Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Autumn cruise - the master plan emerges.

The weeks of stakeholder consultation and delicate negiotiation are drawing to a close and hazy plans for the Herbie early Autumn cruise are beginning to emerge. You'd think that as retired people we could come and go as they please, but we still have to fit in with friends and family.

Outline plan:(subject to possible/probable disruption)
The basic plan is to attend the Slough Canal Festival on 13/ 14 September and then (probably with a hangover) to head off through London (with a day or two city break) and then up the Lee navigation to Hertford, then to come back a bit and turn off up the river Stort to Bishops Stortford, and then return home. At 5 hours a day that should take 11 days cruising plus days off to rest or explore. Meticulous planning will be carried out and then ignored as wind,weather and public transport issues for crew intervene.

Potential highlights:
  • Visits to The Warwick Castle at Little Venice, The Grapes at Limehouse, The Anchor and Hope at Upper Clapton, The Old Barge at Hertford and other fine hostelries.
  • The Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey ( a museum, not a pub!)
  • Potential meeting with Roy and Val - Herbie's previous owners now believed to be up the Stort on nb Phoebe
  • Getting stuck under a bridge (see Risk assessment below)
  • Revisiting the New River
  • Charting unvisited waters i.e. the Stort - reputed to be charming
Peter will be joining us from Paddington to Limehouse and then a short way northwards. Rick and Marilyn have been seduced by promises of uncharted (to them) waters and will join us for a few days on the Lee and Stort, and Pete may join us on the return from Limehouse to Paddington.

Risk assessment:
One possible big problem will be the height of the river Stort, as it has some notoriously low bridges which are sometimes impassable.

I sent in an information request to Canal World Forums to ask other people's experience. Would Herbie's water heater chimney get under Roydon bridge? After several replies I suddenly recalled that Herbie's previous owners lived aboard the boat up the Stort!! She must fit up there sometime then. So long as we don't get too much heavy rain we should be OK.

It'll be a miracle if it all goes smoothly, or at all, but I can dream.

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