Sunday, 3 October 2010

Captain's Log - Saturday 2nd Ocober

Well we actually got to Napton on time, and after about an hour getting everything on board and some training we set off on the "Wild Sorrel". The journey down the Oxford Canal, the River Thames and the Grand Union is 278 miles with 178 locks. The weather was great, mostly sunny and all was well. According to plan we had to travel though 10 locks and 12 miles and end up at Fenny Compton Wharf, very pleased to announce that we got there all safe and secure.

Wild Sorrel at start of journey
When we arrived at the first lock Grand Union personel were teaching the traditional way to go through the locks,avoiding using the engine to hold station and using the power of the lock, they said we would look very elegent if we did it that way, and a bit of a prat if we didn't, as we would sit there banging around in the lock, thus trained it worked brilliantly and has been employed ever since.

Glyn at the helm
Our first encounter was at Napton lock 13, when we were relieved to see a boat "Ninth Step" coming through the next lock towards us, after ten minutes or so it hadn't moved, I was then asked if I could help pull it out as the gear box had gone. I duly went and helped, after much huffing and puffing and some slow forward movment we realised it was actually stuck in reverse and pulling backwards.

Pulling "Ninth Step" out of lock

We then travelled through to the top lock at Marston Doles which was incredibly picturesque. Just as we were sitting in the lock a  lovely looking fox ran by the boat and jumped the wall nearby, it was very bushy tailed and well fed, a couple of minutes later we heard the horns for the fox hunt and the hounds came rushing by too, quite a few head butted the wall as they tried to jump it, one wandered around a nearby garden for nearly ten minutes looking lost.

Marston Doles Lock

Fox Hounds jumping wall near lock
We then carried on without to much incident unti we reached Fenny Compton and moored up about 7pm.

Food for the day was great and I'm sure will only go downhill. Sarah made some fab spinich, carrot  and other vegtable soup and I had made a seedy white loaf. Then for tea Glyn and Janet had made a fresh chicken curry which was great too, all washed down with lots of wine.

After we were all tired and weary, I was well bruised and achy too, but a great day and all on track.


  1. Hi,
    Greetings from your first 'follower'.
    Glad to see that the boat's still above the waterline, given all the amount of luggage you had to load on! Is there any space left for Glynn?
    Good to hear that foxy got away too.

  2. PS. Will you be wanting any football score update while you're away??

  3. Hi Peter, most surprised that the boat company has intrusted you with their long boat, (insurance must be heafty) I am sure that it will not take long before you run it aground or get one of the ropes caught up in the propeller.

    sounds like a great adventure as long as the weather is good for you, look forward to further updates have fun. Kevin from Sunny Dubai (39C)

  4. Hi Peter

    Am enjoying your tales about a sly old fox!!!..... Its nice to hear about the tail of another sly old fox too......

    Rebecca x

  5. Hi Kevin lovely warm dsy here too, pleased your ok.

  6. OK you've got my attention, whats this about a girl chasing a duck?
    Aussie Nick