Thames tideway – May 9th

A lively and windy day out on the Thames, with St Pancras Cruising ClubI went along as crew, to provide VHF radio coverage, and to chip in an extra guidance note at the briefing meeting on Friday evening. (twitter)

There were eight boats in total, in three lockings. I was in the third: CIDER WITH ROSIE, GERTRUDE and SECOND TIME AROUND.  We had an excellent view of HMS OCEAN (twitter) at Greenwich. One boat developed intermittent engine problems as we approached the Thames barrier, so a second boat came alongside and we breasted up (and avoided hitting the barrier). We turned fairly soon, and made our way back up river – the rest of the convoy made it down to Margaretness.

We then formed a raft of three boats – by now with only two working engines – to make the turn into Limehouse (2 hours after Low Water Woolwich). This wasn’t really necessary, as the flood tide was balanced by the westerly wind – but we got a 21 foot wide raft into the lock without hitting anything. It was rather fun controlling a twin screw boat on the way into Limehouse …

Then finally the two remaining boats picked up a solo boat, waiting in Limehouse, for their first run up to Brentford. The rest of the convoy had overtaken us  during our pause at Limehouse, and made their way safely up to Teddington.

Going through London, there were lots of trip boats, including RIBs, and (notwithstanding this) the Ducks were back on the water… It all calmed down at Wandsworth, until we found ourselves in the middle of a rowing regatta.

30 photos below, full set here.  [17 May] I have added a few photos at the end from GERTRUDE – full set here

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Ready for the off at Limehouse

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VHF radio, spare VHF, depth sounder, wind gauge, air horn, mobile phone. We also had four walkie-talkies – which proved very handy for keeping in touch with other boats – and binoculars.DSCF5075DSCF5079

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Turning across to the south side of the river – after passing two inbound boats “Green to Green”DSCF5080

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Approaching Greenwich – HMS OCEAN moored up to take part in the VE Day 70th celebrations. (You may enjoy this video of their previous trip through the barrier).

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Suction dredger ARCO AVON moored up on the Greenwich peninsula (tweets of sister ship?). As we went past  we heard OCEAN’s hooter  – part of the great noise at 1100 (see here) – and we followed suit.DSCF5091DSCF5093

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Approaching the barrierDSCF5094

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Sugar being unloaded at North Woolwich (see tweet re VECTIS ISLE)DSCF5096DSCF5099DSCF5100

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WappingDSCF5104

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Tower Bridge – we were able to take the main archDSCF5106

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Southwark BridgeDSCF5108

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Millenium (wobbly) bridge, with Southwark,  Cannon Street and London Bridges in the backgroundDSCF5110

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Blackfriars bridgesDSCF5114

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Waterloo, with a clipper cutting neatly through our group of three.DSCF5116

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Charing Cross rail bridgeDSCF5118

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Westminster Bridge, being overtaken by FIREFLASHDSCF5121 DSCF5123

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St Mary’s BatterseaDSCF5129 DSCF5130

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The green buoy just upstream of Hammersmith bridge – leave this well to starboard (or else see here)DSCF5131 DSCF5133

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Sprint rowing regatta from Chiswick to KewDSCF5134

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BrentfordDSCF5136 DSCF5139

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And finally a few from GERTRUDE, showing the reach down to Greenwich, rafting up at the barrier, and then the triple raft making our way back in at Limehouse

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