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Index

Tour 2002

Index

47 - Purton to Portishead. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal and Severn Estuary.

Sunday 18th August 2002

That morning we spent time cleaning up the boat and readying it for the Estuary passage. We ambled down to Sharpness, leaving at 12:40 and getting to the corner with the old arm at 13:00. here we spotted NB Stokie and John and Brioni in a large plastic boat that they have just bought!......"Islander" was a tidy 26 year old Broom 37. After a good chat with John and Brioni, John radioed Swansea coastguard for a weather check...........for we were to be in company going down the estuary, another 5 cruisers were going downstream. 
So it was through the booked swing bridges into Sharpness Docks at 15:00, where we all easily got into the entrance Lock. "Our" pilot soon arrived........I say "our", because we had Dave the last time we went down! 
At 16:10 we exited the Entrance Lock. It was virtual neaps, so not too much excitement expected, other that there would be a bit of a swell below the bridges, due to a Force 3 blowing up the estuary. As it was neaps we punched the last hour of tide. It did indeed get a slight swell on below the bridges, but nothing to worry about. 
A new different experience at Portishead, the marina was now open in the old Docks and a new radial gate lock had been built in the remains of the old, just like at Limehouse. There was the added luxury of a floaty pontoon inside the lock for you to tie onto. We arrived at Portishead at 19:00, but had top wait for 20 minutes due another locking. While we were gently locking up Neil went in an paid our overnight dues, it was meant to be 1.50 / Metre, but Neil managed to get some discount due to belonging to a "Cruising Club"! 
Come 19:45 we were moored up on one of the outside pontoons and soon availed ourselves of a handy water point, to fill our nearly empty water tank. this had been run down, as Earnest performs better at sea with the bow light. It was a longish 20minute walk to get out of the marina and through the old dock roads. Portishead was a bustling little town, we managed a quick shop in the Esso Petrol Station Spar and then got a Chinese takeaway. There were a good few decent looking pubs, as well as Chinese, Indian and Thai restaurants.

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Making our way down from Purton. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

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The remains of the old Severn Railway Bridge swing bridge over the canal. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

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Looking over the banks at Sharpness Old Dock Arm, now moorings. Severn Estuary.

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Looking across the Severn Estuary from just before Sharpness.

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The moorings just before Sharpness. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

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John and Brioni, NB Stokie and Islander their new addition to the fleet. Sharpness. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

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John and Brioni and NB Stokie Sharpness. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

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John and Brioni and Islander. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

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Looking down the estuary from Sharpness Old Dock.

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The Old Dock office is now an inshore rescue base. Sharpness.

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Looking up the estuary from the Old Dock Arm. Sharpness.

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Old Dock Arm. Sharpness.

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We follow the cruisers down through Sharpness Docks to the Entrance Lock. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

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We follow the cruisers down through Sharpness Docks to the Entrance Lock. Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

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Looking back at the Sharpness Docks entrance bridges.

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Lining the boats up in the Entrance Lock. Sharpness Docks.

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Looking below the Entrance Lock at the semi-tidal basin. Sharpness Docks.

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All the boats waiting for the off.  Sharpness Docks.

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Looking back at Sharpness. Severn Estuary.

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Looking down at Berkley Nuclear Power Station. Severn Estuary.

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Looking across to Lydney Dock. Severn Estuary.

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Berkley Power Station. Severn Estuary.

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Coming up to the Hayward Rock Cardinal Marker. Severn Estuary.

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Looking across to Aylburton and Lydney. Severn Estuary.

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Looking back at Berkley Nuclear Power Station. Severn Estuary.

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Looking down at the Severn Bridges.  Severn Estuary.

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Oldbury Nuclear Power Station. Severn Estuary.

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Looking back at Sharpness. Severn Estuary.

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Oldbury Nuclear Power Station. Severn Estuary.

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The Counts Cardinal Marker. This marks the southern end of Narlwood Rocks. Severn Estuary.

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Lining up for the bridges. Severn Estuary.

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Final look back at Sharpness. Severn Estuary.

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Severn Bridge north bank. Severn Estuary.

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Severn Bridge north bank - the old ferry slipway. Severn Estuary.

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Severn Bridge. Severn Estuary.

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Looking down to the Severn Second Crossing. Denny Island lined up between the downstream marker posts. Severn Estuary.

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Severn Second Crossing. Severn Estuary.

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Severn Second Crossing. Severn Estuary.

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The bridge over the entrance to the River Wye. Severn Estuary.

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Looking back at the Severn Bridge. Severn Estuary.

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Lining up for the Shoots and the Severn Second Crossing. Severn Estuary.

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The Cardinal Marker on Old Man's Head Rocks.

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Severn Second Crossing. Severn Estuary.

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Severn Second Crossing. Severn Estuary.

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Looking back at the Severn Second Crossing as we come out of The Shoots. Severn Estuary.

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Looking across to Llanwern Steelworks site under a moody sky. Severn Estuary.

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As promised it gets a bit rough downstream of the bridges. Looking over and down at Avonmouth. Severn Estuary.

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Bulk carrier leaving Avonmouth. Severn Estuary.

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Avonmouth breakwaters. Severn Estuary.

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This car carrier comes out of Avonmouth as we come in towards Portishead. Severn Estuary.

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Avonmouth entrance lock, between the two breakwaters. Avonmouth Signal Station is the square blockhouse. Severn Estuary.

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Royal Portbury Dock breakwater. Severn Estuary.

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The bulk carrier and car carrier amble off down the Severn Estuary.

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Entrance lock into Royal Portbury Dock. Severn Estuary.

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Looking back at Avonmouth. Severn Estuary.

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Denny Island. Severn Estuary.

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Coming into Portishead. Severn Estuary.

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Coming into Portishead. Severn Estuary.

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Portishead Marina new radial gate entrance lock. They drop the water for our entrance. Severn Estuary.

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Portishead Marina entrance lock.

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Portishead Marina entrance lock. Note the floating pontoons. Earnest's periscope exhaust will soon be off, as it gets difficult to remove once cooled down.

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Portishead Marina control tower.

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The upper gates of Portishead Marina entrance lock.

The Tour Continues...


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