“Here Be Dragons” –  10th July 2022

Thankfully it cooled down enough last night so that we could get some sleep. Not only is the hull of the boat metal but also the top outer shell, so on warm days it can turn into a right little hot box.

Not a great start to the day. We set off at 10.30am which is a bit later than usual but we only had two hours to go to get to Sharpness which is where the canal ends. Approximately five minutes into the day, we came to a sudden holt at the Frampton Bridge. There was an electrical fault and try as the bridge man did, he was not able to get it going.

The cavalry was called in, that being the Canal and River Trust maintenance crew. By the time they arrived and after several failed attempts at opening it, we finally got away at 3.00pm.

Our original plans were to get to Sharpness by early afternoon and in time to tie up and watch the mens Wimbledon final between the mad Aussie and anti vax Serbian. This is of course providing we could get good reception on the boat. We ended up having to listen to it on the radio but exciting all the same.

During our cruise, we were tracking very close to the Severn River which we had come off and onto the Sharpness canal back in Gloucester. This photo is taken back up the river.

This one taken across the estuary. We mentioned earlier the volume of the river and it’s length. What we didn’t mention was it’s bore that on certain tides goes back up the river and past the Gloucester lock which we will be exiting on Tuesday 12th July – more about that later.

Some of you may remember back in 2019 that when we were in Bristol, we actually went out onto the Avon River (different from Stratford Upon Avon River) that went out to the Bristol Channel. We can assure you that we scared the crap out of ourselves. But, here is the thing. If you pay 150 pounds a pilot will take you and your narowboat from Sharpness to Bristol. To give you and idea of the passage, the green dot is Sharpness and the red dot is Bristol. The small yellow line is where we went out in 2019.

So at the end of the canal, in the old days, map-makers would have written “here be dragons” because back then the earth was supposedly flat.

There really was bugger all to see in Sharpness except the estuary and get a very good idea as to how big it was and the strong flow of the Severn River. We had a bit of a wander around but could not access the sea lock where you would go out onto the Bristol Channel.

So a quiet evening on the boat, trying to escape the heat.


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