We went to Cropredy and back yesterday afternoon.
The day started really cloudy with that lank hair feeling all around. A bit if drizzly rain and misty heaviness. But we had promised a friend a trip on the boat. After our Boccia session in the morning we boarded at about 1150. the Boat was pointed toward town and there was a brief debate between the Best Mate and myself as to which way to go. Through town to Bankside winding hole and back? (2 miles, 2 locks, 2 lift bridges, about 2 hours) or to Cropredy and back which is a four to five hour cruise? The boat was pointing toward town. "You make the decision", The Best Mate said, so I backed SONFLOWER to the winding point at Grimsbury Arm, turned,looked at the sky, which had blue patches in that direction, and the sun came out!
WE HAD A LOVELY CRUISE. Warm sunshine. Temperature rising toward 20 deg C. Shedding cardigans and fleeces we had a wonderful time.
Within 2.1/2 hours we were turning at Cropredy Wharf and setting off on the return leg. The sun now lowering in the sky was straight ahead of us at times as we headed south. There was no help at the locks from craft coming in the opposite direction on the way back but we didn't have to queue anywhere. On passing under Bridge 158 I marvelled at the 200 year old structure. It had withstood the pounding of huge earth movers during the construction of the Flood Alleviation Scheme but stands unscathed and proud. A witness to so many events over the past two centuries and to the strength of the men who designed and built the canal.
So 5 hours cruising without any problem: just because we can! May it long continue. 7 miles, 6 locks, 5 hours
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