A trip on Steam Tug Portwey


The ST Portwey is a regular sight both in West India Dock where she is based and during the summer months out on the river Thames. As she was heading down to Gravesend I decided to take a trip to see first hand this historic vessel and also to see some of the lower reaches of the Thames.

ST portwey (1) @ River Thames 24-6-16

The trip departed from Masthouse Pier at the tip of the Isle of Dog and we were soon dodging the Thames Clippers that are the main users of the pier as we headed past Greenwich.

Typhoon Clipper (1) @ Greenwich 24-06-16

After passing Greenwich we followed (a lot more slowly!!) one of the London RIB Voyages boats towards the O2.

Rocket Junior (2) @ Greenwich 24-06-16

Soon the Thames Barrier was in sight along with a bulk carrier alongside at the Thames Refinery berth.

ST portwey (10) @ River Thames 24-6-16

ST portwey (12) @ River Thames 24-6-16

Once through the barrier the Woolwich ferries then came in to view

Woolwich Ferry @ Woolwich Reach 24-06-16

Then it was in to unfamiliar territory for me having never been past Woolwich on a boat before.

ST portwey (13) @ River Thames 24-6-16

ST portwey (14) @ River Thames 24-6-16

Passing Dagenham we exchanged greetings with fellow tug the Svitzer Brunel who was heading up river to assist with the departure of the Orient Adventure that we had seen alongside at Thames Refinery.

Svitzer Brunel @ Dagenham 24-06-16

We continued to make steady progress down river and before too long the Dartford Crossing came in to view along with a pair of Ro Ro Ferries and a Tanker alongside the Thurrock berths.

Ships @ Dartford Crosssing 24-06-16

Adeline + Wilhelmine (1) @ Purfleet 24-06-16

ST portwey (16) @ River Thames 24-6-16

As we passed the lock entrance to Tilbury Docks another Ro Ro Ferry, the Pauline Russ, was preparing to depart.

Pauline Russ @ Tilbury 24-06-16

Then as we neared our destination the cruise ship Magellan could be seen alongside at the London Cruise Terminal on the north shore.

ST portwey (17) @ River Thames 24-6-16

Magellan (3) @ LCT 24-06-16
On the south side various traditional Thames Sailing Barges that were due to take part in a race the next day (and the reason for ST Portwey’s trip down river to act as a spectator boat) could be seen moored at Gravesend.

SB Adieu + SB Niagara @ Gravesend 24-06-16

Well worth a trip on board one of the last remaining operational steam tugs and a really friendly team on board – many thanks to all concerned.

ST portwey (18) @ River Thames 24-6-16

A few more pictures of ST Portwey and other sights can be seen here.

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One thought on “A trip on Steam Tug Portwey

  1. Pingback: Maritime Monday for July 4th, 2016: Boomy McBoomface - gCaptain

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