Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Relaxing slow cruising - forget it!!

Saturday 25th July to Tuesday 28th July 2015
I forgot to put this is the last blog - here she is about to get into the kebab

We do not like making schedules - must be here for this night and there for that night - much better for us is that we travel for 3 hours a day and then moor up - something that we have had the luxury on the canals of doing (and then ignoring when we want).
At the moment however, we have a pressing timetable of being off the river on the 2nd August - we know that we can extend but that then will upset things further down the line.

An upcoming wedding in August dictates that we will need to find a place to leave the boat and other things shortly after that necessitate being at certain places by certain times.

This boating malarky was meant to be a bit more relaxed - what with all of this and working as well I am almost ready to give up - well give up work at least and retire; but not yet - not with a wife still to support.

So, as a consequence of all of this we have been putting in a few more hours travelling this week.

Saturday we left Abingdon and the three boats all travelled together around the city of Oxford and through locks and under bridges which until then we had only heard people speak of in varying terms. The weather cycled a bit between fine and sunny to cold to windy to a bit of rain - just like being back home in Melbourne, where this variety has made us a bit more hardy than those north of the Murray River.
Apparently a hotel boat - more like a renovated pirate palace

Unusual roof for the centre section

Approaching Oxford

These canoeists weren't in any danger from the boat on the right (it was still tied up)

A lovely spot on a sunny day - just wasn't like that when we passed by

The end of the line for those 3-stories plastics - Osney Bridge

Godstow Lock ....

....and the remains of the Abbey beyond the lock

On the left towards Duke's Cut and the right is the Thames (from whence we came)
Eventually we moored up after Eynsham lock to enjoy some of the late afternoon sunshine and with a few cows for company.

Looking down on Eynsham Lock

Look dear - he's taking our picture - now smile
The cows were particularly friendly towards the boats - not coming exceptionally close but too close for Diane, whose idea of a close relationship with a cow is seeing a steak, well-cooked and on her plate.

Up on the bridge at Eynsham is a quaint old toll road...

...and see the charges - would like to see these on the
M6 Toll Road
As I have said above, we have a need to keep moving and the weather predictions for  Sunday followed the line of rain, rain and followed by drizzle. An opening existing early in the day and so Ferndale and Festina Lente untied ropes and left the moorings - Linda and Richard had intended to stay put with the rain and would catch us up after that.

In the morning we spotted this before we left.

We made it as far as Babcock Hythe before the allure of good moorings and the forboding of dark clouds forced us to moor up.

The Ferryman pub may also have been an influence in where we stopped, but almost immediately after tying the last of the ropes, the heavens opened and we were inside - venturing out for a pre-lunch drink at the pub.

Diane made lunch this week with Sue supplying her now famous summer pudding - echoes of Sweeney Todd in the background.

After lunch and before we were drunk  finished

We didn't do much in the way of exploring any further than the short stroll to the pub -the weather had made it impractical.

Monday arrived with a much improved forecast and we had tentatively looked at a reasonably target for today's cruising and firstly Tadpole was mentioned, then one of the lockies mentioned Kelmscott. In the end we went all the way and moored up at Lechlade beside the cow-laden field - Diane mentally slicing them into roasting joints, steaks and sausages.
Old Father Thames at St.John's Lock (Lechlade)

During the day, Diane had done all of the steering allowing me to stay inside to work - only emerging for lock duties. The end result of a long day of steering (I daren't say steerage) was that she was tired, exhausted and worst of all, had a blister on her steering hand (have to make sure that is better before we head back)

Two crazy sistas

I like the look of this but cannot remember where it was - will make a note on
the return journey.

We had been keeping in contact with Linda and Richard throughout the day and although they had further to travel and started later,they were approaching as we were heading over the bridge to the pub.
I returned to help them moor up in the blustery conditions and provide instructions of where we were heading.

The six of us were all around the table having the usual banter - interrupted by a Spoodle pup being carried by a young lady (at our age, young is a relative term) - the oohs and aahs from the females at the table was astonishing.

Just a group photo - take no notice of the number of empty glasses on the table
- it's the full ones that count... we still won't count the empties - Linda was enjoying it all

cute puppy - or what?

Lucky the owner was nearby or he would be part of the crew on Festina Lente

Linda and Richard, during their travels that day had lost the use of their 2kW inverter had died - worse was that the washing machine was sitting silent - the gasp was load - What no washing possible!!! It's a major catastrophe!!

It also meant that the microwave was out of action and to counter all of that plus a long day, they both decided to tryout the menu of the pub whilst we four did a bit of a walk around the village before heading back to the boats for rest.

NO NO NO!!! -way too early for Xmas stuff yet

Lechlade - the main street - lovely Cotswold stone buildings

A bit like the spire at Braunston - a guiding beacon for boaters

Tuesday was clear, bright, cloudy and still windy, but definitely dry.

The viber messaging system between all the women was active again - but the most unusual was from Linda - "Anyone have a 150 amp fuse?" - not your usual request and not something that you are likely to find quickly.
Strange as it may seem, I did happen to have a 300 amp fuse - a spare that we had when our master fuse blew a few years ago.
Richard was over literally before I had put the phone down; comparison made; fuse received with thanks; and in five minutes the message came that the power was on again - inverter was working again - so I guess the washing would now get finished; but fiscally speaking it meant that the possible cost of replacing the inverter was averted.

Diane and Sue explored the village a bit more -somehow or other they found tea and scones with the full works - amazing how they do it.
Richard and Linda headed off to meet friends at The Trout - I guess happy that everything was working again.

After completing another day of work, Diane returned and we decided to go out for a walk further along the river to the confluence of theThames and the Colne and at the same time we took Muffin along -just like old times for us and Diane only called him Banjo just the once.
The Roundhouse in the background - and my lovely wife in front... the end of the navigable Thames - it comes in from the left and the Colne
from the right

As Diane would say "pass the mint sauce"

35 Miles, 15 Locks
YTD: 633 Miles, 352 Locks, 12 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 13 Swing Bridges
Totals: 3527 Miles, 2473 Locks, 110 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 164 Swing Bridges

No comments:

Post a Comment