Wednesday, 20 June 2018

A Rare sighting

Yesterday we had out first sighting of grass cutters.  The hope is that as we progress further south it may not be so jungle like as we walk the towpaths!

Sadly I failed to get a picture.....we may never see any more....

Last night Geoff declined Maffis invitation to meet half way between our boats for a drink as he was watching football!!!   Sad........

However this morning we have moved down below the lock onto the 14 day moorings right behind MillieM and Maffi.   Maffi came out to help us moor .....I therefore had more trouble than I ever do mooring up, which might just have had a little to do with the fact that he was running his engine in gear!!  The wind might have played a part as well. 

Ah well......Coffee on board with Maffi and Susan so equilibrium restored

Total distance:0.99 miles Elapsed time:1h50m14s Locks:1Bridges:9 
Average speed:0.54 mph (1.08 lock/mph
Geoff is now settled nicely for a few days whilst I visit Emma in London.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Jungle walk to Banbury

First visitors whilst we were at Cropredy.. Bones came with a friend, Ruth, to collect some tools which are being shipped out to somewhere in Africa.  She had put out a request for any unwanted items so we now have more storage room.!!  Geoffrey will never miss them as they have rested in the bottom of a locker for 11 years......

Next came Iain and Christine Gillespie with daughter Fiona an we all had an excellent meal at the Brasenose Arms.   They were expected visitors but the next day was Fathers day and although I was expecting the visitors Geoff was as we arrived at the pub for our second visit he had a pleasant surprise.

We had moved down from the moorings at the top of the lock as they are only 24 hours.  We chose what seemed like a quiet time as we needed to water.   Unfortunately someone had just beaten us to it and since it is a very slow tap we waited 3/4 hour!  However we were then lucky to get on the 48 hour mooring just beyond the water point.

Today we thought we would have a leisurely start as it is only 3.5 miles to Banbury so did not set off until 9.30.   Somewhat of a mistake as by then there were at least 5 boats ahead and eventually at least 4 behind......Still it was a nice morning and one just has to go with the to speak....

I walked to the first lock and Geoff walked the rest...Barney did the lot!!
It was not the best walk in the world as this is the state of the towpath in lots of places

We need to stay in Banbury for a week so we have stopped just short of the centre as mooring is restricted to 48 hours further in.   

Total distance:3.54 miles Elapsed time:2h49m50s Locks:Bridges:10 
Average speed:1.18 mph (2.24 lock/mph) 

Friday, 15 June 2018

Not such a wild and woolly day

We left a very peaceful mooring on a bright gentle day
 at a much more reasonable hour than of late!
We didn't want to arrive in Cropredy too early.  We needed to give people chance to vacate mooring spaces!
Barney loves lying in long grass
Luckily for him CRT seem to maintaining their policy of NOT cutting the grass along the towpaths and at the locks.   Not so lucky for those of us who are walking.

I often wonder what the cows are thinking!!! 
Some of them are quite curious as we pass by

Safely moored up we have some smaller visitors
I have learnt not to sit too close to the edge when parent swans are around
There was room for us at the top of Cropredy lock but its only 24 hour stay, so will probably move down below the lock tomorrow.

Total distance:2.07 miles Elapsed time:1h38m49s Locks:4Bridges:5 
Average speed:1.26 mph (3.68 lock/mph) 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

pause at Fenny Compton for very good reason

An excellent early supper on Tuesday at the Wharf Inn.  Provided you order before 6pm you can two of selected meals for £12.......up from £10 last few years but still very good value for money.

Wednesday morning`s call to Leesan was disappointing as their engineer had been delayed a day on the South Coast.  Geoff was not pleased as he does not consider it a priority!   Still it was a nice leisurely day and worth the wait.  Michael was back today and came to see us.  As expected he couldn`t fix it there and then but we had a good chat about our options.   We have to have a modification done to the housing of the cassettes and then the loo has to come out over the winter.  He considers it eminently fixable and is the easiest solution.   Any change of toilet would involve going to a holding tank which we don`t want as that would be even more upheaval....
So thank heaven for the Porta Potti!!!

Add caption
On our way by 10.30 into a very blustery ride.  Originally we thought we would get to Cropredy, but after the first 4 locks of the Claydon Flight we decided to call it a day.   The wind was making it harder work that necessary......
Delightful quiet mooring which will do us nicely .

Total distance:3.65 miles Elapsed time:2h11m34s Locks:4Bridges:9 
Average speed:1.67 mph (3.49 lock/mph) 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Towpath...what towpath???

Yet another early start on Monday......change in routine required!

A foggy start to the day but it burnt off very quickly.   Just the last lock of the Napton flight and the two at Marston Doles where we found a lockie........very handy as Geoff could get aboard as we left.  Its a sharp bend to get out of the lock, made more complicated when a boat is waiting to come in.

The view from my kitchen window Monday
and looking the other way
We have moored here several times before and it is an idyllic spot.  I set myself up after lunch with chair and table on the towpath only to be forced back indoors after 10 minutes s it was too hot!!!

It was cooler later and I enjoyed the first of the summer Pimms outside.  

Tuesday I was allowed a lie in......9.30 departure today.......not far to go to Fenny Compton and the idea is to arrive after people have left leaving us a choice of mooring spaces....lucky again!

The following pictures show the state of the towpath

Some grass cutting would be great!!!
Total distance:5.46 miles Elapsed time:2h45m51s Locks:3Bridges:10 
Average speed:1.97 mph (3.06 lock/mph) 

Total distance:3.07 miles Elapsed time:1h32m23s Locks:0Bridges:9 
Average speed:1.99 mph (1.99 lock/mph) 
Two days of wiggling round the contours.

Visited Leesan on arrival but the chap who might (or might not!) be able to fix our loo is out on a call all day so I have to ring at 9 tomorrow.   Fingers crossed.....

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Onward to Napton

No Church or pub for Sunday lunch today which is our normal Sunday routine.

 We quietly slid out of our mooring before 7am...sun was shining brightly but it did not last....the clouds soon rolled in.  Still there was no fact there hasn`t been any rain since we arrived at is probably storing it up ready to pounce...

After the junction where we turned south there are a lot of permanent moorings.
 Some of them have fantastic gardens and then there is this.

A gentle meander as we follow the contours round the hill at Napton.

and so to the bottom of the Napton flight.
We were a lot earlier than planned due to our early start so decided to do the first 6 locks in the hope our favourite space would be available just before the 7th lock.

We had not seen a boat all morning until we were nearly at the locks.......and there he was just ahead of us.   However it was a lovely morning, the clouds were showing signs of breaking up again and we weren`t in a rush.  

We were lucky with our mooring, it was free.   A few years ago there used to be a cafe here on a buffalo farm but sadly no longer.  Geoff is feeling deprived of his snacks.   I am not a baker but I make one cake only which we normally partake of during the summer months.  However I have forgotten the one essential ingredient...ALL BRAN!!  So no cake until we reach a supermarket and that wont be before Banbury next weekend.   Still good for the figure and we have lots of fruit on board.

Total distance:8.64 miles 
Elapsed time:4h18m16s
Average speed:2.01 mph (2.24 lock/mph) 

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Long walk for a cooked breakfast

They do a mean breakfast!
With that in front of him you would thin Geoff should smile
It was worth the long walk in.  I use the term long in relation to some peoples eyes it would be a mere stroll.   The round trip for me was just over 3 miles and that is about my limit these days.  Geoff had misread the opening time so when we arrived at 9.30 it had already been open half an hour and was very busy.  No room inside but luckily it was just warm enough to sit outside.
We also bought some new fenders and a spare water pump.  Although we managed to get ours working before we left Clifton, it annoyingly keeps turning itself on which we think may be a precursor to failing altogether.  Geoff`s previous DIY skills have in the past extended to changing a pump very successfully so if the inevitable happens we are hoping he has not lost the touch.

I love the views of the church as we approach Braunston

Wonderful tower
We normally stay over on the Sunday for the church service but reluctantly decided against it this time as we need to be heading south in time for the birth of Emma & Dave`s baby in July.