Last night we met up with Pat and Sheila and spent the evening in The Boathouse. I must say for a chain pub I think the service is very good and friendly and the food fresh and tasty. All main courses are two for one so the price isn’t bad ether, its full table service so no trying to remember a table number and fighting your way to the bar only to be asked if the one of the dishes was chips or jacket. Even the drinks are brought to your table.
I woke early this morning to the sound of rain on the roof but by the time we got up it was a very light drizzle but quite breezy.
The first job was a trip to Midland Chandlers to get a refund on the smoke box I took back that I had bought for the Back Cabin stove and more importantly to buy a new stove with 15% discount this weekend.
We set off at about 10 30 heading north along the North Oxford, Braunston was quite busy and it would help if BW cut the offside bushes by the A5 bridge to improve the sight line, also the off side trees opposite the 14 day moorings to give a bit more room when meeting oncoming boats.
The rain held off and we met quite a few oncoming boats. Work is in progress at the new Barby Marina with the concrete entrance set in, but there is still a lot of work to do, including splaying the offside bank to give sufficient room to swing into the entrance.
At Hillmorton locks we found both locks against us even though we had met a steady stream of boats, we managed to cross with one in the middle locks but not only were both bottom locks empty, one side had the bottom gates wide open and the paddle still up, needless to say this wasn’t spotted by the hire boat that had been moored for lunch below the middle lock and Diana dropped the paddle before they tried to fill it, I don’t think they even noticed.
We stopped for water below the locks, the water flow/pressure is not to bad with just one of the standpipes in use but when someone uses the second the reduction in flow is very noticeable.
Once topped up we were off again, Clifton Cruisers were getting boats ready for the off with there new crews arriving as we passed, some of the boats moored two deep, but with no one approaching it wasn’t a problem. It was quite congested at Brownsover, again not helped by the trees on the offside and boats mooring on the bend right up to the bridge. I think the Rose Narrowboat coming towards us thought it was a driving test as he had to slide between me and the moored boats, he did touch them but only gently, but that is a price you pay for mooring on bends in my book.
We stopped briefly at Lime Farm marina to enquire if they would be open for diesel on Monday so we could fill up on our return and then pushed on to moor for the night just past All Oaks Wood at 1630 hrs. Since I have been typing this we have had several boats go by including a Rose day boat that was traveling a bit faster than he should passed a row of moored boats, I best go and check the stakes.