Sunday, 26 August 2012

A canal with boats and lots of 'em!

Today has been happy.  The hire boaters are out in force and the cut is all the more pleasant.  They are enjoying themselves, cross all age and gender types and are out for fun, not nit picking and grumpy.  I like being amongst hirers, they lift the spirit and the average age is not 76!

So, we left our mooring at about nine this morning, in, would you believe dry and almost sunny weather.  The G.U. is deep, well it is for a canal and this section is almost straight.  We soon arrived at the bottom of the Stockton flight.  Would you believe it!  Three pub's and we visited not one last night!  This flight has two locks somewhat seperate, then the flight proper.  After the second lock and opposite the Blue Lias pub, is a water point.  Guess what, a plastic cruiser boat was moored on it!  Felt like crushing the bloody thing, but the non grumpy part of me said, "it is not important" and let it be, (still wanted to crush it though).

As we approached what is effectively the first of the flight, Ali , walking up the dew blushed towpath, slipped and fell, causing a nasty cut to her knee on the gravel path.  Not a good omen for the day.  If she was a horse the captive bolt gun would have been out!  But being the sensitive soul I am,  I forsook this remedy and administered sympathy.  It must have worked as the next eight double locks seemed to fly by.  We then cruised the few miles to Calcutt .

Since we last filled with Diesel on the Shroppie at Norbury, thought it advisable to top up.  Sue's site, has a very useful list of places from where fuel can be obtained, and the split/declaration.  She lists Calcutt as open to self declaration and so having negotiated the first two of three locks, we reversed into the fuel point and filled up.  Ali went to pay, and was told as it was summer, the split was 60/40!   Anyone not as strong as Ali may have given in.  Enough said, this was not our declaration.

At the top of Calcutt locks we spotted the distincive green that is 'NB Oakfield', a beep on the horn, saw both heads pop out and pleasantries exchanged.

Thence onto Napton junction and a right turn onto the South Oxford.  Our intended mooring for the night being Fenny Compton, we cracked on and ascended the nine locks .  It was busy, but not apparently as much as earlier in the day.  The people we met were on their Hol's and so happy peep's, which makes all the differance.  The weather was glorious and we chugged on.

It was about six when we arrived at Fenny, and we managed to squeeze in prior to the pub and therefore before the water point.  So able to fill in the morning, result.

Walked to the pub this evening, The Wharf Inn and had a good meal.  The portions are generous.  No complaints and good beer as well.  Content!

Napton Reservoir (with water)

Napton Windmill

15 miles 22 locks 

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