As always, there was a last minute rush to get Portwey ready with six tons of welsh coal loaded two weeks earlier and the newly repainted lifeboat hauled back aboard as the fires were lit. It is gratifying to report that Portwey performed very well after her long winter shutdown and there were no significant problems with machinery. Many two hour trips were made between Tower Bridge and the Thames Barrier calling at Masthouse Pier to onload and offload guests. The good weather contributed to the ambience aboard and everyone seemed to enjoy the experience.
River Trips to View The Tall Ships at Royal Greenwich 5,6,7,8 September 2014
One of the Tall Ships "Dressed Overall"
The visit of the tall ships to Greenwich provided us with the ideal opportunity to entertain guests aboard Portwey and almost all the available places were booked on the steaming trips from 5-8 September.
Guests from the London Museum of Steam and Water
On the Friday we welcomed the volunteers and staff from the London Museum Of Steam And Water on a special day reserved for them.
A Tall Ship Under Sail
On the Saturday and Sunday our guests enjoyed the views of the Tall Ships, some of which were moored between the Pool Of London and Woolwich, and others which were plying the river and were a magnificent sight with their sails set. The weather was gorgeous and provided our visitors with unrivalled photo opportunities.
On Monday 8 September Portwey took part in a parade of steam along with VIC 96, the tug BARKING and RIIS I (A Dunkirk “Little Ship” formerly named “WHITE HEATHER”). We attracted a lot of attention from the huge crowds lining the shore at Greenwich. After all, there are very few occasions when one is likely to see three vintage steam boats together on the river these days.
St Katherine Docks Classic Boat Festival 12,13 September 2014
St Katherine Docks Classic Boat Festival
The weekend of 13,14 September found Portwey at St Katherine Docks for the Classic Boat Festival. The late summer weather continued to be glorious and the docks were thronged with visitors from London, elsewhere in the UK, and abroad. At least 500 people enjoyed guided tours of the tug with blowing the whistle a favourite pastime.
The Royal Barge Gloriana
The docks were packed with classic boats of all kinds including Thames Barges, the royal barge GLORIANA, Dunkirk Little Ships, elegant vintage motor cruisers and yachts, and MTB 102 from thesecond world war. There was a wonderful atmosphere of shared enthusiasm and camaraderie among the crews and skippers, and it was delightful to talk to so many genuinely interested visitors about Portwey.