Not a great day. The weather was windy with occasional rain showers and it was cold. Navigation was difficult. The news from the River Thames shows that conditions have worsened so our prospects of getting down the Thames to Teddington look poor. Although yellow (flows decreasing) boards are indicated on the Thames web-site, there are red (no navigation) boards in odd locations all down the river and downstream of Reading flows are increasing. The recent rain doesn’t appear to have helped things. We are now contemplating ending our journey at Oxford, but we shall just have to see what happens. The best laid plans etc..

We left Cropredy in cold wet rain and moored up at Castle Quay in Banbury close to NB Bones. She was on her way north, but the boat appeared unoccupied.

Moored up at Castle Quay Banbury

Bones boat in Banbury

After inspecting the canal related display on the glass-sided footbridge entrance to the Museum, we had lunch in their cafe. It is operated by the Flying Aubergine Company. We can certainly recommend it. After some shopping in the shopping centre (M&S) we visited Tooley’s for oil and coal. It was the first time we had had a good look around the place. The chandlery is certainly quite an emporium and the historic dock looks a great facility being fully protected from the weather.

We met NB Khayamanzi again at the lock in Banbury, this time they were going north. We continued our conversation from Flecknoe. It appears that Andy and his father had reached Oxford, intending to go up the Upper Thames, but because of the strong stream warnings they had decided not to risk it and they were on their way back home.

NB Khayamanzi northbound

We moored up for the night above Nell Bridge. Since we last moored here in 2007 a marvellous smallholding has developed close to the lift bridge. There are Saddlebacks and Gloucester Old Spot pigs and piglets pens all over the site. They are advertising pork and lamb for sale as well as eggs from their own hens with a special offer for Easter! We will have to visit it tomorrow before we leave.