Well it's time to trot out the now well worn phrase...."No, I mean it, THIS is the best thing I've done so far!" It's currently a two horse race with this latest adventure and my new found love of paddle boarding. This week's colour and number challenge was 'Yellow,11' which was ......The Thames RIB Boat Adventure! This is something I have been aware of for years, but never actually got round to doing. I was VERY excited about this and so decided that I would like to share this fun with someone and asked my friend Catherine along with me. It seems I had certainly chosen the right comrade in fun for this adventure as I received a text from her a few days before saying "We are going to be like James Bond!" I don't think 007 looked as much like the Stay Puft Marshmallowman as I did in my fetching oversized Thames RIB jacket and life vest, but it's not about image for this challenge, where make up is definitely off limits.
Part of our briefing stressed how we should not touch the toggle on the life vest as if it inflated we would be charged £75 for it to be re-set. So that is do NOT touch the toggle, do NOT touch the toggle...it's like a red rag to a bull isn't it, but thankfully I managed not to inflate myself. And so 12 of us on the RIB set off west towards the Houses of Parliament. Speed is fairly restricted on this part of the river and so it was an opportunity to have some commentary about the river, and yes indeed one of those anecdotes was about how Daniel Craig ran into Westminster Bridge whilst doing a speed boat scene. Cue Bond music as we turned eastwards and gathered speed down the river, The excitement had begun!
As we gathered speed towards Tower Bridge I tried to capture the feeling of speed and exhilaration but this feeble spray off the side of the boat is the most I could capture, mainly because as we swerved and banked I was sure my phone was about to end up in the Thames. Just beyond Tower Bridge and towards Canary Wharf we really picked up the speed - apparently this is the fastest boat on the Thames. This is again when I was glad that Catherine was with me as we both yelled and whooped our way along the river. Each time a large boat went past we went sideways into the wake, taking you at such an angle to the water we were sure we were going in (I definitely heard Catherine say "I'm a bit scared!' in between screams and laughs). Brilliant!
Having decided to take the longest trip they did, we sped all the way down to the Thames Barrier, and it get's even better than that...Check this out, the barrier is very rarely closed, so this was worth the trip in itself. It was such a great way to see London from a whole new perspective.
Quite simply I can't explain how exciting this was - I would book to do it again in a minute. Whilst I can only try to explain the exhilaration of it all, the lovely people at Thames RIB took a souvenir photo of us all, which looks only marginally better than the selfie I tried to take. Yes, I deliberately cropped the other half of my face out of the shot as it is frankly terrifying. And there's an unexpected added bonus to the adventure - my skin felt amazing after 70mins of high speed air and spray. I had this strange sort of post facelift look for the rest of the day. Very shaken AND stirred sums this venture up - amazing!
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.