Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for November 4th, 2013

Boat Blog: A quick trip to Margaret Ness

Posted by indigodream on 4 November, 2013

Rewind to Sunday September 8th

Limehouse to Margaret Ness and back

nb Daedalus looking mighty fine coming onto the river..

nb Daedalus looking mighty fine coming onto the river..

Now here’s a long story I’d better tell!

Back in August, a boater got in touch via the Thames Cruising website asking whether anyone was interested in being their boating “buddy”ย  for cruise from Limehouse to the Thames Barrier. We replied that we might be interested if we could make the dates work and a plan was born!

The boat in question was nb Daedalus – Richard had been in touch with their crew, Simon and Pat and arrangements were ongoing. However, we unexpectedly met them on the Thames on our way downstream a few weeks ago. It was too good an opportunity to miss – we brested up quickly, had a chat with the crew and had a surreptitious eyeball inspection of their boat. We were relieved to find that the crew was experienced and had a wonderfully maintained boat that looked well able for the job – hurrah! We didn’t stay long, but we cruised on content in the knowledge that we’d have a good cruise with nb Daedalus today.

Now, we’re happy to “buddy up” with boats on the tideway, but cruising with Andrew Phasey of the St Pancras Cruising Club has made us more careful about just saying “yes” to any boat that asks. Everyone cruising in a convoy does so at their own risk, but supporting a boat that’s not fit for the tideway, or who has a crew that doesn’t take the tideway seriously could put Indigo Dream at risk so it seems sensible to take a few precautions!

Always an awesome sight....

Always an awesome sight….

We travelled up to Indigo Dream on Saturday night and went for supper in the Grapes. Ty and Ollie came with us and Ty launched a charm offensive – managing to schmooze Pat into giving him a big fuss, even though she’s a bit wary of big dogs – good for Ty!

The dinner was very sociable, but it also served as the safety briefing (another thing that we’ve learnt from the St Pancras Cruising ). As well as the maps and tideway booklets, we supplied Daedalus with a generic cruising plan for them to complete. We now produce an individual cruising plan for every tideway cruise using a single-page template that Richard designed. Some of it seems obvious, but it does make sure that we’ve covered (and ticked off) all the items on our “tideway checklist” which also includes super important things like coffee and remembering to disconnect shore power before leaving. They were kind enough to listen with due deference and attention – even though they have been out through Limehouse Lock before and have cruised the tideway upstream!

On Sunday, we had time for lunch and then locked onto the river in the afternoon. We locked out on the ebbing tide, so there was quite a drop onto the river and we turned downstream. It was a glorious afternoon and conditions were perfect. We soon got to the barrier and, with nb Daedalus’ agreement, carried on to Margaret Ness. This gave us the awesome view of the Barking Creek Barrier. It also gave us time to brest up to stem the tide and eat cake! Simon and Pat had been joined by daughter Helen (and her partner Chris) and some other boaters whose names I didn’t record – d’oh! Anyway, it was Helen’s birthday so it was her celebratory cake we were eating!

We stemmed the tide for a while, occasionally throwing out a floating fender to check the state of the tide (we had the tide times but there’s nothing like some “real world” confirmation that the tide has turned). At just past flat water, we set off upstream – we’d be too early to catch the sunset, but the afternoon light was more than enough and, by mutual consent,ย  we opened up the engines and raced up the tideway – believe me, there’s no chance of a narrowboat breaking a speed limit or creating excessive wash down here ๐Ÿ™‚

In no time at all we were back in Limehouse – with the tide running in, we passed upstream of the lock, turned back into the flow for more control and cruised right in (we’d been in regular contact with the lock-keepers since passing Hilton Ferry, just downstream).ย  As I recall, I did the lock entry, feeling the responsibility of doing it right since nb Daedalus might be following my lead. Though we had told them to use common sense and if Indigo Dream happened to hit something e.g. floating buoy, lock wall this was not the recommended procedure for them to follow ๐Ÿ™‚

As it happened, both boats entered the lock smoothly – the tide still had a long way to come is so it was quite a rise up to the marina. We found our respective mooring spots, packed the boat then popped by to say “goodbye” to Daedalus and give them a CD of photos (hmm must check that). We’d really enjoyed their company and hope that they have good end to their cruising year.

We wended our way home – we’d be having a break from cruising for 3 weeks as SIX of Sarah’s hounds were coming on holiday with us – but I’ll let Henry Beanz tell that story….

Photoblog:

After we'd shown them some photos of a narrowboat's fenders being washed, nb Daedalus sensibly rigged some "grab" ropes to support the crew on the tug deck..

After we’d shown them some photos of a narrowboat’s fenders being washed, nb Daedalus sensibly rigged some “grab” ropes to support the crew on the tug deck..

The Woolwich Ferries weren't running today - we missed our familiar dance!

The Woolwich Ferries weren’t running today – we missed our familiar dance!

Dry dock for the Woolwich Ferry - interesting!

Dry dock for the Woolwich Ferry – interesting!

Group photo - it was a great day!

Group photo – it was a great day!

We think this conveyor is taking spoil from the Crossrail works - nice to see the river being used in this way...

We think this conveyor is taking spoil from the Crossrail works – nice to see the river being used in this way…

Oops!

Oops!

No paddles at Limehouse - it's a nice thrill with which to end the cruise :-)

No paddles at Limehouse – it’s a nice thrill with which to end the cruise ๐Ÿ™‚

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