Dad finishes his latest stint aboard SB Cambria
and is back home by lunchtime. This morning he's been showing a party of school children the barge, from a school nearby to St Andrew's Wharf (Chantry School?). It was a bit hair-raising, he reports, 29 small herberts (9-10 years old) chasing about perilously close to the knee-high rails, peering down companionways and down through hatchways trying to get the attention of their classmates who were below decks, and so on, but Dad and his colleague Basil managed to keep everything together for the hour, let the School teachers and Trust people take their many many photos and filed the kiddies all off again onto the solid concrete without damaging any body. Big sigh of relief!
Across the week, they have had a brilliant time, being visited by many many more people than they ever get in Faversham, receiving lavish thanks and praise and getting a 'war and peace' sized wad of positive comment in the visitors book. Aside from the first night aboard, where they got a bit of hassle from some inebriated Eastern European 'youths', they've had no trouble at all, quiet comfortable nights of solid sleep except where they were obliged to set alarms for the 01:30 highest tides and nip up on deck to check the mooring lines and fenders.
But now it's all over. Cambria finishes her open-to-the-public stop at Gravesend and will next be used on another 'young carers' sail-training charter on 7th to 9th October. Meanwhile she will be pulled off the moorings at tomorrow's high tide and moved 100m out into the deeper water to be moored to a pair of 'trot' buoys (mooring buoys fore and aft so you can tie up both ends and don't swing around through 360 degrees as the tide turns each time).
All clever stuff