Just a brief report on a very successful annual visit to London

by Kingswear Castle.

Friday 18 June: 100 passengers from Strood to London. Then 66 on an evening cruise from London Bridge to the Flood Barrier - left the pier to join with Balmoral in the Upper Pool inward bound from Great Yarmouth and both vessels then went down through Tower Bridge on the same bridge lift, the latter going to St.Katharine's Pier (Tower Pier closed for reconstruction) to discharge her passengers. KC would have had more than her 66 passengers were it not for a demonstration in the City of London which disrupted transport and caused some passengers to miss the ship.

Saturday 19 June: Two good charters, one in the afternoon - who immediately asked for a repeat next year - and one in the evening.

Sunday 20 June: Sold out with 167 passengers (the comfort limit for a long day) from London Bridge to Strood, including three pre-booked coach parties. North-westerly wind and more favourable tide than expected gave a swift passage of Sea Reach, so passengers were given a bonus of a cruise up the Swale almost to Kingsferry Bridge followed by a final flourish of a passage through Rochester Bridge and, after turning to return to Strood, a meeting with the yachts on the annual Medway Admirals' Cruise inbound from Queenborough. Should have met with Balmoral inbound from Ipswich, but we were running far too early to see her. A 9.25 hour cruise through exposed tidal waters - not bad for a 75 year steamer (engines 95 years young) built for the 1.25 hour run from Dartmouth to Totnes.

Thanks to our crew (professional and voluntary) for three days hard work away from base.

Jeremy Gold

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