Saturday, 13 July 2013

Cruising to The Thames Barrier

After last evening’s briefing at the Cruising Association Club in Limehouse Basin for the trip today, the crews from all ten narrow boats had a super supper together………..


……. with lots of chatter about past adventures and much conjecture about the next one!  (That’s not James in the pink shirt – it’s Neil from nb ‘Waterlily’ – honest)  with Sue and Richard of Nb Indigo Dream.


At 8 o’ clock this morning, the first four boats were in Limehouse Lock and ready for our trip down the Thames to Margaretness and back, this included us.


Once out onto the river the four of us stem the tide (boat speak for treading water) and wait for the next boats to be ‘flushed’ out.


NB ‘Doris Katia’, with Andrew and Frances on board, making a turn to lead us down river with the tide.


One happy sailor with the sun in his eyes.


We pass the Royal Naval College at Greenwich.

IMG_1604Heading down river with Canary Wharf coming up on our left.


Passing Canary Wharf.


Further down river and we have the O2 Arena on our right and the Emirates Sky Train in the distance.


They can see us but we can’t see them.


Another happy sailor fully prepared for the intense heat which we’ve experienced today.


The next, and most definitely the best part of the trip, is the Thames Barrier. Some of our boats weigh the best part of twenty tons but they’re dwarfed by the barrier structure


Doug at the tiller, skilfully steering ‘Chance’ through the barrier.IMG_1632

Some of our little flotilla following up behind us.


We think we look impressive anyway!


All in a perfect line and no practice.


We seemed to have had the river to ourselves on our down-river journey and the water, as we arrive at Margaretness, its like a millpond.  We were very lucky indeed to have such calm conditions.


At Margaretness we stem the tide again, waiting for it to turn to take us back up to Limehouse.


NB ‘Waterlily’ with Pauline, Neil and some family members stemming the tide so expertly.


NB ‘ Indigo Dream’ with Sarah at the helm, who could stem the tide in her sleep!


Waiting for the tide to turn - a calm and peaceful time….


……….. to make egg sandwiches for breakfast.


We head back up stream through the barrier………


……… back past Greenwich and the Cutty Sark……….


……… where we soon join the queue of  boats caused by a barge rowing contest.  Here are a few photos of our little group as we join the “pageant” of boats making their way very slowly behind the barges:






Here’s a very good photo of us taken, very kindly, by Tony on nb ‘Aylmer’, who didn’t come with us today but (perhaps sensibly)decided instead to sit on the river terrace of The Grapes, from where he got this lovely shot.  Thanks Tony.


We finally make it safely back into Limehouse Lock and back into the marina for a rest and to prepare for the next tideway journey tomorrow.

We all had an absolutely brilliant day, all thanks to Andrew, Commodore of St Pancras Cruising Club, and his wife Frances, who so safely and meticulously planned this trip.  The heat this afternoon is scorching……….. 


……… and some of us are still doing housework and some are not!  All safely breasted up back in Limehouse basin.  Tomorrow its the tidal Thames again through the city to Brentford, on a busy Sunday afternoon……..

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