Gone Bananas! 16th 17th July

Cow Field, Lecklade to Kelmscott

Sunday, we could have returned to watch the airshow at Ian and Sally’s today, but work needed to take over again. During the Geraghty zoom the planes started to go over head, not as loud as I’d thought they would be so hopefully on Saturday Tilly wouldn’t have been bothered by them too much.

Red Arrows?

I concentrated on stone work and archways today. Mixing colours that I wouldn’t normally put together, they seemed to be right for what I was after, it is panto after all!

Orange and purple!

Mark and Liz from NB Azzura popped by to say hello. They’d arrived in Lechlade yesterday and had serious fun winding up by the Roundhouse in the wind. They had booked the electric boat mooring at St Johns to charge their batteries for their return journey. Good to see them again.

Monday. Time to start to make our way back down stream. Many people seem to travel back to Oxford in a couple of days, we’d be taking it slower and todays move was more about giving Tilly some shore leave than anything else.

A mile marker ?

We didn’t need to push off today due to the wind. What we needed to do was plan our departure well. Mick took out the extra spikes that he’d hammered through the loops on the first ones, crossed spikes had helped us cling to the bank for nearly a week. Then the bow spike was pulled out, I coiled my rope and climbed onboard whilst Mick headed to the stern to pull the spike out there. Whilst this was happening the wind blew the bow out from the bank, just as it started to loose it’s power the flow downstream took over. Oleanna did exactly as planned and winded herself, Mick hopping on just at the right moment to help keep her away from the off side.

Lounging around at St John’s Lock

Sunday had seen a few boats leave the moorings, this morning at least one narrowboat had left and four cruisers had headed to St John’s Lock. Our arrival wasn’t timed so well as the last two cruisers were sat on the lock landing waiting for the lock to fill. There was no room for us and the wind was really quite strong. Mick reversed us upstream so the wind was more to our stern so wouldn’t be pushed into the offside bushes. As soon as the cruisers moved off we moved up.

At last! Untie it!!

A volunteer and Lock Keeper helped us down the lock, now we pootled our way downstream. The slight increase of flow sped up our journey. That line of trees coming and going again.

On the biggest tightest bend we of course came across a boat heading upstream. Mick kept Oleanna under control as both boats passed carrying on towards different locks.

Cruisers ahead

At Buscot Lock we caught up with the cruisers. They checked if I’d be alright closing up after them, not a problem especially as Mick was already heading to lend a hand with the gates. Lock refilled and we were on our way down behind them. Using the long pole to open and close the bottom gates was fairly easy, the gates move a lot easier than most broad locks on the canals.

Above Buscot Lock

We wiggled some more watching those tree come and go again. Then as we approached Kelmscott we had our fingers crossed for a mooring. Not wanting to climb the steep bank and fight our way through the undergrowth, we carried on past the first moorings. The good space had a boat on it, so we carried on to the hard bank which was free.

See ya!

Mick had thought here would be better, but the height made it a little awkward to get on and off for us, but we managed and tied up ready for Tilly to have the rest of the day as shore leave. The gap and height of the bank was not a problem for her. Off she went to explore the friendly cover and sideways trees.

Bananas of many sizes

An afternoon of working again. It all went a bit bananas!

Not your average farm vehicles

Mick had a walk round Kelmscott, still as pretty as it was four years ago. A shame we’d arrived on a Monday, the house not open until Thursday and the pub not doing food. Next time, the house is certainly worth a return visit. Mick was incharge of our evening meal tonight, sausage slop. Instructions were given whilst I continued to paint more and more bananas.

2 locks, 3.4 miles, 1 perfect wind, 2 in front, 1 excited cat in the window, 1 long pole, 1 high bank, 5732 bananas, 6 sausages chopped into 24.