Amid strong towpath rumours of an impending closure of the South Oxford due to very low water levels, we decided that we didn’t want to get stuck on the summit and would move down Napton today, however long the queues were. We were lucky and arrived to find that we were third in the queue. The ‘towpath telegraph’ being what it is, on the way down we were told that BW had a meeting tomorrow and in all likelihood it would happen, then later that someone had phoned BW and had been told that it was going to happen! However, there were still scores of boats going up the locks and reports that hire companies (Black Prince, Calcutt Boats, Viking Afloat to name but three) hadn’t told their customers not to go this way! Restrictions have been in place for a fortnight, so they can’t say they had no warning. More fool them – they will be the ones who will have to recover the boats if they get stuck on the summit, and have to refund people’s money if they can’t get the boats back in time for next weekend’s change-over day. Of Napton Boats there was no sign so they are obviously on the ball.
We started the day in glorious sunshine, but by the time we were halfway down the flight we were getting the odd shower or two. As we finished the flight and headed onwards towards the Bridge pub, the heavens opened and yet again Rog got drenched (I disappeared inside!) We managed to find a mooring by the pub, so I’m being treated to a meal tonight as recompense for being dragged out of bed before I was ready this morning. The sun is shining again now!
7.6 miles and 9 locks