Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for January 13th, 2013

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!

Photoblog:

Passing Crossrail's Limmo site at the bottom of Bow Creek. Looks like they have a crane setup so that all tunnel segments can come in by water

Passing Crossrail’s Limmo site at the bottom of Bow Creek. Looks like they have a crane setup so that all tunnel segments can come in by water

And this is even better. I think they had plans to put in a little railway to transport soil under the Lower Lee Crossing and then take it out by road but look conveyors and a new jetty, much better, well done Crossrail

And this is even better. I think they had plans to put in a little railway to transport soil under the Lower Lee Crossing and then take it out by road but look conveyors and a new jetty, much better, well done Crossrail

The "Oh my" moment as you see the expanse of the tidal Thames in front of you

The “Oh my” moment as you see the expanse of the tidal Thames in front of you

Lotus No. 10 just emerging from Bow Creek, she is a great looking boat with a serious engine

Lotus No. 10 just emerging from Bow Creek, she is a great looking boat with a serious engine

nb Salar's first trip on the tideway

nb Salar’s first trip on the tideway

Salar and lous No. 10

Salar and Lotus No. 10

Happy looking Frank

Happy looking Frank

Salar in the gloom!

Salar in the gloom!

The crew taking Indigo Dream through the barrier

The crew taking Indigo Dream through the barrier. Note Andy has both eyes open!

Another view of the barrier

Another view of the barrier

nb Salar just making her first trip through the barrier

nb Salar just making her first trip through the barrier

and looking confident

and looking confident

Ah yes, this was the moment that Sarah said "don't come up on deck now"

Ah yes, this was the moment that Sarah said “don’t come up on deck now” and yes no zoom just a little cropping to centre the photo

It's behind you .....

It’s behind you …..

Look at Salar go, wonder why ....

Look at Salar go, wonder why ….

In King George V lock

In King George V lock

Synchronised narrowboating at speed to get past the runway before the next plane landed. GPS suggests 6.2mph, wonder who was driving

Synchronised narrowboating at speed with three boats just a few feet apart to get past the runway before the next plane landed. GPS suggests 6.2mph, wonder what lunatic was driving

no comment

no comment

Our lock partners showing a fair turn of pace.

Our lock partners showing a fair turn of pace.

Happy faces ...

Go on give us a smile

Driving down alongside London City's runway

Driving down alongside London City’s runway

Andrew Phasey in the orange romper suit dolling out whisky

Andrew Phasey in the orange romper suit doling out whisky

Ah what a competent looking lot

Ah what a competent looking lot

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