The first Cruiser Fleet Winter Lunch and Talk of 2016

The lovely Beach Hut

The lovely (and infamous) Beach Hut

»«Sunday 27th November 2016

The Cruiser Fleet Winter Lunch series was launched in fine style on Sunday with Ant and Sue Law delivering a highly entertaining presentation of some of their boating adventures.

With a rich history in sailing, Ant and Sue reasoned that motor boats were better suited to their Mediterranean cruising plans. A voyage from France to Spain in the Mistral season led to a passage through coastal canals and rivers, a decision that opened fresh horizons. With the Mistral producing 40+ knots of wind at sea, Ant and Sue enjoyed idyllic inshore conditions, and the seeds of their latest adventures were sown.

An expedition along the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation was followed by a voyage from Burnham to Oxford in their converted moorings launch, Beach Hut. Despite bureaucratic and ballistic obstacles, they left via the Havengore Bridge and motored to St. Katherine's Docks Marina. They motored through a turbulent City Thames into the tranquil upper reaches, where the lovely Beach Hut generated much interest. In the end, Ant was only prevented from reaching Birmingham by low bridges.

Ant and Sue took a holiday in a chartered barge on the French canal network. Like Victor Kiam, they enjoyed the holiday so much they decided to buy a barge! Towards the end of the cruise, Ant knocked on passing barges to enquire whether they were for sale. This novel approach lead to several invitations to sample hospitality aboard (though Ant insists this wasn't his motive). On board one of the barges, the beautiful Amarok, Ant discovered there was soon to be a vacancy in the owners' syndicate and sealed the deal that day. They now are proud partners in ownership, and explore the gorgeous French canal network whenever they can.

Ant and Sue's hour was over too soon, but we adjourned to tables to enjoy a splendid Carvery prepared by Simon and James.

Our next Cruiser Lunch is on Sunday 15th January 2017 at 12:00 noon. We welcome an outside speaker whose subject is Thames Barges and the East Coast. Although these lunches are organised by the Cruiser fleet, they're open to all members. So, to blow the cobwebs away after the Christmas and New Year celebrations, come along, have some fun, enjoy a splendid meal with friends, and join us.

Chris Nolan