Sunday, 29 June 2014

Stuck down a big hole.

Sorry to leave Somerton Meadows, again I would have been happy to have stayed longer but you know what’s what when you need a pump out.

First fun filled stop was Somerton Deep Lock, now I have to tell you that I didn’t really take too seriously the view,  of the older than me couple,  on the boat in front that the lock door was heavy  “Today”.  In fact I jested that we felt we had been in training on the K&A, but, yes David had to come help me to open the gate after emptying the lock, truth to tell I let him do the whole thing and quite enjoyed him pushing it almost horizontally against the end step, nice shiny slippery bricks they have here too, so fully stretched he was too, I did help, I used one index finger to push, I would have used two but I have broken a nail.
So back down to the WaL which was on the lock landing he skipped and brought WaL into the lock, or indeed tried to as the gate remained open to about 10 degrees.  Doesn’t sound much does it non boaty chums however it s massive in a narrow lock.  So there was me now,  I was the one horizontally giving it my all pushing on the lock gate to keep it as open as I could…. I wasn’t good enough and as Wal came in,  slowed then captain put his collective foot down on the throttle and whammered it for Queen and Country….. Well he did get in eventually but not without a loss of black paint.  
I am not too unhappy about this as as soon as its all off he says we will have the black repainted in that nice non shiny paint.  So with more black paint off, I set about closing the gate.   So yes,  fresh from the K&A angry and determined I was,  could I shift it? Could I heck.
Up David had climb up this time, he hates heights too, only together could we close the lower gate, yes only two young things working together in their joint primes could close and empty lock gate.  Before you ask no nothing was visible behind the gate in the water.
Comments CART? 
Well I am waiting for their comments as I emailed CART with this photo

It does not look that big a deal but Reader it certainly is.

A long climb down for a poor soldier who hates heights.

At last.

So final in we were and up we came and out and on our way, me having a bit of a rest.  Which was just as well as next stop was Aynho Wharf.  Breasted up alongside another boat them wanting water and diesel and us wanting water and a pump out.  Very nice people at this boat yard but that doesn’t change the fact that we were there for a whole hour.
The other boat only decided to put their hose onto the slow filling water point after they had finished the diesel…. yawn yawn.  
Well at least in the hour I had scrubbed the bathroom out, emptied the bin and swept the entire boat floor. 

FINALLY on our way again through the Lozenged shaped lock.  this is where the river Cherwell runs into the canal, there is a feeder stream just above the lock which has to be watched in times of hefty rainfall but clearly not today.
Aynho Weir Lock, such a pretty setting.

River entering from the right

This taken half way along the wall, its where the river water meets the canal water.

Several boats were coming towards us at the locks so I was able to ask what the mooring situation was like in Banbury, the first boat said Oh its pretty full, especially above the lock.
The next one said Oh there’s lots of spaces when we left…..   
Considering that we had no intension of going on any further than Banbury, I mentioned this to another crew lady waiting for the lock after us, this lady said “Oh we are just going here”, so I reported this to David and in two seconds flat we decided to do the same.  

Hope these are rare caterpillars 

Top part of this plant stripped.

Here we are then, just above Kings Sutton Lock.  A nice long straight section of armco, actually we reckon that there is more armco here on this stretch than we saw on the entire length of the K&A…
Its quiet and not busy just how we like it.

Later we got the bikes out, cycled around the bend to the road bridge and away down to the village of Kings Sutton, there we caught the train to Tackley almost to Oxford, fetched the car and drove back here.  This weekend we are going to be “Bridge Hoppers”.

Supper was a Skinny Day supper of salmon, asparagus and french beans with red berry fruit salad.


  1. That gate looks worse than when we came up at the beginning of the year. I guess an email to CRT from me too!

    That gate looks like it has been clouted it is so bent that is why you couldn't get it to open properly. It wasn't like that when we came through so things have got worse.

    We have been planning what to do, after reading the blog, when we have to go down because I am a terrible whimp with ladders after falling from one in my younger days and having one come tip over on me in high wind landing me on my back with the ladder on top!

    See you soon hopefully

    1. Dear Sue,
      I suggest getting to Somerton, putting the kettle on and waiting until a nice beefy Hireboater comes along. There is bound to be one if you time the day right....
      GOOD LUCK!!
      Lisa x