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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Is this the start of senility?

Made a dash for it early. The weather looked abysmal for later and thought we at least might as well get a couple of hours in before it arrived.

Seems as if the reedbeds are taking over this part of the South Oxford.

Did my good deed for the day by rescuing this moth at Northbrook lock. Flew into the water as we were ascending so out came the trusty brolly to fish it out.

I think it's a swallow tailed moth. I stand corrected (Thank you Paul) It is a Brimstone Moth

 Ian thinks this notice was on the lock beam 2 years ago. I'm not so sure but if he is right it's about time something was done about it.

 Above the lock a now familiar sight Nb Lois Jane. See we are leapfrogging each other. Gave us a good opportunity to give James one of the booking forms for next years rally. No doubt we will see them again this trip.

At Heyford and with Ian on the helm...an almighty crash as FS hit the coping stones at the bridge 'ole. Come on Ian concentrate! Or are you trying to match Timothy West and Prunella Scales 'Great Canal Journeys' exploits?

Oxfordshire narrowboats at Lower Heyford.

Another senior moment for Ian when he tried to lift the bridge using the chain. Oh dear Ian, it is now power operated! That's two acts of senility will there be another?

No need to pull the chain!

It's pushing a button instead

How long has this tree been down? Judging by the notice maybe something should have been done sooner.

Warning, high risk tree (yep that's what the notice said!)

 Hmmm, appears we have grass islands to negotiate!

The wind picked up and that drizzle that gets in every nook and cranny, started. A convenient length of mooring along a meadow after Somerton Bridge and we hastily got ourselves moored and into the dry. Then we discovered how near to the railway line we were. Did not want a repeat of Monday night so as soon as lunch was over and a lull in the rain, we were off.  But as we were about to pull pins, 2 more boats came past. Blast now for the wait at Somerton Deep Lock.

In the distance, Somerton Deep Lock.
Gosh, there was also one going up in the lock!

A long landing by this lock but no convenient bollard for a second boat. The only place to alight had no shelter and the wind was blowing right across the canal trying to send FS on her merry way.

Hang on Ian!!!!

Would you believe it took 3/4 hour from the time we arrived at the lock to going in! Not just the boat traffic going up but above the lock, another boat decided they didn't want to go any further so tried to wind. Sounds plausible except for a slight miscalculation on the boaters part! 60ft winding hole....69ft  boat. Doesn't take a mathematician to work out it wouldn't go!

They resigned themselves to having to carry on to Heyford Wharf another 3 miles further down.

Sure is deep.
FS with cladding pins for'ard and aft to keep her on the side.
Our turn and Ian in a right pickle again. This time a knotted rope! Whats he like.....senility number three????
Somerton Deep.

Big hefty gate.

The rain started again and just beyond the winding hole, a decent mooring to be had. This will do us until tomorrow when we hope to find a mooring in Banbury.

And wildlife (from home and New Zealand!)

Surprise to see a New Zealand Black swan with our native Mute swan. Do they intermingle?


Debbie said...

Hi Irene - had to laugh, I was about to try and pull that automatic bridge with the chain too, luckily there were some workman by the green box before the bridge and one came and told me it was automated. That would have been quite entertaining for them watching me try and raise the bridge with the chain. We must be just round the corner from you - we stopped just before Chisnell lift bridge (I really must get our blog up to date!!). xx

Paul Clark said...

Hi Irene

Good blog - I arrived here via a link from Noproblem. And good work with the moth, but it's actually a Brimstone Moth rather than a Swallowtailed Moth - amazing how they can come back to life even after a good dunking.


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks, Paul, Welcome to my blog. So glad you enjoyed the read and I'll amend my post.

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