Thursday, 10 September 2015

Going West: Day 10

A misty start to the day, and the promised sunshine took a few hours longer than forecast to break through. We set off around 8, and moved up to the water point at Purton, where we started a wash load and topped up the tank. Then we did the whole of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal back to Gloucester. There might not be any locks, but there are plenty of bridges, most of which need to be swung as they're too low for us to get underneath. All have bridge keepers, some are electric, others need to be hank cranked by the bridge keeper. Some have little cottages with columned porticos.

The Pearson's guide book talks about a ramshackle bungalow next to the feeder from the River Cam. It describes how there used to be lots of them, often built by their owners as holiday homes, and says many have since been upgraded. I think it's fair to say this one has been upgraded since the book was written.

With this being a very wide waterway, there's also a huge range of boats to look at -- some of them very big.

The former lightship moored in Gloucester is for sale, as a business opportunity. It's currently used as a Buddhist centre.

On the return to Gloucester we made a brief stop at Sainsbury's to get the things we forgot the other day, then continued into the docks and moored up on the same outside pontoon that we had the other night. After lunch on board, we walked round to see the lock keeper about going out onto the Severn to head back north. In theory, tomorrow's morning tide could come up this far, but he said we'd have no issue going anytime after the lock opens at 8.

We had another wander round the docks. On the far side is Tommi Nielsen's yard, which specialises in wooden boats. There's a huge dry dock, which at the moment has a Tall ship from the Netherlands having lots of work done. One man was way up the mast, which has had a new top section.

It's been a really warm and sunny afternoon, and the docks have been busy with boats arriving and leaving, both from the river and the canal. There are also plenty of people walking round, sitting having a drink, and just watching what's going on. It's nice to see the place so busy.

16 miles, 0 locks. (121 miles, 124 locks)


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