Last night we walked down to The Talbot for dinner, I was a bit put off when I didn’t see any beer engines on the bar, surly I wouldn’t be down to drinking fizzy stuff? But then I spotted them, 3 barrels sitting on a rack behind the bar, each with a tap in it and a thermal jacket on to jeep it cool. All was not lost after all. We ordered our meals which turned out to be good home cooked food. I had Shepard’s pie with lots of meat in it and Diana had Beef stew again with loads of good meat in it, we followed this up with slice of apple pie.
A bit overcast this morning but fine, everyone was saying how bad it would be today, but I looked on http://www.metcheck.com for Oxford and it didn’t look to bad and that is how it turned out.
After filling with water we headed for the lock at about 10-30 am which we shared with a Wilderness boat called Sloe, we told them that another Wilderness “Tardis” had just locked down a few minuets before they arrived. They stopped just below the lock so we carried on down the Thames alone meeting just one boat on the way before turning into Dukes Cut to join the Oxford canal at Dukes Lock.
At the junction of the Oxford and Dukes Cut BW have erected an A4 notice telling boaters that this is the last winding point on the Oxford Canal for boats over 52 feet, beside it is a second notice telling you how to wind below Isis Lock, this is an A3 notice so you need binoculars to read it or do what I did to photograph it and trapse through the jungle beside the bridge. The notice is only required because BW installed a pontoon that takes up 13 foot of water beside the lock entrance. Its still no help in swinging a full length boat to the right to go onto the Thames.
We met a couple of boats before Thrupp so that put the locks right for us and we experienced a couple of light rain showers. As we came under the Langford Lane Bridge and round the bend we saw “Butterfly” the boat that had been moored by us last night, so we stopped for a short chat. Before they left this morning they had given us a bead key ring spelling out Harnser. They told us we were about to catch up with a slow moving Hotel Pair that were making their way up the canal. Luckily for us the Bywater Hotel pair http://www.bywaterholidays.co.uk were tied up against the services at Thrupp wharf topping up their water tanks so we were able to get ahead of them for today. As Diana lifted Shipton Lift Bridge nb Butterfly came up behind us so were able to pass under the bridge with me, at Shipton Weir Lock we invited them in beside us. This was a good move because I ended up receiving 4 slices of home made cherry cake, as they are only about 35 foot long they fitted nicely in the side of the lock, and followed us out onto the river with us. They then followed us until we moored for the night at Tackley when they continued north.