Monday, 13 June 2016

Back Home and In Transit

Monday 31st May to Saturday 11th June 2016

We landed about 6:45am and were pretty tired but not overly so.

One of the good things about landing in Birmingham or Manchester or , well just about anywhere other than Heathro, is that it is far quicker to get through Border Control (immigrations, Passport Control – all of that stuff), simply because there are fewer and smaller planes arriving there.

We were through very quickly, got the cases, quick shuttle to Birmingham International Station, train back to Rugby and then a taxi to Barby Marina – we were back on the boat by 8:30am.
We had decided to leave the boat at Barby because we knew people who were moored here; we met people over the last few months who had good things to say about it (despite other things we had heard from a few years ago) and the storage mooring only cost £100 for the month.
I have to say that coming back here and not having any problems, we were very happy and will certainly use Barby again.

We didn’t want to waste any time and wanted to be under way quickly, so after watering up we were heading out by 10am towards Rugby, where we needed to restock a ravenous fridge and freezer.
Diane also needed to head down to Watford for a doctors appointment and her prescription drug replenishment.
This time allowed us the chance to reconnect with the boat – we are sure that she must have missed us but she seemed gald to have us back and we were glad to be back with her.

Having taken up most of the week with all of this, it was time to get some cruising underway and some miles behind us -  our mission before we returned was to go south towards the Thames to meet up with Sue and Andy (Festina Lente) and also with Bev and Roly (Klara) – later on we would be caught by Dot and Gordon (Ewn Ha Cul).
 
We managed to take a new circular walk from Bridge 98 into Braunston, taking
in some different views...

...with more livestock...

...and different buildings

Having traversed the Oxford (South) Canal just the once prior to this, we were interested to see some other locations that we only had a brief chance to see last year, to spend less time in those places that we had seen in detail – our eye was on the end of the journey, not so much on the transition.
 
Passing Napton, it was a big misty making it just a bit harder to see the Windmill
This is a lovely canal – very rural in its content and very varied in its coverage – I need my internet and there are too many areas where it was less than sufficient, so a few longer days of cruising ensued whilst we found it.
 
Yep, that's where we are

As I said some lovely rural scenes

And old buildings

You deserve another photo of this folly

These guys were off to the pub for a Sunday lunch - they fancied the roast beef

One place on our list to look at more closely was Cropedy – we had only the chance to pass through last year – something to do with music festival – this year it was much less busy.
Although the internet signals were acceptable (on the low side), Diane was seeking TV reception to be able to complete the viewing of the French Open, towit, seeing if Murray could manage another major – alas, there was no TV reception, but we found a pub which very kindly switched on the TV and we could see the match – we started as the only viewers but once people found out it was on, the bar area was a bit of a standing room only affair as they abandoned the sunny beer garden.
 
This one is for Sue (No Problem XL) - by Somerton Deep Lock
We got a bit of maintenance in - Diane has managed to sand and prime the gunwhales
Further along we had an overnight in Banbury and also in Thrupp – alas, there was no Maffi Oxford there, and we were the poorer for the lack of his charm and company.
 
After the painting, came the cutting and polishing - here
is the end result of her efforts - Ferndale is looking pretty
good again.
After that it was a normal day of cruising and we were out onto the Thames and the wide open waters and the depth as well was a welcome change and all of us – Diane, me and Ferndale were enjoying the freedom.

The only negative about this last part was the inconsiderate moorers around Duke’s Lock – moored in places that make it damn near impossible to get through – glad to see that the Oxford Council and CaRT are trying to do something to move them along.
It really is becoming a safety issue and these people do not see it – they concern themselves with what suits them and have a flagrant disregard and disrespect of other waterway user.

There – that was the rant!!

We carried on for a few miles before finally settling on a place to moor which was abaove Pinkhill Lock and just alongside the Farmoor Reservoir.

It is so peaceful and lovely here with barely a sound – well, except for the guy on the tractor who was mowing the grass on the incline up to the reservoir itself – but after he finished at about 9pm, it was peaceful and quiet.
 
One for our daughter Sam - there is a boat here for you!

And one for Dot - hey that can cover both my favourite mother-in-law and our
lovely friend Dorothea

I see that another football competition has started and the plans of domination by the English side have taken a bit of a dent; the upside, of course, is that Wales are on top of the group.
I think that there has become a consistency in our tendencies for a drink - here
at The Boathouse in Braunston...

...at at the Boat Inn in Thrupp


59 Miles, 43 Locks, 5 Lift Bridges
YTD:  262 Miles (422 km) , 205 Locks, 4 Tunnels, 5 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges
Total: 4057 Miles (6529 km), 2904 Locks, 116 Tunnels, 50 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges