Dragging ourselves away from Annie’s, the weather remained fine, so we were soon braving the raging currents of the River Cherwell again, gingerly letting ourselves on at Shipston Wier Lock. It’s another one like Aynho Weir Lock: lozenge shaped, and absolutely super if your boat is 70ft long, or shorter than about 35ft. Anything in between and it’s a real PITA.
Getting back onto the canal at Baker’s Lock, fortunately all the moorings at the Rock of Gibraltar pub were taken, so we had no excuse to tarry. We’d called in there on the way down to Oxford for a spot of lunch (aka Guinness) : the visit before that had been nine years ago, when Jackstraws danced there as part of their 30th anniversary celebration.
And so we were soon back above Dashwood’s Lock: a highly pleasant spot to moor up for the night. As well as observing how much the oil-seed rape had bloomed in the past few days, there was plenty of time for a crew bonding session in the sunshine.