got back to the boat where he "H" had a million pees etc and then sniffed some clothes we had on our bed and promptly jumped up, settled onto his old blanket and went off to sleep so obviously he was home. Apparently he had not wet or messed in his box for the whole journey which is remarkable I think, but the vet at the airport said it is not uncommon really. I would have burst I am sure.

Well , if you think our drama re leaving the brief case on the bus wasn't enough, the next day we took Harry for a walk around the marina and Rhonda took her camera to get some pics to be able to include in bloggs etc. She also took a couple of bags of rubbish to the large disposal bin. After her run-in with the people at the office over their unwillingness to assist in anyway and she gave them a right telling off and got a form of apology I guess, we wandered about the marina looking at all the boats etc. Upon getting back to the boat she said have you seen the camera which of course meant, it is lost. After walking back to the marina office to be given a negative response, I wandered back via the dump bin area and thought, oh well, I may as well take a look and despite several black bags of smelly rubbish being dumped into the bin, there was her camera sitting right on top of the plastic bag she had thrown in. Gee I was elated at not being the idiot again so all ended well.
Rhonda's Comment: Ok I can all hear you saying we're even now.

Saturday dawned fine so it was decided that we should take "Somewhere" out onto the Thames through the lock near the entrance to the marina etc. Well, the water course is like a zig zag and with "Somewhere" being so large at 21 meters and at 45 tonnes is quite cumbersome so it is a case of using both the bow thruster and reverse gear to swing her around the tight curves. Thank goodness we had Ross and his wife on board to show us the ropes so to speak. Well, we went out onto the Thames and upriver to Staines and saw some of Englands most beautiful river side homes etc. With large white swans drifting by (these magnificent creatures all belong to the Queen so one must not touch them and they are herded from time to time by the royal swan shepherds to ensure they stay in the area from Windsor to Runnymeade). The return trip was great with yours truly in full control (well almost any how) and I made our way back into the marina (just catching the lock master just before he knocked off for the night) without incident and berthed smoothly much to all aboards surprise I think.
Rhonda's Comment: Ross was suitably impressed with Ken's boating skills but my line work was a bit rusty but room for improvement.
We look forward to our next outing in a few days however, the weather has turned to rubbish so that may slow us down. We are adapting well to living aboard really and Rhonda has done a great job of mastering the stove, washing machine and drier onboard so we are eating well and keeping clean and dry. We are awaiting our 15 tea chests etc to arrive later this week (fingers crossed) so we can get the rest of our stuff packed away and really settle in. The only problem will be I think is wheeling each tea chest down the marina finger to the boat on the supplied basket trolleys which cost a pound to free from their chains. This is about 50 meters so hope the weather is fine and the muscles can hold out ok.

Will add to this next week so wish you all well and offer our best regards from Jolly Old England.