From Wargrave to Chertsey

The volcano’s clouds can’t stop Clodia: we may be slow, but we go!

Wargrave to ChertseyAfter the days spent in Wargrave at the Bushnell Marina, things took up a brisker pace. Colin Henwood, who has built many a famous boat for the Thames (see the Henwood and Dean site) a lovely man – and wife Lucy – put us up at their home.

As well as lending us equipment and materials to complete the works, on a wonderful evening in Henley, Colin entertained us with his tales spent on the Thames. We were also treated to the alluring sound of bagpipes across the green meadows.

The nights in the tent are rather damp and cold, with morning frost and warm sun in the daytime: but here, the water is lovely. It’s smells – and feels – so fresh.

Jacopo and I are continually surprised by a river that is safeguarded so well: the vegetation and wildlife are really plentiful. The landscape changes continually and the houses are designed in harmony with nature.

The Thames is a huge resource, one that everybody here is proud of. It’s an example of excellence in management.

Wargrave to Chertsey
Yesterday, after 25 km and another 4 locks, we reached Bray, where the Bray Marina allowed us to stay for free for the night and Aberdeen camping site gave us a pitch at a giveaway price, which our photographer Massimo kindly put up!

The river flows quite slowly here and we can make about 25 km a day. Our rowing synchronism is still in need of finer tuning. Jacopo is doing well on the oars .. I’m the one who’s rather rusty!

Wargrave to ChertseyThis evening we reached Chertsey, in Surrey, after passing Windsor (the castle is amazing!).

After yet another lock (we have done about 15 so far), we sought a mooring place and entered a canal where we find some “live-aboards”, which are houseboats where the owners live permanently. We were not allowed to moor there and ended up in a public zone, which didn’t seem too safe. So off we went to the prettiest Marina: well, we can only try…

At the reception, amidst all the luxury pleasure boats, a lovely young lady told us that the cost was £20. Then we told her about the project and the price went down to … £0 (and she even offered us a coffee, a pin-badge and a bag with a ladybird: really pretty!).

Tonight we sleep in the warm at a B&B. They are friends of Claire, who is also the Bates Marina owner’s wife. We are surprised and touched by peoples’ warmth.

Wargrave to ChertseyClodia is doing just fine. Today, with only the mizzen raised, we were even able to sail on some breeze. It was another day with lots of encounters, we will tell you more about soon.

Everyone is very curious to know about us and are genuinely interested in our our story. One person gave us 10 pounds as a good start to our fund-raising activity!

Unfortunately our resolution to live at a zero budget is still not fully applicable: there are many of us and we have to share. The film crew of the documentary cannot be abandoned and as far as possible we try to keep together.

A big “thank you” to Michele, who has helped us so much and who endured a crazy journey to get home, leaving us with Martina, who will be part of the group for a while. We already feel like so many Forrest Gumps.

A presto.

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14 Responses to “From Wargrave to Chertsey”

  1. Man on the River says:

    Thanks to Ivor Coward of Lexicon for the wonderful and timely translation!

  2. barbara_biba says:

    cari giac_jac__,
    qui si fa un gran parlare di voi tra noi anche grazie ai media, tutti entusiasti e un po’ in trepidazione per il vulcano e la manica.
    Da qui sembra così bello il vostro viaggio, con quel verde so english!
    Emma adora nuotare e quindi contiamo di poterla finalmente mettere su una barca.Forza e buon viaggio!

  3. It was so wonderful to be a part of the “Man on the River” project for a few days. Colin and I feel we know you all so well already and your enthusiasm and appreciation of our river is really appreciated. You are ALWAYS welcome in our home and in our boatyard. Good Luck – we will be watching your progress.
    Lucie xxx

  4. Giovanni says:




  5. pianotrip says:

    Dear friend,

    We follow you from Greece. Very happy to know about the begining of your trip.
    We wish you the best rivers to discover, see you.
    Best regards,

    Guillemette & Christophe (& the piano ;)

  6. Marcel & Joanna says:

    Dear Giacomo,

    Großartig! Hope to see you during your trip! Maybe in Germany. Greetings from Greece and Germany!

    Go on!

    Marcel & Joanna, S/Y Chulugi, Bremerhaven

  7. Eleonora F. says:

    Ho appena letto la vostra intervista sul Venerdì di Repubblica e vi ho cercati su internet!
    E’ bello sapere che di questi tempi c’è ancora qualcuno che sente il bisogno di riconogiungersi con la natura e -perché no- con la specie umana viaggiando, sudando, sognando… semplicemente mettendosi alla prova con coraggio e sete di conoscenza!

    “I veri viaggiatori partono per partire; cuori leggeri simili a palloni, mai cercano di sfuggire al loro destino, e, senza sapere perché, dicono sempre: andiamo!”
    (Charles Baudelaire) dedicata a voi :)
    buona rotta

  8. Kris Hubble says:

    was great to see you both at the isle of sheppey yacht club , glad to support you in anyway we can , good luck for your onward journey , we will be keeping an eye on your progress ! sorry about the quick dunking you recieved ! hope the water wasnt too cold !

  9. Tim Bell says:

    As Kris Said, it was nice to see such adventurers arrive of of the blue, and we all wish you well on your journey, From all off us at Isle Of Sheppey Sailing Club.

  10. Dear Giaomo,jacopo and Massimo,hope i got your names right! It was a pleasure to meet you all with my friend Johnny down on the foreshore in Whitstable many other’s who will meet you on your journey i felt inspired by your effort and wish you well for the Channel Crossing! Best wishes and i have mentioned you on my Blog today.Artist by the sea..Keep rowing Jacopo! xx

  11. Dear Giacomo,jacopo and Massimo,hope i got your names right! It was a pleasure to meet you all with my friend Johnny down on the foreshore in Whitstable many other’s who will meet you on your journey i felt inspired by your effort and wish you well for the Channel Crossing! Best wishes and i have mentioned you on my Blog today.Artist by the sea..Keep rowing Jacopo! xx

  12. bruno says:

    boa sorte no Canal da Mancha Giacomo. Vou acompanhar e torcer pela internet. Fico feliz por você, que pena que não posso estar aí agora. Muitas saudades. Bruno

  13. Giacomo says:

    Grazie a tutti, thank you so much it has been such a pleasure to meet you all and you help has been so important to us.
    I hope to see you soon and a big hug

  14. Giacomo says:

    Grazie Bruno. Obrigado, muito! Um abrazo corazon triste sin ti

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