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20 / 21 / 22 / 23 September with Wye Invader Two

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The first of what I think was probably an Autumn Gale, well that’s what it felt like!

The plan:

Sharpness Marina > Gloucester >Tewkesbury then return to Gloucester on Saturday, and back to Sharpness on Sunday.

Weather Outlook:

Sunshine and the occasional shower and wind gusts between 20 and 30 miles per hour in the River Severn Estuary.
Journey to Gloucester.

The wind caused problems at almost every bridge, as the bridges are operated on a traffic light signal system, if the traffic signals are red you have to stop but, with a 20 to 30 mile an hour wind blowing behind your stern, it’s difficult to keep from crossing the red signal and additionally, most of the bridges are operated by hand, making it difficult for the bridge operator under those conditions.


1620 hours. Llantony Bridge is the last access bridge before Gloucester Docks, this closes at 1630 hours for 1 hour to allow the road traffic more access to the city centre and stratification management from 1730 hours. The bridge then opens on demand up until 1900 hours.

1730 hours. Return to Wye Invader Two after a brief visit to Sainsbury’s superstore, next to the Sharpness Canal for odds and ends for the rest of the weekend.

1745 hours. Turn into Gloucester Docks to moor for the night.
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1055 hours. Enter Lock to exit Gloucester and proceed up ‘The Parting’ and Lock Down.

1123 hours. About halfway up the Parting, just below the last corner a large tree was blocking more than half the navigation channel from the starboard side to past the mid-line, I phoned the Lock Keeper and it seems no one else has bothered to do the same! It was my understanding that the ‘Edward Elgar’ was on it’s way back down the River Severn in a few hours, with passengers onboard.

1200 hours. As we cleared The Parting, the wind was still gusting at between 20 /30 mph but the direction was still from West by North West, so the trees on the left bank give us some shelter.

1218 hours. Wye Invader Two was about 1 mile below the Red Lion pub and about the same upstream of Ashleworth when the work boat ‘Riparian’ passed by on it’s way back towards Gloucester, we later found out it had been called out to deal with the tree in The Parting.
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1330 hours. We were passing Deer Hurst, Upper Load Lock was about 2 miles upstream, the wind was still gusting and the rain showers hadn’t stopped.

1355 hours. The Weir at Upper Load has come into view, Wye Invader Two eased off as we turn to the Port left out of the main river course and round the corner, the Lock Gates were open and we had a green light.

1410 hours. As soon as we’d cleared Upper Load Lock and passed the Weir, it became clear that the wind was still gusting, we turned onto the River Avon and as we rounded the last corner, the ‘Edward Elgar’ was held against it’s mooring by the wind and was unable to leave until early the next morning, when the wind had eased.
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0930 hours. It was still raining, it started at 0800 hours, and was forecast to rain all day until late evening, so we decided to return to Sharpness rather than get wet for another 2 days. On clearing the lock at Tewkesbury, the ‘Edward Elgar’ was no longer at her mooring, she had cleared her mooring on or before 7am and was now well on her way to Gloucester.

0945 hours. We moored in Upper Load Lock and noticed the water in the lock when the gates opened after we had been lowered, was only about 1 foot lower and the fishing platforms along the river bank were only a few inches from the river water covering them, so I guessed there was about 3 feet of fresh water in the river because the rain in Wales had made it’s way into the river, so the 14 miles to Gloucester should be a little quicker.

1200 hours. Gloucester Lock.

1650 hours. We arrived back at Sharpness Marina and it was still raining however the wind had eased.
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