Setting off at 10 our first port of call was Lee Valley Boat Centre to have the toilet tank emptied, They couldn’t do it for an hour and a half as they had a group about to arrive to take their two day boats out. As we left a large party of young ladies arrived. We continued up the River Lee stopping for water in Carthagena Lock. The water tap is beside the lock on the off side so we filed up once the lock was full. A broad beamed boat that followed us stopped on the lock mooring below the lock and was able to fill from there by using two hoses connected together and run over the tail bridge.
As we left the lock a Narrowboat approached from above, it was being driven by a girl who looked about 14 doing a good job, a boy of a similar age was on the bows with a rope, but a younger lad was hanging on the handrail half way down the side dangling his feet in the river, If he had lost his grip he would have been in the prop. Once in the lock with a bit of bumping and lots of revs an adult appeared from inside the cabin at the front.
We arrived at Fields Weir Lock as the gates were being closed, there was an 18 foot cruiser narrow beam cruiser in the lock, I blew the horn and they looked round, I had just put Diana ashore and the gates slammed shut as they drew the top paddles. I thanked them for their help and they denied seeing me. Needless to say when they left they left both top gates and one paddle slightly open.
We carried on up the River Lee to Lee Valley marina where we had a good DIY pumpout, They tell you how to operates it, it runs for as long as you want and costs £15 with no blue. We had to turn round for the pumpout so that our connection was bank side, luckily the river is wide enough at this point for us to get round. All sorted we turned round once again and carried on upstream under the High Street bridge and moored for lunch.
Opposite where we moored for lunch were these three notices all within 50M of each other on the same piece of fence.
After lunch we continued on our way to the head of Navigation passing through Stansted Lock which is quite turbulent and also has a swing bridge across it which has to be opened before you can lock up.
We were soon making our way through Ware and we remembered these little summer houses from when we visited before about 20 years ago. Arriving a Ware Lock we caught up with another boat called Puffin from St Pancreas cruising Club, he had just set the lock and opened one gate and kindly invited me to go in first. This lock has Environment Agency signs on it.
We carried on together up through the next lock and into Hertford. The main visitor moorings by the allotments were quite full but Puffin being shorter than us tucked in on the end. We carried on to the head of navigation, winding just above the very low Folly Bridge. We then went backward upstream as far as the
Mill Bridge, I wish now I had gone under mill Bridge as there is only about another 50M to reach the weir and the true end of navigation. We then came back through Folly Bridge and moored outside The Old Barge pub for the night.
Once moored we checked the pub out, the Woodfords is OK but £4 a pint, we then took a wander round town, there is still a brewery here, McMullen’s and their old one is now up for redevelopment.