It’s always been said that Thames Sailing Barges can be sailed by ‘man, boy and dog’, but few people know the important role the dog played within the crew.
Barges sailing coastwise to windward (against the wind) generally only sailed when the tide was running with them. When it turned against them, they would drop anchor and get some sleep until it turned back again. The barge dog was apparently trained to bark when the barge turned with the changing tide, thereby waking up the skipper and his mate so that they could ‘up anchor’ and set sail, taking full advantage of the favourable tide!
Juno’s barge dog, SCAMPI, is always on board when Charlie and his family are sailing her. She’s certainly very much at home on Juno, but despite years of training, she still won’t bark when the tide turns!