What a glorious morning to wake up to at Aynho Wharf. We’ve somewhat been caught out on this trip, we were expecting to be eating bowls of soup while wearing our thermals – we haven’t go any shorts (or more to the point ice lollys) with us – doh!
We had a lovely catch up with Sarah and Tabitha before saying goodbye, we only went round the bend to the water point, it was great timing as soon after two other boats arrived. Sarah works in the shop at The Wharf (great commute from home to work!), she was just opening up so we had one last quick hello/ goodbye.
We were lucky enough to spot some Kingfishers today, but not quick enough to get the camera out, we also saw our first Heron. Some other sights just baffle us 1) why is there a post in the middle of nowhere 2) how does a single welly end up on top of it? Maybe it’s an ingenious cap to stop the rain getting in to the wood?!
We saw some of the CRT contractors cutting the verge, there seemed to be many chiefs and not enough indians…. a lot of standing around and shaking of heads.
We continued on our way, with some queues at the locks, with such wonderful weather and great scenery, it didn’t bother us.
We seem to take it in turns with helming and locking on this trip. I think it’s because I’m not allowed to drive a car now, so I’m loving being able to steer – I never thought I’d say that! I think the novelty of locking has definitely worn off on Toby, he ends up in the main with the older females chatting away (not many girls helm). They all think Toby is a real gentleman as he offers to open and close the gates for them all.
This is Somerton Deep Lock, with a drop of 12ft. We were quite impressed with how shiny the rubbing board has become over time.
Another lock was a tight squeeze, all the fenders were up apart from one at the front left which had dropped down. We got stuck, a bit of reversing and Toby getting on the roof to pull the fender up, and we were soon on our way.
We winded (turned) at Oxfordshire Narrowboats at Lower Heyford. Toby did a fab job, not touching the banks or the moored boats. Even though we had only just come down the stretch of canal, it all feels so different when you’re facing the other way.
We found a lovely place to moor overlooking an open field, which is quite unusual as often the towpaths are bordered by high hedges. This field was full of cows this morning, we may get an interesting wake up call!
As we moored up relatively early, Toby donned his working clothes and gave the engine bay some TLC.
We couldn’t finish today’s blog without a link to the epic 80’s power ballard by Bonnie Tyler. I’ve only just found out it’s called Total Eclipse of the Heart – to us, it will always be ‘Turn Around’