Thursday, 21 December 2017

A 'hairy' entry into Sharpness Docks.

Now on our YouTube page -


Wednesday 23rd return to Sharpness.
Weather, Wind from South West, 8 knots, sea state almost flat as the Tide and direction of Wind was the same, or almost. This was a high spring tide of over 9.5 Metres (31 feet) at Sharpness.

We left Portishead, and ‘Locked out’ at 0639, we passed under the new Severn Bridge at 0724 and the Old Severn Bridge at 0744, the last 10 miles into the entrance of Sharpness were completed in 1 hour and 16 mins. The full 20 or 21 miles were covered in 2hrs and 21 mins, for a 50 foot narrow boat that was the nearest thing you get to flying! The speed of a Spring Tide varies from hour to hour but I think the hour before the last hour is probably the fastest, and the last few minutes of the video bear that out!

Saturday, 9 December 2017


A quick run down to Sharpness to check on Wye Invader Two, despite the cold, snowy weather there's always something to see. The photo contest between the crew is hotting up!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Wye Invader Two and Pelican of London in Sharpness

Moored up awaiting our 'lift out' for the winter - Wye Invader Two and Pelican of London in Sharpness Dry Dock & Shipyard.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The end of the season

Wye Invader Two in Sharpness docks on a cold November day, on her way to join the queue to be lifted out onto hard standing for the winter.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Monday, 27 November 2017

Biggsweir Bridge

We were now on the non tidal River Wye, a 3 mile straight leading up to Redbrook, ahead were 3 large boulders at about half mile intervals in the middle of the river and several fishing concrete walkways out into the river, all of which I had marked on my large scale map the prevoius year.

At 4pm we were about 100 metres below Redbrook Bridge, adjacent to the left bank looking up stream, we could not go any further, the amount of flood water was too much, I had phoned the NRA’s river flood line and there was a large wave of water on its way which would be clear by the morning. Although we didn't know at the time, this was to be the last rain we had for 7 months and the start of the 1989 summer drought. I spoke to the crew and at 6pm we secured Wye Invader to several large trees, put the gangplank ashore and walked the 100 metres to the Boat Inn for what turned out to be a rather long night!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Sharpness to Saul Junction

A late Autumn run out with Wye Invader Two to Saul Junction for a fuel top up.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Slight malfunction.....!

The last week of October and the colours of the leaves in the Wye Valley were about at the best they were going to be, Wye Invader Two set off from Sharpness to Chepstow then onto Brockweir. Thursday morning was set for the run back to Chepstow to video the Autumn colours in the Wye Valley, unfortunately 2 video cameras malfunctioned so there is no footage however the crew did manage a few still shots including the Severn Bridge in the dark - who in their right mind takes a narrowboat under the Severn Bridge in the dark!

(Disclaimer - Wye Invader Two crew always wear life jackets, carry full safety equipment and radios on the boat, have navigation and spotlights lights fitted and the Skipper is fully experienced with certification.)

Sharpness mooring
Wye Valley
Severn Crossing

Redbrook Bridge

Stacks Image 831

Saturday 8th April 1989, 10.00am. The river had lost more than a metre of water overnight, there was now just over 2 metres available, we cast off and followed the left bank through Redbrook Bridge then moved to the starboard side so as to be able to follow the channel close to the bank and squeeze past some large stones that were still submerged a few hundred metres upriver.

Monmouth was 3 miles ahead, as Wye invader moved up the river into the outskirts, just below the Sewer Works on the right, there were loose rocks formed into what looks like a fishing weir coming downstream from the right bank almost all the way across and stopping about 10 metres short of the left bank leaving just enough room for Wye Invader to squeeze past. A few hundred metres further upstream on the left bank is what was left of Troy Bridge, a 20 arch stone rail bridge, about half a mile ahead we could see Monmouth Road Bridge.

Stacks Image 846

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Brockweir bridge

The first full day we set about securing Wye Invader in her temporary mooring so she could move up or down with the tides. We had to wait for a high tide of about 9 meters at Sharpness and about 3 meters of flood water in the Wye Valley measured on the Water Level Gauge at Redbrook, backed up with 2 meters at Monmouth and 2 meters in Hereford, this would give enough volume and depth of water for long enough to get past and over the rocks and shallows on the corner below Redbrook before we moved up to Monmouth.

We had 2 weirs to pass over before Brockweir and Biggsweir bridge's, each weir lifts the water about 5 to 6 feet, it was is distance of about 2 miles and about as far as a 9 metre tide would take us, the rest of the way would be on the river flood.

High tide was at midday and the rain in Wales had filled the River Wye to over 3 meters above normal at Redbrook and 2 meters most of all the way to Hereford. We left Tintern an hour before the top of tide to be sure of passing under Brockweir Bridge, the floodwater and tide were over the quay, which meant we had plenty of draft and were not concerned about the Weirs, there was now only Biggsweir Bridge and 20 minutes later we cleared it with space to spare. Half a mile ahead, St. Florence Weir has disappeared under the flooded river, we moved from the middle of the weir to Port (left) side to avoid the large rocks sat on top of the Weir just to the right of centre.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Tintern Rail bridge

The next bridge on the River Wye in our series of navigating a 38m Dutch barge from Chepstow to Hereford through the bridges on the River Wye.

From Chepstow bridge we spent the next 3 hours feeling our way along the Tidal Lower Wye on a rising tide and we were almost at the top of tide, the tide times and heights are almost the same as Sharpness, the river has a deeper channel close to the right bank starboard side but anymore than 6.5 metres plus the air draft would be to much to pass under the rail bridge.

We intended to moor up on the right bank just above the bridge where we would be sheltered by the river bend, boats have moored there for many years and this was confirmed by Jim Simpson a local Boatman we had meet some time ago on Brockweir bridge.

Tintern Rail Bridge was about 200 metres ahead, as we closed on the bridge we passed through the right hand arch almost at the same time as we started to lose the tide, the weir just forward was losing its water as we put the bows into the right bank, dropped the starboard anchor onto the river bank and were left almost high and dry, we put a bow spring to a hedge 20 metres forward and turned off the engine.

We thought we might be in time to have a pint or two in the Crown Inn on the opposite bank in Tintern, however there was a party going on for some of the locals who I think were about to go Australia, Wye Invader’s engine and search light was something not seen too often and some of the customers thought we were a Russian trawler trawling for Elvers and expressed their displeasure.

However at first light, we had a knock on the hull and to my surprise we had HM Customs and Excise officer asking for permission to come aboard, I said what If I say ‘no’ and he replied “we are coming aboard anyway” so I said, “good morning” and lowered the ladder for access, the hold was searched and they left, then at 10.00am Radio Wales popped in from Cardiff to interview us.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Friday, 22 September 2017

New video on YouTube

The Wye Invader Two crew took a little trip from Sharpness to Brockweir for a beer (or two) on the weekend of 18th September. Now with navigation lights the return trip was started back in the early hours to take advantage of the sunrise in the Wye Valley, unfortunately the camera was unable to cope until much later after Wye Invader Two had passed Tintern. Although it was a stunning trip they were probably about 10 - 14 days too early to see the trees in their full Autumn colours. (Video editors note - I'll ask them to make another run when the trees turn!)

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A little trip out with Wye Invader Two

A couple of photos from an interesting (and eventful!) trip this weekend from Sharpness to Brockweir via Chepstow. Some video clips coming soon - Check our YouTube channel for updates

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Wye Invader Two crew photo competition

Wye Invader Two has been out again for a little trip, originally planning to go up the River Wye but due to low water levels the trip was cancelled early, however the crew had time for a few photo's - which one is your favourite?

Watch out for the video on YouTube coming soon - there's an entry to Sharpness Dock that'll leave you feeling seasick!
Sunset Sharpness marina

"Angel wings" at Portishead Lock

Sharpness Marina
Leaving Sharpness
Lumen - Flag - Antigua & Barbuda. 90x13m 
WyeInvader Two moored in Portishead
Severn Crossing with SARA base in background (far right)

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Some family time.

I've had a Narrow Boat on the River Severn since May 2015  and this Wednesday 9th August 2017 was the first time I have been able to get some of the family down to Sharpness to have a day just messing about on the canal in Wye Invader Two. Harry, Howard and Stella left home at 7am and arrived at 10.30am and it was still raining however, by 11.30am the rain had stopped the weather improved and we spent the next 4 hours on the canal and by 3.30pm the sun was shining and an enjoyable day was had by all.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Wye Invader Two Tewkesbury>Stourport

Over the last eighteen months the crew of Wye Invader Two have filmed about half the River Severn Navigation from Tewkesbury down to Bristol. This last weekend, Saturday 29th July 2017 through to Tuesday 1st of August was set aside to film Tewkesbury to Stourport where the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal meets the River Severn.

From the Saturday to the Tuesday we travelled over 115 miles and arrived back at Sharpness at 1400hrs on Tuesday. An hour later we handed the video and photos over to Dave to edit and the video will be posted on the Wye Invader YouTube channel soon.

(Blog Editors note)

It seems we've started a photo competition between Wye Invader Two's crew as to who can take the best photo on each trip!

Gloucester Dock

Gloucester Dock
Holt Fleet


Gloucester Dock
Leaving Tewkesbury

The Malverns

Worcester Cathederal