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Archive for September 28th, 2013

Boat Blog: Aimless meanderings (9)

Posted by indigodream on 28 September, 2013

Rewind to Tuesday 20th August

Northmoor Lock to Sandford Lock

You'd never guess from this photo that there are around 10 navigable miles left to go :-)

You’d never guess from this photo that there are around 10 navigable miles left to go πŸ™‚

When we set off upstream, we had the modest ambition of getting to Lechlade, completing a full exploration of the river from Gravesend to its navigable source. Alas, we’ve fallen just short – we had turn downstream today in order to get back to Limehouse for the 1st September.

We were a little bit sad not to make our target; on the other hand, we had lots of social gatherings planned on our trip downstream, so we couldn’t stay downbeat for long.

It was another beautiful morning, and after a last run in the adjacent meadow, we and the hounds settled on board and turned downstream. The conditions were quiet, but we were surprised at the flow in the river – we seemed to shoot downstream. In not time at all we were at Northmoor Lock and chatting greyhounds with the regular lockie. He confirmed that resident hound, Handsome Pa, aged 11, had gone. The lockie gave Tarty Archie a big fuss and vowed that he would get another greyhound soon. In the meantime, they have rescued a saluki lurcher who turned up at the lock during the floods – they took him in and called him Flood! What a wonderful story, though apparently Flood is a bit of a handful compared to placid Pa πŸ™‚

We had a lovely day’s cruising today – the lockies at Pinkhill were exceptionally friendly and they gave me a card to deliver to Eynsham lock – this was the start of another great story which I’ll tell shortly….

Leaving our hound-perfect mooring....

Leaving our hound-perfect mooring….

In the meantime we met nb Apple Queen – I really liked that name – apparently it comes from a William Morris poem, and they were on their way to Kelmscott to visit Morris’ home.

The lockie at Pinkhill didn’t tell us what was in the envelope, addressed to “Nick & Sally”, but I was anxious that we didn’t forget to deliver it. When we arrived at Eynsham we asked whether the duty lockie was “Nick” – it wasn’t! It turns out that Nick is the resident lockie and he was getting married today – the card was for the bride and groom, who were getting married in Oxford then coming upstream to Eynsham lock by boat. We eventually passing the happy couple (and they looked ecstatic!) below Kings Lock – they seemed to be running well behind schedule but the two barges full of guests didn’t seem to mind πŸ™‚ In a very silly way, we felt like part of their big day, just by delivering a card πŸ˜€

But back to Eynsham – there are good services here but they’re spread out – the water point is above the lock but the rubbish point and pump-out are below the lock. We filled with water, went through, then got rid of our bin bags – sorted!

We cruised quickly through Oxford, dodging the various rowers on the river and stopped off at “The Green Boat Company” yard for a more boaty chat. Oh my goodness, I was chatting sighthounds with Sam; Richard was talking boats with Jon – it’s a wonder that we’re not still there! We eventually dragged ourselves away at 5.30pm, with a promise that we’ll be back at the end of March for some boat maintenance (river conditions willing).

It was getting so late, we decided to stop at Sandford Lock again – this time we found a mooring meadowside above the lock, after nb Pheonix kindly shuffled up a bollard to make room for us. As well as Russell Newbury engine, nb Phoenix also has a rescue collie, so we chatted about the merits of rescue dogs for ages!

Finally we got over to the pub, where Archie was instantly hijacked by a woman who’d previously owned a lurcher (who’d tragically died of bone cancer, aged 7). Archie was happy to assuage some her grief with his special cuddles. IT was some time before we got to our table and were able to order food!

We now have a simple calculation – whatever we’re doing, we must allow an extra half an hour to allow for greyhound fuss/talk; actually, make that an hour – because the greyhound/lurcher/whippet fraternity can talk hounds for quite some time when we get together πŸ˜€

Photoblog:

Henry and Archie were very confused - this whippet looks just like their pack-make Miffy :-)

Henry and Archie were very confused – this whippet looks just like their pack-make Miffy πŸ™‚

Miffy - see the resemblance!

Miffy – see the resemblance!

Trapping crayfish - he had a lot of traps on the go - wonder if he's got a licence? http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/38045.aspx

Trapping crayfish – he had a lot of traps on the go. There are all sorts of rukes about this, you even need a special licence: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/38045.aspx

The happy couple!

The happy couple!

And the rest of the wedding party...

And the rest of the wedding party…

Inventive!

Inventive!

We like taking the right hand channel going downstream in Oxford - it's a hidden world :-)

We like taking the right hand channel going downstream in Oxford – it’s a hidden world πŸ™‚

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