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On to Napton and The Folly Inn

I forgot to record in the last post that we had encountered a wide beam boat on our way into Braunston. Nothing unusual in that if you are on the Grand Union section but this one was heading north on the Oxford canal which is a narrow canal. In theory, they can travel to Hillmorton before meeting an obstruction at the locks but I think that they might have struggled with some of the bridge / bend combinations.

Anyway, after a quiet evening moored opposite the pub, we got up with the intention of emptying cassettes and taking on water at the marina before turning around and heading back to the junction. The only other boat showing signs of life at eight o’clock was moored opposite us on the pub side of the canal. As they pulled away, I reversed Caxton out into the middle of the cut and straightened up ready to fall in behind them. However, by the time we were straight, I realised that if I kept reversing, we would be back at the junction in a few minutes and we could service the boat there. Three boats back, a boat crewed by an oldish couple who looked like they had been dealt a bad hand in life, was being untied as we approached. We watched in disbelief as the rough looking pair pushed their boat out behind us and into our path causing us to have to take avoiding action. We arc’d around their boat using tiller, gearbox and bow thruster into and out of the space that they had vacated before we straightened up again and carried on our way. While I was doing all of that, Sue was engaged in a short, sharp exchange about courtesy and consideration although that was probably wasted on the half wits. Their parting shot made us laugh, “Put it on your blog!”, they shouted. That took us by surprise because they didn’t look to be the sort who could read, let alone use a computer. I expect that because they sell cheap brass tiller pins that they think they are canal workers and therefore have some privileges on the water. I won’t name their boat, that wouldn’t be fair as they have no right to reply but I will check with CaRT that they have a proper trading licence. All of that was over in a minute and as we passed the next moored boat, the steerer shook his head and said, ” I don’t know why he didn’t wait and let you pass”. In the short conversation that we had with him, he told us that he was delivering the boat from the Kennet & Avon canal to the river Weaver.

A few minutes later we reached the junction where we tied up, dumped rubbish and emptied cassettes. No other boats were moving as we edged out again and rounded the junction under one of the bridges in the direction of Napton. Soon we were meeting a steady stream of traffic but we had expected it on this stretch since it is really two canals between Braunston and Napton, the Oxford and the Grand Union. Once we had passed Wigrams turn where the Grand Union turns off to the right and disappears down into the Avon valley, the traffic eased again and we reached our mooring just before eleven o’clock.

We were soon showered and dressed and on our way along the towpath to the Folly Inn where we presented ourselves at two minutes past twelve and demanded lunch. Alright, we didn’t demand anything, we found a table and ordered our meals and very good they were too. We were back on board a couple of hours later and then we just lazed around for the afternoon.