Gloucester in Cardiff 2009
A first trip around Cardiff Bay in the canal tug Gloucester.
Gloucester is a project of caving and cycling buddy Chris. For a long time he has poured his heart, soul and wallet into the plans to build a replica of an iconic canal tug boat design that was in use around 100 years ago. Working from archive pictures of the two original boats, Gloucester was made with exceptional attention to detail. There are some small differences below the water to provide a more stable, seaworthy craft, that can operate in shallower water than its original counterparts - useful with the current depths of canals. It also has a significantly less intrusive engine (though still very powerful), allowing the large engine housing used by the original boats to be used as a proper canal boat cabin. The plan is to make this into a holiday rental boat, giving you the unique chance to enjoy this piece of canal boating history. The boat's Web site was written by yours truly, and should come online when the boat is ready for hire.
- Remains of moorings at the Marina, dating back to its industrial revolution days as a coal port.
- Gloucester, showing the distinctive curved deck that makes it really stand out compared with the normal canal barges and narrowboats.
- Some of the attention to detail at the stern - even the chain-and-pulley-based stearing system follows the original design.
- Interior. Clearly visible (right?) are the bunks at the far end, the shower and toilet in the middle, and the kitchen/dining/living space at the near end. This would originally have been almost filled with the massive diesel engine, and the skylight was originally a cooling vent for the engine. Note that unlike a normal narrowboat, it has a tapered for stability in rough conditions, though this does increase the draft a little.
- Clearing debris that builds up in the Taff as a result of the artificial damming of Cardiff Bay.
- Cormorant takeoff, virtually walking on water.
- Tunnel on the river Taff.
- Backlit cormorant.
- Feather detail while preening.
- Towards the Cardiff Bay docks. The plastic wrap on the skylight is a temporary meaure, until work on it is complete.
- In front of the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay, one of the few remaining beautiful old buildings in the Bay. Most others have been knocked down and replaced with modernist monstrosities. Note that the moorings here are pay-and-display, quite cute.
- Someone else's project; a concrete ... er ... steel boat. Looks more like it is destined to end up at the bottom of the bay.
- Gloucester and ripples.