The weather in the days leading up to our St Katharine Dock cruise was very settled in terms of wind and the forecast for the days ahead was also very favourable albeit with a little rain for the first day.
The 11 boat fleet gathered at the Berney Arms on Saturday 6th July before setting off across Breydon for an 1130hrs Haven Bridge Lift. The rain came as forecast but the sea state was lovely as we made the short passage to Lowestoft and the RN&SYC.
We had a crew of 30 people in total across the 11 boats and we all met for briefing & drinks in the clubhouse before sitting down for dinner.
We left for London the following morning at 0900hrs in warm sunshine, making around 19 knots with the tide. The fleet performed faultlessly for the 130 mile passage leaving our support RIB and resident engineer to enjoy the sunshine and the sights. By 1300hrs we were well into the River Thames and made our way up through the Thames Barrier finally locking into St Katharine Docks at around 1630hrs.
It was then full on relaxing, socialising & sight seeing for the next 4 days as crews went their separate ways to museums, exhibits, theatres and restaurants. There were group trips too for those that wanted including a Comedy Store night at Leicester Square, Pie & Mash lunch, Boris Biking to Grenwich and on the last evening the whole group met at Gaucho’s restaurant on the South Bank for dinner.
On Friday morning we started locking the fleet out onto the river at 0845hrs. We just managed to fit all the boats into two locks and made our way down river. Once again we were blessed with warm sunshine. By the time we reached the sunk inner the North Westerly F3-F4 breeze was picking up a short chop but nothing to bother our competent fleet.
We arrived at Lowestoft late afternoon for a night before travelling the last 7 miles to Great Yarmouth and the Haven Bridge on Saturday morning.
There is always something very special about arriving in London on your own boat and this was certainly the feeling of our crews who enjoyed a very pleasant week.