Saturday, 31 May 2014

Water Under The Bridge

A good forecast ahead, a trip to Grass Holm maybe? the tides don't work.  Bristol Channel crossing maybe? Elans in, how about a one way trip down the channel, not done that in a while.  A plan is quickly put together the night before and we meet up early at Cardiff Barrage, our finishing point.
The starting point is a good half hour or so journey by car along the coast.  Black Rock, where the original 18th century ferry crossing was situated.  To the south the 2nd Severn crossing now stands rising out of the muddy waters.  
 Just offshore is Charston Rock lighthouse, which marks a safe passage down a narrow channel known as the shoots.
The shoots are also marked by four beacons known as upper and lower shoots beacons.  The red beacon pictured above is known as 'Lad Bench'.  
We pass under the colossal man made structure that is the second Severn bridge.  No toll charges down here.  

Leaving the bridge behind the tide takes us speedily down on to Deny Island. 

From here on out the rest of the trip is much like an open crossing, a bit uneventful and a bit of a slog.  There are no landings due to the vast expanses of mud, something we are reminded about as our hulls scrape the bottom as we approach Cardiff Barrage.  It's a muddy scramble up the steps along side the barrage to the top where we wash off our muddy shoes in the fresh water on the far side.  Then it's time to go back to the start to pick up the other car.  

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