London Town


For over two weeks we were berthed amongst the lights, noise and colours of London’s Central Business District in the South Dock of Canary Wharf. Built in the 1860′s for the ‘West India Dock Company’ she was an addition to the two northern basins and seemed somewhat appropriate for Eilean’s temporary residence. Just 50 meters away thousands of people robotically commute to and from work each day passing unknowingly within a stone’s throw from the beautiful Eilean. Not quite the same as lying in a sheltered anchorage with one or two other fellow mariners about!

On five occasions we took guests and Panerai collectors out for a ‘cruise’ and on each trip we braved the English weather, exited through the lock onto the Thames and made our way upstream, past Greenwich and on to Central London. A few days before our first passage the Olympic rings were hung from Tower Bridge and Boris Johnson ceremoniously pressed the button that lowered them into place. As we arrived at the appointed time the rings were raised, the bridge elegantly opened bringing central London traffic to a halt, and we sailed on through. A spectacular once in a lifetime experience for all on board.

Brijesh Patel / The Kalory Agency

We then had a chance to sail close to the HMS Belfast, the largest and most powerful cruiser of her time, and interestingly built the same year as Eilean in 1936 just 100 miles away across the Irish Sea. In contrast, towering above the Belfast is the almost finished ‘Shard’, the tallest building in Western Europe reaching 310 metres and largely financed by the State Of Qatar. On the other side of the river you could see Traitor’s Gate leading to the Tower Of London, with the conspicuous St Paul’s Cathedral dome visible overhead.

 

Brijesh Patel / The Kalory Agency

The other main attraction was further downstream on the first corner from South Docks. The Greenwich Maritime College sits just below Greenwich Park that houses the Royal Observatory, home of GMT and the Harrison clocks. The red ball still drops to this day indicating to all ships on the river that it is 13.00 and time to synchronise your chronometer before heading out to sea. My Panerai was spot on!
The revolutionary Harrison timepiece ‘H1′.

 

Brijesh Patel / The Kalory Agency
All aboard were treated to some wonderful Italian food from Valerio, one of the Chefs of the renowned L’Anima restaurant in the City of London.

Sylvia and Clarisse of Panerai.                                                                                          Other than guests and collectors we took the opportunity to have children on from the charity ‘Action For Children’ and they all had the chance to helm Eilean and be skipper for the day. It is wonderful for us to be able to give something back to the community and to be able to provide a unique experience that I hope will remain long in their memories. We left shortly after we had completed our programme and headed for Cowes, Isle Of Wight, for the Panerai British Classic Week.

Action For Children Charity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you card from Action of Children

Thank you card inside