Our journey today would take us past Duke’s Cut, the point at which we joined the Thames a week ago. First however we had several long reaches to navigate in the glorious sunshine. We had four Locks to navigate, the third of which was King’s Lock. Once we had descended this Lock we were on new waters again. We cruised around several tight bends, which in places were very shallow. They had been clearly marked with red and green buoys to avoid any groundings. Beyond the final lock, Godstow Lock the river opened up. This Lock was even easier than all the previous easy Thames Locks, it was electric. We were now running parallel to the outskirts of Oxford heading towards its centre.
The meadow would have made a nice mooring spot, but the river was very shallow at the edge, so we had to maintain a central position. At the end of the meadow we passed the Sheepwash Channel. This is another route through to join the Oxford Canal, and is the route we will take on our return. Our intended mooring spot was just beyond the next bridge. Osney Bridge is the lowest on the Thames, but by Canal standards we still had plenty of room. I suspect if the water levels were up, it would be a bit different. We found a mooring just outside Oxford City Centre, and secured the boat.
After lunch we left four legs on guard, and went to explore Oxford and its dreaming spires. Initially Oxford had the appearance of any other dirty noisy city, that we tend to give a wide berth. However, eventually we found our way into the back streets of old Oxford, which resembled the look we had seen in many episodes of Morse.
The weather is getting much warmer, so when we spotted an ice cream vendor it was too much to resist. We didn’t tell four legs he had missed out again, he would probably sulk.
Tomorrow we will be aiming for Abingdon, and hopefully open countryside once more.
Totals 9 Miles 4 Locks
Running total 251 Miles 292 Locks 9 Tunnels