This morning I tackled Somerton Deep Lock which has almost immovable paddles and a ridiculously heavy single bottom gate. It is also, as its name suggests, deep! I managed the difficult bits and when she had reached the bottom, I decided rather than climb down the greasy ladder, I would bowhaul Don't Panic out of the lock. She almost made it when a fender got jammed by the gate and she stopped just short of me being able to get back on. I didn't panic. I stood back and considered my options. There seemed to be two: keep hauling on the rope hoping I could drag her free or let water in from the top gate, hoping that would whoosh her out.
Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something because when I took up the rope again, she had wiggled herself about and in doing so had freed the fender on her own! Simple then to pull her the rest of the way out. By then another boat had arrived behind me and closed the very heavy gate for me. This lock might be a bit of a challenge but it's very pretty...
As is the lock cottage!
I only travelled 15 minutes or so more before I reached Somerton water meadows. The cruising gods were still with me as there are very few mooring spots in this gloriously pretty spot and I got one which is just 50' long with large bushes either side, which means some rare privacy.
Bonny loves it as there are no fences or hedges and so she has a view of the whole field and any rabbits that might be about!
Lastly a picture of yesterday's Oxfordshire sunset: