Tuesday, 25 July 2017

To the Thames

We left our weekend mooring in Thrupp at 07:30 to make our way down to the Thames 
Kidlington Green lock


Under Dukes bridge is Dukes lock 


Entering Dukes lock 
The lock paddle didn't appear to be working, the lock filled up via the leaky top gate and we were soon on our way and on to the Thames. Eynsham lock was manned by friendly staff as per usual, after filling the water tank above the lock we were on our way again.

Our favorite waterway, wide stretches of water gliding through some amazing landscapes, hardly any flow in the water even after all the rain we have experienced lately. 




 Pinkhill lock is next up I was glad to see it was manned by another jovial character. Sue enquired after the Pinkhill barnowl, the lockie had only seen him a couple of times in 12 months. We were to moor on the meadow above the lock so maybe we will get lucky.

Sue got her rod out I put my feet up and we were set for the afternoon.
Moored at Pinkhill


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Dr Who




Temporary fix I hope 


At the services in Cropredy
I thought the 'Doctor' was a time lord not time lady.


Red Kite

Aynho weir lock

Mondays  mooring

Moored up by 11am and spent the afternoon on the bank watching hay being baled in the field below. It took three men till 18:00 to complete the whole field 






Next day we were away quite early for a short cruise to Lower Heyford

Exiting Somerton Deep lock.


Sue is very happy this heavy bridge has been electrified.





This machine was having a photo shoot by Enslow bridge, I wasn't sure what model obviously a BSA, with the high exhaust probably a dirt bike, good old google revealed it's a BSA Spitfire scrambler. Bet it hasn't seen the mud in a while.


Due to family commitments our good friends Ray & Diane have had to put their boat up for sale. You can't get a better history with a vessel than a bloggers boat.
NB Ferndale

Sunday, 16 July 2017

White Horse

King Sutton is a popular stop for us on this canal and for many others but on this occasion we had the bank to ourselves for most of our time here, we stayed for the weekend.

KS although close to the canal has no convenient route to it, the river Cherwell blocks access. As it was Friday I fancied a walk into the village for a glass of ale in the White Horse which is located across the village green from the church with landmark spire.

That's FL moored and the spire in the distance
To get there it's a stroll back along the canal to Twyford bridge  and along the road to the pub about a two mile detour. There is a footpath through fields from the road but today the farmer was working the field with two tractors so I stuck to tarmac.

Chiltern railway serves the village with routes to London Birmingham and Oxford.



Just the ticket

Monday, 10 July 2017

Ashby St Ledgers

The canal has been the busiest we have ever seen it.



We have had a few good days sitting on the canal bank not doing a lot. Our friends Gordon & Dot joined us for a convivial weekend of outdoor inactivity including bbq, barn owl watching, laughter and the odd ale/vino.




On a baking hot day the old seadog and I decided to walk into Ashby St. Ledger -  not the best time to go for a 10 mile yomp along the Jurassic way to visit this quiet picturesque thatched village.



It was a gentle undulating stroll along farm tracks and through fields of wheat until we were standing at the edge of Northamptonshire Heights. Looking east from here it is flat plains all the way to the Ural mountains, because of this the BBC chose the nearby Borough Hill for it's World Service radio mast.





The village is very pretty, immaculately well kept (bet they have a committee for everything) devoid of humans when we were there - but I felt eyes were on the two strangers having a nose around from behind lace curtains. The thatching on the buildings including the village hall looked recent.

The main street.

Village pub was shut.




Medieval church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Leodegarius

The manor house
It was here that Robert Gatsby and Guy Fawkes met with fellow conspirators to plan the gunpowder plot.



Crossing the canal in Braunston
The heat was getting to us so we stopped for something refrigerated at the Plough on the way back to the boats which were moored in the countryside  1.5 miles outside of Braunston.
This lot had the right idea.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Braunston

 After popmaster we cast off, being 11:00 lots of boats had already passed us heading for the locks, Four boats had stopped at the water point so we waited with one other boat to go up the first of three paired locks manned by a volunteer.
Exiting the bottom lock


During a sedate cruise we saw two predators looking for lunch, the kestrel did manage to swoop down and take off with a small mammal in its clutches.

  
Buzzard



Kestrel




Mooring near to Dunchurch Pools  I walked down to look how the marina is progressing.

One basin is occupied.




This is a huge marina

Good views from these widebeam berths



Towpath bridge under construction
The following day we headed into busy Braunston for supplies from the chandler and butcher. Then headed out to a rural mooring





Fat boats will lose a lot of paint getting to Dunchurch marina


Braunston

Fire has melted the cabin on this aluminium boat.