Friday 18th May; Gloucester (part 1)
A bore? but in a very good way.
Our mooring on the west side of the dock was perfect to catch the early morning sun. We pottered about a bit before taking Meg off for a decent walk down to Lower Parting where we were determined to see the Severn Bore in all its glory, even if it is not one of its more spectacular shows. It was warmer than yesterday and we were glad we had brought water for Meg – it is far too muddy and slippery to let her go down to drink from the river, as you can see from the photo. It shows the bank at the lower end of the East channel. At its upper end, this channel is the navigation from Upper Parting down to Gloucester Lock, at which point boats take care to keep left while the river flows swiftly to the right past the lock; the West channel, looking much wider at Upper Parting where it leaves the navigation, goes over Maisemore Weir before the two channels reunite at Lower Parting.
We were patient this time. At last ……
here it comes! Suddenly we saw a wave breaking on the outside of the bend a couple of hundred yards away. Look to the right and you will see the white crest, while across to the left the wave smoothly rolled towards us.
As it neared us around the curve of the west bank, the crest broke ever more ….
until it reached the parting of the two channels (East to the left of the picture) and it rolled in, and kept coming like a strange and unrelenting seaside tide.
As the wave rushes on and breaks at the parting of the channels the mud on the shore is all glooped up into the water.
And now the wave was almost gone but the tide still flowed in, with the water several feet higher than it had been. The muddy banks had disappeared below the water.
We set off back to the boat, following the East Channel as the tide carried debris past us. The picture below is of the same bit of bank as in the first one in this blog. I suppose once the bore had passed the water is only a couple of feet higher than it was, but the wet mud shows how high the water reached as the bore passed.
Further along upstream (which feels odd to say as you would expect water to be flowing downstream, not rushing upstream at such a speed) the willow roots were submerged.
Excitement over, we strolled back across the meadows, passing the Gloucester cattle with their lovely and slightly strange markings – a thin strip of white along the spine and down over the tail and under the belly.
Most had short horns but this one didn’t ….
As we crossed the footbridge over the East channel we saw the water still flowing strongly upstream.
We had lunch, then the cruiser behind us moved off leaving the electric hook-up vacant. It couldn’t have gone much earlier – if the bore has occurred you are recommended to wait at least a couple of hours for the turbulence at Upper Parting to subside so you are not unexpectedly swept about or clobbered by swirling chunks of tree. We pulled back to take the mooring and I whizzed off to ask the lockie how the hook-ups were operated. Then Dave went over to the Waterways Museum for a token and plugged us in.
We had a busy afternoon as well with lots of pictures taken, so I will write about that in a separate blog.
One hour engine time so the fridge would work, no miles, no locks.