Saturday, 15 October 2016

Harbour maintenance

Hi, nice of you to drop by

Every full moon the tides in Bristol are at their highest and the harbour authority carry out their routine sluicing of the entrance lock to remove silt.  It's quite a spectacular sight and happens right beside our mooring.

First they close the lock gates at both ends. This shot is taken from our mooring so you can see how close we are. Those locks gates are HUGE and we get jiggled about a bit every time they open or close. It was a bit disconcerting the first time they moved in the night. We didn't have a clue what was happening but now we hardly even notice it. One of them squeaks loudly so that alerts us to what's going on.

Then they empty the lock

Then they open the sluices at both ends which creates a powerful undertow which sucks the silt into the river to be carried away on the next tide. The water looks like it's boiling!

So much water is flushed through the lock that the harbour level drops by about 18 inches.

The river Severn has tides which fluctuate about 30 feet between high and low water, which means that it's easily navigable at high tide but is more of a muddy ditch at low water.  When we arrived on Fizzical Attraction from Sharpness back in June we had no idea just how low the channel actually goes.

You could almost walk across in waders

That's all for now. Take care and come back soon

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