Thursday, September 25, 2008

Storts Report

We’ve run out of Stort! That is to say we’re now sitting just beyond the limit of navigation, having turned and then backed up a few yards to moor in Bishops Stortford. Not the sleepy olde worlde setting we might have expected, as we are lying amidst modern apartment blocks and a building site, but quiet enough overnight. You can just see Herbie on the right.A nearby sign warns about an antisocial behaviour exclusion zone. Apparently if two or more of us were noisy last night we could have been taken home to our mums. We were good, honest.

After a rather fine Chinese buffet meal, we repaired to a pub called The Tannery where we took part in their quiz. After rounds one and two we were strongly in the lead having played our jokers on British geography and history, and then came the rounds on Eastenders and then Football and News and we were sunk! A very jolly affair though, and a nice crowd.

Rick was having a great time steering us up the Stort. The river is very narrow and meanders all over the place like a slalom course. All sense of direction would quickly disappear were it not for the steady stream of aircraft on the approach run to Stanstead airport.

Stort locks are lovely. Well maintained, easy gates and paddles, and quite fast filling. The rachet pawls even had cable ties on them so you could lift them without getting greasy fingers. That’s what I call attention to detail. In fact the whole navigation is well maintained. There is a sculpture trail with pieces at most locksides, most of them being really good. Good moorings though are in short supply which is partly why we did the whole lot from Roydon to Bishops Stortford in one go. Now we're ahead of schedule so we might have a lazier day today. I think we did thirteen locks yesterday, which is till not a lot for a crew of four.

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