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Archive for September 12th, 2010

Boat Blog: Trip to the IWA National (by car!)

Posted by indigodream on 12 September, 2010

Monday 30th August

We were so slow to leave the boat this morning – we were pleasantly tired after our latest tideway adventure and we had to clean almost a week’s detritus from the boat (though we’d had an interim clear out on Friday).

We had to get to the IWA show by lunchtime – the St Pancras Crusing Club had kindly asked me to join their presentation team at the show to give six-minute insight into our tidal experiences with the club. I was honoured, and spent some time selecting 12 of my favourite photos (30 seconds per slide) from the thousands that we have on file! We set off rather vaguely from Limehouse at 10.20am and rang Andrew Phasey to confirm the time of the talk – 12 noon – aaargh!!!!

That certainly focused our attention and Richard did well to get us to Beale Park just in time for the start of the presentation – luckily I was the last speaker but I did want to hear what the others had to say. Andrew had a formidable team – David, the Port of London Harbourmaster, Jeremy, the senior lock keeper at Limehouse and Andrew himself. I was in illustrious company!

The A-team (and me)!!!

David gave a particularly interesting talk about the perils of the tideway and, more importantly, how to avoid them. He was beset by questions from audience afterwards – the presentation tent was jam-packed – it was obviously an engaging subject. Jeremy was drily witty and gave some excellent advice on how best to approach and enter Limehouse Lock. I found myself nodding vigorously behind him, having applied his flawless technique the night before! Andrew gave an overview of how to join the club’s many convoys and displayed a tiny selection of the thousands of photos that convoy members had sent him over the years. By the time Andrew started his presentation, the next occupiers of the presentation tent were starting to complain that we were over-running, by the time Andrew finished speaking they were seriously aggrieved and I graciously(!) agreed to forego my slot in favour of the Chesterfield Canal Society (I think). I did promise to put my presentation on the blog though – regular readers needn’t click on the link – I’m sure you’ve heard it all before! Sue IWA talk 2010

I was sorry not to speak, I am a bit of a diva and after presentations about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of tidal cruising I think that my bit about the ‘why’ would maybe have persuaded a few boaters that the small risk of tideway cruising was well outweighed by the benefits.

The show’s organisers, on seeing the popularity of the tideway presentation, promised the St Pancras Cruising Club a bigger tent and more time when the show returns to Beale Park in the future!

Andrew and Frances kindly offered us lunch back at nb Doris Katya and we spent a convivial afternoon listening to David and Jeremy’s fascinating tales. Lou and Lynx enjoyed their usual attention and were exceptionally well behaved – I’m so proud of them.

By the time we’d lunched there was barely time to wander around the show. Even then, we kept getting distracted – there were numerous lurchers and three other greyhounds at the show. Lynx took a fancy to a dainty black greyhound (he’s quite a flirt), racing name ‘Blushing Betty’ – they looked a handsome pair – it turns out that they have a common grandfather – the infamous ‘Top Honcho’. Lou defended her boy with a few low growls – I’m not sure what the male equivalent of a harem is, but she’s not about to let go of it 🙂 We also met another dainty black girl who’d never raced and a stunning white greyhound who’d been dumped because she was apparently too small for racing. We did look at a few stalls as well – they were numerous but somehow disappointing – the colourful clothes stands that I’d hoped for were absent. The purchase of the day was from a stand selling Normandy cider – I love french cider – it tastes of apples rather than chemicals and has a refreshing alcohol content (4.5% though I prefer the 2% that you can buy in France). Richard bought a new boat-washing brush to replace the one blown off the roof yesterday!

We wended our way home after an enjoyable but not terribly productive day – never mind, maybe that’s what bank holidays are for……

Note: I’ve finally caught up with our cruising blog – sorry it’s taken so long. We didn’t go boating last weekend and have postponed our trip up the Lee and Stort for a week while……well, let’s just say that the onboard greyhound count might have gone up a tadge!

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