#54 Oxford Canal – North. October 2017

Screenshot_2016-10-14-19-33-28-1-1  Screenshot_2016-10-14-19-33-28-1-2

Wednesday 4th October 2017      We the cru & our trusty steed Black Bart hath Enjoyed the River Thames/Isis for a fair old thyme this year. Truth be. One of the Best waterways to swim. We Love gliding along our Wonderful Canals. And chuggen our Glorious Rivers. Many navigations of which we have had the pleasure. And will again. The waterway companion of many weeks passed be Mostly Certainly the Grand Old Master. Cap’n Black Bart & ‘is motley cru of eight legs & far too many toes to even try & count Aaaarrrggh !!! calling hour goodbyes to Old Father Thames as we sloe-lea swim Dukes Cut all the whey to


the surprisingly naim’d Dukes Cut Lock. Oat tuther side. Hello Oxford Canal !!


Murky, shallow old friend.


Dukes Loch (we is int’highlands now) raises craft & cru sufficiently to staffie (no poodle ‘ere) along calmly to


Kidlington Green Lock which, although green to the sides is be moor of a brownly sludgy salt of culler.



Roxy makes a new chum.

A younger but muchly moor substantial

gorgeous deaf, white staffie.

She is Lovely !!



Nearly as Gorgeous & Lovely asFirst Mate. Best Mate !!  Roxy !!!    Yeh !!!  !!!

Aft sum difficulties finding a viable berthing pool Bart is safely anchored. Just. Quartermaster requires a tittle quelling so Skip & Skippet is off, trudging t’town. Good exercise & worth the eventual ‘relaxation’ of old whingey wots’is-naim.

Thursday 5th October      There be a(n almost) full larder cupboard so we may continuay on hour (two hours) (actually skip) extensively stretched oat voyage to & throughly upperty a very dizzyfyingly Roundham Chamber (don’t get many circular water lifts theaze daises) &


Yes !!






Mud skipping along we

Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!



Wot seams like blooming ages pass & then we is passing meni a’moored vessel extremely sloe-lee be-fore a muchly comfortable Bart sized Thrupp anchorage is supplying salty aft’staticness.

Friday 6th October      Fore Cap’n Black Bart is taken advantage of the beautiful sunny weather we is ‘aving to keep the anchor chain & warp taught. Knot many chillstatic ‘ere in recent thymes maties. Cap’n woen’t be this generous two often. Enjoy we all shall. Sit’ing ‘ere, legs a’dangerling o’er the side, feet cooling in the fresh watery flowly ripples & toes a’wiggerling. Lovely !!


Saturday 7th October      Sea it be the weak ending. Meanly pirate Cap’ns ain’t bovered. Bovered !!  Raise the anchor you seadogs !     Aye !  Aye !!  Cap’n  !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!    We Do That !  Raise the Fore-sail !    Aye !  Aye !!  Cap’n  !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!    We Do That two !   Full Steam Ahead !    Aye !  Aye !!  Cap’n  !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!    We Do That three !  Bart sloely glides to & under Thrupp powered-up bridge.


Sharp to port to ‘enjoy’ a very laid’aft aqua-faucet.



‘Princess’ 1st Mate

insists on comfort

where one travels

& during any of her many

relaxation opportunities.

Many ‘ers slater craft & cru is swimming the curvey whurvies to Shipton white water lock weir we share the diamond chamber with an’udder. River Cherwell’s wiggerlies keep us on our toes tiller Baker’s aquelevator hath arisen fore a dozen moor furlongs of (back to the Oxford) canal’s sweeping curvaceousnesses & Pigeon’s upliftings. A Delightful swish of blue catches 1st mate’s eye. A Kingfisher !  Fantabulous !!  Keeps four-tracking our watery path. Marvellous !!!  Get a Good picture ??  K-no-w Chance. One day !!  Hopefully.  Northbrook n’Dashwoods aquasteps is Caerphilly negotiated (in a slightly welshacksent), leaping we to new heights. A previously pirated anchorage we do trust & find in Rousham. Perfeck !!!  That weir a long old crews skip. shirtenly was maties !!

Sunday 8th October      So wot !  Duth the fucher hold fore our fearsome band of pirates ?  Wood that be wot. The hard winter is creeping up be’aft us. Mark my words sunny-gyms !  Ain’t gunna bee much of that bright spherical in the sky stuff in coming monthlies. Cannee tell you that fore-shore. Skip takes 1st mate int’ forest with bowsaws, hand axes & felling axes under arms & in’ands n’paws. Tis almost darkness when they finally return, many thymes slater. Return journies is be quite necessary to haul the mass-eve collection aft to Bart. Now to load up the gunwales & roofs. When & wear’ever this hoard can be storaged. There be a rooty tooting ‘earily spiralling through the foggy misty waves drifting from the forest. nb:Huffler & cru is sloely appearing from the floating boggy aerial phlegm. Abreast we be. (No sniggerings this thyme children please) !!   Coffee, fine array of briskets & splatterings of the most sumptuious fruity brown saucies there shirtenly weir. Thank Goodness they is gone on their whey. Bit of bottom treatment needed there we tinks. Lovely pirates really. Moving on. No !  We is staying ‘ear.



Got ‘nough wood matie ??


Knot yet Cap’n Black Bart.



Old Bowsaw is be

sharpened to within

a few thousandths of it’s

sharpened bladely

toothy pegs.



A woodenly cutting snickers of sawring ensues………..

We now ‘av a bloomingly k’nacker’ed skip on hour ‘ands. No. Change that. He’s knot in our hands. He’s on the grassy woody splattered floor. Sparko !!  Cap’n Black Bart just leaves ‘im their till t’morning. Nice chap !!


Cap’n Black Bart is knot ‘appy. Loads of uncut wood still on the roof & ‘hidden’ in the roof boxes two. There be Trouble Ahead !!

Monday 9th October      Mess cleared up first. Aft pour old (buoy ee f’eels old t’is morn) (Oh !  The Pain !!  Oh !!  The aiks !!! ) skip has ‘ad the customary wooden bucket of murky aqua-de-canal splashed all over ‘is sleepingly banging ‘ead. Many miles of possibly treacherously waivey water lay ahead.


Still bleary eyed, a’moaning & groaning skip haunches o’er the tiller


whilst trying to avoid any possible destructive contacts with any udder delightful 2-berth live aboard craft we might just feasibly bee trying to swim bye.


L’aqua doubles-up as doggy ball games. Knot keen on getting her pores wet our poochy. Just looks at you, then shouts very loudly if you don’t get on with the job of retrieval. Sunne as the Heyfords Aaaarrrggh !!!  swiftly swum Allen’s lock of ascension feels like it almostly blends int’Heyford Common of weiry throffin bubbly l’aqua. Wees ‘ad ’nuff. Stuff the black pirate cap’n blokey. The furlongs of swirling rip’tidal ripplings ‘av taiken their toll. Mutiny eye tell ya’. Mutiny !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!

Tuesday 10th October      Tis knot really a mutiny. Just our tittle joak.   Cap’n Black Bart. He OK. Mostly of the thyme. Aft’noon chuggens taiken our floatation of pirates all the wey from Middle Ashton Cove to the


Very Deeply torrent of Somerton weir of Big Strength. Sixty toes of upliftingly strong aromas has gone write up our naisally orifices passages like. Caerphilly we withdraw in a fore-wordly salt of direction, distancing our band of pirates from said ascending scently odours-de-Somerton-le-deep. Wonce safely passed the dangerous swing-de-vertigo bridge skippet speyes from the crows nestle beak, a safe haven. Lower Souldern Inlet. A tittle noan anchorage. Only clever pirate Cap’ns cannee find such secret refuges. Told you ee ain’t half soo bad, really. Smart cooky.

Wednesday 11th October      Lucky nb:Black Bart & all who sail in her is safely anchored  in this ‘ear covelet. ‘Just’ sufficient fore a pirate crew & their very trusty steed to hide safely, hunkered down with the wild weather throwing itself aroand oat there.

Thursday 12th October      The storm hath past. Mr/Mrs Sun be twinkerling amongst those pesky cloud formations. Lister & maties gently propulsion we through shallow waters to Aynho Wharf weir cru manage to foridge & Bart’er supplies, just to keep us going. Aft a Hearty luncheon of salmagundi likeness cru is be ready fore (almostly) anyting. Off We Go.


Diamond Aynho Weir is relatively calm today, allowing pleasant passage across the River Cherwell’s ripples. Nell (our Lovely Defender two) Bridge ascension lifts vessel & (mostly) precious ‘cargo’ to a close passing of ‘otel boats.


Powered towing & towed (unpowered) butty. Safely bye we is locating a


fine berthing pool just bye where Porky Pig & ‘is chums wallow aroand in their own knot so tittle slippery muddy pool.


Friday 13th October      Fore this cod bee a very dangerous day to do absolutely any’ting. Knot safe to do nufing eiver. Wot on’earth shall we do ??  Dunno maties !!

Cap’n Black Bart duth knot mess aboat. He demands ‘Best Behaviour’ at All Thymes.

Haul up the Anchors !!  Set the Main Sail !!  Engage !!!   Aye !  Aye !! Cap’n !!!    Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!   With a firm hand on the situation our pirate Cap’n Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!   maintains control & leave the pleasant whiff of pigs we do. Aft dealing with a couple of picaroon filibusters in know uncurtain fashion, we can cruise this green pleasant rural land, rushing at us from both (port & starboard) sides.


Oxford Canal lift bridges a’plenty, soonest followed bye Kings Sutton Weiry Loch. Moor strange bridges adorn this wateryway, crossing, butt knot obstructing our flowingly propulsioned traversings. Grants chamber of broan & white throffy liquid is bee very uplifting for our fine longly, slender Bart. Even moor unusually bizarrely weir’d canal crossings whizz bye as Lister & maties succour our slip slidingly chuggen alongnesses. Hour prize of a k-now-n pirate ‘haunt’ is observingly detected. A sheltered, almostly impregnable berthing pool if ever their whir.

Saturday 14th October      Staticness there be today. Barty jobs list needs to righted, red & clearly understood. Apportionings agreed. Get ON With It then !!   OK Skip. Keep ya’hair on matie !  Calm Down !!   1st Mate sed Calm Down !!!

Sunday 15th October      So !  No eggs today !!  No toasty soldier eiver !!!   Quartermaster is doing ‘is k’nut. The larder barrel is nigh on vacant. Desolate of substance.  Uninhabited !    We need Action !!    Lister being warmed up & weir off !!!   Chuggen relaxingly through the watery wilderness into the lower reaches of Banbury we find a temporary ‘parking spot’ to allow pacification al’a’quartermaster bee-fore arising the narrow chamber to the local berthing pool. A Fine tittle cove it be two. Trips to the Spiceball Park Forest Aaaarrrggh !!!  proving productive with muchly woody stuff appearing on Bart’s roof. Just need to cut is all intwo tittle bits, all ready for January when the fires will likely be lightened.

Monday 16th October      Moor foresting & ongoing creativity of splendid crocheting & knitting Aaaarrrggh !!!  the makeup of the day while our trusty steed enjoys sum moor floaty stableness.

Tuesday 17th October      The pleasures of Banbury Aaaarrrggh !!!  slowly disappearing to aft as the


Barty wooden boat swims majestically North along this wetly rural delight


almost ‘buzzing’ with the wonders of wildlife. Hardwick aquelevator lifts our slim vessel up, up & away from ye olde’ market town of the Cherwell Valley. Knot bee-long


through the gentle curvaceousnesses & old Chamber-de-Bourton hath opened to allow nb:Black Bart entree to a most pleasant lock experience. Lister & maties maintain a low chuggen of revolutions to reduce the risk of poor old soggy prop catching any if those slender blades in the bed of sunken debris which no-doubt be down there although won cannee sea. Our waterway companion guides we all along safely within the waivering shadow of the River Cherwell.


The slatted Mill of winding elevation is soonest upon us, butt 1st Mate weir ‘jumping two’ immediately and we is arisen to new heights. Mayhaps, even a new level. Cap’n Black Bart calls a Halt to proceedings. Avast ye !  Belay !!  Olde salty sea-dogs  Lower the Mizzen. Drop the anchor   Aye !  Aye !!  Cap’n  !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!    Tis thyme to slow further & proceed knot, any-moor.


And also be thyme to commence altering sum of those bit of old dead trees to tiny weeny cylindrical burny billets. Those needles & hooks is creating frictional warmth inside, ready for the anticipated mild chill of the evening.

Wednesday 18th October      We is enjoying a grey autumnal day with snuggly warm air drifting though our Bart, from toasty tittle squirrel chuggen a’whey there in the fore corner. Whizzy (proudly sitting there on top of squirrel’s red head) be spinning roand quite enthusiastically, making all tittle nooks & crannies comfy cosy like.

Thursday 19th October      The autumnals be shirtenly ‘ear.


Dank & moist is be this morn. The sheepypegs ain’t looking too ‘appy eiver maties.


We mayhaps be gliding towards the Cropredy, but summit funnies go’in on up front like !  Appears a tittle smokey ahead their.  Tink sumbody ‘as been messing with the woodstock. Knot January yet maties !!  There gonna be trouble we tinks !!!

Sum thyme later, Cropredy Scots Loch hath raised we up, but as we is trying to


swim a’whey to safely, nb:Black Bart is be chased down bye strange white (knot so fluffy & cuddly though, we can tell ya) Anatidae critters. Luckily, smartly Barty manoeuvrings, ‘av ’em slipped like. Lost ’em we ‘av. Aft in safe waters we duth onwardly swim moor upwardly through a trio of watery ascensions until


an unknown bay (hopefully) provides sanctuary for a continuance of wood fettlings.


Sorry !!  Just stopped to take a breather & admire the (very local) view.  Delightful !!

Friday 20th October      Fore


wot a wonderfully curvey growth we sea’L hear. strange but true, as t’ eye can tell.


Skip & 1st Mate is be ready fore loching Skippet & Barticus through the first,


second & third,


roand the corner, And fourth n’fifth of the Claydon flight of aquelevators. Twas all going quite swimmingly well until dozy (skip) twank lost control (never done this before) of the lower gate paddle & ‘is ‘personal’ windlass during assistance of udder downwardly mobile craft. Lack of concentration led dis-engagement of the windlass to the paddle shaft/arm which ended up whizzing roand & the paddle dropping down. The windlass flew off, up in the air, luckily avoiding any contact with personnel, pooches, udder boaters or any’ing else. Thankfully !!   Heavy steel windlass trajectile being an almost beautiful curve of a barrel vaulted roof completed by a vertical descent, ‘Splash’ in the canal, sumwear just below/outside the lower gates. Tuther boater departs the chamber. Skip uses Bart Big powerful magnet to go fishing. An’udder boater waiting to descend joins in with their magnet. Repeated attempts to hunt it down fail. Knot ‘appy our Skip. Most annoying. Bart enters & arises. As the next craft is entering the chamber skip stands on the gates, dropping the magnet centre channel persistently. Suddenly. It’s there. Hangin’on bye the tip of the handle. Yippee !!   Careful !  Don’t drop it again skip. With a re-appified skip, skippet can recommence our slow chuggens through the Glorious Oxfordshire countryside. Weaving this wey & that whey. Fore-gotten to mention the important fact. We is now at the summit. Shall be gliding this upper level fore a while, weave k-no-w doubt !   Wormleighton Lift bridge pivotingly cantilevers craft & cru into Wonderfully Warwickshire countryside, wryly still traversing this typically James Brindley contour hugging water flow. Impressively Magnificent !!


We now find ourselves crewsing the 1776 Fenny Compton Tunnel. Mighty Fine !  Yet, a tittle strange, admittedly. In 1838 works commenced to open the tunnel up, removing land above. Taking off the roof. Land being oiled from above the ends, & in the middle. In 1840 there were now two tunnels of 307m & 413m in length. In 1865 final stages of the works begun to remove the remainder of the tunnel’s roof. The southern end was open by 1868 and the northern by 1870. And there you Have It. That is why this be won of the least darkness of canal craft tubes of blackness that one can experience. Safely through the tunnel, we is floating gently on, knot muchly further, to Fenny Compton where visitor moorings is providing a fine pool of berthing fore a night or too.  Goodnight !  Sleep Tight !!

Saturday 21st October      So !  Today is being Blooming Windy. So !  We is Staying write ‘ear. Hunkering down we is. Sum fools oat there is swimming bye. Knot many. We ain’t.

Moor importantly !  This is a Day to Celebrate two Very Special Peoples.     One Fine Young fellow & one Beautifully Lovely Lady. Never to be forgotten !!

We Raise a Glass or two      Cheers  !!    Chink !    CHINK !!     CHINK !!!

Sunday 22nd October      Sunday is a Day of rest for many peoples. And Writely so two !!  Cap’n Black Bart is be in surprisingly mood’d’pleasantness, allowing slumberly relaxations on this day. Make the most of this opportunity crew. It will Knot be a’lasting !!  Tings is getting even Better. A rare treat. Our current loke’al the Wharf Inn ‘ear at Fenny Compton provides a Most splendid Sunday Roast a’la’Beuf. Very high on the list of Goodly eats. Extremely Tastiness o’scrumptiously !!

Monday 23rd October      Monday is shirtenly Knot a Day of rest. And Writely so two !!  Cap’n Black Bart is knot be in the mood for allowing slumberly relaxations on this day two. Lines slipped. Cruising gently ‘down stream’ our Bart & crew of eight legs (oar Aaaarrrggh their moor ?) caerphilly follow the curvaceousnessly watery path, glidingly through gloriously greenery sides of country we enjoy the serene tranquility. Many ‘ers of sympathetically swishing through many furlongs of darkly l’aqua leads our vessel to a quiet rural setting, nearby to the now non-existent bridge 121. Knot moor than a mile earlier than Marston Doles.


Just to make shore Skip cannee rest Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  (is be Commanding) requires sum’wood de-constructing.


Sum weeks later………   WE HAVE Wood. Almost ready fore the cold months ahead.

Tuesday 24th October      Today, crew is looking for skip & skippet. Cannee find ‘im. Knot shore where he be. Aaaarrrggh !!!   Their he is !!   Axe at the red-ee. A choppy thyme is had. Quite a splitting followed by quartermaster storagingly the fuel-ee lumps for those projected chilly nights in February. Old Epping & ‘is matie, Squirrel is already getting tittle tingles of excitement, even though old Feb is many weeks & months away. They will ‘av to wait like the rest of us ‘ear.

Wednesday 25th October      We Aaaarrrggh !!  locking this day on our Fave wateryway. Napton top locks (Marston Doles two) soon plunder our steadily sturdy craft, downwardly, passing bye Engine House Arm to the


Big Final Flight of descent fore Bart World 2017.


Three narrow chambers d’aqua plunge Bart & pirates Aaaarrrggh !!!  through the fields of water buffalo & their sheepely maties


to one of our fave landing strips.

Thursday 26th October      nb:Impluse maties have joined us for a Fabulously delish light luncheon of the bestest pirate Salmagundi  Aaaarrrggh !!!  Monstrously scrumptiousness. Back to Bart fore for aft’noon chitty chatties, tea & cakely puddlings. Yummy Yummy in our Tummi(es). Many ‘ers’slater crew wave off our boatly chumlies, a fond farewell. Goodbye…….   Arrivederci…..  Ciao……

Friday 27th October      Four moor locks duth descend we two the lower levels. Now all horizontal flowings glide our craftly vessel passed Napton boats & our own Base Camp at Wigrams Turn all the way to sumwear knot a million furlongs away from Mill Farm. Aft scrubbing & rinsing port-side of Bart’s hull (above the waterline of course) to a boaty height of cleanliness. Quartermaster releases black Multiforte, rollers & brushes from stores & the refreshing workings begin. Tis but a few hundred minutes of many seconds & a beautifully (almost) new side duth Bart now enjoy !!   Yeh !!!

Saturday 28th October      Shall be & we Aaaarrrggh !!!  moving onwards to a tittle canal side village called Braunston today. A couple of ‘ers calmly cruisings to Braunston Junction where a tittle reversing finds nb:Black Bart a fine spot fore a night of staticnessly relaxations.

Sunday 29th October      Shall we be off today ?  YES  We Will !!


Cap’n Black Bart commands ‘is vessel to sail away from this ‘ear harbour. The fore sail be set & the wind whisks our craft all the whey to a berth very close to the won of two days ago. Now we is facing tuther way Starboard side above l’aqua is all salted too. Looking Good !!  The end of this cruising season is nigh.

Monday 30th October      May these happy sailings be coming to a Sad end. Helmsperson takes our stead (almost) skilfully through the last three thousand five hundred & twenty yards (& mayhaps a tittle few moor) (& quite a few moor furlongs than that too) to the olde’ boatperson’s interestingly titled ‘Wigrams Turn’   Land Ahoy !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!   where nb:Black Bart be finally turning to port,


int’ Harbour (knot port really) (Base Camp be also this pool of water’s name). Aft a diesel top-up & refresh of the aromatic ‘black tank’ Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  be at the Finale with a Fine display of the olde’ Famous technique of reversal to stern, gliding through the slender channel between t’uther craft, bringing our stead to rest beautifully at our Berth. Pontoon 12 C will be our restful berthing pool fore a few weeks or moor……………

Here’s to a Happy end to 2017 for All

Thanks for swimming along with Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  (he cannee ‘elp ‘imself) (ee bee a Famous Pirate Cap’n ya’no Aaaarrrggh !!!) (there ee is agin) throughout this Fabulous Year of watery wonderfulness. Even if you only dipped you toe in l’aqua on occasion, that be mighty fine with us ‘ear.  Mayhaps we might sea sum of ya agin next year. Thyme will shorely tell. All is be Welcome !!!!

!!!  !!!  Aaaarrrggh  !!!  !!




One thought on “#54 Oxford Canal – North. October 2017

  1. Thanks to you both, especially for the photos, reminded me of my boat trip of 2wks up the Thames. Hope you both well, continue to enjoy,  love  Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

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