We filled the tank with water and purchased some coal before making a lazy start at 11.00am turning south on the Oxford canal. Within half a mile we encountered a group of 4 boats coming the other way the last of which suddenly veered across the canal towards us hitting our bow and knocking over several items in the saloon and galley. They did apologise saying that they had gone aground and lost steering. Despite the strong cold wind the canal was quite busy with both hire and private boats particularly so as we approached Braunston.
Just passed Clifton Wharf we encountered the small herd of long horn cattle which are a feature of the stretch.
We motored on to Hillmorton Locks, which we wizzed through as all three were in our favour. Still can’t get my head around why it was necessary to add words to the lock beams, still it takes all sorts to make a world.
We stopped at The Canal Shop at Hillmorton Wharf to fill up the diesel tank (89p/Ltr. self declaration) and purchase some milk and a paper. June however saw a lovely little bucket in the Chandlery ideal for keeping the coal next to the stove and so another purchase was made. Moving on passed the lovely little cottages at Tarry’s bridge, always an intriguing sight.
Later we negotiated Bridges 79 and 80 which have been lovingly restored by the WRG and C&RT and I must say thay have made an excellent job, we passed through them last year when they were still working on them and there was a lot of work to be done.
As we came closer to Braunston the wind increased and became really cold so we moored up at one of our favourite little spots just outside. After lighting the stove and partaking in tea and home made coffee cake (yes I made the cake) I took Phoenix a walk into Braunston and on the way back the sun came out making a lovely end to the day. No doubt we will pay for it with freezing temperatures over night.