Back in June, I went to sea with some friends on the 1852 Thames sailing Barge ‘Greta’, which sails out of Whitstable. It was the most perfect day imaginable, under a sky of azure studded with small white clouds, on seas totally still and calm. Lying on the deck, with silence all around but for the splash of waves on the hull punctuated now and then by the voices and laughter of my dear friends. Remember my tweet about the MRI scan, when I wrote about Glastonbury festival being the calm and happy place I imagine myself in times of stress? That may well have been usurped. I would almost say I’ve never been happier. Certainly as happy, but it doesn’t get more perfect than the feeling on that boat.
We sailed out to see the Maunsell Forts – the fortifications built in the Thames estuary to defend Britain during World War Two. They are an amazing sight, these alien rusted forms that look somewhat like the way I imagine the Martians in HG Wells’ War of the Worlds to, just stuck in a group way out to sea.
Sailing back, we passed the Kentish Flats wind farm – the largest in Britain when it was built in 2005. Another incredible sight, and totally captivating, the sails all rotating slightly out of phase with each other. I filmed it on my phone, as I can’t imagine anything more likely to induce feelings of total zen than watching them.