We got away around 10:30, in a grey and dull morning. There had already been several boats passed, in both directions.
Bridge 80 doesn’t get better with age, it’s been like this for a year or two now.
It took us about 80 minutes to get to Hillmorton Locks, the first narrow locks we’ve encountered since Lapworth.
This flight of three was duplicated in the 1820’s to improve traffic flows, part of the improvements to the North Oxford which resulted in lopping 14 miles off the distance between Hawkesbury and Braunston Junctions.
The locks are numbered from the bottom, 2 and 3, 4 and 5, and 6 and 7. Lock 1 is the shallow stop lock at Hawkesbury Junction, 15 miles away.
We passed the freshly repainted hotel boats Duke and Duchess at the middle lock. They were on the way for some engine work before the season kicks off.
We pulled over just about a mile further on, near Clifton.
I had a job to do on the engine. An exhaust bracket had come adrift, so I replaced it with a new one, hanging from the weed hatch coaming.
The afternoon actually turned out very nicely, sunny and quite warm. Tomorrow is forecast to be good, too.
Locks 3, miles 5