We left the rickety moorings at Haw Bridge after lunch yesterday. Roger had checked the tide tables to make sure we had the easiest possible trip down the East Channel to Gloucester Lock. The last time we made this trip the channel was really overgrown with hanging trees and bushes but this time it was totally different.
It was still a work in progress but they've done a splendid job, especially on the bends, so you can now see on-coming boats which tend to be on the wrong side of the channel
Roger finally managed to use the VHF radio on the approach to contact the lock keeper, who asked us to speed up to catch up with 2 other narrowboats who were in the channel in front of us. Once we'd caught up we shared the lock which is extremely slow filling and 20 minutes later we moved into the dock.
The skipper of one of the boats in front of us was worried that he wouldn't be able to find a mooring spot but he needn't have worried as there were only 2 other narrowboats moored there and plenty of empty pontoons.
After mooring up and having a brew we went walkabout. The Outlet Village shopping mall is really good with a huge variety of stores. There's also a cinema and a vast choice of bars and restaurants. Sadly the National Waterways Museum is closed for refurbishment at the moment. We popped into Weatherspoons on the way home to spend some CAMRA beer tokens and make plans for the next few days.
On the way back to the boats we found a little white dog which was wandering on it's own round the back of the dock warehouses. It was very stressed and obviously lost. I managed to get Chico's lead on it and a man in one of the flats that overlook our moorings shouted out of his window that he thought it belonged to one of the boats that had shared the lock with us earlier in the day. I knocked on both boats and eventually, after a lot of knocking, someone stuck their head out of the hatch and recognised the dog. They hadn't even noticed he was missing! I told them where we'd found the dog and how stressed he'd been and they took him in........and never even said thank you!
For Bob & Nicola - there's good dog walking around the nature reserve over the lock that should suit Bentley when you get here.
We're staying here in the docks today as it's 48 hrs mooring but we'd have had to move tomorrow anyway as the moorings are closed for the weekend. I think we're going to explore the city so I'll share with you tomorrow.
Bye for now