Friday, 29 June 2012

The sky on the Thames

Reflections on the water - 5 to 6 yesterday
Last night ...
... just after 9 ...
 ... and at half past 9
This morning at 10 o’clock.

Thursday, 28 June 2012


Geoff decided that it was time to cut and run - BW contractors were approaching along the towpath with mowers and strimmers!
Although I thought that the plan was to move on tomorrow I did eventually agree that we should follow - so ...
11:20 we’re at Kiddlington Green Lock
 Not a concern for us as I wait in Duke’s Lock - we’re not going down the Oxford Canal ...
 Traffic is busy on the flyover
No warnings regarding the river today at Duke’s Bridge
 Waiting for Duke’s Cut Lock to be ready ...
 ... where I was really surprised that we went up!
 That’s a right turn then ...
 ... and we’re on the Thames!
 Right again at the weir ...
 ... where the cormorants were sunning themselves
We soon caught up with Seyella just past Hagley Pool and moored abreast - chairs out and a celebratory glass of vino.  Cheers - we’ve made it!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sun, rain and mud!

Tuesday 11:30
Bye Maffi - see you on our return trip 

Geoff is nearly ready to leave too

Sparrowgap Bridge
Langford Lane Bridge
(sorry wrong way round!)

Pretty canal-side cottages at Langford Bridge (224) Sparrowgap Bridge - what a wonderful name, I wonder how it came about?

Yarnton Bridge (228) is very low but we managed to get through today with no problem 

Just as we came in to moor above Kidlington Green Lock, the heavens opened and we got soaked before being able to put on waterproofs, once secure George walked to meet Seyella to help them to put in their pins.

Maffi will be pleased to hear that we’re moored within spitting distance of the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The weir above Kidlington Green Lock was a torrent as we started our daily pack walk ...

... it was gushing under the towpath, through the culvert ...

... and back into the canal again to surprise boaters approaching the lock and sending the unaware into the opposite bank!
This happens when the lock above is emptied and the excess rushes down the pound (water between 2 locks). 

Drinkwater’s Lift Bridge - must remember to take the BW key to operate this one when we leave here

Down the long line of long term moorers and 14 day visitors ...

Red Boards indicate that the River Thames through Dukes advises all boaters not to navigate because the strong flows make it difficult and dangerous - so we’ll have to wait a bit longer!

A decorative finger post at the junction
River Thames to the left
Oxford straight on (canal)
Woodstock and Banbury back to where we’ve walked from

Looking at Duke’s Cut from bridge 232
very narrow through here

Geoff attempting wash some of the mud from his boots in water from the Thames which has flooded onto the path under the road bridge

Taken from the towpath at the entrance to Oxey Mead I can see this expanse of water across the River Thames but I can’t find out what it is on the internet - can anyone enlighten me?

At the entrance to Oxey Mead Nature Reserve the path became too overgrown ...
... and we decided to head back to the boats through the mud and the encroaching nettles
Back at Kidlington Green Lock the overflow from the canal and into the culvert had greatly depleted so presumably Rounham Lock (one mile away) is currently not in use.  

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

You never know who’s round the corner ...

Monday morning - time to go ... we dropped down Pigeon Lock and moored up to walk into Kirtlington about a mile and a half away to pick up supplies ...
Remember this boat from yesterday’s posting?  Well, we saw this notice as we walked towards the village ...
... Mill Lane Farm ...
... and this is the sight we’d seen whilst walking the day before ... it was hot and sunny and customers to the farm tea shop were sitting on garden swings, comfy chairs and sofas at tables covered with colourful cloths with a vase of wild flowers on each, whilst shaded from the sun (and rain possibly) eating in what I could only call a taste of heaven - I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours with family and friends.
We continued our walk past Kirtlington Quarry which is now a Nature Reserve (click to read more)

We’ve arrived in Kirtlington village

Lovely honey coloured stone houses

and the Olympic Torch will be arriving in the village on July 9th

The Dashwood Hotel
grade II listed

Looking across the village green

Georgian architecture side-by-side with stone cottages

The Cenotaph and Old Reading Room

and a chocolate box thatched cottage as we make our way back to the boats ...

... where Mags was feeding the Moorhens who in turn were feeding their chicks ... lovely!

We’ve upped sticks again and continue on our way ...
Rock n Roll taken from the towpath
and a few minutes later - Geoff had called out that there was a boat coming round the corner - and guess who it was - Maffi who with a friend, he was moving a boat for another friend - we all arranged to meet later - at the pub!

Passing the time of day with other boat crews as I descend Bakers Lock where the canal joins the River Cherwell.  Although the river status was just below red the flow was calm

Where the river comes in

Listening/transmission dishes in the distance
The old cement factory - the only blot on the landscape

The river meanders this way and that ...

... it was a lovely stretch and we wished that it was much longer than one mile ...

This stretch of the Cherwell ends ...

... at Shipton Weir Lock - a similar shape to Aynho Lock and although the drop is only about 12-14” it took ages to be ready ...

A dated coping stone by the top gate of the lock

Shipton Bridge with its stop lock

Holy Cross Church from the canal at Shipton-on-Cherwell

Approaching Thrupp Wharf

Maffi’s boat

Seyella arriving soon after
A great end to the day at The Boat Inn.