Throwing ropes like Shirley Bassey, the Lightman's Hitch also known as a Tugman's Hitch, Thames Hitch or Brentford Hitch, risk assessments in term of slot machine lemons, cups of tea, and a quick impromptu trip to empty the sewage tank at the neighbouring commercial boat launch...
These, and lots more, were part of the crew training day on the Richmond Venturer last Friday. It was such a fascinating day and I learnt loads. The two other new crew members I was training with had an amazing amount of experience of working on and with boats and could launch into all sorts of technical (ie. incomprehensible) talk at a drop of a hat which was rather intimidating at first. I have been on a few boats and even helped sail one, but that was years ago and I couldn't properly remember how to do any knots! But there was still a lot they learned too, and they were very friendly and kind to the boat novice (and didn't laugh at questions like "what is 'boat' for the back of the boat?" The answer is 'stern/aft'.).
I'm even more excited about going out on trips with the project now and hopefully I won't have to wait very long. The furthest upstream that the Venturer can go in Windsor Castle. After that the bridges get too low for her to go under. On day trips though she won't go that far up, usually up to Walton on Thames or there abouts. And our skipper is licensed to take the Richmond Venturer as far down the river as Putney. That is quite a range. And I'm ready to explore as much of it as I get the opportunity to do!
The training day didn't originally include any trips but we got a bonus little jaunt upstream under two bridges (from one side of Kingston to the next) and I got to throw a rope onto the jetty we came alongside. That was only a little thing but it felt such a responsibility! Thankfully I was able to execute my task with honour:)
Actually, the next time I'll be on a boat is next week Sunday when I'm going on a Batty Boat trip. We head out in the evening on a boat and look for bats - another of my current obsessions! I've been helping out on Bat Walks at the London Wetland Centre and learning loads there. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing what we will on the Thames.