Tonight will be our last night aboard Oliver out on the cut, as tomorrow we’ll be back in the marina, and then Oliver will be up for sale. But worry not, new adventures await us for next year!
It was straight to T-shirt and shorts this morning, it was a lovely balmy warm start to the day with the sun shining and the birds singing.
Everyone is making the most of the canals, it’s been crazy busy with boats and the empty hire-boat moorings give testament to that. We spoke to a couple of different hire boaters who both said they’d looked to hire elsewhere, but couldn’t get a boat anywhere except on the Oxford. Poor old Oxford canal, it’s not feeling the love but it’s certainly busy!
We had a nice little stretch before Braunston with no locks, but boats not far in front and behind so we all moved along like a grand procession.
It wasn’t just boaters all moving together, these sheep were too. All that space and they’re nearly falling in the canal to fit around one tree!
There was a nice sense of order looking at these fields. We’re not sure why they’re in stripes like this but it looks good and we like it. There’s some pretty impressive machinery out and about too.
Sarah thought that the first boat below looked like it was really cool back in the day, slightly reminiscent of the A-Team. I preferred the second boat, what an awesome name 🙂
All too soon we reached Braunston and the locks. We went up the first lock with a hire boat and 3 crew which was great, but then in front of us another boat which had been coming down decided to turn and head our way. So we ended up going through the locks with them instead, but worry not, there were more boats coming up behind so the other crew still had company!
After the locks it’s only a few minutes until the tunnel. Sarah steered, and was quite lucky in that we only had to pass one other boat. We wondered why their light kept appearing and disappearing… as we got closer it turned out that the guy was just using a hand-held torch in one hand, and tiller in the other – although he did have port and starboard lights which greatly helped. It was a brand new sail-away, i.e. the boat was fitted with an engine and not much else! We also had another boat quite close behind us, which helped light our way quite nicely.
Once through the tunnel we moored up for the day. Plans of doing any chores went awry when Sarah had a bit of a fall putting the engine boards back – she’s ok but got a cracker of a bruise on her leg. So we had a bit of a rest instead – plenty of time for chores another day!