A Trip Down the Thames

Endeavour hosts some youngsters at St Kats

September was a busy month for Endeavour!  Early in the month, we were once again asked by St Katherine's dock folk to attend the prestigious Classic Boat show along with the other boats of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. Sometimes this event clashes with Leigh Regatta, but as The Regatta had unfortunately been cancelled, we motored up to London.
Sitting alongside the gleaming white hulled cabin cruises of the ADLS, Endeavour once again stood out in her Green and Red livery. Over the weekend, we lost count of the number of people who had visited the boat - families and children loved getting on board.     

We told the story of Endeavour hundreds of times and people enjoyed finding out about her past and her historic story.   

Following a really hot and quite tiring weekend, we left St Kats, and whereas normally, we would turn east and journey back to Leigh-on-Sea, this time we took the mast down and turned to the west, under Tower Bridge  in the direction of Penton Hook Marina, where we were to join other ADLS boats for the famous Veterans' Cruise.

We celebrate this event with Veterans on board and give them a special weekend. We eventually arrived at Penton Hook in pitch dark. Luckily, before the trip, we had just bought a handheld searchlight for the boat, and it was that that helped us find our berth! Right outside the Marina Clubhouse, as it turned out. 
People rarely see cockle boats that far up the Thames, and it was great to hear the banter from people on the banks and in their gardens, and surprised looks, and pointed fingers, from people walking the paths alongside the Thames… not quite believing what they were seeing – kids shouting out ‘Pirates!’….      

During the weekend, we were joined by a Channel 5 TV film production crew, that plonked themselves on Endeavour's foredeck.  When we know when their film will air, we'll let people know – "..early 2022" is the best we know right now. (This is now confirmed as airing Feb-March 2022 on Channel 5 under the title Dunkirk, Mission Impossible - Ed)

After the weekend celebrations, the journey back to Leigh-on-Sea was long but incident free.  The end of a busy couple of weeks! We received a letter from the organisers of the Classic Boat Show thanking the ADLS boats for participating and one from ADLS's Commodore to thank everyone for making the Vets' Cruise a success.

Here's a few comments from veterans:

"Just a very short note to thank you for such an enjoyable day on the river, which was once again so well organized. How you managed to sort the weather out as well, was amazing."

"It was a great day on Saturday, thank you for inviting me and members of the Branch; we were very privileged to be there."

"Thank you so much for inviting us up for this year's Thames Cruise. It was such a lovely day. It was commented upon as to how many smiling faces there were. It's just a day full of joy and we all thoroughly enjoyed it."

"On behalf of those that you invited through myself to attend your trip with the Association, I would like to thank you and to those included who made it such a nice day out.  I have already this morning received calls telling me of the nice time that each of them had."

That’s why we do it every time!

Endeavour plus vets plus camera crew during the ADLS Vets' Cruise


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