Yesterday I was expecting to meet Dusty to fill my diesel tank. When we arrived at Heyford his boat was still on its moorings.
After dinner we walked up into the village to find a Vodafone signal, I received a good one 3/4 up Freehold Street so send another text to Dusty returning to the boat in the dark. 9-30pm and I hear a bell ringing and lights outside, its Dusty, so we bunker 100 Lt of diesel in the dark. He was making his way to Somerton before turning in for the night.
It was just before ten when we set off, I must say just north of Mill lift bridge is a lot quieter at night than south of it. Diana opened the bridge and as I went through a boat came the other way so she held it until they had passed.
A brief stop to fill the water tanks by Heyford station, by now the temperature was up to 12°C.
On the Cherwell we met a couple in a canoe who were sitting facing each other, this was a new one on me. They seemed to be making good progress. At Shipton Weir lock the boat ahead waved me into the lock, we had been following them all morning. He was only going to Thrupp so was happy for us to go ahead, but as he was only 54 foot there was plenty of room for him to join us.
In Thrupp a group of holiday makers had managed to sink a canoe that they had hired, they all scrambled out OK but just left the waterlogged canoe floating around. While Diana opened Aubery’s Lift Bridge I push the canoe to the side and retrieved the paddles. Needless to say, as we didn’t wish to stop there were loads of vacant moorings by The Boat Inn.
We decided to enter the Thames via Ducks Cut. There are more boats than ever moored down here now, one on the lock mooring, but at least the EA have trimmed back a lot of the overhanging trees.
It was just before 5 pm when we passed through Kings Lock. I asked the lock keeper if there were any problems ahead and he just said “make sure you keep to the left of the red buoys”. As you can see they are rather close to the bank, about 15 foot I would say. (Note the photo was taken after we passed so the channel is to the right of the photo)
The lock keeper at Godstow told me they had to get Canal and Rive Rescue to a boat that spent the night aground after going the wrong side of the buoys. We carried on down stream to moor for the night at the East Street moorings. It seems there is some concern about the dreaded mooring rope virus and every one has left at least two bollards between mooring ropes. I expect it will continue spreading or at least the fear of catching it will.