Worcester to Gloucester

Trip Start Apr 24, 2013
Trip End Oct 27, 2013

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thu 20th June

Rain at 5am so we put the porthole glass back in, and James put up the canopy sides.  Back to bed.

Up a bit later, and returned Celia's sunglasses, left behind last night.

Shopping trip to find a new camera.  Wandered round Worcester, which is an interesting town with lots of old buildings. Got some things at the Co-op, and J went to PC World and bought a Sony camera.  The old Lumix has seen better days, with a dark patch on every photo, and the cover to the SD card and battery is missing.

Set off from the quayside at 1300, filled the water tank above Diglis locks (Nicholson Guide says the tap is below the locks!)  Used VHF radio for the first time to talk to the lockkeeper.

Saw lots of sand martins on the river but did not see their nesting site.

Rain shower led to us putting up the canopy.

Moored at Upton on Severn, on the inside of the visitor pontoon.  Not ideal for Hugo, as there is a main road at the top of the ramp.  The elsan point marked in Nicholson’s has apparently been absent for ten years.  I feel an email to Nicholson’s coming on.

Met BCF members Terry and Jane, on Corcan, a wide beam boat. Went on board for a cuppa and a chat.

Heard from Simon and Pat on Daedalus who may join us in Gloucester for the bore watching.

1 lock, 11 miles

Fri 21st June

Sunny!  Went to explore Upton on Severn, which is a lovely old town. We found an old fashioned sweet shop and bought a few things.

Quote from the Nicholson Guide: "The 'new’ Church of SS Peter and Paul was built in 1978, on the edge of the town – a good place for it."  What do they mean by that comment I wonder?  We called in and found a lady called Margaret who was arranging the flowers, and had a lovely chat with her. Apparently they have a very good choir, but only get a further ten or so people on a Sunday.  Perhaps it is because they are not in the centre, but on the edge of the town!

We set off after lunch and had a lovely cruise down river. We met a few gravel barges, all named after fish, cruised under the M50 (I know where I’d rather be!) and past Tewkesbury where we arrived at Upper Lode lock.  The VHF was useful here, as the lock keeper had not seen us.  Then on to Lower Lode, where we moored on the floating pontoon. 

We put out our plank from the pontoon to the shore for Hugo.  We chatted to the ferryman who had been doing the job for two months, following the previous man who had drowned there, having fallen in with a heavy coat on.

There was a large cruiser moored already, and later another one arrived, friends of theirs, and just squeezed in between us, with the bows almost into our pram hood.

We had a meal at the pub, which was not very good, but we sometimes find this in prime locations such as this riverside beauty spot.  We saw two accordions and a buckby can on the mantelpiece, and thought of Roger and Mirjana.

We saw a lovely almost full moon on the way back to the boat.

1 lock, 7 miles

Sat 22nd June

Cloudy and windy.  We had been woken in the night (2.15am!) by something clattering on the top of the boat.  Thinking some of our equipment was in danger of being blown away, James went out to investigate, and found it was a duck on the roof.

We therefore got up a little later, and set off soon after 10am, wearing lifejackets, as the approach to Gloucester can be tricky.  We had also been told that there was a spring tide (hence the full moon, and the timing of the Severn Bore next Tuesday) and on such occasions the tide comes over the two weirs at Gloucester, bringing all sorts of floating debris such as logs.

The journey took 2 hours and was very windy with occasional showers.  We did see a few logs, but by the time we got to Gloucester lock, it was four hours after high tide, so we missed the worst.

We moored on projecting floating pontoons in the docks, and having a bow thruster certainly helped as we reversed in, as there was a considerable crosswind.  One result of this was a lot of creaking noises from our ropes as the boat was buffeted at its moorings.

We had a look round the old part of Gloucester, which we had somehow missed when we were last here in 2005. There are some lovely old buildings, and we explored the cathedral, which seems very unspoilt.  There was a choir practice while we were there – amazing high volume harmonies.

James had a chat with a man called Frank who was 85, and was waiting for his granddaughter to finish touring the building.

We ended up eating at Nando’s, and then discovered a nice looking Asian buffet restaurant, which we will try on another occasion.

Hugo was allowed out, but he wasn’t keen on the floating pontoon: no bushes, nowhere to explore, and high winds, so he came back in very soon.

1 lock, 12 miles

Sun 23rd June

Thankfully the creaking ropes quietened a little in the night as the wind dropped, but it was back in the morning.

There were runners wearing pink going round the docks, on a race for life for breast cancer. We visited “the Brun” otherwise known as Brunswick Baptist Church.  The worship band was quite good, but the congregation were fairly reserved.  There was a good age range with several families.  Also a good cultural mix.  The sermon was about Joseph’s dreams. 

We had lunch at the Asian buffet restaurant we had seen yesterday, and were not disappointed.  Excellent food, well presented.

We also visited the Mariners Church.

The wind seemed to increase in the afternoon, and James adjusted the ropes.

We watched a DVD – the Blue Planet, but the music sent us to sleep.

Eric and Sue returned from their railway outing, and came on board for tea.

No boating today.  A second night with creaking ropes.

Nest week: Severn Bore, Frampton Folk Club on Tuesday, perhaps Slimbridge Wetland Centre.
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