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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I'm not sure what to make of the upper Lee. Very wide and a far cry from the Stort. Still very rural and at least the mooring opportunities are better. There are lovely area's such as Ware but Hertford was a bit of a disappointment.

Upper Lee

At Stanstead lock a swing bridge has to be moved before ascending. We did debate whether to ignore the sign saying open the swing bridge before entering the lock and I must admit I did go in before Ian opened it. Then I had the idea if I stayed well forward maybe we could leave it closed. In the end though I bottled out and Ian opened it after all.

Swing bridge over the lock

Entering the lock before the bridge was opened.

The boats bow is touching the top gates and the swing bridge when closed missed the stern by several feet. Probably a good job we didn't leave it closed.
It's been one of those days where wild life has been in evidence all around from Jays, high wire squirrel, fly infested bull juvenile great grebe and grass snake. I even saw this strange looking goose. No idea if it is a true breed or has interbred.

After looking on the web I now think this is a Greylag goose

And all these before reaching Hardmead lock. This lock was particularly challenging for us as work was going on by contractors installing new steps. It meant I couldnt get Ian off at the landing. With the lock being with us and gates open in we went and watched intently by the workers above, I managed to get close to the ladder for Ian to climb up.

Ummm. Nice legs, nice bum!!!

Weir at Hardmead lock

After traveling through Ware and liking what we saw but not stopping, all to soon Hertford lock was negotiated and we entered Hertford itself. We passed Roger and Pat already moored on the Cats Whiskers, gave them a toot, and arranged to go over to see them once we had found a space to moor.  Thankfully we found one not far from them and after hammering in our pins, went on board Cats Whiskers for a welcoming cup of tea and delicious chocolate brownie made by Rogers own fair hand. After a lovely long chat we headed off to town to see what was around. I must say I have seen better shops in smaller towns and was a little disappointed in what I saw. Even dog walking is a no go as most of the towpath backs onto small cottages. Still we made the end of Navigation and that was our aim. Tomorrow we will back track and make for The Gunpowder museum in Waltham Abbey.

And finally:-

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