No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Welcome to the Jungle

Thursday 16th Sept 2010
Shipton on Cherwell to Aynho Wharf
13 Miles 8 Locks 3 Lift Bridges.

The Southern Oxford Canal has plenty of lift bridges, these for anyone who has not seen one are bridges that pivot from one end assisted by balance beams, if they are balanced correctly then they are very easy to operate.

There are plenty of these on the Southern Oxford

As they are pivoted on the opposite side to the Towpath one person off the boat needs to cross over the bridge and pull down on the chain which hangs from one of the balance beams, the bridge then pivots up so that the second person can bring the boat through, the problem arises when there is only one person on the boat.
Last night I looked at the Canal guide and decided that as I would not come to a Lift Bridge for at least 2 hours I would start early before Jayne got up, so an early start it was, image my surprise when after 5 minutes I came round a bend and was confronted by a Lift Bridge that I had missed on the map, I tied the boat up, just then another boat came around the corner so I went across the bridge and opened it, the other boat went through and I lowered it down, the steerer from the other boat then stopped and opened the bridge for me to take No Direction through, so problem resolved.
I followed the other boat to the first lock of the day, Shipton Weir Lock, takes boats from the Canal onto the River Cherwell for 3/4 of a mile before it becomes a Canal again, it's shape is unlike any other Lock I have seen it's diamond shape holds a lot of water and as it is filled from the river it ensures that the lower part of the Canal gets plenty of water, it also has the advantage of holding 3 boats.

Shipton Weir Lock

At the next Lock we let the other 2 boats go through first as we don't need to get anywhere fast.

After a couple more Locks we passed through a very overgrown area, Jayne called it a Jungle, fortunately we didn't meet anyone coming towards us.

Welcome to the Jungle

Sunbathing Cattle.

We stopped at Heyford Wharf, Lower Heyford and bought a fresh Organic loaf from the small shop at Oxford Narrowboats which we ate for Lunch. On the move again and a few more Locks before we came to the big one, Somerton Deep Lock has a rise/fall of 12 feet, the Lock keepers Cottage is now a private dwelling and can only be accessed by the towpath or boat, if you want to park a car it will be half a mile away !!.

Entering Somerton Deep Lock.

It's a long way down.

We need to fill up with Diesel soon so Jayne called Aynho Wharf which was a mile or so ahead to check the price, the price was OK but by the time we got there they were just shutting up for the day, so we moored opposite on 48 hour visitor mooring, we will move across to the diesel  pump when they open tomorrow.

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