Friday, 17 May 2013

Goodbye River Thames - Thursday 16th May 2013

Nice bright, sunny morning and most importantly no wind so we set off back down the arm and reversed into Isis Lock so that we could go down onto the Sheepwash Channel and out onto the Thames for the last time. The trip up river was lovely with stretches of tree lined banks, wide open spaces and tight bends.
A Thames compend
As we passed Port Meadow we could look back at the Oxford skyline with its spires and towers whilst on the bank the Geese were tending to their gosling creche.
B Port Meadow Compend
We could see Godstow Lock from afar across Port Meadow and we seemed to take ages to reach it. As we exited the lock we passed the ruins of Godstow Abbey and then went under the offset Godstow bridge.
C Godstow Lock Compend
Next came the A34 bridge from which we have seen the river as we headed south for Southampton and always wondered exactly where it was on the river.
d A34 approach
Kings Lock is the first of the non mechanised locks which characterise the upper Thames to Lechlade. The gates are operated by balance beams and the paddles by rotary wheels the same as the first lock on the K & A at Reading.
F kings Lock Compend
We then turned down Dukes Cut leaving the Thames behind and entering the world of narrow canals. The first lock at the end of the cut drops you down to the level of the Oxford Canal before immediately going up the next lock around the corner. The lock is unusual as it has the paddle control in the middle of the lock..G Dukes cut lock compend
A short way up the Oxford we encountered our first swing bridge since leaving the many on the K & A. It is a tricky one to operate with its quirky key release. Fortunately a gentleman off one of the permanent moorings came and helped June through the bridge.H Lift Bridge twist
Here we saw C & RT staff repairing the bank using wooden poles to secure  bales of twigs, and rolls of fibre together with a liner.
J Bank repair
Just a couple of interesting boats, not sure why the yellow boat has bricks piled up on an extension to the base plate at the stern.
E  Boats Compend
We soon arrived at Thrupp with a pick of the mooring even on the 7 day section. After lunch I did some boat maintenance whilst June swept through the boat. Later we went for a meal at the Boat Inn beside of our mooring. Whilst giving Phoenix her last walk of the day we heard a boat horn sound and looked up to see Ian and Karen waving from Nb Tacet as they looked for a mooring. Fortunately for there was just one 7 Day slot left the rest having been filled throughout the afternoon.

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