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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Lower Lode to Goucester Docks

We set off from Lower Lode this morning aiming to arrive at Gloucester lock for the 11:45am locking. As it was very windy and at times when it was a direct hed wind, which in nautical terms we had wind over tide, in other words the river was flowing in one direction and the wind was in the opposite direction, which is when waves are created, I wound the National up to make sure we were not to miss the locking, otherwise there would be a 2 hour wait for the next one. We were looking out for the notice board telling us to radio the lock to let them know we were on the way, which we found at Upper Parting, where the River Severn seperates into 2 channels of which we had to take the east channel. However this was only 2.5 miles from the lock and we were there at 10:45am, so I eased back to a crawl to kill some time before arriving at the lock, and there was me worrying we would take too long and miss the lock, hahahaha.

A quick VHF radio call to Gloucester lock and they asked me to call again at the 3 bridges, which I did when we go there, which is only half a mile from the lock. They informed me to come ahead and the lock would be ready for us to enter, and there was already one narrowboat in the lock. They also warned me of the dredger below the lock. As we approached the lock, the gates opened, the lights changed to green and we slipped into the lock and moored against the other boat which just happened to be "Nobody Knows" who we met at the Droitwich Festival. This was 11:15am so we had to wait for half an hour before they filled the lock, aas at present they are on restricted operation due to water shortage, so whereas normally they would just have let us in and filled the lock straight away, they are doing a 2 hour turn round. At least we were safely in the lock and not having to hang onto the quay wall outside the lock. Once through the lock we pulled into the dock, and spun round to reverse into the new pontoon moorings close to the lock. Fortunately for us one of the 2 linear moorings was available, so we slipped into it.







After some lunch we took a walk around the dock, and whilst crossing at the dry dock, which was being drained with a real dutch barge in it, I wondered if it was the one that a young woman in the Lower Lode Inn had said her and her husband had bought and was going into dry dock for a survey and blacking, and as we were directed to her husband it was. It is some craft which needs a lot of work doing to it, but once finished they are going to take it to France, Belgium and Holland to cruise their canals.


We wandered around the new Gloucester Quays, before heading into the city centre, where we found our bearings and found the cathedral, which we visited. I liked the highly decorated organ pipes, which I have never seen before.


We are now looking forward to visiting the Waterways Museum tomorrow, along with everything we missed today, well all we can visit in one day that is.


Keith.

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