Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Wednesday 11th September 2013
Once again it's that american date again, back to front. 9-11, that date which will live in infamy for a long time to come.
Yesterday the weather was kind to us. The Oxford meandered its way north.
We spotted another 'famous' boat, Bones, is featured every month in Canal Boat magazine as the owner wrestles with DIY dilemmas aboard her craft.

The canal once again utilizes the River Cherwell with a short river section. Another of the unusual hexagonal lock chambers is used here at Ayhno Wier Lock

 All along this section of the canal we have encountered the lift bridges which the Oxford is well known for. Most of them have been fixed to remain open unless in use, which is a boon for the canal traveler. A great number of them have been renewed since we were last along this way. This one is dated 2009.

All day we have been in queues for the locks, a real change for us. Even in holiday time we haven't come across that many moving boats. It may be because this is a popular canal, and it is narrow, meaning that the boats can only go through the locks on at a time, so naturally things slow down. We do love the narrow canals, that's why we have a narrow boat. You get a chance to talk with other crews, and usually there is help to operate the gates and paddles. At one lock yesterday we waited an hour for our turn.
This is Grant's Lock, just south of Banbury.

As a consequence of the slow progress we didn't get into Banbury until about 3.00 o'clock and the only mooring on the main area had a damaged bollard so we couldn't moor as tightly as I would like. Luckily at about 4.30 a boat on the other side of the canal from us decided to move off, so I quickly untied us and nipped across to take his mooring. It's on the right side of the water to get into town easily, and all the bollards are sound.
Today, we're staying here in Banbury to do some provisioning. A look at the map shows that it will be a few days before we can shop again, so it was down to Morrisons for a mammoth raid. The shopping trolley that we use was groaning under the strain and finally succumbed to the load. A wheel came off. I managed to re-attach it, and it got us home. The 6 ltrs of water, 6 bottles of wine, 4 pints of milk, and various vegetables and meats may have contributed to its demise. I fear the time may have come to get a new one.
Later I nipped back into town to try and get some engine oil at Wilkinson's, but they had run out. The local boatyard also couldn't come up with the bungee hooks we need for the cratch cover where some have broken off over the summer.
The weather report promised us rain this afternoon, and they were right, so getting the provisioning done this morning was good. Cath went clothes shopping in M&S this afternoon, while I tried to use the rain to give the roof a bit of a birthday.
We're currently moored in the same place as the boat in this satellite picture.

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