Thursday, 6 July 2017

And back again...

Friday 30th June 2017
Sharpness to Patch Bridge

3.25 miles, 2 swing/lift bridge

We started the day with a walk to the Purton Hulks - the reason for the trip as although Monty and I went to look at them two years ago, Chris was left behind getting the boat ready for our trip from Sharpness to Portishead.  A journey by car from home of some 65 miles which would take about 1.25 hours. Instead we took the scenic route - 112 miles, 118 locks, 4 tunnels, 16 swing/lift bridges and 2 aqueducts - a grand total of 55 hours cruising over 23 days!

I took copious photos two years ago, so if anyone missed it and wants to know more please go and have a look at this post - Severn Railway Bridge and the Purton Hulks.

The tide was very low this time and although I had my camera with me I had forgotten to put the chip back in, so the pictures were saved to the internal memory.  We think we spotted the hulks of the two ships that sunk in the Severn Railway Bridge disaster, but they are locked inside the new camera and I have yet to work out how to extract them!  Something to do when I get home.

So for us it was a very short journey today and we arrived early at Patch Bridge hoping to secure a mooring, however there were no spaces.  The sign near the bridge states you can moor with the bridge keepers permission - we asked and got the go ahead.  We were actually on the Willow Trust moorings, but they weren't due to visit which is why we were able to take the space.

It was actually quite appropriate as we were due to meet Angela and Patrick for dinner in the Tudor Arms.  We first met them when we did the Wash crossing three years ago.  They live locally and are volunteers for the Willow Trust, so we felt entitled to use their mooring.  After dinner we went back to the boat for coffee.  It was great to see them both again and catch up on each others news.

Not only did we enjoy their company and the meal, but they arrived bearing gifts.  Angela has an allotment on which she works very hard to maintain and she (and many of her friends) are rewarded with wonderful home grown fruit, vegetables and flowers.  Our gifts were apricots, loganberries, raspberries and these sweet peas which were beautiful.

 So why did I stick them in a drinking glass? Well we don't own a vase on the boat as Chris has never liked cut flowers, so it is not something we have ever had on board. However, when Chris saw these his comment was 'they look really nice, maybe we should have flowers on board a bit more often'!!  So thank you Angela - I have already taken him up on the option and bought a few when we were in Worcester (below).  Next time we set sail I will have a vase on board, but the drinking glass did the job admirably.

Saturday 1st July 2017
Patch Bridge to Gloucester Docks
11.5 miles, 10 swing/lift bridges

Having only just done this journey in the opposite direction a few days before there was not a lot to see and talk about.  

We did spot this couple lounging about on a bench by one of the swing bridges enjoying the sun.

This is High Orchard Bridge just before Sainsburys as you approach Gloucester from Sharpness.  Most of us can slip underneath, but is is swung for big ships - something I would love to see as it is a seriously big swing bridge.

I mentioned that we had a television to collect from Argos at the back of Sainsburys.  Well by this time we also had a watch to collect for Chris as the strap on his had broken comprehensively on the way to Sharpness.  It was essential that we found a mooring and as we arrived we saw that there was no one there.  Perfect you might think except there was a fisherman right in the middle of the moorings!  Although he could see us coming in he left it to the last minute to move not one but two rods.  He muttered a lot as we came in, but I am afraid we had very little sympathy for him.  A space at the end would not have been in anyone's way, but no, he had to put himself right bang slap in the middle.

Anyway we managed and collected the new television and a watch and then made our way to Gloucester Docks to find a mooring - it was busy, but there was a space, so all was well.

with this as our side hatch view towards Gloucester Lock

I mentioned apricots and loganberries given to us by Angela and Patrick - well they made a very tasty crumble for dessert that night with enough left over for the next day - thank you again, Angela.

Sunday 2nd July 2017
Gloucester Docks

 A day off for us with once again several walks round Alney Island.  This time the cattle were close - most were quite ordinary

but one has a serious set of horns

Monty loves it there

At one point there is a small cattle grid which Monty flew over in one great bound the first time

but finally settled on sidling round the side!

We went out for a light lunch and did very little else that day - it was Sunday, so a day of rest was called for.

We did come across this boat for sale - it has 7 bedrooms I gather

This notice states that Sula is currently housing the Gloucester Buddhist Centre and has accommodation available for the new owners, so it sounds as though the former are sitting tenants.  I dread to think what the asking price is

We also found just one more pig - a rather resplendent Captain Hogwash

Finally I came across this 
 I am not a fan of graffiti, but this does at least demonstrate artistic talent and a degree of education.

We both love Gloucester and will go back - maybe for the Tall Ships Event one year - who knows.

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