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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Stupidity part 2

So today the internet is much improved and I can continue with my tale of yesterday. First the picture of the dreaded gap.

,I stood on the plant instead of the bank.
Looks a bit more manky now since taking this photo. Good job I'm still on the antibiotics!
 After a restless night with the leg throbbing like mad, even pain killers didn't help much, Ian was all for taking me to A&E in Oxford. Oxford was still 2 days away so persuading Ian to wait and see took some doing. With me steering the boat when we first set off, Ian walked Jade to the first lock. The undergrowth was horrendous as this picture shows.

Spot Ian! Dog nowhere to be seen!
 During the morning the pain eased off, so much so, that I even managed to get off the boat and hang onto the rope while he set the locks. Somerton Deep was busy and we had at least three boats in front with 2 boats waiting to come up.

View from the top of Somerton lock

Having had all the lift bridges open so far on the Oxford canal, it was a shock to come round the bend and see Mill lift bridge closed. Ian armed with windlass and BW key ( he had no idea which one he needed ) found on getting there that all he needed was to pull on a chain for the bridge to open.

At Lower Heyford the moored boats stretched for what seemed like miles. I wondered what the attraction of the place was. All I could see was a station. There didnt even appear to have any pubs but maybe they were tucked away somewhere. We did come across a boatyard and we could see what appeared to be a loose boat across the canal. It seemed to partially obscure the bridge 'ole. Turns out the boat was breasted with another and there was plenty of room for us to manoeuvre past.

Look as if the boat is partially blocking the bridge 'ole
We reached Bakers lock and noticed a wonderful shady spot away from the lock bollards. We grabbed it quick and knowing that below this lock was the river Cherwell section, we walked ( or should I say I hobbled ) down to allow Jade to have a well deserved swim. Being black and with lots of hair she feels the heat dreadfully. The only place suitable was where the cows normally drink from and her feet kept sinking in the mud. One brown legged dog instead of black and it was smelly!

River Cherwell enters from the left.

Mercury satellite communication center. As seen from Bakers Lock. The dishes transmit and receive telephone conversations to communications satellites in orbit about the Earth. The satellites relay the signals to similar ground stations around the globe. This installation is the Whitehill Satellite Communications Centre. It is operated by Mercury Communications as part of their telephone network in Britain. It is situated in a disused quarry near Enslow in Oxfordshire, England. (text taken from the internet )
I think that short walk was to much for me as once back I couldn’t wait to rest the leg again. Ian is still concerned that maybe I have done more to it than first thought. I still want to wait until we are in Oxford before making a decision whether or not to go to the hospital.
Thursday 18th
Although I am now able to walk reasonably well the wound looks to be infected. More antiseptic cream was applied and another bandage put on. I will have to keep an eye on it as who knows what sort of nasty bugs are lurking on that piling. After getting underway not long after 7am, Ian saw me through the lock and onto the river section. He walked on with Jade to set Shipton Weir lock. Approaching the lock a boat was already on the lock landing. I wasn't sure what Ian was doing when he walked on to set the lock. Surly the boat on the landing was waiting to go through? Apparently not! He had decided to moor there overnight. It's a good job I can hold the boat mid stream and the river had only a gentle flow, otherwise I might have ended up going down the wrong channel!

Shipton Weir lock
Approaching Thrupp and pulling onto the facilities Ian pointed out that we were being serenaded by a chap playing a quitar, It was still early about 8.30ish and looking up I realised who it was. The infamous Maffi! Leaving Ian to empty the loo I walked round to say hello.

Equally infamous Molly
 Having pulled away from the facilities to allow a hire boat to water up, we stopped on the lift bridge landing for a natter. Ian and Maffi appear to have the same sense of humour and for most of the time  the laughs kept coming thick and fast. Great to meet you Maffi and next time we will stop and have that beer with you.

Maffi's lift bridge. Well it should be named after him as he has blogged about it many a time. Real name though is Aubreys lift bridge.

Maffi seeing us on our way after operating the bridge for us. Thanks once again for an enjoyable 30 minutes.

We continued on route and stopped at Roundham Lock, a tip Maffi had given us to get to the town center. On the way C&RT were installing the dreaded plant rolls. The ones that in years to come will encroach on the waterway making the channel narrower and narrower. I suppose there was a slight difference to the way they usually put them in. They were pile driving the piling down first and then putting the folaige rolls behind. Much better idea and one that should be adopted in future.

We continued on towards the Junction of Dukes Cut, right being the way onto the Thames and straight on toward Oxford. We went straight on pastures new for us never having done this section before. We found a 24hour mooring after Aristotle bridge and stopped for a very late lunch (13 45). As it is a mooring with shade we have decided to stay.

Looking at the first lock on Dukes cut.

Lift bridge with no name no.233 after the junction

Long line of moored boats famous for this section

Wolvercote lock

And finally:-

A couple of tired ducks perhaps!

My first sighting of a Kite

Female Marbled white


Lisa said...

Dear Irene,
That spot you fell in I feel sure was the exact spot we stopped in June I reckon with Yarwood, David and I hacked through as best we could but didn't have sharp enough cutters to clear all of it, I feel responsible now for you fall as the edge was masked.
I hope it healed alright and I am only catching up today on two months worth of your blog...
NB What a Lark

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Lisa,

I can not blame anyone other then myself. I knew that bush was there when we moored up and should really have paid more attention before stepping off the boat! Saying that I thought the mooring spot was lovely and would definitely stay there again if we travel that way. Thanks for your kind thoughts though, but please don't blame yourself for my lapse in concentration,

Kindest regards and hope to meet up with you one day.


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