Sailing on down the Thames we passed through the Thames Barrage - and one of the HUGE gates was closed (you are not supposed to sail through the gates, so we put the spinnaker up afterwards to enjoy a good blast down river to Southend, then turn left for home, give or take the lethal Maplin Sands). Cracker seemed pleased to be back to her life as a raceboat again.
The barrage was built between 1974 and 1984 - quite an engineering feat! My friend Derek Clark was a diver on the job and I remember him saying he could only see his hand if he put it on the glass of his facemask! I think he prefers working on America's Cup boats these days!!