Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Sandford Wednesday 31 August 2016

The quietest night on the Thames so far this week, just as well I set the alarm clock. This is the mouth of the River Thame which we had backed into.DSCF5660

We were away at 9 AM and up to Days Lock, there was no waterDSCF5661 at all running over the weir next to the lock and very little over the main one about half a mile upstream. Chatting to the Lock Keeper at Clifton Lock who I think was a volunteer and came from Norfolk I was informed that the next lock Culham was on DIY operation and it would take 20 minutes to fill and he was right. When we arrived another Narrowboat was waiting and his wife setting the lock. By the time we left there were 4 boats above waiting, 2 coming down the lock cut and one below waiting to come up. I wonder why they man Clifton lock which is only small and fast compared to this one and have no one here. Along this section Didcot Power Station seems to haunt you moving aroundDSCF5668 as the river twists, even more so now knowing there are still dead men’s bodies in there.

Abingdon looked a picture with all its hanging baskets in the sunshine, a chap had a water bowser and pump with generator to water them, I bet he filled the bowser from a tap when the river is feet away.DSCF5669 

There were loads of mooring spaces in the town as we made our way up to Abingdon Lock. The lock keeper said he had to replace the official sign with one people would understand.DSCF5671

We stopped above the lock to dump the rubbish and also eat lunch, one of the boats there had rather a lot of Cray Fish traps onboard both his dingy and his Narrowboat.

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After lunch we continued to Sandford lock where we planned to moor outside the Kings Arms for the night and have a meal, there was just room for us on their mooring and I went in to let them know we would be in later to eat and would it be OK to moor overnight. The reply was “Yes sir that will be fine, its £10 a night please” so we are moored on the field opposite, I just wish there was another pub near here so we could eat elsewhere.

Today’s Journey  map 39 14½ miles, 5 locks in 5½ hours

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