Bright sunshine, sudden showers with gales

Deciding when to write Riverwatch is a challenge indeed.  To pick the time and tide to suit is getting more of a problem as we burst into stormy August when the tripper boats are again out in full strength. I feel sorry for the open deck vessels as per City Cruises, whose fleet has recently changed hands as directors decide to retire.  Their fleet was updated to celebrate the millennium, and now have all lost their red and white and become blue and white.  Their latest still provide an expansive open deck with commentary too!  (plenty of room below deck if downpours strike again).

It’s great to see at least party boats and wedding parties return to the tideway after those boring two years – here again all resplendent in fresh paintwork, one or two newcomers floodlit to the hilt, some of the oldcomers rejuvenated to make the best of the ‘Summer’ delights. 

Today’s ‘spotting’ treated us to ‘Tenacious’ – a tall ship out of Southampton, its coloured crew fitted out for the frequent downpours, making the most of everything come what may.  Also two fine yachts joined the ebb an hour before, making most of the following wind as they navigated round the twists and turns of Greenwich Reach (one blue ensign to their red duster!!).

I wonder how the threatened skyscraper at Morden Wharf, with its accompanying new neighbours halfway up the Peninsula, will affect navigation, especially the extra-large lighters carrying super-sewer tunnel spoil away from Creekside and other riverside sites.  Our shrunken highways are beyond a joke while the new Uber boats run noticeably empty.  Another giant bit of plant is almost ready to go – half obscuring our view of the O2 which has sprung into new life.

I wonder how the oncoming fleet of necessary bulk carriers will bring back memories of the giant, gleaming white newsprint ships arriving at Convoys Wharf from Scandinavian forests.  Down at Deptford’s vast empty waterside, Convoys awaits site development to balance the Morden Wharf high rise proposals.

About RiverWatch returns

Peter Kent shares his Thames riverside studio viewpoint

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