Buoys that go bang in the night
The Tall Ships Festival certainly created four days and nights to remember. Despite the usual appalling bank holiday weather, the final sail by on Monday afternoon provided a spectacle for those brave enough to face the elements.
Down here in Crane Street my open pop-up studio exhibition was also a damp squib. Stalwart neighbours and friends gathered on our ‘top deck’ to review the fleet and we had much pleasure including a Kiwi young family from across our street. The two boys revelled in the flooded pathway – the result of sloppy building practices (blocked drains wit brick and cement dust) that gave our determined visitors a very wet welcome, but all enjoyed our cosy viewing top floor studio space. The fleet based at Woolwich sailed up-stream through the barrier and past the O2 to congregate up at Limehouse and sail in company in review order, giving us all a unique annual experience.
The mother ship ‘Dar Mlodziezy’ remained at anchorage at the so-called Tall Ship Island and had two further days of receptions serviced by the Thames Clipper. Visitors had direct access onto Santa Maria Manuela from Portugal as well as the giant ‘Dar’ from Poland. Each visitor was provided with a booklet which was crammed with information and two sketches which I had dreamt up two weeks before the event.
Dar Mlodziezy’s very early morning departure in pre-dawn darkness provided even more excitement for her immediate neighbours when one of the moorings failed, creating an alarming bang – so I was told!! However, the PLA vessel ‘Hookness’ amended the buoyage layout ready for the next visitor at Greenwich Tier. The aged Hookness PLA maintenance buoy barge is about to be replaced by London Titan.