My former sister-in-law telephoned to see if they could come and see us and perhaps go for a little cruise if she brought lunch. With an offer like that, how could we refuse? Before they arrived, we went off to explore Alney Island, the island in the River Severn that is about 2.1 miles long x 0.74 miles wide, that is a nature reserve, prone to flooding in wet weather. We found cattle grazing, and spotted our first water irises of the year.
We walked to Lower Parting, the point where the two channels of the River Severn merge again before flowing south towards Bristol. According to the information board there, it is a good place to observe the Severn bore, the tidal bore that sweeps up the estuary on high spring tides.
Our visitors arrived at 12.30 and after a quick call to Llanthony Bridge to notify the bridge-master that we were ready to leave the dock basin, we set off making sure we didn’t pass underneath the bridge until the light turned green. All the bridges along the canal are manned and controlled by traffic lights and whilst most of them have a headroom that is sufficient for us to pass underneath it is still necessary for us to wait for a green light. At the second low bridge, the bridge-master waved us over to the side and as he swung the bridge we could see the impressive sight of two tall ships heading our way and we had to wait for them to come through the bridge before we could continue.
Afterwards we motored on for about three miles before mooring up near Sellars Bridge. We had a lovely lunch of lasagne with garlic bread, followed by a brief circular walk into the Gloucestershire countryside, before we headed back to the boat. The canal is over 100ft wide and we are able to wind anywhere, although there are winding holes marked on the map. These winding holes are huge and look big enough for a cross channel ferry to turn round in! We winded and headed back towards Gloucester and moored up on the canal rather than re-entering the dock. We plan to fill up with water later, and wind again as we wish to travel further along the canal this week towards Sharpness.