The Thistle was built to carry coal, grain, or straw and first sailed in August, 1895. It has been afloat ever since.
The vessel left its mooring about midday in perfect sunshine and summer cloud. After passing through the Ipswich locks, it motored down to the Felixstowe and then sailed back with the tide and the wind.
To the open sea
Container ship at Felixstowe port
Paul Hale, guitar
A lovely lunch, drinks, coffee and biscuits were served by Iwona Yasielec and Claire Luff, and gentle renditions of music oldies were provided by Paul Hale and his brother.
Topsails Charters was founded in 1987 and owns four barges – three which are used for public trips and private hire from ports in Suffolk and Essex, and one which is under refurbishment as a restaurant.
The company won the Visit Essex “Best Small Attraction” in October, 2015.