Well, here we are, spring is very nearly sprung, we are dusting off Anticus, and starting to prepare for a new year of cruising which will culminate with us crossing the Channel on board our Piper Barge.
By way of breaking you gently into our blog this year, here are a couple of videos – one for the tech geeks, and one for the less esoteric amongst us.
Phew! What a busy weekend for us in Henley. Actually to be fair, it was a busy week, what with all the cleaning prior to showing off our boat to potential Piper customers.
Tuesday – arrive in Henley, pressure wash the boat
Wednesday – inflate dinghy, charge electric outboard, go for a spin – fall in !!
Thursday – searching Henley for a new phone! Clean inside of boat
Friday – see Thursday!
Kingston Bridge. A bit easier to negotiate than Henley
The weekend was splendid though. Met some lovely folk who reminded us of ourselves over the last few years on our journey towards owning a Piper Barge.
We also have a lovely mooring
After the weekend was over we had a delicious BBQ with a few of the boats remaining for Sunday night. On Monday we moved on, just not very far. In fact just the other side of Henley Bridge, where we moored up (about half a mile!) and were joined soon after by Joie de Vivre, Elysium and Eadlin, all Pipers that had been at the show and obviously had the same idea as us! Great minds huh?
We finished our stay with a meal at The Square, an unmissable Portuguese restaurant in Henley, listening to the many tales of Len, the skipper of Elysium. A former Thames waterman, black cab driver, pub owner and so Cockney he probably cooked jellied eels, but now a proper bon viveur.
Anyway, onwards and forwards. Heading to Marlow today.
After a brief hiatus in our cruising as Nicola’s work got in the way of our pleasure, we set off today on a calm River Thames under bright blue skies. Heading for one of our favourite moorings in Windsor on our way to Henley.
In case you are wondering about the cryptic title to this update, it is to do with Henley. More specifically where we first saw Piper barges up close and personal.
Every year Piper’s organise a get together of their recent barges on the Thames at Temple Island, Henley. Here owners get odd bits of work done by the attendant engineers, and in return open their boats up to the mass hoards of potential purchasers.
This will be our fourth visit, but, importantly, the first with Anticus. It really is a return of sorts for us. From the first seed sewn in 2014 when we stepped on board Alphi, owned by Phil and (you’ve probably guessed) Alison, through design, build and launch, we are SO excited to be proudly showing our pride and joy off.
Well first thing first. I know those of you who hang on my every word here will be keen to know how the taste test went of the newly installed draft Leffe beer pump from Beer Hawk. I can safely say it tasted fantastic! Especially so in 30 degrees of heat on the back of the boat at Shepperton Marina.
Our blind man came to the boat today. The man to fit our blinds I mean.
Piper supply internal blinds to the doors in the wheelhouse, but owners are left to their own devices as far as window coverings for the rest of the superstructure. We were recommended a company a little way North of us, who had fitted window coverings to other Piper barges, but they refused to travel the extra 20 miles East of Reading to our mooring in Shepperton. They must be making too much money as they are!
As luck would have it, this proved to be blessing in disguise. Just around the corner from Anticus is a company called Decorama. They popped in, measured up, quoted (very good value) and installed. All in the space of a couple of weeks.
Lovely wheelhouse blinds from Decorama – perfectly matching the Piper ones
I would highly recommend these guys, neat, professional and a quality product. Oh! and willing to travel !!