Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Ladder Bridge to Chiswell Lift Bridge

We stayed a couple of nights at Ladder bridge, from here we can look back across the fields to Napton,where we started our 4 hours cruise

Today is Saturday and we are on our way at 8am. At Fenny Compton two boats are on the water point so we don't stop. The visitor moorings are completely empty bar one hire boat, I have never seen it that empty before.

At the Claydon flight we are helped by a volockie at one of the locks, he is chalking on a whiteboard the number of boats he helps through today, we are number 8, his record for his shift is 53.

Talked to a guy at Cropredy bridge who was going to look for musket shot where the battle took place.  376 years later and no metal detector, I wonder how he got on.

We were on Cropredy service point by 07:00 the next morning and arrived in Banbury by 10:30. Sue needed to go to Hobbycraft while I needed to pick up parcels from Argos in Sainsbury's and the post office the latter hadn't arrived so I will need to get a bus back to Banbury later in the week.

Banbury's new waterfront  under construction

Bourton Bridge.

The river Cherwell crosses the canal from under the bridge arches on the right.

Aynho Weir Bridge.

Cherwell Bridge 

We stopped at Aynho wharf for fuel and ice creams before reaching our mooring spot at Chisnell Lift Bridge a mile further south.

View from our mooring.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

HS2 Priors Hardwick

HS2 groundworks have already blighted the countryside here at Priors Hardwick

The usual Oxford canal vista. 

Better scenery at our overnight stops near Bridge 126......

....and Ladder Bridge.

Friday, 17 July 2020


We were woken at 04:30 to the sound of small feet on the back deck, a family of mink were using the rear deck to dive into the canal climb up the rear fender and jump on to the bank. They were having a great time until they spotted us watching and hurried off. It was too dull to get a clear picture.

They came back scuttling around the gunnels at 6am, below are the best of the pics I managed to get.

He wasn't happy being photographed .... much hissing.

Saturday, 11 July 2020


A new marina at a farm  near  bridge 35 Coventry canal)

We stopped overnight at Hawkesbury Junction, The Greyhound is a popular pub, has good measures in place to try and keep customers and staff safe. I personally won't be going to any eating/drinking in establishments anytime soon.

We are now on the North Oxford canal, miserable weather has had the brolly up while cruising for most the day. If we had a stove I would have lit it, the central heating was put on for an hour when we stopped. Is this really July? 

Hi Ho Silver

Holly Hill Bridge.

Bit of a landslip  just north of Easenhall Lane Bridge(34)
That's where Shreks mate Donkey went.

Another hold up past Newbold tunnel while the trust cleared a fallen tree from the water.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Held up at Atherstone

C&RT emailed notice

Notice Alert-Coventry CanalLocation: Lock 10 Atherstone

Starts At: Access Point - MCB Leicester Causeway

Saturday 4 July 2020 11:00 until further notice

Type: Navigation ClosureReason: Structure failure
Original message:
The top-end lock gate collar and bracket has broken and unsafe to operate. Due to health and safety reasons, the lock will remain closed until the gate collar is fixed. The top-end gate will be chained and padlocked and will not be operable.


We were held up a couple of days at the Atherstone Flight because of damage done by a boat ramming the gate(according to C&RT engineers in attendance).

After getting the gate back in position a sheared stud in the collar bracket had to be fixed.

We stayed another day after the gate was fixed to let the traffic disperse, the next morning we were away early and taking on water at Bradley Green services by 6:30. The Atherstone flight of 11 were a breeze with only the middle lock set against us, other early risers coming down the flight assisted our progress too.

Bradley Green Bridge.

Top Lock

Sue is a serial scrumper in lock gardens,  plundering some rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano.

We were moored up near Springwood Haven at 10:30.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Lockdown over.

Being stationary in one place with time on our hands, enabling a few jobs to be done on the boat. Various areas were tidied up with paint, varnish or polish. 

                 Jobs completed
  • Stove removed and sent to restorers.
  • Cratch and board painted outside. 
  • Engine floor repainted.
  • Gunnels resanded and painted.
  • Chimney collar removed de-rusted and painted.
  • Roof boxes were ronsealed.
  • Mushroom removed and a rust patch on roof dealt with.
  • Front doors painted.
  • Front Bulkhead painted.  
  • Cabin side stripes repainted.
  • Both poles repainted.
  • Rear hatch slide repainted.
  • Rear deck painted.
  • Swan neck painted.
  • Inside front doors and steps revarnished.
  • Rear doors varnished.
  • Side hatch doors varnished.
  • Cratch varnished inside.
  • Carolifier emersion element was resealed. 
  • Brass plate made to cover holes in the cabin ceiling.
  • Front locker lids were repainted.
  • Mushroom vents and all other outside brightwork -polished and lacquered. 

I thought I would have gone stir crazy stopping in the marina for so long. Keeping busy helped but I was losing enthusiasm by week 10. A big help was having friendly neighbours especially the landlord, the horticulturalist, the handyman, the navigator, the quaker, the reiki healer, the fishing mortician and the chuckler. 😏

Good to be out of the marina

We are now moving slowly south for a date with the engineer in Thrupp who will do FL's 4 yearly safety examination, It doesn't seem like it's been 4 years since the last time this was done