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Long Road Log : 10.02.2018

iron and ice dispute
the frozen canal, which awaits
a bludgeoning boat


A morning trip of 4 miles, 6¼ furlongs from Napton’s 14 day moorings (just north of the winding hole) northeast on the Oxford Canal (Southern Section – Main Line) for 1 mile, 7¾ furlongs to Wigram’s Turn/Napton Junction, then continuing northeast on the Grand Union Canal (Oxford Canal Section) for a further 2 miles, 6½ furlongs towards Flecknoe.


With the Napton flight closed no boats had bust the Cut’s icy skeen. Eileen, over virgin water, was ice-breaking. The canal was vocal in response grousing-sighing-creaking-crackling-soughing and bloody-minded. It was a struggle to wind the boat, with Eileen favouring a straight line as I attempted a 360° turn. However, once the turn-around was achieved, and armed with thick gloves and a flask of hot/sweet/strong tea, my morning settled into one of utterly contented solo-boating. The rain mattered not one jot. All was well in my small floating world. The engine had fired first time, despite an unavoidable month-long delay since last moving. I felt inordinately proud of our old boat, another ’season’ (Eileen’s 115th) beckons.

To see a larger version of the collaged photograph above simply click on the image or click HERE to go to a flickr album containing the individual (annotated) photographs.

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