Thursday, 6 August 2015

Crowded Cropredy

Our first move this morning was less than a kilometre and resulted in us mooring just south of the footbridge over the canal adjacent to Spiceball Park.  On attempting to moor we discovered why this was the sole vacant slot. It was so shallow the stern was more than a metre from the bank. But we needed to moor in order to shop at Tesco so we used the bow as our exit point.  There wasn’t anything special about Tesco.  We managed to give them £100 and they gave us food.  It’s the first significant food shopping we had done since Newbury and the cupboards were starting to look bare.  The backpacks, shopping trolley and carry bags were all full for the walk back to Waiouru.  The bulk items (flour, UHT milk, beer, etc) will have to wait until we reach Rugby.

By the time we recommenced cruising the number of boats on the move had increased significantly resulting in a queue at each lock.  We found ourselves behind a Black Prince hire boat being crewed by Australians from NSW and Queensland.  They were very friendly and happy, provided cricket wasn’t mentioned.  They had the boat for a week and in their own words slowly made their way from Wigrams Turn to Banbury.

queingThey stopped before Cropredy whilst we carried on to the water point following an Oxfordshire hire boat with a family of eight aboard.  It transpired they had left two of their crew at Banbury intending to wind (turn) on the northern outskirts of the town and go back to the water point below Banbury Lock.  They missed both winding holes and carried on all the way the Cropredy.  It was the first time they had filled the water tank and despite there being good pressure from the tap it took them 90 minutes to fill their tank.  Their water pump must have almost been sucking rust off the bottom of the tank.

The lock cottage at Bourton Lock looks as bad as when we went this way in 2013.  Such a shame!  Our guess is there is no road access and that is contributing to the complexity and expense of refurbishing it.

bourton lock cottage

The Cropredy Festival starts in 8 days time and boats have already started to arrive with the objective of securing a good mooring.  It was a little frustrating to find some boats breasted up forcing passing boats into a one way alternating system.


bresting up

There is a long line of moored boats either side of the village.  It was slightly crowded at Cropredy Lock with a queue of boats going up and down whilst trying to manoeuvre around moored boats. 

cropredy lock

We’re pleased we won’t be attempting to go through Cropredy during the festival.

Last time we were this way Cropredy Marina was a dry basin with a few finger pontoons.  Now it’s a working marina.

cropredy marina

A breasted up pair of refurbished working boats were moored on the offside above Broadmoor Lock.

refurbished working boats

Behind them was an original timber narrowboat which obviously leaks as there was a continuous discharge of water over the side.

wooden boat Our cruising day didn’t finish until after 6pm.  It’s not that we covered a significant distance, but rather the lost time queuing at the locks.


Marilyn McDonald said...

Tom and Jan, We are hoping that we will finally get to meet you this season. We are away from the boat until Sunday and it's moored in Wigram's Turn. We'll be moving on Monday, up to Napton and up the flight, to turn and head down again. Will we get lucky and see you? Cheers, Marilyn and David

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Marilyn,

We are slowlymaking our way towards my dental appointment in Rugby. You will understand myreluctance to get there quickly! 😊

Marilyn McDonald said...

Well, I think that a sojourn beside the canal with a bottle of NZ wine may take your mind off the murder house visit.
We have Tony and Helen from nb Holderness meeting us for dinner on Sunday. David and I will be looking for you as we head up and part way down the Napton flight on Monday. Cheers, M

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Marilyn
we willbe at Fenny Compton for the weekend (Sunday roast)