Sunday, 14 October 2012

A Family Day in Oxford

Yesterday we left Lower Heyford – the day starting bright and sunny and it continued in that vein all day (how lucky are we!). We’ve also had the privilege to have seen numerous Kingfishers on this stretch of canal – they play ‘leapfrog’ with boat as we move along the cut. 


Early morning sunshine and the autumn colours are showing up nicely.


We have been following the River Cherwell for mile after mile over the last couple of days, often it came within touching distance – and it wasn’t long before we got to Enslow where the canal joins the river for a short distance.  Although the warning boards were showing the river well into the amber, it wasn’t flowing too fast and so both boats made the trip to the next canal lock with ease.


Nb ‘Dolce Far Niente’ safely entering Shipton Weir Lock from the River Cherwell.  This is the second multi-sided lock on the Oxford Canal and this one was very leaky – with only slightly less water coming in than going out! 


Just thought we’d show a photo of the man steering!

In the afternoon we moored at Thrupp, after having a quick chat with Maffi, who very kindly walked to the lift bridge and let us both through.  We enjoyed a lovely evening with Stephen and Jayne at The Boat Inn - the food and service were excellent and afterwards we all returned to ‘Chance’ to continue our evening chatting and relaxing.

Today, after leaving Thrupp we were soon down to the outskirts of Oxford…………………


………. and this is the entrance to Dukes Cut, the first chance to get onto the River Thames.  The red caution board told us that the river (at the other end of the cut) is in flood and not fit to travel on.  IMG_3013

Cruising into Oxford we passed a lot of unconventional craft moored along the canal – but this floating shed is about the funniest!


As we got to the end of the canal at Oxford there were no mooring spaces left - and no winding hole to turn and go back - except by going down through Louse Lock and onto the river to wind – so that’s what we did.  Having winded and passed back through Louse Lock, a little bit of investigation by Doug found the two best moorings in Oxford (and the only two!) were still vacant.  All it involved was for us to reverse down an arm of about 300 yards and we’d be there.  


Unfortunately our bow thruster battery is “ill” at the moment and so Doug had to get physical with the boat pole and help to keep ‘Chance’ straight as we reversed.


Here are both boats at the end of the line and the closest we could possibly be to the city centre.  We even have our own water tap! How lucky we are!

The best part of the day came later in the afternoon when our daughters, Frances and Vicki, with partners Kel and Tom, came to see us!  It was an easy car journey for them to get to Oxford from Swindon, where they live.

IMG_3024 We had a lovey afternoon and, before they returned home, we enjoyed a takeaway pizza tea with them.

James, Vicki, Frances, Kel and Tom tucking into the takeaway.

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