83. Squeezing five boats into a lock on the River Severn to Gloucester


Good morning. I’ve got a bit of a mammoth
journey ahead of me today approximately nine hours cruising, non-stop. I’ve
got lots of food on board, lots of water for both me and Molly.
Lots of essentials, lots of battery packs to charge all my equipment. It’s
supposed to be a nice day. Suns already coming out.
Obviously, I’ve got suntan cream as well. One of my friend’s Parm
who’s an orthodontist regularly reminds me that I should be
wearing lots and lots of suntan cream. so Yes, I’ve got it on board ready Parm. I
moored up at the Wharf Inn last night. Just below Holt Lock on the River Severn. Molly wasn’t quite sure about the jetty
mind you. [Music] It wasn’t long until I passed the
Droitwich Barge Canal that links down onto the River Severn. Passing Worcester
Racecourse that is located slightly north of the main city of Worcester,
there are lots of mooring spots along the bank here. Then once under the large
road bridge the Anglican Worcester Cathedral overlooks the river. Diglis
Locks are to the south of the city where there are two large locks next to each
other. The river quickly spreads out into open and remote countryside for quite a
few miles. It turns sharply at Tewkesbury where an
85 mile stretch of water flows all the way from Northamptonshire and here the
ancient River Avon joins the mighty Severn. Just north of the city of
Gloucester I take the east channel that dramatically narrows and winds its way
down to Gloucester Lock. [Music] [Sounds of water] I’m now north of the City of Worcester
and just there behind me is the first lock and the entrance to the Droitwich
Barge Canal. Now that canal goes right the way into
the centre of Birmingham and it’s quite a busy canal. This sort of circuit is
quite busy for hire boaters. [Music] I’ve just gone through my first lock of
the day and I had a chat with the lock-keeper there and he gave me some
very good news. Because of the flow of the water today, because there has been a bit
of rain over the last week or so, it’s not in flood and it’s not even in the
amber area but because of the flow of water, because I’m travelling downstream.
Instead of my journey taking nine hours, it’s gonna take exactly half,
four-and-a-half, brilliant news. [Water sounds] Just heading down through the city of
Worcester. There’s lots and lots of mooring spots along the river here but some
of them do charge so be aware of that. Just up ahead on the left or port side
is the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Now again, that head straight into the
City of Birmingham. [Bells ringing in distance] Right, just up ahead of me is Diglis Lock.
Two very large locks south of the city of Worcester and I’m going up to the locks
very slowly and I will be advised which lock to go through by a series of
traffic lights operated by Canal & River Trust staff or volunteers, so we shall
see. Right, so the left-hand lock light is
flashing which that’s the indication that he wants me to go through that one.
He’s just preparing the lock at the moment. They’re very large so if it’s got
any water in, it’ll take a bit of time so I just need to sort of hover out in the
channel here. [Music] A boat just went past with three
fishermen in. Just a small boat but boy did it have a lot of high-tech on-board.
There were multiple screens, there were rods with big black dome-like things on
the end. Now I’d say there fishing. Let me know in the comments below if you know
what the dome-like things were. Could they be sonar to track where fish
are? I’m not really sure. They were definitely out for a really good days
fishing, that’s for sure. Just came around the corner and there’s a
very large barge that’s dealing with the sand from the quarry here. I am not going
to mess with him! [Water sounds] So as we go down in the lock here, that
was a bit embarrassing. Now I was the last boat in and because I’m on my own,
I simply cannot get the boat up against the wall. I’ve put my rope around, there’s
like a wire that’s down the side of the lock but it’s quite difficult on your
own with the pressure of the boat and all the other boats moving around in the
lock. It’s a big lock this as well. Anyway, we’re going down. [Water noises] Just here is Upper Parting. Now as you
travel south down towards Gloucester Lock you’re to contact the lock-keeper
there when you’re at this point. Either on VHF channel 74 or by a phone number.
Now I am still with a flotilla of three other boats and I know one of
those will be contacting the lock ahead so I don’t need to and we’re all going
to travel down the narrower part of the River Severn down towards the lock. [Fast paced music} I’m just held back a little bit here and
holding onto this chain because just right in front of the lock, which isn’t
ready yet for us, that’s why we’ve all gotta wait. But just in front of the lock,
there is all the water goes down to the right to a weir and I don’t want to go
down that far because you could be pulled down there so I’m staying well
back. Just in front of the lock all of the water goes towards the right and
goes down a quite strong weir now the grey boat up ahead went down and
possibly got into a little bit of difficulty because someone from another
boat had two moor up and run down the bank and help them bring their boat up
against the side. Now weirdly I am just over tick over here and it sort of seems
to keep the boat stationary and although my stern is up against the wall the
bow just keeps swinging out every so often. But the light is flashing red
which indicates that it’s probably draining and the gates will open and
we’ll all be able to go in soon but there’s no one behind me and it’s just
us four. I can see why we’re waiting.
A rather large craft has come down the lock and is coming back out onto the
River Severn. So the three narrowboats ahead of me have
all gone next to each other and I’m over onto one side because a
wide beam is now coming in as well. So we’ll have a wide beam and four
narrowboats in this one lock. We’ve got for narrowboats and a wide
beam in this lock and the big thing for me is to not let the stern hit this
bridge because it’s a road bridge. Well we’ll see. Alright, so all of the boats are
turning left into the Quay here and I’m the only one that’s going straight on
underneath this lift bridge, that’s got to lift for me. Right, he’s lifted the
bridge all ready for me so I’ll put a bit of power on, so I don’t disrupt too many
people and I’m straight through the Quay and out onto the
Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, Hurrah. [Music] I’ll stay on this canal for a number of
weeks as my dad is coming aboard to help me with the inside of Alice and yes, I
will be showing the progress. Until next time, see you later.

97 thoughts on “83. Squeezing five boats into a lock on the River Severn to Gloucester

  1. Some lovely music there too, in addition to the excellent canal and countryside p0rn….! Thanks.

  2. Huurrraaaay – really looking forward to seeing the inside of Alice again Jono 👌🎉❤

  3. Excellent vlog Jono, I have been on the Gloucester & Sharpness years ago and it was a great experience. Thanks.

  4. Molly was a hit, of course! Beautiful scenery, lovely sky's.you do such a lovely story

  5. 7:37 🤔Boat passing to port looks much like a North American "Bass rig" (Bass fishing boat) with bow-mounted 'dome-like' electric trolling motor (in lay-flat stowed/travel position). Typical Bass rig would be fitted with Lowrance™ fish finder(s) + (GPS) chart plotter(s) as well as weather + communication gear – ergo "screens" and aerials – plus all manner of rod holders, etc. 🤷‍♂️

  6. Ha ha ha! How ace is that 4:17 molly is your true pal. All great videos but that one bit made me laugh 🤣👍
    Keep up the good work 👍

  7. The Wharf Inn was for sale a couple of years ago 🙂 …. my wife persuaded me not to buy it 🙁

  8. Such a lovely video. Beautiful images of the river and so many swans! Molly is a true companion, what a sweet and trusting dog ♥

  9. Jono – of many of your journeys, this one was lovely for being on rivers. Canals are great, but a river is an ancient natural watercourse. What a great life you have built for you and Mollie. She seems such a terrific companion. Keep on keeping on.

  10. Your lab Molly is such a wonderful dog! It’s almost worth the price of admission just to see her!

  11. Thanks Jono for another brilliant episode. A truly beautiful stretch of river and canals. Hope you have a great time seeing your father, I'm looking forward to your video of the improvements to Alice. TR

  12. It's interesting listening you mentioning the towns your passing through or are heading too. I grew up in a small town about 40 miles north of Boston in the heart of New England. I'd estimate that approx 60 percent of the towns you mention on most of you videos are towns in New England. From Gloucester to Tewskbury, I think I spelled that correctly. I'm sure most of those towns were founded by some home sick English men searching for freedom at the time.

  13. I was never comfortable on rivers – had a few nasty incidents – but you did great and good video I must say – thank you for sharing – –

  14. 6:59 for a moment I though the plaque read "Admiral Nelson fell here" but that must be on a different boat….

  15. Your river vlogs make me think about buying an anchor and forsaking the canals for a bit next summer.

  16. The dome thing you mentioned sounds like a deeper pro fish finder. Attach to line and cast out, it will (linked to an app) show you depth, contour of the river bed, weed beds etc.

  17. Jono could you not have a padded strap that loops around you and Molly together when she sits on your lap? Then she could lean back a bit and relax whilst sitting with you.

    All good videos btw.

  18. Spectacular video !
    Thank you for your adventures, huge hug to that gorgeous Mandi
    Ciao y’all and looking forward to your next video

  19. Got curious about that crane on right side of screen at Diglis Lock so put that name in to Google and got Google Maps' satellite view. Crane is on Diglis Island. That is a really large house and barns/sheds for such a small island. and you won't be taking any wheeled vehicles there unless they arrive via the boat landing ramp. Interesting.

  20. Molly knows how to travel… my dog Zon, sleeps on passages always… she's a sea dog. Glad to see you have your anchor, out on deck, first one I've seen for emergency stop, I must say, that water passing sound is wonderful, another therapeutic aspect of your vlogs.

  21. Absolutely, love the over view… and the river names , they must all have rich history, it fascinates a meager alien. Always good news to move with the flow….Cheers & dog hugs.

  22. Surprising to me how much of the important work on the rivers and canals is handled by volunteers, bless their hearts.

  23. a lovely day's cruising, one I hope to make myself in the not too distant future, thanks for shaing

  24. Hello, I absolutely enjoyed this video. So very sorry about the engine trouble, glad you got it sorted out. You do these videos so very well, I could watch you all day. Wish we had a boat like yours. Take care. Happy sailing.🚢⛴🛳 thank you

  25. I am constantly moved by the beauty of England's canels and your journeys.
    Cheers,
    Rik Spector
    Ferndale, WA. USA

  26. Just thinking if you could get up on the plane your trip would be about an hour or less, lol. Enjoyed this video bro and the views from the canal. All the best

  27. Hi jono i don't mean to sound rude or like a know all, but the droitwich barge canal doesn't go into the centre of birmingham, it infact joins a short canalised section of the river salwarpe about 6 miles later in droitiwich and after the short canalised section of the river salwarpe is a lock and the start of the droitwich junction canal which in turn joins the worcester and birmingham canal at hanbury wharf about a mile or so later. Love your vids too by the way. Kind regards. Mark.

  28. I went through Diglis lock in a Canadian canoe. Arrived just before closing time and they locked us through by ourselves! We felt very small.

  29. Wow! What an amazing adventure! Your boat handling skills and camera handling skills never cease to amaze. Thank you for all your great creative work, we enjoy it so very much!

  30. That is an insane amount of traffic you showed compared to your average video. Is it always like that, or have you mainly edited out the traffic on other videos?

  31. Another lovely, very much looked forward to vlog. I really appreciated and enjoyed the quiet moments with just the sound of water and Alice's engine. I can imagine sitting on the bow with a nice hot cuppa …as close as I will ever get to narrowboat life. Thankyou. Oh..also loved the short view of Molly on your lap…lovely to see.

  32. Your back in my old stomping ground, sadly you didn't show the bridge I helped build on the Gloucester Ring Rd. Just down from the road bridge across Glos lock is a great military memorabilia warehouse, where I sold a lot of my stuff when clearing out my house for sale. It might be worth you have a look around as they have a lot of boat stuff.
    love your shots of Molly especially her lap nap. Another thumbs up from me. Thanks

  33. Such a good lap dog you have! haha Looking Forward to the continued fit out, Great Video, Cheers and God Bless…

  34. 'Squeezing', have you never been on the Thames on a summer weekend, the lock keepers packing the boats into the locks like a load of sardines. 🙂

  35. Sun cream actually blocks the absorbsion of vitamin D into your body. The sunlight is a natural provider of this vitamin, and putting lots of sunscreen onto you skin can be carcinogenic becuase of all the toxic chemicals it contains. Be wary, sensible use of the sun will not harm you, cover your exposed skin to stay safe.

  36. Sharpness Canal. I used to row on that when I was at school, many years ago now. We once did a sponsored row all the way up and down it – some 32 miles. It was the hottest day of the year in 1976. It took us 8 hours in a very old (and heavy) clinker-built coxed 4. I have never been so sunburned!

  37. Water looks quite muddy was there rain previously? So lovely to see the gorgeous Molly on your lap, thank you for a great vlog!

  38. Im looking forward to seeing the progress that you and your dad will make to the interior Jono.

  39. The lady of the boat has to take a nap, understandably she also has a very tiring life to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
    Enjoyable 15 min video, it gives you a zen thought.

  40. Love your background music choices, Jono. Playlist please? I’m all caught up with you vlog now so off to binge on another Narrowboat vloger. So far it’s been Cruising The Cut, Foxes Afloat and yourself. Looking forward to meeting you Dad. You and Molly keep safe.

  41. Hi Jono Your Videos Are So Relaxing To Watch I’ve Watched Every Single One So Far. Could You Do A Trip Along The Braunston Canel With That Extremely Long Tunnel One Day. Keep Up The Good Work Jono 👍🛥⚓️

  42. what a fantastic l channel realy enjoying it well done very entertaining looking forward on catching up with your previous videos

  43. Came up the Severn off the Avon only yesterday, lovely trip up the river. Those locks though. I did Bevere like a boss, the other three are best not mentioned. Each one I was the only boat in.

  44. I think the fishermen had sonar on the road to detect depth and fish from what you described. Something like deeper pro, some interesting videos on here for that. Apologies if someone else has mentioned this. I couldn’t spot anything in the comments as a whizzed through the. Great adventure well done Jono.

  45. Looking forward to videos of progress on the interior. I'm sure you're looking forward to completing the work!

  46. Great vlog Jono. Cruising on rivers is certainly done in a much bigger scale than the cut. Cheers Pal..

  47. Hi you just passed us a Saul Junction- I was waving like mad!!😂😂 nice to see you down our neck of the woods….. on the Glos & Sharpness 🌻

  48. Molly needs to have a 1-5 star rating for each moorage. It will be more influential than a Michelin star. They will update that "jetty" if they know Miss Molly is coming to visit.
    Cheers,

  49. Purple boat with daisies!! Was lovely to say Hi…… find all your Blogs really interesting and informative, followed since the day you set off in a ‘shell’ That’s why I shouted “looking lovely” as you passed at Shepard’s Patch. Happy Boating 🌻

  50. Molly seemed very tired on this cruise… have you been overworking her? Her legion of fans would not allow that, you know. 😉

  51. Hello from Canadas West Coast. Love your journeys! Would love to see how far youve got inside. Is there a vid for that?

  52. Hi Jono, I used to love fishing but I don't want to hook fish in the mouth anymore. Because of the magic of watching a float in still water I might fish without a hook, just some nice bait for the fish to enjoy. For me that moment when the float bobs in the water

  53. Any chance you could let us know what the piano incidentals were, they really were my kind of piano music.

  54. Thank you for another great video. Has anyone mentioned putting sun block on Molly's nose? My vet suggests finding a lotion which does not taste good to the pup and reapplying to the snoot often as that tissue and ear leather can sunburn. Have you looked into a sun visor to protect Molly's eyes?

  55. Well done Jono. I so love how Molly loves to sit on you while you are cruising. So cute. She really is a lovely companion to you.
    The size of those huge locks suggests just how much traffic would travel through there in the heyday of barge transport. Amazing scenes. Thank you both for sharing your journey with us.

  56. Thanks Jono , I have never been that far down the Severn….really interesting g to see it. Happy Cruising.

  57. Kia ora Jono, Im an expat living in New Zealand, thanks for the videos, lovely to be able to view areas of the UK I frequented back in the day. its reassuring for me to watch your journey and stops me being homesick :0) However, we are coming back in December this year to visit my family. Oh the dome thingys on the fishing rods are indeed a fishfinder device called "Deeper" and are used with an ipad or iphone. Keep up the great work. nga mihi Chris

  58. Good to see you happy living your dream. How far north will you travel? Can you give dates canals were built and what was manly being transported? Thanks

  59. Hi Jono. I am really enjoying the journey your sharing with us all. I did notice however the rope you used for the anchor was tied to stanchion and passed "under" your hand railing. I'd suggest passing over the top of hand railing then attach to stanchion, there will be a LOT of pressure coming from anchor forcing the stern end of your Craft down into the water if you ever need to arrest your motion with anchor line. Happy cruising.

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