I’m so glad we did our cruise over the last few weeks rather than earlier as we had planned. It’s a great time to be out. There’s something about the autumn light on a fine day that lifts the spirits. Yesterday we did our final day’s cruise from Napton to Crick in near perfect conditions. Since we started out nearly a month ago the colours have mellowed while the low sunlight has intensified and the open countryside looked as good as it ever could.
Add to that, the general reduction in boat traffic and the greater availability of mooring space and you have a recipe for an ideal time to cruise. If you should be hiring a boat it would be a fair bit cheaper too. The hire bases we passed had plenty of boats waiting for customers. I bet there would be deals to be done.
I wish there was a good use for hawthorn berries, we could have picked a ton of them. The hedgerows are a blaze of red at the moment. We did make some hawthorn berry wine many years ago, but as far as I remember it was undrinkable. Mind you, a lot of our home made wine was pretty grim in those days. There are lots of crab apples again this year, so we could easily make a few jars of crab apple jelly I suppose.
What we really wanted to find though was sloes, and there seemed to be a dearth of them on the Oxford canal.
Now I’m back home sorting through the photos and wishing I had taken more, especially of the Leicester Arm up to Crick yesterday, which was looking magnificent.
We nearly didn’t make it back to Crick. Only by special pleading did we get the lockie at Watford staircase to let us through as it was closing time just as we arrived. Then to end a perfect day I backed us into our mooring slot in text book fashion, which tells you of course that no one was watching. I wish I could say the same about this morning when we took Herbie across to the diesel pump for a refill. The customary Crick marina private breeze had returned and my return to our slot would best be described as inelegant. Of course, we had an audience that time.
We saw some interesting boats yesterday but I’ll save those for a later post.