*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****













Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.


I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****













Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sharpness

Hi Friends.

Today was strolling day, so after all the usual morning stuff, we set off with camera, tripod and binoculars to walk down along the estuary and along the docks in Sharpness. We walked down past the marina, which was at one time the mooring of TS Vindicatrix, which was used as a training base for the merchant navy for many years. Sadly in January 1967, the Vindicatrix was towed to Cashmore's Yard, Newport, Gwent in Wales to be broken up for scrap. We passed by the old locks, which allowed boats to enter the old docks. We had no idea which way to go, so just walked along grassy paths and on tarmac until we saw things which were worth looking at. The walk down to the docks is pretty with views down the estuary and the Severn Bridges, although the view was hampered a little by low cloud. We walked up along Dock road, which caught my interest because there was one house bigger than the rest which stood alone and all the others were terraced. I now know that the larger detached house belonged to the dock manager, whilst the others belonged to the workers.
As we walked by the docks we watched as The “Echion”, was unloading fertiliser, hence the red flag being flown alongside the red ensign, signifying carrying explosive materials, which fertiliser can be. She is flying the national flag for Liberia. The "Echion" is 90 m x 12 m, she is a cargo ship hazard B and Speed recorded (Max / Average): 14.6 / 10.3 knots, for anyone into ships. It was all very interesting to see. There were two other boats in being unloaded one of them being "Maple" who was carrying pet food. We got chatting to a couple of guys who minister to the needs of the crews on the ships in a religious way. They help with their religious needs and with any problems they may have with leaving their families behind for 6 months at a time. Not only that they are on ships which have cramped conditions and tempers can flare, so these men help in any way they can. I am sure their help is gratefully accepted at times. I know we live in a cramped cabin, but Keith and I get on well together with no arguments, but I can imagine what when you get 6 + guys together on a boat it could mean ego's take over (Sorry guys). Sharpness is a rare survival, of a river port still handling cement, fertiliser and scrap metal far up the tidal Severn. We stopped to watch the cranes swinging bags of fertiliser for a while and watched as coal was loaded into lorries. I wonder if the coal was destined for Paul Hills yard??
This photo is a general view of the docks taken from the Dockers Club.
A lot of people we know who have done the Gloucester and Sharpness canal told us that we should visit the Dockers Club for at least a beer, so who are we not to follow advice. It used to be the Sharpness Hotel. Midday and there we were waiting for the door to open along with others, who were part of the Tuesday club. We discovered that the Tuesday Club is for pensioners who get a special rate on their meals, which seems fair. Penny and Jim who run the Dockers are a lovely couple and very welcoming. Poor Penny was involved in a car accident yesterday, which wrote off her car (It was not her fault). Despite being covered in bruises she was back in the kitchen cooking for the customers. Clearly she is made of strong stuff, like most of us ladies ;0). After a lovely meal, we strolled back towards the boat.
The view of the estuary from the Dockers Club is mind blowing, but I can imagine in a howling gale it is also wind blowing. I am overwhelmed by the views and could quite happily stay for the full 14 days.
Wading birds have been in short supply since we have been here, but we were treated to this Little Egret searching for dinner. The Egret is from the Heron and Bittern family and has become increasingly common in the UK. This is only the second time I have seen one in the wild, so it was a real treat.
Men and Mrs Coot were busy building a new nest for their second brood, with the first brood of youngsters looking on.
It was a great way to spend 4 hours.
Since being back on the boat, I have cleaned the brass and made us both coffee. With no TV due to the amplifier packing in yesterday, we will probably be watching another DVD tonight. They say things come in three's so we have one more thing to go. Oh the first thing was my travel kettle bought only a few weeks ago, it decided to give up the ghost. I guess when you only spend a small amount of money on something, it is never going to last for long, but I would have expected it to last more than a few weeks, the second thing is the amplifier and so now we wait for number three arghhhhh. Dishing out cash never ends when you live on a boat.
It is now 4.20pm and I really need to get on with some more boaty jobs, so I am off now.

Chat soon xx


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