Had to do a bit more shopping this morning, and then we were away, not long after 09:00.
But not before we shared breakfast with a bunch of itinerant beggars…
Hungry (or greedy) swans.
We were hoping for a good fast run to Bablock Hythe today, but the plan went pear-shaped after just a mile, at the first lock. There was a queue going down, so we had to wait, then we were joined by a cruiser in the lock so everything had to be just so before we could empty.
We let them pass as they would be a lot faster than us around the tight bends to Buscot, and they were already dropping down the lock when we arrived.
The lock-keeper refilled the lock for us, and we went in, then had to wait for a party of punts to join us.
Punting down the river….
They are on a trip from Lechlade to Teddington over the next 2 weekends, aiming to get to The Ferry at Bablock Hythe tonight, then down to Henley by Monday evening. The rest of the trip will be completed next weekend. I bet they’ll be some aching backs after that! They were actually going faster than us on the bendy bits, but we made up ground on the straights.
We joined them again at Grafton Lock, having to wait for a boat coming up first. Then they’d left us behind by the time we got to Radcot. All the locks took longer than on the way up, partly because of traffic, partly because we were having to self operate. Only Buscot Lock had a keeper on duty today.
I’ve always been looking out for a chance to catch a swan giving a lift to cygnets, and today was my lucky day.
Hitching a ride with Mum…
Further down the river, another family. Only one on board, the rest queuing to get on...
We pulled over on the bank where we overnighted on Wednesday, intending to stop just for lunch, and to give Meg a chance to “stretch her legs”. But we were joined by another boat that was heading for the same spot this evening. They told us that there was a cruising club meeting there this weekend, so mooring spots would be at a premium.
So we decided to call it quits here, and get an early start in the morning, before the traffic starts to build. And I expect there will be a lot of boats around, with a good forecast for the weekend.
Locks 4, miles 9