We cast off at 7:45 today. It was another lovely morning with a sky that looked as if it was stuffed with cotton wool balls.
In fact the whole day was most enjoyable. It remained hot and quite sunny up until around 3pm but there were always a few clouds around and quite a number of shady areas under the trees so there was some respite from the sun.
Shipton Weir Lock, which could perhaps be Shipton Weird Lock, is hexagonal, or octagonal if you count the gates, and has warning lights which are doubtless very helpful when the Cherwell is in spate. As we passed it was very sedate.
Northbrook Lock was really hard work and an earlier user had put a notice on the gates saying how they were unable to fill it until a wave came from the lock above. Being a honed athlete Peter managed to crack the gate open enough to let some additional water in!
Just to prove that Peter is superhuman and does everything, Romy took some pictures on her latest beloved gadget.
We saw a few more boats today but not many hire boats.
In fact every lock had been in our favour until Allen’s Lock.
We had planned on stopping somewhere around Heyford Common Lock but Straight ’n’ Narrow, who we caught up with at Allen’s Lock, and a couple of other boats had said that the gates at Somerton Deep Lock were extremely hard to move. So we decided to push on past this while there were several boats around rather than face that obstacle early the next morning. Straight ’n’ Narrow’s owners have a grandson named Oliver and had been trying to get a photo of Oliver since they first saw us several days ago.
Pearson says that the Oxford Canal is at its most charming and sublime between Thrupp and Heyford. We certainly found it a most attractive section all the way to the other side of Somerton Deep Lock where we moored just beyond the lifting bridge 193. This is a quiet rural place just far enough from the railway.