A day like no other - Christobel proudly took her place in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant!
The slideshow above should give you a feel for how it felt to be part of the celebrations! Yes it was damp and even a bit windy but that did not dampen our enthusiasm. It was a privelidge to be involved and we recevied our own royal wave through the deluge.
After an exhausting day on Sunday Christobel is now making her way home. She'll soon be back on her mooring in Sonning and ready for you to enjoy the pleasure of travelling in style along the river Thames.
Diamond Jubilee Pageant Click here for Photos
Christobel heads to London
We've been busy sprucing up the old lady ready for her London debut: she's had a lick of paint on her roof; some of the decking was taken off and sanded down; a good friend supplied wonderful inlays for a few of the panels; and then all the wood was lovingly varnished.
The inside panels of the rear hatch have been inlaid with camford burl, very smart!
Maintaining a 101 year old boat is a labour of love and skipper John spent many, many hours making sure that everything was perfect, ready for when Christobel takes her place alongside the other "historic & service boats" in the Pageant this weekend.
Captain's Log - The Day of the Pageant!!
The log will be uploaded soon.......
The passengers for the day, all decked out in appropriate dress for an Edwardian picnic.
Christobel at the end of the Pageant, tied up at West India Dock with hundreds of the other boats which took part in the proceedings.
Captain's Log - Day 4
Full breakfast cooked this morning for the crew who have been working on the boat to make her shipshape for our scrutineering inspection and security checks today - if we don't comply with the long list of requirements we will not be able to take part in the Pageant so apprehension in the air today. Especially as I was told that three boats failed yesterday.
I spoke with our U.T.M.Y.C. Commodore Dave Biggins who is also in the parade along with fellow club member Linda Crocker to compare notes. The whole process today seems long and slow with much waiting around but the wait was worth it. I am delighted to report that Christobel and her crew were passed this afternoon and all the months of planning have paid off we now we make our way down to the Tideway to take up our mooring in Barnes which is our starting point for Sunday.
The tideway is somewhere I rowed in my younger days so I am aware of its strong currents and effects the wind can bring on this large expanse of open water. Christobel handled the windy conditions perfectly and with myself at the helm and expertise of Neil we moored successfully on our open water mooring.
Woke at 6am our dog Humphrey eager for his walk this morning.....which I accompanied him on after which he was fed and then returned to his bed to snooze!
Enjoyed listening to Radio 2 with much talk of the Pageant. First mate Clare was interviewed by Chris Evans on the breakfast show about our part in the Pageant.
We slipped our mooring at Shepperton making our way to Teddington calling in at Shepperton Marina to take on water and petrol. We enjoyed any excellent lunch at The Mitre Hotel at Hampton Court where we were joined by friends Judith & Andy Leask. Weather today windy and overcast. At 2.30 we left Hampton Court to push on. We arrived above Teddington lock to be greeted by our Pageant Section Leader and many helpful other boaters who helped us to moor. Suddenly seeing all the historic boats from the Upper Thames gathered together, the enormity scale and honour of our place in this historic Pageant hit home.
We chatted with others excitement mounting and the atmosphere very tangible. We enjoyed a drink with Jan and Norman from Off Duty and compared notes regarding our forthcoming scrutineering by the Port of London Authority. First mate Clare left Christobel today in order to pick up Ben and Neil whom she delivered to Christobel at 11.30 pm along with t'he all important safety equipment brought by Neil. Cabin dog Humphrey leaves the boat this evening as there is no possibility of walks or doggy comfort breaks from now on.
Bed down at midnight all very tired.
We slipped our moorings from Bray at 9.15 am and made our way through Windsor in stunning sunshine. Enjoying viewing the castle from the river.
On our journey we have joined a privately owned 1897 passenger boat called Gayiety also in the Pageant in the working historic boat section and we have enjoyed sharing our excitement with her skipper Giles and his family who are on board. We both stop at Kris Cruisers in Datchet at 10.45 am to take on water, calor gas and supplies.....lovely fresh burgers supplied by The Deli in the High Street for the bbq later.
We cast off at 12 noon and continued down river, Gayiety left us at Staines Upon Thames to moor up, we continued to Shepperton where we welcomed friends Jo Relfe and her son Will and daughter Hannah on board. We enjoyed our first jug of Pimms on board this season -Will and Hannah had Lemonade! After our visitors left we had any early supper at the Thames House Village Inn and retired to our bunks for a good nights sleep.
We have been heartwarmed by so many people's positive interest and support of Christobel on her journey and all the smiles and pleasure from all the lock staff as we make our way to the Pageant.
Tomorrow we arrive at Teddington Lock for our Security Checks and we are joined by our family members Neil and Ben Chipping who own Splash Adventure - Neil is a Yachtmaster and runs RYA courses - so his skills on the tideway will be very useful amongst 1000 boats along with another pair of eyes and crewing skills of Ben.
With first mate Clare and cabin dog Humphrey safely aboard we slipped our moorings at Sonning on Tuesday 29th May at 11.10am waved off by our cabin boy Jeremy who will be joining Christobel in London. We start our journey down river making for London to be part of the historic Queens Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
We had glorious weather hot and sunny on our first day and made good progress with all the locks on route being favourable to us as we didn't have to wait to enter any of the 9 locks we completed on day 1 of our journey.
We stopped for an hour at the Flower Pot Inn (near Remenham) for lunch, making use of their mooring Pontoon which was available.
We continued down river in perfect conditions and stopped at our dear friend Pauline Turners lovely riverside home Long White Cloud on Monkey Island (Pauline offers a unique bed & breakfast to our passengers that choose to take our full weekend charter) we enjoyed a champagne afternoon tea with her from her terrace overlooking the quiet backwater of the Thames before leaving for our overnight mooring at Bray Marina where we enjoyed the hospitality of the Bray Marina Brasserie.