We woke this morning with the sun streaming through the portholes, a clear blue sky and little wind so we were on the move by 9-15 am. It wasn’t long before we met a couple of boats soon to be followed by a convoy of 5 so I bet there were queues at Marston Doles this morning when they all arrived. I thought I would take a “selfy” with a difference today.
Up by Wormleighton a Willow Wren hire boat with 10 chaps on board was suffering from a mooring rope round the prop, One of them had the weed hatch open and was working on it, several were sat on the towpath looking a bit vacant. I suggested the bread knife and unwinding it. When we left they were discussing the matter.
There are boats on the long term moorings to the north of the pub at Fenny again, when we were this way last they were all empty. We didn’t meet any boats in Fenny Tunnel and after that it was quiet quiet. We did have a Buzzard displaying for us as we cleared the tunnel, wonderful birds.
We arrived at Cropredy Top lock with no boats in sight but the lock empty, checking round the bend a boat was just entering the second lock ahead of us. This and the last lock were the only two we turned meeting boats just in the right places at all the rest. As I set the lock I looked up to the roof of the old lock cottage and it was covered in Swallows enjoying the mid day sun.We caught up with the boat ahead at the next lock and then things changed, at Cropredy lock we were behind a boat that pulled out of the marina and then at Slat Mill it was another one. We didn’t see the first one again until we got to Banbury as well as the last one, the one that came out of the marina just vanished.
There were a couple of moorings in Banbury by the shopping centre and a couple below the lock other than that they were mainly full. We continued on through the first lift bridge out of town to moor for the night a little after 6 pm. We made a lot better progress than I expected.