Boat spotting on the Thames


What is boat-spotting? We speak to Samm Turner(@GirlAboutThames) and her hobby of boat-spotting to find out more.

When did you start boat spotting?
I'm a newcomer to the world of boat spotting, starting only last December.

Where did your passion for boat spotting come from?
I was fortunate to recently move close to the river. How can you not look at the river Thames and see a thing of beauty? The way the light catches the water, the movement of the ships, the ever changing environment.

What is boat spotting?
What boat spotting is to one, is different to another. I look on it as a photographic opportunity, a thing of beauty, some may want to know the history or statistics of the vessels and others may have a wish list of vessels they want to see. It's interesting to see the network that it creates across the world through social media.

Where about do you go to spot boats?
I live and work close to the Thames so I get to spot them both near busy shipping end of the Thames by the Port of London Authority in Gravesend and at the busy tourist part of the Thames in Central London.

How often do you go boat spotting?
I have the good fortune of seeing the Thames every day, so spotting is an every day occurrence, rain or shine.

Do you keep a log of every boat you see?
No, I need to start a filing system for all these photos, thanks for reminding me! Haha!

What is the best boat you have seen when spotting?
Two events spring to mind so far, number one was photographing the Churchill Ceremony from London Bridge, seeing the Havengore retracing the very same route as it did 50 years ago supported by many river crews. The second was seeing MS Megallen arriving at Tilbury for the very first time and being able to photograph her glow under the firework display for her launch.

Is there a boat you would like to see?
There's no particular one boat that's on my list, every boat has it's own beauty, from cargo ships catching the morning rays, tall ships and sailing boats gracefully gliding on the river to glossy yachts racing down the Thames.

Finally; how can people find out more about your boat spotting?
I make regular updates to my Twitter account @GirlAboutThames, it gives a home for my Thames photography.

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