After a rather fabulous quiz at anchor off Southend (with more than one person claiming victory). We commenced heaving in the anchor, with Second Mate David on the bridge under the watchful eye of Captain Simon. We then proceeding east bound for central London. As the the tide turned and the river narrowed we traversed the Thames up to Gravesend to board two pilots who have sailed as crew many times before. With the captain in command and the pilots directing, the ship set a course for Tower bridge, but not before passing some remarkable landmarks and some slightly less remarkable, Dagenham for one example. With the narrow Thames barrier ahead the helmsman did a fantastic job of sliding the ship through the barrier. We then passed the Dome or O2 arena, navigated around some ferries and watched the GPS count our longitude down to zero and back up again. Even the Royal Navy took advantage of the spectacular sunshine and passed close by for a wave.
Just before arriving at Tower bridge, the police decided stand alongside and escort us, they however were not foolhardy enough to try and squeeze through the bridge alongside us. Watching the traffic come to a standstill for our ship we watched the bridge open and then rocketed through with the help of the tide. A very narrow turn allowed us to face the bridge once more and give thousands of members of public a great photo opportunity as we waited for the bridge to open once more and allow us to reach our destination.
With Canary Wharf looming overhead we proceeded into West India dock spent a night alongside then had to sadly disembark our voyage crew. The ship now enters a maintenance and public relations role as we get ready for the next voyage.