Monday 17th June 2019

Quite a few jobs were done this morning, mainly in preparation for our crossing of the estuary. It has all been confirmed for tomorrow morning. The engine was checked over and the fuel and filters checked. All the rooftop tools have been secured, the cap put back on the stove chimney and the plastic storages boxes from the back end moved to the front cratch.
We walked into Sharpness village itself, an unassuming place that is separate from the dock area. We called into the local shop/post office for some shopping and send careers info off to Manny before returning to the boat.
On the way back we called into the marina chandlery and Brenda asked about water. It was clear from the woman’s attitude that she knew the supply had been disconnected and it is obvious anyway, that the marina has disconnected it. She refused to let us take water.
Quite frankly, we have not been much taken with Sharpness at all and will be glad to see the back of the place.
Back on the boat, …
Sunday 16th June 2019

We had a long walk around Sharpness Docks. Through the marina, past the Dockers Club, over the low level bridge and around the dock perimeter. Like all smaller ports, the docks are now underused and dilapidated. The majority of the grain silos and warehouses seemed empty and disused. Most of the older cranes looked as though they hadn’t moved for years and the rail tracks through the docks were rusty.

Sharpness Docks

There was just the one cargo ship in, the Wes Nicole, registered in Antigua, 3000 ton and bring in a cargo of grain from Waterford in Ireland. Other than her there were a number of vessels, in various states, either awaiting repair or scrapping. Among these was what looked like an old Mersey ferry, a light ship and a super yacht complete with mini helicopter on her back end.
We carried on past the dock complex to the picnic area beside the lock that passes from the docks to the river estuary. The lock is huge along with the two breakwaters stretching out…
Saturday 15th June 2019
During my visit into Frampton yesterday, I bought duck and bantam eggs from an honesty box. We have become well sold on duck eggs since discovering them back in Birmingham, very creamy eggs, but the price varies greatly. These eggs were £2 per ½ dozen for the duck eggs and just £1 for the bantams eggs. The difference in size is comical. We had scrambled duck eggs for breakfast. Hhmm.

Although the day was windy we decided to move to Sharpness. The weather doesn’t seem as though it is going to improve and so today seems as good a day as any and we want to explore around Sharpness before our Severn Crossing. We left the mooring and headed up the canal until we were clear of moored boats before winding. We stopped off at The Black Shed at Slimbridge to top up with diesel and empty the toilet cassette for which we had to pay £2.50. At Purton we stopped behind the moored Edward Elgar and filled with water, doing a wash at the same time. And then it came on to rain, and b…
Friday 14th June 2019

Another day of almost continuous rain. Gloucester Pilots phoned this morning and have provisionally booked our crossing for next Tuesday, 18th. Sharpness Pier Head have been contacted to arrange passage through the swing bridges and into the lock, and Portishead Marina have an overnight mooring provisionally booked for us.
Brenda had an off day and so spent her morning in bed and a quiet afternoon. I walked to Frampton village stores for the Post Office, only to find it closed. I visited the church on the way back but it is quite plain inside and full of memorials to the Clifford family.
The river cruiser “Edward Elgar” moored opposite us and their guests taken off on a coach tour. One of the boats we were seeing around Braunston and Sutton Stop over the winter, “Gordon Bennett”, passed in the afternoon heading inland from Sharpness.

After one particular heavy downpour, we noticed water coming in around the ceiling light just aft of the stove. It seems the silicone …
Thursday 13th June 2019

Aaron left us at 11. It was a day of almost continuous rain. Weather reports from around the country tell of flooding and there are reports of the River Avon above Tewkesbury in flood and high levels on the Severn. We spent the day on the boat.
The stove has been lit for the last three evenings now. In mid-June.
The couple we have been seeing in the pub, Dave and Karen, came for their dinner and we all had a nice evening.

Weather: horrible. Rain all day.
Wednesday 12th June 2019

I had been trying to source fuel filters but could not find any on the G&S Canal but eventually rang the Beta Marine factory in Gloucester. Aaron duly arrived at midday and took me to the Beta place where we bought a full set of filters for ⅔ the cost at a chandlery. While there we were given a quick, impromptu tour of the factory, only small but very interesting.

Back at the boat we walked into Frampton for lunch in the Three Horseshoes. Although they were just about to close we were given sandwiches and a pint and then walked up the village to the Bell Inn. A few pints there and then we met one of the boating couples we were with on Sunday.
Far too much was drunk but we had a good evening. Poor Harvey didn’t get his dinner until 8pm.

Weather: wet, inside and out!

Tuesday 11th June 2019

The news from Gloucester Pilots have put us on hold. We are both disappointed in a way but this is a lovely canal to be delayed on. The weather overnight was bad, strong winds and heavy rain with more forecast. Aaron is due to stopover with us tomorrow and, with there not being a great deal in Purton and the weather not too bad in the morning, we decided to return to Frampton.
It started to rain almost as soon as we started off although just a light, persistent drizzle with blustery winds. The bridge keeper at Purton did not immediately see us approaching and the boat had to be held for quite a while before the bridge opened. With the wind trying to push us onto moored boats it was a bit of a stressful time.
Back at Frampton, we moored just above Splatt Bridge. With heavy rain all afternoon, we spent our time binge watching the last of Games of Thrones Season 8. What will life be like after Game of Thrones?

Weather: rain all day becoming progressively heavier. Windy…