I mentioned on the previous post that the decision to head for the Thames for the summer was maybe not the most inspired. We arrived just north of Oxford only to find that the Thames was now on “Red Boards”.
However we only had a couple of days to wait before the river had dropped enough for us to proceed, and headed onto the second longest river in England. What’s that? Howls of protest? Sorry, but the Severn beats the Thames by 5 miles, and rises and reaches the sea in England, even though it spends a short time over the border in Wales. So that is the longest.
On the Thames, Eynsham Lock
We reached Lechlade and spent a week there as the river came up again, but did get to see a lot of the planes heading to and from the air show at RAF Fairford.
A week later and we were heading back downstream, an exhilarating trip with the fast current making drifts around the sharp bends and lining up for the bridges interesting.
After another enforced stop at Bablock Hythe we headed on downstream, arriving and Reading towards the end of July and meeting up with Del and Al (Derwent 6), and Chas and Ann on Moore2Life.
Gathering at Reading
It was here that we split away from the group, heading back to Oxford and northwards, while the other three boats headed towards London and the River Wey. We had an appointment at Ripon…
An overnight mooring alongside Sue and Vic (No Problem) at Day’s Lock was very pleasant, as we hadn’t seen them for some time, but we had to push on, making our way north to Braunston, then east and north again along the Soar, downstream on the Trent and onto the South Yorkshire Navigations to the River Aire. Unfamiliar waters here as we headed still further north, onto the tidal Ouse at Selby, through York and onto the Ure to Ripon.
Doesn’t sound much when it’s in one paragraph, does it, but it was actually 337 miles and 144 locks. And we had to deal with an infected paw on the way!
Sue, Vic, Meg and Penny near Day’s Lock
We caught up with most of my family as we cruised the Soar north of Leicester, and had a fast trip downstream on the Trent, with rising water causing us a bit of concern at Hazleford. At Newark we met up with Dave and Barbara (Liberty Bell), and Dave and Jan (Yesdear) and had a very enjoyable evening, before pushing on up into Yorkshire.
Big boats on the Aire and Calder
Knottingley Junction was where we left familiar waters, turning onto the River Aire, then the Selby Canal, then the Ouse up to York.
Bank Dole Lock takes you down to the River Aire
Selby Lock, down onto the tidal Ouse
From York we followed the river upstream, changing it’s name at Ouse Gill Beck to the River Ure, then turning onto the short Ripon Canal to the terminus in the town.
Ripon Canal Basin
We took up a temporary berth in Ripon Marina so the boat would be OK when we drove north for the Great North Run on September 16th, then Mags had a pleasant surprise as her grand-daughters and their kids all came back to the boat after the race.
It was very quiet aboard when they all left…
Last leg tomorrow.