Friday, February 24, 2006

Heading south

We are travelling south on the Oxford Canal and have arrived at Banbury. On the way we stopped at Napton, Claydon and Cropredy. Slow n easy just waiting for the locks to open back at Braunston. BW are installing 'back pumps' which will pump the water up 36 feet to the top of the flight of 6 locks. Should be open again by the middle of March when we plan to go east this year.

Braunston works

The 9 locks between Napton and Marston Doles got us up to the summit. These were the first flight of locks seen since before Christmas last year. We tackled them together with No Problem helping each other with the paddles and gates. Next day we continued on and on past Fenny Compton and down the Claydon set of 5 locks and stopped near the bottom lock. Both boats moored on a good edge where a gap in the trees enabled our satellite reception. On the way we noticed that an old wreck of a wooden converted 'butty' called 'African Queen' had sunk. Then we moved down to Cropredy. With the lack of rain this winter the river Cherwell was very low. Remembering that back in December 2002 it was flooding over the road and into the fields. While Sue n Vic entertained their visitors I spent the time making a wooden base for our satellite dish and solar panel during four lovely warm sunny days.

After that we moved on into Banbury. It was a Saturday and the centre was full of boats and shoppers. While the girls went off to the shops the guys stayed on guard. It is a sad fact that some members of the public will show a lack of respect. Later in the week we noticed that the centre was empty of boats. The winter moorings and residential boaters had been moved out. Apparently the shoppers complained about their washing and smelly smoking fires. We stayed down by the wood yard just out of town near Morrisons.


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