We didn't go far but we had a very enjoyable cruise to Nell Bridge and back. The way there was against the setting afternoon sun and the "shades" were very necessary. It was so definitely SPRING. Chiff chaffs sang inthe tops of the trees. Blue tits darted inteh hawthiorn. The blackthorn was blossoming and leaf was sprouting everywhere.
Alex worked the locks, I piloted the boat and the Best Mate set about spring cleaning the cabin. Alex enjoyed walking the towpath for a time and I saw a pair of kingfishers on the bank just under the M40 obviously
oblivious to the noise of the traffic above but startled by our presence
as we approached.
As they cleared Grants lock and we prepared to enter we were snapped by Our Serendipity who are blogging every boat they pass! They had come off the Tjames and I have read a bit in a blog about Ric & Eileen who moor at Boulters lock. If this is them the only N/BOurserendipity blog that I have googled is a little sparse of photis at the moment. I hope they find time to post them all!
The winter off sid epruning offensive had made a great difference to the canal aspects and the pollarding of some of the willows was very pretty. There are many piles of cut wood seasoning for future fires on the off side banks.
The lovely thing is that Bones and another Alex were moored at Nell Bridge and we had a lovely evening chatting with them over tortilla chips,salsa, rioja and crianza.
We had to leave this morning at 7am because we need to be back for noon and lunch at General Foods Club. This is a very regular appointent with our son who was not a member of the crew this time out.
This morning's cruise was excellent. Absolutely perfect weather and beautiful spring activity form the birds along the way. There were herons fishing, crows nest building and escorting a buzzard so closely that it could not venture near the tree that supported their nest. Ther were reed buntongs playing liss chase and chaffinches puffing up their new spring pink chests. The yellow headed yellow hammers were brightly visible aming the budding willows.
So there it was. A brief first outing for the boat and my sunglasses.
Our return was quick and uneventful. We had time when we arrived in Banbury to give SONFLOWER a well needed wash. With all the Best Mate's hard work inside the cabin she is looking and smelling much healthier now!
Moving foreward toward General Foods Club we came up behind the Braidbar Boat "Fetina Lente". The crew were about to disembark and looked at us unapprovingly. There was not room for us to moor behind them as they had left 120 feet between them and the boat ahead of them. Why dont people share bollards? So we moved further on and were greeted by Maffi.
After lunch SONFLOWER was duly returned to her home mooring.
Sharing locks and mending punctures
1 hour ago