Sunday, 7 October 2018

A trip up the river

Once again I am very tardy in doing the blog but following a wonderful day out with friends I discovered that my camera hadn't been working properly and they came out as mini videos (definitely pilot error, I know) but it left me feeling very depressed.  However two things happened that cheered me up: my friend SewHappy sent me all her photos - wonderful and I suddenly found how to get one frame from each video and though it has taken time, I have some at last.

I have always wanted to go on the PS (Paddle Steamer) Waverley, from back in the days when the children were small and I was living near the Bristol Channel, but we never did, so when the opportunity arose to go up the Thames on her I signed us up.

We went by coach to Southend where we had a hasty lunch of fish and chips, before catching the little train that took us to the end of the 1.25 mile pier. A quick ice-cream (it was a glorious hot day with no wind) and then Waverley arrived.

I had hoped to have my 'Titanic' moment standing in the bow but I couldn't get there because it was full of ropes and a sailor!!

Then we were off and what a brilliant trip it was and at times I found it very emotional.
Good there is one lifeboat at least

The RNLI were interested in us
A container ship being loaded at Thames Gateway
We overtook 'Atlantis'
I must mention that during the entire trip up the Thames all sorts of ships and boats were giving us a toot.  Occasionally Waverley replied with a wonderful deep bass hoot that seemed to vibrate through the whole boat! We also slowed a one stage for a boat to come alongside to change River Pilots.
The Queen Elizabeth bridge

 I have crossed this bridge as part of the Dartford Crossing on my way to stay with my son in Kent so I was quite excited to be going under it

This bridge is one way going South on the M25. Coming back you cross through the original tunnels

and that upturned mushroom is one of the vents for the tunnel.  You can't see that from the road.
Going through the Thames Barrier

As you can see the sun is beginning to set but we chugged on up the river passing
Greenwich Palace
 What you can't see here is the Greenwich Meridian that lies behind the buildings on the hill.
The Cutty Sark
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf rose from the old docks of London and I regret I am old enough to remember the old Isle of Dogs and when my husband and I were courting we often went there with friends to eat and go to the pubs for the entertainment!!

Past the O2, now hemmed in by flats
Courtesy of SewHappy

and then further up river we came round a bend and there ahead was Tower Bridge all lit up against the setting sun.  A very moving moment for me.

The Waverley slowed right down and we waited; at this moment I felt that the ship was straining to go but couldn't and then slowly we edged forward and the Bridge started to open

and then we were through and at that moment the wonderful deep bass hoot was made and I like to think that it was the Waverley thanking the bridge for opening!

We were in the Pool of London in front of the Tower of London
The White Tower

and in the background was The Shard with HMS Belfast tied up.

This was the end of a memorable day out and another tick for the bucket list!!

On the crafty front I was asked to provide an item for Will's Family Box (remember, I used to look after him but he has just started school) so I decided on this
An ice cream complete with sprinkles!!
 and I have re-started knitting socks.  The first one was too big
but it has found a use as my brother in law has just had an operation on his ankle and is in plaster and this over-size sock covers the whole thing beautifully and keeps his toes warm!!!!