Last night as I was doing my engine checks ready for an early start this morning I found that the Stern Gland Greaser screw was not functioning properly and it appeared that the cast brass top had started to split around the thread. I decided that it should be replaced before we went any further so having looked up the bus times decided that if I caught the 7.50am bus from Banbury to Daventry I could then catch the 9.10am bus to Braunston, purchase the greaser and catch the 9.40am bus to Daventry in time to get the 10.15am bus back to Banbury.So this is what I did, all the buses were on time and I was back on the boat by 11.25am and new greaser fitted in time for us to leave Banbury within the 48hr mooring limit. Whilst the bus drove through Braunston it passed the church where there was a band playing and large gathering of people singing in the churchyard. I had forgotten that it was the weekend of the Braunston Historic Boat Rally until I read Adams blog, Briar Rose, and would guess that this was part of that event.
It had started to rain about 11.00am at Banbury so we left all kitted up for a wet trip but after the first mile the skies cleared and the sun came out and we had a very pleasant trip. This stretch of the canal has an abundance of Lift bridges like these just outside Banbury. Fortunately all of them up to bridge 193, Chisnell Lift Bridge are left open.
Aynho Weir Lock south of Banbury is a curious shape, with narrow gates at each end, but with a chamber that widens out to around 20 feet, making it awkward for solo boaters particularly as the gates are very heavy to manoeuvre..
The lock only has a fall of around 1 foot, but it feeds the 12 foot deep Somerton Lock, 3 miles downstream. So, one theory is that the unusual shape is to allow extra water to be sent downstream each time the lock is used.The River Cherwell crosses the canal on a level just above Aynho Weir Lock, sometimes creating interesting currents but fortunately not today.
Just after we went under the M40 for the second time a lovely red Fox watched us pass by without batting an eyelid. But as usual in these situations the camera was not readily to hand.
We moored up for the day at 4pm and Sooty, the Boxer dog on the next boat came to see if Jimmy could go out to play. They had a great romp together over the adjacent field and returned to the boat tired out so we looked forward to a peaceful evening