Dusty the boat that delivers coal, diesel and gas to other boats along the Oxford Canal
Update July 2023 – Jock and Kati have moved on and are no longer working on Dusty. They have placed the reins into the trusty hands of Bob who works under the flag of Jules Fuels.
Bob can be contacted by phone or by Facebook.
The route remains the same.
Wishing Jock and Kati happy travels – and hope to bump into you somewhere between here and there in the future!
Dusty delivers whatever the weather
In the winter, most boats slow down almost to a standstill – some with winter moorings, others with tow path moorings and some in marinas. Those who are ‘continuous cruisers’ tend to slow right down over the winter months and can easily spend a whole winter moving extremely slowly between one point and another only a few miles away. Dusty on the other hand has a range of over 30 miles and will do this, no matter what the weather during the winter, every 3 weeks.
A lot of boats are entirely reliant on their heat for cooking or heating from fuel which is delivered by Dusty. Who is frequently the first boat to pass through ice, or flooded rivers, collapsed locks, fallen trees, and multiple other types of blockage.
I asked Jock to describe the basics of Dusty’s route on the Oxford Canal.
“We go from the end of the Oxford canal from the Arm up to the wharf at Fenny Compton. In the winter once every 3 weeks and summer once every 2 weeks. We live on another boat between times. It takes 5 days to go from Lower Heyford (where Dusty moors) to Oxford and back and then Lower Heyford to Fenny takes about 6 days in the winter. Coal run takes 11 days and then a week off and then 11 days, etc.”
I asked what they might do if they didn’t do this – and was told unequivocally ‘cut flowers’.
If you enjoyed this story, you may like to read about Roach Coal Boat too.