Thursday, 30 September 2010

Back onto the Oxford Canal

Back on the Oxford must mean we are nearly home...well Petroc's winter home that is...which is quite sad..I don't know where the summer has gone....
After our night out on Monday we stayed over in Long Itchington on Tuesday and when I came to write this blog tonight I could not remember anything I had done on Tuesday!!!!!  I obviously had a very relaxing day, I do remember taking Barnaby for his evening stroll about 5pm or so and I did cook supper so one could not say I was bone idle..............................ah yes I have just remembered.  We had a very interesting morning as we went to visit Iron Butterfly to look over the new boat, and very nice she is too.....why do I always see things that I wish we had done.......still Petroc works for us.
John was away from Epiphany yesterday and last night but arrived back this morning bright and early with Carolyn to crew for him and we set off about 9.   We planned to complete the 10 Stockton and 3 Calcutt locks.
First of all I walked across the fields in the pouring rain for the paper and milk...Barney didn't mind the rain.....
Luckily it did not persist for the whole trip, in fact the first part was considerably better than forecast.   If you look closely however you will see that we were in wet weather gear though.

One of the things we disliked about these locks(and some others on the system) was the chains inserted into the sides of the locks.  With two boats in the lock it is impossible to avoid scraping the boat's paintwork.......John is threatening to write to BW...........I don't suppose it will make any difference....Health and Safety would probably be quoted in any reply...if there were a reply.......we can't work out what purpose they serve.   If you need to tie on there are adequate bollards...and these are not the square wooden jobs either!!!!
Chains in lock (Thanks to John for picture)
Part way up we had a slight pause for John to clear something from his prop!

During the course of the trip (I can't remember where!) we passed these colourful boats, presumably ex working boats that looked very smart....I would have loved to have looked over one.
and we also passed this boat which we have seen before least it must be the same one as I cannot believe there are two like you think it belongs to a sub mariner????
Should really be pained yellow!
                                      We stopped briefly at Calcutt Marina to put in a small amount of fuel.  We thought we could get alongside between their green hire boats but it was a little tight so ended up alongside them......
One more lock and a short distance and we were at Napton Junction
A nice little signpost in case we weren't sure of the way!
By now the rain had set in well and it was past our lunchtime......we found a convenient mooring not far from Gibraltar Bridge and battened down the hatches and went below.
After a while I decided that as it was so damp and miserable I would light the stove.......unfortunately I neglected to take the cowl off the chimney before so doing...luckily Geoff woke up from his siesta and reminded I had to go out in the rain to put it on...then when filling the coal scuttle the coal bag sprung a hole and scattered very black dust all over the cratch and my slippers......maybe I should have just contented myself with putting another sweater on!!  Ah well tomorrow is another day and the forecast is better, but Friday and Sunday sound horrible so the plot is Braunston tomorrow and tuck ourselves in somehwere for the weekend before the final run to Clifton.
Still no news on the baby front.......due date was either last Sunday or this Friday, depending on who is doing the calculation..........

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