So the rain yesterday and last night.. and a lot of it there was.. has had the obvious result that the river levels are rising – and with rising water levels comes the obvious opening of the weir gates.. and with that.. stronger water flows – when checking the River Thames conditions web site – this stretch is now on “Yellow – Stream increasing”.. and Osney lock (which we need to get through) is already red.. so there is no chance of getting to the Oxford canal today.
But lets see how far we get – as we need water – and if were going to get stuck somewhere – I’m going to get an early pump out at Abingdon lock – which is a little way upstream and in the direction were going!
Now.. Abingdon Bridge – what a pain in the……… that is – 0.3 miles from the mooring to the lock.. it took 30 minutes! And most of that was trying to get under the bridge and past the pub. The engine was pushing hard, so was the current against us and we were just about moving forwards.. just.. once past the pub and the channel opened up the flow dropped and we could move a little quicker – but if this is a sample of what to expect.. not happy about this.. And I am certainly not going back to where we were.. not with that current under the bridge and round the corner.. before I could turn it would slam us into the other boats moored there.. so no choice.. on we go.
And it was very heavy going in places.. approach to Abingdon lock was fun.. with the outflow from the weir re-entering the river in front of the gates.. it was handy that there was a lock keeper on duty to get the gates open for me.. as trying to move the boat at a 40% angle to the bank fighting the outflow was interesting..
Up and through the lock – the boards are still yellow.. so a full water tank – empty toilet tank and on we go.
Part way I checked the Thames site again – and yes.. everything is now red – but thankfully there is mooring at the next lock – so that’s where we will be stopping – when we get there.. I have promised the engine a good service when we get to the Oxford canal.. and thankfully, its still pulling hard and not giving me any grief – as the river is providing enough of that at the moment!
OK.. Sandford Lock.. and.. huh-huh.. that’s not going to work – the mooring and lock landing is under water.. whilst yes – we could still moor there – soggy dogs and shoes are not what I want for the next few days – and if the water rises any more – there’s a risk that the boat could end up on the bank – or worse still half on half off and when the water drops overnight – and we tip over due to the falling water levels.. yea.. lets not go there!
Pulled in anyway to have a look at options and a quick wander about.. PUB! MOORING AT PUB!.. Mooring opposite pub.. OK.. that’s it were going through the lock and stopping above it!
Thankfully the lock was working – so in we go.. up and out – took a while as this lock takes ages to fill – probably one of the reasons its being taken out of service for maintenance on Nov 11th.. and as this is the last one that’s due to be shutdown between here and the Oxford canal.. if were stuck a while – it wont be for 4-6 weeks thankfully!
So were settled and safe – cats are enjoying the open field – the solar should get some usage with nothing between us and the sky.. so if were here a day or two – should not be a problem. The Oxford canal is a few hours away – so once the red boards go down we should be able to get there in a day (hopefully well before Nov 1st – you know why!)
One last photo to close 🙂 and before you ask – no – the Heron is not fake! 🙂