Saturday, 26 September 2015

Napton on the Hill

The crew returned from their weekend away, and on Tuesday 22/09 we set off for Banbury. We would not have done so, if the Met Office had correctly predicted the weather. We dropped down a couple of locks towards Cropredy and popped into the marina for services and diesel. This Marina is owned by the same company as Crick Marina, where the annual boat show is held. Whilst waiting we discussed berthing arrangements for the Cropredy Festival. They are currently taking bookings for 2017 as it is a very popular event. No sooner had we departed the marina the rain started. The forecast had been for a 20% chance of a shower. What we got was a downpour virtually all day. On the outskirts of Banbury we winded at Grimsbury Wharf, then moored up adjacent to the large retail park. A short walk later and we were in the Tesco superstore. We had moored the boat using pins, but in the short time we were away these had loosened due the ground being sodden. We opted for a quick, late lunch then set off again with the intention of reaching the village of Williamscot. By the time we had secured the boat it was nearly 7pm. A very late finish for us.
The following day Wednesday 23/09 was much better. It was warm and dry, so we travelled with most of the doors and windows open to air the boat. Our destination was Wormleighton, a spot we stopped at on the way. We ascended the locks through Cropredy, and then the flight at Claydon. We were now back on the summit section of the Oxford Canal. Passing through Fenny Compton there were a few mooring spaces and we did not encounter much boat traffic. The canals are starting quieten down now the main season is over. Arriving at Wormleighton we found our spot. Looking over the fields we could see the windmill on the top of the hill at Napton, three miles away as the crow flies. Five hours by boat though. We then saw a strange sight, a family of swans swimming in a line with the adult birds front and rear and the cygnets between. One of the cygnets looked smaller than the others and as they got closer it was clear why. It was a goose that appears to have been adopted.



Having had an arduous day on Tuesday we decided a day of rest was in order, and as this was a nice spot we stayed put on Thursday 24/09.
Whilst here we were again logged by CRT, they seem quite regular on this stretch of canal.
Friday 25/09 was another fine day, setting off just after 8am. Our destination was a pound in the Napton flight by bridge 116. It was another quite day meeting only two boats during the journey. We stopped for water at Marston Doles, then descended three locks to our chosen location. It was warm, sunny, and with good views across the countryside it was the perfect spot. We also had what appeared to be water buffalo as neighbours.



After securing the boat we walked down the flight to 'The Folly'. This was to book our Sunday roast but as it was lunchtime we took advantage of their hospitality.
Today we had a walk into the village for supplies at the little shop, then it was back to the boat to wait for the England/Wales rugby to begin. We will stay here till Monday when we will set off for Flecknoe.

Tuesday 22/09 totals 7 Miles 9 Locks

Wednesday 23/09 totals 9 Miles 9 Locks

Friday 25/09 totals 5 Miles 3 Locks

Running total 598 Miles 288 Locks 19 Tunnels

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