Saturday, 1 August 2015

Aynho Wharf

A very tranquil night out in rural Oxfordshire.  Jan actually heard a noise and got up at 2am to find Waiouru surrounded by mist.  The noise was the ropes creaking.  We weren’t the first boat to move this morning but those we did see were going in the opposite direction.  That meant the first two locks were in our favour.

Jan noticed a garden in front of a canal side house.

floating garden

A floating garden!

We stopped at the Heyford Wharf water tap and whilst filling the tank I got my first glimpse of a “killer rabbit”.  It’s the first time I have seen one!

killer rabbit

After Heyford Wharf we found a short queue at every lock with boats going up and down.  It’s interesting how you can think you are the only boat on the canal until you reach a lock and then discover the canal is almost crowded Smile

busy lock

Three going up and two coming down

Once through each lock we were back on our own.  At one point we passed a large barn.  I assume the holes have been left in the sides for owls.  The farmer encourages to owls to control mice.  Am I wrong?

old large barn

At one point we were going around a blind bend in the canal when a hire boat appeared from the opposite direction.  The poor steerer lost control and they ended up with their bow in the bank.  Not that it appeared to worry the lady on board.  She called out “Waiouru!” and one of the male passengers called out “We’re from Hamilton”.  More kiwi tourists enjoying the canals.


The kiwi’s recover!

Somerton Deep Lock is aptly named.  It also takes longer to fill and empty.  That resulted in an even longer lock queue.  Still, everyone was enjoying the fine weather and crews were assisting each other through the lock.

somerton deep lockThe former lock keeper’s cottage is occupied I must check on google If there Is road access. It does not appear to have mains electricity as a petrol generator could be heard rumbling in the background. 

somerton lock cottageJust after leaving Somerton Deep Wharf we passed NB Ratty.  Actually we stopped and reversed back to discuss fenders with Doug & Jeanne. 


We first met them below Foxton Locks in 2013.  They make and sell rope fenders and we bought two of their long thin sausage fenders for the bow.  This time we wanted two more for the stern.  I’ll take a photo when they are fitted.

On one long straight it appeared a narrowboat was approaching from the opposite direction.  However the scale appeared wrong.  It wasn’t a row boat or canoe as there was no sign of oars or paddles.  As it got closer we realised is was a small electric boat.

electric boat

Now will he go down through Somerton Deep Lock?

We want to stop for the weekend and also have the usual Sunday roast so we decided to carry on to Aynho.  There was a very familiar boat moored at the southern end.


Last time we saw NB Barrogill she was for sale at Clifton Wharf, Rugby.

Jan has been noting the interesting names some people give their boats.  This one appeared to be particularly amusing.

noddy boat

The ringed moorings here are 48 hour max and as we won’t be leaving until Monday morning we’ve moored just beyond those moorings against a bit of rough ground.  Everything is fine.  We have the dot in the sky, a terrestrial TV signal and a good internet signal.

aynho wharf sml  I’d like to buy a spare belt for the 175A alternator but the Aynho Wharf chandlery doesn’t have any in stock.  We will have to keep looking.

No comments :