I lit the fire as the first thing this morning. To do it I had to clear out an accumuation of soot and rust on the baffle plate that was bocking the chimney above.
We left Spiceball Long Term Mooring site beside Bridge 163 at 11 am today. As we were preparing to leave, sawing some gash pine for the fire, we met the crew of the passing nb Wren's Nest and told them our plans. They wished us well and said "keep up the blog". So I am trying. As we left the mooring the crew of nb Athco were on the towpath waving us "goodbye". I told them we will be back but we don't know when and probably we will not be returning to the moorings.
Our aim today was to get to Fenny Compton and we arrived on the Wharf at Fenny Compton Marina at 4.15 pm. There was a sign in the office window inviting us to call for attention. I did but was told that they close at 4pm on Fridays and would be open again at 10am. Bill told us we were welcome to wait on the wharf. We accepted his invitation and walked the quarter mike to The Wharf Inn where we had our evening meal.
It was a "good road" today: the only locks against us were Cropredy Lock (left with the top gate open) and Claydon Bottom Lock but here we left the top gate open (for an oncoming work boat, hired to CRT and crewed by volunteers). We had left Banbury under blue skies and with the sound of birdsong everywhere. We arrived in a snow shower. On the way we chatted to Malc and Dink at the White Cottage, the master of nb Sawdust, the master of nb Samara and many others that we have become familiar with.We love this part of the canal.
I watched buzzards wheeling over Little Bourton Lock and met a spinning angler who said he had thrown back a zander he had caught earlier. I was thoroughly at home on the tiller or lock beams and paddles again.
The Best Mate spent most of the time, outside of locks, tidying and cleaning to make the boat habitable once more after the winter of our neglect. I did do my bit, messing up the clean lounge carpet by chopping some pine sticks! And I did fit coconut matting to the back steps to try to keep the mud off the new floor. The bilge pump did not work so there is another thing on our chandlery list.
How to check a bridge clearance before getting there
11 hours ago