Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Beat the Rain to Oxford - Tuesday 14th May 2013

Dear Phoenix woke us up early this morning but as the sun was shining and the forecast for later was rain we decided to make an early 6.30 am start and so crept passed Nb Penny Flight, a boat which is from our marina, so as not to disturb their slumbers.a Penny Flight
We were soon at Abingdon Lock where June had her chance to operate a Thames Lock, which I must say she did with her usual ease. She also had to operate Sandford Lock as the Lock keepers do not come on duty until 9.00 am. here she is closing the gates after negotiating the lock.
B June operates Locks
The Kings Arms at the side of Sandford Lock is a nice spot to moor for lunch.
c Sandford  Lock
Thought that is was a most unusual Modern Sunroom to have in the garden of an old cottage.
d Unusual sunroom
The Four Pillars Hotel with its trip boat moored in its own cutting.
e Four Pillars Hotel
A few more unusual boats on todays trip. The first Black Boat we first saw on the south oxford coming down and the owner was painting, an easy job with just black paint. The cruisers obviously moored in the wrong place and no this is not Venice but Oxford.
F Boats compend
At Iffley Lock with its lovely blossom bursting out we were asked to take a set of Bolt Cutters and some Plant Pots up to Osney Lock for the Lock keeper. A job we were glad to do as all the Thames Lockies have been a charming and very helpful bunch.
g iffley Lock
Soon we were passing the Prestigious Boat Houses of the Oxford Colleges and Christchurch Meadow. Fortunately we had missed the river congestion of the boats practicing along this stretch.
H Oxford UNi
Next came Folly Bridge and with the moored trip boats and cruiser breasted up with them it did not leave much room to see the line of navigation, just pleased that the cruiser was not there when we came down river.
J Folley Bridge compend
June spotted “The Head of the River” pub, a three story dining and pub complex built in a converted grain warehouse. It has on display a 1908 winning Olympic Twin Scull.
k Head of River pub
After the bridge the river takes a few sharp twists and turns until it reaches Osney Lock where we met a hire boat coming out and Nb Lady Patience waiting for us to join them.
l Upstream of folley
Having woke us up early Phoenix decided that the trip up river was the ideal time to catch up on her sleep so that she would be ready for another walk as soon as we had moored.
m Now she sleeps
We found a nice mooring just above the lock and settled in well before lunch and the arrival of the rain. I duly took Phoenix her walk around Oxford noting that nobody was moored at the end of the arm whilst the main mooring was full. A bit it different to the empty spaces we saw on the way down.
N Oxford Mooring
June spotted this delightful little puppy Husky dog being carried along the towpath and rushed out to have a cuddle. His name is Ridley and he is 8 weeks old.
O Ridley
The rain came down as promised and we spent relaxing afternoon tucked up in the boat until Phoenix decided it was time for another walk, so out into the cold wet rain for me.

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