Sunday, 19 August 2012

No Recession in Bidford on Avon - well you wouldn't think so

We set off quite early for us this morning, about 8:15, it was already quite warm and was promising to be a scorcher, being on the River though there was a slight breeze.  We are against the flow so although chugging along progress at times feels slow especially when the River narrows down you can really hear the pull on the engine.  There isn't much too see along this stretch, lots of trees, lots of fishermen, very few moving boats, a few moored on various moorings.  Again we stopped at a service station that is now closed, I checked on the Avon Navigation Website last night and the service points are not up to date on that either, its now just a case of 'eyes peeled', which worked today, we were told there was an Elsan Point above Evesham, on arrival at the lock a large cruiser was exiting, a small cruiser was half way along the lock landing so we had to hover, the cruiser on the lock landing then insisted we went in first, only after coming up the lock did I try to find the Elsan point, to discover it is below the lock and there is no way of getting to it from the lock other than going back down the lock, which we decided wasn't worth it as we were not desperate.  Exiting George Billington Lock and chatting to some people moored up I noticed an Elsan so we did a quick reverse and emptied there instead.

Yesterday we were questioning the roping of stern and bow along the River Avon, we have been following the guidelines and roping up and now have it off to a fine art, most of the paddles are only gate paddles and the water into the lock is quite forceful.  It's dead easy if someone is working the lock for you, like on the Severn or at Tewkesbury but it still feels like we are faffing about when just the two of us.  However at Robert Aickman New Lock this afternoon, I saw the closest to a narrow boat going over I have ever seen.  The crew were experienced narrow boaters of adults and children and they managed to hang the back of the boat by the rope.  Some very fast closing of four gate paddles and opening of rear paddles just saved the day, and it was fortunate that the bow had gone over the other side of the lock and seemed to be wedged on the other side, I think they may have struggled for crockery tonight, but at least their clothes are dry!

We had a stop at Evesham and have stopped for the day at Bidford on Avon, after sorting ourselves out we went for a walk into the village and decided to eat out today, wrong!  Two pubs and one restaurant, in the village.  Pub one stops serving food at 4pm, restaurant only opens for lunch on a Sunday, Pub two it is 17:30 says on the signs Sunday Lunch served until 18:00, we went in ordered a drink,  asked for a menu, no apology just 'we aren't doing food now', me - but it says until 18:00, him - 'we have been busy so we have run out of Sunday Roast so we aren't serving any food now'.  So if you are planning to stop at Bidford on Avon on a Sunday and you want to eat - make sure its lunchtime!  We came back to the boat and had a lovely Rib eye steak and salad!

 A lovely black swan unusually with a white swan
(John says they are from New Zealand)

The mills on the weirs are lovely

Flood levels

View from our moorings tonight

17 miles 6 locks

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