Tuesday 27th August 2019 1600h
We have finally moved off the mooring and headed north toward the wonders of the BCN.
The first stop on any cruise up the South Oxford from Banbury has to be at Cropredy and this time was no exception. We made good headway and met quite a few boats on the way. We were followed by an Oxford hire crew who were enjoying the wonderful sunshine and showers and then came up behind NB The Lucky Duck with a very novice crew who were having difficulty with handling the craft on tickover! They rattled into Boughton Lock ahead of us and we advised them how to avoid being thrown forward inthe lock by the incoming water from the ground paddles. It always amazes me how little people tell their crews when they lend them their boat! This crew really were learning on the job the hard way. They let us pass just after the lock bridge and before Slat Mill. We moored on the 14 day moorings behind NB So Long that had single handed up from Banbury and we had helped through Slat Mill lock. We moored at 1830 and prepared to have dinner at the Brazenose Arms.
3 locks, 4 miles, 2.1/2hrs
Wednesday 28th August 2019
We had a meeting this morning so moved forward toward the Winding hole. We entertained a friend to a late breakfast between 1130 and 1230 and then started on our way again. There were quite a few boats on the move: The Lucky Duck, the Oxfordshire Hire boat and NB So Long had all passed us and we had to queue at Cropredy behind Napton boats. Here we discovered the holes in the bank behind the piling by almost falling into them. I reported them as dangerous. At Broadmoor lock a heavy shower interrupted our cruise and we sheltered for about half an hour or more before going on. We joined queues again at Claydon Middle lock and eventually cleared the locks at about 1630. Not the quickest of journeys. Our youngest crew member decided to walk to The Wharf and took photos of the holes that abound between Claydon Locks and Fenny Compton. Other indications that the canal is not as well mantained as it used to be were the crumbling bank stonework and the broken cill protection beams at two of the locks.
The lock beams at Claydon Locks all bear a blue sign detailing the water saving code and ask that we report all leaks. Well CRT all the lock gates are leaking. The local CRT manager is Mr Lee King so we can expect little else! Much of the paddle gear is also stiff to operate and needs more grease. Off side veg could do with a really good cutting back this coming winter or visibility problems will abound next year. There are quite a few intrusive hawthorns and willows on the off side and trees self seeding on the near side.
We moored tightly on visitor moorings (///reactions.tribes.needed ) and went to The Wharf for a lovely dinner. Chilli, steak and ale pie and a full rack of ribs satisfied our need.
We had pre-prepared for this by leaving the car at The Pub so we went back to the flat.
The first leg to the BCN completed: 9 locks, 9 miles, 4.1/2 hours
Friday 30 August 2019
Had to move off 48 hour moorings so progressed forward to the Water Point outside the Wharf Inn and filled the tank up.
Then through the bridges to moor on the first ring of the 14 day moorings. ///polka.performs.tangling
1/2 mile 1/2hr
Here she will stay until we navigate the top level to Marston Doles next week and thence down Napton Flight.We have to arrive in Napton on the Hill, somewhere near the marina to get to The KIng's Head to catch the 9.22 am bus back to Fenny Compton. It only runs on Thursdays.
- The name describes my demeanour and voice! I love narrowboating and that is why this blog is mainly about the boat and our interaction with it. I have been keeping a log for Sonflower ever since we bought her and moved onto her as our main residence. Some incidents in our boating life have been hilarious, some scary and some down right dangerous. I cannot tell what will come in the future but you can now share them! The crew are an 'ordinary' couple. The Best Mate and I.