The bit of the R.Cherwell that you have to negotiate below Enslow was pretty high.
Another couple of inches and we would be in the “Do not proceed” area. Cautiously we went down the lock and on to the river only to find that it seemed fairly benign. Cruising at an admittedly smart pace, we were soon approaching Shipton Weir lock and the safety of the canal.
Little did we know that this would be a lock to remember, for all the wrong reasons.
Kath brought Herbie in safely enough while I was happy snapping with the SLR. Then coming back down the slope off the footbridge. . . .
my foot slipped on the greasy brickwork and I did a dive worthy of Tom Daley. Two twists and a pike I think it was. Unlike Tom however I didn’t make a smooth entry into the water, but instead onto the path. Heroically I saved the SLR by sacrificing my knee against the hard floor. Kath was most impressed with my athleticism. It is now 30 hours later and my knee is still very painful, not to mention being an interesting colour.
Gritting my teeth we motored on to Thrupp where there are fine moorings thanks to the work of the local cruising club. It was a fine afternoon with a nice clean bank to work from so I shampooed and polished Herbie’s starboard side.
Blimey, I’m in danger of being one of the despised shiny boat brigade. Whilst I was hard at it with the elbow grease a car drew up behind me and a gruff voice shouted at me to put my back into it. Hmmm, “I bet I know who that is” I thought, and turning round I found as expected the face of a certain Mr Maffi, known to haunt these areas.
Later in the pub we joined Maffi and Bones and Carol and George form NB Rock and Roll (bloggers all), plus Dusty the coalman and a handful of others for a meal and a drink or three. We talked all night and didn’t mention batteries or toilets once! We barely mentioned blogs!
Now, a day later we have arrived in Oxford. I was beginning to think we wouldn’t find a mooring. You nearly run out of canal before you find some, but we’re OK here 15mins walk from the city centre.