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Narrowboat 'wilvir'

by wilvir

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Whispers on water - a photo journal of our life on the 'cut' dedicated to keeping family and friends informed of our whereabouts.

Tweet us @wilvir514

Helping to keep our waterways litter-free:

Drought, pollution and illegal fishing all threaten our waterways. Spotted something that looks wrong? See it, say it, save it. Call the Environment Agency (EA) Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70

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Ready to Sail

(viewed 486 times)
5th Oct 2012, 17:43   comments (0)

Asides - To Worcester and Beyond

1. The view astern.
2. Tide-marks!
3. A majestic footbridge.
4. If the chimney had been taller!
5. Moored on the outside at Upton-Upon-Severn. Turning upstream to moor on the floating pontoon certainly tested my judgement of drift and rate of turn as we cut across the strong flow. Coming broadside against the flow, wilvir began to bounce as we powered out of the turn and upstream to tie-up at the pontoon. Great fun.
5th Oct 2012, 14:35   comments (2)

Going With the Flow

1&2. Stourport-On-Severn canal basin narrow lock flooded.
3&4. Stourport-On-Severn canal basin narrow lock river level dropping to 'red/amber'.
5. Moored below 'The Angel' at Stourport-On-Severn.
6. Alone on the river - just perfect.

We left Stourport-On-Severn with the current this morning after having locked down onto the river below Stourport canal basin and waiting a further two days for the level to drop. With water levels on the rise again, we decided to make a move and set off downstream, carried along by a moderate to strong flow.

Passing through Worcester, all the visitor moorings below the racecourse were underwater. Apparently the flow is strong enough ahead of us to warrant southbound skippers having to sign an warning indemnity waiver out of Upper Lode Lock just south of Tewkesbury, which would put the boat at risk and invalidate our insurance policy for ignoring warnings.

After four locks and twenty-two miles, we're now safely moored at Upton-Upon-Severn to await weather updates and maybe a delay, as more heavy rain is forecast. The river doesn't seem to be going down anytime soon.
4th Oct 2012, 19:44   comments (2)

Echoes of Dunkirk

(viewed 591 times)
Genes Reunited took an interest in a research snapshot of my Dad's wartime exploits for an ad campaign they're running and here's the result. I'm chuffed to bits with it as it continues to keep his memory alive along with those who were also caught up in a struggle for survival that touches us all, even today.
1st Oct 2012, 16:52   comments (0)

Wild Foals

(viewed 699 times)
These beautiful little foals are born 'wild' and left to roam. You can see the spirit in their eyes as they shy away from the gentlest of approaches. I met a couple in there seventies who own a similar herd of wild horses nearby and look after and care for them with great humility and pleasure. It was a joy to lean against the fence for a chance chat in the late afternoon sunshine while they visited their charges.
30th Sep 2012, 13:57   comments (2)

Time Travel

(viewed 599 times)
A few nights ago I could easily have been persuaded that we'd slipped back in time. Just before midnight, as I shut the boat up for the night, I could actually hear the rhythmic chuff-chuff of a Severn Valley railway steam engine in the distance and an owl 'hooting' close by. A moment in time made all the more captivating by the bright moon reflected in the still water of the canal with its backdrop of ink black trees silhouetted against the moonlit sky and the smell of wood smoke.

And, guess what? Last evening was just as magical, with a bright moon rising behind a darkening deep blue sky and owls calling to each other amongst the trees; though without the chuff-chuff of a steam engine to accompany the 'silence'.
28th Sep 2012, 14:20   comments (8)

Totally Unexpected

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1. A watercolour of an otter.
2. Walking home after sighting 'my' otter I came across this uplifting display of flower baskets adorning the front of a wharf cottage.

I experienced one of those unforgettably rare moments last evening whilst standing above the River Severn on the bank below the fairground at Stourport-on-Severn, contemplating the power and speed of the flood-water rushing past just yards from my feet.

Just below the coffee coloured surface, dotted with tree debris silently streaming past like racing F1 cars, I saw the blurred shape of a drowned four legged animal, but unusually, perfectly splayed out face-down in the water, coming downstream.

In the instant that it drifted level with me, and to my complete surprise, it rolled over and the whiskered face and creamy white bib of an adult otter appeared, staring across at me as it skimmed past on its back, as cool as you like, not ten feet away. In seconds it had porpoised below the surface and was gone. I was so taken aback and delighted I told three passersby of what I'd seen who all said they'd never seen an otter in the wild. How fortunate was I?

It had been a long time since I'd last seen an otter and believe me I stare at and explore water habitats a lot. It was the last thing I expected to see in those flood conditions at that time and place. Sadly no time to ready the camera, but the experience will stay with me forever. Fantastic!
27th Sep 2012, 12:48   comments (2)

Towpath or Dyke?

(viewed 568 times)
Our Location: B10-B9, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.

The rising level of the River Stour, just as darkness fell, is now above the level of the canal below Falling Sands Lock.
24th Sep 2012, 20:31   comments (0)