Thursday, 22 September 2011

Back to Clifton

We turned around at Braunston and set off on our final trip of the year.   The weather was kind to us, and although it was chilly and a bit windy there was no rain and there was some sunshine.   The run back to Clifton, like many other stretched on the Oxford canal, has many places where you can moor on a decent bank with piling with no restrictions.   We could have spent a week doing this last stretch but time is running out and Cornwall calls......well not that loudly
The first part of the trip was quiet but soon we began to see more boats and by the time we reached Hillmorton Top Lock, we were third in the queue.  To conserve water they have only one of the tandem locks working, although for the life of me I cannot see how this saves water........if the same number of boats go up and down...there is obviously a rational explanation which my brain is not clever enough to work out.
By the time we went down there were 5 or 6 behind us and when we reached the bottom there were about 10 waiting to come up.   This has been the busiest we have seen the canals for a while.  Presumably it is because there are time restrictions on the Southern Oxford at Claydon and Napton, and even more restrictions north of Foxton on the Leicester line of the GU.  Only essential boats may travel, ie if they have to get back to their home mooring.
The BW man was in attendance flitting from top to bottom lock and winding the odd paddle!
Lovely flower display on this boat
Geoff decided to have a final towpath walk from the bottom into Clifton so I meandered very gently homewards.  
It must be chilly having a bath on this boat!
We were able to moor in Barrogills place as Helen and Paul are away cruising.  This will make like easy for unloading.
8.8 miles, 3 locks, 4hrs 5min
Years's Total  414 miles, 333 locks 
Our average speed over the summer is just over 1.6 miles per hour........beat that if you can Mr Snail

Thats's All Folks
See you next year

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