The decision was made to get up early and cruise the hour and half into Oxford so as to secure a mooring.
Our first lock of the day was Godstow which was fully automated. As we go downstream now, most of the locks will be like this. There was no lock keeper on duty so we had to do the arduous work of pushing the buttons ourselves. This photo is of the lock keepers cottage.
It took us just over an hour to get to the outskirts of Oxford city. Along the way we were picking up huge amounts of gross algae on the bow of the boat that were getting caught. Thankfully when we pulled into the next lock, the churning of the water pulled it all away. We were most concerned to see a lot of cattle standing in the water amongst it all. They were just trying to keep cool. The algae is just going to get worse with the current hot weather.
Once we got into Oxford it was then “hold your breath” moments whilst we searched for moorings. Our hope or more dream, was to get one in the shade. The first mooring that was available was OK and the location alright but in full sun. We took a risk and moved on through the next lock. We just fluked getting one through on the other side which was in full shade. Not the most salubrious of areas but there was another boat moored there.
So a map of what we have done so far of the Thames River. We just heard today that because of the drought, the source of the Thames has moved five miles further down the river – not good news at all. And today they did offically call that England is in a drought. Having reported that, there is forecast for a bit of a wet week starting Monday. The countryside so needs it and farmers are desperate.
Once we were settled in we headed off to do shopping as the larder was indeed in a bad way. It was a 15 minute walk which normally is not an issue but in 33c heat, it turned into a big bother. Our plan was to shop for all the vegies and dry goods first and return to the boat. Then we would come out again and shop for the cold stuff. All going to plan until we went to pay for the first load of shopping. Di’s card was declined twice and then Fraser’s card was declined twice – SHIT!!!
We left the groceries in the cart and said we would be back. Luckily and oh so luckily we were in Oxford when this happened as considering we had been in the boon docks for the last week, it would have been a nightmare. We have a UK HSBC account, so found a branch a five minute walk away to find out what had happened. Apparently, the purchasers of our old duplex had sent some HSBC mail back to the bank rather than giving it to our old neighbours Jess and Mark. This caused the bank to “inhibit” our account. When we spoke to the HSBC rep he was more concerned that we were using the word locked when referring to our inaccessibility to our money. He constantly corrected us with the woke term of “inhibit”. He was coming very close to being an “exhibit” the way he was carrying on. We got no warning via email so that was annoying. Anyway, after an hour we were up and going again.
What was meant to take us about 1.5 hours to do the shopping ended up taking four hours so on the return to the boat after the second shop we decided to just crash on the boat for the rest of the day.