Monday, 18 May 2015

Marston Doles to Cropredy……

Saturday 16th May

We left our mooring about 9.30, to wend our way across the summit of the Oxford canal.  Eleven miles of twists and turns and almost meeting ourselves coming back!  Across country, with a compass, the same trip could be accomplished in 4 miles!


The Magic Mast – this mast keeps appearing in the strangest of places, sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right, sometimes in front and sometimes behind, then in front again

A fairly uneventful trip, apart from an almost coming together with another boat on a bend – we kept expecting them to turn but they didn’t – full reverse was in order to prevent a collision!  I think they were hypnotised by the somnambulistic nature of the scenery – we wondered whether they would have just kept on going and hit the bank if they hadn’t suddenly become aware of our existence a few feet from their  starboard bow!

Moored now on the visitor moorings at Fenny Compton, and lunch partaken of in The Wharf pub – well it would have been rude not to!

7 miles and 0 locks

Sunday 17th May

We left Fenny at our usual time of about 9.30.  It was another blustery morning, warm in the sheltered spots, but the wind was very chilly when the spots were not so sheltered.  The sun was making regular appearances between the clouds, which were sometimes dark and threatening, but it stayed dry. 

We started to descend the five locks at Claydon sandwiched between two hire boats, the crews of neither of which knew what they were doing.  I spent the time waiting for our turn in the queue explaining what the procedure was.  I was a bit puzzled by their lack of even basic knowledge, considering that they were out of Wigram’s Marina, and Napton Narrowboats, and they had both come all the way up the Napton flight.  Still, maybe it was the fact that they would now be locking down that confused them.  Anyway, they all managed ok, and we didn’t get any calls for help so they must have got the hang of it. 

Having completed the Claydon locks we had a short rest until the next 3 locks heading into Cropredy.  On arriving at Cropredy we were amazed that the visitor moorings were completely empty, all except for one boat.  However, we spotted on the sign that the moorings were 24 hours only.  I’m not sure how long that has been in force, but I’m fairly sure that we’ve stayed longer than that in the past.  Perhaps the fact that the weather forecast for Monday was fairly wet, had decided boaters not to stop. 

For that reason we continued on through Cropredy lock and stopped on the service point to fill with water and empty the necessary.  A quick nip across the bridge to the shop was disappointing.  The two previous times we have come this way they were selling delicious pork sausages. locally produced, in a variety of flavours, apple and red onion being our favourite.  However the shop has now changed hands and they aren’t selling them any more – just a normal bog-standard pork produced by another company.  What a shame, I was looking forward to some of those! The ones looked good and meaty though, so I bought some for dinner, and good they were!  That’s two meals ‘off plan’ this week, perhaps that’s why I have stayed the same and Rog has only lost 1/2 lb this week!

We continued out of Cropredy at the usual slow crawl due to all the moored boats and found a quiet spot to sit out Monday’s rain.  It’s coming down in stair-rods at the moment.  Due to clear this afternoon, but we are staying here as we are a week early for our rendezvous at Banbury which is only a couple of hours away.  We will go through tomorrow (Tues) and do a bit of shopping at Morrison’s then carry on southwards for  couple of days before turning back to Banbury to collect Flo next Sunday.

6.7 miles and 9 locks

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