We donned our life jackets before setting off, good job too. Awhile afterwards I slipped off the gunnel and found that mine worked quite well. Gary and Carolyn pulled me to the edge where I could stand, then I turned round to be hoisted out backwards. Luckily the canal was only about three feet deep and had a nice wooden edging. Quick shower for me and dry clothes ready for the off, again! My watch was water proof, but my camera wasn’t, so I dried it off then opened it and left it in the warm engine bay cupboard. Gary kindly lent me his spare camera. Then we went on down Isis Lock onto the river where we tied to the pontoon so that I could walk back to shut the lock gates for nb Inca. Another boat rounded the corner heading for the lock, so we set off behind nb Inca. We paused in Osney Lock to pay the lock keeper for our 60 foot boat, £43 for our river license for two days.
All the locks are operated by lock keepers electrically for you en-route. We passed some interesting buildings on an island site which said pass either side. Next we came to Iffley Lock. We just have to hang on our fore and aft ropes to steady our boats gently on their way down. There were several Grebes busy diving for food on the river, I just managed to catch this one before it disappeared beneath the water.
Here we are queuing at Sandford Lock, you can see my walking boots drying off on the roof nicely in the sunshine! Next we descended Abingdon Lock Where Steve and Marianne with their dog Wallace were waiting to go up. The pic on the right is nb Inca following us through Abingdon with all it’s lovely old buildings. There was quite a flow on the river after the rain, but the levels remained fairly low being in the green.
We came to Culham Lock and the houses beside the locks all have plaques saying ‘Thames Conservancy’ with a date, this one was 1958. There was a rib tucked in behind us in the big lock here, Then around the corner we met ‘Three Men in a Boat’, except there was an extra man in Montmerency’s place, lol!