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.

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