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Sharpness to Portishead & return with Wye Invader Two

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SATURDAY 1st to Sunday 2nd September 2018

Weather - Cloud and sunshine with light winds from the South and a moderate swell below the The Prince of Wales Bridge, an ideal time to enjoy the delights of the River Severn between Sharpness and Portishead.

Saturday’s tide height - 7.6 metres 12.05 hours, outbound
Sunday’s tide height - 7.8 metres 12.30 hours, return journey
The access bridge from the canal to Sharpness Dock and the sea lock was booked on Thursday morning, we were told to be at the bridge at 10.00 hours on Saturday.

Saturday morning 10.00 hours - Wye Invader Two passed through the bridge, then on and into the Lock. We locked down at 10.30 hours and then moored alongside the floating pontoon to wait for high water at 12.05 hours. I phoned Portishead Marina and was informed that the last Lock In will be at 15.15 hours, so we have 3 hours and 10 minutes to travel the 20 miles to Portishead. Bearing this in mind we decided to leave Sharpness 35 minutes before high water and then cross the half mile of the River Severn using the right bank which was in the Lee (sheltered from the on coming tide) and on past the stone structure of Lydney Harbour entrance, then on to the Old Severn Bridge to speed things up a little.

11.25 hours. Wye Invader Two moved out of the Sea Lock and onto the River Severn, as we left the shelter of Sharpness we were carried sideways at right angles to the oncoming tide and forward, at just over one mile per hour.

11.46 hours. We crossed over the River Severn, we were just upstream and in the Lee, picking up speed as the tide turns off Lydney Docks.
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12.05 hours. As we pass Lydney Docks it was now High water and from this point on the Tide picked up speed as it ebbed (as the tide goes out it picks up speed as it moves down the Severn estuary).

13.09 hours. Wye Invader Two was now about half a mile upstream of The Old Severn Bridge, speed was around 9 or 10 mph.

13.19 hours. We passed under the Old Severn Bridge and were now passing the island, half a mile below the bridge on our Starboard side where the River Wye falls into the River Severn.

13.41 hours. Wye Invader Two was now about 500 metres downstream of the The Prince of Wales Bridge. I contacted Portishead Marina and we were advised that the next Lock Up will be at 14.15 hours. The next five and a half miles were covered in 25 minutes, we arrived outside the Lock with 5 minutes to spare!

14.10 hours. We were now in a queue with lots of small boats waiting to be Locked Up into Portishead.

14.15 hours. All the boats are secured to the floating pontoons, the gates were closed and we were Locked up and into the Marina.

14.45 hours. We visited the Marina office to pay for the mooring, at the same time I booked the Lock for the return to Sharpness, the first Lock out is at 08.30 hours on Sunday morning.
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Sunday 2nd September.

08.15 hours. Sunday morning, the traffic signal is on green we have moved into the lock for Lock down at 08.30 hours.

08.30 hours. The Lock gate closed and we were lowered to sea level, the Lock gates were opened and we were first out on to the rising tide.

08.45 hours. We were now about halfway across the Main channel into Avonmouth Docks, heading towards the new Severn crossing, now named The Prince of Wales Bridge.

09.20 hours. We covered the last five and a half miles in about 25 minutes and were just about to pass under the the The Prince of Wales Bridge.

10.29 hours. Wye Invader Two has now completed the transit above the Old Severn Bridge, between Inward Rocks and Chapel Rock and we turned to Port with Oldbury Power Station’s Tidal Reservoir astern and with Sharpness ahead, about 6 miles in the distance.

11.25 hours. Wye Invader Two turned into the Sharpness Outer entrance and then into the Sea Lock and we moored alongside the Pontoon. We had a wait of about half an hour while the access bridge to the docks were opened and the boats passed through, they were then secured in the Lock and then lowered before we can Lock up.

12.30 hours. Wye Invader Two was moored up in the Marina and a pleasant weekend was had by all.