Saturday, 20 September 2014

Still on the Oxford Canal

Hi There

Well the dry and sunny spell continues and let’s just hope we won’t end up paying the price with a wet and miserable winter.

Currently writing this blog offline as for the first time since I can remember, maybe almost as long as we’d changed from a Three dongle to a Three MiFi almost two years ago, we can’t get a signal (we’re moored just north of Upper Heyford on the Oxford Canal) and the same goes for the phone. Can’t really complain though, as we have found the Three coverage to be excellent on the whole.

The River Cherwell crosses the Oxford canal just above Aynho Lock, well I say crosses, but it more merges into the pound between the locks and flows out the other side. There are warning indicator boards at these locks with green as okay to travel, amber be aware or red don’t go, but all was pretty mild as we went through.

To the right is where the River Cherwell comes into the pound, on the left you can see the barriers protecting boats from the arched weir itself where you would be pushed towards at times of flood and today, Badger Sett making her way towards it.

The Aynho Lock itself is a little different from normal as whilst it’s got a single narrow lock gate, you can actually get more than one boat in so I suppose in a way it’s a double lock. First one of it’s kind we’ve come across and shared it down with another boat. Don't worry, I haven't suddenly aged, this was just the chap that was setting the lock when we arrived.

Our friends, Chris and Maralyn, came to visit us again and kindly picked up some milk and fruit on the way as we were getting low. Chris also brought us one of his freshly baked cakes and with Nicky having baked some scones and a fruit tea cake I’ve been left hoovering up an abundance of cakes the last few days. Oh well, hell of a job, but someone’s got to do it and I don’t of course let Nicky eat too much as I’m watching her weight for her.

Whilst Chris and Maralyn were here we got out our Narrowboat Game and forced them to have a one week holiday with us (that’s a once round the board game) and wouldn’t you believe it, beginners luck, Maralyn won so I’ve played three times now and lost all three times.

There is a deep lock at Somerton that is for some strange reason called Somerton Deep Lock ! and is shown as a 12’ drop.

Coming into the lock from above is business as usual and as an aside, the house doesn't have a road as it's just surrounded by fields. When we went through the lock the guy was on his daily commute in a little narrowboat from the bottom of his garden to the next road bridge.

You can get an idea of the drop from below the bottom gate.

Then from inside the empty lock, whose ladder I wouldn’t fancy having to climb up to get out to open the lock gate and reminds me why I’ve brought Nicky along with me to travel around the network.

And that’s job done and onwards with today’s journey.

Benji looking as photogenic as ever, even though I was taking a photo of the church in the background, but he doesn’t need to know that so I won’t upset him by telling him he wasn’t actually the focus of the photo.

We’ve been moored up just above Upper Heyford for a few days, which is where the Internet signal was bad, so we’d have moved on by the time this blog is posted. We went for a walk a bit further down the canal,

which continues to be very rural and scenic along the way and above is the lift bridge at Lower Heyford. When we travelled down a few days later Nicky found the bridge a bit Tricky, oh that rhymed well didn't it so now I guess I'm a poet and didn't know it, oops there I go again. Anyway back to Nicky's Tricky Bridge story, the bridge wasn't evenly balanced so it was weighted to close and took her a bit of time to get it up (no smutty minds please) and had to then sprawl across it just to keep it from drooping dropping back down.

Spotted a ‘Jersey’ narrowboat, but we were told by the boat moored in front that they had gone to the pub and it had moved when we passed by later. We’ll keep an eye out for them in case they double back our way.

This chap was having a having a bit of a groom and a flapping session although the best flapping was going on when we got there and then as we were walking up the canal so could only get a wing opening / flutter photo.

We also came across a snake (dark green with yellow markings) that I’m assuming was either a grass snake or an Adder, that slithered across the path in front of us and a bit too quick for a photo. Just glad The Boys were dragging behind as I don't know what they'd have made of it and whether a sniff would have got them bitten.
That's all for now, been making the best of the weather to do some work on the outside of the boat so after a few hours a day we've not really felt like moving on all that much.

And so in signing off, and a slight addition to my normal log as I've decided to actually include our cruising hours now,

Day 625 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 1292 miles, 545 locks and 660 cruising hours further on from when we started.


No comments:

Post a Comment