Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Bidford on Avon (single handing in the wind can be fun)

I needed to move the boat on Tuesday for several reasons.  On a domestic front, we needed to fill up with water.  On a licencing front, we had overstayed the time limit at Pilgrim’s lock so needed to move on anyway.  On a meteorological front, Tuesday was forecast to be the driest day of the week and it’s better to avoid cruising in the rain if possible.  It was, however, very windy which would normally have stopped me moving but the other reasons outweighed that so I set off with Buddy mid morning.

First though I had to renew our licence for the River Avon.  We originally bought one for a week; we then extended t to a fortnight and then a month; the month had run out so I rang up and bought a further fortnight.  As soon as the transaction was complete an email arrived with the licence attached which I duly printed out and stuck prominently in the cratch as instructed.

Going into Pilgrim’s lock having set off from the moorings on the right.  Note the bright orange licence for the River Avon

After Pilgrim’s lock, we headed for Elsie and Hiram Billington lock which was rebuilt during the restoration of the Upper Avon in the 1970’s.  The name commemorates the benefactors and the manual labour was supplied by borstal boys.  The picture at the top is us about to head right into the lock cut.

Whilst operating the lock I noticed a heron fishing on the weir alongside us - I also saw three kingfishers during the cruise

After a couple of miles we approached Bidford on Avon which is where I hoped we could moor and get water.

Heading for the 15th century bridge at Bidford on Avon

My luck was in and the public moorings were empty. I spun the boat round so I would be facing upstream but with the strong wind it took me a long time to get the boat secure.

Moored up at Bidford on Avon

Once moored I realised I should have been at the other end of the mooring as I had moored under a tree.   That meant the boat would get covered in leaves and tree flowers blown down in the wind and the tree would block any sunlight.  After sizing it all up I decided to move and pull the boat back manually which I managed without mishap.

The mooring is by Bidford Big Meadow which serves as a car park as well as a recreation ground etc.  It looked like Karen would be able to park right by the boat.  If it had been nice weather we could have had a barbecue - we've not had one yet this year.

Seems as if Karen will be able to drive onto the top the boat

In the afternoon, Buddy and I had a wander around to see if there were any good walks we could do over the next couple of days.  When we got back, the moorings were completely full – two more narrowboats and a cruiser had arrived.

With all the rain forecast it looks like I’ll be doing a lot of housework chores over the next couple of days

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