Cormorant II and Elemiah met up with Clara Grace at Norton Junction on the Grand Union – becoming known as the ‘Little Venice Sextet’. We set off mid-April to arrive at Little Venice by the coming ‘Early-May’ Bank Holiday. Pimms o’clock was observed in the usual style on the way down the Grand Union!!
Having arrived in London for the Cavalcade, we moored just outside the basin before the chaos of the next morning when 120 boats tried to manoeuvre into their allotted spaces, with the world and his wife watching and shaking their collective heads, saying “I would never have done it like that”. Anyway, we three were eventually tied up together and then ready for the festivities to commence. The event was officially opened by some official on Saturday morning, the theme of the event was Welcome Back, after the cancellation of 2020 and the ‘virtual event’ (how did that work, we wonder??) of 2021. Not a lot of time for the decoration of boats, but nearly all had the bunting and flags up by Saturday afternoon!! Ukrainian flags featured highly, Elemiah’s was very prominent!!
Moored boats in a big raft !!
The festival site was the usual mixture of stalls selling boating related ware and some not so boating related plus the inevitable beer tent, food stalls and live music venues. There was a ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ (the Commodore had made sure that his Grandchildren were visiting so he could go along!!) and lots of family events. Sunday’s highlight was the illuminated boat parade, which was very well received by all who watched, the boats looked great and were a credit to the owner’s work and imagination.
Illumination at night
One of the stalls was hosted by the RNLI and on Monday (mindful of the imminent trip along the Thames Tideway) our intrepid crews took along a collection of life jackets to be checked over for seaworthiness by the charity’s equipment adviser. The result of this inspection was (heads hanging in shame!!) that out of ten proffered life preservers, nine failed on some point and one was condemned to feature in the RNLI Museum of shame!! A trip to a Chandlers in Putney during the next week was quickly arranged £££.
Various visitors over the weekend to the 4Cs boats resulted in much jollity, but as the saying goes “what happens in Little Venice stays in Little Venice!!”.