Sunday, 28 April 2013

The leaving of Oxford

Despite some earlier reservations we had a quiet night moored on the Thames above Osney Lock.  Having previously done the tourist thing in Oxford on an earlier holiday in the UK we didn’t want to spend much time in the city.

All the angles

Christ’s College 

The weather forecast was for showers in the afternoon so an early start to the cruising was planned.  This part of the Thames almost looks like a canal.  It was a very short cruise to the junction where the Thames and the Oxford Canal meet.

Right turn for the South Oxford Canal.  The red boat is moored.

The short channel to the first lock passes under two quite low railway bridges.  On the west side of the cutting is a derelict railway swing bridge.  The bridge abutments and approaches still exist but the original rail alignment has gone being replaced by multi-storey housing.

The deck of the old rail swing bridge on the right bank

Isis Lock is to the left and Jan gets to work the first of many narrow locks which we’ll be doing over the coming years.  Not that we’ve never used narrow locks on our previous boating holidays.  It’s just new to Waiouru.

Yes…. the fenders had been removed before we entered the lock!

The stretch of canal between Isis Lock and the junction to Duke’s Cut appeared to contain a significant number of boats on linear moorings.  We also happened to notice a number of them weren’t displaying a current licence.

During this ‘tick-over’ passage past the linear moorings Jan was required to open the first of two locked manual lift bridges.  She had difficulty opening this bridge but eventually managed to unlock it when a passing ‘local’ told Jan to sit on the end of the bridge whilst simultaneously twisting the BW key.

We arrived at Dukes Cut junction to find a boat descending the adjacent lock so we ‘hovered’ in the junction whilst waiting for the lock to be available.

Under the bridge to Dukes Cut whilst we go right into the lock and up the South Oxford.

The next pound seemed quiet and rather picturesque until a boat came from the opposite direct and we went aground during the passing manoeuvre.  The South Oxford seems very shallow, or have we been spoilt by the Thames?

A pattern appeared to be developing as we met another boat descending in the next lock.  Actually there were two boats and we might have gone up between then except the second boat turned the lock in front of us and refilled it for their own passage down.  The boater studiously ignored us as he exited the lock.  Oh well…… we’re not in a hurry!

Entering the lock

Above the lock a group of canoeists appeared.  they were a complete contrast to those we had previously seen on the Kennet & Avon.  Dressed in slacks, blazers and straw boater hats with their canoes full of wine, cheese and crackers.  A group of young men having an amusing outing on the canal.

Got to go back for the crate of wine (being eyed by Jan!)

Black clouds appeared overhead and the light started to fade.  Then the rain started to fall.  Before long Jan mentioned “Some of this rain is solid!”  Ouch…. Yes it was hail!  Fortunately we were almost at Thrupp where we’ve found a 48 hour mooring which will do us fine.  The weather forecast is for showers in the morning and fine in the afternoon so the plan is to stay where we are tomorrow morning and have a Sunday pub roast lunch and then recommence the cruise north in the afternoon.

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