Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Busy Banbury

Today we had A PLAN. Get off reasonably early (before 10, anyway), stop somewhere at the south end of town for a shopping trip to Morrison’s, move up to the lock stopping at the service wharf just below, up the lock, through the lift bridge and out of town, mooring near Little Bourton. Sounds easy, eh?

Well, the first bit went OK, we moored just past Samuelson Bridge. With industrial units on either hand I wouldn’t recommend the mooring for overnight, but it’s handy for the supermarket. When I got back Mags told me that there had been several boats go past.

Below the lock it was chaos and confusion. Boats moored on the 48 hour visitor moorings, boats waiting for the lock, boats waiting to get onto the services.
And just as we pulled up there was a clatter from the prop and we lost all drive. We drifted into the bank, and I lifted the weed hatch out (being careful not to drop it over the side!), to remove an unidentifiable item of clothing wrapped up in a length of wire.

Then I walked up to see what was going on. It turned out not to be as bad as it looked; three boats were waiting for the opportunity to water up, and only two for the lock. So we were able to move up on to the landing fairly quickly. There’s a water tap above the lock as well as the services below, so, while we were waiting for a boat coming down, I carried a loo cassette across the lock bridge and emptied it, then, once we were up the lock, we used the second tap.

While we were there we got chatting with Kirsty Leahy, breakfast presenter on Banbury Sound, local radio on 107.6 FM. She was out and about with a bee….

Kirsty and the beeSAM_2128
Topped up, we went through the lift bridge and headed off through the town.

Tooley’s Yard and Banbury waterfront from the lift bridgeSAM_2129 Tooleys Yard

We had a steady cruise to Hardwick Lock, lots of moored boats, and anyway we wanted to let the queue subside a bit. As it was the lock was free when we arrived.

Just another 15 minutes and we moored up below Bourton Lock. The short day had turned into a longer one, we pulled in at around 2 o’clock. After a bite to eat I got my head down for an hour (I had a brisk 8 mile run first thing) then later took Meg to the vet about a mile away to have her stitches removed.
The incision has healed cleanly, I’ve just got to keep an eye on it till the fur grows back to protect the bare skin. And make sure she doesn’t pick up any more grass seeds… I don’t begrudge it, but this little episode has cost over £250!

We looking to get an early start tomorrow, the Cropredy Festival is on this weekend and it’s going to be busy… This year is the 32nd anniversary of the event, started in 1976 as an informal performance to locals by the folk band Fairport Convention. They played a farewell gig there in August 1979, but the band has since re-formed.

Hi Candy (NB Spitfire), good to see you, we'll try to have a proper chat next time. Enjoy your new life!
Sue, I'm so glad my misfortunes entertained you and Vic so
Another lesson learned, eh.

Locks 2, miles 4


Sue said...

Nah, it wasn't your misfortune that entertained us. For sure knocking over the weed hatch is pretty serious stuff and something that would be hard to happen on NP being it is a cruiser stern, it was the sea sercher's state that did it!

We could just imagine your face when it wouldn't work yet the passing boater's one did!

Geoff and Mags said...

Hey Sue
It's OK, I'm chuckling about
Yes I was a bit miffed, Twenty-odd quid down the drain, or so I thought!

MortimerBones said...

I thought you passed by! I was lunching on a boat in Banbury when I saw you go by but I couldn't get up quick enough to exit into the sunshine and hollar at you!

Safe travels!