Wednesday, 31 July 2013

First day on the Canals for our visitors

Anne & Graham had never been on a canal before so we hoped for a nice sunny day to show off the beauty of the Oxford rained!!!!!!  Unbelieveable after all the sun we have had..........however there were some clear periods so mustn't complain too much..

The goal was Aynho Wharf as we had booked a table there for supper at the Great Western Arms
What a great idea for a rainy day!!

We had the impression we were impeding their progress....
explaining the intricacies of lock operation

We enjoyed a good meal in the Great Western Arms.  Luckily we had booked as it was extremely busy.

Total distance:6.77 miles
 Elapsed time:4h17m17s 
Average speed:1.58 mph (2.75 lock/mph) 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Visitors in Banbury

First visitors today were Christine & Ian who came for coffee.........but we went out for lunch also with them and were joined by Fiona............later in the afternoon our Aussie visitors arrived, Anne & Graham.    Boe stayed to see them but departed about 5.    She had previously been given a lift by Ian & Christine to collect her car(MY CAR) which was back near the Claydon Locks.
Supper on board with lots of catching up of news to accomplish......then John from Epiphany arrived.......he had already eaten but joined in the liquid a good day was had by all.

It's all go  at the moment!!!!!!

Monday, 29 July 2013

and so to Banbury

Another crack of sparrows departure, but since I had been awake since 3am it hardly mattered.........

We did not manage to get Boe up at that hour and she surfaced about 1/2 hour before our arrival in Banbury.

We wanted to go through Cropredy early as we had yet again been told it was full with people gathering for the Fairport Convention  8-10 August..   We arrived there about 8am and there were plenty of boats moored and there would not have been a space for us but the water point was free......nobody else up at that hour.......We hope that on the return journey up the Oxford it will not be so busy and we may be able to stay a night.  We chatted to a lady as we went through the Cropredy Lock who was going the other way.  She was really disgruntled as she said there were so many moored boats that it had taken them over an hour to come from Slat Mill Lock.    I cannot say we found the same problem, despite doing our normal slow routine passing moored boats.  Sometimes we do wonder why we bother as it does not seem to be a universal practice any more.

Once again we were moored by coffee time and Boe who had arisen by now, decamped to her favourite place on the roof... and proceeded to phone the world.

Total distance:6.22 miles

 Elapsed time:5h7m29s 


Average speed:1.21 mph (2.78 lock/mph)

Sunday, 28 July 2013

....and a bit further down the Oxford.

We did not move far yesterday, but we did move ourselves back a little.  We were under delightfully shady trees but the forecast was giving heavy rain and thunderstorms so we decide to be prudent......

Geoff and Barney walked 5 miles in total just to get a Saturday Daily Telegraph!!!

Today we moved on down through Fenny Compton and through 4 of the 5 Claydon Locks and moored just above the bottom lock..   Very gentle day and moored in time for coffee.......mind you we did set out at the crack of sparrows.    Once again we sought the shade.   Later in the afternoon Bones came past and we went a little way up the locks with her but sadly did not manage to meet up later for a drink and catch up.

Boe also arrived for a couple of nights, she even managed to find the little road down to the canal with the aid of a friendly local.   So our tidy ship is no longer!!!!!  However it is great to see her, she came fresh from a friends hen night where the entertainment had been a life drawing class with a male model.....I dare not put the pictures up!!!

Total distance:6.65 miles 
Elapsed time:3h56m49s 
Average speed:1.68 mph (2.70 lock/mph) 

Friday, 26 July 2013

The Beautiful Oxford Canal

As the forecast was for more hot weather we set off at 6am.  Barney and I walked the 1/2 hour to the bottom of the Napton Flight.  We paused briefly to use the sani station and then had a wonderful climb up the flight in sunny but not too hot weather.  We did not meet a single boat until the last of the Marsdon Doles 2 locks.
Ready to climb up the Napton Flight
Looking back to the bottom lock
Makes a change from meeting cyclists! 
As I rose in each lock I marvelled at the fantastic countryside around here.

Sadly there was one blot on the landscape...............
The sani station at the bottom lock
Surely we can manage things better than this.........we have just returned from cruising down the Rhine and visited many small and larger villages and also towns.  Everywhere was scrupulously clean....if we went for an early morning walk, street cleaners were out.......come on CRT....... 
Our intention was to moor in Cropredy for the weekend but a passing boat has informed us that it is already very busy there as the Cropredy Festival is in just under 2 weeks time, so we are rethinking our plans........instead of carrying on to Fenny Compton today we have stopped short, found a delightful mooring in the shade whilst we cogitate on the matter...........................

Total distance:7.79 miles 
Elapsed time:4h40m13s 
Average speed:1.67 mph (3.60 lock/mph)

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Cruising again

Back on board Petroc, how nice to be home.........
Had a great holiday down the Rhine with SAGA..........good food, plentiful wine, good company but boy was it hot.  
After all that hot weather we set off from Clifton today with a hint of rain in the air and overcast, BUT I am not complaining as it was a much better temperature to travel in.    Decided to do a longish day today as we are expecting visitors on Tuesday next and we would like to be in Banbury to collect them.    We were unsure which way we would go when we set off again but the Oxford is one of our favourite canals and very convenient if you are having visitors as the railway runs along a lot of it and there are several good pick up points.

We were reunited with Barney at the weekend as he had been holidays with Giles and family in Goring,
He was pleased to be reunited with his Monkey!!!
Although we cruised for longer than normal today it was very pleasant and relaxing.   Not too hot, gentle breeze and lovely countryside....what more could one want.......although I did get a tad annoyed when the hire boat in front decided to go at snails pace.........I mean there is SLOW AND S......L......O......W.  Eventually I had no power on at all and was just coasting along....I think he was just daydreaming......... I ended up hooting at him, very naughty of me.
Total distance:14.25 miles 
Elapsed time:5h57m40s
Average speed:2.39 mph (2.89 lock/mph) 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sweltering on the Rhine

Whilst Petroc is meandering on the Oxford with Richard & Christine aboard, we are sweltering on the Rhine, eating and drinking far too much................

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Back to our home mooring at Clifton Cruisers.

Not only was the weather kind to us today but it appears to be warming up,or so the forecast says.......maybe a touch of summer........
This was the last stretch for about 3 weeks as we shall be handing Petroc over to friends Richard & Christine on Sunday for their two week stay.   So we have come back to clean the boat and try and make enough space for their mean feat!!!

Meanwhile Geoff & I will be having a busman's holiday on the Rhine, courtesy of SAGA so will be back blogging in approx 3 weeks time.

Sadly today we have said goodbye to Chris and Sharon on Krystal, we have enjoyed cruising with them over the past week, not to mention the socialising!!!

Total distance:5.54 miles 
Elapsed time:3h30m22s 
Average speed:1.58 mph (2.44 lock/mph) 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Slowly back to Rugby

Tuesday 2ND JULY
Braunston Church stands out for miles.

The two iron bridges at the triangular Braunston Turn mark the current junction between the Oxford and Grand Union Canals.  They were constructed when the Oxford Canal was re-routed in 1834.

Short hop to Braunston.  We turned right at the junction to do loos and rubbish and shopping.   Just managed to find one space after turning in the marina entrance.

  Lots of boats still moored after the Historic Boats rally at the weekend.  It was only a short stop as the goal was open country again as we were meeting up with Krystyl again.......have got into a sort of rhythm of per supper drinks each night, alternating boats!!!  Very pleasant. Moored just beyond bridge 88 overlooking fields full of sheep.  Drinks on Petroc this evening

Total distance:3.25 miles 
Elapsed time:1h40m33s 
Average speed:1.94 mph (1.94 lock/mph) 


Total distance:1.01 miles 
Elapsed time:0h32m42s 
Average speed:1.84 mph (1.84 lock/mph) 

An even shorter hop today all the way to the moorings just beyond bridge 81, there was plenty of space when we arrived but by the evening it was full with about a dozen boats.   Lots of boat traffics passing in both directions now, such a change from a couple of weeks ago but maybe just because of where we are.  Yesterday one managed to clunk us twice on his way past......when Geoff stuck his head out from the side hatch and enquired politely (sic) what he thought he was doing the bloke said he had to come close to avoid a boat going in the other direction.   Geoff is obviously going blind as he failed to see another boat!!!
Drinks on Krystal this evening.........

How nice to be in England, if only summer would stay for more than a day.......
Total distance 2.18 miles 
Elapsed time:1h05m
Average speed:2 mph  

Monday, 1 July 2013

Lots more locks

We had agreed on a moderately early start with Krystal but in the event we were both ready earlier than we said, so set off.   The first 10 locks were all set in our favour so it was a good run up.

5 done, 5 to go

Crew of Geoff and Sharon working hard.
I had made a contribution to the lock working by walking to and setting the first lock!!  Sharon is obviously stronger than me as I found the paddles very stiff...........glad to hand back to Geoff as he rose in the first lock.

At the top of the Stockton flight we passed the Boat Inn pub all boarded up and looking very forlorn.

By the time we reached the Calcutt 3 locks we had a single boat in front of us but this didn't cause too much of a hold up.  As we reached the junction at Napton we had to hang back a while as several boats appeared suddenly one of which was President.  Some of them were obviously returning from the Historic Boat Rally at Braunston this past weekend.

We moored between bridge 101 and 102 with a lovely open view and settled down to another lazy afternoon in the sun..........and finished the day with pre-supper drinks on Krystal again.......what a life
Total distance:6.56 miles 
Elapsed time:4h2m25s 
Average speed:1.62 mph 
(4.84 lock/mph)