Here’s Peter Kent submitting yet another Riverwatch report
The ebb and flow of the Thames invites leisure craft to get up and go, especially when the SW winds blow setting the sailing craft from Ahoy off for a spin downstream, the escorting tender and youngsters at the ready for a sail back to base at Deptford HQ.
A classic yacht motored down from St Katherines Marina, escaping to open waters away from the capital. A long Dutch houseboat headed upstream from her winter quarters on her way to moorings beyond the capital perhaps. Another classic sailing craft of Dutch origin headed downstream alongside ‘Devout’ – one of our local tugs – on to a summer mooring.
Also using the ebb, our only sand ballast ship plying the tideway on her daily mission heads downstream from Fulham to just beyond Gravesend where she will load another cargo of freshly de-salted, sea-dredged aggregate from the Thames Estuary. Remarkable to think of that Foulness sand bank passing by…
John Greenleaf used to run the Prior fleet out of my home port of Colchester (Fingringhoe Wharf just opposite Wivenhoe) – a daily service to Brewery Wharf on Deptford Creek, where the cement mix was added and then dispatched to building sites here abouts.
As a lad I used to cycle around the Fingringhoe pits – an adventure playground – and wave goodbye to the loaded coasters London bound. Alas, this historic daily service is no more.
Tug ‘Devout’ returns to base after her 50-minute job.