Watching The Radar. 7th July

Iron Bridge Lock to The Grove Bridge

Bacon Butties before zoom. Subjects included, who has sat in Pauls chair, Jet 2 Man, The Pigeon Society and plastic free Beetle Drives. Everyone was present and in jolly mood.

Time to make a move, cruising plans altered to only two hours a day instead of three. I was just closing the side hatch when the heavens opened! How long would it last for? We checked the weather radar. There would be a gap in the rain after 12:30.

Tilly was offered some more shore leave, she reluctantly took it.

Is it really that far?

More rain, more checking the radar. It kept changing! Gaps of quarter of an hour weren’t going to get us very far. During one downpour a coal boat came past. They rang their bell, we didn’t want anything. The lady at the bow said ‘No-one will come out because of the rain!’ ‘Ring the bell!’ said the chap. She had, we just didn’t want anything.

A window of opportunity possibly from 2:15. We waited, the radar still seemed hopeful and around 2:10 the rain stopped. We quickly got ourselves ready, rolled up the covers, donned waterproofs. The section of canal we were on had risen with yesterdays rain and at one point we’d been floating, but today we’d come to rest again on the bottom, just closer to the bank than when we’d arrived. It didn’t take too much to push out and we were on our way, hooray!

Not sure if you can make out the steam rising

Cassiobury Park Bottom Lock is left empty, a paddle left up. As we worked our way up the sun shone, steam rose from the lock beams and towpath, it felt like being in a sauna.

Are these stop planks for somewhere? Currently moored between the locks

A chap walked by with his two dogs. He asked if we could leave the lock open at both ends, Mick asked why. Apparently the bywash was blocked, this chap wasn’t a boater, but the level was up and with so few boats moving the canal was becoming stagnant. I’m not sure if he was asking us to leave the top gates open ‘just a bit’ and a paddle at the bottom up. We said we were to leave the lock empty which we did, a chap from the lock cottage came out to check.

Like the shingles on the roof

The next lock was full, it should have also been left empty according to the signs. The dog walker asked us to leave this one open too. We considered his request, but decided that maybe he wasn’t too ofay with water management. We left the lock how we were meant to with a paddle up at the bottom to empty it.

The mill buildings, most probably flats now

The level was up, the weirs by the mills rushing water down to the river. No moorings available along the first section. Round the bend there was a gap, but had we gone far enough yet? Not really. A look at the map, ahead few cat friendly moorings for a while, roads too close for comfort. Through The Grove Bridge was a space we pulled in and hammered spikes into the soft ground, not much further but just enough for today and anyhow the storm clouds were massing again overhead.

Tilly was given two more hours as rain showers came and went, I did a bit more painting and Mick watched cycling and tennis.

At last out of the freezer

The Bream I’d bought back in Oxford with mind to have them on the bbq were defrosted. Some Jersey royals , tomatoes, red peppers, garlic added and roasted for a while before adding the fish. A Rick Stein recipe, which after doing all the prep I realised was meant to go with Seabass. However they were very very tasty with the saffrony potatoes, think I’ll be doing them again, I do like Bream. But it was just as well we’d not had them on a bbq, dissecting them would have been a pain with our plates on our knees.

A very tasty tray of fish and veg

2 locks, 1 mile, 1 very rainy day, 4 claps of thunder, 2 outsides, 2 Bream, 1 painting with mid tones, 4 stitches too many, 1 sock frogged, 1 Traitors reunion, now what to watch?

4 thoughts on “Watching The Radar. 7th July

  1. Mike Todd

    I think in this party of the world they are ‘apartments’ not mere flats!

    You probably know that many of the lock cottages on the southern part of the GU were built with the ground floor below the level of the canal. Water leakage from the lock walls causes significant problems for some of the properties which is why they are asked to be left empty – or so we have been told!

    1. Pip Post author

      Of course ‘apartments’.
      Yes we’ve been told about the locks flooding the lock cottages too. However there are more locks requiring to be left empty than cottages now. I think CRT are trying to stave off major works on some of the locks as quite a few are showing signs of subsidence around them.


Leave a reply and don't forget to tell us who you are