Monday, August 18, 2014

London by Sea

London is a mere 2 hour drive from our home in Bury, but we haven’t spent much time exploring all it has to offer until earlier this summer. Of course we took the long way though, and made the trip by boat! Why spend 2 hours in a car when you can spend 4 days in a boat and get there in style? Arriving to London via the Thames was an amazing experience and a true adventure.  As an added bonus we had our sailing friends George and Susan from Atlanta joining us and  they brought beautiful weather with them. 

It was a wonderful 12 day trip complete with lots of sailing, lots of motoring, lots of sightseeing (more often than not at some type of nautical museum), many meals aboard, many meals out (more often than not at a fish and chips shop), and plenty of adventure. I’m afraid a re-cap would get too long, so I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. 

First night out on the river, so far so good!
We passed this boat on the way out to sea, I call it the Sponge Bob boat. 
George assessing the situation at the lock in Shotley marina, we became almost semi-pros by the end of the vacation!
Leaving Harwich amidst all the container ships, I was probably down below having a pint of Carlsberg to calm my nerves!
Keeping an eye out.
Eric took this picture of the wind farm through the binoculars.

Eric with pretzels.
The captain looks relaxed.
A few of the boats in our group anchored at Sharfleet creek on our 4th night out.
Eric had a chance to sail the mini Nani.
Then he went for a dingy ride and got kinda far away........until the engine quit. Luckily the tide brought him back nicely towards the boat.

Alex and George fixed the dingy engine. 
So we took it for  ride around the anchorage and got this shot of the beautiful sunset.
We motored up the Thames the next day.
The American flag attracted a bit of attention from the police. They were nice enough, and we went on our merry way!
The infamous Queen Elizabeth Bridge, we've sat in traffic going over this bridge several times and were happy to sail under it this time.
Cheers for making it past the bridge!
We sailed past miles of container loading docks, the Thames is very industrial until you are almost in the heart of London.
Going through the Thames Barrier.

George and Susan on the Cutty Sark 
Alex blending in with the locals at the Cutty Sark museum.
Another boat model? I lost track of how many models we saw............
We behaved like proper tourists and rode the cable cars.
View of Limehouse marina, our home for 3 nights.
We rode the double decker bus and saw all the sights in London, including this big guy.
Dingy ride around the marina. 
After leaving London, we went to Chatham marina on the Medway River. The boys went to another maritime museum, the girls went to lunch by the castle.
Alex bought a steam engine at an antique stall because  he didn't have enough toys to play with.
Early start on the way back to the Deben, sunrise on the Medway River.
We saw swans everywhere, these 2 beauties were having some fresh water at the last marina where we spent the night.
And a bit of bread from Eric!

Slow ride on the tide up the Deben towards home, thanks for coming George and Susan!