Māhina Avon Ring – Day 23

Well it’s nearly the home straight and the end of this little adventure. I know the last couple of posts have turned into photo galleries rather than blog but quite frankly the river is mostly uneventful. That being said, I did wake up to a couple in their pants next to the boat this morning but more on that in a bit!

Don’t get me wrong, get rivers wrong and you pay the price. We’re currently monitoring a lot of fallen tree stumps and debris causing issue with the new moon’s tides on the stretch just before getting to Gloucester Docks. Without doing a bit of research and a couple of phone calls to study the tide times etc, we could have been facing an onslaught of debris that could seriously damage the boat coming straight for us with the tide. After calling the lock keeper (who is the best person in the know), we have been assured of the safest time to aim for the dock.

So….back to this morning, I didn’t have the best sleep as had a few things running through my mind recently. Covid is causing all sorts of long term issues that I need to be clever and navigate my way around to keep my head above water. I figured a nice start to the day with some yoga would help. As I’m gathering my mat, blocks & laptop to head onto the bank I hear a couple of voices quite close to the bank. Very odd seeing as we’re in such a remote setting, I spy around the front door and see what cannot be unseen! A couple, probably late fifties/early sixties, in very little. Then I see the swim hats coming on and it makes a bit more sense but with no clothes on and no road access, where did they walk from in just the speedos and bikini bottoms with a rash vest?? I bet the local farmer has seen worse though!

They check out the muddy, slippery option into the water then ask me kindly if they can get in off the back of the boat. I agree and then chuckle as Richard is still in bed and probably wondering why there are two people clambering around on the back of the boat! They get in successfully and I smile as the guy stands up, only to his waist in water. “How tall are you?” I quickly ask, “6ft4”, he replies. I quickly do the math to figure out how much water there is between the bottom of my boat and the bottom of the river – not a whole damn lot, eek!!

The wind is giving it some today so a bit of creative thinking was needed to get her off the mooring as the wind was solidly pushing her into it.

With a bit of springing, using the nose as a pivot I managed to get the prop into the deeper water and then follow the turn round to be facing the right way and we were off!

Next a quick toot on my horn as there was a kayak that just hadn’t sussed out we were there and the wind was blowing them around too. They seem to not be bothered that my 11 tonne chunk of steel was coming their way and that I surprisingly don’t have a magic brake that stops her or steers her like a car.

Fishing is super popular on both rivers and canals. Some can be friendly, others simply hate boaters. All down to both laying claim on who’s right it is to be there but as previously mentioned, if its not moved fast enough (and I’m travelling super slow), I can guarantee who would win if the rod and boat were to bang into one another.

Today the fishing experience was different.
Fisherman #1 – Shorts & T-Shirt
Fisherman #2 – Shorts, no T-Shirt
Fisherman #3 – No Shorts, No T-Shirt………..just speedos
I close my eyes as we pass the next fisherman just incase this progressive spiral towards nakedness continues!

Not long after, we safely arrive in Tewkesbury.

Had to do a U-Turn to get on it but managed to get a mooring by the Bridge for the night in Tewkesbury.

Tomorrow we lock down out of the Avon onto the River Severn, it’s been a long time since I have visited Tewkesbury so decided to have a little wonder.

Went for a walk around the Abbey – the architecture didn’t disappoint!

We decided to carry on with a walk that took us along the Avon bank, then the Severn, then back round the old Mill to the mooring. Some lovely views along the way.

Was great to see the way we leave and get to the lock tomorrow. These are the sort of ‘road’ signs you see on the river showing you which was to go to avoid certain death tipping your boat over the weir!

Today’s little trip can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Yd3NA91j-x8

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