Up to the Top by Cosmo

Well after our little hollibobs we got ready to start the next leg of our adventure as we set off to tackle the River Stort which branches north East off the Lea just below Rye House.

First though mum very excitedly went off on a girlie plus Uncle Guy night to see Mamma Mia 2 which she’d been really looking forward to.

Saturday morning we had to await the local raft race finishing. We got a birds eye view of it from our boat. We liked this raft the most as it kept sinking snigger snigger

Once it was safe to move we reversed our route down firstly past Stanstead Abbott’s where we stopped for diesel & ice lollies then onwards past our lovely previous spot at Rye House & then we turned left onto new waters of the River Stort.

Once on the Stort we headed into Roydon marina for a pumpout but we got lost first! We dropped down the lock into this humongous lake bit we didn’t have a clue where to go. Luckily mum guessed right & we ended up on the pumpout pontoon. It was all very posh there they have lodges & everything.

Then we were off again in pursuit of a mooring. These proved to be scarce. Firstly mum tried to tie up against a steep bank but after slithering down it on her backside at speed decided to move onwards. Shame we thought it was very funny or we would have till we had to attempt it. As luck would have it there was a nice spot just above Roydon lock with a horizontal bank much better. The neighbours were a bit noisy in the mornings though.

The next day we were home alone as mum set off to go hydrospeeding. She came back totally knackered saying she’d nearly drowned 3 times. Not sure why she does these things mad woman!

We liked it at Roydon so we ended up staying a week there. Mum went off & did her last tunnel guiding trip whilst we were there. The weather was just getting hotter & hotter now but we found loads of places to have nice cooling dips in the river. Glad we’ve been along a river this summer rather than a canal.

The next weekend we cruised up through Harlow Town & got a nice mooring at Harlow Mill.

Mum whizzed off on the train to Camden on Sunday as Sandra & Barry from The Home Brew Boat were visiting London so they had a good catch up.

We then started to hear about river closures further up the Stort so mum decided she’d better turn round before she got trapped. So we headed backwards down river & found a lovely remote shady mooring with a mini waterfall & stream right by the boat for us to play in.

Mum then heard the river had reopened again so we turned round yet again & started to head up the river again! Makes me dizzy thinking about it. Of course mum has to try & turn in the smallest spots. She sees it as a challenge I think rather than waiting till a turning point. Must admit she normally succeeds though!

This time we moored at Harlow Town right by the station & the car park because mum wanted to get an internet delivery. As usual the delivery drivers were highly amused delivering to a boat. Whilst there on our walkies mum had been sussing out a couple of ‘wild’ moorings just further along the river. So after our shopping delivery it was off to attempt this. Mum managed to get the stern in closeish but not the bow so she was running up & down the gunwhales chucking the rope off back along the Gunwhales leap off stern wrap rope round tree chuck it back on boat back along Gunwhales tie rope off back along Gunwhales & sort the stern out. Well I’ll give it to her she was determined & it was a lot of work on her own to get sorted but we were eventually tied up.

But then to our horror we realised there was no way at all of getting off the front & it was quite a leap off the stern too. But I was very very brave & leapt off (after Daquiri had gone first in case he fell in!) and i leapt back on too. Mum was convinced one of the three of us would probably end up in the water at some point but I’m pleased to report none of us did. This is Daquiri wondering how on Earth we’re going to get off!

Well other than getting on & off this mooring proved to be a very clever spot. Not only was it fairly shady but because we couldn’t get off we were able to have all the front of the boat open & all windows & hatches open all day & all night so we kept some air circulating through the boat. Given that it got up to 34 degrees one day & virtually every day was above 30 degrees we were glad of mums masterplan.

We stayed a few days & again there were plenty of nice swimming spots. Then we set off & continued up to Sawbridgeworth. Luckily there was just one spot above the lock so we grabbed it. I don’t think mum enjoyed being there though as there was a cat boat one in front & one behind us. Mum wasn’t impressed with our barking at them & nearly pulling her arms off.

That weekend though the flipping van thing returned & again we were bundled in the back. But this time when we finally pulled up we couldn’t believe it we were only at Auntie Gills house in Sheffield. We ran round the garden & leapt all over Uncle Michael & we even got jumbone treats.

Then we were taken for walkies round Waverley lakes. Very nice it is there too!

Then it was back in the dreaded van but only a short trip & again we couldn’t believe it. We’d only arrived next at cousin Jakes house! Yippee and we found his toy box we soon had that emptied all over the floor! At night Uncle Alan & mum went out with friends & us three Boyz stayed into doing dog boy things. The next day mum left us with cousin Jake as she was off up to Auntie Kati’s big birthday party. She returned on Sunday & we were again bundled In The van but there was a flipping big stool thing in the back too with us. Not impressed. We got back to the boat & all had a great big snooze. Gosh all this socialising is so tiring

Tuesday was cruising day & we reached our final destination of Bishops Stortford which is the end of the navigation for boats. Again there was only one mooring & of course it had to be the furthest away & we had to reverse into it! But mum managed fine & a lovely man helped mum pull her boat in as it was very shallow at the end. We’ve had to just tie up on a centre line & a bow line but given no one is going past us we’ll be fine.

So there we are… our cruising goal for 2018 completed as we’ve now done the rivers Lea & Stort. Well done team Golden Boyz.

Given that we arrived in central London early May & set off up the Lea in May we’ve taken a lovely four months meandering around. On Monday we’re setting off back down river & it’s going to take us 2.5 days to get back to Stonebridge lol but we do have some crew arriving including a chick called Vera who is a black lab. I can see fun times ahead next week!

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Golden Boyz go Broad by Daquiri

Sorry we’re a bit behind cos mum has been busy working so we can’t get our paws on the laptop!

Anyway we went on hollibobs & not to a kennel this time. We went with mum & Uncle Alan & cousin Jake to the Norfolk Broads.

We set off on a Friday by being bundled into a van. Cosmo did his scooby Doo impression & wouldn’t get in as usual! It wasn’t a long journey less than 2 hours & mum stopped twice for us on the way. We arrived at Acle where we were very excited to board a different boat to Nb Golden Boyz. It was shorter & fatter & bright yellow. We were as ever very excited & did a lot of barking especially when cousin Jake turned up!

After an easy handover we were off with mum driving using a funny steering wheel not a tiller. Uncle Alan took over the driving as we headed to Potter Heigham that night passing lots of windmills & big sailing boats. You don’t see many of them on the canals

After our first night aboard with very little sleep due to me running round with my stuffed parrot half the night we set off the next morning. We stopped at Salhouse Broad for lunch & swimmies & then went up through Wroxham where we had to get a pilot to go under the very low bridge. The houses along the Bank were ever so posh along the way.

That night we stopped at Coltishall. Every night as it was so warm we got to go out to the pub all of us. It mostly went ok except for the times I started bonking Cosmo in front of everyone. Mum wasn’t impressed. I think cousin Jake thought it was funny though.

The next day after a spot of geocaching we were up & off towards Barton Broad but on the way disaster struck & a big red flashing warning light went off. Mum pulled over in some reeds & Uncle Alan leapt off with a rope. Cosmo is is always terrified getting on & off boats with the slightest gap then hurled himself off over the front of the boat across the reeds & shot off up the bank. Luckily he came back & was bundled back onboard & then we were all locked indoors hmph! Mum rang the boatyards & they asked us to go to next boatyard who had a quick look at the boat but the light had stopped & they could see nothing untoward so we set off again.

Ten mins later the light goes off again so we turn round & moor back by the cafe near the boatyard. Uncle Alan had his eye on the cafe for breakfast anyway. Our boatyard came out & it was found the engine was overheating as it was raw water cooled & it had got weed in it. Anyway it got sorted so we decided to stay there for the night & go to an aptly named pub called The Dog!

The next morning was mum’s birthday so her & uncle Alan went to the cafe for breakfast to celebrate her being so very old! Then we set off on our original route up to Barton Broad did a quick circuit & then started to head south as we’d covered the northern Broads. We passed the boatyard & moored up for the night surprise surprise at another pub!

Next morning we were rudely awoken at 6am something about catching a tide. After quick walkies we were off to Great Yarmouth & then I kid you not we went pretty much out to sea. We were not happy waves lapping at the boat & sometimes they splashed right up the front. mum was whooping loving it. We did not. I mean look at this you can barely see land.

Even cousin Jake wasn’t happy. These humans are so cruel to us. Because we set off so early we made our destination of Geldeston by lunchtime so we caught up on our snoozing in the afternoon.

The next day we had a quick trip round the stretch to Lowestoft & then headed up to Reedham. Here we saw the old chain ferry operating & we had a fabulous night in the pub as this extended family came over & spent an hour or so with us as they loved us. One of them was Irish & worked at Castlefields for Manchester Radio & the rest of the family came from Stockport where mum was born so they were exchanging stories about pub crawls. I think mum is obsessed with pubs.

The next morning we were up early again & across the stupid sea bit called Breydon Water. This time we moored up at Great Yarmouth & we went off to the beach. I was very brave & went in the sea but strange old Cosmo wouldn’t go anywhere near it.

We has a stroll along the pier & stuck our heads through this funny cartoon character. Well I did again Cosmo wouldn’t join in.

Then we returned our boat back to base & went to the pub opposite. Apparently when mum was little the whole family went there & her uncle Graham collapsed with sunstroke & got taken off in an ambulance. Mum was distraught so when he got back from the hospital he went up to see mum to show her he was still alive. This just made her worse as she thought he was a ghost so screamed the whole place down. So the pub is a funny memory in mum’s family. We were treated to a nice sunset on our last night.

The next morning we handed the boat back & they were surprised at how much diesel we had used. Well we had pretty much covered all the northern & most of the southern Broads.

So again we were bundled back in the van & driven back to our old familiar Golden Boyz which was still moored safe & sound at Ware.

So I’ll bid you farewell from your three furry shipmates & we’ll resume soon telling you about our adventures back on the River Stort.

Ware Are We Now? By Daquiri

We had even more visitors at Hertford as Auntie Joy turned up then Uncle Guy. Cosmo was ecstatic at seeing Uncle Guy as he brought some more cushions for him to play with!

 

The next evening mum& auntie Joy set off on another Thames adventure a fireworks & tall ships cruise. Thank God we didn’t have to go out on the stupid Thames again once was enough!

 

The following day whilst auntie Joy took us for our last walkies & swimmies at Hertford mum moved the boat to the waterpoint to fill up & wash the side of the boat as it was really dusty from the dry weather.

We then cruised down to Ware ready for the festival. Auntie Joy enlisted the help of a lady at the lock & she hitched a ride to the next lock & helped us there too. Mum got very excited on the way as she saw 2 baby grebes. Grebes are normally a good spot but we’ve never seen baby ones before.  Soon we were moored up in our festival spot.

Mum has really fallen in love with Ware as we’re moored opposite some beautiful little gazebos & she keeps disappearing off for her own swimmies at Ware lido.

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The Ware festival was run by the IWA & was great fun & really well organised with a fabulous BBQ & singer on the Friday evening. Unfortunately mum nearly had to miss the BBQ. We had been such good Boyz sitting out without being tied up during the day even as people & other doggies walked past. Mum declared it to be a miracle she’s such a drama queen. Anyway to make up for it we were very badly behaved at night, You see with our new found freedom we didn’t want to be left home alone so every time mum shut the door to go out we started barking & wouldnt  stop! It worked a treat as mum kept coming back in & eventually gave up & sat with us. She was contemplating ringing for a BBQ delivery when we decided to behave & let her go out. Luckily there were still some burgers left for her. Not that we got any!

697D822C-5C73-4281-A1C3-DCE6F4C61B0AThe Saturday of the festival was roasting hot & boring football was on at 3 o clock so unfortunately we didn’t do very well tradewise but we had a nice time. Here’s us sitting out behaving so well on the towpath.

0AA464A1-C329-44EF-8E9E-211141AD53A1We had a nice quiet night in on Saturday just the three of us & went to bed early. But at about midnight we were woken up by cries of Help! At first we thought it was someone messing around after all the football shenanigans but then we felt our boat rock slightly & heard someone say that somebody was in the water. Mum got up & dressed & we had a bit of a bark to make it look like we were on guard duty! By the time mum gut out if the boat the man had been rescued but he had lost some belongings in the river. So the next day one of the other boaters came to dive for it. The river was surprisingly deep. Unfortunately they only found a bottle of wine he’d been carrying & not the bag.

its the first time a dive operation has been launched off the back of Golden Boyz!

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A Little Bit of Paradise by Cosmo

We left Carthagena lock by turning round & heading back to the boatyard so mum could get a pump out or rather the boat could!! There are so few facilities up here that cruising has to be planned round them. We met a nice man called Gareth who has a corgi so mums going to dig out a corgi glove puppet for when we go back past.

We then tootled up to Rye House stopping for water on the way. We passed the turn off for the Stort where we’ll be headed later in our adventure.EA9F680F-6944-4CDE-8905-F6A007DF6CB0

Rye House was pretty full but just past it mum spotted a bit of bank that she thought she could get the bow in & she did. The stern was a bit stuck out & surrounded by 4ft high nettles but we had an amazing view from the front. Mum had to throw the rope off over the nettles, run through the boat, jump off the front, knock a back pin in thread rope through then throw the rope back onto stern of the boat jump on front run through to back & tie the rope off. What a palaver but she did it. It was well worth it though as we had a lovely mooring there right across midsummer & best of all there was a broken down bit of bank that became our padding pool!

We had a lovely time there & stayed a week. We did have a scarey incident though when mum spotted a SNAKE swimming straight at our boat. This is me on snake watch duty!

98F7C5A8-5268-4FF6-AF32-8EEFD006851ESadly eventually we had to leave our little spot & we set off for Hertford right at the end of the river. Mum had the tough Stanstead Abbotts lock to do first which took a bit of fathoming out as it has a bridge across it. It was a really beautiful cruise passing through Ware then to Hertford. Here’s us waiting to go in Hertford lock.

9FE0591F-2439-48DF-A977-5621F089EC63We went right to the end of the river & turned round then moored up next to two new traders The Bakery Boat & The Mindful Boat.

It turned out to be a very good spot there as there was the massive Hartham Common just over the bridge and lots of places to play in the river. We met loads of Doggie pals. Here’s us having a fabulous time in the river cooling off.

Mum went off to do her tunnel guiding on Thursday but she was worried about us as it was so hot. So mum arranged for Auntie Jules off The Hippie Boat who were arriving that day along with Auntie Jan on The Art Boat to let us out. Only thing was I didn’t know about it so I was very suspicious & wouldn’t get off the boat as I thought I was being dognapped! Daquiri will just get off with anyone!! Eventually though I gave in & got off but kept giving Auntie Jules the evil eye.

On Friday mum went out with Jules, pete & jan for Jules birthday in the afternoon. Mum drank loads of wine & then went to a mindfulness session on The Mindful Boat. A miracle that she stayed awake!

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At the weekend mum opened up for trading & sold quite a few things. One man bought TWELVE 3D pictures yay! Saturday evening all the traders had a BBQ so we had a great time sitting out begging for food.

And on Sunday we couldn’t believe what happened. We got a royal visit. Uncle Ant & Uncle Ade turned up. It’s years since we’ve seen them. Remember Uncle Ant he was the one who taught mum to drive the boat & got her boat all ready for setting off continuous cruising when we were just little puppies.

Then at nighttime the boat next door invited us for a BBQ so we sat out again which was great fun. Except next door had a cat called MoJo & when he popped out the door we went ballistic barking at him. Then the man in the house across the canal shouted  at mum for us barking. He said we were very irritating. Us??! as if?!! Wuff Wuff!

Kings of the Agility Course by Daquiri

Gosh we were up to date with our blog so we’ve left it a week & now we have so much to tell you… that’s how rock n roll me & Cosmo are!

Well after we’d had our shopping delivered by Elvis (I kid you not that was the delivery drivers name on the text) we set off fully laden with bags of dog food for us & cider for mum oh & a bit of food for her!

We tootled up a couple of locks because mum wanted to moor near Waltham Abbey & moored above Waltham Town Lock. But mum found something even better! We’d only gone & moored right next to a white water rafting centre. Mum took us for walkies round the centre but we were not keen on going near that water it was way too fast moving. Cosmo was pulling at the extent of his lead the whole time to get away from it in case mum tried to get him in for a swim. As if that’s not bad enough mum has only gone & booked herself in for scarey hydrospeeding in July. She can well & truly count us out of that malarkey! Here’s us not looking keen at all!

The next day mum had a wander round Waltham Cross & the abbey gardens & was underwhelmed by it. She also set off to the train station & deemed it too far away so we released anchor & were off again like the wandering nomads we are.

We landed at Cheshunt after a bit of manoeuvring round a floating shed with an outboard!

Now Cheshunt we did like! It had loads of amazing walkies with lots of wooden sculpture things great for cocking your leg on, lots of water to swim in, very very near a train station & best of all a Doggie agility course. Here’s some of the wooden sculpture trail & a view across the lake next to our boat.

Mum made the most of being near the train station & went into London THREE times leaving us home alone! So badly treated we are.

She firstly met up with friends Olly & Jackie & then went to the theatre to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie which she loved because it was based in Sheffield

Then she met up with Helen Marie (who apparently has treats for us next time she sees mum yay) to have a posh French dinner & see the Tina Turner musical

Then she also went off to see Dom & Jane & Fran on the Spice underground postal train trip.

But it wasn’t all bad as Auntie Joy came to visit & took us on walkies before heading off on a big sailing ship.

But the best day was Sunday. Mum got back (late after stupidly getting off the train at Walthamstow instead of Cheshunt as she forgot where we are). Two people had just arrived hoping to meet US so it was very lucky mum had just got back. So mum suggested that us & our new pals Betsy & Treve all went to the Doggie agility course. We did ever so well on it. There’s quite a few different obstacles & we were very brave attempting them.

The first one is jump along. We only did the little fences. Here’s me in action looking like I’m doing a nose dive.

Next was the woody weave. We were good at that for about the first 4 poles then we gave up.

But the next one was our favourite & we were really good at it

Through the hoop we weren’t keen on but we did it eventually under duress

And the log walk we were quite good at but we sometimes jumped off the end too soon.

After all that good behaviour we had lots of rely ploys, fighting & conga dancing to make up for it! We said farewell to our new friends I do hope they come & visit us again especially if we get to do agility courses next time. We didn’t half sleep well that night.

Monday we went on our last walkies round Cheshunt as we set off again edging ever closer to Ware. We’re now moored near Broxbourne. It’s not as nice as Cheshunt but we have already found a lake & had a paddle in that which is good as it’s been very hot today.

Out on the River Lea by Cosmo

We had a sunny weekend trading at Hackney Marshes but we weren’t very busy. Lots of people stopping & looking but not many buying sadly.

Mum decided to stay here for the rest of the week as it’s easy links transportwise & it is such a fabulous walkies place. Mums boss Dom is back from his Everest climb so she’s been talking to her laptop a lot. She calls its Skyping we think she’s going mad!

Mum loves the high street here at Homerton. She says it has loads of bohemian shops up there. We now have proof that she’s going mad as one day she came back pleased as lunch with herself as she’d bought 3 different colour wigs. We do think she’s finally lost the plot!

On Wednesday she went off on the canal museum summer party which was a trip by boat round the Olympic Park. Although she had cruised some of it this time she got to go through Carpenters Lock. She took Heather as her guest & they had a stroll round the Olympic Park first where they met a little Doggie whose tail & ears matched mums hair. Oh please God do not let that give her any ideas. Mum came home happy after free wine & buffet but her feet were sore as she’d done over 23000 steps!

On Friday mum went out to meet Auntie Jan & they explored Portobello Market. She said there were masses of stalls & she had Thai street food for lunch.

Then they went back to Little Venice to catch up with Uncle Toastie, Jules & Pete. It was Uncle Toasties birthday so they were sitting out drinking bottles of pink fizz all trying mums wig on. Honestly glad we weren’t there our humans can be so embarrassing!

Mum then caught the tube back walked the 37 mins back to the boat, took us for walkies then disappeared out for drinks with some of the London boatladies. Today she racked up 25990 steps & definitely has sore paws!

Saturday we had to move as naughty mummy has had a text from CRT saying she’s in a no mooring zone. Not that there’s any notices & there’s all other boats around none of which had moved when we left! So we bid farewell to out lovely little marshes mooring & set sail for the river lea.

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It was a beautiful day so we meandered north avoiding some very out of control rowers. The first few locks were mechanised & mum soon got the hang of them. There was a fair bit of weed in the water so mum had to keep doing that putting the boat into reverse thing to shake the weed off the prop. It was very nice to see countryside again.

At Alfie’s lock there was a bit of a queue so we had to wait for 2 boats to firstly go up then a clapped out cruiser came down with 2 chaps who just bought it. They didn’t have a clue what they were doing so mum had to instruct them as she ran up when she initially saw them come in the lock & tie the boat up tight with a massive granny lock then open the top paddles without shutting the top gates!

By the time they’d descended Michael Pinnock had arrived on the fuel boat so mum shared the lock with him. We then tootled onwards firstly following Michael then after filling up with water at Ponders End progressed onwards. 114BFBFE-1143-4D57-9265-69FEB2FE3527

There are now plenty of places to moor so that’s less stressful. We progressed to just above Enfield lock when we spotted a mooring right by the road. Normally that isn’t so attractive for us but we’re on our last bag of dog food so mum wanted to do an internet shopping delivery so this looked perfect. We tied up about 6.30pm & mum managed to get an order in for the next day. That’s a relief as we absolutely can’t run out of dog food!

Although we’re right by the road just through the bridge we discovered some lovely walkies round Ramsey Marsh. It’s another beautiful day up here on the River Lea a proper Doggie paradise.

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Golden Boyz does the Olympics by Daquiri

We had a nice time at Victoria Park with lots of walkies. It was a very convenient mooring & we got lots of visitors Janet, Alan, a surprise from Rowan & Ian and auntie Sally came. She walked past the boat in the park but Cosmo spotted her straightaway & we were both on our hind legs at the railings. Then Cosmo sat waiting for her coming up the towpath staring intently. We were allowed to sit outside whilst mummy was trading but one time a bike nearly ran over my nose so I leapt up & barked at the cyclist. Shame she didn’t fall in the Cut nasty lady!

It was hammering down Tuesday so we didn’t move but Sue on The Herb Boat arrived next to mum all drenched. Her & mum had coffee & bacon butties & caught up on all the news.

Wednesday we set off on an adventure. First we had to turn round then down Old Ford lock which had  a volunteer on then down the 3 Duckets Cut ones which didn’t have a volunteer on, were all set against us with gates wide open. Par the course for London. Then we turned right. I was a bit worried we were off on that bumpy Thames again but luckily we weren’t phew! We went down the other mechanised Old Ford Lock & sharp left into the Olympic Park. You can cruise round the Olympic Park but you can’t stop so cruise round it we did.

We passed Carpenters lock, West Ham football stadium & right under arcellor Mittel thingy & under a couple of very very low bridges before popping out back on the Limehouse Cut.

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Back up Old Ford lock again! We wanted water but mum couldn’t find the tap so we cruised on & luckily fairly soon found a tap that wasn’t marked on our book. Then just through the next bridge a boat was reversing off the exact mooring we were hoping to get so mum was straight on there. It’s on bollards & as there’s more rain due we’ll be safer if the current picks up.

Its a fabulous spot for us with loads of places for walkies Hackney Marshes & the filter beds & Walthamstow marshes. Mum took us exploring it all the next day. We walked miles & miles & miles! We found a huge picnic table which I scoured underneath for food. Can you spot me in the photo?

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This is Cosmo flaked out only halfway round!

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Apparently we’re staying here this weekend to trade as all the way up on our walkies it was nose to tail boats so mum reckons she’s best off where she is. Faberooni we should get loads of nice walkies then.