Friday, August 22, 2014

Short day? No chance!

Well, today was supposed to be a shorter day than yesterday, but it didn’t work out that way. You know what Robbie Burns said – “The best laid plans of mice and men [oft] gang aft a-gley”
I don’t know about the mice, but ours certainly went a-gley!

The day started off well, dry after a drop of rain overnight, a bit overcast but looking promising. Meg and I took a short walk up the hill to the east, over the lift bridge.

Looking back at the canal, Chisnell Lift Bridge to the left, Seyella about in the middle.IMG_1271

Two impressive viaducts carry the West Coast Main Line over a couple of shallow valleys.

This is the southern one…

We’d heard machinery over the hill last night, it must have been a combined harvester.IMG_1279

We got away around 09:15, with just a mile or so to Aynho Wharf.

More evidence of the changing season…IMG_1280

Mags wants to know if she looks daft in a beany-hat.IMG_1285
Answers on a postcard, please.

The village of Souldern lies a mile away from the canal, but had it’s own wharf next to Souldern Bridge.
There’s only this building left now.

We arrived at Aynho and had to wait while another boat was sorted out on the wharf, then it took us another 45 minutes to get fuelled up and do the paperwork. Meanwhile several boats had passed us, going our way.

Waiting across the canal from Aynho Wharf.IMG_1286

We had a short wait at Aynho Weir Lock while a preceding boat went up, then shared the diamond-shaped chamber with a short boat, single-handing.

Ayhno Weir LockIMG_1287

The wheels came off big-time at Nell Bridge, apparently there had been problems getting the lower lock gate right back, so C&RT had a small dredger in the chamber, clearing the silt from the cill. Of course, a 15 minute job took over an hour, by which time we’d a queue of four below.

Waiting for Nell Bridge Lock

Finally in the lock.IMG_1290

We had to wait for boats ahead at King’s Sutton, and we were tempted to pull over for the day soon after, but decided to press on.

Up King’s Sutton Lock

St Peter and St Paul’s Church at King’s Sutton is a familiar landmark hereabouts.IMG_1298

Scrooby’s Lift Bridge
I wonder who, or what, was Scrooby?

The queue of boats had filtered through by the time we reached Grant’s Lock, leaving the lock full, and there was a boat heading towards so I topped up the chamber and opened the gate. I thought the chap looked familiar, but it was only when the boat came in that the penny dropped. It was John and Fiona, NB Epiphany.

We’ve passed on a couple of occasions, but never had the chance of a proper chat. This was another of those times…

Grant’s was the last lock today, and we moored up about a mile further on, just past Nadkey Bridge. Today’s trip should have taken maybe 3½ hours, in fact it took nearer 6. Such is life.
Tomorrow should definitely be shorter, just 2 miles and 1 lock to moor in Banbury. Or maybe I’ve spoken too soon…
Just for info, I reckon on about 1 litre/hour fuel consumption cruising on the canals, 4 weeks on the river has increased that by 18%. Still, we were doing around 1200 rpm instead of our more usual 900.

Hi Carol. I've been keeping an eye on your journey down the GU, you'll feel more relaxed on the Thames, I guess. Apparently, according to Tom, it's warmer up north! Thanks for the donation, much appreciated. Now I just need a few more folk to follow your example. or text SEYE98 to 70070.
See the sidebar on the right

Hiya Tom, I bowed to pressure and put a match to the fire last night, we've been sweltering all day!

Locks 4, miles 6


KevinTOO said...

No Mags, it doesn't look daft at all. Anyway it's only the icing on the cake isn't it? And that lovely warm smile of yours says it all :)

Anonymous said...

I want one. just done the welsh canal only took me 14 years to do it would we do it again, not a chance nb timewarp