Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gloucester Docks

Monday 16th August. 0 miles, 0 locks.

Tewksbury a very photogenic town. Well it must be as Diana took 604 photos today. She/we started at 1100 and she finished at 1800 (420 minutes later).

Tuesday 17th August. 13 miles, 2 locks.
Backed about a 100yds up the Avon so we could turn into the lock that takes us down to the level of the Severn River. All locks on the rivers have lock keepers to operate them so that helps. At the first lock on the Severn the Keeper gives you a set of instructions on how to enter Gloucester lock as the river runs quite fast past the entrance to the lock. In the lock with us was a wide beam boat who had been to Gloucester before so we followed them down the river. It rained for a while but the river was wide the trees relaxing and I enjoyed being on the boat. As we approach the lock you slow down as much as possible and have to grab at chains hanging from a wall and tie the boat to them, stern first and then the bow. Well I picked up a chain but it was longer than the rest so as I tied to it it rattled and banged around the bottom of the boat until eventually the boat stopped with the chain out of the water. So now it's time to attach the front rope. By now the bow is well out into the river so I'm trying to pull the boat in by hand and get in a position to grab another chain. Achieved this and looped the rope around the chain to find it was a broken chain. Wasn't going to try and move the boat so held on to the front by hand until the lock was opened for us. Into the lock and up to Gloucester Dock. A lovely setting where all the warehouses have been converted to apartments and new buildings built in the same style. Place was pretty full so breasted up alongside the boat we followed down the river.
As we arrived we had a call from Lala & John, friends from Bristol. They were in the area so came to meet us. They took us to a wildfowl sanctuary further down the canal at Slimbridge which we are not sure if we have time to get to. Then to Sharpness to look at the docks there and look down the Severn to the bridges in the distance. The tide was almost out and it was fascinating to see how high it had come when there had been a 9.7 mtr spring tide on Thursday causing the famous Sever Boar. After dinner in a local pub we returned to Gloucester to complete a busy day.

Wednesday 18th August. 0 miles, 0 locks.
Dave and Lynn came over to talk about there NZ trip and replace a couple of fittings on the engine. Had lunch at a Chinese "all you can eat". Don't need any tea tonight. Earlier in the day a woman came past the boat and seeing the flags asked where we were from. They have a house at Waipatiki beach about 10km north of Napier where they spend the northern winters. Then it dawned on me that they, Mike & Maggie, had been to our place to talk about boating back in 2006 or 07. They had to move off to their mooring down stream a bit so we will probably go down a see them tomorrow. The other interesting connection is that the mother of the owner of the boat we followed down yesterday was born in Taradale. So here in Gloucester dock are three boats lined up together all with a Napier connection.

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