Thursday, 27 December 2007

Christmas Cruise - Day One

Saturday 22 December

I left home at 7am, and arrived at Stockton Top marina a couple of hours later after a trouble-free drive. The first thing I did once on board Debdale was light the fire, as the boat had been unused for a couple of weeks. Then I unloaded the car and unpacked. Next was a trip to Rugby Station, to pick up Adrian who'd stayed overnight in London after a work Christmas party.

We finally left the marina at 11.45, and were surprised to see quite a few boats coming the other way. It was a cold, fairly dull day, but still as we went up Calcutt Locks.

At Napton Junction, we turned right onto the Oxford Canal, and were soon going up the locks. At the third one, we got something round the prop, so once the lock was full we stayed in the chamber to investigate, and found a large white nylon sack, which was fortunately easily removed using the boathook. We didn't see another boat through the locks, but there was evidence that someone else had been up before us as a number of the locks had their top gate left open.

We got to the top in a couple of hours and moored for the night. Then we had a move along a bit, in order to get a satellite signal. We wouldn't normally have bothered, but both wanted to see the final of Strictly Come Dancing! We put up our battery powered Christmas lights, to add a festive flavour to the boat, and settled down to what was forecast to be a cold night.

6 miles, 12 locks.

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