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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 October 2018

Read the blooming instructions!

My Goodness, did I see right? Slowly heading toward Godstow lock I spy this sign which is only really visible from the water side. I mentioned yesterday about the prepaid mooring at Godstow Priory but really??? £100 a day??? I had to walk back to the sign to see if I had read it right.

Big letters that £100 but in small letters at the top...
 I do so love the Thames. Have I said that before? Today with the weather fair and warm and meeting a locking buddy, it was a real pleasure to cruise. It was also a day to go play with the 'big boys'. After Osney bridge we expect to meet those big Gin Palaces (cruisers). This bridge is only 7ft 6".in height so only the smaller craft can travel northwards. Going south we crept under with inches to spare, (did take the chimney down just in case) and moored at East street moorings.

East Street moorings
 A walk of about 3/4 mile got us to Aldi and a welcome stock up of beer and wine (supplies had been getting dangerously low!) Shopping completed and just about to set off for Osney lock and a boat comes past. Oh goody, a locking partner to help with those locks although Osney lock did have a lock keeper on duty. Not at Iffley lock and because they were in front, the lady got off to push those buttons.

Osney lock

This taken at Godstow lock to show the workings.
 At Sandford lock we had a problem, Well it wasn't a problem really more of a frustration. A Salter Steamer trip boat had exited the lock, closed the gates but left the sluices up. When we arrived the lady from the other boat pushed the button to close the sluice and then another button to open the gates. She stood for a while a bit baffled so she repeated the procedure. Still nothing. Ian then went to investigate. He pushed buttons and still they wouldn't open. Several times he opened and closed those sluices and then he decided to read the instructions! And there it was...in black and white....There is a 7-minute delay from opening the sluices to the gates opening. By now we had been waiting for over thirty minutes. Moral to this tail, read the blooming instructions first!!!

Salter Steamer leaving the lock

Arrived at Abingdon and we stopped above the lock at the facilities. Abingdon is usually a very busy place and I wondered if we would get a mooring. Wetherspoons beckoned and no way was I cooking tonight! Needn't have worried as there were loads of empty spaces below. We chose a mooring opposite the weir,  noisy yes but there is something about running water.....

And on the journey.

Lone fisherman

The channel to Isis lock and back to the South Oxford canal.

A sorry sight, sunken narrowboat.

Lock keepers sense of humour at Abingdon lock
 And seen on route,

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