Thursday, 7 August 2008

Day Six - Tanks, the filling and emptying thereof...

Napton Junction-Fenny Compton

11 miles, 9 locks
Oxford Canal

In which the
Duck and her owners empty and fill the relevant tanks, spring clean in readiness for the arrival of various family members, curse the sheer wiggliness of contour canals, enjoy the delights of the Oxford in the sun, get excited spotting fellow bloggers, and furnish the Duck with James' books.

Last night we were moored just outside Wigram's Turn Marina, so first thing this morning we went in, to find the diesel pump thankfully manned this time. We filled up with £80 of diesel, at 89p a litre, not bad at the moment, emptied the Portapotti (yum!) and stocked up on Thetford Blue. While moored up waiting for the diesel impurities to settle, we did a huge spring-clean of the boat. It was actually very satisfying, not that it was hugely messy before, but that it looked so neat and homely with everything in its place. I had a bit of a domestic moment! James also did a clean of the exterior - we had accumulated quite a lot of mud.

After everything was all spick and span, we moved off, down the Oxford for the first time. We began to appreciate what people meant when they said the Oxford is wiggly! It passes through glorious countryside though, and apart from the odd hairy moment meeting hireboats round blind corners, everything was fine. We even spotted NB Debdale, although there didn't seem to be anyone aboard.

I took us up the nine Napton locks, with only one real bump - I am getting the hand of this whole steering business! Luckily for us there were a lot of boats coming down as we were coming up so we didn't have to empty a single lock!

At the top we attempted to fill up the water tank, but without the proper screw tap adaptor it was an effort to make the water effectively go into the hose.

We had a late lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches then carried on, as we had to be at Fenny Compton by 8pm to meet James' dad, stepmum, and brother who were coming to visit. An afternoon tea of ginger cake and biscuits was had at the stern,and a little while later we passed Andy of NB Khayamanzi! You wait ages for a blogger then two come along on the same day!

I promise that is Khayamanzi in the distance!

We arrived at Fenny Compton by the waterpoint at the Wharf Inn, only to discover that there wasn't much in the way of mooring. Having agreed to meet the family here, we had little choice but to moor the Duck at the end of the waterpoint moorings (only restricting access to one of the two taps) and hope that no-one would mind! It was lovley to see James' family when they arrived, and James' dad interestingly suggested that the curved windows we have in the welldeck could be salvaged Crittall Windows, which were very common in the 40s and 50s:

So, Cropredy tomorrow, and lots of socialising hopefully!


  1. It's exciting for us to see a pic of Debdale! We're not on board for another five weeks, unfortunately (not that we're counting, or anything).

    Really enjoying your journey.


  2. we will be in Cropredy tomorrow too - and possibly this evening too if we find a tent! We will look out for you!

  3. Hi Both
    Just come across your blog, courtesy of Andy on NB Granny Buttons.
    Really enjoyed reading the last week's entries; keep it up!