Another fine morning with a very picturesque mooring, the train runs behind the hill which dampens the noise quite a bit, also I suspect that they are shot blasting the railway bridge at Aynho so reducing trains at night. We decided to walk the dog towards Pigeon lock but as he showed no sign of wanting to return to the boat I walked back alone and finally caught them both up waiting at Pigeons Lock for me, about a mile for a 14 year old Lab is not a bad morning walk.
Once Diana and the dog were back on-board we pushed on to Bakers Lock where we dropped down onto the Cherwell, as we exited the lock there was a Hire boat with about 8 chaps on-board trying to round the bend by the bridge, they eventually sorted them selves out and headed for the lock we had vacated, surprisingly we met 4 boats on the Cherwell and still Shipton lock was empty.
I don’t know it its the dry weather but all the lift bridges on this canal seem a lot better balanced so are a lot easier to open.
We winded at Thrupp just before the electric lift bridge to visit the services for water and a pump out. Diana went and bought a card for £12 and when the hire boat that was there filling with water moved off we slid in to do the business. I put the card in and it popped straight back saying card empty, I took it back and exchanged it, the same thing happened, I went back for a third and the chap came back with me. Silly me, the first one had started the machine but I didn’t hear anything happen and I expected the display to say “card accepted” not just empty as it had just used the credit to make it work. We were hoping to moor for the night in Thrupp but all the moorings were full so we continued on to Oxford.
We had a few spots of rain between Thrupp and Oxford, not heavy but enough just to a jacket on, we passed two kids fishing with no umbrellas so one of them had but his chair on his head and the other had pulled her knees up under her jumper and done the same thing, unfortunately her chair had just fallen off when I took their photo.
here we had another interesting incident. As we approached Perry’s lift bridge there was a boat coming the other way, we both pulled into the moorings before the bridge and both had crews go to the bridge, the oncoming crew, after a bit of wiggling unlocked the bridge and opened it, the other boat came through so I started to head for the bridge, a passer by who had been there since the key was first put in the lock at this point, jumped up, grabbed the edge of the bridge and closed it down so that he could walk over to the other side.
There is a chap who acts as a volunteer lock keeper at Wolvercote lock, we have seen him before, I don’t know if he is official but it is handy as that is the first lock that the Collage Cruiser boats have to work as they travel north. We carried on into Oxford passing the mouth of Louse Lock to moor at the very end of the South Oxford canal, we will have to back out in the morning as there isn’t a winding hole at the end, this means that very few visiting boat venture up here.