Saturday, 4 June 2016

Gloucester to Sharpness

Hi, how are you?

When we needed to go for our pump-out the other day it was blowing a hooly, which made turning the boat round with moored boats on both sides of the canal a bit awkward. I suggested that we tie alongside David's boat as he was already pointing in the right direction and he could power us through the swing bridge to the pump-out point.  We've done this sort of thing a few times before, in fact we've even done it through wide locks, so it wasn't a problem. It did turn a few heads though as we passed other boats and it made the bridge keeper scratch his head till he realised what we were doing.

After the pump-out we headed back to Gloucester Docks as the other two boats who are coming with us down the Bristol Channel had just arrived.

We had the compulsory "planning meeting" over dinner in the Tall Ships pub. It was their once a month Urban Menu - 3 courses for £9. Superb value, excellent service and I'm told the beer was on form too.  In fact it was so good that Roger, David and I went back for lunch on Friday to sample the seafood that the pub's famous for.  I haven't had a decent seafood platter in this country for donkey's years, nobody seems to do them anymore.  This was the exception and I'm really sad that we couldn't stay longer so I could go back and try one of their many crab dishes.

All four boats left Gloucester yesterday.  It's a great place and the only down-side is the gulls. They're a damn nuisance, either flying overhead and splattering the boats or sitting on the roof leaving their calling cards everywhere.   As we pulled out of the moorings David had a hitch hiker.

It had made an awful mess all over his cratch cover and bow and wasn't at all bothered by the boat moving.  It stayed there so long that he had to come alongside us so that I could waft it away with the fly swatter.  Cheeky thing!

A much nicer bird is the swan, and there are plenty of them and their little ones about at the moment.

As we pulled into Saul Marina to fill up with diesel today we passed this lifeboat.  Given our cruising plans over the next few days I really hope this is the closest we ever come to one of them!

We stopped off at Purton this afternoon to go and check out the Purton Hulks.  Full information about this boat graveyard can be found HERE

These are just a few of the boat remains that were visible, several have been totally covered by the dunes.

After seeing the wrecks, we carried on and moored at Sharpness for the night.  Our Big Summer Adventure is still on schedule for Monday so we walked down to the sea lock to check out where we would be going.  We have to be assembled in this lock by 7.30 on Monday morning and we then have a 2 hour wait for the tide to be right so they can let us down and out into the estuary.  Scary stuff!!!!

That's all for now, see you soon

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