Thursday, August 30, 2018

Back to an old mooring haunt

So what have you been doing the few days? We hear you ask! Answer, "Not a lot"...... 
We have cleaned Derwent6 with a roof polish and touched up some paintwork, Cleaned out the bilge, and topped up the stern gland. We have also been trying to trace a smell we have in the engine room which smells like a leaking pipe somewhere..
Al has been doing loads of washing, in fact everything got washed, but over all we have just chilled out for few days.
It has been difficult at times though because what is about boaters nowadays that can't slow down past moored boats anymore.. Its almost like the guy who can't be bothered to put his indicator on when overtaking on the motorways of Britain, perhaps its the same guy!!!
We have had to over tighten our ropes, which isn't a good idea when the levels are inconsistent but when a boat goes by at 4mph it rips the pins out.. Just sit back in the cratch and think of a beach somewhere you love and SMILE!
We had heavy rain last night so all that cleaning was in vain but it did bring the levels up a tad and freshen things up.

We set off when it stopped at 8.30am and headed back towards Banbury.
The rain had made the trees hang even lower which kept Del alert.
 We passed Kings Sutton station and then got to the lock.
 From here on things got worse as the water levels had dropped a foot, so it was idle for most of the way to Twyford Wharf.

We passed a trip boat who is very light and even he grounded. When he passed us we had to wait for the water levels to come back to us..
We idled up to Grant Lock and it was a relief to be able to get going again at the top.
We picked out an old mooring of ours which we use through the winter months, but things are going to change around here, more about that later..
Al put out the washing and we waited for Tooty to suss out his new patch and then we walked down to Morrison's for a shopping top up..  If you look closely, Tooty then chased a squirrel into the hedges which held us up a bit..
We were all done by 3.00pm which freed us up to chill in the sunshine this afternoon...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Shallow to the Pig Place

We lay in bed thinking what to do today. We were on a two day mooring in Banbury and that was up at 11.00am this morning. Do we turn and come back in a different place, or carry on and see how shallow it is, or just get out of town and moor up.
We decided to just carry on for a bit and try it..
We managed to get in the queue for the water tap as Al wanted to do loads of washing as David had now left us..
Sheets, towels, and our own washing. After we had topped up we went through the lock in Banbury. Straight away you could tell it was a bit shallow, but just by slowing down that 1mph made all the difference.
It made us realise again how pretty this canal is, and even though it was a bit over grown it made it very interesting and quaint.

We got through Grant Lock and then onto Twyford Junction which was ok, but after the wharf things got very shallow and we were at tickover to move forward with limited steering..
By the time we got to Kings Sutton Lock things had improved again slightly, so we headed to the pig farm where we decided to turn as we were getting reports that levels were only getting worse..

Its a tricky turn here as it is a CaRT site and they have their boats in awkward spots, but we just managed to get round, good job it wasn't windy..
It then started to rain so we moored up as it was a spot where we could actually get in..
We had a nice view from the cratch and made the most of it between showers.
The Pig Place is somewhere where you can get fresh meat and veg, which also has a café and an outside bar.

It also has moorings at ten pound a night with shoreline. We thought it wise not to use them because of Tooty the cat and the poultry walking around, its bad enough with rabbits!..

Monday, August 20, 2018

Crew returned in Banbury

After another heavy night we had to get up early because David had a train to get this morning. We all had a shower then went into Banbury town centre and found a nice Café for a full English breakfast..

We just had time to take a slow walk back to the station and say our goodbyes to David. We have had a lovely week!
We then walked back into town where they were having a Food Market and it was amazing.
All the different smells and food produces available were delicious. We mooched about for an hour or so before heading back to Derwent6 with some nice things.
Del then chilled watching the football while Al read her book in the afternoon.. Al then cooked a nice chicken which we had with salad and then we went out..
Del told Al they were only going out for a drink, but that drink turned out to be a coke in the Odeon Cinema as Del had succumbed to see Mamma Mia. It brought a little tear to Al's eye and the film wasn't that bad after all..
We walked back to Derwent6 at 11.30pm and fell into bed..

Banbury, looking for white ladies and horses

The church bells woke us up at 7.00am and we got up at eight. After a shower we set off down through Cropredy Lock and moored on the water point.
It was just a quick top up before we were on our way again through the slow string of boats still left here from the festival.
Some of those boats were coming off their moorings where they had been there so long.
We reached Slat Mill lock and then another boat was going down in front of us at Bourton lock.
 We went under the M40 and waited at Hardwick lock.
It was then put some washing on and head into Banbury. We managed to get a mooring just by the park as you approach the town centre.
We got taking to a nice couple who were thinking about buying a boat. We then chilled for a couple of hours before we went out to watch the football, for our sins!
We ended up going to the Dog and Gunn where they had a few screens to see Arsenal get beaten again by Chelsea. We then went to a place called Pizza and Calzone which we can recommend if you fancy a pizza in Banbury. Good Service and great food!
It was then back over to the Dog and Gunn to watch the boxing till late before we headed back to Derwent6 where we crashed out..

Cropredy Chilling

After last night we had a bit of a lay in. We sorted out our rubbish and then set off. The thing we noticed was how overgrown everything was.. It normally is tricky through this section, but even with all the traffic that has been through here with the Cropredy Festival it was still tight.

We love this canal with its lift bridges and lovely scenery.
We got to Claydon lock flight of five locks in an hour, and with David's help caught up with another boat in front of us.

We then did the three locks after Claydon. First Elkington Lock.
Then Varney's Lock and then Broadmoor Lock.
We had the pick of the moorings at the top of the lock at Cropredy.
We had some lunch and chilled in the afternoon (with the cat), but with a couple of pubs nearby it was difficult to stay in..
We decided it would be best (and cheaper) to eat in. So Al made a lovely lasagne to line our stomachs before we headed out towards the pubs.
We were surprised to see the Red Lion Pub closed again and were told the new owners were taking over in September. So it was a walk to the Brasenose pub just round the corner, which had had a face lift and was taking all the custom..
We only went out for a couple and ended up staying till 11.00pm.
It was a nice walk back to Derwent6 where Tooty (the cat) was waiting to come in.

Fenny after rain

We woke up to rain on the roof, yes I know rain. The canal needs rain and here on the South Oxford it is in need.
We try not to move in the rain, unless we have to, so David being a Chef, did us one of his special Scrambled Eggs on Toast.
Wow the Scrambled Egg melted in your mouth and set us up for the day.

The clouds were moving over by midday so we got ourselves ready to go at 12.30pm.
It was a very overgrown section, but it also made it pretty and very interesting. It was amazing that the water was green here and not the muddy waters we are used too.
 We passed ten boats as we got to Fenny Compton so we felt confident we might get in.
When we checked the gaps there was only one where we fitted in nice and tight. So we were settled in for the afternoon soaking up the sunshine as it peeped in and out the clouds.

It got to 6.00pm and the cloud had overpowered the sunshine and we thought it would be nice to have a beer in the pub and look at the menu. The Wharf Inn has changed hands and doesn't have live music anymore which is a shame.. During the winter months we used to make an effort to get to Fenny and have a good evenings entertainment.. On the menu there was 63 items and we thought with that many items most of it must be frozen, so we gave it a miss.
We had our beer, and while drinking it, checked out the Merrie Lion on line. It had loads of good reviews so we thought we would give it a try.
It was a 15 minute walk into the village and when we went inside was pleasantly surprised.

It had been redecorated and it had a lot of new staff including a new chef..
We got our food and it was amazing. It was quality, but at reasonable prices. It was so good we all had deserts which were also very good.
Bloated and full we walked back to Derwent6 on a very nice warm evening. We even saw a shooting star on the way back. We were only back on the boat for ten minutes and we decided we were all ready for bed. Including Tooty!