Narrowboat on the Thames

Several of our founding members belong to a Sea Scout group in Surrey. So when they were offered the chance to long term borrow a canal boat from DSP (Docklands Scout Project) they jumped at the chance. Not only will this give them the opportunity to keep up canal boat skills but will enable them to offer canal boating to young people at even more affordable prices.

The challenge?

Delivering a small boat back to DSP and collecting the boat and getting it back to their boat house at Thames Ditton all in one day! This meant an epic voyage at first light towing a boat all the way down the thames and through central London to DSP get the boat and return. The day was sunday and the time 5AM.

We loaded up the boat and set off to beautiful sunrise. After several hours cruising along a gentle Thames we ended up in the city where there wasn't much traffic on the river as it was still early on a sunday morning. We then made our way past many of London's riverside land marks all the way around to the entrance to St India Docks opposite the o2.

After going up in the lock we meet the guys form DSP and went thou the canal boat and once everyone was happy swapped over with the boat we towed up and left with the canal boat.

When the lock gates opened it was a very un-nerving thought heading out onto the River Thames in a narrowboat but once out we began heading back towards the city, the tide in our favour we made it past the Cutty Sark and onwards to Tower Bridge. 

The traffic was picking up and the ferries and clipper were now out and about creating lots of wash and waves which were interesting obstacles in a narrow boat! Under tower bridge we went and then London bridge with the Shard glinting in the sun. After a couple more bridges we passed the London Eye and Westminster Palace.

Before we knew it we were at putney and things started to calm down, we carried on and after heading back through Richmond, Twickenham and Kingston we were back at Thames Ditton just as the sun was going down.