Leaving St. Catherines Docks London

I write this blog in the morning of our last day in Portimao. Just been too busy or tired to get to it before now.

So we had about a week docked in St Catherines for boat work, provisioning and media events. I got some time off to spend with family doing the touristy things. We had a VRBO apartment about an hour commute away from the docks. Not the most convenient but it worked well.

Cooking at the apartment.

Some day I will get around to posting more London photos and blog but no time for that now.

Finally the day came to say goodbye and really start this voyage. For me it started with early wake up and locating all my remaining kit from the apartment and off to the tube alone. I insisted that family needed to figure out on their own when to come to the docks and how to find the spectator boats. No touristy things today please!

This day at multiple times I was struggling with the emotions of leaving for a year on this big adventure. I reread the lyrics to our team song while on the tube back to the boat, just enough to flood the tears.

Excerpt from: Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime:

And I feel my heart beating
I feel my heart underneath my skin
Oh, I can feel my heart beating
‘Cause you make me feel
Like I’m alive again
Alive again
Oh, you make me feel
Like I’m alive again

Getting back to sailing makes those lyrics ring true for me.

Other teams taking the main stage for photos.
Some of our team waiting for our turn to get on the stage.
A little bit of waiting around was also on order.
Family watching on as we prepare to leave.

Finally early afternoon the St. Catherines docks gates are open and boats are individually filing out. Emotions are quite high and I try to have a private moments to take it all in.

That is the way out to the Thames.

We all file out and of the docks and wait for Tower Bridge to open where we will motor threw for a few laps between this bridge and the next one up river. Great show for the spectators while we await tower bridge opening a second time were we will pass thru on our way down the Thames to the Estuary where the river meets the sea. We will all anchor overnight there for the real race start the following morning.

Bridge open, we are going thru.
About to exit the first parade of sail.
One of many spectator boats.

I kept searching for family each time we passed near a spectator boat. Not having any luck until finally near the end when I did briefly she Sheila. Apparently they were having a grand old time on their boat but I did not know it at the time.

More tears as we passed the flood gates, said goodbye to the last spectator boat and then settled into the long motor down river to our night anchorage point. What a day!

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