You know it’s going to be a good day when you wake up to a full English breakfast. Oh yes.
You also know it’s going to be a good day when the Captain says we’re only motoring for eight hours. Double yes!
This means we set off at 08:30, with a mission to get through Banbury before the end of the day.
However, I’m jumping ahead of myself.
Our first stop of the day was at the delightfully named Fenny Compton, where postcards were purchased. Though we would like to apologise to those who are about to receive them, we were severely limited for choice and they looked as though they’d been on the shelf for at least 40 years (and I’m not even exaggerating). You’ll see.
After this we travelled through Fenny tunnel, which actually isn’t a tunnel any more (and hasn’t been for almost as long as the canal has been around). The rock of the thousand yard tunnel was too weak to support itself and the “top” was taken off as a precaution.
We made our through several locks, including the Claydon Flight. There were several volunteers at one of the locks, helping people through as well as tidying up the lock surroundings. Strange then that they were all mysteriously busy when it became my turn to get us through the lock. Ah well, I’m not complaining.
As we wended our way towards Cropredy (the last town before Banbury), we spotted that it had a local shop. Perfect, as we needed some supplies (mainly in the cake and biscuits department). After completing the lock, as the Captain drove the boat, I hoped up onto the mainland and found the corner shop. It had everything we needed. A few moments later I was waking away with a bag full of goodies.
I had assumed the Captain would be quite some way along the canal, and I’d have to walk at speed to catch up with her and the Security Officer (and the Sea Cadet of course, as they go wherever the Captain goes).
But I was wrong. As I slipped back down onto the canal, there they all there, waiting for me. Perfect timing. And now we had supplies for afternoon tea.
The sun broke through the clouds in the early afternoon, which saw a little spike in boat movement, after what had been a reasonably grey (but dry) morning. We passed several boats heading in the opposite direction.
This flurry of activity soon ended though, and we seemed to be the only boat on the move for several hours.
We were pleased when we made it to Banbury, after hours upon hours of the same rural view. Not that there’s anything wrong with all that farmland, but the urban setting of Banbury made a pleasant change.
We passed though a small lift bridge, topped up the boat’s water tank, and cranked our way through the single lock in relatively quick time (not that anything is really quick on the canal).
And that brought us to our final short stretch for the day. We moored up about an hour later, back in the countryside again (with the distant hum of the M40 as a constant companion).
I took the drone out for a quick spin again, narrowly avoiding trees, bridges, and dog walkers.
A peaceful end to what has been a very peaceful, uneventful day. How good is that?
Oh, there is one last thing to add. We met a man today who has a toilet shaped tiller pin. I’m not sure who was more excited about it him or the Captain.