Reflections in a Muddy Canal (2014) …

As we start to think about Sir’s next expedition, a look at last year’s log shows that in the period from 19th June to 25th October we covered quite a lot of ground without trying too hard: when we were actually cruising we averaged about 4 hours a day – hardly enough to charge the batteries!

Anyway, setting off from Stoke, first up was the Caldon Canal to Leek and Froghall, which never strayed very far from the Piper Boats factory, in case of early teething troubles… and there were a few! Then down the familiar (but highly enjoyable) Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction, followed by a jaunt round Birmingham for a change, on the Coventry Canal and North Oxford Canal to Braunston. There followed the lovely South Oxford Canal to Oxford (what a surprise!) before dropping down onto The Thames. The Upper Thames from Oxford to Lechlade and back was delightful and unexpectedly remote from any civilisation (not enough research, Jenkins!) before continuing down to Reading, and joining the Kennet and Canal for the long haul down to Bath. A slight disappointment that river conditions, encroaching autumn and the need to find our way back to Cropredy before they shut the Thames locks for winter meant that we didn’t quite make it all the way to Bristol, but there’s no hurry!

Anyway, to keep Biggles quiet we covered 522 miles and worked 372 locks. The engine was running for 342 hours and we burnt about 450 gallons of diesel.

Wonder how we’ll get on this year!

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