Thursday, 23 April 2015

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Left our nice spot in Cheshunt at 8.20am, it was a bit breezy today and quite cold.  We will get to Roydon Mill Marina today where we are going to stay for three weeks whilst we are in Portugal and have a few land life things to deal with!  Everyone tells us that the Stort Navigation is one of the prettiest rivers in the country.  Unfortunately the Marina is not very far into the Stort so we will have to save seeing the rest of it for another day.  The stretch of river to the Marina was lovely passing through Broxbourne and Nazing.  Seven more locks, Cheshunt, Aquaduct, Carthagena, Dobb’s Weir, Feilde’s Weir, Lower Lock and the one into the Marina.  We are really back in the countryside here.  Made good time arriving at the Marina at 12.30pm – it’s huge but has everything we need and it feels like a safe place.
Mission accomplished!!  167 miles and 132 locks.  We have 882.2 cruising hours on the clock and we did it in three weeks with two of the weekends spent in one place.  I counted a total of 36 floating footballs since we left Ely!

Virtually every day when I am opening a lock a man says to me why is it always the women doing the hard work and the men sitting on the boat - so I came up with an answer – women don’t want to crash the boat because if a woman crashes the boat she did something wrong, if a man crashes the boat it’s not his fault! – my theory was proved today - coming into Dobb’s Weir lock (through one gate) I managed to hit the wall and the closed gate – boy was I in trouble.....of course somebody else hasn’t done that in our 132 locks has he!!!
Over the next three weeks I will only post an update if we have been for a chug.

I was not quite early enough for the sunrise but it still looked good at 6am!

Aquaduct Lock - but it doesn't seem to be going over anything!

Lovely gardens.

Our friend's (Jo and Alan) boat at Carthagena Lock hiding over the other side you can just see the name Wuthering Whites!



So nice to be back in the countryside.

Approaching Dobb's Weir lock - that's the wall I hit on the right!

This is where the Lee and the Stort divide.

Coming up to our last lock before the one into the Marina.

The rolling hills of Roydon.

Entering the Marina - it's a huge lake.

Steve has to get the boat from over there into this gap and the wind is blowing!

Well done - nearly there - just as well both neighbours were not on board as we made contact with both!!


Walking into Roydon Village.

A view from the bridge - we are over there somewhere!

To give you an idea of how big this place is!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Tuesday 21 April 2014

Had a slow start today and left the Olympic Park at 9.50am – it’s funny how preconceptions give you an opinion about places before you see them from a different angle.  Most of what we have seen today hasn’t been how we thought it would be – the canal seems peaceful although you feel there could be an undercurrent on the some of the estates that we chugged past.  We have gone through Hackney Marsh, Lea Bridge, Clapton, Tottenham, Edmonton, Picketts Lock, Brimsdown, Enfield and Waltham Abbey.  We have only been through eight locks; Tottenham, Stonebridge, Picketts, Enfield, Rammey Marsh, Waltham Town and Waltham Common today but at nearly every one someone has left the slackers up just a tiny bit so you don’t realise until you have nearly emptied or filled the lock and cannot open the gate!  We have been through a couple of electric locks today which was a welcome relief with Steve’s back and my hand!  At Waltham Town lock a woman was explaining to her friend how a lock works and when I couldn’t get the gate to open she asked me if I had unlocked it!  They did help me push it in the end and we got it to move – the gates along this stretch are really heavy.  We were aiming to get to Nazing but spotted a really nice spot in Cheshunt – there is water both sides of the canal – the sailing club on one side and Tunershill Marsh and Lee Valley Country Park on the other.  It’s so peaceful here – we walked to the High Street over the level crossing and past the station with the commuters coming off the train and everybody scurrying around going about their daily business and it felt like we were dipping our toes back into how life was before we started this adventure!

We saw a mink today - it was jet black and beautiful - unfortunately it moved too quickly for me to get a photo.  Steve says at least once a day that he cannot believe how wide the canal is – he thought it would be a lot narrower and he doesn’t understand why they dug it so wide!  If anyone knows the answer please let us know!
Leaving the Olympic Park

Steve liked this block of flats

Water Gypsy - every waterway has one!  That's Hackney Marshes beyond the wall.

Princess of Wales at Lea Bridge - Steve went to a Christmas do here last year!

One thing to do with your old CDs!


Waiting to go through Tottenham Lock

In Tottenham Lock

These three Thames Barges are offices!

Boats as far as the eye can see - there has been a boat moored on every bit of bank that you are allowed to moor on since we left Hackney Wick.

The pigeons have moved in!

Stonebridge Lock

There are reservoirs all the way along this canal.

Flying with us!

Pickett's Lock

Baby Coots

No boats moored near Pickett's Lock - apparently there are no transport connections. 

Riffles - spent many clubbing nights here many years ago!

Approaching Enfield Lock

This is a low one - mind that new chimney hat!

Close to where we used to call home!

We have driven over the canal on this stretch of the M25 looking down many times but this is the first time we have been looking up at the road - Rammey Marsh Lock.

An ice cream boat!


View from the deck at Cheshunt.

And the sun goes down.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Monday 20 April 2015

Happy Birthday Dad!

Pulled out of Willow Tree Marina at one minute past six!  There was a frost on the boats so hats gloves and big jackets required.  We were surprised to see that as soon as we left the Marina the canal seemed to be much cleaner and generally felt more relaxed than the first stretch of the Paddington Arm.  We are both nursing injuries – Steve with his back – something to do with a rope the wind and a 16 tonne boat and me with my hand – something to do with a dodgy slacker and a runaway windlass! 

It was great to see London from the river – we went through 11 locks, Maida Hill Tunnel and Islington Tunnel and travelled 17 miles then moored at what we thought was a great spot at Victoria Park – there were about six lads on a boat (playing some music and having a couple of beers) then a few more arrived, we had a bit of lunch then a few more and few more lads arrived and some left.  We decided that this wasn’t where we wanted to be so pulled pins and set off again, through three more locks and another couple of miles and we arrived at the Olympic Village where there was a nice spot waiting for us at about 4pm. 

Frosty start.

Goodbye Willow Tree Marina - would recommend this Martina - really helpful staff.

Small entrance/exit - it's good that it is not that easy to get into!

Come on sunshine melt this frost.

Ballot Box Bridge

This building looks like it is going to fall into the canal - there is a huge crack between it and the one next door.



The Aquaduct over the North Circular Road!

Kensal Rise Cemetery


Gasometers near Kings Cross

Harrow Road!

Mural made from litter!

Egyptian Goose

The café at Little Venice.

Entering Regents Park Canal.

Maida Hill Tunnel

We told these cotes that if they moved to the countryside they wouldn't need to use plastic to build their nest!

Regents Park.

I want to live here when I grow up!

Colebrook Dale Bridge at London Zoo

The Avery

Anyone for Chinese?

Blair, Bush and the Devil

Camden Lock.



The Ice Wharf - where Harry blows his wages on a Friday night!

In Camden Lock with Willow - can't believe it was them again - we followed them all they way from Kensal Rise!

I used to pass though St Pancras everyday but have never seen the lock before.

Look Andy and Tracy - it is the London Canal Museum - unfortunately there was nowhere to moor.

Going into Islington Tunnel

Come on Steve get back on otherwise I am going without you!

There is a Police diver down there at Kingsland Basin - apparently looking for the usual?

Three abreast going into Sturts Lock.


The Hertford Cut

Olympic Village

And again