River’s Rising. 24th September

Ferris Railway Bridge to Green Park Visitor Moorings, Bath

Not wanting to get stuck on a rising river for days we needed to move. As we had breakfast the rain hammered it down outside, even more reason to get moving! We don’t know how the Avon reacts to rainfall, is it a quick rise in level or a slow one that can sneak up on you, or does it just about stay constant unless there is a lot of rain.

Off we go

Mick checked Gauge map, the levels had gone up a bit but it looked okay for us to leave the pontoon. With full waterproofs on we rolled back the covers and got going, the rain starting to ease.

Swineford Lock the weir on the left behind the lock landing

At Swineford Lock the weir was gushing, it had been a bit like this on Saturday, just a bit more so today. I looked around below the lock for a levels board to see if we were in the green/amber/red. But there was no board to be seen. The river level above the lock looked like it was up by a couple of inches as I could see where the usual line was below the surface. On most rivers a rise of this much would bring it into amber, but hopefully not red.

Blue skies!

The rain started to come and go, bright sunshine lulled us into removing our coats and waterproof trousers.

Hardly a trickle on Saturday over this weir

The weir at Kelston Lock on Saturday had hardly been flowing, today it was matching the others lower down stream.

One of two spotted today

Weston Lock took forever to fill due to there being only one paddle working, the other wrapped in a plastic bag. The weir was running fast and it looked like the flood gate was slightly lifted too.

Slowly

Once we’d got to within a couple of feet from the top of the lock we both got distracted by our phones. Two boats headed towards us but winded through the next bridge, then the bow of a hire boat appeared, I’d be able to leave the gates for them.

Dark clouds gathering behind

It was lunchtime. Should we take advantage of the sunnier weather and work up the locks. Should we pull in near to Sainsburys and have lunch, Mick needing some bread. The decision was made for us as the rain clouds burst again over head. Coats quickly back on and we made our way to the 48hr mooring nearest to Sainsburys.

No need to water the plants today

No rings or bollards to tie to here, just a fence which is just at the right height to give you a soggy crutch. Mick headed off for a few supplies and returned with vouchers we would have to use. 3 x nectar points and if we spent £100 we’d get an extra 2000 points, we decided to stay put for the day and go and do a big shop that we needed to do anyway.

My new sour dough loaf was mixed and left to rise for an hour and a half then baked. The smell from the oven so yummy. Once it was out of the oven cooling and the news had finished we headed to stock up with shopping. Four boxes of wine brought the bill to over £100, but the check out didn’t want to accept the voucher, assistance was needed. The chap tried several times but failed, he just gave us the points manually in the end.

Oat and Chestnut bread and chocolate chip cookies. Who says gluten free is dull

As we ate our evening meal a batch of chocolate chip cookies went in the oven. I’d made the mixture a few days ago in case we had any visitors, now it was needing to be cooked. The smell through the boat meant we just had to have one each for pudding. Yummy!

4 locks, 6.77 miles, 2 Houdini questions, 2 kingfishers, 4 busy weirs, 3 downpours, 0 prorogation, 4 boxes wine, 1 box Tilly food, 0 shore leave AGAIN!!! 1 oat and chestnut loaf, 6 choc chip cookies, 2 full boaters.

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