Monday morning dawned grey damp and miserable: a short cruise brought us to the familiar environs of (Lower) Heyford, where provisions and newspapers were obtained, followed by lunch at The Bell. The church apparently has some fine stained glass. It was shut and locked.
Mooring up near Deep Cutting Bridge (where a deep cutting is noticeably absent), things looked rather better the next morning.
Unusually, the towpath just goes along the edge of an open field, with no hedge or fence – all very pleasant with the sun shining, and some fine blackberries to pick.
It’s just down the water from Somerton Deep Lock, which is deep. More worrying is the sign, visible from the railway, which suggests that the weather on this stretch can get very un-canal-like.
Suffering from a minor blackberry-picking delay, we arrived at Somerton Deep Lock to find rather a queue, and a helpful boat full of holiday trippers on their first day who – claiming to be in no hurry – moored at the front of the lock landing while they watched and “helped some other boats through”.
The best help they could have offered was to move their boat off the lock landing.
We stopped at Aynho Wharf just long enough to pick up some very cheap diesel and a newspaper. Sir jumped off, disappeared for a while, then returned just as the fuel tank was full, jumping on board with a smile. He’s beginning to make a habit of this…
With the Adderbury pig place still closed, we moored up just above Kings Sutton lock. Kings Sutton looks interesting on paper, and the moorings are very close to the village, but the River Cherwell and the railway are between the two, and the only feasible access is via bridge further up, about two miles out of the village, so it will have to wait for another time.