Last summer, we spent a lovely afternoon in Maldon looking at the Thames sailing barges moored there in regal splendor. They are sculptural and historic, and were used to transport supplies up and down the coast. Now you can charter them for the day, but some still work.
Each had its own style, colors and beautiful woodwork. The patterns of the masts against the sky were graphic and strong.
I love that England is an island, and so much of the country centers on boats and especially sailing. The great naval power and all that. I grew up on Long Island in New York, so maybe I just feel at home surrounded by water.
But what is so interesting in Great Britain, is that each section of the country seems to have its own design of boat and navigational style. Being married to My Beloved Brit, an avid sailor, I have my own personal tour guide when we visit these ports. And he is always willing to spend the time walking along the docks and explaining the idiosyncrasies of each boat to me.
The Barge Trust has lovingly labelled all these historic barges with details of their history. MBB could have spent hours here just looking.
But my favorite sign had to be this one…
You have been warned.