Sunday, 8 April 2012

Back to the marina

... and typically, after a trouble free reverse onto the pontoon, there was nobody around to see it.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Wormleighton to Braunston

A warmer but rainy morning saw us on the way to Marston Doles, which was deserted.  We met boats in most of the locks and made it to the Folly in time for lunch, before deciding to go on to Braunston for the night.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Recycling at Cropredy

Nice to see some recycling facilities at the services at Cropredy this morning, but unfortunately they were full and further bottles were piled around the base of the bins.  What usually happens next is that the recycling facilities are removed, unfortunately.

The overnight frost had coated everything in white, and the mooring ropes were stiff.  Everything soon thawed though in the bright sunshine that stayed with us until lunchtime.  There were only a few boats going through the Claydon flight, as we are out of phase with the hire boats returning to their bases for the weekend.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Back through Banbury on a windy, chilly day, and up to Cropredy for the night.  It was amazingly quiet overnight on the mooring opposite the canoe club, at least until the Great Tits woke up and started shouting at first light! 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

We were glad to find a spot last night in the rain where we could get the boat in to the side.  A further benefit was that it was firmly aground at the bow so even speeding boats hardly moved us.  It did take a bit of work to get back afloat in the morning though.

Fortunately the heavy rain forecast for the day stayed to the north of us, and we had just a couple of blustery showers on the way back from turning below Somerton Deep Lock.  A word of warning though - the winding point  marked in our aged Nicholson's guide would probably be no use to boats longer then 60 feet.  It is also very narrow, and not all that obvious on approach.  There seems to be a better one, though not marked in the guide, above Somerton Deep.  

Edited to add: I've just checked in the Waterscape Boater's Guide, and the only winding point marked is for 60' above the lock.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

M40 traffic, windowsill ducks, and condensation

Looks like the rain has stopped for a bit anyway.

The weather breaks

On down towards King's Sutton via Banbury.  The weather had been holding up well but the showers forecast for three o'clock arrived on time and particularly heavy.  A few of us waited out a hailstorm at one lock before setting off again to find a quiet spot where you could, unusually for this stretch, get the boat within a reasonable distance of the bank.  More heavy rain forecast for tomorrow, when we are due to turn and head back to be home after Easter.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Claydon and Fenny Compton

We set off from Fenny after filling with water, and cruised as slowly as possible to the locks in the hope that the queue might have dissipated a bit by the time we arrived.  It might have worked, had not the balance beam on one of the locks snapped which slowed things down more than a little.  After a while some BW guys armed with a couple of tirfor winches, a rectangle of plywood, and a bag of nails had managed a temporary repair and we were on our way.  The scarecrows that used to be characteristic of Clattercote Wharf seemed to be missing, until I noticed them clustered around the back of one of the buildings.

We moored for the night at Cropredy above the lock. 

Sunday, 1 April 2012

We woke to a bright, sunny and frosty morning just below the top of the flight.  We set off to join the queue below Claydon Locks, with restricted opening times of 10:00 to 14:00, but had heard that they are generally open by 9:30.

We were twelfth in the queue on arrival, but it was slow going, and past noon when we cleared the second of the two locks.  A couple of the crews that had moored there for the night didn't want to untie until they could move up to the lock, which left a few of us floating around next to an irregular bank on the bend for a while.

The brilliant sunshine continued all day, and with the low angle of the sun  made dappled patterns in the water as the canal twisted and turned across the summit.

The characteristic lift bridges soon made an appearance as we made our way to Fenny Compton for the night.  It was surprisingly quiet there, as most folks seemed to have headed off to join the queue at Claydon ready for the morning.