Saturday, 17 June 2017

Gloucester Lock

Leaving Gloucester Lock for an overnight stay before the return to Sharpness.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Test run Sharpness to Gloucester and back (32 Miles)

On Wednesday 7th June, Narrow Boat WyeInvader Two was put back on to the Sharpness Canal after spending the last seven months on hard standing along side the dry dock in Sharpness. This last weekend was the first chance we had to do a test to check it out, with a run to Gloucester Docks and return to Sharpness, a total distance of 32 miles. We left Sharpness at 1200hrs on Friday, the weather on the way up to Gloucester was rain showers with gusts of wind up to about 20mph, the wind was from the West and behind us. Our first stop was Saul Junction at 1420hrs, to fuel up and then on to Gloucester where we arrived at 1730hrs.

Moored in Gloucester Docks
Leaving Gloucester Docks
Later that night it started to rain, it was heavy and stopped at about 0100hrs. Just before we left to return to Sharpness at 0930hrs, we noticed that two of the boat windows had water leaking from the bottom of the frame, this was found to be water finding its way round the glass between the seal and we resealed these later that afternoon back at Sharpness. On the return trip to Sharpness we only came across three other boats, the wind was still from the West and a lot stronger. We got back to our mooring in Sharpness at 1430 hrs, the engine was fine and the only thing that I will change is the fan belt as it's now 3 years old and getting worn. So in all, a good ’shakedown’ run for WyeInvader Two following all the work we’ve done over the winter period.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

and we're back in the water...

WyeInvader Two was booked to go back into the water on Wednesday the 1st of June, however like all good plans you have to have a plan B if A fails. On Wednesday the 1st, the dockyard had too much work on so we were given the following Monday as plan B. On the Sunday before, it was clear that at least 2 low pressure areas, one after the other were forecast for the South West of England and the Severn Estuary with 35 to 40 Mph winds and heavy rain. On the Monday I phoned Sharpness to be told, it was off for Monday and Tuesday but should be OK Wednesday.

Wednesday - and the the lift was scheduled for the afternoon however, by the time we got to Sharpness at 1400 hrs, WyeInvader was already in the water moored up against the starboard side of the ‘Oliver Cromwell’, a Paddle Steam Boat  that had been moored in Gloucester for many years and had just sailed under her own engine power over the last weekend to Sharpness to have her glass boarded up for a sea passage to London to start a new life.

At this time, a yacht and a Narrow Boat were being craned into the dock and we had to move to moor alongside one of the other boats and wait for the very large cement boat the ‘Longvif’ out of Groningen, who had just unloaded 5000 tonnes of cement to enter the Lock, this it did at 1730 hrs. We had a shout from one of the dockers to move up to the bridge out of the docks as it was open for use, ready to pass through on to the Canal and, after nearly 6 months of maintenance, WyeInvader Two was back in her berth.