The big day finally arrived. An early start, to lock out by 0830 and then run up to Hammersmith, to take up the trot moorings near Dove Pier (8 rows, 5 abreast). See the GPS tracker record. A slowish journey as there was a lot of traffic on the river. We saw the belfry (moving, but silent), the Gloriana, and the Spirit of Chartwell, and lots of historic boats in Barn Elms reach.
Then, in relatively good weather (ie no rain, but not much sun either) a two hour break for lunch and scrutineering (and I lent my soldering iron to Nanshe for a last minute repair to their VHF set…). The Environment Agency tied up one of their pace boats alongside us. We set off just after two – see downstream GPS tracker to see how far we were from a steady 4 knots OTG (start at 9 minutes in – my mooring in West India was not as bad as it suggests …). We did quite well in terms of delivering our saluting plan.
The weather got worse as we passed through Albert Bridge. Finally moored up at 2140 after going round a racetrack a couple of times between Greenwich and Blackwall Point – much safer than trying to hold a stationary position, and a masterstroke by Commander ROMEO and his team in the PLA. Peter jumped off at the lock to get a taxi – in Cambridge by 2210, ready for his exam at 0900 the next day. Jeremy and Fiona just caught the last train to Leamington. Jane, Bob and Chloe went their separate ways, and those remaining crashed out, forgoing the free drinks…
- the red ensign on the main mast, surrounded on the four stays by:
- the pageant flag (starboard fore);
- the Saltire, for our Scottish guests, and the Diamond Jubilee flag (starboard aft)
- the Aldenham Sailing club pennant, carried by my father-in-law, the Welsh Dragon, reflecting our Welsh ancestors, and the pennant of the AWCC, of which SPCC is a member (port aft);
- the Pembrokeshire flag, reflecting many happy holidays there; and the Inland Waterways Association pennant (port fore)
- the St Pancras Cruising Club jubilee pennant on the front staff
- the normal SPCC pennant and the Great Ouse Boating Assocation pennant on the tiller post
Additional photos and videos:
- By me (or more accurately on my camera)
- By Jane
- By various kind people on the bank (including some total strangers, and someone I have not seen since leaving school)
- Our brief and partial appearance on the BBC’s live coverage
- Wobbly videos taken from James and Karen’s flat near Canary Wharf (one, two, three), as they try to spot us
- Many more photos on the narrow boat pageant website, containing photos and videos by and of all the narrowboaters, and others on the bank.
- A posting showing selected photos of Scholar Gypsy