Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Chased by a giant duck

Since Oxford, we have been chased by a giant duck.

Appears sedate at Ye Old Swan at Radcott
Once on the move, it takes on a sinister dimension, it's the eyes that do it.

We left it behind the other side of  Radcott bridge 

Boing, it couldn't get through.

It caught and  passed us at Kelmscott 
A good cause raising funds for the  RNLI, which we always support.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

South Oxford Canal

Before we left Braunston we helped reunite a moggy with his owner, he had been left behind at the water point, luckily the owner's boat had only got as far as Midland chandlers. 

At Braunston Junction, we turned onto the South Oxford canal, the start of a leisurely two-week meander through pasture land, water meadows, crops and fields of beasts. 

The M40 motorway encroaches on the idyllic ruralness in places, a reminder of the hustle & bustle of the real world, the town of Banbury's smart retail waterfront is all the better with a working boatyard. 
We moored for an hour to use the nearby B&Q. 

There was a terrible racket and smell coming from one of the industrial units as you leave the town, I feel sorry for the blackened faces of the workers with no protection against the din. 

South of the town, Taylor/Wimpey is building a large new housing estate bankside.

Pastoral peacefulness is resumed after cruising under the straight M40 motorway two more times as the canal meanders in the contours of the landscape.

Napton Junction
A glass of Hookey, faggots and scampi too was had in the Folly Inn the evening before ascending the 9 locks that make up the Napton flight. All locks were in our favour (didn't need filling) as we sped up 50 feet to the shallow summit pound of the canal at Marston Doles.

A few boats did get stuck in the shallow pound as seen by crews heaving against lengths of wooden poles, on one hairpin FL caught in the silt and ended up blocking progress for all with her nose on the opposite bank.

Greens lock

Farm diversification 

With an outdoor bathroom.

Looks like the narrowboat is going downhill to the bridge

Moored below Claydon bottom lock

Camera shy bovine.

Damaged cill protector at Hardwick lock. (reported to C&RT)

We got waves from commuters on this stationary train.

King's Sutton lock & Travers bridge.

The Pig Place link

Nell Bridge lock.

Muscovy ducks.

Leaving Somerton Deep Lock.

A herd of horses at Heyford Common lock.
We filled the diesel tank and exchanged a gas bottle at Oxfordshire Narrowboats wharf at Lower Heyford.

Lower Heyford village.


Jane's Enchanted Tea Garden. link

We spent the full week in Thrupp on the seven-day visitor moorings, with the heavy showery weather it was a good call. Two pubs, Annie's tea room and the S4 bus into Oxford City centre are all to hand.

The anchor has been fetched out of storage and attached in readiness for the Thames. 

Through Dukes Lock and to the Thames

First Thames mooring at Swinford Reach. 

View from the side hatch


Rory Stewart (a PM hopeful) has been sending me emails, how he got my address god only knows. I've unsubscribed from them now but he does seem to be the only sane candidate among the contenders, the only one not trying to buy backers. Borris will do anything to get into Number 10 even if it's just for a few weeks/months - offering tax cuts for the well-heeled will get him votes for the leader from the Tory membership but it will be a different story in a General election.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Game of Thrones

My favourite chandlers is closing its doors next month. Staff were always willing to help with enquires, one time helping me separate a stuck PRV valve from its connection so I could renew it.  The boat building side of the business - Wharf narrowboats - will relocate to Braunston marina.
Braunston chandlers at bottom lock.
Unfortunately their stock of Craftmasterpaints was almost depleted, I will now have to find another supplier.

We planned a trip to Crick boat show the following day where I was able to get some of the paint I required as Craftmasterpaints are a regular exhibitor there. One of FL's colours- light grey- has been discontinued but can be made to order.

G.O.T. seen at the show -... registered at Winterfell
 This year it only took us two hours at the show to see all we wanted, a quick half in the Red Lion and another in the Wheatsheaf before our taxi home.

This low flying military aircraft shattered a peaceful afternoon.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Boat for sale

From the Coventry canal we turned 180 degrees through Hawkesbury junction and on to the North Oxford canal. 

Couldn't manage to get this clip the right way round
The new Houlton to Rugby link bridge.

We have travelled down from Stone with Roly & Bev, they are continuing on the Grand union, a final cruise on NB Klara to put her up for sale with Rugby boats.  If you are in the market for a stunning narrowboat contact Rugby boats. Get in quick it won't be around long once it is videoed and uploaded to their site.

Sue and I helped getting Klara through Braunston locks. I was at the tiller while the rest of the crew worked paddles and gates...

.....even Bev.

You got to let go soon Roly

You can overfill a lock

After Braunston we moved on to the South Oxford for a week so I could do some rubbing down & painting of the starboard rear panel while moored in a quiet spot near Flecknoe 

Another six panels to do.


Northernmost point of the South Oxford canal

Crop spraying by hand.