The new way of getting about Lowestoft
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Lowestoft's new water taxi recently took its first test run along Lake Lothing - and Journal editor ANDREW PAPWORTH was one of the first onboard.
As one of the first people to step on board Lowestoft's new water taxi and be part of its first, if very brief, test ride along Lake Lothing, you could feel the excitement - and the tension.
A team of four led by principal shipwright Petra Potasse has worked tirelessly for the past 10 months to bring the former Glasgow workboat back to full working order after decades of inactivity.
They are understandably nervous as it was lowered into the water for the first time - but delighted when it only a few small bubbles of water were found to be coming into the boat.
They were eager to test it out to see if it worked - and when they offered me a quick ride, it was something I couldn't refuse.
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The boat had not yet been fitted with seats which will carry the passengers.
Yet despite having to stand for the ride, the boat was surprisingly sturdy - even when making sharp turns.
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The water taxi offers an excellent view of Lowestoft, as even those seated will be able to see over the side to view all the ships and yachts stationed at Oulton Broad and Brooke Marine, as well as the old industrial parts of the town.
The first ride was not without its hiccups - an overheating engine meant we stopped a couple of times, but the problem was easily remedied with a bit of anti-freeze and we were soon on our way.
Considering it was the first time the engine had ever been fired up, it was remarkably smooth.
Getting off was a little tricky, although those hoping to see a Journal editor fall off the side of a boat would have been left slightly disappointed as I was helped onto a pontoon by members of the crew.
When the water taxi is up and running properly, passengers will be helped up steps onto a larger pontoon, so there will be no danger of falling in.
For more information about the water taxi, call 01502 569663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively visit www.lowestoftwatertaxi.co.uk