Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Sunshine and white-water rapids - lovely time for boating

Sunday 21st June to Tuesday 23rd June 2015

Sunday was a bit more relaxed - the definite highlight of the day was Diane's guided tour of Hertford - making use of the information that she got from the Tourist Information office.
I simply need to be a tourist with my own very special tour guide.

We follow the "heritage trail" and  she reads out to all of the relevant points about buildings, history, miscellany - wonderful!!
The Christ School in Hertford - home of the Bluecoats -now being redeveloped
into flats and apartments

...and in here as well

The Stables (Hertford) not the original frontage but the site of an old coaching inn

Just another old building - short on head height

This of course was a reasonably early exercise in the morning -but at least we could have a coffee at intermission, before we headed back to the boat for - guess what? - no not that - at least not whilst there is tennis on TV.

Whilst the weather was not hot it was however quite humid and so any breeze was gratefully accepted, but then during the early evening it suddenly got much colder and we were rushing for jumpers and a blanket to warm up a bit - it didn't help later when the cold feet found their way towards me wanting to be warmed up.

On Monday morning I know how it feels to be hanging out waiting for the supermarket to open so that I could buy a few bottles of beer.
I hardly drink much at all, but the couple of times that we had been in Waitrose over the weekend we had noticed that they had a special on for Leffe Blonde - one of my favourites.
Suddenly Monday morning had arrived and I had not bought any, plus we were getting ready to leave; so off I went - there was a couple of other things to buy - just to make it look OK.
With just a little bit of paranoia I asked one of the older checkout chicks about purchasing of alcohol so early - apparently not a problem - so it was purchased; the free coffees made and returned to the boat.
After a quick breakfast we were ready to move, but only made it as far as the water point (incorporating an elsan point as well) and also rubbish bins; Diane had the washing machine running and with other tanks now full/empty as required all was well with the world -  even a little bit of drizzle for 5 minutes after we left the first lock was no inconvenience and we made it as far as Stanstead Abbotts before mooring up in a quite nice and peaceful spot.
I settled down to do some work, Diane was chatting up the guy on the boat behind us - no that's not right - she was just talking to him.
the view from our mooring in Stanstead Abbotts

Something must have been playing up with her GPS on the phone - it kept telling her that there was a Costa there in Stanstead Abbotts - couldn't see why, so we set off to check it out and just to have a bit of a walk to see the place as well - the walk was fine and the coffee was OK back on the boat - the GPS was definitely off.
what else would you find on a walk around the town?

We did however find a strange and unexplained sculpture just in the park by our mooring, it wasn't until Diane did some googling that she discovered that the Greenwich meridian runs right through here and this was a marker for it.
The Greenwich Meridan on its way through

We now have a bit of a schedule as we head back through London and then west to catch up with Sue and Andy (nb Festina Lente) sometime in early July - what seemed like a long time away has just suddenly come up close and we will need to get a little bit of a wiggle on.

We didn't leave early or too late onTuesday but by end of cruising we had made it to Waltham Marsh.
Not much of any note to report on except that at Carthagena Lock we managed to find two other boats owned and operated by Australians.
One was nb Walt (my notes say the guy was called Ron - but it could easily have been Rob, Norm or just about anything else - the memory is going) and he is from Glenbrook in NSW - not far from where we used to live at Penrith; the boat waiting for us to go down had owners from Perth but who used to own property in Maribyrnong (Victoria) - just around the corner from where we currently have our house - it continues to be a small world.
Nice house - nice boat as well!!

made me feel like we were back on the Lancaster Canal - so much plastic about

A sad sight - fair bet it wasn't rammed by acruiser
A fair bet you would dangle the culprits by their ankles until they cleaned it off

After we moored up we wandered over to have a bit of a look at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, which we had missed last time we were here.

There were some guys using the centre and testing their skills down the rapids, through the gates and such like - we however decided that the coffee and afternoon tea was a better option.
just a part of the canoe slalom course

a picture of concentration...

There was a very neat travelator to take back to the top of the course

Apparently it is important to get the water our of the kayak/canoe - whichever
way you can

There are two courses on the site and in the smaller one there were a dozen or so officers from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service testing their skills in the waters - skills which will undoubtedly come in very handy for rescues during times of flooding and other emergencies involving cascading water.
Someone was watching how Diane parks a car and then copied her - at least she
is better at mooring a boat

The officers from Surrey - did anyone see the driver?

These two drifted downstream ever further away from the car -
but closer to the the pub

Diane thought a return to the boat via a different route would be nice - I was suspecting that we might need the help of the Surrey officers if we got lost and couldn't find our way back, however Diane's sixth sense in these matters was infallible - we did find ourselves wandering around a Disc Golf Course - luckily they were all off at the 19th (can't call it hole - wait, just found it on Google - it is a DisCatcher basket.
A DisCatcher Basket for discgolf

The hole marker

Not these guys again - get out of here and back to your own blog!!

With the sun out and shining brightly, it was vastly different to the morning when we had set off with clouds and a cold breeze.

11 Miles, 10 Locks. 1 Swing Bridge
YTD: 463 Miles, 277 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 13 Swing Bridges

Totals: 3357 Miles, 2398 Locks, 108 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 164 Swing Bridges

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