Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Visitors from the Caribbean

Today ... it rained. It rained on the Megabus coach I took from Oxford to Coventry. It rained on me cycling from Coventry to Pailton, where I'd left the car. It rained a bit on the car as I drove to Yarnton, but it didn't rain on me as I cycled from Yarnton to Oxford. I had the heating on full blast in the car to try to warm my feet which had got soaked and cold. I discovered on my bike ride that my iPhone 4S doesn't work properly when there's rainwater on the screen and my fingers are cold and wet. Do other phones suffer in the same way?

I got back to the boat at about 1620 and had two very welcome cups of tea. Thanks, Jan. I was about to eat a slice of lemon sponge cake when I became aware of three people outside the boat. I poked my head out of the door and got talking to them. They were friendly and interested in the boat; at least two of them hadn't seen a narrowboat before.

After talking for a bit I invited them aboard for a look round - they were thrilled. The middle one in the photo had just graduated from Oxford Brookes; her sister and mother had come over from Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean for the event. If I have it right the one on the right is Ocean; Mother's name is something like Rachaela. (I have to confess my ignorance here: I had never heard of Turks and Caicos, a British Overseas Territory.)

When we said goodbye to them we set off up the Oxford Canal. There were three lift bridges to operate before we got to Yarnton, all in one half-mile stretch (bridges 234, 233 and 231). Each is supposed to be operated by turning your BW/CRT key in the lock and raising the handle which is connected directly to the bridge deck. To lower the bridge again there is a chain dangling from the handle.

At Lift Bridge 233 the lock is missing so anyone can operate the bridge.

Now there is a CRT notice asking boaters to work the bridge by crossing and pulling a chain. Only there is no chain the other side. The only easy way to operate it is by lifting the handle, as described above. Perhaps this notice was meant for another bridge.

Approaching Duke's Lock it seemed that someone was emptying the lock. But when we got nearer it became apparent that it was just a leaky bottom gate. The lock was almost full, though, as the top gate was probably even leakier.


Vallypee said...

How nice you could show the ladies from the Caribbean a narrowboat. Shame about the soaking!

Pip and Mick said...

Last October and November we went through that bridge several times. Each time it was slightly different. First time no chain, second time a chain, a few days later no chain again but that sign had been attached. I think it is constantly being tampered with by vandals and the key lock stopped working so was removed.
Pip Oleanna