Thursday, 15 September 2016

In the clouds

Last night’s mooring above Wyre Lock was very quiet.  The only way to reach it was by water which makes mowing the grass an interesting logistics exercise.  The height of the mooring poles is of concern.  Being moored during a flood must be frightening!

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Wyre Lock is lozenge shaped.  Why?  There isn’t a shortage of water requiring additional water in the reach below the lock.  My guess is the ground is very unstable and by building it with a lozenge shape it was given additional strength.

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We awoke this morning to find ourselves in the clouds.  Well actually in the mist with almost no visibility.  We waited for the sun to burn it off but the sun wasn’t working today.  At 10am we decided to move anyway.  It’s the first time we have used the headlamp and navigation lights without being in a tunnel

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It was a case of moving very slowly.  Fortunately we were able to gain a reasonable understanding of our position in relation to the river by using the gps.

P1030251We stopped at the facilities beside the park at Pershore and noted the good 24 hour moorings.  Unfortunately we didn’t have an Avon Trust token for the self pump-out machine otherwise we would have used it.

There was almost a slight hiccup at Pershore Lock. 

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We were about to open the top gate paddles when I noticed the large and faded sign off to the side of the lock.  There is a large side paddle which has to be opened first.

P1030252I wonder how many visiting boaters miss that?

As I started to round a bend below the lock the arches of Pershore Great Bridge started to appear.  They seemed to be very small and initially I was worried, then I realised many other boats have come this way.  However my relief was short lived when I discovered a boat in the main arch coming towards me.  A frantic reverse resulted.

P1030255Pershore Great Bridge dates from the early 15th Century. The central arch was destroyed in June 1644 and rebuilt with stone from ruins of Elmley Castle.

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Shortly afterwards we passed two swine on a wide beam.

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A sad sight at Nafford Lock with a partially submerged narrowboat beyond the boom.  I guess it was washed over the boom and sank during the recovery.

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The approach to the lock is a dogleg and then Jan discovered there was a pedestrian swing bridge over the lock which also had to be moved.

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Jan (nb Qisma) had mentioned a good mooring at Swan’s Neck.  We did consider using it but the river is rather twisty here and we happened to meet another boat coming from the opposite direction.  Tomorrow’s weather forecast isn’t looking so good and we decided to have a long day going all the way to Tewkesbury.

Avon Trust staff were carrying out repairs to Eckington Bridge.

P1030268Northbound traffic on the M5 had stopped.  We were able to read the traffic advisory sign which mentioned an accident ahead.  How many times have we driven that part of the M5 passing over the Avon.  Today it was different!

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The sign at Tewkesbury Marina is deceiving.  We thought it meant we had to enter the marina via the upstream entrance and found ourselves surrounded by occupied finger moorings.  Eventually a considerate moorer informed us the services were on the riverbank further downstream.  We reversed out of the marina before mooring on the services where we had an excellent pump out and bought a replacement bottle of calor gas (river prices).  Diesel was 66ppl.

It was a very short cruise from there to the visitor moorings above the river lock at the end of the Avon.  King John’s Bridge is on an angle to the river and the boat arch is at the left end.

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Yes, the bridge was commissioned by King John in the late 12th Century as part of the road improvements between Gloucester and Worcester.

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