Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Northern Oxford - on to Ansty

(Boats Chalice & Sickle - posted by Cath)
On the Northern Oxford
We set off from the 'Boathouse', and turned up the Northern Oxford. Alan steering Sickle, and me steering Chalice. Down Hilmorton locks near Rugby, narrow locks, requiring taking each boat through separately.

At Newbold on the other side of Rugby we stopped off for a quick shopping trip, then Michael got his first chance to steer through a tunnel. Newbold Tunnel is a short tunnel lit with green and purple lighting. This trip Alan has steered Sickle (the much more challenging boat) through the long tunnels of Blisworth and Braunston, while David has steered Chalice. I have steered both long tunnels in the past, although I don't particularly like to do the job. Braunston is the more challenging, with several S-bends which make meeting other boats coming the other way harder. David did an excellent job on both of the tunnels.

Sickle entering Newbold Tunnel

David steers Sickle into Newbold Tunnel - Alan stands on the tug deck.

Sickle leaves NewboldTunnel

David's photo of Chalice from Newbold Tunnel.

Michael steers Sickle

We have carried on with taking Odin off the boat regularly, and Michael is continuing with his training. He's a lovely little dog, bright, and very keen to learn. Training takes place in the front cabin of the boat, or on the towpath, but he's learning all the time. A lot of what he needs to learn is how to behave safely on the boat, and how to behave towards people, other dogs and other animals.

Ansty was difficult to moor in. All of the regular moorings were occupied, but there was a reedy section before the main moorings where we managed to get Chalice close enough to the side to use a plank, then moored Sickle on the outside. Taking Odin off for his mid-night 'comfort break' was more challenging than usual, needing two of us to get him over the gap to the towpath.
The Boathouse - Braunston to Ansty
Miles: 18.7 (Each boat), 37.4 (Combined), Locks: 6 (that's 3 single locks for each boat!)
Total Miles: 138.7, Locks: 42 (worked)

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