19 boats make it to London’s St Katharine Dock’s to join Diamond Jubilee celebrations

The MBM Cruising Club’s weekend event, to mark the Queen’s
60th year on the throne, took place at St Katharine Docks this

In the shadow of Tower Bridge and at the heart of the
Diamond Jubilee Pageant celebrations, the fleet of 19 boats and some 80 crew
joined in the fun, in spite of a somewhat badly timed rain squall that felt
more biblical than royalist.

As part of the weekend, a best-dressed boat award was up for
grabs. Judged by MBM editor Carl Richardson and his daughter Maya, and St Kat’s
marina consultant William Bowman, points were awarded for both crew and boat
attire, as well as bonus points for patriotism and originality. Awash with red
white and blue, the fleet put on a grand display, highlights being Geoff and
Ann Parr’s Third Time Lucky with its
grotto-like cockpit and Colin and Jocelyn Wright’s Karin, bedecked in floral tributes. But the unanimous winner was Charisma (pictured), with Andrew and Patricia turning out an impeccably dressed crew
and cockpit ­- though suggestions of judge bribery using Jubilee inspired
muffins are still being investigated.

With the Cruising Club crews gathered in a private riverside
courtyard, the Flotilla passed under Tower Bridge at around 1615hrs, led by the
belfry barge and its Jubilee Bells. Once the row barge, Gloriana, had pulled majestically past, it was time for the Queen
to make her entrance aboard the Royal Barge Spirit
of Chartwell
. Tower Bridge rose up in salute and the heavens opened, but
nothing could dampen the cheer and goodwill that rang out from the banks of the
River Thames.

Suitably huge and adorned in golden ornaments and Royal
finery, Spirit of Chartwell pivoted
around in front of us, before mooring up at President’s Quay, allowing Her
Majesty a chance to see the Flotilla sail downstream. With the MBM gang now
suitably sodden but far from downcast, a fitting finale came at around 1800
with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a blast of fireworks marking the end
of a truly unique moment for Queen, country and the River Thames.

A full gallery of images from the Jubilee weekend will be
posted here soon.