Sunday, 27 March 2011

SB Ardwina

The Thames sailing barge Ardwina visiting Fullbridge Quay recently. She later went into a dry dock here which is a huge iron lighter type hull. The hull is filled with water which enables a boat to float in. Before filling with the rising tide waters wooden Blocks are set out and lashed to the bottom to avoid them floating away. After the tide has retreated the water inside the hull is released which leaves the barge sitting nicely on the blocks enabling a thorough survey or any necessary work to be carried out at leisure.

The Ardwina was built at Ipswich in 1909 and can generally be seen at her mooring in St Kathrine's dock on the River Thames, London. Lady Jean can just be made out behind her.

Fullbridge Quay, Maldon. The river here is actually the River Chelmer.

Ardwina looks in good shape.

Ardwina again looking in fine form. Locals may notice the former naval ship Defender in the background who can usually be seen at her mooring just above Heybridge Basin.

Sunday, 20 March 2011


Beautiful country. Across the saltings into the distance the trinity light vessel can be seen.

I had previously sailed up the creek while listening to a little music by an artist who's music reflects his love of nature and wild open spaces, though sadly no longer with us. It was John Denver's Calypso in fact which I find compliments these wild and remote places beautifully. Then suddenly stumbling across this image.
It seems no matter how difficult and remote a place one reaches in his small boat the scar of human intrusion on this fragile habitat can still be evident.
Maybe this cyclist floated in on 'two tyres and tide' for a peaceful night but somehow got into difficulty? Who knows.

John Denver's Calypso, written about the adventurous marine oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. Calypso was his ships name. If you are of a similar age to me you would have been glued to your screens for this series as it was big in the seventies.