Saturday, January 15, 2011

A quick look at the River Thames

Access to the River Thames from the end of the South Oxford Canal is via Isis Lock and Sheepwash Channel.

Bottom gates of Isis Lock and Thames sign

This raises a couple of questions for the narrowboater - is the River Thames on red boards and how high is Sheepwash Channel?
The answer to the first question is yes, at the moment. There are red boards at many of the locks, including one chained to the bankside of Isis Lock, as a warning of things to come. Osney Lock on the Thames, downstream of Sheepwash Channel had red boards up too when we wandered down there the other day.

Osney Lock top gates
The answer to the second question is - can a narrowboat get under the very low rail bridge that crosses Sheepwash? Possibly - but look at this photo of John!

Definitely "duck or grouse"

When we took our walk the river was flowing very fast - Osney Bridge would have been another problem to consider. It is a low bridge and look at the flow!

Osney Bridge from downstream on the River Thames
That said, the river below Osney Lock looked a little more inviting, but the flow was still on.

Osney Mill Marina and downstream from Osney Lock

So despite now having our Gold Licence we decided to depart northwards again after a few days in Oxford. Our next questions were:- How easy would it be to turn below Isis Lock? How fast was the Mill Stream and the flow from Sheepwash Channel? Would the new pontoon there help or hinder us? You will have to wait for the next blog for the answers!

1 comment:

  1. the general rule is if you can get up sheepwash and under the bridge you can get under Osney Bridge. That doesn't mean any of it is navigable, but it does help in terms of getting under the bridges.


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