This morning the first boat went past at 06:15! I know early starts are the order of the day at the moment, but that’s beyond the pale!
We, on the other hand, took it easy. The plan was for the others moored near us to get away, then we would follow on, hopefully before boats started to arrive from Cropredy. Well, that went completely wrong of course, you just can’t rely on folks to do the reasonable thing.
A steady stream of boats headed up to the locks while we were still thinking about getting ready, so we had another cup of coffee. Then there was a gap, so we decided to join the queue. You’ve got to go sometime…
Actually it wasn’t too bad. There were three boats ahead of us at the bottom lock, so it was only 45 minutes or so before we got our turn.
At the bottom of the locks
The locks are all close together, in fact the whole flight of five takes up just over half a mile.We met boats coming down at the first three, so were swapping as we went.
The second one up…
Mags going sleeveless again!
It’s been a bit more tolerable today, we’ve had the sun again but a breeze has kept it feeling cooler.
There were no boats coming down the last two locks which was a bit odd, but it does make it a bit quicker, not having to wait for someone to come into the lock before it’s emptied.
Claydon Top Lock
The reason we were in no rush to get going is that we intended to moor above the locks, rather than push on across the summit level. There was a spot just beyond Bridge 144, so we slotted in there.
Why there was a gap in the traffic became apparent as soon as we pulled in. Three deep-draughted ex-working boats arrived, leading a convoy. Seven boats in all overflowed the lock landing and through the bridge behind us.
Some pretty glum-looking steerers amongst the followers-on, I can tell you!
It was half-twelve by this time, so we had lunch and then I set to with an engine and gearbox oil change. Not my favourite job, working on a hot engine on a hot day, but needs must.
I was going to do it the other day, but found I’d run out of oil filters. There’s a motor factor opposite Morrison’s in Banbury, so I popped in there on Monday morning. Three Fram filters cost me less than one Isuzu one from a boatyard!
Anyway, that’s done for the next three months.
I think we’re planning on an early start tomorrow. I‘d like to get most of the summit level covered, stopping somewhere near Stoke Prior.
Locks 5, miles 1