Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Just a little way today…

This morning we left our moorings near Pulteney weir and made the short trip up Bath Locks to moor again at the top, near the Sydney Gardens Tunnel.  We turned the boats in front of the weir, and then reversed up as close as we dare, just for the hell of it!  After this trip, I don’t think any of us will be frightened of weirs ever again.

 SDC10919Serenity turning in front of the weir

 SDC10922The weir and Pulteney Bridge in close up, from the stern of Windsong

 SDC10926I had a little rest today, courtesy of Karen and Ian’s soon-to-be son-in-law, Jason, who took my place working the locks, so I was able to take photos inside the deepest lock on the system – 19ft 5in!

 SDC10927It’s a long way up!

We may move on a little way to Bathampton tomorrow, or we may stay here another night, we will decide in the morning.  We still have views of Bath, and it would only take us 15 minutes to walk back to the city, but it seems a world away from the bustle of the centre.

A tour of Bath…

Monday 25th May

We took a sightseeing bus tour of Bath, and also visited the Roman Baths

 SDC10892Bath Abbey

 SDC10893Great Pulteney Street

 SDC10915Royal Crescent

 SDC10909Pulteney Bridge, one of only 3 bridges of it’s kind in the world, with shops on both sides



 SDC10906Sally Lunn’s Tea Shop, the oldest building in Bath


 SDC10895The Roman Baths

 SDC10903Is this a Roman ‘dvck’ taking the waters??

SDC10904The hot spring bubbling up from below

We had a delicious meal last night in a tiny Italian restaurant called Vito’s just under the end of Pulteney Bridge, and finished off the evening in the beer garden next door watching the second half of the England- Mexico friendly on a large TV.

Messing about on the river….

Sunday 23rd May

After a somewhat noisy couple of days moored beside 2 pubs at Hanham Lock, we set off for Bath.  Everyone seemed to be out ‘messing about on the river’

SDC10880“ There were sail-boats

 SDC10883and row-boats

 SDC10888and all kinds of craft

 SDC10884cruisers and narrowboats

 SDC10882and some with no raft”

With apologies to the songwriter, the late Scottish folksinger, Josh White for ‘messing about’ with his lyrics!

We arrived in Bath at lunchtime and moored just below the famous Pulteney Weir.  A quick trip to Waitrose followed to stock up on supplies.

 SDC10907Windsong and Serenity moored together below the weir

Friday, 21 May 2010

The SS Great Britain…

Yesterday morning we went to see Brunel’s first steel ocean liner, the SS Great Britain, built in 1843.  Luckily, we were moored almost directly opposite, with a cross harbour ferry right on the doorstep, so it couldn’t have been better for Rog, who is still having trouble walking very far.

 SDC10872 SDC10858 SDC10859Huge prop and rudder


Rog having a play with the wheel in the museum


The promenade deck


One of the few first Class toilets on board


First Class bathroom


The Galley


A working replica of the Matthew in which John Cabot crossed the Atlantic and bumped into Newfoundland in 1497


From the deck of the SS Great Britain, with the Matthew in the foreground, and Windsong and Serenity in the background.

Keith and Diane, who’s boat ‘Fruit of the Vine (Beacon’s No 11)  is just about ready for launch, live in Bristol and came to say hello yesterday afternoon – hope the launch goes well, and we expect to see loads of launch photos very soon.

This morning we said a sad goodbye to Bristol, and began our return journey – we are now moored on another floating pontoon just past Lock No 1, and have checked out the pub!  They serve Thatchers Gold Cider slush – bit like an alcoholic Slush Puppy!  A West Country treat not to be missed, and they were certainly doing a roaring trade, just the thing for a sweltering day.


All ship-shape and Bristol fashion…

After such a roasting hot afternoon on Tuesday, the weather was not so good on Wednesday morning, very dull and overcast with a light drizzle coming and going, but, undeterred we set off to reach our goal.

 SDC10839We soon reached the last BW lock -  and what a rotten one it was too – the beams were practically falling apart, one top gate wouldn’t open at all, and one bottom gate was extremely difficult  - it was that wobbly that I was afraid it was going to fall off it’s hinges as I heaved it open.  It had a fresh coat of paint though!

 SDC10840Very pretty backdrop to Lock No 1


As it nears Bristol, the Avon takes on gorge-like proportions, tree covered slopes all around.  On arriving at Netham Lock, the locky relieved us of £40 for our harbour licence and 2 nights stay, in the nicest possible way, and was a mine of information about moorings etc.  We continued through the city centre, cameras clicking away, right to the end of the harbour where the sea lock is situated and then back to some very nice visitor moorings that we spotted on the way down.


 SDC10845 SDC10847Good job we hadn’t got our chimneys on!


Our moorings – a new set of pontoons

We took a walk in the afternoon, just past the sea-lock, until we had a good view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge – well, you can’t come to Bristol and not see it!

 SDC10855The tide was out!

Onwards towards Bristol

We left Bath on Tuesday morning and continued on our way, looking all the time for a mooring on which to spend the night.  Several are marked in Pearson’s, but sadly they aren’t there any more.  We had a lovely morning’s cruising though, through ever more beautiful scenery

SDC10835 SDC10834 Wouldn’t have fancied this mooring, right by a weir – I’d be forever checking the ropes!

We found a floating pontoon at Bitton,  just right for 2 boats, with a picnic area above – so out came the barbecue, and a good afternoon was had by all.

SDC10838 Bitton moorings

On Wednesday morning we set off for Bristol – the objective of our journey.  We were all looking forward to it.

Playing catch-up…..

We spent last weekend at Dundas Aqueduct where we met Richard and Derry Jones who have a share in Ownership’s nb Kinver, ( we also used to own a share). They came and introduced themselves to us, having followed our blog since the beginning.  It was good to get all the ‘inside info’ about what is happening, after the death of Alan Matthews and the subsequent discovery of his deception.  Hope to meet you again some day, Richard and Derry, and we hope you get at least some of your invested money back.

We left Dundas on Monday morning, and on to Bath, where we found good moorings just on the outskirts of town.  We then had a wander down the locks to get a good look at Bath Deep Lock – almost 20ft deep! 

 SDC10826We watched nb Phoenix go down – it’s a long way!

SDC10820Cleveland Tunnel

We decided that we would ‘do’ Bath on the way back as Karen and Ian have more visitors coming, but a couple more photos to keep you going.SDC10822 Bath Top Lock

 SDC10831Very Continental river side house

Friday, 14 May 2010

No brass knockers here…..

Today we had a short cruise from Bradford on Avon to Dundas Aqueduct, where we plan to moor until Sunday (FA Cup Final tomorrow, and we have a good telly signal here!)  We started off in slight drizzle which came and went throughout the morning, but the scenery was lovely anyway.

 SDC10805Two aqueducts today, first Avoncliff Aqueduct

 SDC10807Past Limpley Stoke, perched on the hillside

SDC10806 Past miles and miles of long term moorers – this one had a whole rain-forest growing on the roof, and a very suspicious-looking spiky-leafed plant!

SDC10808 Dundas Aqueduct

SDC10811 From below

After lunch we all took a stroll along the remains of the old Somerset Coal Canal, which is now used as moorings, to Brassknocker Basin.  Rog was most disappointed not to see any ladies with brass knockers – said it was obviously not cold enough (I think he was likening it to balls and brass monkeys – but it’s hard sometimes to know how his mind works!)

 SDC10810Brassknocker Basin

On the way back we stopped and chatted to chap with  beautiful 1920’s launch, the Lady Sophina, which belonged to a local hotel, and was for hire for afternoon teas and drinks parties – he said it gets quite ‘cosy’ inside in inclement weather with eight passengers, and a glass or two of bubbly soon has them all friends!

SDC10812 The Lady Sophina

SDC10813View down the Avon valley, which we will soon be joining, when we leave Bath