Friday, March 18, 2011

The sun shines for us on the River Thames

Kings Lock was on "self service", which means it is a "do it yourself" lock as the Lock keeper is lunching, or away doing other jobs.

Kings Lock awaits

We were joined by a trad narrowboat that we had seen a couple of times in our travels recently and who had followed us through Dukes Cut. John waited to open the paddles (using large wheels) as the top gates were closed by the other boater.

We let the other boat go first and after John had shut the bottom gates we followed on, around the bends, past narrowboats "rough moored" and down to Godstow. Godstow Bridge has a well known pub, The Trout Inn  (for Morse fans anyway) beside it - we shall explore Godstow on our way upstream, I hope!

Above Godstow Lock are moorings beside the ruined Godstow Abbey, with the remains of St Leonards Chapel just standing! Again, more about this another time!

Above Godstow Lock
The Lock Keeper was on duty (despite the self service sign) and as we went down the lock a barge left the landing below to lead us on towards Oxford.

Leaving Godstow Lock

We could see the tower of St Barnabas Church in Jericho over the moored boats at Bossom's Boatyard and beyond Medley footbridge the river narrowed towards another way back onto the canal system!

St Barnabas, Jericho and its distinctive tower, in the distance

Looking back it is an attractive area and popular with walkers and boat watchers - there were a few today, but no doubt there are more in warmer weather!

So we came to the entrance to Sheepwash Channel - we were definitely not turning left and going back to the South Oxford Canal!

It is always good to see there are other patriotic Cornish around and our ensign waved at their flag.

Osney Bridge is low - but we were OK as we had moved a couple of coal sacs to get through the low Yarnton Bridge on the canal. The bridge and its weir are very deceptive as the stream is extremely fast through and beyond the bridge.

The moorings are beyond the bridge, before the lock, with very good access to Botley Road and into Oxford. We learned how not to try to moor in a fast stream here! Fortunately there were a couple of boaters around who were able to shout advice and haul Epiphany in with her mid rope. Lesson learned, we moored fast with all three ropes and are safe and sound!

River Thames, Kings Lock to Osney Bridge
1 hour 49 minutes, 3,34 miles, 2 locks

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