THE SEVERN BORE –  12th July 2022

Plan for today. We are going to attempt to go from Gloucester to Worcester in one day which will take about seven hours. Should we pass Upton-Upon-Severn and see a free mooring we might pull in there for the night as it is only just over two hours to Worcester and we would have broken the back of the worst of it. We will also be past the tidal Severn. Now comes the ramblings of what this Severn Bore is all about.

Because of how the Severn River narrows before it gets to Gloucester, this creates an area of when certain tides come up the estuary, the large volume of water gets squeezed into a small inlet. This in turn creates a wave (bore).

Incredible Severn Bore Wave – YouTube

There are a number of tidal bores that are created around the world but the largest and most famous is that of the Bay of Fundy bore in the province of Nova Scotia in Canada.

The Severn bore can go as far as Teweskbury, so there is a potential that when we left the lock at Gloucester to go up river to Worcester that we may encounter it. At present the bore is classed as a one out of six with six being the strongest. The bore itself can be scary and especially in a flat bottomed boat, but it is more the debris that it brings up the river with it.

The lock keeper at Gloucester let us out at 8.00am which was half an hour before high tide. High tide was 8.30am but he felt that as it was only a grad one bore and that we had enough time to get ahead of it. There is a weir just below the lock where a lot of the debris is but if the bore is big enough, it can go over the top of the weir and we would potentially have a problem. As it was, there were no issues.

So off we puttered in very overcast but warm weather. We put Ange at 1800 revs and apart from going through the three river locks, we never altered her speed for nine hours.

We cruised back past Upton-upon-Severn where they were starting to get ready for their Blues festival this weekend.

They were setting up stages for the bands and decorating the town.

Canal boats were already starting to gather at what limited moorings there are. They will breast up at least seven deep and we are told that they will secure the outside boat by throwing a rope up onto the bridge. This does sound highly dangerous to us as the river has quite a strong flow.

We finally made it into Worcester just before 5.00pm where we found a mooring up off the river on the Worcester and Birmingham canal.

This is the weather for the next seven days which does not look very conducive to doing a very large number of locks starting on Saturday. We might just have to find a pub and hold up there until it cools down.


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