Thursday, 25 May 2017

Pre-Crick: Journey Day 2

Another lovely sunny morning, and we were again ready to go by 7.30. At Buckby Top Lock a couple of boats were just coming down; above, Ryan on the fuel boat, Southern Cross, was getting a delivery.

We made the turn onto the Leicester Section, and then comes the stretch to Watford Locks, which always seems further than I expect. At one point I saw a squirrel jump from a tree one side of the canal to a tree the other. The distance wasn't far, but the receiving branch was pretty flimsy.

At Watford Locks, a boat had arrived just before us and was starting up. I went and found the lock keeper who said we could follow them. Adrian did the very tight turn from the seond lock into the staircase with great aplomb.

We were at the top of the locks by 9.30, and set off along the summit pound. The scenery is very typically English along here.

Crick Tunnel was, as usual, dry at the southern end and fairly drippy at the northern end. The Crick Show harbour masters were outnin force, but thanks to a message from Bruce thenother day we already had a good idea where our mooring was. What's more, we planned to go on further and have a night in the sticks, so we had to tell a few people that we'd be back tomorrow.

The canal is full of twists, turns, and blind bridges, and there were quite a few boats going the other way including some we recognise from previous Cricks. Some seemed determined not to give upmthe centre of the canal, or thought moored boats had to be passed with six feet of space, so a couple of times we were in the offside shallows and heeling over a bit. Before long we caught up with a rather slow Canal Boat Club boat, which seemed to go into tickover for every bridge hole. So when it was lunchtime and a nice bit of piling came into view just through Bridge 27, I pulled over and we tied up. There's a nice view here, the solar panel is in sunshine, and it's very quiet, so we decided we'd stay put. There's a winding hole after the next bridge we can use in the morning. Adrian is working anyway, so it makes very little difference where we are. We've seen more boats go by heading for Crick, including MGM's show boat, with Mark and Rachel at the helm.

10 miles, 8 locks. (31 miles, 21 locks)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Pre-Crick: Journey Day 1

Adrian arrived at a little before 10 last night. This morning we were awake early, and uo, showered and breakfasted in time to set off just before 7.30. It was a glorious morning.

We didn't see another moving boat until we were half way up Stoke Bruerne Locks. In fact, the first boat we saw was being carried. It was a pedalo, with two guys going from Birmingham to Brentford for charity. They were on the path on the offside, and Adrian pointed out that the path under the A508 is narrow and low. They decided the proper towpath was better, so put the boat in the water above the lock and pushed themselves across.

At the penultimate lock we met a confused volunteer lock keeper. A boat was coming down and the lock needed a little topping up, so he quite sensibly lifted a couple of top paddles. Then when I arrived he dropped them again. I asked why, and he said there was a boat coming up (us); I pointed out that the lock only needed a little bit of water to enable the downhill boat to use it first, at which point he shrugged and said he didn't know what to do it that situation. I opened the top paddles again and the boat went down. We did the whole flight in an hour and a half.

Blisworth Tunnel wasn't cold but it was wet, and I wished I'd put my coat on. We passed two boats. The railway bridge north of Blisworth has some lovely blue griders underneath. We've been under this bridge loads of times, but I only noticed them when I did a boat test up here a few weeks ago; actually I didn't even notice them then, it was when Andy's photos arrived. They may be making another appearance soon!

At some point after Gayton we passed Jaq moored up, and said a quick hello. We had lunch on the move, then stopped for diesel at Rugby Boats, where we met the new owner, James. Chance was moored in the little marina. At what used to be one of our favourite moorings, before Dodford Bridge, the works for the new road and bridge are in full swing. Tonnes of hardcore are being delivered and compressed

As the M1 came into view, we noticed that the traffic was down to a crawl. We were moving faster than they were. We were making good time, so decided to press on up Buckby Locks. A boat was just coming down the first lock so that was in our favour, but then we were following a rather slow pair of boats, one a single hander, and the other a couple in which the Chinese lady didn't really seem to have fully mastered steering.

We decided to stop in the long pound. We haven't stayed here for a while because the level used to drop alarmingly over night. But work has been done on the lock, and the bottom gates now look pretty water tight. The M1 is still audible, but not as bad as at the bottom. Tomorrow, assuming we don't have a huge delay at Watford, we'll overshoot Crick and spent the night somewhere out alomg the summit pound.

21 miles, 13 locks.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pre-Crick: messy jobs

Because of work, Adrian can't come up to the boat until this evening, so I had a day of boat jobs to do. The one I really wanted to get done was to scrub the cratch cover, which was looking decidedly sorry for itself -- covered in bird droppings and turning green. I took it off, which is quite a job in itself; I'm sure I've said this before, but you only realise how big a cratch cover is when it's off the boat. I took it up to one of the picnic tables on the bank behind the boat, so I could lay it out and scrub it. What also needed removing were loads of spider nests, under the flap over the cratch board.

After the first scrubbing and rinsing, I left the cover to dry out and went to tackle all the spider nests on the cratch board. I even laid the board down to get under the bit at the bottom. When I went to look at the cover, it wasn't as non-green as I'd hoped, so I gave it another scrub all over, then tried to squeegee off as much of the green water as I could.

Other jobs completed today include driving down to Tesco at Wolverton to stock the fridge and cupboards, and lots of cleaning. I cleaned out the stove and then polished it with stove blacking; I swept through the boat from end to end; I cleaned the shower cubicle.

During the day, I had several visits from a swan who was just going around hissing at people. A better visit was from this crowd.

The day started very cloudy, but the sun has been out for most of the afternoon. Might we get a Crick Show with decent weather this year?

Pre-Crick: work

I had to go to work today, and as the late night trains are replaced by a bus between Milton Keynes and Northampton, I went from MK rather than Wolverton.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Pre-Crick: arrival

I needed to come up to the boat at some point this week as we're heading off to the Crick Show, so it seemed to make sense to come today after work. Both the two rail routes between home and work had engineering works today, so I drove to London (a very long and slow journey), then headed north after my shift. I was pleased to see that even at after 11pm, the batteries were at 100 per cent, charged entirely by the solar panel!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Grape Escape on test.

The June edition of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test on Grape Escape by Bourne Boats.  This boat will be at the Crick Show.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend: Day 5

The long term moorers on the offside at Cosgrove have clearly never heard of the rule about only running engines when stationary between 8am and 8pm. One had their engine on until almost 9.30 last night, then just a few minutes later another turned theirs on, until 10.15. Then this morning, that same engine went on at 7.30.

Anyway, with the bank holiday over, it was the sunniest morning so far! I had just a miles to do back to the marina, and it was glorious.

There wasn't much breeze, but what there was was in the wrong direction and it was a bit of a chore to get back into our berth. However, I was soon secure and packed up. As I had time, I filled the water tank and also had a root around down the weedhatch, as the propwash didn't look quite right today. There was nothing round the prop itself, but round the shaft was quite a bit of fishing line, complete with a float and a hook still with bait on it -- so I was grateful not to have ended up with that stuck in a finger. It took quite a lot of work with a knife to get it all off.

The solar panel had been doing its work and the batteries were already up to a hundred per cent by the time I set off for work at about 10.15.

1 miles, 0 locks. (43 miles, 14 locks)

Monday, 1 May 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend: Day 4

There was quite a lot of rain in the night, but today has been much better than forecast. As we realised we had very little in store for lunch, we put the bread machine on first thing. We set off at about quarter to nine; Adrian brought the boat while I walked to Stoke Hammond Lock.

A Wyvern hire boat was just about to come up, with a family on board. The mother said they'd had some boating holidays a long time ago, but it was a first time for their daughters, and the dog was being a nightmare! It certainly seemed quite keen to get off the boat. Below Stoke Hammon lock there seems to be quite a colony of Mandarin Ducks. The other day I saw four males there, today a male and female.

When we got to Fenny Lock, two boats had just come out but they'd already closed the swing bridge. But first one then anither boat arrived below, and they did the bridge. With so many crew from other boats, we got through hardly lifting a finger. We moored up right behind Valerie and Jaq came on board for a cup of tea. She arrived with her timer, as a cake had just gone in the oven. We chatted for a good hour and a half, remembering her Les, talking about America, and of course congratulating ourselves on having composting loos. At times it was pretty emotional, which is understandable. Jaq will be on the move again soon, so if you see her, give her a hug.

It was about midday when we set off again. Just outside Fenny was a whole procession of boats including an enormous widebeam. I was glad we met it where we did, and not in lots of other places. Around Simpson we started seeing runners taking part in the Milton Keynes Marathon. We saw then on and off right the way through to Great Linford. We had lunch on the move, ticking off the bridges along the long pound through MK. At Stantonbury we caught up with the Jules' Fuels pair, which meant our progress was slowed a bit. We moored up again at Wolverton, as Adrian needed to get a train back to London. Once I'd seen him off, I returned to the boat and set off again. As I crossed the Iron Trunk Aqueduct, I worried that this duck was feeling a bit suicidal.

Cosgrove Lock needed turning, then as I was nearly up a boat arrived at the top. A waiting boat really gets in the way at this lock, so I suggested they come into the lock beside me, and then I would leave -- so for a brief moment there were two boats in the lock, facing opposite directions.

There was masses of space at Cosgove, so in an effort to extend the weekend a little I've moored up, and will do the last mile back to the marina tomorrow, before work.

By the way, well done to whoever has cleaned up the bin compound at Cosgrove. On Friday, there was an overflowing bin outside the compound, while inside looked like a disaster area, with all sorts of things dumped all over the place -- including many which shouldn't have been there at all, like cans of oil, batteries, and gas bottles. It was tricky to actually walk to the bins. While I was there, a man came and took a photo. Today, everything has been cleared, the compound is easily accessible, and all the bins are now inside the fence.

15 miles, 3 locks. (42 miles, 14 locks)

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend: Day 3

Late yesterday afternoon the sun came out and the temperature went up; we had the side hatch open until about 8pm. This morning wasn't as overcast as yesterday, or as the forecast had predicted, but it was a bit breezy. We set off at a little after 8.30; it seemed like a long time since we'd been beyond here into Leighton Buzzard. At Leighton lock I left the camera on the boat, so Adrian started snapping away.

At the Wyvern hire base we counted 14 boats moored up -- on occasions we've been past in the winter there have been as many as 35 there. It meant there was plenty of room to get through, and people had even moored on the towpath opposite.

I went cautiously through the bridge after the shopping mooring, as you can't see very much. Once I was through I found the Jules' Fuels boats coming towards me, breasted up. At least there's a winding hole there so there was plenty of room; almost anywhere else along here would have been worse.

We carried on to Grove Lock, where I used the little arm below the lock to turn around. The wind was pretty strong and not entirely helpful, but we got round easily enough and started re-tracing our steps. We went past the Jules' Fuels boats on the shopping moorings; we knew they'd be stopping to serve the long term moorers here, because one of them had asked if we'd seen them. Back at Leighton Lock, a boat had just arrived below but it was in our favour we we went down first. We passed last night's mooring spot about three hours after we'd left it.

Yesterday, one of the boats moored near the top of the Soulbury Three had been feeding the ducks, and I'd counted twelve ducklings. The lady said there had been thirteen to begin with. Today, all remaining twelve were still present and correct.

At the Soulbury locks, we had to turn the top lock, but could see another bkat coming up the bottom one and soon to go into the middle. That meant we could leave the gates open and cross in the pound. It was the Bromley Youth Trust boat, which we also saw yesterday.

There were a couple of volunteer lock keepers om duty, so the gates of the bottom lock had also been left open for us. A boat conveniently arrived at the bottom, too, so we did all three locks without having to close a gate after we'd left a lock.

We continued just a short way on, and moored in another favourite spot. One summer evening we watched lapwings in the field opposite. The water level is a bit low, and the chances are that it might fall a bit further tonight, but we'll see. After lunch we washed the side of the boat, as the really dirty side was now on the towpath, and I cut up some pallet that the new fridge arrived on for kindling. It's been in storage under the bed. It's been partly sunny this afternoon, but also very blustery at times.

10 miles, 5 locks. (27 miles, 11 locks)

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend: Day 2

We had a very quiet night at Campbell Park at Milton Keynes, but as we had trouble getting the fire going to any great extent last night, the boat was pretty chilly by this morning. We had porridge for breakfast, and set off at a little after 8.30. We had only about half a bag of coal on board, so were hoping to come across a fuel boat. Sure enough, a bit further through MK we found Gary on Ascot selling diesel to a moored boat; we went alongside too, and bought a bag of coal. A Wyvern hire boat coming the other way seemed a bit confused about what was going on.

As we went through Simpson a swan got up from her nest and started turning her eggs. The Canada geese at Fenny Stratford were a step ahead as they had lots of fluffy yellow goslings.

At Fenny we were looking out for Jaq on Valerie. There was a Briar Rose sized space right behind so we pulled in and knocked on the boat a couple of times; there was no answer, so we decided we'd carry on a try to meet up again when we're on our way back on Monday. Two boats were coming out of Fenny Lock so they left the gates open and the bridge swung put of the way for us. No sooner were we in the lock than Jaq appeared on her way back from the shops. We had a nice chat, then she waited for us to go through the lock and swing the bridge back. Here she is on the left, sitting outside the pub.

We swapped with boats coming down at Stoke Hammond lock, then at the Three Locks at Soulbury a couple of boats had just come down so the bottom lock was in our favour. We had to turn the other two, though.

At the top, it wasn't entirely clear what was going on, as there was a Wyvern boat on the lock landing but no-one making any sign of working the lock. By the time we'd come up, two more boats had arrived, one pulling alongside the Wyvern as it to make a point -- and the Wyvern crew were having lunch on the well deck!

I was aiming for a favourite mooring spot just through Bridge 109, and amazingly (considering how many moored boats there are in these parts) the whole area was free. We moored up at about 1pm, had the rest of last night's lasagne for lunch, and decided we wouldn't be going any further today. Adrian, who's been working lots of hours again, even went for an afternoon nap. Later, we did a circular walk, going across Bridge 109 and the railway line, picking up the Cross Bucks Way across some fields to Bridge 110, and back along the tow path.

9 miles, 5 locks. (17 miles, 6 locks)

Friday, 28 April 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend: Day 1

I've been on a set of night shifts, but I got away in good time this morning and had an easy drive up the M1, arriving at the marina at 8.15. Just half an hour later i was pulling out of our berth and heading south. I didn't go far -- just to the service block at Cosgrove, because i wanted to empty the loo. I last did it in September, and it hasn't been used for a while so it was well composted down. While I did that, I also filled the water tank, which seemed to be fairly empty.

I'd seen a small boat arrive by road down by the trip boat and be put into the water. As I approached the lock it was just going in, and turned out to be the electro-fishing guys, who I guess are getting zander out of the canal. I did wonder why they'd used the lock when you'd have thought they could have carried the boat down there.

I turned the lock and went down, chatting as I did so to a boater who moors at Taverners, just across from our marina. Next stop was Wolverton, but there wasn't a space to be had on the rings by the flats. One of the boats there was Silver Melody, last year's Crick Show winner, which I did the boat test on. The owners were just going shopping, so I was able to have a quick conversation. I went through the bridge and moored on the piling beyond; the only downside was that the railway lone was literally just a few feet away.

I did some work writing up Monday's boat test, then went to Tesco to fill the fridge and the cupboards. Adrian was on his way on the train, after meetings in London this morning, and he arrived at about 2pm from Wolverton Station. We set off again to get away from the trains. My original target had been Bridge 75 at Stantonbury, but when we got there it was only quarter to three, so i decided to carry on a bit. Just after the bridge we passed the Exbury Egg moored up.

We carried on into Milton Keynes, where I reckon the number of widebeams is fast approaching the number of narrowboats. When we got to Campbell Park, much to my surprise the park side moorings were completely free, so we moored up there. I've already made the meat sauce for a lasagne, so we'll have that and then it'll be an early night, as i will soon have been up for 24 hours.

8 miles, 1 lock.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Annual Report

Here are the figures for this year.  546 miles in the year isn't too bad; the number of locks, at 257 is surprisingly low.  I put this down to the fact that we spent quite a bit of our big trip in September on the Trent, where there are miles and miles between locks; some years we've done more locks than that in our big trip on its own.  74 nights on board is pretty good.

On to the waterways travelled this year:

  • Ashby Canal
  • Birmingham and Fazeley Canal (detatched portion)
  • Coventry Canal
  • Cranfleet Cut
  • Erewash Canal
  • Fosdyke Navigation
  • Grand Union Canal Leicester Section
  • Grand Union Canal Mainline
  • North Oxford Canal
  • Nottingham-Beeston Canal
  • River Soar
  • River Trent
  • Trent and Mersey Canal

Monday, 24 April 2017


A quick trip to Blisworth today for a boat test -- in, frankly, less than idwal weather. The forecast had been fine until yesterday when things changed a bit. As we tried tomposition the boat in front of the mill for photos, I could see a boat heading towards us through the bridge. When it was a fair way off, I recognised it as Waiouru; just time for a quick hello to Tom and Jan as they passed. After that it was a run up to the junction and back.

Once the boat test was over I drove down to our marina to check that Briar Rose was ok. My route too me over Blisworth tunnel with its telltale vent chimneys.

Briar Rose was fine. I was delighted to discover that the batteries were on 100 per cent. Last time we left the boat, I left the shoreline off, so we've been relying on the solar panel.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Hartland on test

The May edition of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test of the Brayzel boat, Hartland.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Reedley Marina

Another fairly early start, as today's boat test was the furthest north we've been for one. I drove to Towcester and parked the car, and Andy the photographer picked me up at 7am. The weather most of the way was fairly murky, but once we were into Lancashire we could see the edge of the cloud out to the west. We got to Reedley Marina at around 10.30 and as the weather was still very cloudy and dark we did all the internal shots and note-taking. The winding hole was 45 minutes away, so at about 12.30 we decided to set out, in the hopes that by the time we turned we sky would have cleared a bit. This strategy worked pretty well, as conditions improved the whole way, and by the time we were back at the marina it was turning into a nice afternoon. We reckon the photos will also be sunny enough.
The Leeds and Liverpool canal is completely new to me, and the small stretch we did today has a lot going for it. There are views of the hills, old mills, and mile posts telling you how far you are from both Leeds and Liverpool.
It was around 3pm by the time we left, and past 6pm by the time I was back at the boat -- so a pretty long day.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Monday work

An even earlier start this morning, as I needed to catch the 0500 train from Wolverton to London. There was a frost, and I had to scrape the car windscreen. I was back at the boat by half-four this afternoon, and it had clearly been sunny because the batteries were up to a hundred per cent thanks to the solar panel. Not quite such an early start tomorrow, but it will be a day with a long journey in it.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Sunday work

An early drive to work this morning -- and a bit later Adrian headed home.  I've come back to the boat, as I have a boat test later in the week, so this is really just here to log a night on board.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Birthday Weekend: Day 2

We had a very nice evening last night. Somewhat to our surprise, Nigel turned up; Matthew was feeling so ill that only his mum would do, so Catherine stayed at home. The three of us chatted about boats, trains, garden birds, and a whole load of other things. The food at the Walnut Tree was, as usual, excellent.

This morning was blustery and chilly again. We set off at about 8.30, travelled slowly down to the tunnel, and went through without seeing another boat. At Stoke Bruerne we spotted Waiouru moored up, and Tom looked out for a brief chat. A boat had just come up the top lock and one was going down, so we joined him. It was a single hander. Once the boats had started descending, I went and knocked on Kathryn's door. She emerged with a couple of her famous cheese scones, still warm from the oven. We had only the briefest of chats today, but we both enjoyed a scone as we went down the flight. By now, Tom had arrived armed with a windlass, and kindly helped us all the way down. It meant the single hander was able to stay on his boat, which he was very grateful for. Here's Tom, working.

Progress seemed a bit slow, as we had a boat going down in front of us, and two hire boats in front of them. These were mob handed, yet very inefficient -- lots of running about, but very little gate or paddle action at times. We also started meeting boats coming up, which included a lock of three small boats. With us, the boat in front, and the three, one pound ended up with six boats in it.

Despite it seeming slow going, we actually made very good time down the locks. And as we were helping our single hander, and the boat in front, we all felt we'd done good deeds en route. It was about eleven o'clock by the time we reached the bottom, so we moored up and put the kettle on. Tom joined us for tea as a reward for his hard word (unless it's his Jan reading this, in which case he was working hard the whole time!)

Once Tom had headed back up the flight it was almost lunchtime, so we decided to stay put and have lunch. We set off again just before 1pm, in sunshine but more strong winds. There were lots of boats on the move, many of them from the Lionhearts moorings in Milton Keynes. The turn into the marine was difficult because of the strength of the wind, but at least it was blowing straight down the pontoons. That makes it a lot easier to spin round and reverse into our berth. Adrian said it was one of the best entries he'd seen.

Once the boat was secure we drove up to Heyford Fields to collect the other car. Since then we've washed the pontoon side of the boat (it was filthy from the hull having been pressure washed -- I gave the other side a quick wash down yesterday), we've filled the water tank, and we've taken everything off the well deck and given that a good clean too. In spite of a forecast for heavy thunder showers, we've had only about five rain drops. Tomorrow, I'm got an early shift at work, while Adrian will go home.

8 miles, 7 locks. (13 miles, 7 locks)

Friday, 31 March 2017

Birthday Weekend: Day 1

It's my birthday today, and we were due to pick up the boat from being blacked. We had a slow drive up, as for the first part of the journey we went cross country due to an accident a severe delays on the M27. We dropped off one car at our marina, having a quick chat to Hallie as we left, who was also doing a car shuffle. When we got to Heyford Fields, Briar Rose was still in the shed, as they were waiting for the farmer to come with the tractor to put the boat back in the water. It meant we got to see the process, involving a big hydraulic cradle, which lifts the boat in a very gentle way.

It was very windy, so getting out of the marina was a real challenge. It also made it hard work just keeping in a straight line in places. We've come along to Blisworth and moored up just by Bridge 49. We have a table booked at the Walnut Tree this evening; we're being joined by my second cousin, Catherine -- her husband Nigel was also due to be coming but their Matthew isn't well so he's staying to look after him.

5 miles, 0 locks.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Blacking Weekend: Day 3

The clocks changed to summer time during the night -- but some of us were so tired we put our watches forward at about 9pm, to justify going to bed right away! During the evening, there had been a robin singing his heart out in the hedgerow right next to the side hatch.

This morning we were up and ready in good time, and set off just before 8.30. It was another fine day with a chilly wind. Brian and Mike got off at a bridge to walk for a bit.

Adrian was packing up as we went along, so by the time we had turned into Heyford Fields Marina and moored at the bottom of the slipway, we were pretty much ready to go. It was just a matter of transferring stuff into the car, and heading off back to our marina to pick up Brian's car. They headed off, and as it was still really early in the day, we called in at Stowe Landscape Garden in Buckingham on the way home. There are 250 acres to walk round, with more follies than you can shake a stick at.

We had an early lunch and then headed home on very quiet sunny Sunday lunchtime roads.

2 miles, 0 locks. (16 miles, 9 locks)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Blacking Weekend: Day 2

We woke to sunshine but a chilly wind. Having had breakfast, we set off at 9am towards Cosgrove Lock. This is Mike's photo -- in which the sky looks amazing.

Brian and Mike walked all the way from there to Stoke Bruerne locks, which is a good few miles. Along the way we saw Fields of tiny lambs.

We gave our guests a necessary coffee at the bottom of the locks, and then set off. It soon became clear that we were following a boat up, which turned out to be a widebeam. It also became clear that they were having trouble with low pounds up ahead. The problem seems to have been that the lock by the A508 bridge has new bottom gates, with new paddle gear -- which is very stiff. That means it's easy to not fully wind down the paddles, meaning the pound above is drained. So with up waiting in that lock, and the widebeam in the one above, I ran some water down through the lock from the long pound.

The long pound was also getting quite low, so I phoned Kathryn and asked her if she could run some water down from the Stowe Hill pound. After a bit of a pause, we were on the move again, and we met up with Kathryn below the second lock. Stoke Bruerne was busy in the lovely spring weather.

We moored up just beyond Sculptor for lunch, and Kathryn joined us -- so we had a very merry hour or so. We set off again at around 2.30 for the tunnel, which was very cold and wet. We came through Gayton Junction and continued to a spot we haven't moored at before, just short of the new Banbury Lane Bridge. Here the trains aren't quite as noisy. This evening we have a roast going in the oven.

12 miles, 8 locks. (14 miles, 9 locks)