Another good day of cruising has seen me moored up for a couple of days. I had expected this trip to take 3 days, but instead it has taken two, and neither were heavy cruising. My enormous thanks to Steve Sugg who came along weilding a windlass and assisted the journey!
I was feeling a little worse for ware this morning with my aches, a sore throat and a little queeziness, so we decided to stop in Thrupp rather than the City. Having fished a pheasent out of Bakers Lock we opened up the throttle and hammered down the Cherwell into the lock. I am starting to enjoy that bit of river, but I will always favour going up it rather than down!
Arriving in Thrupp at 11 we moored up hoping for some diesel (which I am allowed until today as a temporary club member) but there had been a power cut all morning, and thus no diesel for me. I was feeling a bit better, and so we decided to carry on down the canal to Wolvercote. We sorted out the cars, and pulled the pins.
Thrupp was stragely familier after my two weeks away, which for me is a sign of a good holiday! I am rather surprised the two weeks away has had such a good affect.
As we approached Langford lane bridge I noticed a boat coming the other way, and became more pertrubed as I noticed it wasn't actually going anywhere. I scraped my way through the bushes and noticed it was a hire boat. I asked if they were in trouble, but it turned out they were mooring! I was so flabberghasted I didn't say a word! I suppose people just don't think, this is why I love hire boaters, they do the most amusing things! I am intrigued as to whether the 6 or so strapping chaps managed to drive the pins into the concrete before someone came along and told them to move.
I was regailing Steve with the tails of the kidlington Sherriff when lo and behold, the sherriff came walking up the tow path. Or at least, I HOPE it was him. It was the same top, and familier looking dog (as all labradors are)... I waved cheerily saying 'hello' in my sprightly voice (saved for speacial occassions), and told him how nice it was to see him again. I hope it was the sherriff, otherwise some poor chap will be wondering why a deluded women on the back of a scruffy boat was so pleasent to a strange man walking his dog. As I sailed past the offending residence, I noticed a space opposite his garden perfect for my boat - what a shame I couldn't stop! Maybe another time.
I was just coming into kidlington green lock past the weir thing, when the wind took me and I was cruising rather close to another boat called Olar Pendragon, but I was a good 6inches away (she says in her defense). Steve was on the front of the boat and heard shouting on the inside, but the first I knew was when his side doors flew open (I am amazed they didn't hit the side of my boat and fall in the water!), and an angry brown haired head was thrust out (on a pole in my imagination, but I am sure it had a body attached) and screamed something about going slow and slammed the doors shut. This is what I love about boating, everyone is so polite and caring and willing to have a reasonable conversation. I had hoped to give the male head a lesson in tick over speed and manners, but sadly he disappeared before I could process what he had said in the first place. As it happens, I don't THINK he swore at me, which I think is a turn up for the books in that area.
I was pleased to see Wolvercote Lock come into view and a little peeved when Steve told me the lock was about an inch away from being against us - and a boat was coming the other way. I moored and waited for the slowest boat of christendom to approach, but the slow boat decided to moor and the crew disembark. I waved frantically (I have seen this done at other locks, no idea what it means, but it usually ends up in some action from the other party), and they started coming into the lock as one of the crew walked up - without a windlass. Steve closed the gate behind the boat - the crew were too busy standing around, and started to wind the paddles. I was rather livid at the fine display of advantage taking and decided to have a rant, but quickly decided this was meant to be a peaceful trip. I imagine Wolvercote will now go down in history as the only manned lock on the Oxford.
So, here I am in the county of the excrement of dog - I swear there is more of the stuff than grass around here. I have had to moor up my boat so that neither the front or the back has the canine welcome mat, yet all the way up I didn't have any problem with the brown stuff at all.