Thursday, May 07, 2009

Off the summit and into Oxfordshire

Today was much like the last 2, weatherwise. Dry, sunny spells, but the pesky wind is still with us.

We were away at around 09:30, once again following the contours, doubling back on ourselves to Fenny Compton. The navigation then seems to make up it’s mind, and heads south west and then south after this.

Away from the mooring
But first we filled up with diesel at the marina. Not the cheapest at 70p/£1.13, but at least I could declare our own splits. Unlike Bruce on NB Sanity, who had a run in with Kate Boats near Warwick.

Fenny Compton Marina
The South Oxford is known for it’s lift bridges, and today we passed the first. Boundary Bridge is where we moved from Warwickshire to Oxfordshire.

Over the county boundary.
The summit is fed from Wormleighton Reservoir, not visible from the canal, but connected to the canal under this splendid little towpath bridge.

Feeder Bridge, No 142.
The reservoir is in Warwickshire, but the feeder is in Oxfordshire.

Just along here we spotted NB Gosty Hill. We’ve bought fuel (both solid and liquid) from Iain and Alison on several occasions. They must take a break in the summer after a winter of cruising and trading.

NB Gosty Hill

Then we started dropping down, at Claydon Top Lock.

Approaching Claydon Top Lock
We were lucky, there was an almost continuous stream of boats coming up the locks so each one was ready for us, and we were able to leave them with the gates open for the next customer. Makes it a lot easier.

Swapping locks at Lock 20
Working steadily down the locks, we came to the edge of Cropredy and moored for the night. There are better moorings on rings either side of the lock, but I didn’t know that until I took Meg for a walk. Anyway they’re opposite houses, and we’re not keen on that.

While I was out Mags took some pictures of the youngsters out canoeing from the club in the village. One poor lad, obviously a novice, managed to capsize twice in 50 yards. But he got back in and carried on. Bless.

Canoe Club
Tonight’s weather is supposed to be poor, with showers for tomorrow. I’d like to push on to and maybe through Banbury, but we’ll see how we go.

Just checked up, and since Braunston Turn we've cruised 21 miles, but only traveled 12½ as the crow flies. No wonder the navigation lost a lot of trade to the Grand Junction Canal when it opened from London to Braunston in the early 1800's.

Locks 8, miles 8½

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