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Archive for May 4th, 2009

The Odyssey 2009 Day 15

Posted by indigodream on 4 May, 2009

Friday 1st May Banbury

Well, it’s not exactly a day of the odyssey because we didn’t actually get any cruising done!

We took Friday off because we had a meeting with the local planning office in the morning (long story – we’re plotting some home improvements). The planning office gave us the bad news that we’d need to do a full planning application so I sat Richard down at the computer and persuaded him that it would be a great idea for him to do it today being as we were off anyway.

I think I can safely say that he’d rather be boating 🙂

In the way of official paperwork, it took longer than expected so we didn’t set out for the boat until nigh on 5pm. We got to the roundabout that’s our gateway to the M25, heard the traffic report, and drove straight round it and headed for home! We decided to get back to the boat on Saturday morning, but as we’re not very efficient in the morning I decided to do a heroic run into our local Sainsbury’s on Friday evening to stock up with house and boat supplies.

Funnily enough, after a big dinner and a few hours relaxation, Richard suddenly revived and decided that he was up for the drive to the boat after all, so off we set again.

Good decision. The roads were empty and we had a fast run up to Banbury. We initially parked in the car park overlooking the boat and I efficiently handed our supplies down over the wall to Richard standing directly below on the towpath.

But all was not well. As Richard took the first of the supplies he noticed that both of the deck doors were open – someone had been on board. A further inspection revealed that someone had stolen one of our centre ropes and one of the stern mooring ropes; they’d also been playing with the throttle. We had a frantic inspection round the rest of the boat but fortunately our ‘visitors’ had not attempted to get inside and hadn’t stolen anything else from the deck or roof. There seemed to be a convoluted morality here – they’d stolen two ‘spare’ ropes (from their perspective) but they’d left the boat safely moored (as we’d left her) and had thoughtfully left us one centre rope.

We’ll never prove it but we didn’t have to look far for our culprits. On Monday I’d seen some kids a little way down the towpath (by a, what shall we call it, static caravan park) swinging around from ropes slung on a tree. A quick walk down the towpath revealed the tree with what looked just like one of our very nice ropes cut in half and converted into a swing. I expect our other mooring rope is stashed for later use when the first rope wears out.

New swing using rope from ...... ?

New swing using rope from ...... ?

I was so upset – those boys couldn’t have more than 10 years old and already they’ve learnt that they can get what they want by stealing – where will it end? And what about their parents – has it never occurred to them to ask where their kids get the rope that they play with? Richard was frustrated by the crime but was much more philosophical – stealing two ropes wasn’t the half of the damage they could have done. No point in recovering a cut rope, they will only steal another from the next boat. But I was inconsolable – this sort of petty crime makes me lose all faith in people.

We thought about moving the boat straight away but decided that was stupid – it IS a quiet mooring and there was no evidence of major problems. Richard moved the car to the the station car park nearby and we had a perfectly safe and peaceful night.

We were on the 14 day moorings below Banbury Lock. Would we moor there again? No.

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