Considering we were near the road, and considering the church was but a stone's throw from the mooring, it was remarkably quiet last night. The church bells must have been on a timer because from 10 pm not another chime was heard until 7 am this morning.
We left at 9, pretty sure the lockkeeper would be on at St John's lock by then as they normally come on duty around that time. Trying to get away from the bank was slightly awkward. Those bushes at the bow stopped me from driving the boat out, and the bank was at the wrong height for Ian to give FS a good shove. Nearby lay a short length of wood which did just the job.
It didn't take long to get to the lock. Going with the flow, we certainly felt the difference in speed and there was the lockkeeper already opening the gates.
Stopped below at the facilities to do the biz with the cassette, strange they have no fresh water tap at this lock though.
Nearly ready to leave when the lock was refilled and a bunch of canoeists went in. Ah I was wrong, the boats were Skiffs, 6 of them with three people in each. They were paddling to Teddington, a planned journey of three days, it's a yearly event, apparently.
We left fully expecting them to catch us up, and they did when we were nearly at Buscot lock.
The Lockkeeper waved us in first, and the 6 skiffs followed and secured themselves the best they could. A lot of banter between us all, they are heading for Oxford tonight and a fancy dress do at one of the hotels. Good luck guys, it was great meeting you all.
17 miles and 6 locks done. We never made it to Pinkhill meadow, much too far, and time was getting on. By 3.30 pm, a mooring was being looked for. At Newbridge, about 2 miles from Northmoor lock, the perfect spot was seen. But by now we had sailed right past, and we didn't think the river was wide enough to wind, so Ian decided to reverse. Not that easy trying to go backward against the flow, and the bow did insist on heading for the far bank. Took numerous corrections with forward and reverse, but we got there in the end. The banks a bit high. I was determined to get off FS for the photo, but I literally crawled up on my hands and knees to get onto the flat. As Ian said, so unladylike!
And on the meadow at Lechlade, someone has come prepared!
And seen at Grafton lock. This made us chuckle. It's behind you!
It was also at Grafton that the hose situation became clear.
|Swan with Angel wing|