Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Onto the Southern Oxford Canal

Tonight I feel like I have finally recovered from the 2 1/2 miles and 21 locks of the Hatton Flight.  We managed to do the whole flight in just under 2 hours 20minutes after we teamed up with another boat to share the locking burden. It was still hard work as there was a pair of boats ahead of us, requiring us to refill the lock before we could lock down. So 21 sets of fill and empty. We got into quite a smooth process, only held up by the pair ahead. One of us ladies (the lockies) went ahead to refill the next lock once the others had left the lock while the other completed the empty and gate opening of the current lock. So in the end we each did 10 1/2 locks but as it required both a fill and empty, we pretty much did 21 locks.  I was exhausted after that run!  We still had a few to go before stopped for the day. Thankfully Andrew locked those while I steered. I thought that I would sleep well that night, being so extremely worn out but it was not to be the muscles in my arms, shoulders and back were just to sore and I could not get comfortable.

I was not looking forward to the next day which was another flight, although smaller, but still a fair number of spaced out single locks. We ended up sharing the locking of all of these between us, as we did them all on our own.  That made it 48 locks over two days, 24 on each.

As can be expected, not a lot of pictures from these two days. We were just too busy.  I did get this though late in the afternoon as we were coming up to the Southern Oxford Canal junction.  And yes it was sunny and yes we both got a touch of red but we had put on suntan lotion! 

ooooohh a sunny day
We eventually moored up at the bottom of the Napton flight. The weather was so good Andrew broke out the deck chairs and little table and we both sat enjoying the evening with a beer for one and cider for the other. You can decide for yourselves who had what :)  (should have broken out the camera at this point but forgot and was too tired)

Windmill at top of Napton Hill
A better nights sleep for me in readyness for todays locks. Now we are back on the narrow canal and narrow locks, makes life a lot easier.

a bit of countryside

originally Fenny Tunnel, but not any more

lovely cast iron bridge at end of 'tunnel'
All in all another great day cruising but the beautiful weather has not held. It has been overcast and growing chilly throughout the day. This evening it has been raining lightly and this is expected to continue for a few days. Hopefully it will not be too heavy as I would be very upset if we have traveled all this way to get on to the Thames and then find it closed due to flooding!

But we cannot control the weather (unfortunately) and will do what we can.  So until next time, cheers and have fun, I know we are :)

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