About Us

My photo
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.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Fisty cuffs at dawn??

This was last nights sunset. Didn't expect to wake this morning to rain! Maybe it was the dripping from the solar panels on the cabin top that woke me early, anyway.......

Kestrel hunting late last night, around 21.30 so photo not brilliant

Awake by 6.15am, away by 6.30am. Only managed a sip of my cup of tea before lines let loose and pins pulled. The wet weather gear came out for the first time in ages. That drizzle got in places you couldn't imagine! We made very slow progress, even at that time of the morning, as this section of the Oxford was very shallow. In desperate need of some dredging, me thinks. To minimise wash we could only manage about 2.5 mph and with the moored boats at every turn that was reduced even more.

Grants lock, first lock of the day.
I was very annoyed with myself about an hour later because I saw something that one would only see but rarely. Two wild Fallow deer in a field. As per normal I grabbed my camera and was clicking happily away as they both ran and leapt toward the wooded area. So pleased to have got photos of them......or so I thought. Suddenly a message appeared. No card in camera!!!! Blast, blast and blast again. Message to myself, really must try to remember to insert the card after copying photos to computer.
At Aynho wharf we filled with water and diesel. At 70p Ltr it's one of the cheapest we have found for a while. They would do zero percent but we always do a split at this time of year. At least 20/80. It still worked out good value for money.

It was at Northbrook lock that we met traffic. Thought ourselves lucky until that point and was well on track for getting to Thrupp in time for dinner at the Boat. Dave and Heather (nb Vixen) phoned yesterday to ask us to join them if we managed to make it. We had been pulling out all the stops until we found ourselves behind three other boats. First in the queue was a single hander who was a complete novice, only having bought the boat two days ago,  and none of the other boaters seemed willing to lend a hand, so Ian to the rescue. Then at Pigeon lock and Bakers lock it was pandemonium.

The girls in the day boat coming up. They turned round and joined the queue again.
 In fact tempers got heated between the boat leaving the lock and a day boat who had to breast up. The boat leaving the lock wouldn't move over insisting that the day boat reverse. Trouble was, to many moored boats so they had nowhere to go and I felt quite sorry for the girls, who, up to that moment, had enjoyed their hen party!

Green boat refused to move over and, although this photo doesn't show it, there was enough room for him to pass. He got past us alright and we were also breasted up
A thunderstorm hit us at Bakers lock. I was then very glad to have to wait in the queue with brolly up. Ian had yet another soaking whilst helping, not only the single hander, but boats coming up through the lock as well and all he had on was his T shirt! (and trousers before anyone mentions anything)

So finally stopped below Bakers lock, on the River Cherwell river section. Time was 5. 15pm. A long old day with 17.5 miles traveled and 11 locks. It's drizzled on and off all day so quite glad to get in the dry. Tomorrow Thrupp where we will finally catch up with Dave and Heather.

Some more photos on today's journey.

Aynho weir lock. Diamond shaped

Top of Somerton Deep lock

And at the bottom
Trying to retrieve his plank after a speeding boat leaving the lock tipped them to one side!

Wildlife seen on route

Okay not really wildlife more domesticated, but I did think they were cute.

Song Thrush
Red legged Partridge

Kite seen at Bakers lock

No comments:

Blog Archive