Wednesday, 24 June 2015

To Sharpness

Sunday 21st June 2015
Patch Bridge to Sharpness
3.75 miles, 2 swing bridges

Today was a day for another set of visitors – friends from our RAF days again.  They arrived mid-morning armed with milk, papers, pudding and a very special wine – Barola de Marshall.  Home-made and very good it was too.  We set off after coffee for the very short trip down to Sharpness with not a great deal to see, but it gave them a taste of life afloat.

Gill had a go on the helm 

And Lawrie got to hold a rope!  They are both keen to come and help us on our return home later in the year on our trip down Tardebigge – now that is an offer that is never refused!  I wonder if they realise what they are letting themselves in for!

Once we were safely moored the Captain and Boatwif came to join us for lunch of roasted tomato, basil and Parmesan quiches, some cold meat, salad and crusty rolls. Followed by the lovely puddings as supplied by our guests.

After a very social afternoon Laurie walked back to Patch End to get their car and once he was near Sharpness, Chris, Monty and I escorted Gill to meet him.  It was a great day together and we look forward to seeing you again in the autumn.

Monday 22nd June 2015

Today was a ‘no go’ for the estuary – too much wind, but we should be good for tomorrow.  So for me it was a blog catch up day.  All four of us plus Monty did go out for a very long walk in the afternoon to see what Sharpness had to offer and try to find the lock to get a feel of what we are to expect tomorrow.

On the way to the lock we found the local shop which has papers and basic supplies.  We also passed some cottages, some with pretty gardens

Nearest the Estuary the row of houses starts with one big one (the Harbour Master maybe), then two semi-detached houses (managers?) going down to a row of smaller terraced houses (the workers we assume?)

 At the end of the houses we were rewarded with a view of the Severn Bridges

These are the bridges we will go under tomorrow – well under one and the other will be swung for us before we go into the lock

There is dredging going on – I hope we don’t get in their way

A view towards the lock

The lock itself - rather large which we might need as we have been told we may well be sharing it with a big ship!

The view out to the estuary

And the floating pontoon we have to tie up to to await the pilot

On the way back we noticed this outfitters from a time when the docks were very different from how they are today

We are moored just round the corner from here, but you can spot a rather interesting boat

It is a lifeboat from Anstruther.  She saw service from 1933 to 1950 and saved 72 lives as well as a few in the War that the new owner cannot get information about.

She is being lovingly restored – it is the gunnels at the moment – they are made of cork.

By the time we got back there was not much water left in the Estuary.

This was the canal at 9pm when we went aboard nb Cleddau to view the DVD of the trip nb Chouette did down the Estuary in 2008 – a refresher for us all before the big day tomorrow.

And this was the sky when we went back to our boat at 10pm – hopefully it bodes well for good weather tomorrow.

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