Before we reached our goal however there were plenty of locks to negotiate and some very tatty parts of the canal. The water itself was crystal clear which meant you could see all the grot which had been thrown in including many plastic bags. All these locks are wide locks and several are paired with one of the pair being mechanical and the other manual. Guess which Geoff opted for! Until we reached Stonebridge Lock.............here the mechanical one was not working so it was back to the slog. There were quite hard going, not because the paddles arms were stiff but because they were geared very low which necessitated many, many turns to lift the paddle. In addition the gates had the same low geared paddle handles. As Geoff reached almost the final bit a passing foreign tourist took pity on him and turned the last paddle!
We had not met any boats going our way with whom to share locks and only one boat going the opposite way.
As we set off again, disaster struck and we realised we had picked up something round the propeller. We gently coasted into the bank, luckily there was a convenient spot to tie to. Geoff then spent the best part of half an hour fighting with the weed hatch and removed the remains of a huge boat tarpaulin and other bits of twine and string. So taken with the whole thing I forgot to take a picture of the offending article!!
Once on our way again we achieved our goal of Waltham Abbey at 1910....this was our longest cruising day ever. The canal (or river or whatever it was at that point) had begun to be a little more prepossessing by this stage. The saving grace of the day was that it didn't rain on us!!
Contrary to the pessimism of the forecasters we awoke to sunshine. We meandered into Waltham Abbey for the paper and to explore a little. Then on our way again about 10.30am.
After the first lock we caught up with a 26ft Aluminum Sea Otter, in fact they kindly waited for us so we were able to share a few locks before they stopped in Broxbourne.
Our mooring in Hertford
Geoff went off on his usual recce and reported that church was at 10am and the nearby pub was worth reconnoitering. So we went for a pre supper drink and found that it did Sunday Roasts.
We had no radio or TV reception and very poor internet so much more reading got done than usual!
On Sunday the plot was to go to church and lunch and then gently potter back to Ware which had looked very pleasant on the way up.
All Saints Church Hertford
Church was fine, everyone very friendly and making sure that we went back to their hall for coffee. Here we found they had a produce stall so purchased marmalade and plums. Geoff also found a parishioner who had been to the rival school to his in Kingston! Small world.
Lunch was also good but we decided against the rest of the days plan as Geoff had a stiff neck....must have been all that helping the women on the boat!! So a quiet afternoon when I had hoped to catch up with this blog, but what little reception I had soon departed.