Wednesday 22 May 2019

For gods sake left or right?

Both boats left the pub moorings at about 8:30.

David and Sarah, jolly company.

I had expressed a desire to visit Upton-on Severn.  A little place on the right as you are going downstream past  Worcester.  We have been on this river three times now.  Once 25 years ago, knowing absolutely nothing of river safety with our precious three young daughters in a Black Prince hire boat, no life jackets, no sense and we even allowed the girls to sunbathe on the roof of the boat.  I quiver now to think of it and today we have the anchor out ready and life jackets on  (I don't know how it would be launched as I can't lift it, it would almost certainly take the cratch off with it.  

Last winter I took the four life jackets home to get them serviced.   Two   (The two we had been wearing on the Thames last time) failed and were replaced.

My advice to all is to get them serviced, they disintegrate from the inside!!

Anyway I digress.  I wanted to go to Upton as in the book it says they have the oldest pub in the country  (We have now visited several of these)  but the last time, two years ago the moorings were full.

We came into Worcester, all the pontoon landings were empty, but this time we kept going.

On reaching Upton, David on the boat in front slowed and had a good look.  He had kindly said that we could breast up with them if they could get in.  But not our day, not a sausage could get in.  One hire boat which we guessed would have stopped for lunch.  We hovered but no one was coming any where near the boats so reluctantly both boats went on towards Tewkesbury.

It took approx 5.5 hours to reach Tewkesbury.  It was deadly dull as usual but I think I prefer going south as eventually the pleasing hills come into view.  Otherwise yes, its deadly dull.  I gave David a break from helming and he went below to make the drinks, wash up and make breakfast.  He thinks these small tasks are all preferable to helming down the Severn.

Hanging onto the ropes, leaning out with my camera, yelling to David and this is the result.

Sarah as cool as a cucumber in position.

Following their boat and the more attractive views from the Severn.

As I was going along following David and Sarah, suddenly around a bend was a bug freight thingy in the middle of the canal.  David in front, stopped and went past it on the wrong side, is that Port?  I was alone on the bridge and got a bit anxious so I stopped, well nearly, looked and looked, couldn't see a thing as I was looking into the sun mostly, then thought I should do what the other David had done..... so I edged to the left then the bloody thing also did, I stopped and called down to my David "I'm on the bloody loo" was his helpful and calming advice which did nothing.
Then a man in a "Wife beater" vest came out and waved me, Well I thought he was waving at me so I put my foot down so to speak and went for it...  My heart was POUNDING but the man on deck was beaming and yes he had been waving me though.  I had to keep my foot on the gas to catch up with David and Sarah and a few minutes later my David appeared again and said what was it?  
Nothing...  No photos I'm afraid.

So a big boy, overtaking on a corner, Sarah and David on the right.

Look carefully and you will see the crew member sitting on a sturdy picnic chair asleep in the sun.

We arrived at Tewkesbury and both boats in a stiffing breeze landed on the pontoons below the lock, the lock keeper said that you can only really moor up on these after 5pm.  So as there was a large space above the lock we went on up.  I untied the ropes and as I did so another boat went into that spot...  As if from nowhere a cute short tug appeared and joined us in the lock.  This was one of the boats that was on the moorings at Upton.  Fifteen minutes later another boat from Upton appeared too.  Bad timing or what?

David & Sarah making the turn into Tewkesbury and onto The Avon.

I walked up to the Abbey, primarily to see the Peregrine Falcons  HERE   I've been following their progress this last couple of years.  The Abbey was beautiful as usual,  we were treated to a student practising the organ and very young and good he was too.

The Abbey, can you see the Peregrine nesting box?  Can you see them swooping to hunt?  No?  Nor could we.

A cross on the door which I loved before, touched by thousands of pilgrims and worn smooth.

Someone is clever with flowers.

Its all rather old here Reader.

Sarah and David joined us for afternoon tea, scones and clotted cream needed eating.

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