Saturday, 30 January 2010

It’s all downhill from here

The weather yesterday would normally have put me off boating as there was a strong wind blowing, and as it turned out it was in my face the whole day, but having had so many days of not moving I wanted to press on. The first lock of the day was Somerton Deep, which I don’t really like as I don’t like heights and it’s deep enough for me to want to avoid the ladder if at all possible. The good thing about this lock is that the bollards are (in my opinion) on the correct (towpath) side. This meant that once set I could let the boat drift into the lock and use the bollards to stop her when she got to the top gate and then hold her against the gate whilst filling the lock. It all worked really well.

Apart from that the only excitement was at one of the lift bridges, or silly bridges as I have come to refer to them. Having got through, the wind pinned the boat across the canal making getting away impossible. I ended up having to throw the front mooring rope across to the towpath and haul the bow across.

I finished for the day at the recently improved moorings at bridge 168. This was as I wanted to do some shopping and didn’t want to go into the town centre on a Friday evening. I did wonder if I had made a bad choice when I felt someone climbing onto my roof, but when I asked them not to it turned out that they wanted a photo of themselves. From their accents I think they must have been foreign students.

For no particular reason, I woke at a ridiculously early hour so made an early start. It had been a cold night and throughout the day I encountered patches of ice, but none of it was very thick. This spurred me on to make as much progress as possible today and make it onto the summit pound. I decided as I approached the Claydon flight that if I was out by 1 I wouldn’t stop for lunch and try to get across to Marston Doles.

I didn’t manage it so stopped for a while at the top of the flight and made my way to Fenny Compton. Still a fairly long day (for me) but with clear skies and little wind it was a wonderful day’s boating.

It’s another clear night, already down to –2 and a layer of ice has already formed, but hopefully it won’t be too thick in the morning.

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