Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Sharpness to Tewkesbury, 16th - 18th September 2016

Over the weekend of 16th/18th September, Wye Invader Two sailed to Tewkesbury and returned to Sharpness.

Friday 12.00, we left Sharpness and called in at Saul Junction at 13.45 for fuel, then continued on to Gloucester Docks arriving at 15.45. I phoned the Gloucester Lock Keeper to enquire about the morning high tide, we were informed that we should be outside the lock gates the next day at 08.20 to lock down at 08.30 to be ahead of the flotsam expected with the top of the tide. By the time I had finished the call we had passed through Llanthony Bridge and into the Docks where we moored for the night. Saturday 08.20, along with 2 other Narrow Boats we entered the lock and were locked down onto the River Severn at 08.40. The high tide was forecast for 09.30, so we had tide assist up the ‘Parting’ and for a further 6 miles up river which was useful for saving fuel and time.

Before leaving the lock we were advised that the ‘Sir Edward Elgar’ was on it's way down the ‘Parting’ and we were about 1 mile from the top of the Parting when we passed (see photos).

The Sir Edward Elgar in "The Parting"
The Sir Edward Elgar in "The Parting" 

The remainder of the journey to Tewkesbury was uneventful and we locked up onto the town mooring for the night.

Sunday morning we locked down onto the Avon at about 08.30, we entered Upper Load Lock at 08.40 and were clear by 09.00, just before we left the Lock Keeper advised about the height of the tide. As we left the tide was just below the lock with about 1 metre to rise, the tide would go over the top of the Weir by 11.25. On the way down towards Gloucester the river was flat and glass like to look at (see photo),

The journey took 2 hours and there was very little flotsam until the last 300 metres from the lock, as we came round the last corner and on to the straight, the tidal surge increased so I put more revs to increase speed, the flotsam covered about half of the ‘Parting’ and to the right of centre, leaving the left side clear down to the lock, we entered the lock and the gates were closed, the Lock Keeper checked to see we were moored and up we went, the lock gates were opened into the dock. At 11.30 we passed through Llanthony Bridge and the journey back to Sharpness was a pleasant 4 hours in the sunshine.