25TH  MAY   TO    21ST JUNE  2003

                                        My initial thoughts had been to do the Thames ring, but when I looked at it in more detail last winter, I decided it was rather more than I wanted to take on single handed.
                                 The main thing I wanted was to experience the Oxford Canal and take the boat to Braunston. ( I had been there by car a few times, for the shows etc. ) Last year I did the trip to London and I have been up the Grand Union as far as Berkhamsted on a hired boat, so the trip via the Oxford canal would cover new ground, and things look very different from the opposite direction on the return journey.

                                         The trip lasted 28 days, (See Captains Log for some details)  I was moored up for 8 lazy days.  On the way at Abingdon, Thrupp, and Lower Heyford. I spent a weekend in Braunston Marina with a good mooring with electric hook up, and use of the laundry. And on the return at Cropredy, Thrupp and Abingdon.

                                          When I first arrived at Abingdon I met up with Mike & Liz Holloway on Snecklifter .
Their boat was also built by Heron, and we had been in touch by e-mail, and kept up with the news on our web sites.We later spent time together at Thrupp, and on my return journey at Cropredy.      I recommend their website for a much better written and informative account of our meetings.
                                   Also at Abingdon were Fred & Betty Drake on Drakes Folly, who until this spring had been moored opposite me in the Ham Basin marina at Newbury, but are now cruising the system. I met them again just south of Banbury on my return, and expect to see them at the IWA festival at Beale Park in August.

                                           Friends Mac & Margot Haines, who live at Long Compton , Just north of Chipping Norton came visiting at Lower Heyford, and we had a nice walk through the village and lunch at the Bell Inn.

                                           At Thrupp on Sunday 15th June, the Mikron Theatre Company were performing at the Boat Inn. A very good evenings entertainment watching All Steamed Up, the adventures of Richard Trevithick, the Cornish giant of Steam.

                                           Alltogether a most enjoyable trip, there were of course a few upsets, but nothing to spoil the experience.   See the 2003 album for some pictures of the trip.