This morning after an early breakfast aka 8.30 am, we untied from the mooring rings, and manoeuvred downstream, about 200 yards to the water point. About 40 minutes later, with a full tank we were underway, heading for our first river Lock.

Colin P. Witter Lock

The Locks appear to be more robust than those on the canals, but then they are not nearly as old. On exiting the Lock, it is possible to see the river level gauge. Green is good to go, orange is ok but look for a mooring, and red, abandon ship. Well not quite, but certainly not ideal cruising conditions.

River level gauge below the Lock

As can be seen in the photo above, we are well within the green zone. Not having been on a river before, we are unsure how the levels change. On Wednesday we are forecast some fairly prolonged rain, so it will be interesting to see, what effect that has on the river. A few yards beyond the Lock exit, and you see what you would have encountered, if you had taken the wrong channel above the Lock.

The Weir

Fairly benign in the current conditions, and shooting some weirs can be fun in a canoe, but not a 20 ton narrow boat though. Initially we were aiming for Bidford-on-Avon, but the weather was cold, so on arrival at Pilgrim Lock, a mile and a half beyond Welford-on-Avon, we found a mooring spot and stopped for the day.

Mooring Pilgrims Lock

As can be seen the mooring is equipped with long poles and rings. The lines from the boat are attached to the rings, which can then slide freely up and down the poles, corresponding to the changes in water level. Let’s hope we don’t ever see the rings at the top, as that is some serious flooding. The moorings provided by the Avon Navigation Trust, are identified by the blue hoops painted on the poles, and are mainly located above the Locks.

View from the side hatch

The mooring is adjacent to a large field, which is also used as a camping ground for the caravan club. Currently the field is empty, bar one caravan some distance away. This is a nice quite rural mooring, with an open sky view for the satellite dish, and reasonable phone signal. We will stay put for one night, before heading towards Evesham tomorrow.

Totals 6 Miles 4 Locks

Running total 55 Miles 97 Locks 3 Tunnels

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