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Rival Arrival

Almost 4 years ago I helped take friends Brett and Sandy's barge 'Rival' from Staines to Nieuwpoort. they have been cruising around Belgium and France since, but decided it was time to come back to the UK. Luckily I was able to join them and their crew for the return trip. 

Rival was moored on the canal at Nieuwpoort where I last saw her, but facing the other way, towards the sea.

We went down through the lock on the wednesday evening, ready for an early departure the next day, mooring on the quay used by the sand dredger 'Rio'.

We were up and away before 6:00am local time, motoring out to a glassy English Channel. Before long we were out of sight of land....

IMG_0712 from Simon Sparrow on Vimeo.


 As with the last trip, it took a while to get used to steering a straight course with nothing to aim at. In the end I discovered that relaxing a bit and letting my subconcious take over produced the best result. 

The wind did pick up a bit, but the waves remained below 1m.

IMG_0711 from Simon Sparrow on Vimeo.


There were a lot of ships out there, but coming into Harwich was uneventful, I made this video whilst steering.

Entering HarwicTrim from Simon Sparrow on Vimeo.


We arrived safely at Ha'penny pier and ended up moored alongside our friends the 'Excelsior'.

Rival's final destination is the River Deben, but she is currently waiting for the next spring tide. It was a great trip and a good chance to catch up with people. I learnt a lot and I ate a lot, you are well catered for on this ship!


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