Catching The Sun. 8th October

Lake Field to upstream of Abingdon Bridge

Up it comes

Thankfully you don’t have to be awake too early at the moment to see the sunrise. The golden sky warming up a chilly morning and what a wonderful morning, not a cloud in the sky.

180 degrees of sky

It would have been nice to stay an extra day, but there are places to be so no choice.

As we pushed away we waved goodbye to the clumps behind us, one day we’ll walk up there. Then further along the big field we realised that we hadn’t been the only boat moored up last night. At least they were some distance away and this morning we’d have had a much better sunrise.

A Kingfisher darted in front of us, stopping in flight and hovered like a Hummingbird or a Kestrel, it did it a second time, I just managed to get a blurry photo before it then settled down on the bank. We’ve never seen one do this before, maybe it was imitating a Tern and had spotted a possible fish.

Clifton Hamden Bridge

We pootled up stream to Clifton Hamden Bridge with it’s red brick arches. Here we met three paddleboarders who were enjoying the sunshine as they headed upstream. At the lock a volunteer opened the gates for us and waved us in. Here numerous plant pots fill the lock area. The Lock Keeper suggested we should wait for the paddleboarders to arrive which was fine with us, he then carried on moving tubas and bulbs around for winter. What a sight it must be when in full blown colourful flower.

The ladies hung onto the chains on the opposite side of the lock, they were from Culham and had done the loop this morning, presumably dropping down onto the river by the weir a little further up stream.

Sunbathing on the bed

Last year as we waited below Culham lock we watched a Mink hunting on the offside bank, two pigeons met their maker with alarming swiftness. Today there was no queue below the lock, we tied up and I walked up to see the Lock Keeper who was surprised he’d not seen us. Culham is a deep lock and assistance in getting your ropes around the bollards is needed. I was glad we’d not be sharing the lock with the paddleboarders as when that little yellow flag on the top gate starts to rise there is quite a flow around the lock.


Now on the Abingdon reach of the river we discussed where to stop today. A full days cruise in our schedule would have us moor a distance on above Abingdon Lock, but we were already a day ahead of ourselves. Should we stop before the bridge, after or just above the lock? First however we needed to avoid the sailors and fisherman. Both in line with each other, we slowed our pace, hoping we’d not all three be trying to be in the same few meters as each other. The fisherman had to move his long pole and the dinghy crossed in front of us enabling us to pass by with plenty of room to spare.

Fishing and sailing

The first stretch of moorings was fairly busy so we carried on through the bridge pulling in at the first mooring. Here we hoped there’d be less footfall along with some friendly cover close by. Tilly was excited running back and forth inside, only to be disappointed when the doors opened to see the number of walkers with woofers!

Abingdon Bridge

A load of washing was put out to dry, Tilly came and went, paddleboarders (all who seemed to be French) paddled by, a stunning afternoon if you were out in the sunshine. Just a shame we were creating our own shade with both front and back doors open so we had a nice cool breeze through Oleanna!

Having spent much of the afternoon having the aroma of steak and chips wafting in through the back door we decided to eat out this evening. A hunt through menus at various establishments for gf options at a price that wouldn’t break the bank came up with Beefeater, The Brewery Tap. Sadly the Brewery Tap was fully booked this evening. Mick had walked past The Broad Face so we booked there.

Antlers or just plumbing?

Odd decor, either based on a Gentleman’s toilet with all the copper plumbing powering the lights or a butchers with pink fake blossom festooned in the corners. The chap serving us was slightly odd too. I asked if the blue cheese sauce contained gluten, he said he’d ask, if it didn’t would I like it adding to my order? This meant I didn’t actually know if I was getting the sauce until we quizzed him when he came to change our cutlery.

A very nice steak with triple cooked chips, I get get a dribble of sauce too

Having said that, my steak was the best one (other than homecooked) I’ve had since we visited The Paper Mill Inn near Bugsworth Basin nearly six years ago. Mick’s burger was also very good and tasty. Just a shame there was only chilled medication on the dessert menu that I could eat, so instead we headed back to Oleanna to finish off a tub of vanilla from the freezer.

2 locks, 7.12 miles, 3 paddleboarders, 3 boats at Jubilee, 1 perfect day for boating, 1 chilly boat, 1 cautious cat, 1 newspaper, 1 glass wine, 1 pint, 1 burger, 1 steak and chips, 2 many geese and woofers!

2 thoughts on “Catching The Sun. 8th October

  1. Stuart Makemson

    Morning’ Pip, Mick & Tilly.
    It’s bit late for you now but that park on the opposite side of the river from where you moored is ‘dog free’,ie no woofers allowed, even on leads. (Doesn’t stop some folk on boats mooring there and letting their hounds run loose though)
    The moorings there are good. Last time we were there we tied up in the corner and our Gog, small Welsh black cat, was happy to have spoke about.

    NB ‘Red Wharf’

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