On a grey day 8 boats from PCC locked out of Portishead Quays Marina to make the journey up channel to Lydney & were joined by Isis Tres from her mooring in ‘the hole’.
Kindred Spirit II
More boats from Thornbury SC crossed from their mooring berths and attended the Lydney Octoberfest Rally.
Most yachts had engines on, the sail up became a beat directly to windward after passing under the Second Severn Crossing at the Shoots. The majority then reduced sail and motored the rest of the way though some hardy souls beat on.
The weather improved as we progressed north up the river Severn and arrival at Lydney was in sunshine. The lock gates were open on time at 1000 and as we crossed from the Berkley Pill we could see both lock gates were working and open making entry less stressful. Members of Lydney Yacht Club stood on the quayside and welcomed us in taking our lines and assisting with mooring.
The day became grey with light showers, damp and muddy underfoot. Some crews went for walks along the canal towards Lydney town, a local craft fair was an attraction with a café for afternoon cuppa.
In the club house cottage the log fire was lit and the bar opened at 1800. A two course dinner was served at 1930 on your own plate or bowl. The club house was filled to capacity and as the lubricating liquor flowed, musical instruments were produced and a sing song commenced.
Some guests had arrived by road and camped in tents or motor homes/camper vans overnight to avoid a drive home in the dark.
As all harbour dues had been waived for the weekend, attending boats made a donation to RNLI funds instead.
On Sunday morning we were all lowered again to the tide level and the lock gate opened but most boats were reluctant to depart until the still incoming tide slowed. Visibility was very poor for the return down channel so a good lookout was required. Alternative navigation strategies were used, follow the echo sounder and go down the West shore channel or use the chart plotter to cross and spot the beacons down the East bank. As we all approached Slime Road visibility improved and a safe passage was easily made under the two Severn bridges. The Commodore telephoned the marina at Portishead who very obligingly held the last lock until all boats were successfully packed in and returned safely to their berths.