Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Goodbye Old Father Thames......Hello Canals

A reasonably gentle start from Abingdon on Sunday and a long wait at the lock.   Two rowing boats overtook us on the way up to the lock and went in before us!  This took some time as at one stage the flow was too strong for them and they had to stop and start the filling sequence again.   However we were not going far so waited patiently.......

Watered at the top and then we were on our way to our intended destination of the moorings at Sandford Lock

Shortly after leaving we came across some motor bike scrambling which Geoff decided he rather fancied!!

Eventually found good mooring at Sandford Lock at the 3rd attempt.   We tried the spot just before the lock but the height was just wrong for us, we ended up sliding under the pontoon and rubbing along the topsides, so gave that up.  Went through the lock and tried on the side by the pub but the space there wasn't very satisfactory either and also not so good for Barney.   With the lock keepers permission we tagged on the end of the permitted moorings on the other side which were ideal.  Later the other two boats departed and we were able to move up a bit.   All that manoeuvring wore me out!

Later we visited the Kings Arms and had our Sunday Lunch.........well I had my Sunday roast but Geoff fell foul of a Mixed Grill........

Monday saw a leisurely start and Barney and I walked up to Iffley Lock whilst Geoff meandered slowly along.

We had slight problems at the lock.   The idea was for me to hop on Petroc with Barney but he flatly refused to walk along the walkway on the waiting pontoon.   So we had to effect a handover up at the lock.   
Here at Iffley lock, apparently the lock keeper is not allowed to open the lock gates until the boats waiting have actually moved forward.  The walkway across is a public right of way and the locals complain if they are held up too long!   This explained the frantic waving to me to come forward....I normally wait util I see the gates opening at least.   

Still we were onward eventually and thence through the last lock on the Thames at Osney.    Geoff walked round the corner with Barney and I ducked under the low bridges and round the extremely tight turn into our first lock back onto the Oxford canal.   Plenty of room to moor and who should be there but Maffi on Millie M........so after a long coffee and catch up we settled down for the rest of the day.   

Sept 17th
Total distance:4.49 miles Elapsed time:2h8m32s Locks:Bridges:13 
Average speed:2.10 mph (3.50 lock/mph) 

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