09 April 2010
This was planned for a while but was one of those things you talk about well in advance then next thing, its next week. The plan was always to stop off in Queenborough perhaps visiting the museum at Chatham and this is exactly what we did. YOU MUST VISIT THE NAVAL DOCKYARDS, MUSEUM ETC AT CHATHAM. To stand in the very room where HMS Victory was drawn out full size fir the first time ........ We stayed at the Marina for one night then headed back toward Queenborough where we hung off a buoy the next evening, ready to catch the flood the next morning.
The trip up the Thames (past US Montgomery - eeeek !!!!!) was, I have to say, underwhelming. I dont know what I was expecting in reality - far more "broken" industry I think, and nowhere near as many Yuppie boxes as there are. Still, it really was quite something to go through the Thames Barrier (which confirmed our need to change the boat name), the Millenium Dome, and onwards to Tower Bridge. St Katharine's is a gem, despite the locking in procedure taking over an hour and having to lock in with another boat which, well, let's say, didn't somehow seem to kept under complete control. Still, being able to sit in the Dickens Inn overlooking your yacht with Tower Bridge in th e background is quite something, and be sure to pick up one of the leaflets the office hands out to the children - very informative I have to say and well worth the read. We did the touristy bits in London but skipped the bus tour (£26 per adult seems way over the mark, esp considering there are 2 and then 4 children). Still, a visit to Greenwich on the ferry was quite brilliant, the history incredibly humbling.
Neil and I revealed all in the lock on the way out of St.Kats re the Tower Bridge lift and I have to say, it was a fantastic thing to do. Visiting the Tower of London and Traitor's gate aged 11 is something I remember quite clearly. I never quite envisaged ever seeing it from this angle.
The trip downriver was quiet with little wind although we did manage a sail towards the end on the approach to the Medway. A lovely evening with the Morgana's, and a lazy mot/motorsail back to Shotley the next day rounded off a really great week.
Out : 111.7
Back : 88
Total : 199.7
YTD : 203.7