Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Severn Deadly Sins

Severn Deadly Sins
1st June 2010
River Severn

They say that there ar Seven Deadly Sins, but in my book there are eight. Curiosity may kill the cat but it it can also lead one into a whole lot of trouble, but more of that later.

Lincolmb Lock

Today takes out of the two big locks onto the mighty River Severn.

Mr Truth was feasting on red meat again last night which envigoarated him into seeking another early start. The problem was the rain - it was hammering down and even he was a tiny bit reluctant to venture forth. As for me, I was happily editing last nights photos and have been gradually adopting the "less is more" approach to cruising, content to wait for rain to stop and generally take things easy.

Swarms of Paddlers

He prowled round like a caged lion and eventually (quite rightly as it happened) persuaded me to cast off and get moving. It really takes two to work down out of Diglis, and Mr T took the helm. He has always had a healthy respect for the Severn and cautiously nosed WB out of the big bottom gates, feeling the tug of a major river for the first time.

The trip up the Severn was a wet affair, with us taking navigation in turns and warming by the fire when the cold seeped in.

The building next to theTontine Hotel Stourport (thanks Adam)

We were tempted to try and land at the bottom the Droitwich Barge Canal and take a look, but the barrier was in place and access looked very difficult so we left that for another day.

The rain dosn't impede the outdoor pursuits guys, and canoes / kayaks were much in evidence, huge rafts of then being penned down the locks only to released into the river like dozens of water skaters.

I always like  to a bit of new water on a trip and this week was no exception. There were few options open to me but there is always the Severn upstream of Stourport. Navigation appears to end at Stourport Bridge, just above the locks but that isn't strictly true. BW waters continue for another mile or so past some moorings and on out or town.

Stourport Bridge

But that wasn't enough to satisfy my hunger for new waters, I pressed on into a rapidly narrowing and shallowing channel leaving all other boats behind. We slowed to a tickover so the final grounding  wouldn't be too hard and progressed for another half mile, always wondering what was round the next bend. The answer was always the same - more tree lined river.

Stourport Barge Locks

You get more and more nervous in this sort of place and the final straw was a pedestrian staring a us in disbelief and us coming across another sign which paraphrased says "If you reach this sign what the heck are you doing? - turn round now"  We swung WB round in fairly shallow water and made our way back to Stourport.

Captain Ahab's limit of navigation

For all Mr Truth's get up and go spirit I am not completely sure he shares my enthusiasm for these dodgey excusrions "off piste". Curiosity may well kill the cat, but this feline lived to tell the tale.


Adam said...

That's not the Tontine in your picture -- it's the next building along, set much further back from the river. I'd be interested to know when they're going to finish converting it into flats, as the work's been going on for years.

Anonymous said...

Well, you've done us all a favour - we've always wondered what was above Stourport - if it's just more trees then maybe Richard won't feel he has to take Indigo Dream up there for a look.....or maybe not!

Sue, Indigo Dream

ps. How long is Wanderin' Bark? Could you turn a 60 footer at the limit of navigation?

Captain Ahab said...

That very thought occurred to me when I was in the basin - but then I forgot it!
No problem turning a 60 footer. WB is only 42ft but there was room to wind with only a shot blip in reverse.
I cant vouch for the witdth further north of our stopping point!
Indulge Richard - let him take a look so lond as the river levels are not dropping.

Steve Heaven said...

The best way to see the river north of Stourport is on the Severn way. We sometimes walk to Bewdley and then catch the bus back.


Terry Saunders said...

Its possible to make it to Bewdley in a narrowboat if the conditions are right. My dad did it a fair few years back it is slow going though and risky.

Terry Saunders said...

Its possible to make it to Bewdley in a narrowboat.

Andrew Tidy said...

Terry - the straight answer is no, not in a narrowboat. In truth it has been reached when the river has a lot of fresh on (high water levels) which get you over the shoals but the snag is that with the water being shallow it runs fast so turning is a problem and if you drift sideways onto a shoal in fast flowing water you could easily be rolled over. If you went up in flood conditions I would prefer to tackle it ina small lightweight plastic boat with an outboard. Then there are the good people of Bewdley who seem no more responsive to boats arriving in the 21st century than they did when the canal was planned back in the 1700's!