Thursday, 11 September 2014

Home Counties Cruise: Day 6

A very cloudy day today, even a little murky at times, with a very autumnal feel.  We set off at 8.10, heading north towards the head of navigation.  At the first lock, Tednambury Lock, there's a large mill across the fields, at the end of a backwater which houses a marina.

We had four locks before Bishop's Stortford, and had to turn all of them.  Twyford Lock has one of the strangest lock landings, which is both short and difficult to get to (here seen on the way back).

The final lock, South Mill Lock, is in a pretty setting, with a lock cottage which has the halves of its roof seemingly pointing in the wrong direction.

When we got to Bishop's Stortford, we turned in what Nicholson's calls the fork in the river at the end of the car park.  The actual head of navigation is a hundred yards or so further on, a Causeway Bridge.

The moorings are overlooked by a large factory.  We didn't stop, instead beginning our journey back south again.

There's a very elaborate footbridge just south, with multiple ramps and steps.  There were a couple of guys cleaning it, which is much needed.

On the way back south, the first three locks were just as we left them -- full and gates open -- easing our journey.  But then we started having to turn locks again.  It was almost 1pm when we passed our mooring of last night.  We'd decided to carry on a bit, and had been marking possible moorings on the map.

When we got to Harlow Lock, we caught up with the boat we'd been following, Teezy, whose owners apparently know Sue and Richard from Indigo Dream and Doug and James from Chance, as they've been on St Pancras trips.  They in turn were waiting for one of the disabled trip boats (which we also saw yesterday).  The reason for the delay was that the boat goes into the lock, and they then pick up their passengers, many in wheelchairs, from the pub alongside.  It meant that there was quite a wait at this lock, and the next one.

We stopped at Moorhen Marina, as the loo tank light had come on and there was a pump out machine there.  However, it takes only CRT cards, which we didn't have and which aren't on sale anywhere nearby.  It doesn't particularly matter, as the light indicates a couple of days warning.

We carried on to the moorings just above Hunsdon Mill Lock.  It was almost 5pm, so another fairly long day.

15 miles, 15 locks.  (63 miles, 57 locks)

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