Thursday, November 17, 2011

Herbie Awards 2011 - Nominations for Best Day’s Cruise on Someone Else’s Boat.

This year we’ve been lucky enough to tag along for the ride on the boats of friends on three very special occasions.  They should all win an award, but there is only one to spare.  Which will it be?

1. January aboard Indigo Dream as guests of the ever generous Sue and Richard and other boats from the St Pancras Cruising Club on their tideway cruise to the Royal Docks.  Up the Lea from Limehouse, out through Bow Lock onto Bow Creek to Greenwich and down the Thames, through the Thames barrier, dodge the Woolwich ferry and into the giant Royal Docks with the City Airport jets landing along side us.  A cruise which very few narrowboats ever make.  After the big winter freeze, the weather was kind to us and once we got over being terrified, it was great.

I had a rather neat idea for showing the route on the blog!  I think we should call it the EastEnders Cruise

and took a million photographs.  here are just a few.

Narrowboats look very small
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and the Woolwich ferry looks very big
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and as for the Royal Docks – blimey!- this is inside the dock
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2. Next, in June,  came the Braunston Historic Boat Rally where we blagged a lift with Sarah and Jim on the mighty Chertsey as part of the Saturday parade of boats. I think it would be fair to say that progress was rather slow as we took about four hours to travel a mile, but a lot of fun was had by all.  Suffice it to say that there were a lot of boats in a small space.

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It wouldn’t have been so difficult if boats hadn’t been coming in both directions and if that wasn’t alongside a row of moored boats.  Sarah did brilliantly (including a perfect three point turn) and we didn’t sink a single other boat.

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No-one expected it to take quite so long and I think it’s the only time I have been on a boat where the skipper went ashore for a pee without stopping the boat or handing over the tiller!  With all the banter between boats, the passengers,  and the gongoozlers, (not to mention the lovely weather) it was a day to remember. 

3. Finally in September the first rehearsal of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames Flotilla (narrowboat section). Once again we were hosted by Sue and Richard aboard Indigo Dream (we are indeed honoured) for another spectacular.   In terms of chaos this rivalled the Braunston Rally, although we did manage to cover a good number of miles.  This was our first trip past Westminster and all that and everyone’s first trip as a flotilla.  As ever Richard was the epitome of calmness and Sue the perfect hostess. 

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Of course the event was special and the scenery legendaryIMG_0455 (1024x507)
The cruise was memorable in so many ways, but perhaps most of all for the scariness of the force of the tide in some parts, as demonstrated by Nb Leo
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What lucky people Kath and I are.  Three brilliant and special cruises in one year, all hosted by fellow bloggers.  many thanks to Sue, Richard, Sarah and Jim.  But which was the best?  Which will win the award for Best Day’s Cruise on Someone Else’s Boat?

I feel another sleepless night coming on.


Bella said...

The picture of your little boat battling the waves is an epic one. I think this is the winner; please may I vote for this one?

Neil Corbett said...

Well it's not my boat! But I do like the picture and it must be a contender for best photo on the blog this year.

Halfie said...

Uh-oh, it's that famous scary photo again (shudder). I love the way the water streams past the button fender like a jelly from a mould.

You're in an invidious position now, Neil, having to choose between two sets of hosts!

Kathryn said...

Neil - Just love the photo of my beloved Leo No2 - so much so that I now have a 2' x 2' copy on my wall with four small versions of the 'before' and 'after' so put it in context. I am pleased I was 60' away and not able to see it all happen.