I walked a great deal of the way from Thrupp to Oxford: it was a very pleasant day after yesterday’s wind. On the way to the first lock I passed a boater who told me that there were two fallen trees blocking the canal after Kidlington Green Lock and several boats waiting to proceed in both directions. Just before Kidlington Green a boat passed us and the steerer said that the trees were sorted, however when we reached the lock itself we found a stationary hire boat. The chap said that he couldn’t go down because there was nowhere for him to go and that the trees hadn’t been cleared. The previous boater had apparently barged through to the disgust of the BW staff trying to clear the obstruction. Just at that moment a torrential downpour started so we pulled into the side and settled in to have lunch while we waited for the boats to start moving. Just as we finished the rain stopped, the hirer went down, a boat came up and off we went. Some of the boats had been waiting since the previous afternoon and some hirers had faced long walks to get a pub meal, one with some very elderly members in the party. But the Dunkirk spirit was shining through and everyone was still pretty cheery. We hadn’t been disadvantaged at all of course.
We discovered that some of the lift bridges had been modified since we last travelled this stretch. They are now locked and can be raised from the towpath side. It must be so much easier for single handers.
We moored up opposite College Cruisers mid afternoon in time for a walk into the city. The market was still open and we visited the pie stall for an easy dinner. Tomorrow we head back onto the Thames. When I went into the front cockpit locker to get the anchor I found that there was a couple of inches of water in it; probably the cratch wasn’t down properly in the rain sometime. There was a right mess as one of the paint pots had leaked so took ages to clean up. It’s at times like this that I hate boating!
Today we did 6.17 Miles, 4 Locks and 4 Lift Bridges
Statistics so far:-
2949.83 Miles, 1947 Locks, 177 Swing Bridges, 117 Lift Bridges, 57 Tunnels