Hope for the best

Not a year goes by without visiting London. Very early today, actually in the middle of the night, at 02:00 the pilot boarded the vessel and we started to sail up the river Thames. The first hour we had remainder of the ebb tide against us. But even before we really had the feeling of sailing up a river it became flood tide already. The idea is to enter the West India Dock’s locks upon slack tide.

THE two shores of the river Thames

It is something different to enter a country 50 miles off the shoreline. We notice different animals, as you'll rarely encounter cows at sea. And we hardly ever see herons in the ports that  we enter. It's nice that the river Thames has two shores. Because the view is not all that beautiful. But now we can make a choice which way we want to look.

The side of nature with fields and forests, or rather the jetties and buildings of which it is hard to determine whether they have been built in the last century or even the one before. But the closer we come to London town we see more and more modern buildings and green areas, parks built by people.

Fingers crossed

Once we pass the Thames Barrier we only have to make a turn around the O2 building and pass underneath the cableways. When turning the ship across the current we keep our fingers crossed that they will open the bridge in time this time before we have already drifted by. Next time I will be hoping again that they will ever learn. 

Normally our berth location is in the canal to the South Quay DLR station, but this year it is very busy. I can imagine that the HISWA started like this decades ago. But we are more than welcome and we even get a few meters of quay to lay by. Fortunately, it also is possible to make fast ones bow lines on the other side of the canal and I was told that this would not be a problem, because no one will want to pass anyway. So, I hope that one will come true either. 

about the author

Andi Manser - Captain Clipper Stad Amsterdam

Captain Andi Manser came on his bike to the Netherlands all the way from Switzerland, his country of birth. He hoped to find a job on a yacht. His job as captain on the Clipper Stad Amsterdam is a dream come true.