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Date: 25 Jul 2009 16:22:00
Title: Wivenhoe at last

51:51.25N 0:57.52E

16.00 25th July

This circumnavigation has had more finishes than Frank Sinatra had final
concerts. Arriving at Titchmarsh marina was merely another step towards home
in Wivenhoe.

I had arranged with a local berth holder (thanks John!) to use his mud berth
on Wivenhoe Quay for a few days to unload six years worth of accumulated
"stuff" and so it was the following weekend we were at Titchmarsh early to
catch the tide. A little optimistic as we had to wait for sufficient water
to get out of our berth but we were finally away.

The second objective was to give the winner of our quiz the first part of
her prize. Louise has been a loyal follower of the blog and answered more
questions correctly than any other person by a large margin.We had arranged
a cruise on the Colne with lunch and berthing later in Wivenhoe. Here is her
account ...

I have been asked by the Captain to write the blog to record the last leg of
St Barbara's amazing voyage around the world to home in Wivenhoe. I have
followed St. Barbara every mile of the way from Thailand and reading the
blog most days this became a rather compulsive part of my evening routine.
Having become a St. B groupie, I was thrilled to be invited on board and be
part of the last few miles of her journey home.

I was instructed to be on the pontoon in Brightlingsea at 1315 hrs to board.
This I duly did and had to wait 30 mins as there was some excuse that the
tide was a bit slow and there was a necessity for a quick bacon sandwich
before my collection. I had only ever seen St Barbara on a photo, so to
see her coming towards me in the lunchtime sunshine was a truly memorable
occasion.

St Barbara came along side the pontoon and the crew was then heard to say
"ok we not stopping just jump on" !! This I did and luckily my basket and I
managed to escape the embarrassment of falling in the water !!

Now if you are going to expect nautical terms in respect of the wind and sea
conditions I have absolutely no idea !! The sun was shining, it was a bit
windy and fairly calm sea, the only crew member on board very quickly became
head waiter and some canapés and some beers were brought on deck, the
Captain was heard to say that his first bottle must have had a hole in it
and could he please have another !
The engine then went silent and there was then lots of rope pulling and the
Jenny was then in use and yes I was at long last sailing on St Barbara. We
enjoyed a very fine lunch under sail which included Hope Cottage salad,
pesto potatoes and a quiche which I brought on board and as stated above
managed not to fall off the pontoon with.

The wind I think then died and the Jenny was hauled in and the motor
re-started. I was asked if I would like to helm and after a very quick
lesson on port, starboard, red boys, green boys and distance between passing
vessels and the Captain calmly watching, I really felt part of the team.

The river Colne started to narrow and the flood barrier was in sight, still
I continued to helm and we were then so close to home. We managed to make
our way through the barrier just in time as it was due to close that
afternoon due to very high spring tides.

Slowly we motored towards our village and I though that was the time the
Captain should take back control and I would sit on deck and take in the
sights from the water.

St Barbara majestically in the afternoon sunshine pulled into her berth on
the quay in Wivenhoe and we were welcomed home by some old friends who had
been with her on previous legs of her voyage. Here she will stay for a few
weeks and have a well earned rest after her most amazing achievement of the
circumnavigation of the world.

We spent a few hours just sitting and chatting on board with many visitors
coming to see who was the new kid on the block!

A big thank you from me to the Captain and Mrs G for a wonderful day on
board St Barbara, and also for the opportunity of writing one of the last
blogs.

And a huge thank you from me to all those who helped me safely home. Anyone
want to help with some gardening? Peter.















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