I returned to Stronghold after six days and found her to be covered in willow leaves from the tree above her mooring; so that’s why no one else moors there! I decided to leave ASAP after cleaning off the detritus and because the motorway was too noisy to stay any longer. Having returned the key and hoping that they will tear up my £50 cheque, I headed further into the basin to wind, which is where Coventry Canal Society have their moorings.
I made for Sutton’s Stop, where I had arranged to meet my daughter the following day, and moored just beyond the pump house, where it was peaceful. Sunday came and we all had a good old fashioned Sunday lunch in one of my favourite waterway pubs. What is always amusing here is that people sit outside watching the boats come around the 180 degree turn, which is virtually a blind corner, so there is always the chance of chaos; even more so when a full length boat tries to make it. If all goes well, then the steerer gets a round of applause, but if there is a mishap there is a great deal of laughter and tut tutting. The last time I came around the turn, I was towing the butty on cross straps and we got round in one; unfortunately, when it all goes well, there is no one to see it!
Just to prove that it can be done............
................and the pub is closed!
I moored at Braunston the next evening and phoned Calcutt Boats, who are BMC engine dealers; sure they could fit me in the following day, so it was another day spent hanging around before I could get on their wharf. I spent the time picking blackberries and sloes to make some sloe gin later.
Sunset over Napton reservoirs.
The engineer found several small leaks in the fuel system and replaced the spill rail and another pipe into the injector pump, but did not think the rubber pipe would have burst, so that was not replaced; I should have insisted, as it continued to leak slightly after leaving. By then I was already up on the summit above the Napton nine locks and it was too late to return to Calcutt.
The infamous bridge 141 where the Trust boats
have ground to a halt over the years. Not this year though!
So there was a hole in the pipe after all!
The remainder of the day in Banbury was spent shopping and at the launderette. I do enjoy this town, with moorings right in the heart of the action, although having to carry everything from Morrison’s is a bit painful.
It was time to move on, as my CRT licence runs out on Tuesday and I don’t think I can be off their waters in Oxford by then. My boating friend Peter aims to be at Lower Heyford on Monday evening, so I hope to be there for a few beers.