UK | England | London | Tower Bridge by St. Katharine Docks
October 30, 2012
Hi Everyone, Great first week in London. What a fabulous location. St. Katharine Docks is just below the Tower Bridge and Tower of London. So easy to walk the river front or hop on a bus or train. We've mostly been trying to get Artemis settled for the winter and getting our bearings. We've done lots of walking and only been to visit the London Museum so far. It's a great free museum displaying the history of London from pre Roman to modern day. We've walked both sides of the Thames as far as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul's Cathedral. Beautiful parks are spread throughout the city. But it was a bit cold for our picnic last week:-0
UK | England | London | Tower Bridge at night
We've been told it's been unusually cold 40-50 alternating sunshine, clouds and rain all in a day. We did buy a desiccant dehumidifier and keep our heater running so we're always toasty warm on Artemis. We also covered the louver doors on our chain locker and companion way. Dick and Ginger recommended a product from Ship Shape Bedding to put under our mattress as a moisture barrier. We have all the sails put away and some of the V berth/lockers organized. Al has the new staysail furler put together but we haven't found the right moment to install it.
There is just so much to see and do it's hard to know what to do first. We have coffee on Thursday mornings to share up coming events, ask questions etc. Last week we had about 12 people. Friday evening we went to the London Cruising Association's meeting and listen to a talk about cruising the Baltic to St. Petersburg. We're already thinking that's where we'll head next summer. Today we went to a free lunchtime concert at St. Martin-in-the-Fields featuring a trio, soprano, violin, and guitar. Quite enjoyable. Then Al and I walked about Piccadilly Circus and down to Buckingham Palace. Tomorrow we have flu shots scheduled and Al has a loose filling to take care of. (Not a fun day) Happy Halloween and we hope hurricane Sandy isn't causing to much havoc. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
UK | England | Dover | view from Dover Castle
October 18, 2012
Last Thursday the marina helped us off the dock in Gosport with their harbor dory. Wind and current would have taken us onto the boat next to us. We had good winds to Brighton but straight behind us for 42nm. Too rolly to safely set the pole so we kept changing course to keep the sails full. We're working on easier ways to handle our big whisker pole. Can't complain too much as we didn't have to motor and still arrived sooner than anticipated. Whoa! When it was time to enter the harbor it was narrower than expected in the dredged 2m channel, and we had 1.5-2m seas built up across the entrance. Glad to have friends on Alchemy to take our lines on the pontoon. We celebrated Dick and Ginger's 37th anniversary and a safe passage with a bottle of wine.
UK | England | Brighton | Royal Pavilion
Friday we had beautiful sunshine and walked 2 miles into Brighton center to visit the old Brighton Pier (now a gaudy amusement park)and the Royal Pavilion built by King George IV. The Royal Pavilion was well worth the admission price. We had audio guides so we could pace our visit and take time out for a pizza lunch. The Royal Pavilion exterior has Indian (India)style domes and Moorish minarets. But inside it is lavishly decorated in an oriental theme. It was an extravagant entertainment palace with beautiful entry way and reception areas, gorgeous dining room, huge kitchen, music room... Was a long rainy walk back to the boat thus is England. Sunday after mass Al and I happened upon a motorcycle exhibition with more than a thousand motorcycles and hot rods. LA Chopper would have been impressed:-)
UK | England | Dover | view of Dover harbors and town from castle
Monday we had another great sailing day. We left Brighton 0600 in the dark for Dover (65nm). This time we were able to get the whisker pole set before the wind and seas built. So it was a more pleasant sail until we arrived at Dover. We didn't have time to notice the castle or the "white cliffs". We had 2.5+ seas as we entered the Outer Harbor tossing Artemis about and then 40 mph gusts while we put the pole away, hung the fenders and prepared the mooring lines to enter the marina. Fortunately we arrived before the locks were closed so we could motor straight through into the marina. We were happy that the high walls protecting the marina gave us an easy landing into our finger berth.
Tuesday we climbed the hill to Dover Castle and had a fun day exploring with friends on Alchemy. The wind was very much like what we experienced at the Needles. It nearly blew us off our feet so we choose not to walk the cliffs of Dover and visited the underground tunnels instead. These tunnels were the command post for the Dunkirk rescue and other World War II operations.
UK | England | Canterbury | Cathedral
Wednesday we took a train with Ginger and Dick to Canterbury. We had a nice day wandering around town and visiting the Cathedral. We had an excellent tour guide at the cathedral. We had a lovely English menu lunch (another great Lonely Planet find). Then went back to wander on our own in the cathedral. We walked the old town, past the abbey ruins, gardens, castle ruins before catching the train back to Dover.