There were several reasons to leave early, one was to avoid any boats in Fenny Compton Tunnel, non boaters won't know that this long stretch of this busy canal used to be a real tunnel many years ago and today has been left without the roof, its overgrown with greenstuff each side so meeting another boat there is going to be a scrape.
Secondly we wanted to fill with water at Fenny Compton without a queue
Thirdly we wanted to get to Marston Doles, the top of the Napton flight and moor up to use the car parked there and go to the Banbury Boat Festival this afternoon.
All good and easy through the "Tunnel", watered up in Fenny Compton without problems so then on towards Marston Doles.
On one of the corners, sharp corners of which there are many, we slowed to a snails pace and hooted , we crept around and met another boat who had heard our horn and reacted accordingly, unlike last year when a total lunatic came around the bend like a bat out of hell, taking no prisoners, David avoided him by the skin of his teeth but is still cross about it.
Further on we came around a hire boat, he was going in our direction but was well and truly grounded, David offered to help the helmsman if he wanted any help but he declined and said they were fine, but as we passed another man situated in the well deck wearing rather startling shorts along with bad socks, agreed that they needed help. A tow was offered again and this time readily accepted.
This "Shorts" man then proceeded to really annoy David by telling him what to do..... Maybe he is a manager from some flash company in London and only knows giving instructions but he got right up David's nose but calling out "Take the rope" from about 30ft away while David was reversing the boat in line. So finally when in position, boat line connected just about to move gently off, another non hirer boat comes around the corner also going the same direction as us, not going slowly either and starts to overtake! Some arm waving took place and to the amazement of ALL present this boat then pulls back and tries to overtake on the inside, Reader I kid you not.
So all settled down and we got them off, the third boat behaved itself and stayed put and off the small convoy set.
Next up in the 'Grande Entertainment Saga' was another lunatic, this rare time it was a woman helm of a boat, she was coming towards us heading south and on another of those very sharp bends, she was on the wrong side of the canal at the start, but as she entered the bend she just kept coming, straight at us, (no slowing down or anything like that)
only the revving in reverse gear by David and early use of the Cissy Button (Bow thrusters) saved us from a collision but we were concerned that in our efforts to avoid her we were going to collide with the rescued boat behind us who was now a bit close now to our stern.
She carried on without pause passing us on the wrong side no apologies, no eye contact no backward glance.
Shaken and mystified, we were almost where we wanted to be... But then around a corner about half a mile from the locks we came across a mooring in the sun, on this very much last day of the Indian Summer so existing plans were abandoned, we moored up even though it was a bit rickety and got the chairs out straight out.
No Banbury after all. Sorry.
|I haven't seen this before|
|Glorious sunshine this morning and the views of around the South Oxford Canal.|
|Now this did take us by surprise... the water on which the boat sat appears to be higher than the canal if that could be.|
Later when we had moored up, vintage narrowboats Nuneton and Brighton came by, HERE they called out to say they were on their way to the K&A one of their bi annual trips they make, good boys holiday me thinks..
Here comes NB Brighton being towed on a long rope in the old fashion way.
|So this chap is merely steering but he was sniggering at David....|
|Who came running with extra pins and his mallet after the two boats pulled our pins out!!|
Lunch was great in the sun, a mezze of smoked salmon with cream cheese, grapes, tomatoes, cheeses, granary bread and seeded biscuits oh plus a glass of.
I read 54% of my new book.
Supper was a mushroom omelette.