Monday, 18 August 2008

Hertford & up the Stort

Now where do we start?
Get my shovel out
Nearly envelop myself
Big one here
Doing well now

The rain eventually caught up with us in the evening and all through the night. We set off on Monday morning in rain and stopped to water etc and then continued down to the junction with the Stort River. Once again no boats to share with, but it was still very early.

Once we turned onto the Stort the landscape was very rural and the further we went the prettier it became. Eventually even the rain stopped and we had some sunshine.

After the first lock they were all set against us so we realised that someone was just ahead of us. Since these locks on the Stort are only 13ft wide so two narrow boats do not fit it was not worth trying to catch up. Eventually we found there were two boats ahead of us so there was no point in rushing. After Burnt Mill Lock both boats stopped as they were going to the marina there. We then informed that there was a tree down just before the next lock. We called the Stort River authorities to discover what had happened and found that it had just been reported. We carried on until we came to the obstruction that was just short of the lock, inorder to keep an eye on happenings. We moored to a convenient footfridge and shortly a BW man appeared who informed us that it would be an hour for a boat to arrive and then another hour to clear so I settled down to catch up with this blog. We were in the middle of nowhere it seemed with no radio and TV reception and poor phone signal but surprisingly I had good reception on my mobile broadband dongle....wonders will never cease. The boat took a little longer than the hour but once there they cleared a passage in well under the hour. By then there were three other boats queuing to go through and one coming the other way. All in all they were very efficient we thought.
By the time we went through the lock it was nearly 6 and Geoff had done a recce above the lock and said there was a suitable mooring so we decided to quit whilst we were ahead.
Nothing much around us apart from a sort of hybrid narrow boat cum dutch barge moored opposite, but the map tells us we are just north of Harlow. Heigh Ho and onward tomorrow to Bishops Stortford.

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