Before our weekend away, we spoke to Robert on the phone and went through a checklist of things we needed to know and we chose to moor in the marina. On the Friday we arrived well after our appointed hour, due to bad traffic – wishing we had made the easy train journey from London Liverpool Street instead. As it turned out, we hardly used the car at all when we were in Fambridge due to so much being on our doorstep and the great train connections. To say our host was welcoming would not be doing justice to the enthusiasm and fun that Robert put into our stay. We were a party of four, two adults and two 14 year olds. I would say that would be the maximum number of people to be comfortable. The boat itself is a small sailing boat, clean, with everything we needed on board. The girls were able to jump on and off at will, explore the Marina, the beautiful surroundings and take the train to go shopping in Southend with great ease. The shower and toilet block in the marina have to be mentioned – big, clean, and well managed.. Also the Yacht Club, while not the most elegant, was friendly and provided us with some great cooking, the chef even went out of his way to produce a great dinner for one of the girls who is vegan. The marina is situated in an inlet of the River Crouch and the bird life is amazing. We walked morning and evening around the salt marshes, being treated to all the best that spring has to offer, including a weird and wonderful land mist. During the day we took the public footpaths around the church and Blue House Farm to the sea wall We met some great, interesting and friendly people, we relaxed, we sat up on deck, drinking our gin and tonics, playing cards and watching the birds and the sunset. There are no curtains on the boat, so if you are woken up by sunlight I would recommend bringing an eye mask. The highlight of the trip was taking Sherpa back to her mooring in Burnham on Crouch with Robert. I was at the helm for all but the very end, we had to motor due to wind and tide but managed to get a little sail in which made my husband’s day. It was an absolute pleasure spending time with Robert, I can’t wait to go back.

Judy Dunwoody

From a night