Monday, 3 August 2015

It's a beautiful day....

Sunday 2nd August 2015

The promise of a gloriously wonderful sunny day was the news from both weather apps that we use, so we were looking forward to it. What we were not looking forward to was saying farewell to Sue and Andy.
They very kindly offered to lock us through Godstow Lock - electrically operated as it is - luckily they didn't suffer any inflammation of thumb or forefinger from pressing the buttons.
Andy pulled rank and beat Sue to be able to let the water out...

...she is smiling here, but word got back that she inflicted severe bruising later on

We were through the lock just after 8am and enjoyed a very pleasant cruise in the early daylight past the open meadows with a bit of a mist and the spires of Oxford in the background.
the cows were all out - word had gone around all of the herds that Diane was
out and about - all bovines were to get out to scare her a bit...

"Where's Diane?" we could almost hear them crying out - all eager to see her.
On the other hand Diane was not at all eager to see them

Why the early start?

We had Maggie and Paddy driving up fromWatford to visit us and we would be taking them for a cruise for the day - thanks to Linda (nb Mary H) we had a convenient mooring spot and a destination postcode (for M&P) and when we arrived at East Street there actually was a place to moor - the plan B was to breast up.

Linda invited us aboard for coffee and it was gratefully received - we had been up early getting ready to go - so early in fact that Diane had had only 1 cup of coffee and not the customary second one and there had not been time for breakfast yet.
We really are lucky to have such good friends around us, but I think that really goes for almost everyone lucky enough to be on a boat cruising and moving around the system.

Our guests duly arrived and after a cuppa we were off, retracing a small part of our journey that morning, turning off to go up through Isis Lock and onto the canal.
Our full journey would be to cruise up the canal to the junction with Duke's Cut; turn left and head back to the Thames; left again and then down through King's Lock and Godstow Lock before mooring up again where we had started.

She was quickly back into the swing of operating the locks with windlass and
putting her back into it all

Talk about running to schedule - it was pleasant cruising past the lines of moored boats - a bit unusual being back on the canal with it being much narrow than we had been used to in the last month.
We had not been along here before so it was all new for us as well.
These guys snuck through into the lock in Duke's Cut to go down the small drop
The short length of Duke's Cut was easily negotiated - a couple of extra-long-term moorers making it narrower than it needed to be and then we were suddenly back into the wide open spaces again.

After King's lock we moored up for some lunch and bit of a break.

It was Maggie that spotted it - a kingfisher in a tree on the opposite side.

I was as pleased as punch getting these photos - might have got some better ones with a longer lens but these are great.
I can cross that one off the list.
Just enjoying the sun and cruising along
After all of that we were back on board and heading further south - after Godstow Lock it really is so open and we had swimmers in the water to be aware of; horses at the water's edge; and then the sailboat club were preparing to get some boats out onto the course they had marked out earlier.

With it being such a great day there were so many people about, just enjoying the sunshine.
Before long we were back and remarkably there was a mooring spot available again.

Both Maggie and Paddy were so relaxed they just could not believe that it had been only 4 hours - it felt like 2 days for them. Both had been up front in the open cratch; no engine noise; just watching it all go by.

We went out for a meal before they needed to head off back home - both their journey to Oxford and the trip back involved delays due to heavy traffic on motorways -something that we don't really have to worry about at all when you are on a boat

11 Miles, 6 Locks, 2 Lift Bridges
YTD: 668 Miles (1075 km) , 368 Locks, 12 Tunnels, 4 Lift Bridges, 13 Swing Bridges
Totals: 3562 Miles (5732 km) , 2489 Locks, 110 Tunnels, 38 Lift Bridges, 164 Swing Bridges

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