Despite all the problems going on in 'canal politics' there does seem to be a popular demand for new boats on the waterways. When you look in the canal magazines there is always a new boat described with quality features. There are many more marinas being planned and built.
Being back on the Oxford canal we have seen much more activity with boaters moving up and down. Even the occasional work boat with diesel and coal for sale. On up the Claydon flight to the summit pound. Many boats on the move on a dry day after so much rain. Join the queue at the bottom lock with three in front and others arriving behind. Much talk about being on a canal and thankful that we don't need to travel on a river, because they are all in extreme flood conditions. Several boats were coming down through the locks so it was good to pass each other leaving and entering.
Finally reaching the top but finding it very shallow despite there being plenty of water. It is brown with churned up sediment and in dire need of a good dredging. 15 miles of lock free canal to Marston Doles and the Napton locks.
Slow going with the boat dragging along the bottom especially on the many bends.
We stopped for the night three miles past Fenny Compton where we found the first firm deep edge to moor up to.
Sadly the tow path is in a sorry state. Not really walk able with so much uncut vegetation. I got the shears out and cut down the tall grass and nettles to establish a clear patch where we can get on and off the boat.