So here begins a bit of a cautionary tale that stemmed from a desire to be out on our Eileen again. My excuse is that we were so relieved (after the storms of Saturday night) to find Sunday morning dawning fine and sunny that we really didn’t think through the effect of all the previous days’ rainfall on the level of the South Oxford.

We were simply (naively) happy to be leaving London and heading towards a day on Eileen. So, here’s our tale of minor misadventure…

The feeder stream, which bisects the mooring, should have told me that things were seriously amiss… This raging torrent, over 3ft. higher than usual, was tipping a huge amount of additional water into an already swollen Oxford Canal…
Boiling, churning water, the canal – unnaturally – flowing fast; with debris being washed down across the mooring…
The view from the bridge, with the shallow canal struggling to cope with the in-rush of water and folding into slippery ‘boils’ of water. No longer constrained by the banks, the rising waters are, in places, overrunning the towpath…
A view towards our mooring, the small boat in the distance has sunk. A tale of rising water and too-tight ropes meant the boat was inundated from the stern and now sits abjectly on the mud.

Focusing on the sunshine rather than the evidence of the water, I turned over the engine, (she started first turn) lit the fire to take the chill off the boat and headed off towards Banbury town centre.

More tomorrow…



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