This led onto onto one of the first vessels of any size that I saw, and it was the 1959 built Thekla, she is really a floating nightclub/bar/salon/venue.
It seems as if she has had a paintjob since 2014, and the original hull line is still visible.
She is the last of Bristol’s biggest fleet and was built in 1935 for Kings Tugs Ltd. and was used on the Avon and Bristol docks until 1970. The vintage steam tug Mayflower was berthed in front of her in 2015 and she dates from 1861 and is the world’s oldest steam tug and the oldest ship afloat in Bristol (the Great Britain is in dry-dock so does not count).
It turns out that this odd looking boat is called Pyronaut and is a fire-float and was built in 1934!
My next destination was the sailing ship Kaskelot.
She is somewhat of a TV and movie star, and luckily for me I saw her in 2014 and managed a better shot of her from where Mayflower was berthed.
Judy was doing driver experience jaunts and that entailed a slow pull away, then a rapid dash down the line and an abrupt stop under a cloud of steam, and then backwards in a similar fashion. The unusual design of the loco was required to cope with some extremely tight curves, and a very low bridge under the Cornish Main Line close to where she served originally.
I watched this strange loco going up and down for awhile and then headed back towards Balmoral, pausing to watch the John King come alongside, followed by the Matthew which is a reconstruction of John Cabot’s ship
The design is a Caravel, and it hard to believe that ships of this size were capable of very long voyages, she is only 24 metres long, while John King is 19 metres.
And then it was time to head to the Balmoral and see about getting on board her, but that is another blogpost on it’s own.
I had been extremely lucky to be in Bristol on this day, I saw so much and revisited a place that I wanted to come back to. I did not get to the Great Britain, but that’s reason enough for another trip. It only cost me 9 pounds to get there so it is very do-able for more trips in the future, but with winter closing in I suspect I may end up hibernating instead.
DRW © 2015-2019. Images migrated 02/05/2016, originally created 05/10/2015.