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.
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.
After passing Greenwich we followed (a lot more slowly!!) one of the London RIB Voyages boats towards the O2.
Soon the Thames Barrier was in sight along with a bulk carrier alongside at the Thames Refinery berth.
Once through the barrier the Woolwich ferries then came in to view
Then it was in to unfamiliar territory for me having never been past Woolwich on a boat before.
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.
As we passed the lock entrance to Tilbury Docks another Ro Ro Ferry, the Pauline Russ, was preparing to depart.
Then as we neared our destination the cruise ship Magellan could be seen alongside at the London Cruise Terminal on the north shore.
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.
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.
A few more pictures of ST Portwey and other sights can be seen here.