St. Katharine Docks Arrival


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Over a decade ago, we read a magazine article about a couple who moored their boat at St. Katharine Docks over the winter and it captivated us—we’ve been wanting to come here ever since. From Hermitage Community Moorings, we made a short run upriver and passed through the lock into St. Katherine Docks. It was amazing to actually be there.

Below are trip highlights from February 10th and 11th in London, UK. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps

2/10/2018
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Dawn

The spectacular dawn view to Tower Bridge and the Shard from the Hermitage Community Moorings. We can’t believe we’re actually here in London. Most of the other boats on the moorings are pre-1965 ex commercial barges converted to liveaboard use. They’re pretty appealing-looking.
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Wake

The River Thames is busy with traffic that generates rather large wakes. The wake from this tug and barge rebounded off the shore and back to the other side several times. We were expecting we’d really toss in the wash, but it wasn’t that big a deal.
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Tower Bridge

We’d never get tired of the view to Tower Bridge.
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Sunrise

Our first London sunrise, looking downriver.
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Fenders

The Hermitage Community Moorings are effectively a large commercial wharf with big tires for fenders. Because the moorings are exposed to wakes from commercial traffic, they recommend big fenders and strong lines, and discourage smaller boats from mooring here. Interestingly, the manager guessed Dirona‘s 55-ton weight almost exactly, based on how little the wakes moved us. Most people guess about half that weight.
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Entering Lock

The lock at St. Katharine Docks is open only from 2 hours before high water to 1.5 hours after, between 8am and 6pm in the winter. We were booked in at the 8am opening and headed over once they were ready for us. Here the riverside bridge has been lifted to allow us to enter the locks.
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In the Lock

James waving from Dirona in the St. Katharine Docks lock with the River Thames beyond the closed lock bridge.
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Gate Dropping

The lock gate dropping once the water level in the lock has equalized with the marina inside. We only had to go up a couple of feet.
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Bridge Lifting

The interior lock bridge lifting to allow us to pass through.
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Gate Lifting

The lock gate lifting back into position once we’ve passed through into the marina.
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Boat Wash

We were really salty from the run to London, plus quite dirty from the yard, so we gave Dirona a good scrub.

Update: We’re not the only Nordhavn here—that’s Nordhavn 55 Shogun in front of us.

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First Smell

Spitfire getting his first smell of London. He’s pretty much fully recovered from his surgery in Hamble a couple of weeks ago, but it will be a while longer before his butt fur grows back after shaving for surgery.
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St. Katharine Docks

Our beautiful new temporary home at St. Katharine Docks in downtown London. The top of 30 St Mary Axe, aka “The Gherkin”, is the center of the three buildings visible in the distance, directly above our brow.
2/11/2018
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St. Katharine Docks

The view looking southwest across St. Katharine Docks to our berth with Nordhavn 55 Shogun in front. Over a decade ago, we read a magazine article about a couple who moored their boat at St. Katharine Docks over the winter and it captivated us—we’ve been wanting to come ever since. It’s amazing that we’re actually here.
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Restaurants

The St. Katharine Docks area is full of restaurants. Even on a cold day, people are out enjoying the sunshine on the patio.
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Libertijn of Alphen

Several beautifully-renovated barges are moored inside St. Katharine Docks. With their large interior space they appear to make wonderful liveaboard boats. Libertijn of Alphen is a Dutch barge built in 1910 to haul cargo. The interior looks fabulous.
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Timepiece Sculpture

The dramatic “Timepiece Sculpture” outside St. Katharine Docks, with Tower Bridge in the background. It is an ‘upper’ equinoctial dial that shows the time only while the sun is north of the equator.
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City Hall

London’s striking egg-shaped City Hall, on the south shore of the River Thames, was completed in 2002. The building has a 500-meter helical walkway inside that ascends the buildings ten floors.
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Tower of London

Looking across the Tower of London, adjacent to St. Katherine Docks. It’s also on our list to visit.
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Tower Bridge House

London has an endless number of striking buildings. Tower Bridge House, completed in 2004, has a column-free interior with the west side (pictured) designed as a window with views into the atrium and out to the Tower of London.
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Crossing Tower Bridge

We’re super excited to actually be crossing Tower Bridge over the Thames River.
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City View

The view to downtown London from Tower Bridge. The building on the left is 20 Fenchurch St., aka “The Walkie-Talkie”, and rightmost is 30 St Mary Axe, aka “The Gherkin”,
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Tower Bridge

Looking back to Tower Bridge from the south side of the River Thames near City Hall.
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Hays Galleria

The Hays Galleria was originally a brewhouse in the 1600s. In the 1800s it was converted to a tea wharf that at one point handled 80% of the dry produce coming into the city. Visible in the center is The Navigators, a massive kinetic sculpture that reflects the property’s nautical heritage.
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London Bridge

Another famous landmark: London Bridge. This is the site of the terrorist attack last year where a van struck pedestrians and the occupants attacked people with knives.
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River Thames

Looking down the River Thames to Tower Bridge from London Bridge—it’s a busy waterway.
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The Monument

The 202 ft (62 m) tall Monument to the Great Fire of London, aka The Monument, has a viewing platform on top.
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Old and New

London is a fabulous mix of old and new buildings. This is 20 Fenchurch St., aka “The Walkie-Talkie”, towering above older buildings.
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All Bar One

We stopped for a pint at All Bar One just northwest of the Tower of London. Visible through the window on the opposite side of the road is All Hallows By the Tower founded in 650AD. It’s the oldest church in London and predates the Tower of London by 300 years.
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10 Trinity Square

The grand 10 Trinity Square was completed in 1922 as the headquarters for the Port of London Authority. It now houses a hotel and private apartments. In the foreground is the Tower Hill Memorial to the almost 24,000 merchant sailors who died in both world wars and have no known grave.
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Dickens Inn

We finished the evening with dinner at the Dickens Inn at St. Katharine Docks. This is the view from their balcony to our berth, with Tower Bridge visible in the background on the left. What an incredible place to be.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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2 comments on “St. Katharine Docks Arrival
  1. Bruce Bremer says:

    I think that for a mere £435m, Blackstone Group will hand you the deed to that place.

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