A good day today! We slept late after all our long passage of the previous days, then after breakfasting on Ann's delicious buckwheat pancakes, we were visited by the genial harbormaster, Michael Duggan (Doogy) who provided us with a wealth of information, on everything from the local area to information on going up the Thames and traveling to and through the Netherlands. He also called and reserved a place for us here. We then went out to explore the town of Old Harwich, which was the home of Christopher Newport of Virginia fame, and Christopher Jones who piloted the Mayflower. Also Samuel Pepys, the diarist had served as harbormaster here. We bought a few groceries at a small shop, then had lunch in a lovely building dating from the 15th century, The Crown and Post Restaurant. After lunch, we caught the tide upstream to this lovely Yacht Club, where we were warmly welcomed. Everyone seems excited to meet American sailors, and even more excited when they learn that Lew and Ann have been circumnavigating the globe, living on their boat pretty much full time for the past seventeen years.
The library has many books and magazines on sailing, and is decorated with lovely paintings and prints, including portraits of royal benefactors of the club going back to queen Adelaide.
We walked on a lovely footpath through woods and flowery fields to the tiny village of Pin Mill and a famous pub called The Butt and Oyster, where we had a light supper. Along the path we encountered two children swinging from a board swing from one of the big old oak trees. I ate a bowl of mussels, Kent and Ann had a pureed vegetable soup, and Lew had cheese and olives. The sky cleared, and there was lovely light on the fields and through the trees as we walked back to the yacht club, to the laundry and the library.
We have been doing our laundry here, with mixed success, as there is no clothes dryer, and the one machine leaves everything sopping wet.
It has gotten windier and colder. A sudden interruption! Fireworks and what sounded like canon blasts. I've no idea what the occasion.
Time to head back to the boat! More tomorrow.
Sunday, September 15
Harwich Royal Yacht Club
We slept late this morning, but climbed out to brilliant sunshine and fairly warm temperatures before 9 a.m.
Kent strung up a clothesline, and we both hung out three loads of laundry from the previous night. The wind whipped up, and people where out sailing in little dinghies. Here we were, the only American boat in this elegant marina, at the end of the dock with our laundry flying beneath the Stars and Stripes. It was so warm I doffed my fleece, leggings, and socks. However, after about an hour of this delightful situation, the sky suddenly filled with dark clouds, the temperature dropped, and we were back to gray and gloom again. We have gotten the laundry in, although a few things are still drying under cover.
The exciting news is that Lew has determined a course to London. We leave here tomorrow, anchor one night near the mouth of the Thames, then take the tide up to Limehouse Marina on Tuesday morning, arriving shortly after noon to get through the lock into the dock, about 1.5 miles from the Tower of London, on a stop on the Docklands Light Rail. We are all quite excited to have this settled and we are looking forward to arriving in London from the water.