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Whats in Wapping

Catalina waterplane, FTI Berlin & canoe stunts – an interesting day on the River Thames for Wapping

Catalina waterplane, FTI Berlin & canoe stunts – an interesting day on the River Thames for Wapping

Yesterday, 21st August saw some particularly interesting river traffic on the River Thames passing Wapping.

Well it’s certainly not every day you get to see an amphibious aircraft, a giant cruise ship and a canoeist “performing” stunts.

At around 10.50am yesterday, the 70 year old waterplane Catalina G-PBYA flew over Tower Bridge as it set off to follow the route of the original 1913 Circuit of Britain Race.

Flown by pilot Harry Hawker, the amphibious aircraft was marking the 100th anniversary of the 1913 flight which was the first British competitions for seaplanes.

The Catalina G-PBYA didn’t land on the River Thames, staying high in the sky at around 1,300 feet but it was still a great sight to see, so here are a couple of pictures:

Waterplane flies over Tower Bridge

 

Waterplane flies over Tower Bridge

See more pictures of the Catalina’s flight over Tower Bridge from a different angle and information about the waterplane’s celebratory flight on SE1 website here.

At 3.15pm Tower Bridge was in the spotlight again as it lifted for the arrival of the huge cruise ship FTI Berlin:

FTI Berlin passes under Tower Bridge in London

You can see some more pictures of FTI Berlin’s arrival into London past Wapping on Thames Pics here.

We weren’t the only ones watching the cruise ship’s arrival yesterday. In addition to the Wapping Marine Police Unit boat, was a canoeist in the teeniest little canoe:

FTI Berlin passes under Tower Bridge in London

FTI Berlin moored up next to HMS Belfast and we were about to leave but the canoeist caught our eye as they leapt into a forward roll on a large tidal wave:

canoeist performs stunts in the River Thames

The canoeist then got into a small motor boat and we again thought they were leaving.

But when we looked round they were bobbing around on the tidal Thames in an even tinier fluorescent green canoe.

canoeist performs stunts in the River Thames

The canoeist then threw off their helmet which landed perfectly in the motor boat and the action continued…

canoeist performs stunts in the River Thames

We still don’t know what was going on here but the canoe stunts and fighting the waves were clearly a performance for the camera.

canoeist performs stunts in the River Thames

The officers aboard the Marine Police boat nearby watched with as much interest as we did, so presumably they knew what was happening.

It goes without saying, do not get any ideas about trying this – the River Thames is an extremely dangerous and tidal river!

After a couple more stunts, the clearly exhausted canoeist climbed back into the motor boat for a much needed rest and they sped off west along the river.

canoeist performs stunts in the River Thames

If you have any idea what these canoe stunts were all about, we’d love to know and we’re sure others would too so please do leave a comment below.

One thing’s for sure, living in E1W next to the busy River Thames, there’s never a dull moment in Wapping.

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