Summer Cruise 2013 – Day 35 & 36

Apologies for the radio silence for the last couple of days, we’ve been in Lower Heyford, that well known black hole as far as internet signals are concerned.

2013-07-26 20.24.41We spent the night moored outside The Rock of Gibralatar after an evening meal there, Joy had a starter of Whitebait and a main of Spanakotiropitta (Spinach and Feta Pie to you) whilst I had a Meze of assorted dips, dolmades, olives & salad. Our night was a little disturbed by the drunken crew of a hire boat who couldn’t seem  to find their way back to the boat or even remember its name!

DSCF4829We departed in the morning and covered the journey up to Heyford easily if slowly, The Oxfordshire Narrowboats fleet being out in force, a crew  going north caused confusion by entering the lock mouth at Pigeons before the oncoming boat had exited the lock and then decided to tie up on the next lock landing for a picnic although one of their crew did open the lock gate for us. Their day boats were all coming south too and we met also our friend Paul instructing an all female crew (poor chap) off on a Hen Weekend on one of their 69 footers. We arrived around lunchtime and called in at Heyford Wharf where we winded and got a pump out at the almost empty yard, just two hire boats in, and those due to go back out that afternoon.

You may be wondering why we turned at the Wharf, but we had a Prior Commitment to fulfil on Sunday. We had promised some of our friends from Heyford Park Chapel a boat trip and so we met them and fed them bacon butties for lunch and then boated back to Kirtlington Quarry for a picnic.

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On our way we met the ‘Hen Crew’ on their way back to base, who incidentally were noticeably more competent (and sober) than their male counterparts. “The bride to be wore a fetching sailor outfit which caused some entertainment by catching the wind and exposing even more leg than it failed to cover normally!”

We found that Northbrook Lock had become progressively more difficult to negotiate with the bottom gate being prevented from opening fully by some obstruction. {Must email C&RT when we have internet again} but they enjoyed operating the locks and the brave ones even tried steering the boat.

Despite the forecast rain we only had a few spots until we were just arriving back at Heyford to return them to their cars at the station.


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