Marathon excitement, and Yacht Nova’s progress


This year’s Marathon was another spectator event for us Greenwich folk, as the 49,000 runners stormed down the hill from the heights of Blackheath starting points towards the riverside flatter grounds, where the oncoming streams of starters blended into one constant flow of competitors.  This time, I remained glued to the TV coverage as helicopter cameramen twisted and turned to gain maximum coverage, zooming into the complexity of streets, avenues, promenades et al, revealing surprising new viewpoints to our familiar, local neighbourhoods as runners and spectators gave their all.

Before you could say Jack Robinson, the barriers and signage were whipped away into the waiting trucks as the last, exhausted runner passed by.  All the rubbish and abandoned clothing were whipped away to reveal the glory of the fresh green that Spring has so generously provided, just in time.


The next day being a Monday, the Thames was back at work with fleets of tug-drawn lighters removing the capital’s contaminated garbage and extra large barges conveying the spoil from the many tunneling working wharves of the super sewer, as well as the constant supplies of engineering items being delivered just in time.


It was a sudden shock to view the glamorous outgoing French cruise ship ‘Le Champlain’ passing by.  Her most unusual profile was almost identical to the O2 dome – perhaps containing many an exhausted marathon runner?  Also a pair of yankee yachts slipping down the tideway with stars and stripes stretched out in the chilly breeze.

Reports from Ramsgate on Jonathan Winter’s progress on his circumnavigation of the UK – he expects to be passing by my studio this week – that is if Storm Hannah has blown herself out!


Yacht Nova arrived in London and, after her lengthy passage up the Thames, moored in historic St. Katharine’s Dock which was full of posh motor cruisers and similar craft, as well as four majestic Thames Sailing Barges (which are available for charter).

The harbour Master allocated her a prime position in the crowded haven – a complete contrast to the isolated anchorages where she will seek shelter on her planned circumnavigation of the UK.

Nova and Marathon001

We welcomed them to our riverside house in Greenwich where we shared some local info about commercial and leisure activities on our busy tideway which ‘Riverwatch’ usually features.

The second section of her voyage will be up the East Coast calling at Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey (a favourite mooring for incoming and outgoing yachts) then up the coast, passing Harwich and Felixstowe, both gateways to UK trade, then up the River Orwell to Ipswich where she was built.  On her voyage north she will overnight at Hull where a suitable marina will provide creature comforts.  Then on to Whitby, a complete contrast and one of my favourites.  This will set the tone for her future endeavours as per Captain Cook.

About RiverWatch returns

Peter Kent shares his Thames riverside studio viewpoint

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