Trip to New Home Mooring – reflection

When we moored up at Forge Farm the Thursday before last, it was one of those fraught moments when ‘events’ (in this case one thunderstorm, one poorly child, two other v. fractious & tired children) combined to make the moment of arrival perhaps less than auspicious.

Ah, such are the joys of English weather and family boating!

Today was the the first time we’d been able to go back and get properly sorted out.

We had thought of taking our ‘Eileen’ down the four locks to the winding hole at Cropredy Wharf, but with ominous skies (What is it with us, boats, and impending thunderstorms???) the thought of upwards of three hours of the kids, already fractious, trapped inside the boat without the distraction of books and toys, wasn’t an attractive one, so we chose the less stressful option of winding at Clattercote Wharf instead.

It basically involved us reversing a couple of hundred yards up to Gregg’s winding hole, turning the boat and reversing her back down the canal to the same mooring but with the boat now facing the other direction… The reason for this being that the raw water feed to cool the engine was previously nearest the bank and prone to sucking in silt and mud every time we attempted to start the engine. At least in our new position, in theory the intake is in ‘deeper’ water (though, to be honest, the concept of deep water on the Oxford Canal  is a pretty abstract one!) and should therefore block up less.

Anyone familiar with the South Oxford will probably recognise this bunch of characters ‘resting’ against a woodpile before heading out into pumpkin fields to scare the crows…
It might seem a little over-the-top to kit the kids out in life jackets just to move a couple of hundred yards to turn the boat, but believe me, they’re essential. Life savers in fact!
Joe surveys the new mooring, and it is utterly lovely – with the canal to the fore and pumpkin fields behind – bring on those sultry summer evenings.
Turned. Moored. Sorted. Smiling.

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