Friday, 27 May 2011

Back on dry land

We left from Ramsgate early afternoon and sailed into Gravesend early morning where we docked along side a stationary old barge used only for mooring. Unknown to us, it was to become the scene of the death of Miles’ magic slippers.

The old barge seemed fine at night until Miles and the magic slippers jumped aboard to attach the mooring ropes. To his and the slippers’ surprise, the surface was not what it seemed. The Thames seagulls had decided to use this platform as a convenient place to do their business which consequently spelled the end for the magic slippers!

Albeit without Miles’ magic slippers we finally made it to London after 14 days at sea. And what a way to arrive: sailing with all sails up under Tower Bridge!

I didn’t see much as I was poised on the downhauls of the flying jib and the staysail ready to bring them down in 30 seconds. Very nerve racking indeed! All went well though … that was until I received my ‘Irene Tattoo’. Every member of the Irene’s crew has an ‘Irene Tattoo’ just below the right knee cap. It’s given by the metal pole that sticks out from the anchor housing under the front of the staysail which, in the moment of madness when bringing down the front sails, is invisible. OUCH!

We moored at Butler’s Wharf where we were greeted by journalists, Laithwaites staff and Libby.

We had a great evening at the Laithwaites Arch shop in Borough Market and the auction was a huge success raising a lot of charity money for MacMillan Cancer Support.

The goodbyes to the crew that evening was quite emotional and I was so sad to leave what had become a family over the last 2 weeks! Thanks to all the crew Leslie, Pat, Claire, Red, Miles, James, Jamie, Bruno, Alex, Hugh, Tony, Anne, Pearl and Sacha for a truly wonderful experience.

Looking forward to being back in the cellar tomorrow!!!!

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