Monday, 21 September 2015

There, back again and beyond!

Well, I have been somewhat remiss with the blog of late! So time for a bit of a catch up...

I believe we last updated on the South Oxford, near Tackley. A beautiful section. Our next stop was Thrupp, indeed, this was as far south as we intended to go by boat this year. Another pleasant hop, navigating the river Cherwell section and through the odd shaped lock back onto the canal, saw us at Thrupp. After topping up at the really clean and pleasant services ( how often can you say that!), we found a mooring right outside The Boat P.H., oft featured in the Morse series.

Settling in, we became aware of a high revving engine and looked out to see a shortish hire boat helmed by an elderly American lady.  They spotted the space behind us then somehow managed to ram the concrete bank, bounce off, then repeat the process. By this time Ali was out and assisted them in. Seems they had booked a cruise on the Oxford, expecting waiter service and staff to cater for their every whim. Having to do it all themselves was something of an eye opener!

A short time later, a familiar looking boat hove into view, the distinct N.B. Merryweather. They were looking to moor up, so we said that we would be in the Boat later.

So after dining in the Boat, we met up with Jo & Greg from Merryweather, had a few drinks in the pub, then retired to our boat for a few more! Not an early night...  Lovely to meet them.

The next day we caught the bus into Oxford and did some sightseeing including a visit to the botanical gardens. Fantastic place. Returning to Thrupp, it would just be damned rude not to visit the Boat again, so we did! We had reasoned that as next year we are heading for the Thames, taking the boat into Oxford would gain nothing and we rather like Thrupp anyway.

So then we began to retrace our steps. Reversed back under the lift bridge, visited the services and away. We have a sort of agenda as next Saturday we are off to a Rugby world cup game in Leeds. In order to do this we need to collect the car from Northampton. The original idea was to visit Warwick before heading for Crick, but we thought this may be pushing it somewhat. Change of plan, head for Market Harborough.  So we bimbled back up the Oxford, ensuring we had TV for the opening England game. A pleasant few days cruising saw us at Flecknoe. The forecast for the next day was dire, so after collecting blackberries, we sat the next day out, only for it not to rain until the evening!

Then onto Braunston, we didn't think we were going to have a problem obtaining a mooring as there was a constant stream of bots heading out, including NB Willow Too. We needed a few essentials, so the shop and butchers were visited. As we were about to set off, a wide beam bimbled past and then went to the water/Elsan point. We went past them and on to use the water by the stop house. Walking back with the Elsan revealed the point was blocked, so that's both in Braunston out of service. I duly reported this to the office, but no concern shown!  We did get a notification that evening.

Merryweather passing us in Braunston

Then it was up the locks. A bit of a shuffle here, but we ascended in good time and had no traumas through the tunnel. Likewise at Watford locks, no real wait and rewarded by topping up with fuel from fuel boat Callisto as he descended the locks. We moored in a pleasant spot half a mile or so above the locks. Hard to believe that you are so near the frenzy that is the M1, with  a meadow grazed by sheep being our outlook.

What was to be a quick stop at Crick to visit the co-op, lasted a tad longer after stopping to chat with Lizzie on N.b. Panda. So we moored for the night between Yelvertoft and the A14 in a spot were the Sloes were plentiful and collected a couple of kilos.

Yesterday we thoroughly enjoyed bumbling along the rest of the top pound in really pleasant weather. We did however forget that it was Sunday! Arriving at the top of Foxton saw us third to go down, with the first just starting. So our timing in this respect was good. But the Gongoozlers were rampant! Luckily for me, I was somewhat insulated from them on the boat, but Ali took it all in her stride with aplomb.

As we descended, who should we see walking up the flight but Dave & Angie off N.B. Lady Esther. Only chance for a quick hello unfortunately.  

Our passage down was smooth and once down and through the swing bridge we moored up. Checked TV, all ok so Ali could watch Downtown later, then off to the pub for a Sunday roast and a pint or two.



Today the weather forecast was again dire, but we needed shopping and so we set off for Harborough. Not too bad initially, but then the heavens opened. So mooring up in the basin saw me especially, a little damp!

So tomorrow, we once again retrace our steps towards Crick. The autumn is now really with us, the leaves turning and falling. Thoughts turn to going home for the winter, but not quite yet...

86 miles.
60 locks ( 6 broad )
4 moveable bridges
4736 yards of tunnel

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments