We left the West India Dock on Saturday morning to take the Howard D up to the mustering point at Barn Elms just beyond Putney Bridge. We locked out of the Isle of Dogs and into the Thames at 11:00 for a gentle motor up-river where we moored fore and aft on trots laid out in the river. We were in a cluster of historic lifeboats and we shared a trot with The Lady of Mann.
On the Sunday we were lucky enough to be on the last water taxi run which meant we arrived on board about mid day. While we were waiting most of the narrow boats motored up river to their stations. About an hour before the start a lot of of the oar powered craft down river between the Historic boats so we got a really excellent view of some exceptionally interesting boats. We moved off about 2:30 and for the next 2 hours were surrounded by a multitude of cheering crowds who despite the drizzle and cold weather were in a festive mood. It has been estimated that there was in excess of a million people lining the banks for the Pageant - it was truly an amazing experience and must have been a logistical nightmare for the organisers - 1,000 boats of all shapes, sizes and ages in a 6 or 7 mile procession.
The pageant took about 90 minutes to pass a given spot on the river. We passed under Tower Bridge and the Queen's barge about 4:40 and continued down through the Avenue of Sail and made our way past the Cutty Sark and around to Greenwich Yacht Club buoy before coming back upriver on the north bank to lock into and tie up in the West India Docks just after 8:00pm and just before hypothermia struck!