Journey Home from the Oxford Canal

Having been away in Cornwall for the last week, I feel obligated to round-off my belated posts of our late July cruise to and from the Upper Thames. After a night at Wormleighton, on July 23rd we worked our way north along the Oxford canal, descended Napton flight and mooring up in Braunston for the night. It was relatively quite in Braunston, probably because the fine weather had brought out the boats. The lovely moorings near Flecknoe were busy. We had a visit to Midland Chandlers and than eat at The Boathouse with our daughter, son-in-law and their two children. A pleasant night. 
Rowing Skiff passing through Braunston
(with appropriate dress)

As we walked around Braunston we noted that the Sea Otter which had caught fire, and was reported by Halfie, had sunk. As reported on Halfie's site aluminium does burn. The boat looked a macabre site. 

A sad site

Sunken Sea Otter at Braunston

By the next day the weather had turned and we had a damp journey up Braunston flight and through the tunnel. Met a boat coming the other way with two bright LED work lights that lit up far into the distance but made navigating past difficult. I still can't understand the need to long range illumination as I noted some years ago.

We went down Long Buckby flight as the weather cleared. It was good progress until the last two locks where a boat waited for another to join it in the lock only to split up a pair and cause another boat to operate as a single. Sometimes this sort of "politeness" actually causes more difficulties.  A late lunch was called for and we went into the Lockgate Cafe at Whilton Marina for an all-day breakfast.

Adding the ketchup

That night we moored at Flore opposite the small caravan site. Around five caravans were parked up and enjoying the view. In the morning, we visited Colin Dundas at High House to discuss a possible repaint of Albert. It looks like we shall "bite the bullet" and have a refurb next year.

The journey home via Blisworth tunnel and Stoke Bruerne was largely uneventful. It was good weather although the heavens opened for a short time as we arrived at Stoke for lunch. The morning trip was largely uneventful but I did witness ridiculous boating near Heyford. As we left Furnace Wharf, and turned the corner onto the long straight towards Bugbrooke, I saw a boat approaching with a wave behind it that looked just like the Severn Bore - a swan family behind the boat were struggling to cope! The boat was obviously going at some considerable speed, maybe flat out. I have never seen a canal boat cause such a large wake. The steerer quickly slowed down as we approached and I proffered my usual sarcastic comment "lost your water skier?". I then realised that my humour was not going to work and I am sorry to say I resorted to some plain speaking. Judging by the reaction of the other crew they thought I was being unreasonable mentioning their speed and bank erosion. 

After lunch we went down the Stoke flight on our own because, being quiet, I was able to set locks ahead. We arrived home at Yardley Gobion in the late afternoon to begin the process of unpacking.

Braunston sun set