Archive For The “England” Category

Portland to Gigha

Portland to Gigha

Our initial plan was to stop in Ireland to refuel on our way to Scotland from Portland. But the occupants of any boat arriving in Ireland are placed under a 14-day quarantine for COVID-19, and tax-free diesel is no longer available for pleasure craft. We also didn’t want to risk departing the UK and not…

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Portland, UK

Portland, UK

1,300-acre (520-hectare) Portland Harbour was the largest man-made harbour in the world when completed in 1872 (it’s now the fourth largest). The huge harbour, exposed to strong English Channel winds but protected from their waves, is one of the best places for sailing in the UK. Both times we visited we’ve seen plenty of on-water…

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Ramsgate to Portland

Ramsgate to Portland

We departed Ramsgate at 8pm with the winds blowing in the 20s behind us. We expected conditions to settle down soon and wanted to take advantage of calm overnight weather to make a 125-mile run to the Isle of Wight, or possibly, a further 50 miles to Portland. The winds did indeed drop off, and…

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Ramsgate, UK

Ramsgate, UK

Ramsgate has been a seaside resort town since the 19th century. Today the city supports one of the largest marinas in the southern UK alongside a vibrant and historic waterfront packed with restaurants and pubs. As with most visits to a new city, we spent the first afternoon after our arrival from Antwerp touring Ramsgate…

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Antwerp to Ramsgate

Antwerp to Ramsgate

In late October of 2019, we exited the North Sea at Vlieland, NL and Dirona remained in inland waters for the following five months. We eventually returned to the North Sea in mid-March of 2020, about when we’d intended to, but with an entirely different destination plotted. Our original plan was to cruise the Atlantic…

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London, UK to Harlingen, NL

London, UK to Harlingen, NL

From London we made a 267-mile run to Harlingen, NL to pickup our new tender before continuing on to Norway. We spent a peaceful night anchored at Stangate Creek near the mouth of the Thames before making an overnight run to Harlingen so that we would arrive in the morning on a rising tide. Except…

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St. Katharine Docks

St. Katharine Docks

St. Katharine Docks in London was a fabulous base for a winter visit to London. In addition to the marina, the St. Katharine Docks complex includes nearly a dozen excellent restaurants, is adjacent to the Tower of London, within walking distance of many other local attractions and restaurants, and convenient to public transport. And the…

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London Projects

London Projects

We didn’t spend all our time in London socializing and taking in the sights. We also completed a number of projects, for the boat, the web site, ourselves and even Spitfire. Below are highlights from Feb 13th through April 12th in London, UK. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to…

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London Socializing

London Socializing

With London being both a popular travel destination and a hub for Europe, we did a lot more socializing than usual. This gave us an opportunity to catch up with some old friends, finally meet in person some that we’d corresponded with years, and make new acquaintances with locals or those travelling to the area….

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Spitalfields Market

Spitalfields Market

Spitalfields Market started in 1638, was covered in the late 19th century and modernized in 2006. The market is full of small vendors selling wares ranging from jewelery to fresh vegetables with many food stalls and restaurants. We made a pass through the market and surrounding area as part of a trip to pick up…

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Lloyd’s of London

Lloyd’s of London

Lloyd’s of London is not an insurance company. Rather, it is an insurance market founded in the 1600s when Edward Lloyd began renting out space in his coffee shop to marine underwriters. Lloyd’s current headquarters is a masterpiece of modern architecture built in the Bowellism style, where interior space is maximized by placing the building…

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Sky Garden

Sky Garden

Sky Garden is a public space at the top of the “Walkie Talkie” with a fabulous 360-degree views of London and the Thames. Several restaurants and a bar also are within—we had a memorable dinner at the Darwin Brasserie, the room jutting out from the left above the gardens in the picture above. Below are…

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HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast

The HMS Belfast was launched in 1938 and saw action in World War II, including firing some of the first shots on D-Day. The ship also was part of the United Nations naval forces during the Korean War. In 1971, the retired ship was brought to London and moored along the Thames by Tower Bridge…

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Stratford City

Stratford City

Stratford City, on the outskirts of London, has seen some some major construction in the current millenium. The city played host to the 2012 summer Olympics one year after the opening of Westfield Stratford city, the third largest shopping mall in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. We’d built up a big…

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Westminster

Westminster

The most well-known portion of the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place on the Buckingham Palace grounds. But this is just the middle part of the ceremony, and the hardest to watch due to the crowds that form well in advance. Better views can be had of the guards marching to and from St….

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Paris

Paris

In mid-February we took the high-speed train from London through the Channel Tunnel for a 2-night trip to Paris. It seems kind of amazing that we could get up in the morning, do some work on the boat in London and later have lunch by the Eiffel Tower, all without leaving the ground. This was…

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Greenwich

Greenwich

The famed Royal Observatory in Greenwich is the location of the Prime Meridian and the origin of “Greenwich Mean Time”. The observatory has an excellent museum detailing the search for an accurate means of calculating longitude at sea, plus sweeping views from its hilltop perch. Other Greenwich attractions include the old Royal Naval College grounds,…

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Tower of London

Tower of London

We’d always thought the Tower of London was just that, a tower. But it’s actually a castle, with 22 towers in total, that was the royal residence for England’s medieval monarchs and also is where the Crown Jewels are currently kept. The complex is right next to St. Katharine Docks where we are moored, so…

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