Saturday, 15 August 2009

Hawbridge - Tewkesbury - Upton

Captains Log Canal Date 15th August 2009 Travels 11.5 Miles (2 trips) I large river lock Current Location Upton on Severn OS Ref SO 851 – 408 Lat – Lon 52.03’19.6 2 13’10.7W We moored at the Haw Bridge Inn for 2 days. We had to find a post box in order to post a Birthday card. (Some people just will not have a computer) We walked from the Haw Bridge to Apperly, the closest village, a distance of about 2,000 miles there and about 3,000 miles back. Well it felt like that to me anyway. We eventually found a post box but no shop, pub, or anything where we could spend our vast amount of pocket money. On returning to the boat Pam pointed out a little red square in the wall of the pub opposite. Yes there was a post box about 100 yds in the other direction. That did not go down well with me at all. We had planned to move in the morning but it was raining. No point travelling in the rain if it is not necessary so we waited for the rain to stop. This took about 24hrs. So we set off the following day for Tewkesbury. The only thing of note on this leg of our world cruise is the size of the river lock at Upper Load. It is huge! I think that I could turn my boat inside the lock. There must be room for 20 or more narrowboats at any one time. This time it was just us. The River Severn skirts round the town and there are no moorings so you have to go into the Avon to find moorings. The lower Avon Trust charges a small fee for these moorings but insist that you have a valid Avon licence. Now call me tight if you like, but the thought of paying another £35.00 just to moor for one night at the back of a small housing estate, up against a high steel wall with no view at all sound just a bit like profiteering. However, when the lock keeper came for his pennies he was quite happy just to charge us the £3.00 mooring fee as long as we did not intend stopping longer. (A very nice man indeed) Almost as soon as we had landed we were met by Steve & Sarah. We made our arrangements for the following morning and then did a bit of shopping. The following morning Steve & Sarah arrived and we soon set sail for new horizons. The weather was fine, just the odd patch of cloud. As soon as we navigated past the sand bar at the join of the Severn & Avon control was past to Steve. (Sarah declined to move our house). All went fine until I saw what can only be described as a ship manoeuvring in front of us. It was coming of the bank and making a turn. I could not see where it was going so I kept in the middle of the river which was very wide at this point. The river barge then set off towards me at what seemed to be an alarming turn of speed and with the copious usage of its very loud horn I gathered that it wanted me to get out of its way which I did rather quickly! We passed the river barge with some 50 foot to spare but its wake sent us rocking for some time. When we arrived at Upton we had 3 priorities 1 ­­- find a mooring 2 - take on water 3 - find a pub lunch We found a mooring just past the bridge. But there is no sign of a water point anywhere. This has been a bit of an issue on the rivers; there is a shortage of service points. We will just have to go steady on the water until we get to Worcester. It looks like I shall have to drink more whisky and take less water with it! We had no problems finding pubs, the town is full of them! A quick thanks to Steve & Sarah. Not only were you both good company but you supplied the drink as well!

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