A truly marvellous day’s boating up the tidal Thames. A nice morning’s journey down from Kings Cross to Limehouse basin meeting previous Tyseley boat captain, Dan Wexler as we went past his home mooring at Wenlock Basin with surprise guest, Mikron board member, Ruth Carter. Interesting and historical trip through East London on the canal and then waiting in Limehouse basin for the correct tide and left in our little flotilla at 5.45 pm which consisted of Tyseley with Mikron team and our guardian angel Ian Tuplin, for moral support and nautical know how. Midnight Rambler with Dan, Ruth and – another nice surprise – ex Mikron actors, Ruth Cateroche and Rob Took. Del Brenner and crew on Tug Boat ‘Major’ from the London region IWA. And little wooden launch, ‘Club Claret’ with Commodore Clive Evans and crew – friends of Gemma’s from the Brentford Cruising Club.
As the waters equalized the Thames crashed through the lock doors and we were off like a bucking bronco with a Thames Clipper immediately sweeping past at high speed and giving us plenty of wash to cope with. Tysleley never felt unbalanced though and ploughed through and over the waves with no difficulty whatever. It was great to pass all the famous London landmarks along the river – Tower Bridge, The Globe, The Wheel, The houses of Parliament. With working out which bridge arch to use and with so many large fast river craft behind, beside and before it was difficult to take in all the sights but the exhilaration of the sun, the churning water and the rocking boat was a superb experience. All too soon the river was less crowded and less choppy and we were up at Battersea on the long stretch up to Teddington. We made good time with no problems. Ian had brought a huge brie and this washed down with Pimms was an excellent fortifying combination for the crew until we managed at last to find haven at Teddington and finished the day with Cobra beer and curry. Thanks to all who helped on this exciting part of the trip – all of the above and not least the Hillingdon Narrow Boat Project for the loan of 5 excellent life jackets.