The winding hole at the top of The River Lee must be the prettiest on the system. Theo old maltings that have now been converted and the cottages along the bank.
First job was a visit to Sainsbury’s and also find a post box, that done we were on our way a little after 9-30 am. Going in front of the weir we passed this chap who was trying to get a Darwin award. He is walking along the safety barrier in front of the weir that stops boats drawn onto the weir. We were going to fill with water at Mill Road Bridge but the boat behind us needed water so we just dropped off the rubbish and headed down stream. At the first lock I spotted this cast iron post, I am guessing that RLT stands for River Lee something.
A little further on we passed the New Gauging House that meters the water flow to the New River, this in turn flows all the way to Stoke Newington Reservoir. There is a lot more information about it HERE
The A10 crosses the river and the low lands on a very long concrete viaduct and bridge, I wonder how many motorists realise how high in the air they are.
We filled with water just above Stansted Lock, the water point is on the lock mooring so while we were filling up I filled the lock ready. On this river you leave the gates open which is good, but the boat ahead of us also left the offside paddle up so its something you need to watch for, this was the second lock he has done it at. By the time or tank was full so was the lock and of course you have to open the swing bridge before you can use the lock. The bridge moves quite easily and its the road access to the Lee and Stort Cruising Club.
We made a brief stop at Rye House mooring on the offside where there is a picnic area with good daytime moorings. We walked to the gateway expecting that to be it, the boat was unlocked and the engine running still, we then found we could walk in the grounds which show the outline of the old building, from here we walked round the front and found it open so we went inside and right to the very top. It was a very brief visit and we couldn’t even give a donation as we had no money with us and as I said the boat was unlocked with the engine running.
We had just set off when we met a flotilla of wooden boat, It seemed that most of the rowers were women for some reason. The elderly gent on the narrow punt was actually paddling with his punt pole when we first saw him.
Behind the fence in the background of the chap on the punt is a Go Kart track, such a contrast. From here it was only a short distance until we turned left up the River Stort, we entered the Stort at about quarter to one and met a boat on the first sharp bend. The Story is a lot narrower and twistier that the River Lee, also the locks are a bit narrower so there isn’t room to get 2 Narrowboats in at a time.
At the first lock there was this delightful floating Duck House, please ignore the “NO Mooring” signs, others do. The duck I thought at first was stuffed as it was almost motionless. I take it he gets towed around when they move.
The bottom ground paddles on this waterway are very simple, just a cast iron plate on the end of a rod in a runner fixed the the lock wall. Bridge number 6 on this canal is very low and tested my new flexible flag mast on the bows to good effect. As you can see the weather station only just made it. Just beyond the bridge on the right hand side you can just see the stern of Kingfisher the inspection launch, I will try for a better picture on my way down.
The afternoon was feeling quite warm and we were in the area of our planned stopping place so when we left Hunsdone Lock and saw some vacant visitor mooring with rings in the shade of some trees we stopped. The only down side is we are on the approach to Stansted Airport, right on it. Maybe that is why there were vacancies.