Monday, 30 November 2015

Marston Doles

Here I am Rune
Distance 2.7 miles
Total 1620 Locks 80 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2253.7.0 miles

Today was windy!, that pretty much covers it. There were a few showers but the greatest issue was the wind. I found at a couple of lock moorings that I wasn’t able to get the mooring lines on before the boat had started to drift out so I adopted the alternative approach of getting just one line around a mooring bollard then putting the boat in forward gear letting the engine do the heavy lifting and bringing the boat alongside. The final place that was a significant problem was coming out of Marston Doles top lock where the wind was blowing straight across the canal making the turn out of the lock almost impossible. Eventually resolved it by getting hold of the bow line and effectively pulling the boat around the corner. We didn’t do much mileage but what we did seemed to be hard work. At least we now have over 10 miles without any locks so tomorrow will hopefully be easier, provided that the wind drops!

Sunday, 29 November 2015


Here I am Rune
Distance 4.4 miles
Total 1611 Locks 80 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2251.0 miles

Today has brought us as far as Napton on the hill which is at the bottom of the Napton flight of locks, our challenge for tomorrow. The rain held off but the wind was pretty strong when we set off, as Rune is quite low in the water it isn’t too badly affected by wind although it can get interesting when either mooring up or casting off but on the move it is OK.

We had a minor leak on the chimney the other day, probably caused by expansion and contraction of the sealant around the chimney base. I got some Creeping Crack sealant from the Wharf House chandlery (where the boat was fitted out) and it seems to have solved the problem (I hope!). I certainly had a good test after we had moored up for the day with a heavy downpour of rain backed up by gale force winds, if it was going to leak I think it would have done so under those circumstances.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we carry on towards Banbury.

Saturday, 28 November 2015


Here I am Rune
Distance 2.9 miles
Total 1611 Locks 80 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2246.6 miles

Today was a day for domestic chores, dump the rubbish, fill the water tank and empty the cassettes. After that little lot was done there wasn’t a lot of time left for travel, particularly since we were relatively late getting up in the first place. The other disincentive to further travel was the very strong and cold wind that was blowing and when it started to rain as well, that rather put the tin hat on it and marked it down as time to stop and moor up for the day!

We are now heading towards Banbury and hope to be there by next weekend to give some time to do some Christmas shopping before turning around to get back through Bourton Lock before the winter stoppage comes in on 10th December. If we get caught the wrong side of that it’ll rather mess up our Christmas arrangements.

Not sure how far we’ll get tomorrow, depends a lot on the weather.

Thursday, 26 November 2015


Here I am Rune
Distance 8.2 miles
Total 1611 Locks 80 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2243.7 miles

Once again, as planned, we are back in Braunston, good internet signal, no phone! The moorings opposite The Boat pub were all pretty full so we have come further in beyond the marina entrance where there were a few spaces left. We rather hope it isn’t this crowded when we come back at Christmas time.

Refuelled the boat at Calcutt boats with 125.5 litres of diesel which should see us OK until Christmas, in fact we seem OK for most commodities until Christmas, Diesel, Gas, Coal, Kindling etc. Only one small fly in the ointment is the fact that for some unknown reason the chimney has begun to leak (water) so I assume that some seal on it has failed. Will have a look in the various chandleries here to see if they stock some sort of sealant.

 Tomorrow for the weekend shopping and then back along the South Oxford towards Banbury.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Here I am Rune
Distance 4.6 miles
Total 1608 Locks 80 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2235.5 miles

Quite a good little work-out today, only just over 4 miles but 16 locks to do, all went pretty well though and the main batch of 10 took us about 2 hours. We are now moored less than a couple of miles from tomorrows refuelling point. I think that the likelihood is that we may well head back towards Braunston to get the weekend shop since there is a particularly good butchers there, after that we will turn around and head back down the South Oxford towards Banbury. Whether we actually reach Banbury before turning around to return to Braunston only time will tell.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Fosse Top Lock

Here I am Rune
Distance 3.4 miles
Total 1592 Locks 80 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2230.9 miles

Well having cleared up a few minor matters in Leamington Spa (tickets to get us home at Christmas and Driving Licence sent off for renewal) we have moved on another 3 miles or so out of the town and into the middle of nowhere. We have passed through the base level of the canal so everything back towards Braunston will be uphill again. For a change there were a few boats on the move today which was novel since it has been pretty quiet on the canal over the last few days. One of the boats we passed, a holiday boat, seemed to have a bit of a panic attack. All seemed to be well as I rounded a corner and saw the boat approaching about 400 yards away. I moved to the right and they moved to the left and it seemed as though we would pass one another without problem, that is when it started to go wrong for them. For no obvious reason the boat began to come back across onto our side of the canal, I left it for as long as I dare but eventually had to put our boat into reverse to stop it otherwise a collision would have happened. The oncoming boat continued across the than until it was almost broadside to us then began to try to reverse out of the situation. I just sat back and waited for them to sort themselves out which they eventually did. As we passed I commented that these boats can have a mind of their own and the other boater replied that it was their first time so I have every sympathy, particularly as once we’d passed them they again ran into the bushes on the side of the canal! All good fun.

Tomorrow we’ll have a load of locks to get through with the intention of getting to Calcutt Boats on Thursday to refuel.