Leaving our moorings on Friday morning at 8:30 ‘Chance’ and ‘Dolce Far Niente’ continued their cruising onwards down the wonderfully picturesque and intriguing Oxford Canal.
There are some interesting features on the “Oxford” including this wonderfully shaped Aynho Weir Lock. Having to negotiate the River Cherwell which crosses the canal just before the bridge can be a bit hairy if it’s flowing well (thankfully this time it was behaving itself) and then you’re straight into the lock. With the shape and size of the lock it’s difficult to keep the boats from bouncing around and hitting the concrete surrounds. We understand its built this way to allow more water into the canal.
We stopped at Aynho Wharf for “a full service” on both boats – water, fuel, toilet pump-out and coal. Here “Dolce” has swapped places with ‘Chance’ and is undergoing her service.
Onwards to the Somerton Deep Lock (12 feet deep) which is pretty deep compared to most canal locks. (there isn’t a Somerton Shallow Lock!)
‘Chance’ half way down Somerton Deep Lock – this is why you mustn’t leave the boat windows open when you’re locking down!
“Dolce” at Somerton. Here’s Jayne working well!
Idyllic countryside scenery – the blue skies prove what a great day weather wise we had again today, with only one short shower to damp down the dust.
A row of lovely old pollarded willow trees – all stumpy and bent!
We moored just short of Lower Heyford bridge 205 – finding a quiet site just big enough for two boats. While sitting peacefully doing this blog last evening there was a loud rap on the boat (‘cos we don’t have door knockers!) and, who should be there but Adam of nb ‘Briar Rose’ fame! A great surprise, Adam had guessed at our rough position from our blog details and detoured from his schedule to make a visit. Without question, Jayne and Stephen rustled up a fifth portion of grub and we all enjoyed an evening aboard “Dolce” before Adam had to leave us for his journey home.
All snug aboard “Dolce” on a cold night – James, Jayne, Doug, Stephen and Adam. (Good invention – these auto cameras).