Saturday, July 31, 2010


After a morning of shopping in Banbury we set off for a leisurely bimble down to the stretch before Somerton deep lock to moo overnight at a secluded rural spot. I spent another hour polishing brass after dinner. It's always the same on our summer cruise. We spend over a week cleaning and polishing to bring Syncopation up to scratch after the winter lay-up. This year I am lacquering the brasswork immediatley after polishing to preserve the shine for a little longer than a couple of days.

Moored near Chisnell Lift Bridge No 193

Total distance is 7 miles, 6¼ flg and 4 locks (not counting Banbury Lock No 29 and Lift Bridge No 165).

Friday, July 30, 2010


We have stopped in Banbury this evening with the intention of a little light retail therapy in the morning.

We passed through Cropredy today and stopped at the Bridge Stores, where they stock everything, and procured the ingredients for chicken Balti this evening.

It's been a leisurely day moving through the Oxfordshire countryside for all except the dog, who can exhaust himself anywhere.

Moored at Banbury

Total distance is 8 miles, 0 flg and 12 locks

Thursday, July 29, 2010


All day we kept meeting people going north who reported heavy traffic ahead. When we reached to top of Napton locks there was a queue of 10 boats and there was a steady stream of boats passing.

The western end of Braunston puddle banks was nearly blocked by a sunken working boat and the equipment in place to refloat it.

We set off in the morning following the motor Collingwood and butty Ash. As we neared Napton junction we encountered a boat across the cut. They had swerved into the trees to avoid the pair and lost a pole in the canal. The following boat picked it up and the following scene ensued. I looked as if they had decided to start a jousting tournament.

Moored near bridge 142, Oxford canal South.

Total distance is 19 miles, ¾ flg and 9 locks.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Braunston, My Favourite

We stopped at Braunston after a leisurely day making our way up the Buckby flight of locks and down Braunston locks. The tunnel light needed some fettling to make it shine as there was a poor connection in the plug connecting it to the boat. Single-handing up Grand Union double width locks is made much easier if there's another boat to share with.
I found a lovely mooring spot just outside the Marina at Braunston but Cathy needed us to move as she arrived with Dominic and essential supplies just after we had eaten dinner and delivery of said supplies would be easier near the road bridge. The boat is now 50% cleaned up outside after a couple of months neglect.
Among the essential supplies are the camera so there will be pictures from now on.

Moored at Brauntson puddle banks.

Total distance is 6 miles, 2½ flg and 13 locks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Afternoon Start

We untied at 3PM and made our way North. This week the plan is to cruise the picturesque South Oxford canal. An uneventful afternoon with no locks, just the Northamptonshire coutryside, the M1 and the West Coast Main line for company. The machanical side of things seem to be holding up OK. We are missing some regular crew members; Dominic developed a migraine this morning as has stayed at home with Cathy to minister to him. They will join us in a day or so when he feels up to it.

Moored near Whilton Marina

Total distance is 12 miles, 0 flg and 0 locks.