We knew it! We knew something was afoot yesterday. Mum had us up & out early then scarey things started happening with lifejackets, nav lights, anchors & VHF radios. OMG I think we’re going out to sea. Here’s mum all ready to set off we’re hiding inside.
Apparently we’re going on a tidal cruise. Get this only out through the Blooming Thames Barrier. And apparently we’ve had to take out extra boat insurance for this as normally we’re not covered seaward of the Barrier. Gulp we’re going SEAWARD!!!!
The Cruise has been organised by the marvellous St Pancras Crusing Club & we’are part of a convoy of ten boats. So without further ado we were in batch two of three in Limehouse lock. Three boats in together lowered down onto the River Thames & it was full steam ahead and out onto the river. Mum was very excited. We were not! We hung a left & cruised past the O2 & the cutty sark.
Next came the exciting bit as we approached the barrier the front boat radioed in to find which span we were to go through. This became very important as a huge dredger ship thing came up the right hand side of us & through the next span. It dwarfed us. Here’s us approaching the barrier & just past it and the map of our route.
After all that excitement we had we had a relatively gentle cruise to St Margaretness where we hovered waiting for the tide to turn. Then we retraced our path back, past Limehouse lock & many sights of London. There was a lot of boat traffic here & our narrowboat felt very little bobbing around in the wake of some of the bigger faster vessels. We were not happy with all the up & down & were on the settee clinging on for our lives! I can’t believe mum did this to us.
We popped above board to check what was going on but didn’t like the look of it at all so ran inside.
But unfortunately things were about to get worse. The boat in front of us lost power so as per our safety briefing we went to go alongside. We git the stern ropes attached but weren’t quick enough with the bow ropes & we were being taken down river in a V shape heading forthe pillar of Vauxhall bridge. Luckily the guys on the powerless boat let us loose they went through the arch sideways safely but we hit it head on at speed. It was a massive bang & everything fell out if the cupboards & all the boxes of Doggie stock were all over the floor. Although it was horrendous hitting the bridge so fast the fender took a lot of the impact & it was much better than swiping it sideways. We watched helpless as the other boat carried on down river until it got halted sideways on one of the enormous buoys. By this time one of the more experienced boats from the back was also com8ng across to help so they waved us on & they stayed to help with the rescue when the PLA turned up. All crew of all boats were safe & the other boat was towed to Brentford where it’s engine was fixed. For some reason mum never got any photos of all this!
After all the panic we were soon on much calmer waters heading past Brentford & Richmond to Teddington our destination for the night. Boy we’re we glad to see dry land & jump off for cockaleggies!
Mum & auntie Heather went off to the pub for tea & we fell asleep still swaying.
Just as we felt we’d fallen asleep after mum gut back from the oh. The alarm clock was going. 5am it was! What sort of time is that for making is go out for walkies. This is us not at all happy about it. And if that’s not bad enough we’re only going back on that stupid river again. All I can say is there’d better be no crashes today!
We assumed brace positions inside & we were off & out through Teddington lock. It was a much smoother cruise with a lot less traffic & hence wash on the way back.
The only hairy bit was the turn into Limehouse Lock as we went past it then turned so we were approaching it slowly against the current. Mum had to give it loads of welly to get round the corner but she did really well & didn’t crash. We moored back up on the pontoon & were soon off on walkies & rolling all over Auntie Heather in the park!
Oh how glad we were to see dry land. Not sure we’ll be doing that tidal stuff again. Mum loved it though & is muttering about wanting to go up past Teddington on the River Thames next. Well she can flipping well go on her own. Me & Cosmo are going on strike!
Mum says we have to thank some prople firstly auntie Heather for being our experienced crew member helping mum, secondly all our fellow mad intrepid Thames Tidalway cruisers for their companionship & camaraderie & thirdly to Andrew & Frances the cruise organisers for giving us such a wonderful exciting opportunity.
Pah! Just so long as we stick to sedate canals from now on.
Yours Cosmo the Wuss & Daquiri the Wimp!!