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2003 Trip Reports

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8th February 2003 Tardebigge to Hopwood
H.C. 7223 - 7225 5.5 miles 0 locks 2 tunnels

Crew - Graham and Brenda.

Jannock in the drydock looking very dirty

Look at the state of that bathroom, the bath looks like the colliery band had a communal bath after a long shift a t'coal face. That's what happens when you leave the bathroom window open for ventilation whilst having your bottom blacked; and you could have if I hadn't cleaned every horizontal surface pronto. Puts me in mind of the 'soot on the eyepiece of the telescope' jokes ......... The boat keys were mysteriously in Bristol, J L Pinder & sons had sent them to the wrong owners. They 'lent' us a Kubota key and luckily I had my key for the padlocks.

We took a 'lurker' and his 2 lovely daughters for a short trip at Alvechurch. He was wintering on a hire-boat with a view to buying a batchelor-live-aboard. He waved as we were passing and asked "are you the Jannocks that's on the web? We agreed we were but hastily denied everything else. That's 2 lurkers we've outed so far. Graham painted the new control column and did some touching up of worn bits and rust spots. having been adequately warned, and having given my assurances to the contrary, I promptly stood in wet paint and then mopped over wet paint trying to get rid of the horrible black stuff. - Sorry darling

19th February 2003 Hopwood to Lapworth
H.C. 7212 - 7219 15.5 miles 19 locks 2 tunnels

Crew - Graham and Neil Arlidge.

Jannock's new (un-dented) control column

Collected crew (Neil A) from Napton and returned by car to Hopwood. The weather was cold but the canal liquid and so we set off in a northerly direction towards Kings Norton Jnctn. We plunged into Wast Hills tunnel and emerged from the other end to find ......... Ice, thick Ice, thick, almost impenetrable Ice. We decided that as we were now in bandit country, and didn't fancy reversing all the way back through the tunnel, we would press on - or at least - try to.

We found we could push along quite nicely whilst we were travelling in a straight line, but as soon as we tried to turn a corner, or slow down to pass a moored boat, we would grind to a halt and have to reverse and try again. We used the barge pole to create weak spots in the ice to assist passage in the desired direction, this proved to be a very effective method of steering - until I got tired and dropped the pole! We eventually made it to the Boot at Lapworth ........ well, all bar a lot of the new blacking which was noticeable by it's absence. Neil Ratcliffe assisted us down through the last 4 locks and this time, claimed refreshment.

The evening 'Lapworth-O-Gig' was held in the Navigation and attended by Neil A, Neil R, Sean Neil, Andrew G.(fresh from Germany) Martin Wilson and myself. A good evening was had by all and Andrew G. availed himself of Jannock's sofa-bed.

the fearless hooded ones disposing of BW's hedgetrimmings by throwing them onto the ice
20th February 2003 Lapworth to Long Itchingdon
H.C. 7234 - 7243 Distance 18 miles 38 Locks

Crew - Graham and Neil A.

Andrew G. rose at 06:00 to go to work. He delivered me to Hopwood so that I could move the car to Lapworth. We left our overnight mooring and did the last 5 locks down on the advice given by a boat crew coming the other way. They had just abandoned going any further up Lapworth flight due to the thickness of the Ice. "It's not as icy as this further down" they said. How wrong they were!
Even though the ice on the Grand Union was thinner, it still managed to halt our forward motion when we slowed to pass moored boats. We set off down Hatton solo but soon joined up with a couple on an elderly springer at the 3rd lock down. No speed records, but with 2 steerers and 2 lock workers we made good progress. We parted company with them above Cape lock and continued on our own. Finally made the Two Boats at Long Itchingdon in the dark ( 9 hour days in winter are not good - however 56 lock/miles in that time is! )
The original GiG-ette plan was to meet Philip and Alan plus Roger in the Green Man for a meal, but when we arrived there we were told that they were not doing food that evening. We turned about and went to the Two Boats for an excellent meal. Roger came back to Jannock for coffee before departing back to Calcutt.

21st February 2003 Long Itchingdon to Napton
H.C. 7243 - 7248 Distance 6 miles 8 Locks

Crew - Graham and Neil A.

A leisurely start through the remaining broken ice and the last 8 locks of the trip. We were ice breaking on the Oxford canal when we got shouted at by the female owner of one of the wooden boats that was moored adjacent to the winding point. We had to reverse back past her again to moor due to all the 14 places being full up with boats awaiting the locks to be re-opened. We packed up, collected Neils car and went home.

old wooden boats at Napton'
16th March 2003 Napton to Fenny Compton
H.C. 7248 - 7252 Distance 10 miles Locks 9

Crew - Graham and Brenda

Almost a month since we last moved, the stoppage at Napton has finished now.
What a beautiful day! A hard frost was evident when we started out this morning but we were sun red by the time we got home again. Lambs bounced all over the fields. We stopped at Napton wharf and unloaded all of the brick pavers from the engine bay into the car. There was quite a lot of traffic through Napton locks, luckily most was going North and so we had most of the flight set ready for us. Great when you are two handed.

Dieseling up
Ivor Batchelor sets sail into the sunset!

The summit prompted the need for luncheon. Beer and mustard bread, hard boiled eggs, cheese, apples and tomatoes. How good did that taste in the fresh air and sunshine. As we moored up at Fenny, Ivor Batchelor arrived aboard Mountbatten and so we did a very convenient refuel, and had a good chat of course.

22nd March 2003 Fenny Compton to Cropredy
H.C. 7252 - 7256 Distance 6 miles Locks 9

Crew - Graham, Brenda and Ken.

What the vandals did at Claydon!

The works at Claydon locks were extended due to a visit to the site by a bunch of Yobs. The picture on the left gives some idea of the state they left the middle lock in. They damaged the lock gates and the little lockside building and then dumped the digger in the cut.
I wonder if their parents knew (or cared) what they were doing?

Ken decided to join us for the home run, his first trip and I think he enjoyed it. The weather was sunny with a breeze in places. Some of the new gates on the Claydon flight were very difficult to move, I hope they free up with time and use. Ken appears to be a natural steerer. We did a pumpout at Cropredy wharf. Nothing in the offside section with the central section 3/4 full. Fetched the car from Fenny using the Fleeing Fly and then we left Jannock back on her home mooring.

Ken gets steering lessons through Fenny Tunnel
8th April 2003 Cropredy to Banbury & return
H.C. 7256 - 7259 Distance 4 miles Locks 6

Crew - Simon, Brenda and Cara.

(Cara) A beautiful day! Some dodgy driving on my part but otherwise a smooth journey. We have just made friends with some greedy ducks and a very cute little boat named Sarni.
(Brenda) Got attacked by those bl**dy Banbury geese again, at least they didn't board and bite my ankles this time.

The killer geese of Banbury 'Goose Green?'
Entering Bourton lock heading North

(Simon) First time on board since Jan 1st. THE DENT'S MAGICALLY DISAPPEARED! (possibly with the help of a few s) We spent 3 hours flipping the boat through 180 degrees. We got moaned at by the old blokes at the funny farm for driving on the wrong side of the cut and made friends with some New Zealanders plus I adopted a new granny! Wow - thank goodness Mothers day has been and gone.
Question of the day .... How many competent adults does it take to adjust a clock for British summertime? - Three, but only if they have two attempts each.

20th April 2003 Cropredy to Banbury (Open Weekend)
H.C. 7262 - 7265 Distance 3 miles Locks 5

Crew - Graham, Brenda Simon and Matt. (+ guests)

The Banbury tea-party!

We departed Cropredy for the short run south to Banbury. We moored in Castle Quay for our "Open Days" Several of our neighbours have still not been on or visited Jannock and so we have arranged to be in Banbury over the Easter Weekend for people to visit us. The 'in-flight' movie today was Hot Shots!
(Lesley) It's Rosie's birthday - we were invited to Jannock and we've eaten cake, lots of cake, and marshmallow chickens (ducks). We went through Banbury lock, turned at the windy hole, returned to the quay and finished the evening at the Thai Orchid. It's been a lovely day and lovely to meet you Brenda & Graham! Thanks

The second 18th birthday celebrated with good food and good company aboard Jannock. Guests came bearing gifts of home made cake, so Richard, Maureen, Judith, David, Joshua, Luke, Carly and Alain were force fed cake, tea and alcoholic libations too. Matt and Rosie shared a 17th/18th birthday cake, but managed not to sing! We met all the newly hired boats going North as we took a 'demonstration cruise' through town lock and down to the winding hole. Lesley, an experienced hand, melded into the crew. We then banqueted on Thai food and went to bed bloated. Happy Easter.
Odd sight of the day, A man walking his barn owl (Whooooo!)   Also- Carly's look of astonishment at how easy lifting a 3 ton liftbridge was - single handed.

21st April 2003 Banbury to Cropredy
H.C. 7265 - 7267 Distance 2 miles Locks 3

Crew - Graham, Brenda, Simon and Matt.

After a reasonable lay-in, it was up intime for NO BREAKFAST. None of the crew could manage more than a cup of tea after last nights wonderful meal. The shops opened at 10:30 and were visited by all and then at 12:00, we set off for Cropredy, brunch in hand. We were back in our mooring by 14:30.
Todays in-flight movie was Hot Shots part Deux. I think the boys like having DVD facilities aboard. AND the way to stop THOSE GEESE near Banbury being so aggressive is to fill their vicious little beaks with bread! (and we didn't even tell them it was mouldy, so ha-ha to them ........)

Pssssssst, Want to buy a cheap boat?
10th May 2003 Cropredy to Fenny Compton
Soddit Cruise 2003 pt. 1
H.C. 7267 - 7272 Distance 6 miles Locks 9

Crew - Graham, Brian, Ian and Peter.

Trainee steerer, don't let the smile fool you!

(Graham) We left our Cropredy mooring at 10:15 and proceeded to the wharf to fill the water tank. We then headed North under overcast skies and accompanied by a cold wind. Once we were through the Claydon locks, we stopped for lunch and a spot of fishing. It rained. We continued on to Fenny Compton at 17:00 and winded outside the Wharf Inn. We then sampled this re-vamped hostelry before returning to Jannock for an evening meal prepared by 'Mac the wok' and two games of Soddit. (Each game took a lifetime and Ian fell asleep)

(Ian) Having loaded everything onto the boat, Ian was disappointed to see Brian commencing his alcohol consumption at 10:15. He then continued all day until midnight.  .   Ian remained true to his teatotal lifestyle and only sampled tea and juice all day.      The resulting headache and stomach problems on Sunday baffled to total crew! (did they?)

(Brian) The only baffling thing about the previous statement is the bullsh*t coming from the pen of Ian. The fishing contests continue to draw vast crowds of on-lookers. The only problem seems to be the lack of fish on the end of the lines. One day we will show the disbelievers that there are fish in the Oxford canal.

A serious discussion at the bows
11th May 2003 Fenny Compton to Cropredy
H.C. 7272 - 7276 Distance 6 miles Locks 9

Crew - Graham, Brian, Ian and Peter.

We departed Fenny after the papers had been collected, the shop opened at 10:00. The time between 07:00 (get up) and the off was spent breakfasting and fishing. We then tagged onto the rear end of a procession of Ownerships boats heading South. We stopped below the Claydon locks for lunch and yet more fishing. The fish were not biting, just showing off. A large carp spent quite a while exhibiting himself between our fishists and their floats, he just knew he was safe! We arrived back at Cropredy at 14:30 and were on the road, heading home, by 15:00.

25th May 2003 Cropredy to Napton bottom lock
H.C. 7276 - 7285 Distance 17 miles Locks 18

Crew - Graham, Brenda and Matt.

That's how to get good telly pictures!

Having reversed from the mooring to Manor Cut, avoiding southbound boats who didn't know how to react to a reversing narrowboat, we winded and then filled the water tank at Cropredy wharf. This was followed by an un-eventful trip to Napton with sunny weather interspaced with light showers. The crew are revolting, no-one wants to be here. Brenda almost suffered from 'skylark overload'

26th May 2003 Napton to Welton wharf
H.C. 7285 - 7289 Distance 9.5 miles Locks 6

Crew - Graham, Brenda and Matt.

Up at 08:00 having been serenaded by nature's music of the morning ..... what a lovely day. Breakfast was taken accompanied by swans that belched and poo'd whilst we watched the moorhens beat up the ducks. Such is life.
A pleasant cruise to Braunston, the sort of morning when one knows why holidays abroad are not necessary, I even had to put on sun block.

The wonderful door alongside Braunston locks

We went to see the art at Braunston roundhouse but being a bank holiday ...... it was closed. Matthew de-bunked for lunch and having teamed up with a good partner, we travelled up through the locks with the northbound boats coming down setting them all for us. Easy peasy. We moored up to the smell of a roasting bird (must go and make bread sauce) at Spinneys bridge (Welton wharf) at the Southern end of Braunston (cough cough) tunnel.

31st May 2003 Welton to Bugbrooke
H.C. 7289 - 7295 Distance 10 miles Locks 7

Crew - Graham, Brenda and Matt

study of lockgate by Simon

Today we have a new nephew, Alexander Keens, and a beautiful summer day to welcome him into the world. We started the day with 7 locks to descend and then relaxed. We were lucky to team up with a good 'pair' to share with and had most of the locks set ready for us. It got so hot as the day progressed that we stopped for lunch and a siesta just North of Weedon. We continued to Bugbrooke once it started cooling down and moored at the old wharf 14 day moorings. Brenda made supper while I went and fetched the car from Welton. We had supper a deux and then set off home.
Thought! - next time we put tiles up, I'm going to use duck poo instead of tile adhesive. I managed to scrub the paint off of Jannock but not the duck poo!

7th June 2003 Bugbrooke to Cosgrove
H.C. 7295 - 7302 Distance 12 miles Locks 8 & 1 long & wet tunnel.

Crew - Graham, Brenda & Margaret

Moles can swim! We saw a very fat one circumnavigating Jannock at Bugbrooke. We saw a strange sign for elderly ducks crossing the canal! No ducks in sight though. We had a relaxing day, warm and dry after a drizzly start. We met a novice crew, one of their womenfolk thought it would save effort if the top gates of the locks were left open whilst the boats were locking down! I pointed out to her that leaving the top gates open would drain the pound immediately above the lock. She pointed out to me that she was a complete bimbo.

Margaret joined us today, her first time out, in preparation for her first canal (time) holiday in August. Having travelled through Blisworth tunnel, which was very wet and very polluted, she declared that she had really enjoyed the experience .... and could we turn round and do it again!

filling with water at Stoke Bruerne
22nd June 2003 Cosgrove to Soulbury
H.C. 7302 - 7307 Distance 14 miles Locks 2

Crew - Graham, Brenda & Simon

I'm off to test the new clutch.

A pretty boring, routine day with only a few items of note:-
1. - The canal is definitely the best way to see Milton Keynes.
2. - There was an IWA 'event' on at Linford Park. Plenty of boats in attendance as well as some sort of fun run taking place.
3. - The fleeing fly's new clutch is excellent. I can now stop at junctions without stalling the engine.
4. - Getting jeered at by pop fans crossing the footbridges into the MK bowl whilst I was travelling up the A5 to fetch the car.
5. - Brenda and Simon met a bunch of bimbo's - of both sexes! They were in a borrowed 'gin palace' (having apparently downed most of the gin) and refused to share THEIR locks with us!

28th June 2003 Soulbury to Marsworth
H.C. 7308 - 7315 Distance 11 miles Locks 15 & 1 swingbridge.

Crew - Graham, Brenda, Ken & Gladys

(Gladys) We had a wonderful day on board Jannock, very peaceful and relaxing. Good food and company. We started below the three locks at Soulbury and finished at Marsworth, near the junction with the Aylesbury arm. I saw a large dead fish, ideal for fish stew!

(Brenda) Oh no it wasn't Gladys!
Today we bullied a very reluctant Gladys to accompany Ken for a day out with us. She reports she is very glad we did, having had a lovely day. She brought all of Grahams favourite (but never gets at home) food for lunch! Beetroot, broad beans etc.
We saw the drunkest drunks that we've ever seen moored behind us at Marsworth, until they moved off .... DANGER TO SHIPPING! Before they left, the bloke came and asked us if he could borrow our tin opener as his partner had just thrown most of their plates and cutlery in the canal. He wanted to eat before they set off!

canal side cottage with 'lock gates' in the garden
5th July 2003 Marsworth to Aylesbury
H.C. 7315 - 7320 Distance 6 miles Locks 16

Crew - Graham and the Coven
'when the going gets tough, the tough go boating!'

how to flood a cruiser stern boat.

(Nicola) Well, I didn't fall in! I was pleased to have a drive, didn't crash ( that's good! ) The food was lovely, so was the drink! The whole day was wonderful, very relaxing with lovely company. A very big thankyou to Graham and Brenda.
(Clare) Shirley has had one drink and is completely blotto. Oh dear! She can't write anything ... A fabulous day - wonderful food and company - didn't stop laughing all day. my favourite bit was seeing the herons and watching Nicola wobbling/balancing on the locks. Thankyou B and G.
(Louise) A whole new experience. Started well, had mastered opening and closing the locks then disaster - the windlass slipped and struck my arm. I was very brave - icepops and tubigrip helped, along with ibuprofen, champagne, red wine, good food and wonderful company. It's been an amazing day, thankyou.

(Jane) Another great day. Even had a go at working the locks this time. Might have a go at steering next time (if I'm invited). Great food and drink - I won't need to eat for the next few days. Thankyou so much G and B- you are such great hosts.
(Shirley) I was told I am intelligent because I solved the puzzle of the anti-vandal lock. I am slightly intoxicated due to the glass of bubbly I have had before writing this. My nails are still perfect but my hands became greasy due to the paddle or winding gear. I have had a most wonderful time on board with all my friends and I wish to thank my hosts - B and G for a wonderful day, and many thanks to Louise for calling me 'thick! ', 'pain in the neck' from Jane, 'call me a taxi' from Brenda. What a lovely day I've had.
(Brenda) Enough said about today's crew! This day was to celebrate friendship, whinge about our collective teenagers, enjoy English summer days and nature and ... Clare's 50th birthday. Apart from Louise's appalling injury - she's lucky her wrist isn't broken - due to the latch coming adrift when the whole paddle gear was loose, we had a fine day. The great bonus of the day was watching Nicola drive, hop on and off Jannock and even dance in the middle of a lock gate. This is the lady who survived meningitus only to be too afraid to walk down her own street for fear of falling a year ago, That's GIRL POWER. Happy birthday Clare!

a heron busy fishing.

hippo, birdie, two ewes :-)
6th July 2003 Aylesbury to Marsworth
H.C. 7320 - 7325 Distance 6 miles Locks 16 (again)

Crew - Graham, Brenda, Simon, Terry, Iris, Ellie, Angus & Harry

(Iris) A wondeful Sunday morning. Due to the kindness of B & G, we brought Ellie, Angus & Harry (our grandchildren) for a ride from Aylesbury boat basin to Broughton lock. What a wonderful enjoyable experience for the three kiddies! The fee for such a trip? Home made chocolate eclairs by Granny! Thanks also to crewman Simon.

(Ellie) I have had a great time on Jannock the canalboat. I would like to have another day on the boat. Harry is a very happy boy because it is his first time. Thankyou.
(Angus) Thankyou for the trip Sunday the 6th July.
(Simon) Cruised onwards back to Marsworth, and I was blighted by giant insectoid vampires intent on eating me for breakfast, and newly greased paddle gear. Greasy gear vs. white t'shirt = 5-nil! Delicious chocolate eclairs!!! Marsworth must be a bit of a tourist magnet because the closer we got, the more spectators we had at the locks.

busy Aylesbury basin
12th July 2003 Marsworth to Bulbourne
H.C. 7325 - 7327 Distance 1 mile Locks 7

Crew - Graham and Brenda

Marsworth staircase locks.

Today is hot - 32 degrees cabin temperature at 3PM, so we chose to move during the evening / tomorrow morning to avoid the midday sun. Englishmen we may be, but Noel Cowards we are not!
We teamed up with a good crew and the whole operation was painless, if somewhat sweaty! We arrived well before the allotted time and were able to shower before a Bulbourne curry at the Grand Junction Arms ( but no oak stroking!!)

13th July 2003 Bulbourne to Berkhamstead
H.C. 7327 - 7331 Distance 5.5 mile Locks 10

Crew - Graham, Brenda, Gary & Simon.

At last! today we saw a kingfisher! It was almost worth getting up at 6:30 for.
Berkhamstead is also a tourist magnet, we must now feature in at least 3 sets of summer photo's! Gary retraced his steps of twenty (and some) years ago, having travelled this section with us aboard the Highline Yachting hireboat in 1977. That's how old he is!
Todays recipe is orange a la canardling - take an orange, stuff a duckling in it with the beak protruding out of the top. Roast until done. Arrange a sprig of mint in the beak - et voila.

2nd August 2003 Berkhamstead to Hemel Hempstead
H.C. 7331 - 7333 Distance 3 miles Locks 8

Crew - Graham, Brenda & Simon.

Jannock emerging from a Grand Union lock.

So, moored in the shade of overhanging trees, with all the curtains closed to the sun, when we opened up the cabin temperature was 34.5 degrees - phew whatb a scorcher!
Two weeks after his knee surgery, the Captain decided he was fit to cruise again. Having packed Matt off on his Surfin' holiday, we felt left out and decided to put the 'kneehole surgery' to the test.

We locked down from Berko with a boat crew trying to sell the 'glamourous lifestyle afloat' (and their boat) to another couple - they weren't much good and a bit anti-social! We moored in Boxmoor and found a converted pub/curry house across the meadow from the cut. Braved various forms of livestock (and the evidence of their presence) to sample fabby cuisine.
Notable point of the day:- Canada goose flypast by about 15 of the things - low level Dambusters style!

3rd August 2003 Hemel-Boxmoor to Cassio Bridge
H.C. 7333 - 7338 Distance 8.5 mile Locks 17

Crew - Graham, Brenda & Simon.

Another hot and sticky day. We shared all of the locks down from Hemel with nb Serendella who was doing the Thames ring. I enjoyed the journey past Grove Park & Grove Mill. Very nice, especially as it was followed by Cassiobury Park. There were loads of gongoozlers at Iron Bridge Lock. We moored opposite Bridgewater basin immediately after Cassio Bridge lock.

9th August 2003 Casio Bridge to Cowley Peachey
H.C. 7338 - 7345 Distance 11 miles Locks 11

Crew - Graham, Brenda, Simon & Linda

A day fondly remembered for the company of Simons friend Linda, our very pleasant Italian visitor , squadrons of dragonflies and a swan that kept nibbling Graham's bum during lunch. A journey broken only by a shopping stop at the Rickmansworth Tesco moorings and a quiet lunch stop near Harefield.

Simon teaching Linda the art of steering
Nobody can escape filling in the log!

(Linda) This little cruise has been a beautiful experience. Unique in it's colours, in the atmosphere, in the feelings it has given me. The best point of view from which to visit your country! I will bring at home, the green of your gardens, the rippling of the canals water and Jannock's rocking will be the cradle of wonderful memories. Thank you for that.

10th August 2003 Cowley Peachey to Hanwell
H.C. 7345 - 7349 Distance 7 miles Locks 8

Crew - Graham, Brenda Matt & Rosie.

Today had a disasterous start. We arrived at Jannock with Matt & Rosie as crew, loaded and set off down the Grand Union during one of the hottest days of the year. We had travelled almost 3 miles, to bridge 198 when Graham realised that he's not only left the Fleeing Fly in the car (at Cowley) but he had also left the car unlocked! We stopped Jannock in the shade of the bridge and Graham walked back to the car, retrieved the bike , locked the car and rode back to Jannock. When he returned, we took the oportunity to fill Jannock's fuel tank from a passing diesel boat whilst remaining in the shade of the bridge.

Bulls Bridge, Grand Union.

We took on water and provisions at Tescos (Bulls Bridge) where the walk across the tarmac was literally stifling. It was no surprise to learn that more than 100 degrees had been recorded at Heathrow Airport, only a sparrows fart from where we were - hottest ever recorded in the UK ! As we approached Norwood top lock at 3pm, an executive decision was made by Brenda, and unanimously supported by the rest of the crew - we would moor in the trees on the offside and chill in the shade for a couple of hours. We had the caribean temperatures, the accompanying music was supplied by the locals in the flats opposite, the beers were fetched out, but no chilling occurred: too hot!

Norwood and Hanwell locks were tackled in the 6pm heatwave and we moored for the night in what appeared to be countryside, albeit under the main flightpath for Heathrow airport. After dinner, we tried 'The Fox', a cross between a country pub and the Queen Vic! (Eastenders). Southall yielded many coconuts floating in the Ganges Union!

11th August 2003 Hanwell to Sunbury
H.C. 7349 - 7354 Distance 14 miles Locks 6

Crew - Graham, Brenda, Matt & Rosie

(Matt) Recipe of the day.

Take 6 litres of cruising and slowly, but vigourously stir in 3 pints of sweaty lock work. Add 1 frog called Susan and bake on a pre-heated planet for 6 hours at gas mark "Oh my god". Make interesting by adding finely chopped electric operated locks and other ingredients such as small mammals and insects. Wash down with a cooling dip in the Thames. Finish off with a nice pre-cooked meal from the Flower Pot and a talking swan that preferred sausages. Et voila, you've got yourself a regular cake that I like to call "a day on Jannock"

Susan the frog hiding in the tyre.
Rosie and Matt feeding the swans

Just after setting off, a frog crawled out from within one of the mooring tyres on the roof. Matt christened it Susan while it remained on board. Passed down through last 3 locks where we waited about 1 hour for Brentford lock to be ready. Once through Brentford lock and onto the Thames we set off northbound riding the waves of the passing trip boats. Did a self pump-out at Molesley lock and then moored for the night by the park immediately before Sunbury Court Island. A cooling swim was followed by a walk up to the Flower Pot for a meal.

12th August 2003 Sunbury to Maidenhead
H.C. 7354 - 7362 Distance 22 miles Locks 10

Crew - Matt, Rosie, Brenda & Graham

We started the day by immediately passing through Sunbury lock. We then had a fairly uneventful trip up river to Maidenhead which included water, rubbish & runner beans at Boveney lock followed by filming being carried out (with guard ribs posted to stop passage of boats when shooting was occurring) in Maidenhead. We moored for the night at the start of the Cliveden Deep, on the towpath (no charge) side. There were lots of fish and underwater plants where we swam off of the back of Jannock. I really appreciate the new (converted ladder) gangplank. We hang the ladder bit over the side of the boat to facilitate getting back aboard once swimming is finished. Brenda then cooked a superb stir fry for the evening meal once the temperatures had cooled down a bit.

Thames trip boat
13th August 2003 Maidenhead to Sonning
H.C. 7362 - 7368 Distance 18 miles Locks 7

Crew - Matt, Rosie, Brenda & Graham

Reboarding Jannock above Hambledon lock.

Not quite a heat and tetsie flies day today, although the European suncream lake is still diminishing fast. Brenda lost one of our solar powered lights overboard at Cookham lock by hitting it and snapping the mounting bracket. Another day spent marvelling at some of the fabulous houses lining the Thames. Almost makes one want to 'do' the lottery ..... but only almost. Luncheon was taken at the (yet another) Flowerpot, Ramenemenemenemenham (Aston). The food couldn't have been tastier if we HAD won the lottery; excellent tomato sauce and wonderful canneloni. We enjoyed the afterlunch air display , a biplane that was stunting high above us - we couldn't, however, decide whether it was a full size one or a very large model. We passed through Henley before finally making it to Sonning Bridge for the night stop.

As we took a cup of tea, post mooring up for the evening, Concord flew over. I suspect it will be the last time I'll ever see her as she goes out of service in October.
I saw more Kingfishers and a Woodpecker, Black Swans too. During the evening car shuffle, the Fleeing Fly (Di Blasi) broke down near Maidenhead. Graham found that the contemporary garage sells everything the motorist might need - sweets, coal, charcoal, printer cartridges, fruit juice, CDs - BUT NOT A SCREWDRIVER! Simon to the rescue, having already put some bread in the breadmaker (at home) ready for us tomorrow! Superhero?

14th August 2003 Sunbury to Maidenhead
--- 'A' Level Results Day ---

Results day, We went home for the exam results. Matt passed his 'AS's and Rosie got her Uni place confirmed.
Di Blasi mending day, Graham was unable to identify the cause of last nights fuel starvation, the carb & tank filter are clean. It seems to be working OK today ??
Domestics day, 3 loads of washing and a supermarket visit later ......... We returned to Jannock at Sonning to find Uncle Mort tied up alongside. Cap'n Beeky had supper bubbling in a pan and tasty it was too. Mr Sainsbury ably provided dessert.

Did you know that Lister made rubbish bins?

A mini GiG ensued: Graham, Brenda, Andrew, Jim, Julian with telephony by Caro & Mr Terry Streeter (henceforth to be known as 'Helga Strasse') convened at the Bull. As Terry (a campanologist of renown) arrived at the GiG, the local church bells pealed out ..... spooky. Then the Morris dancers started clogging, twas redolent of a Thomas Hardy novel.
Apres drinkies and mousewatch, the Cap'n had Brenda taking photos of litter bins. (Cos they were made by Listers) We smuggled various beverage holders back to Uncle Mort. Andrew managed to trash Brenda's veggie bin whilst boarding Jannock and much silliness ensued over cocoa.
Julian stayed over, lured by the promise of egg banjos for breakfast - Thanks Cap'n & goodnight.

15th August 2003 Sonning to Pangbourne
H.C. 7368 - 7373 Distance 8 miles Locks 3

Crew - Brenda & Graham

a fine example of a Thames boathouse

Up early for egg banjos and then Julian went off to work. We were ready at Sonning lock at 09:00 and proceded with Uncle Mort to Reading where we stopped at Better Boating for water as well as diesel for Uncle Mort. Then on through Pangbourne to Church Farm, Lower Basildon where the GiG (Great Internet Gathering) was to happen over the next few days. We arrived at the GiG site at 14:30 and moored up outside of Uncle Mort, who had already moored alongside Pendle Magic.

The afternoon started with a cream tea and collective gazebo erection, was followed by an evening of ad-hoc entertainment, interupted by the arrival and consumption of fish and chips and was rounded off by a magnificent fireworks display at Basildon House at 10pm. (not laid on specifically for the GiG, but close enough to be appreciated)

16th August 2003
--- GiG 2003 Day 1 ---

We rose early and Simon (who arrived late last night) transported Helga Strasse to Reading station and Graham to Sonning to collect vehicles. Graham then drove Ann and Tony to Reading so that Tony could repair Vital Spark, who had broken down near Reading en-route to the GiG from Frouds Bridge (are you keeping up with all this?) . Whilst Graham was at Vital Spark, he met "poo-tank Brian" on Snark who was moored alongside.
Later on that day, we went on a vibrate-o-cruise on Uncle Mort. There was an awful lot of vibration from U.M.s JP3 engine when it is running :-(

Click to watch the diving!

This AVI file is 2MB, not good for dial-up links!
view of the GiG site from the Thames

The weather was so hot that we rigged an impromptu diving board for Simon and Jim to use. Brenda voluntarily went swimming in the Thames again, this is a record, she's been swimming 3 times in the last week in the UK!
The evening entertainment consisted of a barbeque followed by musical entertainment with (you guessed it) fireworks at 10pm. (poo-tank Brian turned up at the GiG having had a bad time at Reading prison moorings)

17th August 2003
--- GiG 2003 Day 2 ---

The day kicked off with Guy and Connie running the boaters auction, Glen (I've got a bowler hat) Pecket claiming the job of porter. Much hilarity and heckling and monies raised for charity. The "Mayors" dog turned up, having been found by "Barking Constabulary" and was finally bailed by his owner for the sum of fifteen of our english pounds.

we're all going on a picnic!
we're all having a picnic

Formation boating commenced at noon, to the consternation of various tupperware sailors, we travelled abreast Uncle Mort to Mapledurham Lock en-route to a picnic at Mapledurham House. On arrival, we had to clear a path through the jungle to allow access to the picnic area from our mooring and those that visited the mill reported enjoying it. We returned to the GiG site and started packing for home. We left Jannock at the GiG site having planned to move down to our National mooring on Wednesday.

A chinese takeaway at home ended a splendid weekend where many old friends were caught up with and lots of new friends made.
Well done GiG organisers for your efforts arranging a superb weekend.

20th August 2003
GiG site to Cleeve lock & return

H.C. 7385 - 7388 Distance 3 miles Locks 4

Crew - Graham, Brenda, Lyell and Ann

Crewed by Lyell and Ann, our next door neighbours, we travelled up to Cleeve lock to fill the water tank and then returned to collect Uncle Mort and move down to our National mooring for next weekends Inland Waterways Festival at beale Park.
(Ann) Weather has been wonderful as we cruised to get some water and bring Uncle Mort to the moorings at the festival. Brenda did a stalwart job of driving the two boats down the Thames. All craft were left afloat and bump free. What a wonderful day, we are definitely bitten by the boating bug and this will not be our last entry in this book unless we have offended the skipper
(Oh yes it will, the old book's full and so there's a new one for 2004) Thankyou both for such fun and a great lunch, have a good weekend.

IWF 2003
Beale Park, Pangbourne

A four day Waterways Festival

A few of Brenda's memories of the IWA Festival at Pangbourne:-

The Devizes Major Wrecks arena display.

.    Formal tea and cake at 4pm - posh frocks, cucumber sandwiches, tea from the pot and wonderful cakes.
.    Never knowing quite where Jannock would be moored on our return to her .. inside, outside, middle or end? facing North or South? It quite upsets the post-beer tent equilibrium.
.    5 o'clock gin party on Parglena that contributed to chapter 2 of the 'knicker saga' (see below)
.    Taking over a very large part of the beer tent for the 'internetters' and friends, with chips at 11pm.

.    The 4 chapter 'knicker saga'
    -     one pair 'found' in Jannock's washing - not mine! - so hung on the bunting for their owner to claim.
    -     one pair (red and sparkly) liberated from their owner's cabin after a drinkie or two too many and hung on the bunting.
    -     one pair hastily washed and hung on the bunting to dry because the only thing I didn't organise was clean underwear for myself.
    -     and the next pair hastily washed and hung on my new airer .. which immediately collapsed and dropped them in the Thames!

Boats, boats and moored boats.
Draco's lovely flower display.

.    Magnet fishing, for knickers etc, in the Thames by torchlight. The washing and airer were both retrieved.
.    Draco's wonderful floral display. Krystina noted that she could have asked for charitable donations from all of the photographers and raised loadsamoney.
.    The amusing thought that all of the photographers may notice 3 pairs of knickers in the background of their photos.
.    A wonderful fiddle and guitar lullaby to see us to our beds.
.    Pimms, delicious. mmmmmmmm!

.    Having 3 unsolicited holes drilled in our gangplank - we know a song about that!
.    The Stirrer of the Week Award presentation.
.    Fun and camaraderie in the illuminated boat parade.
.    Friends - new and old.
.    Four squadrons of Canada geese flying over us en-route to their night time moorings each evening.

nb President at the IWF

Iris log.    
We arrived at the Waterways festival, Beale Park, Berks at 11am. Wandering around the various stalls we discovered Simon - shopping for shoes! We arrived at Jannock's mooring in time to eat our packed lunch. Then back to the stalls and display arena whilst Graham and family crew assembled the decor on Jannock in readiness for the Illuminated boat procession in the evening. When we arrived back at Jannock, for more eats, we were blinded by the sun reflecting off of the CD disks on the model London Eye.
7.45 pm and Jannock is about to set off for the parade. We will have to wait for the full effect as they go past in the dark. We have our torches to see our way back to the car.
A big thankyou yet again to the Jannock crew - lovely day.

25th August 2003 Beale Park to Long Wittenham
H.C. 7388 - 7393 Distance 15 miles Locks 4

Crew - Graham and Brenda

Up early to start dismantling lights and do a car shuffle to Thrupp. The crew then attended the IWF awards ceremony and watched the Devizes Major-Wrecks perform their excellent routine in the main arena. Jannock finally departed from the festival site at 13:50 and passed Northbound through Goring and Cleeve locks without queueing. We took on water at Cleeve waterpoint and then continued through Benson and Days lock, still no queues, with our planned destination being the Plough Inn at Long Wittenham. On reaching the pub mooring, we were offered a berth alongside nb Oxford Blue and so I started to turn Jannock to come alongside. On application of reverse power, we lost all drive. We were angled across the river at this point and the combination of the wind and the current were starting to move us away from the bank. It was too deep to use the pole to manouvre. After calling to shore, we were rescued by a fibreglass cruiser, (seamaster?) named Midnight Oil, who acted like a tug boat to get 13 tons of Jannock under control and within a ropes throw of the mooring. Peter and Barbara, on nb Oxford Blue, then made us safe alongside their boat.

A boathouse at Goring.

The fee for Jannock's salvation was ........ a sprig of Rosemary, from our plant, to accompany their roast lamb joint in the oven. It was graciously delivered along with a bottle of red wine to say thanks.
Investigation in the engine compartment revealed that the prop shaft had come uncoupled from the aquadrive and had slid backwards away from it. A similar thing occurred to L.T.C. Rolt in his book Narrowboat, chapter XVI Down to the Trent.
An enjoyable meal was taken in the Plough Inn followed by a 'quiet' nights sleep after a session in the bar with the Oxford Blue crew, Peter and Barbara.

26th August 2003 Long Wittenham to Thrupp - National Lock-queue Day
H.C. 7393 - 7402 Distance 22 miles Locks 11

Crew - Graham and Brenda

We left the Plough Inn moorings at about 09:30 and immediately hit the 1st lock queue of the day at Clifton. This was quickly followed by another at Culham and a mega-queue at Abingdon. The relief locky on duty at Abingdon was a fool - he passed a 50' narrowboat through solo because there was a Salters trip boat behind it in the queue! Once clear of Abingdon, we had no further problems at the next 3 Thames locks.

We left the Thames above Osney bridge and joined the Oxford canal to pass through the city. We didn't enjoy this route at all and will make a determined effort to use the Thames, through Port Meadow, to avoid the city in future. We found another queue at Dukes lock, with north-bound traffic arriving from two separate routes (Oxford canal & Dukes cut). Once through this lock, there was usually one boat working through when we arrived at the next lock ..... until we arrived at Roundham!

a Heron takes flight
decorated cans on a boat roof

We were 8th in line when we arrived here, the queue being caused by the gates not closing properly. John from nb Black Pig, who was in front of us, went up and removed the obstruction to allow the lock to be used. Brenda magic'd up a meal which we ate whilst awaiting our turn to pass through the lock. We finally arrived at Thrupp in the dark and found a 14 day mooring at the top end near Shipton on Cherwell church. What a day.

30th August 2003 Thrupp to Aynho Wharf
H.C. 7402 - 7408 Distance 12 miles Locks 8

Crew - Graham, Gary, Simon and Brenda

One day stint to move Jannock up towards Cropredy again - beautiful weather and Uncle Gary joined us to add a slightly insane tangental thinking touch to send me mad. We saw a notice by a lock saying that boat insurance companies were persuing claims for damage caused by boats not slowing down past moorings. We also saw a cardboard box 'speed camera' by the moorings at Lower Heyford. We were followed all day by a boat with a dippy woman aboard who couldn't figure out how locks worked. There was a 25 minute queue at Somerton deep lock, so Aynho for about 18:20.

6th September 2003 Aynho Wharf to Cropredy
H.C. 7408 - 7415 Distance 10.5 miles Locks 8

Crew - Graham, Simon and Brenda

It was chucking it down with rain when we left home this morning - hooray!! We haven't seen rain for about 6 weeks. Lovely and sunny when we reached Aynho - hooray!! Well, we wouldn't want a wet cruising day!
Apart from a short sharp shower as we finally moored at Cropredy, we had no rain. We stopped at Banbury for a car shuffle and some retail therapy, required because of the stresses of 3-4 boat queues at locks today. nb 'Owlet' passed by - hail fellow, well met and all that. Ann and Bill from nb 'Minihaha' were spotted taking a Tooleys Yard pleasure trip. Invited them aboard for a GiT (Great Internet Teaparty) and to see what a real boat was like inside. They said they quite liked the idea of life on the canals ... {obviously too much sun!}

Scarecrows at Clattercote farm

Graham returned from Cropredy (car shuffle) with tales of Pirates at "Goose corner". We met 2 Napton hireboats full of beautifully dressed, pished pirates, suffering the ignominy of having been boarded by the Napton Captains. We gather that they were being 'put ashore' at Banbury. The many empty lager bottles and bits of beard floating in the cut gave a hint of the problem. Well done Napton Boats - a responsible hire company.

the new table in it's opened position

We were runnning late and so we decided to eat aboard and use the extra time to fit the new flip-up table in the kitchen/lounge area - thanks to Judy & Stan of nb Blue Heron, via the GiG charity auction and Terry for decorating it. Whilst I prepared tinned surprise - Graham did a "Cap'n Beeky" and stood on a bit of the bank that was not actually there - getting a very wet leg.

13th September 2003 Cropredy to Adkins Lock (Napton)
H.C. 7415 - 7423 Distance 14.5 miles Locks 11

Crew - Graham and Brenda

As we left Cropredy nb Sirius (Devizes) approached and the steerer hailed us with "I see everything is Jannock then" Not a northern accent, but he is the 1st person to exhibit that he knew what Jannock means. A completely un-eventful trip today accompanied by gorgeous weather. We moored just above Adkins lock, opposite Draco, ready for the Cutweb Rally next weekend.

19th - 21st September 2003
Cutweb Gathering 2003

Crew - Graham, Simon and Brenda

Well it's Napton rally time again already.

This logbook eagerly awaits an entry from Mr Arlidge, aka Cabinboy .....
On Friday, arrival day, Simon was apprenticed to nb Uncle Mort as the Beeky's un-able seaman. We met them at Weedon, and delivered him, and then travelled to on to Napton in the car. Brenda and I asisted with stringing the fairy (aka safety) lighting lockside. Bunting was bunted and things prepared for the weekend. Brenda spent most of the afternoon locking boats up and down the Napton flight awaiting the arrival of Uncle Mort.

rainclouds gathering

Saturday dawned to fabulous weather and so we renamed it Ayah Napton. Mini Jannock was cruised above Adkins lock and was almost dragged into the bypass wier because she got a TEABAG around her prop. She was rescued by Mike and Brian (aka Woody). It was a lovely evening for the BBQ which was followed by the evenings musical entertainment and lots of laughter in "menopause corner" (the space heating system gave everyone the general idea about hot flushes). Apre' concert drinkies were held on U.M. ** - many people required sunglasses on Sunday morning.

This heron thinks it's a sheep

Despite aching heads, the charity auction was lively as usual, with many strange lots including a gang-plank repair kit from Albion enterprises. That was purr-chaste by Brian & presented to Jannock! Cap'n B outbid Brenda for a rather lovely rose decorated valise and then presented it to her "to put her knickers in" (It got worse, as a dent was one of the prizes in Sunday evening's raffle. Very strange people indeed) Debbi and Simon lunched with us, due to the departure of UM, and then it was time to pack up and ship out for another year ... and off to Salford to get our Simon back to Uni. tomorrow.

** it was decided NOT to shave a blotto Debbi's eyebrows off!

27th September 2003 Napton to Welton Wharf
H.C. 7428 - 7436 Distance 11 miles Locks 13

Crew - Graham, Ken, Margaret and Brenda

(Ken) Commenced journey from Napton and the days target was to reach Welton wharf, which we achieved. The weather was sunny and warm but late afternoon it became much cooler (something to do with 20 minutes in a tunnel?) The narrow locks that we went through were not very far apart so there was plenty of activity. After the 1st set of locks (Napton) we had a longer run until the next set were reached (Braunston) The boat traffic now was much thicker and so we had to double up both ways through the locks.

Ken waits for the top gate to be closed
our keen lock crew at Napton

I think the main feature of the day was the tunnel (not the pump-out then Ken?) approximately 1 mile long with enough room for boats to pass each other. I would like to thank Graham & Brenda for inviting me on the trip and also the company of Margaret. I'm writing this while we await Grahams return with the vehicle for our homeward journey. A very interesting day out.

11th October 2003 Welton Wharf to Napton (Bridge Inn)
Soddit Cruise 2003 (Pt. 2)

H.C. 7436 - 7443 Distance 12 miles Locks 6 (none by Brian)

Crew - Graham, Brian, Ian (aka Metal), Peter and Simon

(Simon) Before Ian starts boasting in French about beer swilling abilities, SoP (Simon as he's commonly known) was up, and single handedly moving Jannock to Norton junction to turn ready for the days cruising. I met another boat trying to reverse the same journey and so we breasted up (nose to tail) and continued to the junction. Sodditeers then moaned because I turned up late to collect them from the car. Right .. over to Ian
(Ian) " A first beer before 10 am" proudly announced Brain as the Zafira screeched to a halt at Welton. His joy was short-lived after Metal not only had the first beer at 09:45 whilst waiting for Jannock to return, it was one of Brians!

descending Braunston locks

(Brian) The overall harmony and positive atmosphere of 4 grumpy old men on a boat was rudely disrupted by a lanky streak of p**s doing a great impersonation of a pre-pubescent spotty teenager.
(Peter) Soddit cruising weather is as good as it has ever been. Wall to wall sunshine, and no wind!!! We have started with 5 crew members but could/may only finish with 4. The spectator sport of fishing remains just that - a spectator sport (for the fish that is)

persistant fishists

(Graham) No wind? Who's he trying to kid? 3 games of Soddit played, first two in the Bridge Inn Napton, accompanied by very fine ale, and the third on board with even more! Football and fishing are both a waste of time.

12th October 2003 Napton to Fenny Compton
Soddit Cruise 2003 (Pt. 2)

H.C. 7443 - 7449 Distance 8 miles Locks 9

Crew - Graham, Brian, Ian, Peter and Simon

(Graham) Up at 08:00, breakfasted and en-route to Napton bottom lock at 10:00. Brian had not yet managed to have a beer when we started (he must be ill!) and so Ian retains the record.
(Ian) Two and a half years of humiliation was laid to rest after an inspired 10 minutes of fishing resulted in :-

Fish 0          Fishermen 2

Brian fought bravely and landed a large (???) Roach. Ian then landed it's baby (the smallest little fishy in the world!) just as the final whistle was about to be blown!!

the smallest little fishy in the world
Ian exhibiting a rare condition (chilled out)

(Simon) and after all that effort (sorry, did I say effort? - I meant time) they just threw them back. Shame! I missed it due to being asleep.
(Brian) sorry! we couldn't tell the difference!
(Peter) even in the wind - that wind again! - Brian managed to navigate the big wiggly bit just after the mast. Well done Brian. Ian may have had the first beer, but Brian had the last one at 17:45.
(Graham) having arrived at Fenny Compton, we found all the moorings on the the wharf side of the road bridge were full, and so I had to reverse all the way back through the bridgehole and past 2 moored boats to moor Napton side of the bridge.

18th October 2003 Fenny Wharf to Cropredy
H.C. 7449 - 7453 Distance 9 miles Locks 6

Crew - Graham, Don, Gary and Brenda

(Don) One of those sunny, but cold, autumn days. Brilliant colours from all the trees. First stab at driving, much like coxing a rowing eight, 60+ ft and a little rudder at the back - but the drive is different, no opportunity to back down on one side (whatever that means?) Cross winds came as a surprise and no wind instruments ( a la yacht) Still, eventually trusted with driving through a couple of locks, each the subject of significant recovery action! How can driving in a straight line be so difficult? Very conscious of the damage that can be done with 13 tons at 4 MPH (similar to an 8 ton yacht at 6.5 knots) but no opportunity to tack away.

Don wondering if they have wind instruments
13th November 2003 Cropredy to Banbury & return
H.C. 7457 - 7462 Distance 6 miles Locks 6

Crew - Graham and Brenda

A trip to replace our stolen fuel, and guess what ... when doing the sums, Graham discovered that it seems we had diesel stolen last autumn as well. What is worse, is that both incidents had extended stays at Napton and Cropredy in common. A locking filler cap has now been manufactured and fitted.
In Banbury, by the lock, we met a visiting Canadian who was very impressed with the canals. "Geez, we've nothing like this" he said, but added " I built the St Lawrence seaway (not by myself, you understand)" Now ... that is impressive!

Broadmoor lock

During our return journey, we found a very exhausted sheep in the cut. Graham invented 'sheeping'. Like fishing but the catch is a bit larger than THOSE fish. It wouldn't let him haul it out, but it was feared enough to swim across the cut to a place where it could climb out easily. We saw BW hauling out a burnt up & sunk cruiser. It fitted in a skip!! Apparently there were no casualties, thank goodness.

Here endeth 2003

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