What an amazing day we had yesterday! We managed (with the massive help of a pilot) to bring Ewn Ha Cul down the Bristol Channel from Sharpness and into Portishead Marina and then, on our own, into the Avon and up to Bristol Harbour. We were rewarded with this view last night as we made our way back to the boat having had a couple of celebratory drinks.
It was a fairly civilised start yesterday as we didn’t have to be at the lock until 7am having booked this with Sharpness dock staff a couple of days previously. There are a couple of bridges to negotiate before you get to the lock. A narrowboat will fit comfortably under the first one but we were being joined by the Sea Cadet Training Ship Jack Petchey who was big enough to require this bridge to be opened.
The crew of this bulk carrier were looking very bemused as we passed. I’m not sure they believed that anyone would be daft enough to take a narrowboat out onto the Bristol Channel!
The pilot joined us in the lock and he and Gordon got themselves aquainted.
The Jack Petchey left the lock first with its crew of ‘baby’ sailors…
…but was soon far ahead of us. There would have been no chance of us using her as a navigation aid she was off like a rocket!
The weather was incredibly calm and, for the most part dry if a touch chilly. Not a lot for me to do other than sit in the front and take snaps and make the odd cuppa.
The lock has a pontoon to moor to which makes life incredibly easy…..
…which is as well because the flow is incredibly strong. The boat was securely tied up and Gordon was able to go off and sort out our mooring while the lock filled.
At Portishead we said goodbye to the pilot and had to moor up in the marina for a few hours to await the high tide to take us into Bristol.
If you’re planning to make this trip you’ll need to contact Gloucester Pilots – all the details of their services are on their website.
I reckon that’s probably enough for now. I’ll leave the details of our trip out of Portishead and up the River Avon for the next post.