Friday, January 14, 2011

Will we get under that bridge?

Yarnton Bridge is very low and we have a lot on our roof, as most liveaboards do! Once underneath there is a lower bit that could catch boaters unawares.
Under Yarnton Lane Bridge
To get to Oxford we had three locks and three closed lift bridges to negotiate. Kidlington Green Lock was our first lock which came and went without any major problems - I am glad to say that I have remembered how to get Epiphany in and out of a lock without scraping and bashing!

Two of the lift bridges have the newfangled BW locking systems on them. A BW key is needed to undo the lock and the bridge theoretically should begin to lift. However the locks can be difficult if the bridge is out of alignment as is Drinkwater Lift Bridge above.

Unlocking Drinkwater's Lift Bridge
Dukes Lock is just before Dukes Cut which leads to the River Thames - the lock and lock house feel very remote until one sees and hears the A40 rushing by.

In Dukes Lock

The red boards were up at the entrance to Dukes Cut, warning of a strong stream on the river. Private narrowboats can travel on the river in such conditions, providing they are sure about skill, insurance and are prepared to listen to advice from the Lock Keepers. However, it was not for us - we were on our way to Oxford the easy way!

Lift Bridge 233 is right below the A34 - we passed this way when the bridge was being built in 2008. The area still looks "new" and it is an awkward and heavy lift bridge. (more about this bridge at a later date!)

Looking back under A40 to lift bridge
Perrys Lift Bridge has a handy elsan point below it, one of the brick open ones - much more sensible than these flash new indoor tiled ones!

Now we were into long term mooring territory and tick over speed into Oxford. There is a bit of a break after Wolvercote Lock but we crept past the moored craft carefully (less than 2 mph)! We entered Oxford past Jericho and the visitor moorings, there was no room down here - probably all stuck in the now non-existent ice! But we had already decided that we were going to the head of navigation at Hythe Bridge, down the Arm.
College Cruisers at Jericho Footbridge, popular VMs beyond
Isis Lock, the other way onto the Thames, is parallel to the Hythe Bridge Arm and as there is no large winding hole above, narrowboats over 50' need to go down the lock, turn and come back up.

Hythe Bridge Arm has permit only moorings but down at the end are some visitor moorings for a couple of boats. One was vacant - ideal!

We were moored within walking distance of the shops, theatres and the other delights of the City of Oxford.

Yarnton Bridge to Hythe Bridge 2 hours 58 minutes, 4.68 miles, 4 locks

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comment on the blog, not on Facebook. If you don't want your comment published add "please do not publish". We reserve the right not to publish comments and will not publish Anonymous Posts.