Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for June, 2012

Boat Blog: Jubilee Day (10)

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Sunday June 3rd – 9.40pm

We have just this minute moored up in West India Dock – we are satisfied but exhausted!

It has been an awesome day, but I think it will take many days, even weeks, in order to absorb the whole experience. To say nothing of how long it will take us to get the hundreds of photos off the camera and then collect photos that others have taken of the boat!

We are eternally grateful to Andrew Phasey for commanding the whole process so ably and maintaining his good cheer throughout; and there are not enough words of thanks for our crew, who have stepped into the breach so many times over the last few weeks as I’ve been called out to deal with sundry hound crises.

No doubt we’ll blog again soon, but after a busy 14-hour day I’ll sign off an catch up with you after 14 hours of sleep (and maybe a beer or two) πŸ™‚

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Boat Blog: Jubilee Day (9)

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Sunday June 3rd – 5.47pm

What an amazing day!

Margaret and I have taken turns to wear the Homer suit but we maintained our station, in the rain for the whole procession!

I now have a lifetime first – we were within yards of the queen and I saluted her (in my Homer costume) and gave her a deep bow. According to my minder the queen smiled, waved and nudged Price Phillip to look!

Whether or not that’s been picked up by the media I have the privilege of knowing that I have bowed to queen while wearing a greyhound costume!!!!

The rain since Albert Bridge has been truly awful – the Homer suit is soaked through and my minders got wet before they put their waterproofs on, but it was all worth it.

We now have a long wait on the river before we lock back into West India dock for the night – we may try to get some photos up tonight but we can’t guarantee their quality – everything we own is wet!

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Boat Blog: Jubilee Day (8)

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Sunday 3rd June – 3pm

We are underway in formation and proceeding very slowly to the “start point” – nonetheless I’ve been out in my greyhound costume – there are enough crowds upriver to make it worthwhile.

We’ve had a few call of “what are you?” and “are you a womble?” – Sarah (my minder) has put them straight!

It’s all so very exciting – can’t imagine what it will be like when we get to the major crowds at Battersea Park!

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Boat Blog: Jubilee Day (7)

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Sunday 3rd June – 2pm

Crew fed, watered and warmed up – we’ve had our 30 minute warning – time for the crew to visit the necessary then we’ll have the 10 minute warning, 1 minute warning and we’re off…

The crew say that if there was a competition for the most calories on a boat we’d win hands down -what they don’t realise is that they’ll wave those calories off when we get to the BIG crowds….

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Jubilee Day (6) – Photoblog Blackfriars to Chiswick

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Stop Press, we move in 15 minutes!!!

Approaching the Houses of P, getting drier but slowly!

Wheel rolling

Band playing in the rain and still sounding really good

believe me it is wet, yet these guys could be in the Albert Hall

Incoming ….

Approaching Vauxhall

As seen on Crimewatch

Also impressive

Floatiing Belfry (1)

Floating Belfry (2)

Quick hide folks

Wyn taking us past Battersea Power Station

Spirit of Chartwell but sadly a poor photo as the rain re-started

Gloriana obviously passed her stability tests last month

Approaching the Barnes Elms moorings

This will be the first boat to move (may even be moving as I type as we have just got our 30 minute warning and will be starting about 10 minutes early)

I liked this

Rowing boats getting into position

Weave through that Sue

On our mooring bollards waiting for Romeo to call us up.

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Boat Blog: Jubilee Day (5)

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Sunday 3rd June – 12 noon

Wandsworth/Barn Elms is THE place to be – there are a huge number of boats here and we’re starting to get an idea of the scale of the event.

The rowing boats are starting their long toil downriver – we’ve just seen a Samoan?? rowing boat – they are doing a loud and distinctive “Hakka” style chant – without the arm actions of course, that would put them off their stroke πŸ™‚

Photos to follow when we’re moored up…..

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Boat Blog: Jubilee Day (4)

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Sunday 3rd June – 11am

We have just had the most amazing cruise through the heart of London – there are already hundreds of people thronging the banks and waving from riverside balconies. The hordes are in very good spirits consider that they are huddled under umbrellas and it is quite chilly! We have had the unique experience of being cheered enthusiastically asΒ  we cruised past and our arms are already aching with the effort of waving.

There are craft large and small moving into place for the pageant – we were overtaken by the floating belfry going upstream – it is huge! I’m only sorry that the bells weren’t ringing when they went past. We met them again as they came downstream to take station near the Royal barge which will carry the queen. The Spirit of Chartwell herself is a magnificently gaudy confection of gold leaf and deep red velvet – opinion was divided – was she totally tasteless – well maybe, but also perfectly suited to purpose πŸ™‚

There bands playing on various boats, someone in our flotilla has a bugle and the church bells were pealing across the water as was passed under Battersea Bridge.

We are now just coming up to Putney Bridge and there is a debate going on as to whether there’s enough water for to get upriver to our holding moorings. It sounds as if we’re going to be weaving through the centre of the moorings at Barn Elms Reach – it’s all very exciting!

Oh, and the river is as calm as a millpond – it’s finally stopped raining and there may be a hint of brightness in the cloud cover behind us – could the sun be making an appearance soon????

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Jubilee Day (3) – Photoblog from West India to Blackfriars

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Already a fantastic cruise and this is just us moving into position!

Entering the lock at West India

Bacon & Egg please

Getting ready to leave

and they are off!

It is a little wet at the moment ….

Discovery gave us a blast of her horn, made our efforts sound a little on the quiet side

Has that lady got any clothes on?

Approaching Tower Bridge

Passing Tower Bridge

and Belfast

Avenue of Sail ships are gorgeous

Bankside and the Wobbly Bridge


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Boat Blog: Jubilee Day (2)

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Sunday 3rd June – 9.15am

40 narrowboats rafted up in West India Lock was a colourful sight – and atmospheric too! The President’s steam, the mist and old cranes overlooking the lock made it seem like a Turner paining – moody and dramatic.

The drop onto the river was certainly dramatic – a full 5 metres (around 15 feet in old money) but there was no drama – even as we entered the bumpy tideway at 8.30am. We thought we were in for a rough ride, but no sooner were we turned upriver than the waters calmed. We’ve actually had the quietest passage around the Isle of Dogs ever. I wonder whether this is the effect of having the barrier closed and no tide running.

This meant that we could enjoy the passage past enormous cruise ship “Discovery”, moored on the buoys at Greenwich. As we passed by, the great ship blew its mellow horn in salute and the lucky passengers waved us by. The narrowboats responded to the salute with their own horns but they weren’t quite as loud! There are already people on their riverside balconies to watch us go by. This has been very helpful as the crew is able to warm up their waving muscles ready for the main event!

At 9.30am we passed the notorious “Prospect of Whitby” pub – site of many a dark deed and probably witness to the last big big flotilla on the river 350+ years ago….

We’re now going past the avenue of sail – hands are waving, horns are blowing – there’s already a great atmosphere on the river, despite the weather!

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Boat Blog: Jubilee Day (1)

Posted by indigodream on 3 June, 2012

Sunday 3rd June – 8am

The Indigo Dreamers are wide awake and living the dream this morning – our enthusiastic onboard crew were up at 6am, we were joined soon after by the Herbie’s, who’d had an epic early morning drive down from Crick; by 6.30am Steve and Margaret were aboard and we were ready for….coffee!

We peeled away from West India Dock wall at 7.20am and are now hovering outside the gargantuan lock onto the river. The Thames barrier is due to close at 9am but we’re moored upstream so they can’t stop us now πŸ™‚

The weather is a bit damp but the apocalyptic overnight rain has stopped and it is quite calm now that we’re out of wind tunnel created by Canary Wharf’s tall towers.

The gathered flotilla of decorated narrowboats are a wonderful sight – we’ve just had the treat of seeing Prsident come steaming past at speed – it’s already a special day and it’s barely started.

Our bunting is a little soggy but our spirits are high – we have waterproofs, coffee, tea and lots of food – and that’s all a narrowboater needs!

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