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Boat Blog: Jubilee Rehearsal (1)

Posted by indigodream on 31 May, 2012

The pageant organisers have kept “like with like” boats – I think that’s a great idea!

Note: I’m a week behind – again! I’ll have caught up after this post though 😦

From 18th May – 24th May

Epic days involving cruising, Lou starting chemotherapy and rugby at Twickenham – we will catch up with those event after the jubilee!

Friday 25th May

We were due to attend a briefing meeting for the pageant rehearsal at 7pm at the Cruising Association this evening and had our usual breathless rush to get there. We’d had our usual doggie dramas – Lou’s chemotherapy in the morning (intensive therapy for 8 weeks) then Poppy appeared to have become incontinent overnight, so that we the second vet visit! Luckily Lou is doing well and Poppy just has an ageing bladder which can be controlled with medication (which is working brilliantly!).

So we got to the briefing with minutes to spare and were stunned by the number of people there – the room was jam-packed! There were 24 boats taking part in Saturday’s rehearsal with another two joining us in Brentford for the Sunday. The briefing was excellent, but I spent the time groaning in despair – Saturday’s cruise sounded awesome but I’d be staying at home! Lou’s chemotherapy regime involved introducing a new drug a week after the first – it’s in the form of a tablet that she has to take every other day and it had to be started on Saturday – although we can administer this ourselves, because it was her first dose, she had to kept under observation for several hours afterwards.

Luckily we had plenty of crew – Sarah and Andy joined us on Friday night and treated me to an excellent chinese meal as a belated birthday treat. I’d spend my birthday last week travelling to and from the dog oncologist – not much of a celebration really! They stayed over on the boat with Richard, while I trailed home to see the hounds. I don’t begrudge Lou the care but I was gutted not to be taking part in Saturday’s events!

Saturday 26th May

Richard, Andy and Sarah were joined bright and early by Neil and Kath from nb Herbie and Amy from nb Lucky Duck. It was Amy’s first time on Indigo Dream, and on the tideway – having followed her blog for a long time, it was a great pleasure to welcome her on board.

I’ll let the photos tell the story – Neil has also posted a great account here.

Our photos seem to end at the barrier – either there are more on the camera or Richard became too busy in the galley to take photos – the day wasn’t even halfway through when the photos stop – including passing the floating belfry and practising mooring to buoys –

I joined the crew at Brentford in the evening, expecting to find them full of euphoria, but I’d forgotten how tiring a full day on the tideway can be, add to that the relentless, energy-sapping sunshine and everyone seemed a little subdued. However a good meal and some beer at the Weir pub soon revived them and I got a flavour of the day. Needless to say, I was even more gutted that I’d missed it – though I’m happy to report that Lou did not have any reaction to her new chemotherapy drug. This meant I was able to leave all four hounds with Nanny Renia and enjoy the cruise on Sunday….


Andrew Phasey – still cheerful despite the enormous amount of work that he’s had to do in order the ensure that the narrowboats are a creditable part of the pageant….

Jeremy, the senior lock-keeper at Limehouse, acknowledge friend to all narrowboaters and also smiling….

The crew of nb Scholar Gypsy doing some lockside planning at Limehouse…

Neil from nb Herbie – big smiles despite the early start…

Amy from nb Lucky Duck – more big smiles!

The ‘bend’ around the Isle of Dogs – the current sweeps passing boats toward the buoys – luckily Greygal has done this bit before and gave them a wide berth!

The Cutty Stark restored – doesn’t she look fine…

Neil looking a bit damp – you do get a bit of a splash on the front deck…

Classic view….

The new cable car crossing – they’re testing the gondolas at the moment – looks impressive against the blue sky…

The narrowboats look like fragments of flotsam and jetsam against the vast width of the Thames at St Margaret Ness…

The flood barrier at Barking Creek mouth – hard to believe you need a flood barrier when you see the creek down to mud at low tide…

The convoy on its way upstream – the river was a bit choppy around Barking…

The entrance to the Royal Docks looks almost derelict at low tide…

A demonstration of why a 360 degree lookout is so important….

The crew certainly tasted the sunshine – they were nicely grilled y the time I joined them in the evening!

Busy at the barrier….

Amy steering through the barrier…

Working on the cable car – you can add that to the list of “jobs I never want to do”….

I might be tempted to take a trip on the cable car – but only when they’ve worked out a better way of loading the cars 🙂

The crew….

The barrier at half mast…

5 Responses to “Boat Blog: Jubilee Rehearsal (1)”

  1. Lesley said

    Have I seen your ‘crew’ on Crimewatch??? A very piratanical lot they look!

  2. indigodream said

    No No Lesley, you’re quite mistaken, I’ve had a CRB check done and I have a certificate to prove that I am not an axe murderer (I was relieved to know!) – oh, hang on, I’m not in the photo….

  3. Roger Smith said

    I am sure some of the crew have been seen extracting monies from the public for old C* dogs!

    *C = circuit racing.

  4. Roger Smith said

    Wishing you good luck & weather for tomorrow.

    Don’t bump into anything flying a royal standard.

  5. nbsg said

    Belated thanks for the nice photo of my crew at Limehouse. I was working through my checklist Griff and Sal (on the right) had heard it all before, which is why they look a little disengaged

    Simon Judge
    NB Scholar Gypsy

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