… and neither do barges. Today was the ‘Blackwater Barge Match’ and for those not in the know it’s a race between Thames Sailing Barges. These magnificent vessels are around 80 – 100 feet long and about 100 years old.

It takes place every year on the River Blackwater, near us, starting from just below Maldon and sailing out into the estuary. We were planning to go and watch them sail past and, as the race starts at 9:30 AM we didn’t have much time.

Amanda was complaining that I might compromise the whole expedition because I wanted breakfast first but we did have breakfast first and then set off for Tollesbury where we intended to walk to the river. The walk should take about 20 minutes and we should get to the river just as the barges were passing.

We set off on the walk and as the river came into view we could see the tops of many masts, with sails, coming down the river. We couldn’t see the lower parts of the vessels because they were obscured by the sea wall.

We did get to the river in time and climbed up onto the top of the sea wall to see the first barges of a total of about 14 going past.

We were observed, from a safe distance, by some interested parties who seemed to be curious about what we were doing.

Amanda wanted to take some pictures of her own.

We walked along the sea wall in the same direction that the barges were going although they were going faster than us and eventually they all went past heading out into the estuary. What a lovely sight!

We walked along the wall until we picked up another footpath which would take us back into Tollesbury. On the way we managed to disturb a Heron which flew off over the marshes and saw a number of Common Mallow plants.

A little later,nearer Tollesbury, we found a small group of Poppies.

All in all a nice little trip.