Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Back on Board at Last!

Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th August 2017 in Enslow and Abingdon.
After spending two weeks helping Elle and Matt with their new Idol Hands premises, we had a surprisingly easy journey back to Enslow via Oxford Parkway railway station, where Richard Haynes very kindly picked us up and drove us to the marina.
We spent some time with Tiffany, Richard and Simon (our engineer), and admired their new workshop and the huge houseboat that KG is in the process of building.
MM was pleased to have spent the time in her original marina, where she was launched six years ago, surrounded by a number of other Kingsground boats.
Guy was definitely not pleased at the prospect of all those peas! He wanted bananas and was afraid that he would be called upon to start shelling the peas (luckily M enjoys podding peas, so Guy got away with just watching).
We stayed overnight in the marina, planning to make an early start tomorrow. R brought the diary up to date to when we arrived in Enslow two weeks ago with some help from a very friendly cat off one of the other boats; she came into MM to investigate and stayed for quite a while.
The next morning dawned bright and clear.
After a visit to the workshop to say goodbye to Simon, we set off south. Again, we are in something of a hurry as we have to be back home as quickly as possible to clear our kitchen and downstairs bathroom before the builder arrives in the middle of September.
For once, M didn't have to operate this lift bridge as a young lady and her father from a hire boat came to help.
At the bottom of the Oxford Canal, we turned on to the very narrow "Duke's Cut" that took us across to the Thames.
M spent the time gathering blackberries while MM was in the lock. Just a few hundred yards later, we were on the wide River Thames and heading south - what a contrast to the narrow, winding Oxford Canal!
At the first of the Thames Locks, Godstow Lock, the lock keeper was at lunch so the lock was on self-service. The paddle gear is unusual as it is operated with large wheels. As indicated by the wet weather gear, it had started to rain, but fortunately didn't last.
We shared the next lock with this camouflage boat. The owner was a real eccentric - as is his boat, but he was delightful to talk to.
Posh Abingdon, so R thought that he would wash down the roof, but...
A sudden rain shower produced a beautiful rainbow...
Followed by a lovely sunset.
Today: 19 miles, 12 locks and 8.5 hours.
Trip: 254 miles, 264 locks and 174.7 hours.

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