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An ongoing series of a Skippers view on navigating a 38m Dutch Barge through the bridges on the River Wye from Chepstow to Hereford

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Tintern Rail Bridge

We intended to moor up on the right bank just above the bridge where we would be sheltered by the river bend, boats have moored there for many years and this was confirmed by Jim Simpson a local Boatman we had meet some time ago on Brockweir bridge.

Tintern Rail Bridge was about 200 metres ahead, as we closed on the bridge we passed through the right hand arch almost at the same time as we started to lose the tide, the weir just ahead was losing its water, we put the bows into the right bank, dropped the starboard anchor onto the river bank and we were left almost high and dry, we put a bow spring to a hedge 20 metres forward and turned off the engine.

We thought we might be in time to have a pint or two in the Crown Inn on the opposite bank in Tintern, however there was a party going on for some of the locals who I think were about to go Australia, Wye Invader’s engine and searchlight was something not seen too often and some of the customers thought we were a Russian trawler trawling for Elvers and expressed their displeasure.

At first light, we had a knock on the hull and to my surprise we had HM Customs and Excise officer asking for permission to come aboard, I said what If I say ‘no’ and he replied “we are coming aboard anyway” so I said, “good morning” and lowered the ladder for access, the hold was searched and they left, then at 10.00am Radio Wales popped in from Cardiff to interview us.
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