Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

  • Blog Index as a pull down

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta

  • Recent Comments

  • wordpress counter

Boat Blog: Gravesend Adventure – familiar waters

Posted by indigodream on 5 June, 2013

Friday 31st May

Happy crew :-)

Happy crew πŸ™‚

Richard came to the boat early in order to the last of his engine checks and change the filters. We were very fortunate that the weather was set fair – the Webasto objected to the filter change so we didn’t have a boiler all weekend – luckily it wasn’t cold, but we were a bit short of hot water on Saturday morning until we could get the engine running. He’d also got “Limehouse Sid”, an engineer, to check over the engineΒ  – this was one trip where you really need to KNOW that your engine is in good order. Luckily she was fine πŸ™‚

There are many benefits to joining a convoy with the St Pancras Cruising Club (SPCC) – the immaculate organisation, the company, the focus on safety, and the cruising briefings held the night before the convoys. They’re always informative and entertaining, and are a great opportunity to ask questions and clarify arrangements. In order to waive the room hire, we all ate in the Cruising Association so it became a very convivial evening – especially when Sarah and Andy, the first of our crew, turned up with veteran cruisers Henry, Archie and Herbie, together with relative newbie Bertie.

Saturday 1st June: Limehouse to Barking Creek Mouth

We were a tad too relaxed this morning after being told that the convoy would start locking out of Bow at 8.45am – we were in the 5th locking so we weren’t expecting to get onto Bow Creek until around 9.30am. This left plenty of time for the resident crew, human and canine, to get up and dressed, and for our remaining crew Neil and Kath from nb Herbie then Doug and James from nb Chance to arrive; we were also joined by Kevin and Jan from nb Peace of Pearce. Nb Peace of Pearce had hoped to be doing the convoy themselves but their insurance company was very iffy about covering them; it was such a shame – our insurance company insured us without a quibble and just considered it as normal “tidal access” on our policy! It was lovely to be able to offer Kevin and Jan a place – it would prove to be a magical cruise and really one to share with as many boating friends as possible πŸ™‚

Ooops! Kath's face is a picture after being caught by a current and giving the mooring buoy a close shave! She was teased mercilessly for the rest of the afternoon but it can happen to anyone :-)

Ooops! Kath’s face is a picture after being caught by a current and almost giving the mooring buoy a close shave! She was teased mercilessly for the rest of the afternoon but it can happen to anyone πŸ™‚

We got everyone a coffee then moved onto the pump-out pontoon – the tank probably would have been ok, but with 10 people on board today and 8 tomorrow we didn’t want to take the risk – especially if the crew got nervous πŸ™‚

As often happens, I got busy on bacon sandwiches while we travelled up Limehouse Cut; we were expecting a wait at Bow Locks so we dawdled along. But when we got to Bow, Lenny the lock-keeper waved us on urgently – both gates were open – we cruised straight through! So much for the plan of letting the dogs off for an extra walk before the tideway – just as well we’d thoroughly emptied them in the park earlier….

Bow Creek was at it’s twisty best, with the water just starting to drain away – we would be cruising downstream with the ebbing tide. This made for a very fast passage – we seemed to get to our favourite landmarks in no time at all!

We were able to relax for this bit; we’d done it all before, the weather was perfect and the river was flat calm; there wasn’t any major traffic to worry us. Then suddenly we were at Barking Creek Mouth, with the lush green of Margaret Ness on the opposite bank. Dagenham beckoned and suddenly we were on new waters…

Photoblog:

We were surprised to see feet sticking out from under this bridge over Bow Creek - there are big works going on here :-)

We were surprised to see feet sticking out from under this bridge over Bow Creek – there are big works going on here πŸ™‚

Going through the Thames Barrier - we must have seen the whole range of shapes and sizes of craft on the river this weekend.

Going through the Thames Barrier – we must have seen the whole range of shapes and sizes of craft on the river this weekend.

Worried about cruising the tideway? Our crew wasn't!

Worried about cruising the tideway? Our crew wasn’t!

One of the rowers that shared the river with us today - they're rowing around Britain.

One of the rowers that shared the river with us today – they’re rowing around Britain.

Small boats, big river - that's the Barking Creek flood barrier in the distance...

Small boats, big river – that’s the Barking Creek flood barrier in the distance…

r_Gravesend-01Jun13-036

You don’t need a big boat to cruise the big river – nb Panacea is only 33′ but is veteran of many a tideway adventure…

Cooling water outfall for Barking Reach power station - we're not sure whether it's still in use but there's more information about the modern power station here - http://www.barkingx.info/

Cooling water outfall for Barking Reach power station –Β  there’s interesting information about the modern power station here – http://www.barkingx.info/ Look at the environmental impact section – they have a strategy to stop the cooling system from damaging fish in the river, including migratory salmon…

4 Responses to “Boat Blog: Gravesend Adventure – familiar waters”

  1. Halfie said

    Excellent “oops” photo!

  2. Kristel said

    An awesome trip and I especially liked the photos of your hounds on James and Amy’s blog. We would love to do something like this but fear our old BMC engine wouldn’t cope on tidal rivers.
    You may remember I recently contacted you for advice about greyhounds adapting to narrow boat living. Following your kind response we have now adopted a lovely black and white girl from the Retired Greyhound Trust. Freya is settling in well and is one of the most gentle and chilled out dogs we have ever met. She seems to like the boat and quickly mastered getting on and off. I hope she’ll be ok travelling although we are only planning short trips this year. Where did you buy the life jackets for your dogs as they look greyhound specific?

  3. Sue Cook said

    The life-jackets are not greyhound specific and we bought ours at various boat shows, though they are available in many chandleries also.

    We have two types on board, but my favourite is made by Baltic because they’re not quite so bulky. I think we have the “large” size on board – greyhounds are awkward to size because they have deep chests but dainty waists. I can check that next time we’re on board, though that won’t be for a few weeks….

    I’m so pleased that you’ve adopted a greyhound – they are the most wonderful companions. I don’t know where you’re based, but you and Freya are welcome to cruise with us – we’re be doing at least three more tideway cruises in June/July (though not as far as Gravesend!). As you’ve probably gathered, Ty and Ollie are very relaxed about having guest hounds on board πŸ™‚

  4. Kristel said

    Thank you for your kind invitation which I hope we will be able to take up at some point in the future. We have a busy summer ahead with work to do on the boat and family visiting from Canada.
    Our lovely narrowboat is moored on the Rochdale canal near Hebden Bridge and we have a house in Sheffield. We try to spend as much time on the boat as possible but sadly don’t cruise as often as we’d like.
    I have looked at the Baltic life jackets online and agree they don’t look bulky. Our previous dog had a large chest and we struggled to find a life jacket he was comfortable in.
    If you could send me your email address I will send some photos of Freya and our boat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.