I always know when the boating season has really got under way because I head down to Lord Montagu’s lovely little pad at Beaulieu in Hampshire to take part in what has become the biggest boatjumble in Europe.
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This is supposed to be my last Riverwatch for a few weeks. I say ‘supposed to be’ because my wife and I are scheduled to be flying to Hawaii to celebrate my 60th birthday on Saturday. But as I sit at home writing these notes with a week to go before ‘The Big Holiday,’ the sky is a brilliant, clear blue without a vapour trail in sight and there isn’t an aircraft to be seen in the sky. It’s worryingly quiet.
As regular readers of this column will know, I’m a boat jumble junkie. I just love poking around the tents and tables packed with other boat owners’ cast-offs in the hope of finding a bargain or two.
Now I know spring has truly arrived. Why? Because I've got my tickets for Beaulieu boat jumble, the annual junkfest held in the grounds of Lord Montagu's little pad in the New Forest which attracts boaters and yachties from all over the country - and even further afield – eager to replenish their supplies of unnecessary bits of boating memorabilia.