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mbird

A trip to London

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The Bank holiday weekend saw 28 boats converge on St Kats in London. The trip was organised by the Sealine owners club, but there were a few interlopers in non-Sealines, and several NBN forumites were present.

We headed out from Lowestoft to Haven Marina in Ipswich on Wednesday evening, with a following sea & tide which made for a comnfortable ride despite the 1m swell, arriving at about 8:30pm.

The following afternoon, Sue and I headed down to Shotley, leaving Happy Jax 3 and Job Done in Ipswich with other contingents of the fleet. We had decided to start from Shotley simply because we were the slowest boat so needed a head start.

After a nice meal and a pint with Gav and Annie in the Shipwreck on Thursday evening, we headed to bed for the early start on Friday. 4:30am seems far to early to start the day, but even so we were about 30 minutes late leaving Shotley lock at 6:00am for the cruise to London. We ran on our own for the majority of the journey, finally catching up with some of the fleet from Chatham around Gravesend. Unfortunately, our arrival was just behind HMS Ocean, with attendant tugs, and London VTS instructed us all we were to stay behind her all the way up the Thames. This meant our journey was a bit longer than anticipated as we had to cruise the 30 miles of the Thames at 8kts. We still arrived at St Kats in plenty of time to lock in, and were caught up by the rest of the fleet en route.

Arriving at St Kats was a mixture of trepidation and elation. Having heard a few horror stories of the locking in at the marina, we were pleasantly surprised by how efficient and organised it all seemed. Luckily, the organisers of the trip had liased well with St Kats, so we were the only ones locking through, and they accomodated all the boats in the central basin.

A great weekend followed, only marred by the weather, and the fact we lost an engine on entering Yarmouth yesterday afternoon on the return passage (head gasket suspected).

Here's a few pics of the trip

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Sounds a good trip Mark except the last bit!

Hope the issue is not too serious and you can resolve it quickly.

Good to get some serious passage work in on a new boat to build the confidence, from that point of view it seems successful.

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