Now in open countryside

We left Hillmorton early (7am) on Thursday to get through the 3 locks there, as one of the doubles was out of action and it had been incredibly busy the day before. We have travelled more miles in the past couple of days than we usually do, and now are feeling very tired because of it.

Hillmorton locks on a misty morning

Hillmorton locks on a misty morning

One of the pounds between the locks was very low and we were worried we may get stuck.

Low pound

Low pound

Lots of boats had come down but not many up, luckily we made it through.

It was a misty start and quite cold but soon the mist burnt off and it soon became warm, but breezy. The canal crosses the border between Warwickshire and Northamptonshire, and back again. We cruised under the M45

M45

M45

Alot of the fields along this route are ridge and furrow; remnants of times gone by when peasant farmers were allowed a furrow to tend. We soon got to Braunston and decided to carry on as we had stopped here in 2011. We may stop again on the way back if we come this way. The canal now shares a short stretch with the Grand Union and we have seen a couple of widebeam boats moored here.

Braunston turn

Braunston turn

Signpost showing the way

Signpost showing the way

We carried on a bit further past Napton junction and left the shared section with the GU, and stayed with the Oxford canal. We are now cruising the South Oxford section. This is the furthest south we have been since we started.

Napton signpost

Napton signpost

Napton junction

Napton junction

We passed a workboat repairing the bank

bank repairs needed

bank repairs needed

Napton on the hill was where we stopped for the day. Charlie did an oil change as it  was due, and best done with a warm engine. We have now done more engine hours in 2 years than the 2 previous owners did in 6!

A windmill overlooks this country scene. Not working today.

Old fashioned windmill

Old fashioned windmill

We moored just before the Napton flight of 9 locks! Another early start on Friday to get through these. We had hoped to empty our cassette here but unfortunately it was blocked; though I suspect some were still trying to use it as it left alot to be desired! I had calculated a 2 and a half hour journey to get through these and I was right. Maybe because the locks were set for us, and we didn’t meet another boat until the 5th lock. I needed to do some washing so set the machine on it’s way whilst cruising, as we knew we could refill with water at the end of the Napton flight. An interesting sight was a field of water buffalo

not something you see often

not something you see often

The other interesting sight was a landlocked narrowboat, obviously private land, but quite amusing.

totally shut in!

totally shut in!

We are now moored in open countryside at the start of the Oxford summit. It has been quite breezy today which is always a challenge when steering. We tried to moor in a rough spot but it was too shallow and we had a job to get free. Why is it always when I am steering that this happens? We will probably try and get to Fenny Compton tomorrow if we have the energy!

Leave a Reply