Waverley on the South Coast 2011 Part 4
Report by Martin Longhurst
Pictures by Dave Bassett (DB),
Jeremy Gold (JG) and Martin Longhurst (ML)
Monday 19 September 2011 was an off-service day at Southampton which was
just as well as the weather had not improved.
There was some hope of a sailing on Tuesday and the steamer left
Southampton for Swanage. However, she
found that conditions outside sheltered waters were outside her operating
limits, and Captain O’Brian sailed her on to Weymouth to be ready for
Conditions on Wednesday had improved a lot and the full cruise from
Weymouth to Swanage, Bournemouth and Yarmouth for a cruise around Portsmouth
Harbour. However, it was not possible
to make the second call at Bournemouth and passengers were returned there by
coach from Swanage. The timetable
already provided for a coach return to Weymouth. Meanwhile, Waverley headed back east to
Portsmouth Harbour Station Pier for the night.
Portsmouth Harbour Station Pier on Thursday morning (DB)
This put her in the right place for Thursday’s trip to Yarmouth,
Bournemouth and Swanage for a cruise towards Lulworth Cove. This went ahead in good weather but
unfortunately there was a 45 minute delay at Bournemouth as a passenger had
been taken ill. This precluded
passengers taking their trip on the Swanage Railway and the steamer had to
curtail her afternoon cruise off Kimmeridge Ledge.
On the return to Portsmouth, Captain Ian Clark joined the steamer as
his Thames pilotage exemption would be needed to reach Tilbury where the
steamer’s next voyage would end. On
arrival there mid-morning on Friday, Captain O’Brian left the ship to return to
Glasgow Office. Fuel and stores were
taken before the paddler headed for Tower Pier to give the PSPS Evening
Charter. This took 617 passengers for a
short cruise to Silvertown and back.
Tower Bridge on Friday evening (DB)
under Tower Bridge - note the fake paddler Dixie Queen to the right (DB)
after the evening cruise (DB)
followed the paddler out of the Upper Pool on Saturday morning (DB)
Having spent the night alongside Tower Pier, Saturday’s sailing took
the paddler to Tilbury and Southend for a trip to view the Thames Forts. Good numbers were carried throughout the day.
Castle whistles to announce her appearance off Southend Pier (ML)
While we were tied up at Southend on the first call, we enjoyed a
steam-past by Kingswear Castle.
Red Sands Fort (ML)
Rounding Shivering Sands Fort (ML)
over the QE2 Bridge (JG)
The laser beam marking the
Greenwich Meridian (ML)
(The green line running left from the
back at Tower Bridge (JG)
On our return to London, Silver Bonito was in Waverley’s berth so there
was a short delay before she could be brought alongside at the end of the
day. After a further night alongside, she retraced
her steps down river but turned south after Southend to enter the River Medway
to meet PS Kingswear Castle for the steamers’ annual “official” rendezvous.
Dutch sail training ship Amsterdam passed near Rainham
Medway pilot joins the paddler (DB)
This followed a different pattern this year as Waverley did not go much
further upstream than the Thamesport container terminal. This meant she could turn without the
assistance of a tug. KC made two
circuits of the larger paddler accompanied by much waving and whistling.
whistles her welcome (DB)
Amber alongside at Thamesport (ML)
the Historic Ship Ensign flown by KC (DB)
sporting the multi-coloured rendezvous hat (DB)
QE2 Bridge just after Sunday’s sunset (ML)
being swung by tug Revenge before giving the last part
of Sunday’s sail back to Tilbury (ML)