The BIG River Trip


We are planing a maiden voyage tomorrow up the Thames and through central London. It has been a week of checking what works and what doesn’t and it has also been the hottest week of the year- Tuesday night was around 30degrees. All seemed to be progressing well until Pat sensibly decided to check the stern gland a few nights ago to see if it was watertight and it turned out not to be… NOT ideal, luckily the bilge pump works.

So I am currently sitting with my feet in a bucket of ice water watching Over the Hedge with Nina waiting for Stuart the local boat welder/general boat fixer to return with new material to pack the propshaft again. As I write Stuart pulls up next to us in a Tug owned by local Marine yard and jumps off carrying a scrappy looking bag with ‘packing’ in it. Not sure how this all works so I looked it up and still not much clearer.

But basically a lot of grease and rags are applied around the stern gland which is essentially a part of the propeller which is what moves the boat once the engine is on. Obviously if this is too watertight it doesn’t work as it needs to have some movement… Equally if it’s not watertight at all then the boat sinks.

I have packed life jackets and had various dreams about me jumping (7 months pregnant) into the river to rescue the 4 year old child. I have also bought croissants for breakfast and juice even though I’m aware of the high sugar content it contains.