The view up the river Itchen from high up on Lady Jane's mast - her wheelhouse roof and stern are visible in the foreground
I am reminded, while sitting on deck with a hot cup of tea, of the warm glow of satisfaction which is the result of progress made after a good days work. I knew Lady Jane was going to be a big challenge when I bought her, and it's fair to say that I have not been disappointed so far.
The prospect of a good, long term project was part of the reason for buying Lady Jane, but not the main reason. I, like many people judging by house prices, have always wanted to live by the sea. Lady Jane gives me that opportunity, along with a big toy and the opportunity to travel. If I don't like my neighbors I can always move, hey Donna! Although she is a boat, many aspects of Lady Jane are more like a regular house in that there is plenty of space and, with work, it is possible to live extremely comfortably on her. So now I get to take my house, complete with laundry and washing up, on holiday with me.
The house with a sea view has really not disappointed. Being moored in the middle of a busy river provides a continual distraction to anything productive being done on board. It is now not unusual to have some of my new boat friends drop by for a visit which, although very welcome, is probably the biggest distraction. I recall an evening late in summer when Kate and I were just settling into a barbecue and a glass of wine on deck when, a neighbor, dropped in. That visit was maybe not so welcome just at that particular time.
In the short time I've been a boat owner I have met plenty of boating people who, without exception, have been extremely pleasant and helpful. I have been very surprised, and touched, by the offers of help on Lady Jane, from friends locally as well as from the boating friends I have made in the last few months.
Although now it's winter and the river is much quieter, there is still a diversity of boats up and down past Lady Jane, from crews practicing rowing along with their attendant, and often vociferous, trainers in inflatable power boats to huge ships and barges carrying fuel and aggregates, all mixed in with all manner of private power boats and yachts oh and of course the odd fishing boat. Sometimes a particular yacht, or the sound of an engine commands attention. There are some beautiful $$$$ boats around, hope they don't get in Lady Jane's way. A favorite is an old WWII British MTB which puts in an appearance once in a while - oddly enough she is apparently now powered by German Mann diesels.
Although Lady Jane is moored in a river, the river is tidal so the constant ebb and flow of the tide has it's own fascination as the water constantly hides and shows parts of the river to the delight of the flocks of birds always in attendance.
I simply love being on board Lady Jane.