Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 6

Christmas Eve dawned dry, and not as grey as forecast. We were up reasonably early, had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, and set off at 8.30. There were very few boats on the move - I think we've only seen four or five all day. Of course, the first one was met at a bridge hole, with boats moored either side.

We stopped at the water point at the bottom of the Napton flight, and it was just as well we did, because the water point at the top was blocked by a load of moored boats. We set off up the locks at 10.45, and the whole lot took an hour and three-quarters. There were some BW boats at the bottom, and above the bottom lock. They've done some much needed work on the lock landings above the second lock, which until now had been falling forward into the water.

While we were in the fifth lock, a BW man arrived and started running some water down through the lock above, and the pound was very low. We met a couple of boats near the top, an OwnerShips and a Clifton Cruisers hire boat. Harnser was moored in its usual place near the Old Engine Arm.

Once on the summit we had soup and bread on the move, and the sun made a valiant effort to break through the cloud. A couple of times it almost succeeded. We passed our traditional (ie: last year, and tomorrow) Christmas Day mooring spot, and noted that there was no-one already there. We carried on, passing through Fenny Compton, and eventually moored (in the gathering gloom at just before 4.30) immediately before Bridge 144, at the top of the Claydon Locks. It's another very quiet, remote, and dark spot, but with a surprisingly strong 3G signal.

18 miles, 9 locks. (58 miles, 18 locks)

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