My last blog ended with me mentioning the return of the Round the World Clippers into London. Early Saturday morning, we emerged bleary-eyed from the tube at Blackfriars Bridge and boarded a river ferry full to the brim with friends and family of the crew sailing the Derry Londonderry Doire. We then made our way eastwards along the Thames towards Dartford; a magnificent way to experience London, taking in the last 35 years of residential, leisure and office development along both banks, culminating in the imposing Thames Barrier.
Initially the weather looked dreary and colourless, with cloud cover low enough to conceal 50% of the imposing Shard; however, an hour into our journey we sighted the twelve boats heading towards us, and the big yellow ball started to appear. Once we turned round and followed the elated crews in their triumphant parade towards Tower Bridge, we were wallowing in blazing sunshine.
London looks spectacular from this vantage point, and always makes the point so clearly as to why the most impressive cities are usually built around water. Architectural intent says a lot about a place, and even though a lot of these new structures might not be exceptional (I’m being kind), the amount of successful redevelopment over several miles – in a relatively short period of time historically – is.
The boats looked fabulous in convoy, ending in a celebratory loop by Tower Bridge and into their moorings within St. Katharine’s Dock. Time for both the reunions and the partying to begin!