Monday, 15 September 2014

Visit to Essex

Friday

Friday promised to be a lovely day so I set off for Hertford to turn round at the limit of navigation for 70’ boats.  My task was then to find somewhere to moor whilst Karen finished work.  First we filled up with water at the tiny Hertford marina:

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Then we cruised past some pretty cottages and the Old Barge pub before reaching the sign on the bridge saying the limit of navigation had been reached.  We then turned the boat round watched by a party of old people drinking wine in their garden and some school girls.  Both parties were waving.  By the way people who watch canal boats, especially at locks, are called gongoozlers.

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Buddy has settled in

After two days on the boat Buddy is now completely at home and can be off the lead.  He hops on and off without thinking - on Wednesday he had to be dragged onto the boat.  When we come back from walks he will run ahead as soon as he spots our boat and jumps onto the deck first.  He is also happy around locks now as can be seen below. 

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Saturday

We decided not to walk into Hertford to visit the market because it was yet another lovely day and we would rather be on the river.  So we planned to head for Roydon on the River Stort in Essex.  This entailed going back down the River Lea for three miles/two locks and turning left.

Karen was feeling a bit guilty as she had baked cakes for Catherine and Jo to take back to university but not baked anything for us. She decided to make some bakewell slices and disappeared below.  The next I heard was a shout, we had run out of ground almonds.  We stopped at a place called Rye House to find a grocers.  It was a really rough area probably why it has a large go kart circuit on the river.

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Water pikies and other things

Here we are waiting  above Stanstead lock as we wanted to go down after these boats had come up. The guy standing on the left was drinking a can of Red Stripe, I had met him before and helped him (the green boat) through the lock as I thought he was on his own.  Then we heard blaring music coming upstream.  The guy standing on the blue boat was coming up to the lock with the grey boat strapped alongside and the rowing boat behind.  Note the ghetto blaster speakers on the grey boat - there was yet another large speaker to the left of it.  Blue boat man was on Special Brew - you can see the pile of empty cans building up on his deck!

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The same lock is unusual as it is one of very few that have a swing bridge over it.  The guy putting his hand up was stopping his wife as he knew I wanted to take a picture.

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Here we are at the junction where the River Stort enters the River Lea from the left.

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The River Stort is completely different to the Lea; it is narrow and twisty and feels quite rural.  The locks are also narrower but not as narrow as those on narrow canals such as the Oxford canal.  It is because of canals like the Oxford that broad beam boats cannot get up to the north - doesn’t affect us fortunately.

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We finally arrived at Roydon and found a spot to leave the boat opposite the railway station.

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And just below this very low bridge with a rather nice old wooden cruise.

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We are right next to a driveway that leads to the large Roydon Village Marina with 300+ boats and a caravan park.  The driveway is quite a bit higher than the river but we feel safe…

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