We made an early start for us today, untying at 8 am. and just as well we did as CRT where going to carry out emergency repairs to Bourton Lock and we were the last boat to go up before they closed it, they allowed the boat above to come down as they needed the lock empty to do the work.
As we approached the outskirts of Cropredy this was the view under the bridge, 3 boats moored together and the front one almost under the bridge, there was nothing moored behind them. We stopped for water in Cropredy, its one of the few places that still has a canal side wharf that is not a boat yard. The coal and diesel boat “Dusty” was tied up loading fresh supplies of coal to deliver along the canal. We were having a good run until a boat popped out of Cropredy marina ahead of us, which of course put the rest of the locks against us. As we passed Clattercote Wharf I noticed that their crane throws a nice shadow on their solar panels. The Claydon flight went quite well meeting boats in the right place for the first half but then because someone turned a lock in front of them we came up behind the boats we had been following since Cropredy. Once clear of the Claydon flight the traffic dropped right off. The visitor moorings at Fenny were quite full but we only met about 4 boats between here and when we moored for the night.
All the Napton flight was against us and no one was coming up but it was still twice as fast as when we came up a few days ago. There are now some baby Buffalo beside the canal just to add to the interest. Nearly all the pounds had boats moored in them and the bottom pound all the moorings were taken. At the bottom lock we met a boater with his dog, he was moored below the lock and was coming up in the morning, his advice was to drop into the first slot we came to, which we did and I think it was probably the only slot between the water point and the winding hole. There were nowhere near as many boats in the area when we came up at the beginning of the week.
All in all its not been a bad days boating, the sun shone almost all day and its a long time since we have done 11 hours boating in a day. Our timing worked well, just ten minutes later start and we wouldn’t have got passed Marston Doles as we would have been held up for at least 2 hours at Bourton Lock.