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Tours 2000, The Lee and Stort October Trip

3 - Aqueduct Lock to Hertford, Lee and Stort Navigation

Monday 23rd October

Weather - blustery, occasional showers.

Another late start (10.25) from just above Aqueduct Lock, another totally quiet night. Had egg & bacon sandwiches before starting, but still got Wendy (11) to make them. She has come a fair way in her cooking abilities since trying to blow up Beatty  by leaving gas on, but not lit (we could have done with flame failure devices then!) The Lea river proper above Aqueduct Lock was not flowing much, being a drain the Lee soon comes off. There was a bit of activity at Broxbourne, one rower and boat shuffling at the hire boat base. Linda had a good look at Carthagena Lock cottage as she wanted to see what you got for your 425,000 GBP! This does include the whole lock island and the moorings. The cottage was very sympathetically extended in the mid 90's and is now quite a large house. It still exhibited the end of their lock side floral displays. 
Next came Dobbs Weir and the Fish and Eels pub / restaurant.  Last time we passed it was gutted, being in the middle of a make over. It is now a "Big Steak", but the distinctive facade has not been bu**ered up. We have never stopped at this classic L&S pub. We stopped (11.50) for a 40 minute water stop above Fieldes Weir Lock. Here we saw one of today's two moving boats. This was a Dutch barge that had just come down the Stort. Linda went to look at Fieldes Weir, where excess Stort and Lee water can be sent down the flood relief channel. Only one auto sluice was cracked open, most water going down into the Lee. We were taking the Lee at this river junction point, with the idea of getting to Hertford early, so the kids could go swimming and we could do some shopping.
We still adopt the Beatty method of doing wide locks, when on our own. This involves sitting on one of the bottom gates and getting that side paddle up as soon as the gate is shut. This works well even at Stanstead Lock with it's fierce top gate paddles. At Stanstead Lock Neil got out the GPS to check where the Meridian is. This was found to be about a third of the distance between the lock and the next bridge. The was even a nice piled bit at the magic point. This was where we were meant to experience the new millennium! We met the only other moving boat of the day going through Ware. Next comes the Environment Agency Ware Lock. There are some ridiculous permanent moorings just before the landing stage. There were people on the breasted up pair of boats right next to the barely 70ft lay-by. The lock was full, so Neil jumped of onto their boats while Linda hovered beyond them. Nothing was said, just as well as Neil would have given them a mouthful! This lock really is an abortion. The nicely made hardwood gates are still the stiffest on the L&S (All the L&S gates are heavy as they are not well balanced, the bottom gates are worse, having cranked steel beams.) By the lock is Galxo, who Linda still has an affection for, as she used to work for them. 
Uneventful run into Hertford, sun came out. There was one visitor mooring spot left just above the little marina. After a current induced wind beyond the last navigable bridge, we stopped on the visitor moorings. (15.30). The kids did indeed go swimming for a very reasonable 1.10 GBP (unlimited time). Neil shied off shopping as he had "boaty things" to do. This consisted of a quick leather of the sides, greaser fill up and a dodge the rain drops touch-up of the previously scraped and red oxided rust spots. Being creatures of habit, tonight we went to the Cafe Rouge. This has been prepared, while listening to the new Mark Knopfler Album - Sailing to Philadelphia and very Dire Straitsy it is


The river Lee goes off to our right (looking back). River Lee Navigation. 

Broxbourne. River Lee Navigation. 

The old course of the Lee comes out here. Broxbourne. River Lee Navigation. 

Old course of River Lee sweeps off to our left. Broxbourne. River Lee Navigation. 

The Crown pub / restaurant, opposite the Leisure pool. Broxbourne. River Lee Navigation. 

Approach to Carthagena Lock to right. River Lee Navigation. 

Carthagena Lock. River Lee Navigation. 

Carthagena Lock. River Lee Navigation. 

Carthagena Lock. River Lee Navigation. 

Leaving Carthagena Lock. River Lee Navigation. 

The river before Dobbs Weir Lock. River Lee Navigation. 

Dobbs Weir Lock. River Lee Navigation. 

Dobbs Weir Lock. River Lee Navigation. 

Dobbs Weir Lock. River Lee Navigation. 

The Fish and Eels pub / restaurant. River Lee Navigation. 

The Fish and Eels pub / restaurant. River Lee Navigation. 

The new gas fired Power station at Hoddesdon. Lee Navigation. 

Feildes Weir Lock. Hoddesdon. Lee Navigation. 

Feildes Weir Lock. Hoddesdon. Lee Navigation. 

Feildes Weir Lock. Hoddesdon. Lee Navigation. 

Feildes Weir Lock. Hoddesdon. Lee Navigation. 

Feildes Weir. Hoddesdon. Lee Navigation. 

Feildes Weir. Hoddesdon. This is the Lee cut-off channel side. Lee Navigation. 

Leaving Feildes Weir and Lock. Hoddesdon. Lee Navigation. 

Rail bridge before Rye House cart track. River Lee.

House cart track. River Lee.

Rye House. River Lee.

The Rye House pub. River Lee.

Looking back at Hoddesdon power station. River Lee.

A414 viaduct. River Lee.

Stanstead Abbots Bridge. River Lee Navigation.

Stanstead Abbots Bridge. River Lee Navigation.

Stanstead Abbots Lock. River Lee Navigation.

Stanstead Abbots Lock. swing that bridge before letting the water in! River Lee Navigation.

Careful with those paddles Eugene! Stanstead Abbots Lock. River Lee Navigation.

The Meridian crosses, just here! Just above Stanstead Abbots Lock. River Lee Navigation.

Hardmead Lock. River Lee Navigation.

New gates at Hardmead Lock - wood with tin beams. River Lee Navigation.

Hardmead Lock. River Lee Navigation.

Leaving Hardmead Lock. River Lee Navigation.

The tour continues.....


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