UK, 25th June -3rd September 2015

After sailing Anju around from Southampton, we managed to clean ourselves up in time for the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club annual ball. It was a great evening. We made lots of new friends and caught up with some old ones. At the end of the evening we only had to wander down the dock to spend the night on Anju.

Of course the glamour was short-lived and we were soon back to work.

Two weeks after Anju returned to Cardiff, exactly fourteen years to the day after we left Penarth Marina, we were back there again. We had to haul out to install the magnesium anodes required for the fresh water of Cardiff Bay. Then, there was the small matter of a million barnacles to attend to.

Boat Yard Hands!

Several days of gruelling and dirty sanding followed, along with a visit from a welder to attach anode studs to Anju's hulls, which would allow us to change anodes for extended periods in salt water. The anodes had previously been welded to the hull. Of course there was the usual corrosion control and during the course of this work two disasters befell us.

First, whilst checking over the underwater profile of the boat, preparing to apply the new anti-fouling paint, we came across a hole. This was no ordinary rust-induced hole, but a peculiar, clean-cut pair of holes in the exact shape of an exclamation mark, complete with dot. Through these curious centimetre long holes, Anju's interior concrete ballast was clearly visible. We could only surmise that the hole had always been there, most likely filled with filler of some sort, which must have become dislodged either during the shipping process or on the way around from Southampton.

We were grateful that the hole lay directly outside thick concrete which had kept Anju watertight. The welder was called back and the hole covered with a sturdy, steel patch.

Next Christine, wearing her safety goggles religiously 99.999999% of the time, while attending to small rust spots with a Dremel, managed to forget to put them back on for a few seconds, and succeeded in getting a selection of steel and rust in her eye. Being particularly squeamish about eyes, the denial strategy was used for twelve hours but by 4 am, back at home, it became obvious that some attention would be needed.

We arrived at Nevill Hall Hospital's Casualty Department at 4.30 am, explaining the problem to the receptionist. Three hours later on enquiring, we were informed that there were still 6 more serious cases ahead of us in the queue and besides they didn't actually have an Ophthalmology Department. Furious that we hadn't been told this three hours previously, we headed home to pay a visit to the local Doctor's surgery.

From here we were directed to our local optician in the village, a charming Russian lady, particularly adept at dealing with such injuries. There, the stray items were skillfully removed from the eye without any screaming or chasing around the room being involved.

Meanwhile Phil was busy dealing with the car, which was left stranded half way across the main road when the drive shaft fell out. This was not one of our better twenty four hours!

Our trip to Ipswich to attend a party with our friends Brad and Susie from Windharp had to be cancelled due to lack of transport. The boat stove we'd purchased on e-bay was due to be collected from Ipswich at the same time. Brad gallantly came to the rescue, delivering it to cousin Richard in Shrewsbury as he passed, who in turn delivered it to Anju when he, Rose and their dog braved life in the boat-yard.

By the time Anju was afloat again, the yacht club had found us a berth which was actually big enough and easily accessible, on the hammerhead. Perhaps they had seen how out of practice we were with marina docking!

Now Anju could meet the rest of the family, those who hadn't been born before we left!


Three of the grandkids got to explore Anju for the first time, after years of hearing all about her. We managed to make room for everyone to sleep, converting her back from her two crew status.

Together we explored the Ely River by canoe and dinghy and found it remarkably picturesque, despite its industrial surroundings.

We managed to attend a couple of family gatherings. Richard's barbecue in honour of visitors David, Shannon, Lily and Sophie from Oregon in true customary British style became an indoor party.

Barbecue, British Style.

Another family gathering brought a gang of us together at niece Lucie's new pad, an old pub which she was converting back to a house.

Soon it was time to head out on our next adventure, leaving Anju safely snuggled on her new home in Cardiff Bay.

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