Home mooring

Up early and away in order to get back in time to drive home today.

It has been cold and misty with hardly any boats about. We only passed three all day.

Heddi got off at Broadmoor lock and walked along the towpath to the village to get the car, while I took the boat into the marina. Set off for home at three o’clock.

 

Napton lock 11

Quite a hectic day today. We left home at about 7:00am. The plan was to drive to Cropredy marina,leave our car there and walk to Williamscot to catch the bus. It normally takes us about 1hr50min to drive to the marina. The bus timetable said 9:27 at Williamscot. So that should have given us about 35 mins for the walk. Unfortunaely we encountered more traffic than usual,I suppose it was because of the time of day. To save time we parked the car in Cropredy village, at the football field. This meant that the walk to the bus stop only took about 15mins, so we arrived in good time. Actually the bus was about 5 minutes late.

We had to change buses in Daventry with the first bus due to arrive at 10:10, and the next one due out at 10:13. We missed the connection and had to wait 30 mins for the next one. We used the time to buy some lunch in Waitrose.

On arrival at the boatyard we went into the office and Peter showed us to the boat. At first they couldn’t find the keys, but they were back in the office. We set off  just before noon.

A quick stop in Braunston to do a bit of shopping, as we hadn’t been able to bring any food on the buses, then on to moor up for the night just before lock 11 on the Napton flight.

Braunston

A pleasant chug across the Oxford summit, down Napton locks and along to Braunston. We decided to stop here so that we could go to the pub for our meal tonight. We usually eat on board, but as we have to leave the boat at the dry dock and take everything with us on the bus back to Cropredy we are travelling light.

In the past we have got through one chimney almost every winter. They are made of fairly light mild steel and simply rust away. This year our son in law Simon has made us one out of stainless steel. Hopefully this will last longer.

 

Fenny Compton

We are taking the boat back to Willowridge at Hillmorton for the blacking following the abortive attempt last month.

Whilst we were waiting for them to have a free slot AJ Canopies have filled the new cratch cover. It looks really smart, we are very pleased with it.

 

Braunston puddle bank

Well today we were supposed to be in the dry dock at Willowridge, but we’re not!

We set off early from Long Itchington sharing all the locks with Barbara and Malcolm on NB Pilgrim.

We arrived at Hillmorton this afternoon only to be told that the hydraulics had broken and the dry dock isn’t working. So we had to turn around and head back to the marina.

 

The Blue Lias

2 Miles 8 Locks

It only took a couple of hours to reach the Blue Lias where the rally is to be held.

We shared the 8 locks with a very competent crew on a Kate Boats hire boat. It was only their second narrowboat trip, but they were already thinking about buying a share in a boat.

We came down all the locks side by side. It’s much quicker that way, but inexperienced helmsmen often done want to attempt it.

After topping up with water we winded in the Kayes arm and moored up alongside the pub garden. Two other cutwebbers had already arrived, Andy on “Libelula”and William on “Willow”.

We were soon joined by Brian and Diana on “Harnser” and Tony and Jenny on “Jenny B”. Others arrived later.

Near Ventnor farm

14 miles 8 locks

A day of mixed weather fortunes, some sunshine, but also some rain.

We had our usual early breakfast, but just before we set off at 7:30 another boat came down the flight, so we had to turn every one except the last one. Here there was a volunteer on duty who filled the lock as he saw us approach.

The five mile stretch between Napton and Bruanston junctions used to be very familiar to us when our share boat Symphony was based at what is now Stockton Top marina. It was good to re-familiarise ourselves.

At just before noon we went to talk to Christine at AJ and discussed materials, colours, windows etc and arranged for them to come out to Cropredy to measure up for the new cratch cover and a new tonneau cover for the stern.

Retracing our route to Napton junction in the afternoon to moor up just outside of Ventnor Farm marina.

Napton Flight

15 miles 12 locks

We are on the way to the Cutweb annual rally.

We spent most of yesterday tidying up the boat, which largely consisted of removing hundreds (I’m not exaggerating)  of spiders and their webs! When were here last for the Fairport do we prepared and primed some of the rust patches on the roof and one side. So yesterday these were touched up with cream for the roof and blue for the side. There is still quite a lot more to do though.

The Cutweb rally is at Long Itchington, but we are going via Braunston as we want to visit AJ Canopies to arrange for them to make us a new cratch cover.

A good day’s cruising, we moored up two locks down on the Napton flight.