Saturday, 6 April 2013

Spring at Last - Saturday 6th April 2013

We awoke this morning to bright sunny morning but with the boat surrounded in ice, so the first job, at 7.00 am, was to break it around the boat to prevent any early starters crushing the ice into our blacking all be it that the ice was not very thick and just round the corner the canal was clear. Sure enough at 9.00am a boat moored in the centre of Banbury decided to reverse back to the boatyard and finding them closed went back again.
We decided to deposit the rubbish in the C&RT bins and then go into the Castle Quay centre to have a look around. We found the Saturday Market in full swing and bought some delicious Strawberries at 2 punnets for £1. June took the opportunity to nip into the hairdressers and have her hair done whilst Phoenix and I walked around the shops. An expensive hairdo as I bought a sweater in the sale at the local menswear shop.
We left the mooring at 11.00am motoring through the lines of moored boats with the inevitable Gongoozlers and then passed Tooley’s Historic Boatyard and after negotiating the lift bridge filled with water whilst the washing machine was doing a load.

6Apr Banbury Moorings
Entering Banbury Moorings
6apr Gongoozlers
Gongoozlers on the Bridge

6apr Toolies
Tooleys Historic Boatyard
6Apr Lift Bridge in banbury
June Operates the Lift Bridge
6apr Water filling
Filling with water in centre of Banbury
As we negotiated the lock out of Banbury we heard a voice shout “Have a nice trip Bob” and looked up to see Peter and Annie (Nb Anna Claire) waving us off.
6Apr Bye From Peter
Leaving the outskirts of Banbury we spotted a boat called Bones and wondered if it was “The Bones” of Canal Boat Fame.
6apr Bones
Later we went under the M40 and thought how lucky we were not to be amongst all those madly rushing cars and lorries.
6Apr M40
Once in the sticks we noticed that the towpath moved to the other side all the way to Oxford and so decided to stop for lunch and give the port side a wash to get rid of the winter grime before we met the boys on Chance as they would not like to associate with a scruffy boat as theirs always looks pristine. Whilst we were having lunch we had a call from June’s brother and his family who were in the vicinity and would like to see us so we explained where we were (Nell Bridge Lock) and a little later they joined us for afternoon tea and biscuits. Phoenix was more than happy as she then had Cassy to play with but as usual she was too boisterous and Cassy ended up with her feet in the canal between the boat and the bank, luckily no harm was done.

6Apr Brother
As we motored on we saw deer and hares and many more birds than before brought out no doubt by the lovely spring like weather. We ended up mooring at a nice spot near to Somerton Deep lock with lovely views over the countryside and the sound of Curlews calling to one another. Later whilst having dinner we had a magnificent sunset which unfortunately I was not able to capture to full effect with the camera.
6Apr Sunset

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