Sorry, no photos this week - forgot the camera!
Stanstead lock STILL closed so no option but to go north again for this week's outing (Sun/ Mon). Remembering that the Old Barge in Hertford had a Sunday night quiz, we tootled up for that. We pulled up at Hertford allotments to moor and were warmly greeted by Cliff (who we had never met before) on the neighbouring boat "Axe". Within five minutes we were on board Axe with mugs of hot tea! Cliff, a Fire Safety Officer, lives on board, mostly on the Lea and the Stort and was quite familiar with Herbie under her previous ownership.
As to the quiz, we got 30 out of 38 which put us in mid field, but that was just the two of us against teams of up to 7 or 8, so we were quite happy with our efforts. There was a special prize of beer for the answer to the following question "What average speed, including stops, does a London Underground train do (averaged over a day)?" I'll give you the answer in our next blog entry.
Monday morning we set of at about 9.30 in bright warmish sunshine in convoy with Axe towards Ware. Hertford lock gates are so stiff and heavy that to have another boater on hand is a good thing. Had it not been for some helpful onlookers on Sunday, I don't think I would have got the gates moved at all! Cliff left us at Ware when we stopped for Tescos, but we joined him further downstream as he was chainsawing up logs next to a friends boat. 6 of us sat at a picnic table with hot drinks and flapjacks. Very sociable.
We are assured that Stanstead lock will be open by next weekend, so maybe next week we'll be able to explore to the south -and fill up with diesel, as we can't get to any at the moment. We may get a visit from Richard next week as he is interested to compare boats, and probably pinch an idea or two for his boat Bankside.
Then the great journey home is scheduled for 19-23 March, with overnight stops at Waltham Abbey, London's Limehouse basin, through Regent's Park to Paddington basin (now a high tech office complex I think), and then on through the rest of London and home to Iver. Our friend Pete Higson will be joining us as crew, which probably means we will visit a pub or two on the way.
Still trying to think of a new name for Herbie. Apparently its ok (good luck-wise) to rename a boat while she is out of the water, and as we plan to get Herbie's bottom reblacked ths spring or summer, that's when we might go for a new name.