Our next stop was ‘Oxford Cruisers’ for 44 litres of diesel. We always have to keep an eye on the fuel gauge to be sure that we don’t overflow. This happened once before and the lock keeper at Pinkhill was incensed that we should put pollutants in his lock! One ice cream and a new roof vent (to be fitted later) was added to the bill.
After a friendly rise through Pinkhill lock we progressed well until somewhere near Farmoor reservoir. A loud bleating lead our eyes to a poor little lamb in the water, unable to get back up onto the bank. We went on a little further, tied up, and after much mud splashing, I managed to get it back to mummy sheep!
In good time for tea and biscuits we tied up at Bablock Hythe. This is a great location for games of Frisbee. Unfortunately, the grass was freshly cut and the youngest crew member had problems with hay fever. Still we settled down to our books and a bit of deck washing. The sun beat down and we were tempted into the water for a refreshing swim. After a visit to the pub for a drink, we had supper and a game of cards.
Next morning we were joined by another crew member who left her car for collection on the return journey.
We made our way through Northmoor, Shifford and Rushey locks and found a pleasant spot near the Radcot, where we stayed for the night.
We had intended to eat a supper at The Swan, but they warned us that there would be a 1 hour wait. We gave up and had soup on board.
It was not a peaceful night; the wind pushed us against the bank and my ear was very close to a squeaking fender!
A late breakfast with the wind, often dead against us, we headed back downstream. At Newbridge we tied up at The Rose Revived and had a rather typical pub lunch (in other words - horrible).
We started to get the rain showers, so the covers went up and we stayed inside the cockpit.
Crew left the skipper at Bablock Hythe, and he continued back to Oxford solo. The rain got worse and then (typically!) the starboard side windscreen wiper failed. I could do nothing put push on, peering through the rain drops.
Tied up at Bossoms around 6pm.