Sunday, March 13, 2011

An "oopsie" start to our cruising

At long last we are off on our long-term cruise, with no intention of spending weeks at at time in one place! We had some "farewell gifts" - a bowl full of violas from Carolyn and a Victoria sponge from Jane (nb Alnwick). Perhaps they were glad to see the back of us!
Grants Lock
Arriving at Grants Lock we formed a queue - it felt like summer and reminded us why we try and get off the well cruised waterways during the season! There were 4 narrowboats ahead of us; still, patience is a virtue and we are in no hurry. The sun was trying hard by the time we approached Kings Sutton - at the lock there were now only 2 other boats in the queue, but 2 behind us!
Kings Sutton Church and village
We cruised slowly but eventually caught up with the 2 boats again - they were dealing with the first "oopsie" - a narrowboat across the canal. It was for sale, moored with a broom handle for a pin and obviously uncared for! We all got by but left it much as it had been but aground at the stern. Haddons Lift Bridge looked really lovely - but again we had a wait for Nell Bridge Lock.
Haddons Lift Bridge
The piling above the lock has seen better days and as the lock landing is on a curve gentle handling is necessary to prevent scratches. You would think that with the BW yard opposite they might just do something about it!
BW yard at Nell Bridge
Aynho was not far now - the weir lock and then Belchers Lift Bridge (always up), but oh look, another "oopsie":
Getting closer:

It was our turn to do a good deed and as I grabbed the stern rope and hook, John reversed and then pushed the stern in with me aboard the loose narrowboat. Once it was secure again, we carried on to moor at "our spot" at Aynho!
Tea, cake and rugby followed and the Great Western Arms calls tonight! Shall we celebrate our liberation?
South Oxford Canal. Samuelson Bridge, Banbury to Aynho
3 hours 59 minutes, 6.12 miles, 4 locks

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