In order not to disappoint those who had booked for the visit to the AHOY Centre on Thursday 28th of July, Stephen Bernhard stepped in and proposed a Thames River trip on his magnificent Dutch barge, Leonie.
What a treat it was too, to cruise for five hours on the Dutch Barge Leonie skippered by Stephen. Leonie is moored at St Katharine Docks, which has access to the River Thames near Tower Bridge. Joining us on this cruise where members of the Worshipful Company of Launderers including Master Sarah Lancaster, Deputy Master Kenneth Cupitt and Senior Warden Simon Fordham and together with William and Bridget Avery , Dr Michael and Helen Taylor and Liz Thrussell plus other Launderers’ Liveryman we were a group of thirteen.
Now as many of you already know Leonie is not just any old Dutch Barge that once carried coal, but it was bought by skipper Stephen Bernhard from David Suchet, who had had converted it into the floating mini-palace that it is today.
The day was perfect with sun and mild breezes as we left the secure moorings within the Dock, skipper navigated his way skilfully into the lock that separates the dock from the tidal River Thames. After mooring at the lock, we were joined by three smaller craft before the gates closed and the lock filled with water. Leaving the lock, skipper Stephen had to navigate this 28 metre barge around four sailing craft blocking his way upstream in order to pass under Tower Bridge. We were now on our way sailing at just under 7 knots past the battleship Belfast, moored on the bankside of the pool of London, before London Bridge, and then passing Glaziers’ Hall to port and Fishmongers’ Hall to starboard.
This was a wonderful afternoon on the Thames as you will see from the video clip.
Thank you. Stephen, Commodore Edward, William and Bridget.