The curtain falls on the London On-Water Festival

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The fourth edition of this annual boat show came to an end on Saturday. In spite of the showery weather, the last day attracted the largest audience of the three-day show.

As with every boat show, which I attend, the most enjoyable aspect for me is meeting people, whether they had used my books on their voyage or had taken part in one of my rallies. Usually they only drop by to say hello and point out how helpful they had found my books during their offshore cruising, or how much they enjoyed taking part in a rally.

An early visitor on Saturday morning was Richard Matthews, the founder of the famous Oyster Yachts brand.

In the early days of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, Richard Matthews was a great supporter of this transatlantic event and we always had several Oysters take part in the ARC.

Richard had just returned from a busy racing season in the Caribbean on his yacht Oystercatcher XXXI, and as he is planning to sail to New Zealand to watch the last stages of the America’s Cup, he will put the new edition of Cornells’ Ocean Atlas to good use in preparation for that long voyage.

Also preparing for a long world voyage were my next visitors, Alan and Wendy, who had just acquired a Moody 54.

At other end of the scale, also planning a longer voyage on their 33-foot S&S yacht, were Brian and Mary.

Brian and Mary had been following my voyages for a long time and wanted to meet me in person and also to attend my presentation: “From Tower Bridge to Tower Bridge via the Northwest Passage”.

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