Sunday, 31 July 2016

Gentle weekend around Saul


As requested I was ready to depart from our very pleasant mooring at 8am!!
Despite the look of the sky it was in fact a lovely one on the move except for us and the two fishermen on the far bank

The goal was the Stables Cafe in Saul for our Saturday cooked breakfast.   We were lucky enough to find a suitable space to moor within sight of the cafe.

En route we passed NB Waterways Route obviously updating
some pictures for his guides.   I hope he has a good balance
After satisfying the inner man we moved through the next bridge and found a quieter spot for the rest of the weekend.   
We had looked up the local churches (there are 5 within a very small area) and discovered that Frampton had a Pet Service at 11 so we took Barney along.  It was about a mile away so within my walking capabilities....There were a couple more dogs, two hedgehogs and a hampster.......not a big congregation but everyone was very welcoming and Barney behaved himself impeccably as usual!!
A visit to the Bell Inn in Frampton was necessary after the walk back, just for a pre lunch drink!!
Sunday lunch on board today.....presently cooking in the oven.


Total distance:3.19 miles 
Elapsed time:1h39m36s (Not including breakfast pause!)
Average speed:1.15 mph (1.15 lock/mph) 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Back aboard

Boe took this today at Camden Lock
which looks a lot busier than where we are at the moment
Note the algae in the picture...this is what fooled Barnaby when we were on the Chesterfield Canal....he thought it was grass so had one of only two dunkings in the canal.

Back on board Petroc after a busy couple of weeks spring cleaning the house ready for the first holidaymakers.   They arrived last Saturday and are now firmly settled in our house.   I was lucky enough to have Boe with me for the week as I don't think I would have managed on my own.  Meanwhile the building of our Granny Annexe continues well and I was able to move some of our possession across instead of packing them all away as normal.

Geoff has managed perfectly well without me and has moved a couple of times for a change of scene, albeit not very far.......finally ending up on the moorings at Rea Swing bridge which is only a 10 minute walk from the bus.

We had a gentle little cruise today whilst the washing machine was busy......Geoff was not brave enough to tackle the washing on Petroc!!   We paused at coffee time at a convenient water point.

We were aiming for Saul but spied a peaceful spot somewhat short of there and decided it would do for the day..  However since we want to visit the cafe at Saul for our Saturday cooked breakfast, I have been advised that departure time is 8am!!!

Total distance:2.27 miles Elapsed time:1h46m12s Locks:0Bridges:0 
Average speed:1.28 mph (1.28 lock/mph)

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Stocking up at Sainsburys.

Trip boat with a party of very enthusiastic schoolchildren
A domestic day today as I prepare to leave Geoffrey for about 10 days.   We awoke to blue skies and no wind, how delightful.  Chugged back up to Sainsburys to do a big shop for him, however a few stops en route.   Watered and disposed of rubbish and emptied loo and far more significantly had a huge late breakfast in the Stables cafe in Saul.  We chose the mega size and and I was defeated.........

After shopping we went back to find a mooring close to where I could catch a bus into the station tomorrow.

Total distance:10.67 miles Elapsed time:4h12m54s Locks:0Bridges:11 
Average speed:3.12 mph (3.12 lock/mph) 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Another gentle day

Frampton-upon Severn church

We carried on through Saul today and found one of our open spots from last year between Splatt Bridge and Frethern Bridge.  Geoff walked with Barney and got well ahead of us as I had to wait for the bridge keeper at Sandfield Bridge as he had nipped off to the loo.......he was so long I thought he had flushed himself away!

Mainly a dry day with just one sharp shower soon after we had moored and opened everything up and had not put up the pram hood at the back.....

We are overlooking the Severn just a field a way again and a beautiful sunny evening as I took these picture from our mooring.

Total distance:1.95 miles 
Elapsed time:1h1m37s 
Average speed:1.90 mph (1.90 lock/mph) 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A gentle saunter towards Saul

They may look beautiful.....
....but not when hissing and pecking at the window whilst I am cooking supper!!
A short trip towards Saul today.  The first two bridges are high enough for us to pass under but from now on it is all opening bridges.  We found a good spot short of the moorings at Saul that was nicely open.   A bit grassy on the bank but nothing we couldn't cope with.

We had decided to go for an early evening stroll to the pub in Frampton upon Severn.   We set out in the dry but had to take shelter under the trees half way there as there was an almighty downpour.   Arriving at the Bell pub we discovered it was not a dog friendly pub.   Plenty of seating outside but all seats soaking wet and the threat of more rain.  I did venture inside to ask if there was a quiet corner we could secrete ourselves with Barney but got a firm refusal.  However I was told there was an outside covered area and the barman kindly directed me to proved to be where bikes were stored and no sign of any tables!!!
So it was back to the boat disappointed.........over 3 miles walked in vain!!!!

Total distance:5.93 miles 
Elapsed time:2h1m56s 
Average speed:2.92 mph (2.92 lock/mph) 

Monday, 11 July 2016

Onward to Gloucester

Upper Lode Lock, descending towards Gloucester
It took us some time to actually get on our way.  We decided to go upstream on the Avon to Tewkesbury Marina to fill up with Diesel, etc........this time we did not have to pay £5 for emptying the loo cassette as we were buying fuel!!!!

It was one of those windy, cloudy days as you can see in the picture.  By the time we were back at Avon lock ready to head down and towards Gloucester it was like Piccadilly going all ways and we had to wait ages for our turn in the lock.  Nowhere suitable to moor and interesting to hold position in the wind.  Eventually it was our turn and we went down accompanied by NB Quackers who were also heading for Gloucester.  It was quite nice to have company down the river as apart from them we only saw one other boat coming the other way and it is not the most interesting stretch of water.

The black clouds loomed over us most of the way but luckily only produced the occasional bit of rain.  We had phoned ahead to Gloucester Lock when we reached Upper Parting so had only minimal time to hover outside the lock before we could enter.   It is not the best place to tie up as it is chains on a high wall and we are still very conscious of our new paintwork!!!  

We carried on past the big Sainsburys where the shopping moorings were completely free, often they are full.   We didn't need shopping yet so carried on through Hempsted bridge and managed a nice enough mooring just beyond.....enough travelling for the day.   

Total distance:15.50 miles 
Elapsed time:5h10m27s 
Average speed:3.65 mph (4.39 lock/mph)....shows how fast we were going down the river!!!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Sojourn in Tewkesbury

Such a delightful weekend....well prolonged weekend really........

Excellent mooring spot, delightful town, plenty of good places to walk Barney and reasonable weather........what more could one want.

On Friday we had a family wander and introduced Boe to the delights of the Abbey.  Part of the afternoon had to be given up to Wimbledon as it was mens' semi-finals day...or should I say gentlemens' semi-finals as they now seem to call it!!

Boe in the Abbey
The Abbey is beautifully kept but I was amazed at the heating system.  There are two giant Victorian looking boilers.  One of the guide ladies confirmed that this was their sole heating which ran on oil and that they all brought blankets to the services in the winter as it was so cold!!

As well as the normal delights of the town, this weekend we had the Medieval Festival
when they re-enact the 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury the last battle in the Wars of the Roses.

Gill Smith, Ronnie Dunn and I spent Saturday afternoon wandering around the large variety of stalls which were either depicting life at that time or selling articles related to that era.   It was a vast area and extremely interesting......and quite hard on the back and feet!!

Later we made our way to 'Bloody Meadow' which is where the enactment of the battle takes place.  It was extremely crowded but we managed to get a spot near the front alongside where all the soldiers marched onto the field

Geoff & I went to the Abbey Sunday Communion which was held in the battle encampment.
The service was followed by coffee & homemade cheese and bacon scones......very welcome
Later in the morning there was a parade through the town

After all that activity Sunday afternoon was another day of tennis......much to Geoff's disgust.....
It is the only sport I really care for on the TV so compared to the amount of football & rugby he watches!!!!   Anyway it is all over now for another year.

Onward tomorrow.......heading for Gloucester.

Thursday, 7 July 2016


Wednesday was a beautiful day and we could take advantage of the grassy area alongside Petroc.  Gill & Geoff Smith came for morning coffee and we had a good catch up.

Tewkesbury's buildings are a mixture of the very old.......
.....and the very modern
The Abbey in the distance as Boe, Barney & I walked on the Ham
The original intention was to stay a couple of nights and move off today, but we are not in a rush so with the lock keepers OK we have paid for 4 more nights and now plan to depart on Monday.  This weekend is the Tewkesbury Medieval festival when they re-enact the Battle of Tewkesbury which should provide some entertainment.   

Staying longer meant Geoff had to walk one of our loo cassettes up to the marina where he was very dischuffed to be charged £5 to empty it!!!!!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

2 days to Tewkesbury

We set off for Tewkesbury on Monday in beautiful sunshine and thought how lucky we were.  However as we progressed down the Severn the clouds built up and so did the wind, but fortunately no rain.   The intention had been to reach Tewkesbury but when we reached Upton upon Severn there was plenty of mooring space (unusually) so we decided to call it a day.  An interesting turn across the flow of the river as the river was running quite well!!
A phone call to Fran and Keith who were planning to meet us in Tewkesbury to advise of a change of plan.  This was not difficult for them as the distance between the two by road is not great.
They arrived later together with son Adrian and grandson Alex, neither of whom we had seen for several years, and we had a good time at supper in the Swan Hotel although the food was only moderate......luckily the company was much better.
For such a small place Upton has a large number of pubs.....there are 6 within 5 mins walk from the moorings........all on top of one another.

Tuesday morning dawned grey, windy and chill.......especially at 6 am when Barney decided he needed to go out.  However we had not planned an early start and by the time we left about 10.30 things were looking a bit better.   So we had a good run down to Tewkesbury which was surprisingly quiet and we have a great mooring spot just to the right of the lock.

Boe arrived mid afternoon by station at Tewkesbury but Ashchurch is the station and is a 20 min bus ride away.   I met her at the bus stop and we whiled away some time in a delightful coffee shop as Geoffrey was still siestering and we didn't want to wake him!!!!!!!

Must do better with pictures........have become lazy as we are travelling over familiar ground!!!!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Return to a spanking new looking Petroc

Such a smart boat

We are absolutely delighted with Petrocs new Look.  Tony at Grist Mill Boatyard has done a fantastic job on her.   Not only all the topsides painted but all the wood around the windows has been replaced.
A very necessary job as it was somewhat rotten.
We delayed a day in Cornwall as the forecast was dire and it has worked out well.   WE have been able to load up Petroc with all our belongings and a big shop all in the dry.

We are moored in the marina here in Worcester which is very pleasant although not sure Barney agrees.   He does not like stepping on and off the boat onto a pontoon.    However there are lots of nice walks close by so he shouldn't complain too much.

Looking towards the canal from the basin
The lower Diglis Canal lock which we hope to go down tomorrow onto the river.
Lots of wild flowers in the surrounding fields, I am not sure what these are.

Left to Tewksbury for us