Monday, June 30, 2008

Osney to Abingdon

Miles 9 Locks 4
Red was the colour for special wildlife sightings today, 3 red kites just downstream of Sandford Lock, a Red Breasted Merganser at the moorings in Abingdon and a Little Grebe near Nuneham Railway Bridge. We cruised down to Abingdon this morning and as there was a queue at the water point above the lock we came straight through and to our delight found a mooring by the swimming pool. After a brief visit to the shops we have been lazing in the sun alongside the boat all afternoon. After tea we walked back to the lock to get rid of our rubbish and walked the opposite bank back to Abingdon and crossed the river and back to the boat. Tonight the pictures are of lazeing on the moorings and the Red Breasted Merganser.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

BabLock Hythe to Osney (Oxford)

Miles 9.9 Locks 4
A short run today, into Oxford, mooring by Osney Bridge just B4 lunch time. After lunch we walked into Oxford and did some clothes shopping (confusing the staff at BHS with M’s Staff discount card) and returning to the boat curtesy of our national Bus Pass. Todays Picture is of the boat on the moorings at Osney.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Letchlade to Ferry Boat Inn

Miles 20.3 Locks 7
Coming downstream with the wind behind we have done in one day what it took two to do going upstream. We have moored by the Ferry Inn at Bablock Hythe. Where there is a large caravan park and moorings. Thank goodness that no-one shouts at you to slow down as it is a narrowboat makes much less wash on the river than the cruisers and their wash hardly has any effect on moored boats. Just before we moored I tried to see what speed we could get up to but chickened out at 5.5 mph as the limit is 5mph still there seemed to be plenty of power still to go. Most moorings are on quite high banks so we have to get at least one end in to allow M to get off. Pictures tonight Halfpenny Bridge @ Letchlade and a lock keepers “cottage” that all the fuss is about as the EA want to sell them off.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Arrived in Letchlade

Miles 7.2 Locks 3
A comparatively short run today even though due to the twisty turns of the river I could see that we were sailing away from St John's lock rather than toward it. We are moored alongside the meadow just downstream of Halfpenny Bridge @ Letchlade. This is one of the few places that I know of that has a permenantly open Christmas decorations shop, the other I know of is in York and the one at Clog Mill in Hebden Bridge where Santa could be seen asleep is now closed ( I wonder where he sleeps now?). There are cows in the meadow and as we moored they came to visit.

Pinkhill Lock to Radcot

Another Multiple Post
26 June 2008
Miles 15.6 Locks 4
The Tames twists and turns a lot above Pinkhill and it seems to take forever to get to the next lock. Todays cruising started at 9.05 am and finished at 3.20 pm and it feels like most of it was going round bends. After arriving and having a little rest we walked to the Swan Hotel at Radcot for a pint of Speckled Hen and a diet Coke. Pic’s from today’s cruising are in Shifford lock ant Tadpole Bridge. For those who are unaware the locks on the upper reaches are manned but are manually operated as opposed to lower down where they are still manned but are electrically operated….

Thrupp to Pinkhill

25 June 2008
Miles 8.6 Locks 6
I have dated this post because I know from the weak phone signals we are getting that I will not be able to post to the internet tonight. We are above Pinkhill Lock on the upper reaches of the River Thames between Oxford and Letchlade. The muddy water canals were left behind at midday and we set off up river. The problem we had was to get a licence – the lock keeper at Kings lock was too busy, the one at Eynsham was only a temp and couldn’t issue them so we ended up getting a visitors licence at Pinkhill lock, I bet he doesn’t issue many of them, being quite a way from any place where you join the river. After mooring up we decided to go for a walk round Farmoor reservoir and call in at the local shop. The walk is 4 eand 1 half miles but disappointingly you only get occasional glimpses of the reservoir itself. A pity as there was some sailing going on and in the very stiff breeze we have had today it could have been interesting watching – well for me anyway. Birds spotted today – our first kingfisher of the trip and on the Thames Great Crested Grebe, a Cormorant, and a large flock of Greylag Geese. Today’s pics are the start of the day at Thrupp just before we set off and the mooring we are on now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Banbury to Thrupp

Two Days again
Monday 23 June 2008 Miles 4.8 Locks 3
We decided after both doing the shopping we wanted in Banbury to leave at about 3 in the afternoon. We filled up with water outside Woolworths and headed south for three locks and moored in the middle of no where.
Tuesday 24 June 2008 Miles 15.5 Locks 10
A full day today stopping at Aynho for diesel and a Loo pump-out and a long wait at Somerton deep lock which was enlivened by meeting Klaus and Helga (fellow NCCC members) in their boat SEBEQ returning from the River Thames. During the day we have crossed the River Cherwell twice on the level and at each crossing the lock off of the river is a funny shape. Todays pics show the crossing and lock at Aynho. We finally moored up at Thrupp on the 48hr mooring which surprised us as we expected them all to be full. After Tea we went for a walk and dropped in at the Jolly Sailor pub (For NCCC members it is very hard finding pups called “The Navigation”)…

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cropready to Banbury

Miles 4.1 Locks 3
A short trip today into Banbury, but my, was it windy. It was quite difficult holding the boat at lock landings – at least it being a Sunday I had had a cooked breakfast – that would help. Today’s pic what else but Banbury Cross & a Lady on a White Horse.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Braunston to Cropready

Miles 20, Locks 18
We have now climbed to the summit of the Southern Oxford canal and we are now on our way down the Cherwell valley to the Thames. This is still a few days away as we intend to spend a couple of days in Banbury and slow things down a bit. Like everyone else we have had the rain, the worst sort for boating and lock working, that is the kind that covers your glasses very quickly so you can’t see out. I took mine off for a while today so I didn’t have to keep wiping them clear. Today pic is of a typical lift bridge on the Southern Oxford this one and many others are in a permanently “open to boats” position, some have the deck across the canal and it takes a lot of effort pulling them open and keeping them open if you are lightweights like us.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Coventry to Braunston

Miles 23.7, Locks 3, Tunnels 1
Today’s photo has to be the lighting inside Newbold Tunnel near Rugby.
We are told that BW don’t pay and they were not installed as part of a Hindu “Festival of Light”. So why are they there?, your guess is as good as mine. The sun has been following us all day as we make our way south along the North Oxford Canal. We are currently moored between Braunston and Napton on the Grand Union canal. We will be on the Southern Oxford canal tomorrow. The canal is now getting busy since we moored up at 5.20 pm we have seen more boats come past than we saw in a day earlier…

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Polesworth to Bridge 5 on the Northern Oxford Canal

Miles 17.9, Locks 12
Shortly after we had set off from Polesworth I saw a Tufted Duck on the canal. Unlike Mallard who see any boat as a “get food here” sign this duck was very shy and always stayed in front of the boat for about 100 yds then flew off, so sorry no picture. The pictures for tonight are the dressed dummies the lock keeper at Atherstone surrounds his cottage and top lock with. The Atherstone flight was very slow and busy and afrter the first two we had to queue at each one. The stretch of canal after Nuneaton has become very overgrown and the views we had a few years ago are now obscured. At Hawksbury Junction (Sutton’s Stop) we did our final lock and moored close to the arm of the Northern Oxford canal that is the HQ of the Coventry Cruising Club...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fradley to Polesworth

Miles 16.1, Locks 2
A windy showery day, the only time we saw the Sun is when we stopped at Fazely for lunch , after which we filled up with water and continued on our way. Saw our first great crested grebe on the River Tame as we crossed it just before Glascote Locks. Today’s photos are of the BW facilities at Fazely and the Tamworth Cruising Club H.Q.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yesterday Stone to Fradley Junction

Miles 20.6, Locks 9
After we had descended the first lock of the day at Aston we saw on two separate occasions a Cormorant. As we were following the course of he nearby River Trent, we presumed that they were feeding there, as we did not see any on the canal itself.
Great Hayward Junction was busy with boats trying to turn, cross paths, moor up or just trying to travel in a straight line, still there were no collisions. Todays pictures show the different approach the residents of Rugley take in their end of garden where it meets the canal. The final picture is just for Pete.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ramsdel Hall to Stone

18.3 miles, 14 Locks & 1 Tunnel

This morning we joined the Trent & Mersey canal @ Hardings Wood Junction. After about an half hours wait we went through the Harecastle Tunnel.
Waiting to go through the Tunnel.

At Westport lake we rescued a pigeon that had exhausted itself trying to get onto the bank from a ledge near the waters edge (our good deed for the day)

We eventually moored up below Star lock at Stone. The view from the top lock at stone is shown below.

Tomorrow Rugely and beyond.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We're Off (again)

Miles 22.5 Locks 12.

We have finally set off on our extended cruise to the River Thames. Today travelling South on the Macclesfield Canal descending Bosley Locks and mooring by Bridge 86 where the footpath goes off to Little Morton Hall.

First picture is of the repairs being made to the retaining wall that almost slipped into the canal in January.

This shows us moored @ Bridge 86 with Mow Cop in the background.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I have just spent the last two days polishing the cabin sides. It all started last Monday as we were returning from our afternoon trip. the only place where we had to pass a boat coming the other way was by a large bush and a branch scratched the side of the cabin. Yesterday I decided that the scratch could be ploished out and so it could, but it made the rest look a bit tatty so the whole side got done. Today I did the other side - well you cant just do one side can U?.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Out on a Sunny afternoon

We are going "Stir Crazy" waiting for test results to find out if we can be off. This lunchtime we decided rather than go shopping etc we would go for a run out on the boat. We went from High Lane to Bridge 20 on the Macc had our sandwiches and sat around keeping cool. There was supprisingly enough quite a few other boats about with one Dawncraft going a full hull repaint on the overflow @ bridge 20 .
Pics Today show Gralyn on her moorings in the High Lane Arm and the inevitable family of Mallards that came to greet us as we moored up for our butties.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Practice Pics

Just a practice of putting pics on this blog.

Gralyn @ lock 5 on the Bosley Flight

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Blog Revived

It is a long time since I have touched this Blog but as I prefere the backgrounds to the ones in Freeblogit I will continue our 2008 travels on this blog linking it to the old one

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