After the showers of the previous night the day dawned bright and breezy. The boys were up early, eager for adventure. We walked down to the water point below Heyford Wharf Bridge to fill containers with drinking water, prepared the boat for the day, and were off… This first image shows Claire, Joe & Fin on one of the beams of the aluminium Mill Lift Bridge. The Boys loved the fact that by dangling together from the end of the chain their combined weight pulled up what seemed to them to be a huge bridge! (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)

They’re never too young to start! Here’s Fin (he’s not yet five by the way) guiding Eileen along the straight bits, taking advice from mum. (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)
Eileen below¬†Heyford Common Lock, Claire and Fin have gone ahead to work the lock, Joe and I stay with the boat. We’re working to establish set routines for jobs, so the kids know when to sit still and be patient and when they’re safe to move… (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes we do use lifejackets particularly when the children are helping to work the locks. They love the emergency whistles and blow them enthusiastically at every opportunity! (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)
I’m not sure why I look quite so anxious/serious/pensive in this shot!?! It was actually a really relaxed and contented morning a-boat. (Photo by Claire Filtness-Holt, August 2013)
Enjoying the lovely open meadows after Somerton Mill Bridge… Joe’s steering, and delighting in trying to brush his brother and mum off the cabin top! (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)
Fin takes Eileen in to Somerton Deep! (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)
Just to show that Big Boys enjoy big boats as much as Little Boys, here’s Royalty Class working boat ‘Victoria’ in pristine fettle, passing us and approaching Chisnell Lift Bridge… (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)
Getting the hang of steering! (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)
We moored on the excellent mooring before Belchers Lift Bridge.¬†The sun shone brightly, the kids had loved working the boat, and we parents had even felt relaxed. I’d love to think it was a portent of things to come as they get a little older and take a fuller role in our family boat. (Photo by Nick Holt, August 2013)

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