Sunday, 22 July 2012

It's Green for GO!

Do you remember me telling you our level marker was the tyre hanging across the river?  Well when we opened the blinds at 7.00 this morning it was finally out of the water which meant that the level was low enough for us to safely move.

Sure enough, the river level had dropped about a foot overnight and was back in the green.

Yesterday a couple arrived from Evesham on a brand new boat and we decided to travel back to Stratford together setting off around 9.00.

The current was still quite strong and in a few places it slowed us right down, but we hadn't realised just how strong it was until we got to Welford Lock.  We had to moor on the lock landing while 3 plastic cruisers came down the lock and our new friends breasted up against us to wait.

You can see the lock on the left and the weir on the right. These two photos show the force of the current, can you see the waves?

There were people from the Avon Trust at the lock and they told me we had to be careful untying our ropes, to make sure we cast off the stern rope before the centre rope.  They were advising us to do this as a few years ago a guy had cast off his bow rope leaving the stern attached and the current had grabbed him, spinning his boat around.  He'd tried to hold the stern rope but the current was too strong and he ended up having 3 fingers severed and his boat sunk!  Needless to say we were all very careful.

Just as we were about to go into the lock another narrowboat arrived.  He was singlehanding and instead of coming over to the lock landing he kept over the other side of the river.  The current caught his bow and spun him around in a matter of seconds!  There was no possibility of him turning round again so the guys at the lock had to grap his ropes, help him over to the lock landing and then they were going to help him reverse into the lock, go up backwards and turn above the weir.  It just goes to show that even though the river level is in the green, you have to be very careful near weirs!

Further up-stream we came across this fallen tree which wasn't there 3 weeks ago before the floods and would have made a real mess of the paintwork if we'd got too close.

There are some fantastic houses beside the river.  This is just one of them.

When we finally got to Stratford upon Avon the river was chaotic with loads of canoes, rowing boats and punts.  It took us ages to get up to Bancroft Lock, dodging holiday makers as we went.

Since we left at the beginning of July, the local Council have brought in mooring charges on the Recreation Field moorings. It's now £5 a night.  As we passed one boat, he shouted to us that Bancroft Basin was full but when we got in there were actually 6 spaces so that's were we're stopping for a couple of days.

Since we moored up we've talked to several boaters who we'd seen down at Bidford and who hadn't waited for green but who had gone while the level was still in the red.  Without exception they all had horror stories to tell and everyone said they wished they'd waited. I'm SO glad we waited the extra day.


Adam said...

Glad you're back on the safety of the canals. Now all you've got to contend with are the Japanese tourists!

Blue Moon said...

Glad to hear you have finally managed to move. We've been following your story with interest - we were stuck at Bidford in 2010, but fortunately only for 3 days - it has to be said there are worse places to be stuck, but I guess you had had enough of it !! Have a lovely trip from here on in and enjoy the weather.

John & Louise