Hendrik's big day out

Usually when boat blogs go quiet, it’s one of two things: either the owners are too busy getting on with boat work to document things, or things have gone horribly wrong and they’re too depressed to say so.

Happily, we’re firmly in the former camp! We’ve got about 6 months of updates we owe you, like progress on the new bedroom, a freshly painted main deck, a bunch of new garden beds, a leaky wheelhouse roof, new batteries, a serviced engine & working generator, and a brand new flexible water tank, but until then, we’ve got even bigger news to share…

Hendrik sailed yesterday, for the first time in 5 years! Not because she couldn’t, but because of cost, logistics, and life reasons. If you own a boat, you’ll know that 5 years means one thing – drydock! And so it was time for our big girl to get pulled up a slipway and checked over. We’re also taking the opportunity to get a few odd jobs done and paint the sides (something we can’t do on our usual berth), but fingers crossed we won’t need much overplating done after the survey results are in.

So, the journey yesterday…! We got up at 3am to start the engine, disconnect our power and telephone lines, and get the nav lights in place, ready to leave our berth at 3:45am on the dot. We can only get in and out of our yard’s slipway on the spring tides, so we had to hit the outgoing tide that day, then ride the tide back up the Medway as it turns and floods back in.

The journey down the Thames was in darkness until around Tilbury, so I got some fantastic shots of the city lights on the way. Another big highlight for me was going through the Thames Barrier at Greenwich, which I’m very proud to say that James sailed through! In fact, he was behind the wheel for most of the journey, with our skipper Stefan advising where needed (which wasn’t much). I was mostly on tea, breakfast, baked goods, and photography duty. We also went right near the wreck of the Montgomery, which I knew nothing about (hooray for mobile 3G signal and wikipedia!), and James’s live charts app on his iPad was also a huge help (so much so that Stefan’s talking about buying an iPad now!).

In any case, we’re still catching up on our sleep (in a very kind neighbour’s boat for the duration!), so I’ll leave you with a slideshow:

Or if you’d prefer, you can see the Picasaweb gallery here.

- posted by Melissa Fehr on 24 April 2012, 11:32 in