Summer Maritime events

The Thames has been awash with maritime events with the Dutch Tall ships cruising up and down the tideway and with an impressive firework display fired every evening form a ‘lighter’ (got it!!) anchored just off the Trafalgar – we have never seen such a dramatic show and hopefully we will be seeing a mass of images in the year ahead prior to next summer’s Tall Ship event.

Meanwhile down at St Katherine’s Dock yachts have been preparing for the Clipper Round the World Race – which consists of an eight leg course of 40,000 miles in all!!

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston will again be master minding the event – just the chap to do it too!!

Sir Robin has done it himself on numerous occasions and his yacht ‘Suhali’ was a major exhibit in the Neptune Hall at the NMM for many a year, under his leadership of the Friends of the NMM. I enjoyed sharing his enthusiastic charm while I served on the council. His direct but charming authority steered the cross section of the membership for many a year.

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I thought that the Martians had arrived from outer space this morning as a solar driven craft made her way into West India Dock, flying a Swiss flag as well as a courtesy red duster and an extra pilot’s flag. The ultra streamlined deck/fuselage was covered in solar panels all elevated above the waves on four sea plane floats. Whilst on the DLR I saw her moored amongst the other, bold new world architecture of Canary Wharf.

Across the river on Island Gardens there have been rumblings of discontent at progress on refurbishment of the foot tunnel at a cost of £11.5m. This has stirred into action a group of friends who will meet on September 5th at 7pm at The 10 Centre, 29 Tarves Way, SE10 9JU.

Also plans threaten the verdant gardens with development – more anon.

About RiverWatch returns

Peter Kent shares his Thames riverside studio viewpoint

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