|Briar Rose and Chertsey together|
At the junction, we turned right onto the shared Grand Union/Oxford Canal. My favourite piece of canal trivia concerns this section: boats going from Braunston to Napton could be going south on the Oxford, but if they're using the Grand Union, they're going north.
By the winding hole near Bridge 98 is the sad sight of a sunken boat. It's got a big blue barrel on the roof as a marker. We continused to Napton Junction where we turned right onto the Grand Union proper. We moored above the locks, and went to Calcutt Boats to look at the chandlery. We bought a bag of coal in case tonight is chilly, some stern grease, and two different sorts of LED lights, to see if they fit our light fittings, and whether we like the resulting light. Briar Rose has spent most of the past few years on shore power, so electricity usage didn't really matter. But as we'll be using the boat out and about, I'd like to try to reduce the draw of the lights.
It was still before 12 noon, so we winded above Calcutt Top Lock and retraced our steps back to the junction. As we had plenty of time, we turned right onto the Oxford. We had two boats in front of us and another behind, who came to within a few feet, then asked to pass. We explained that it wouldn't do him much good because of the boats in front, but at the next strait-ish section we let him pass -- we planned to moor for lunch near the Bridge Inn anyway. It turned out that the front boat was winding by the pub, and I suspect we took the space they'd been hoping to return to. The pushy boater didn't like having to wait, and was button to button with the one in front.
We had beans on toast, as we were quite cold. Then we went down to the winding hole, turned and headed back past Napton Junction. We moored just before Bridge 102, in what has turned out to be a very popular spot. It was still early, so we've done odd jobs, including sweeping the chimney. The sun has gone in and out all afternoon, but it's been warm enough to have the side hatch open.
An incredible number of boats have been past. It's not like this in November!
11 miles, 0 locks.