After a sunny Friday morning wandering around Braunston, the Captain decided that it was about time the crew had a recurrent line check, to ensure they were still safe to operate his boat. Decamping from his usual position in the cruise (fast asleep in the crew rest area or the bed) he settled down in the cockpit jump-seat to watch proceedings.
Aviation experts will note that – like all good jet captains– he had ensured that his crew seat had the super comfy lambs-wool seat cover option.
It was quite a short and undemanding line check along the straightforward and wide section of the Grand Union that connects the North Oxford Canal and the South Oxford Canal. Even so, the chief cook, whose sector it was, looked decidedly uneasy at being watched so carefully.
She needn’t have worried: with bright sunshine, no locks and nice scenery, the Captain soon decided all was well, and took his well earned crew rest.
Now much more relaxed, we made short work of this section of the Grand Union, which is very picturesque with lovely views over the nearby countryside, even if some of the bridges are not only minimalist, but have clearly seen better days.
Napton junction (aka Wigram’s Turn) where you can go South to Oxford or North West to Warwick and Birmingham, has several large marinas in very close proximity, and several hire companies that turn their boats round on Fridays and Saturdays. With the fine weather forecast to continue over the weekend and beyond, by late afternoon there were boats everywhere, and at the junction itself chaos reigned. Good job the Captain was still asleep.
Leaving most of the chaos behind, we skirted Napton on the Hill, and moored just below the Napton flight of locks, right by a pub called The Folly, and underneath a house that SWMBO has been eyeing up ever since we stopped here last year. It’s a good spot to moor, as the pub is decent, and there’s a shop within easy reach that is decidedly a cut above the usual small remote village Post Office store.