Boat Blog: Going by Boat to the Boat Show …
Posted by indigodream on 13 January, 2013
10th January 2013
Ahaaaa – I finally got to skipper the boat and take control of the blog – Sue’s had to miss this year’s outing in order to take her Mother to a hospital appointment in West Wales…..
Every year the St Pancras Cruising Club organise a cruise to the Royal Docks for the boat show….
Now, this is a real treat for several reasons:
- it is good opportunity to shake out the post-Christmas cobwebs (Sue calls it a seasonal spritzer!)
- you get to take a narrowboat out through the Thames Barrier
- you get into the Royal Docks via King George V lock which is an awesome 244m long
- you have a little cruise down alongside the London City Airport runway.
Best of all, it is a relatively cheap trip – last time we looked, the normal lock fee for a 60′ boat was £240 in, the same out, and you pay a ludicrous amount for a mooring; but for the boat show, the St Pancras Cruising Club always manage to negotiate a special rate with all boats locking in and out for a total price for all boats of £266. So, plenty of excuses for going!
As always the trip was preceded by a briefing in the Cruising Association the evening before, always a sociable and informative occasion.
For the day itself I had an experienced boat owning crew consisting of Sarah & Andy (owners of two narrowboats, though one is currently for sale here – go on, you know you want to), John aka Halfie (owner of 1 and 1/24th narrowboats) and Paul (owner of just one narrowboat). Sarah & Andy turned up at 11:30pm on the night before with assorted greyhounds, top dog Susie, Fick Eddie (the oirish one) and Ranger dawg (Sue’s favourite), to keep guest dog Herbie, Ty and Ollie company; Paul and John turned up sensibly early at 8:15am on the Thursday
Seeing that we had time, we nipped up to New Era Diesel to top up the fuel tank. I had serviced the engine last Sunday but had not had time to top up with diesel – 100 litres cost £97. Once that was done, it was time to fuel the crew – sausage paninis, bacon & egg sandwiches plus copious amounts of coffee were served as breakfast
The journey out was via Bow Lock and down Bow Creek, as CRT felt there was too much “fresh” coming downriver for us to use City Mill and Three Mills locks. The whole journey was against the tide. Because we were in the last locking we motored down Bow Creek at 1400rpm, which Halfie’s satnav reported as an agreeable 5.2mph. The Thames was quickly reached with the usual feelings of “oh my, isn’t that a wide river”, but fortunately mill pond calm with no traffic, so Paul quickly and easily get us across to the far side by the dome.
The trip down the tideway then settled to a steady convoy at around 1000rpm. By now I was very much aware that people had not drunk or eaten for at least 30 minutes so I went below to cook. Passing the Thames Barrier was fine, then the crew decided to play chicken with the Woolwich Ferry, Sarah did tell me to stay below and not look!
We shared the lock into the Royal Docks with some impressive tupperware; we got held there for a while till ATC decided that we could cross the bottom of the runway then we had a quick run up the dock. We had a team photo taken by the footbridge and then Halfie did a neat mooring just in the shadow of the Emirates Cable Car
Usual whiskies were consumed to celebrate a nice, easy and very enjoyable trip!