Thames RIB Experience asked if we’d like to take a taster trip on their superfast speedboats, boats which have the largest and most powerful engines on the river? Would we? Of course we would! We met our boat on North Greenwich Pier and slipped into lightweight life-jackets while the two-man crew told us about the boat and engines and big horsepower and stuff.
Then it was all aboard the Skylark and off we went into the river. We set off at a reasonable pace and it was pleasant. Nice. Quite a clip but nothing to write home about and then WOOOOOOOOOOAH!! The man behind the wheel stamped on the loud pedal and off we went, roaring and bouncing downstream with the wind blowing our faces off our skulls, the smalls of our backs rammed firmly into the seat by the rampant G-force. It was fast, it was furious and by golly it was FUN.
Gradually we slowed to pass through the Thames Barrier, the boat tiny against the looming structure, and caught our breath. We looped back through the steel gates and WOOOOOOOOOOAH!! We were off again, water fine-spraying our faces and the boat curving into a ninety degree turn virtually standing up on its side as it cut through the foam, twisting into another sharp turn across the front of the Old Royal Naval College and slaloming back past the Trafalgar Tavern.
The wheel man put more leather on the go button and we shot back down towards The O2, kicking and bucking the water like an over-excited rodeo pony on steroids, then decelerating as the Bond theme jangled out at us from the onboard speakers. I tell you what, it’s absolutely awesome, completely thrilling and you have to try it.