Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Kidlington (2)

Here I am Rune
Distance 3 miles
Total 1732 Locks 86 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2493.5 miles

No real change in position today other than we are now facing the other way around. It was just a day for doing the domestic chores of refilling the water tank, emptying the elsan cassettes and, by chance taking on some more diesel fuel. The first two were planned operations since it is six days since we last filled with water so it was necessary to chug down the canal to the nearest water point just before Dukes Lock. This now holds the record as the water tap on the system with the lowest pressure, taking over 45 minutes to fill the water tank. The elsan disposal point was another half mile further along the canal but since I had so much time to spare (whilst the water tank was filling) I manually took the cassettes on a trailer rather than trying to reverse the boat down to it (once you’ve passed Dukes Cut the next place to turn is in the middle of Oxford). We winded at Dukes cut.

One the way back we had a striking piece of luck meeting ‘Dusty’ the coal boat that also sells diesel so we topped up our tank, which should see us OK into May now. The real point of luck was that whilst manoeuvring alongside the coal boat he picked up some crud around his propeller that we had disturbed at the same location on the way down, but fortunately it had dropped off our propeller. ‘Dusty’ didn’t have quite the same luck and it seems that is was an old tyre that had wrapped itself around his propeller grinding him to a halt. With a lot of swearing it looked as though he will be there for a while. I did offer assistance but he was happy, and equipped, to get the offending tyre off himself.
Tomorrow I think it will be a trip into Oxford, having just serviced the engine I’ve got a gallon of waste oil to dispose of.

Thursday, 24 March 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 4.1 miles
Total 1728 Locks 86 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2490.5 miles

Probably just as well that we didn’t get to Thrupp yesterday, as you approach there is a splendid sign saying, ’Welcome to Thrupp’, it does however need a graffiti merchant to finish the message with ‘….Don’t stop!’. Pretty much all of Thrupp is either private moorings or long term permit holders only which is why we are now moored another 2 miles further along the canal at Kidlington. Not really a problem other than it will be a bit of a hike to the shops for the weekend shopping but they really need more of a mix of Visitor and residential moorings.

Where we are now we will probably remain until either the Thames comes off boards altogether, or if we have a lot of rain and the water levels start to rise we return back where we have come from, hoping for the former as I don’t want to have come down here for nothing.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 8.8 miles
Total 1725 Locks 86 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2486.3 miles 

We didn’t get as far as Thrupp today but Enslow is close enough for me. We will still have to wait in Thrupp when we get there, hopefully tomorrow as the Thames is still on yellow warning boards and I don’t intend to take to the river until all of the boards are off. The weather forecast for tomorrow doesn’t help that aspiration much since heavy rain is forecast in the afternoon, I just hop that it isn’t heavy enough to start the river levels increasing again. By my reckoning the latest we can wait around here for the river level to fall will be until about 1st April, beyond that an we wont have time to get back to our next intended destination. We’ll have to see how it all pans out!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 9.7 miles
Total 1720 Locks 86 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2477.5 miles 

Now that we are the ‘right’ side of the vernal equinox and we are starting to get a good amount of daylight we have today made good progress down towards Oxford. My aim had been to get to Upper Heyford but we missed it by about 1.5 miles, not really a problem. Tomorrow I’d have liked to get to Thrupp where there are a few good moorings (and sanitary station) but again we might not get quite that far, so long as we are in touching distance of Oxford by the weekend we are still pretty much on track for what we want to achieve.

The days are starting to get a little bit warmer now so slightly less thermal clothing necessary whilst steering the boat.

Thursday, 17 March 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 4.5 miles
Total 1714 Locks 86 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2467.8 miles

And so into Banbury for the weekend. It was a pleasant trip in what is now almost Spring weather, the chill wind of yesterday had dropped. 

We had one of the window locks drop off a few days ago as the glue had failed and this is the first place that I’ve been able to find somewhere selling glue suitable for sticking metal to glass so hope to repair that tomorrow.

I would think that we’ll probably remain here until Monday before pressing on towards Oxford

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 8.8 miles
Total 1710 Locks 86 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2463.3 miles 

We have reached the intended destination of Cropredy which leave us just one day out of Banbury, the target for the weekend. It is still pretty cold travelling but at least the sun was periodically shining for us. It creates the interesting situation whereby I was initially wearing a woolly hat because it was cold, then a sun hat to protect my eyes as we travelled towards the sun, then back into a woolly hat when the sun went in. I’ll be glad when it is just one thing or the other!

This time of mooring in Cropredy we are above the lock, opposite some quite attractive detached houses, although the signs on the towpath suggest that engines shouldn’t be run as it disturbs the local residents.

I do know that it’s not far from here to Banbury because last time we moored here I cycled to the Tesco’s so I would think we’ll be there by lunchtime tomorrow.