Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Gloucester to Saul.

IMG_0979     IMG_0985 Bruin

Monday I caught the bus over to my home town to visit my Sister and her Husband who were looking after their little Grandson. As it was another hot day he was playing in his paddling pool. After coffee and catching up on their news I visited my Aunt for lunch returning mid- afternoon. There were lovely views over the hills and down the valleys from the top deck at the front of the bus. With all the walking and an hours bus journey each way, it took me seven hours for the round trip. I was definitely ready to put my feet up with a cuppa and cool off!

We set off early on Tuesday, leaving fellow bloggers on nb Balmaha behind, to fill our water-tank back at Llanthony Bridge. While we were waiting we watched the pigeons having a ride on the bridge as it was raised and lowered. A lovely sailing ship ‘Brixham’ was moored opposite, then on our way down we met ‘Bruin’ who was doing his best to keep the channel clear!

It’s a shame you didn’t bring your boat down Paul. You could have opened up your new engine to 8 mph going with the flow down the Severn! The limit on the G+S is 6mph, so you could fly along, compared to doodling about at 4 mph on the narrow canals. The fishing is good too I hear, the chaps opposite our boat tipped about 10 fish out of their keep nets at the end of their session!

IMG_0987 winding Hempstead BridgeThe keeper at Hempsted had to do a lot of winding to swing his bridge for us to pass by.

IMG_0995 Tjalc EbanhaezerWe had a pleasant journey down waving our thanks to all the Bridge-keepers as we went. On approaching the ACP Fuel Wharf to fill up with diesel we admired this lovely old Tjalk . Then I saw Anna and she helped to pull us in to moor up. She and her husband Alan had acquired this boat for their new home and after we had filled the tank she offered to show us around inside.  It is 104 years old, 70’ long and 14’ wide. We stepped into the wheelhouse/conservatory where Jasper their dog was reclining on his cushion sunbathing. The original thin wooden steering wheel with iron spokes has been retained, the wheel is about 4’ in diameter. There is a bedroom below aft, then we descended some steps down into the large well equipped kitchen with dining table and chairs. Next was the spacious lounge with big wood-burner, bathroom, double bedroom and door into the store under the fore-deck. It was so big, bright and airy and definitely had the wow factor!

IMG_0997 Tramp IMG_1003

The chap on the left looked like he was a ‘continuous camper’ and why do fishermen fish next to the sign telling them not to? Come in number 4, your time was up before you started!

IMG_1001 LifeboatsThere are always variety of interesting boats being worked on in and around the RW Davis Boatyard, including  these two old lifeboats.

IMG_1005 Joseph,Susan FerrousFerrous with Butty Susan are both RW Davis boats and the large boat in the dry-dock beyond is Joseph which is for sale. Anyway we found a pleasant spot just below the junction to moor. In the evening sun we watched a flotilla of canoes and kayaks being launched and were told they were en-route to the Fromebridge Mill for drinks. Of course they would have to carry their boats past Walk Bridge which has yet to be higherred for craft to negotiate. Saul Junction is one of our favourite spots with plenty going on. There are the two huge boats for the Willow Trust passengers to enjoy a cruise on. Boats are also in and out of the new-ish marina ,Wicliffe School have their rowing club house here and many others come launch small boats too.

IMG_1006 I think we may well have a more peaceful night here away from the buzz of industry, traffic, and those infernal seagulls screeching non-stop.

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