From the Wheelhouse

The clocks have gone back and Winter is all but upon us but our hardy clients still want to use the Venturer for learning. Our last cruise of the season took place on 30th October and our last education booking is on 20th November! Hopefully the weather will stay fair and those school groups will be able to see the river in its natural state as the annual draw off takes place for the month of November – the draw off is when the Richmond half tide barrier is not put in place so the river is at its lowest level during low tides. A great time to explore the river bank or ‘mudlark’.

Our Friends’ cruise to Tower Bridge early in the Summer certainly started something because we’ve recently returned from another trip there for an Eco Venturers’ pilot week downriver, which meant two client groups were able to enjoy the excitement and views of a trip on the tideway. Long standing volunteer and photographer John Frye kindly took time out and braved the weather to capture some great pictures of Venturer passing Westminster and the Tower of London. And fortunately both our tideway trips fell on dates outside the recent ‘super tides’, the highest in 19 years, caused by a rare set of astronomical forces aligning!

The tideway trips also gave us the opportunity to raise fishcam out of the water to capture a swimmer’s view of the cruise downstream. Sadly, the weather wasn’t kind, but it gives us a good reason for repeating the trip. You can view the edited video on the Thames Venturer YouTube channel. Watch this space for further videos!

Peter Oldham, Skipper

Reproduced from the Friends Autumn 2015 Newsletter
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