It will be hard to capture, in words, the full extent of what happened yesterday. It would be safe to say that so many friends were the most important ingredient followed by weather a close second. James and Debbie (nb ‘Lois Jane’) arrived to join us on our voyage leaving at 1pm to catch the incoming tide.
Limehouse Basin was calm and warm before we left its confines with nb ‘Tranquillity’ with Dave and Maureen on board. We were given the ‘all clear’ by the lock keeper to leave at 1 o’ clock (3 1/2 hours before high tide) to give us chance to reach Teddington Lock before the tide turned. The lock keeper did the usual checks that we had a VHF radio, life jackets for all passengers and anchor.
Leaving the lock at Limehouse and getting out on the river was fantastic and fairly uneventful and we were very soon approaching the awesome, and probably the most special, landmark of the trip – Tower Bridge.
Just after we’d passed under the massive structure of Tower Bridge we spotted Elly and Mick (nb ‘Parisien Star) – tiny figures standing in front of the Tower of London, waving frantically to attract our attention. Thank you so much guys for making such an effort to capture our tiny outline amongst the rest of London.
Picture by Elly and Mick (Nb Parisien Star)
The crew on board Chance! Picture by Elly and Mick.
Picture by Elly and Mick
Picture by Elly and Mick.
After Tower Bridge, just when we thought we were out of choppy water we hit the main ‘excitement’. The bow waves and increasing wind gave us a pretty bumpy ride – we had just one wave that was big enough to come right over the bow and above the roof line! James and Debbie tried to capture some of the rough water but their first priority was to hang on!
A cheerful happy crew….
The two James’s enjoying the trip…
Getting to Westminster Bridge we were on the lookout for Adam (nb ‘Briar Rose’) who also made an incredible effort to get down to see us and take some great pictures. Thanks so much Adam – here you are waving!
‘Chance’ followed by ‘Tranquillity’ coming under Hungerford Bridge. (Adam’s pic. nb Briar Rose)
Doug taking the helm.
Battersea Power Station
James takes the tiller.
As the river calmed down we were able to unleash the champagne without spilling it!
The river became a millpond after Brentford – enough for us to enjoy our bubbly followed by a home made cream tea (supplied by James and Debbie)
‘Chance’ and ‘Tranquillity’ arrive at Teddington Lock 3 1/2 hours later. Maureen and Dave were very tired, but said they enjoyed it very much.
We eventually reached our destination for the day – Hampton Court, leaving ‘Tranquillity’ to get back to tranquillity and moor up at Kingston-upon-Thames. The four of us settled down to the inevitable recount of the days adventure and a good meal of lasagne and jacket potatoes and a wonderful lemon tort made by James and Debbie.
We walked with Debbie and James to the bus stop at East Molesley at 11 o’ clock to get back to ‘Lois Jane’. It was so lovely to enjoy the experience with you both – a really great time we had with you.
There’s so much more we could say but we’ll cut it short with a big “thank you” to everyone for their enthusiasm and great efforts to make the day even more special that it might have been and for the wonderful photos that we’d never have had. What a day!!!!!
More great pictures are on Briar Rose, Parisien Star’s and Lois Jane's Blogs: