Monday, 26 September 2016

6½ Hours

That’s how long it took us to cruise up the Severn from Gloucester to Worcester.  Yesterday evening I asked the Gloucester lock keeper what the tides were like and when we should leave.  Also, were there any other boats leaving?  He informed me we should leave at 8.30am and six other boats were also going. 
This morning one other boat decided to go and as the steerer had made the trip previously, I invited him to lead.  The lock keeper informed us there was a neap tide which was pushing water up over the weir bringing some large items of debris.  Additionally, a tree had fallen into the channel but the contractors had apparently cleared it.   We were locked down onto a half tide, the idea being the majority of the debris would have gone back downstream over the weir.  Obviously we would be going against the current.  It was slow going for the first couple of miles up the Eastern Channel.
Some ducking and weaving was required
The contractors hadn’t exactly removed the tree from the channel.  Cut the top off it might be more accurate.
You can see how much water the neap tide has pushed back up the river by looking at the banks.
We only passed one narrowboat between Gloucester and Tewkesbury.  With the current behind them, they were gong much faster than us.
This is a rather boring stretch of water.  The boat ahead was making the same speed as us. We had the engine running at 1500rpm and I don’t like to go any harder unless it’s urgent.
Three hours after locking down we reached Tewkesbury.  From this point to Worcester is new water for us and fortunately the scenery was also more interesting.  The traffic on the M50 didn’t appear interested in us and was certainly going much faster.
By now we had left the neap tide well behind and were making good progress, albeit there was still an opposing current.  I did feel sorry for the fish at Saxon’s Lode.  The man fishing from the boat had a fishfinder and was carefully watching the screen in order to keep his boat above the unsuspecting fish below.  It seemed a bit unfair!
There’s obviously still some commercial traffic on the river.  The boat appears to be delivering aggregate to the wharf where it is moved by conveyor belt to a mixing plant on the other side of the bund.
IMG_0883The scenery became even more interesting and attractive.
IMG_0884And then this damned great box shaped slab of steel came around the corner.
P1030326It’s the hotel boat Edward Elgar out of Gloucester.  She has 11 cabins and can carry a maximum of 22 passengers.  There was very little wake from her which suggests to me she has very little draft and probably a flat bottom.
Diglis Footbridge was another first for us.  However the design is no longer unique.
A great approach to Worcester.  We were last here in 2009 and were far too nervous on the river to notice the scenery.  All I can remember is my total concentration attempting to collect Jan from the lock landing.
IMG_0889We decided to go up the two bottom locks onto the Worcester & Birmingham Canal rather than moor on the river. 
Perhaps a look around Worcester tomorrow.  


Ade said...

The Worcester and Staffordshire canal is a new one on me!

Tom and Jan said...

Birmingham Birmingham Birmingham