Sunday, 31 July 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 5.7 miles
Total 1963 Locks  90 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2760.4miles

A gentle Sunday cruise through the chaos that is Broxbourne has brought us to pretty much where I expected to get to, a short way above Cheshunt Lock. When I say the chaos of Broxbourne, it is because there is a hire boat centre there and on a Sunday it appears that most of their boats are out on hire to people with a variety of abilities. It is good to see people out on the water but it does make it a bit problematic threading 18 tons of narrowboat through a crowd of boats all going in different directions! We managed it however and are now safely moored further down the canal.

I also rang today to check the water levels on the Basingstoke Canal, the news was good in that there is sufficient at the moment, a small fly in the ointment however is the fact that it is Woking Festival next weekend so mooring may well be difficult.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Stanstead Abbotts

Here I am Rune
Distance 4.9 miles
Total 1959 Locks  90 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2754.7miles

Now back on the move, heading in the general direction of London. We do have a fair bit of time in hand to get there, my calculation is that it will be about 5 days gentle cruising to get to Limehouse Basin and we need to be there by Thursday of Friday. This part of the cruise needs a little bit of planning since we need to get a reasonable timed tide out of Limehouse (I don’t do tides before 7am, and even them reluctantly) to get us to Teddington in time to find a mooring. We need to get a Thames passage pass allow us to get to the River Wey and from their down and through Woodham locks on the Basingstoke Canal by Sunday at the latest. Should be Ok provided that we don’t get delayed by bad weather on the Thames.

Today’s trip from Hertford to Stanstead Abbotts was without incident and pleasant cruising. It was interesting operating Stanstead lock since we were coming down, following two other boats, we had to refill the lock as there was no boats coming up. What this means is that you can fully open the gate paddles and I would have to say that the water comes into the lock at the greatest force I’ve seen anywhere on the system, you wouldn’t want to fall into the lock once the paddles are open, you’d need to be an expert swimmer to survive.

Tomorrow I would expect to press on to Cheshunt or somewhere about that point.

Thursday, 28 July 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 6.4 miles
Total 1955 Locks  90 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2749.8 miles

The weather held off and here we are in Hertford, the end of the Lee Navigation. There isn’t a lot in the way of moorings however and if we want to run the engine to recharge the batteries we will need to find somewhere else to moor since we are immediately outside of some residential properties who will be none too pleased at getting a house full of diesel fumes.

The final few miles to Hertford were relatively uneventful although there was potential!  The first lock we encountered was Stanstead lock at Stanstead Abbotts and it is notable by the fact that there are no side paddles, you fill the lock by opening the gate paddles. This can be an interesting effort since if you open the paddles too quickly your boat sinks! Initially tried opening the paddles gently but the lock hardly seemed to be filling so I then secured the bow to stop it swinging across the lock and quarter opened the paddle, the water came in with some considerable force but did then at least fill the lock.

Since we are quite close to a Waitrose we may get the weekend shopping from there tomorrow but at some point we will need to turn around, which leaves us with a high risk of losing our mooring space. If that happens we’ll go back to Ware to find a mooring.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 4.4 miles
Total 1951 Locks  90 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2743.4 miles

Now on the outskirts of Hoddeston and back onto the River Lee Navigation heading up towards Hertford. There was a quick shower of drizzle before we set off this morning and another brief shower during the period we were moored up for lunch, but other than that we haven’t been troubled by the weather at all today.

Not too many boats on the move today, although we were following a wide beam trip boat run by Canal Ability giving trips and holidays for the disabled on the canals. Their boat is about as wide as it is possible to get to still fit in the width of the locks and I would think it is a real treat to steer! They do have a bow thruster fitted which makes close manoeuvring a bit easier.

Again the plans for tomorrow are a bit weather dependent, the forecast isn’t good but if the weather does hold off we may well make it to Hertford.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Harlow Town

Here I am Rune
Distance 5.8 miles
Total 1945 Locks  90 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2739 miles

I would have to say that last night’s mooring was one of the most pleasant on this canal, nicely out in the countryside but with a good outlook, not hemmed in by trees or bushes. After a day’s travel we are now alongside Harlow Town railway station, convenient for services but not as picturesque.

The day’s travel went quite well, there were more boats on the move than we have experience so far on this bit of canal. We were third in line behind a cruiser and another narrow boat at each of the locks, but since we are in no particular rush this wasn’t a problem. The only place things got a bit confused was at Harlow Mill lock where two wide beam trip boats and a narrow boat were coming up whilst ourselves, the second narrow boat and the cruiser were going down. One of the wide beam trip boats was taking lunch on the lock mooring below the lock and there was a broken down boat on the lock mooring above the lock, so things got a little bit congested. As is always the way we found a way to get through. The only slightly worrying feature was as we went through Harlow Mill lock we seemed to get caught on something on the lockside causing the boat to tilt over. Whatever it was soon released us but I never did find out what caused it.

Tomorrow’s travel will very much depend upon the weather, the forecast suggests that we will get some rain in the morning so we will have to see how bad it rains before we decide how far (or whether) we travel tomorrow.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Tednambury Lock

Here I am Rune
Distance 3.9 miles
Total 1939 Locks  90 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2733.2 miles

After the weekend in Bishops Stortford, meeting up with relatives, we are now back on the move but, due to one or two housekeeping tasks, we haven’t gone too far. Firstly we needed to refill with water at one of the few water points on this bit of canal that has a reasonable pressure. Emptied the Elsan cassette and, at Hallingbury Marina, took on some more diesel. We weren’t desperately short of fuel but since we will be heading off down towards the Thames (after we’ve been to Hertford) I wanted to avoid having to get too much fuel there as the price will probably be at a premium. The last housekeeping task was to get rid of the waste oil from the last engine service at the local recycling centre. Whilst in Bishops Stortford I also managed to finish the task of servicing the engine by replacing the fuel filter. That is always a task I’m a bit wary of since if either dirt or air gets into the system it can cause considerable problems. I usually like to carry out that part of a service somewhere near a boatyard with repair facilities, just in case!
Not sure how far we’ll get tomorrow, I would expect to be back onto the Lee Navigation (mainly because the mooring opportunities are a bit limited here on the Stort. 

RUNE at the end of the navigaton

The bridge marking the end of the navigation