Monday, 27 August 2012

Gloucester Docks

The River Severn from Upton to Gloucester is the biggest river we've been on so far and consequently the boats are bigger too.
From this passenger trip boat which dwarfed the hire boat it was overtaking

to these gravel barges moored at the filling depot.

At the other end of the scale there were these sailing dinghies

and in between the two there were many, many "yoghurt pots" who won't slow down for anything.  There's a river festival in Stourport next weekend and they all seem to be heading there.

This is Gloucester Lock. It's HUGE. Not only was there lots of room in front of us

but you can see how much room there was behind too.  This section of the river is tidal and at certain times of the month it can be a bit tricky getting into or out of this lock. At the moment though it's easy going. We'd phoned the lock keeper when we were about a mile away and by the time we'd arrived the lock was set for us and we went straight in.

There are plenty of moorings in the docks, both around the walls and on floating pontoons and you need to notify the lock or bridge keeper when you intend leaving.

We're on a short pontoon. The best spot for us, being so long, would have been on the pontoon against the quayside on the left of the photo, but a plastic cruiser was moored right in the centre and he didn't look friendly enough to ask to move. All the time we were at Upton surrounded by cruisers the crews were very friendly, but you do get some of these plastic boat owners who look down their noses at narrowboats.

Once we'd got moored up we went off for a wander.  We found the water point in the docks but it would be impossible to use as it's blocked by a BW patrol boat.  Luckily there are at least 3 other water points further down onto the Gloucester & Sharpness canal.

This is Llanthony Bridge which is the exit of the docks and the entrance to the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.

This is the SULA Lightship which is a Holistic Therapy centre and Buddist Centre moored in the docks.

I've fallen in love with this boat.  If I win the lottery I just might have to make an offer for it. It's beautiful and I could just picture us going off to sea in it, maybe cruise up the Seine or to Amsterdam.........ah well, I'll just have to keep dreaming.

Just through Llanthony Bridge is a new Sainsbury's supermarket, complete with it's own 4 hour shopping moorings.  We'll pay them a visit tomorrow as we head off towards Sharpness.

This is the Oliver Cromwell Paddle Wheeler which is also moored in the docks. It was a floating restaurant, although it's not used at the moment.

On our way back to the boat we passed these two huge dry docks.

It had started raining while we were wandering around and by the time we got back we were cold and drenched.  It was the ideal opportunity to put the central heating on for one of it's mid-Summer runs. We run the Eberspacher for an hour once or twice in the Summer to keep the diesel fresh as it deteriorates in copper pipes and could cause problems later on in the year when we really need it to work first time. Having done that for the past 4 years, along with regular servicing, has meant that our heating never misses a beat.

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