We took 99 photos today, don’t worry, we’ve only chosen a few to share! We had already decided to detour slightly off The Avon Ring and visit Gloucester, we then decided to carry on down the end of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal and as far as we could go before hitting the sea.
Cast off at 8.45 and Toby came in to the lock beautifully, in front of quite an audience of other boaters. Everyone was turning right on The Severn and to Worcester, we bucked the trend and turned left.
It wasn’t long before we hit the first lock, although the drop was only 4 feet, the lock was huge. We did a good job at getting the ropes in behind the chains, and not looking like a pair of muppets.
We left the second lock at 9.30, and didn’t reach Gloucester until 1pm, it was strange just steering, and no slowing down for moored boats. Toby used the dremmel to remove a broken rivet on the front cratch and I listened to the radio (all about men having liposuction!). We called ahead as instructed at Gloucester Dock and with a rise of 16ft, it’s one of the deepest. We slowly rose up the lock and saw the wonders of Gloucester Docks and the mills.
We then saw on the map lots of swing electrified swing bridges, I thought I was in for a busy afternoon hopping on and off – we were really surprised that they’re all manned with traffic lights. Red – wait. Flashing Red – I’ve seen you and I’m opening the lock/bridge. Green – go. It’s the closest we’ll ever get to a formula 1 grand prix start as we’re idling up to the traffic lights, they turn green and you welly the throttle – all of 4-5mph!
We needed to fill up with water, but all the water points had moored boats. We reached the last water point and a new fat boat was moored – it only arrived from the docks this morning. No-one was aboard, so we gently came alongside and moored up. It took nearly an hour to fill the tank, so we had a good nosey in through the windows and in the lockers.
After turning around, and some 30 miles travelled, we finally moored up at 6.30. It’s not often on a canal, you have such a view – in this case the River Severn.
A quick dinner (salmon – never again on the boat, it honks) we walked along the estuary to the old lifeboat station. You can still see the old locks and paddles from World War II.
A long day, but I’m glad we made the decision to visit Sharpness.