Saturday 24th May
Up and away by 08:00 as we needed to be in Oxford by lunchtime to pick up our guests for the trip to Abingdon. It was raining when I cast of and remained so all the way to Oxford, only the amount of water falling from the sky varied. We haven’t had a ‘two coat’ day for ages but today was a ‘two coat’ morning. It was past 10pm when this blog was written and the bathroom was still festooned with drippy wet outer garments.
At Drinkwater’s lift bridge I spotted a boat hook laying in the grass by the bridge. I wasn’t aware of any boats moving either way so just assumed that some-one had supplied it to assist single handed boaters to get through the bridge. When we arrived at Dukes lock it was empty with the bottom gate wide open so I closed it up and prepared to refill it ready for us to descend. A bloke walked up in a bright yellow jacket so I asked him if he was coming up through the lock. “No” he said, “Did you see a boat hook back at the last bridge?" He then set off to collect it once I’d confirmed it was still there. We passed through Dukes lock and found his boat sat in the lock under the railway bridge on Dukes cut.
I filled the lock and opened the Thames-side lock gate just as he returned with his boat hook. We then followed him through and shared all of the locks down to Clifton with him. He was single handed, delivering the boat from a marina in Worcester to new owners who were at Aldermaston on the K&A.
We picked up our visitors, Matt, Alice, Paula and Dave, from the moorings just below Folly Bridge and the rain finally stopped. Lunch was taken on the move between Ifley and Sandford locks, after which Brenda announced that she was about to put the slow cooker on for the joint of beef that was to be an evening meal for use all. I predicted we’d be in Abingdon well before the beef was cooked so we decided to continue on down to Clifton Wittenham to wind in the weir stream behind the Plough before returning back to Abingdon when dinner would be ready.
We dined on an excellent roast beef dinner prepared by Brenda in her ‘magic galley’ before spending most of the evening sat on the bank chatting. It was not balmy summer weather but at least it was dry. Our guests all left about 21:30, exclaiming that they’d had a great day on Jannock, just as the rain started again. Thanks for your company guys.