Back to Where we Started by Cosmo

Yay we have escaped city centre London. We set off on a sunny Monday & met up with Auntie Heather who did the locks for mum on the way out. Last cruise past Regents Park & the zoo. We bade farewell to Heather at Little Venice & continued chugging outwards through the carpet of green duck weed. Six hours later we moored up back at one of our favourites spots from the way in Paradise Fields. We had a lovely couple of days there enjoying free runs in the fields & mum got some internet work done.

Then we were off again stopping right outside the big Tesco’s at Yiewsley so mum could do a big shop including the all important dog food of course.

Then it was off up Cowley lock to Uxbridge. Mum had booked into Denham Yacht services so Jason the guru of bubble stoves could service our stove for over winter. We want to be nice & toasty when it gets cold.

The next day we were off & up early up lots of locks to Rickmansworth. We moored just above Stockers lock where we’ve never tied up before. It was great no other boats there & lots of nice walkies round the lakes. We’d stopped there so mum was near the train station to catch a train to Aylesbury to look at her new. calendar club shop. Wow it’s so big! Much bigger than previous years. We think mums gonna have her work cut out lol we’ll just enjoy winter snoozing in front of the fire as usual!

Mum wanted to move that afternoon but it was really windy so she chickened out. That meant she had to set off the next morning in the pouring rain! Another stop at another Tesco’s & more bags of dog food bought. You can never have too many stocked up! Onwards trying to beat the winds up to Cassiobury Park. This is where we started our London adventure way way back in March at the Easter Floating market. It was windy & rainy then too! We moored up below the lock in case above was full which it was.,

As soon as we were tied up mum messaged Mutleys mum Sally & we had a Doggie rendezvous at our favourite stream. We had such a great time. Of course Daquiri had to get himself filthy didn’t he?!

The next morning the first boat above the lock moved so we upped pins & were up the lock faster than a fast thing & we slid into our old favourite spot where we spent a lovely Xmas four years ago.

So here ends our amazing London adventure. We achieved our big 2018 goal of braving central London & doing all the Rivers Lea & Stort. It’s been the most amazing weather to be on the rivers. We were able to do so much swimming which we wouldn’t have done in the canals.

Over winter mum will be running the Aylesbury calendar club shop for Calendar Club so if anyone is in the area do pop in & see her. We’ll be sleeping by the fire so if you pass Nb Golden Boyz in the Marsworth/Tring areas over winter don’t make too much noise & wake us up!

We’re not sure of 2019 routes … mum has three areas she wants to do… so she’s not sure which to tackle next

1. River Avon, River Severn all the way down to Gloucester & then up the west of the country onto the Llangollen

2. The South Oxford & the Thames between Brentford & Oxford

3. The Middle Levels out from Northampton including Peterborough & Cambridge…

So who knows where we’ll end up could be none of those! That’s the true advantage of living on a boat… we are free to choose.

So we’ll bid your farewell for now my friends as we close our blog down for winter. For some reason mum thinks we’ll have no time to write it! Have an amazing rest of 2018 & we’ll be back with our Watery Tails in 2019.

Lots of love, wags & licks

Cosmo & Daquiri xxxx

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That Sinking Feeling by Cosmo

We stayed about a week at Stonebridge & mum was very happy as she got her bespoke desk built by Cluett Carpentry

Desk

Then it was time to brave central London. We fell lucky on the locks & shared the first two with a chilled out Rastafarian & the next six with 2 guys & their 5 month old puppy. We tied up at Angel a couple of days before the festival.

Mum found us a few small green areas for walkies but it was nowhere near as nice as being outside London. Friday evening cemented our dislike of central London. We awoke at about 3am on a real slant. Mum was having trouble staying on the bed & we were sliding on the floor. We didn’t like it & were getting very scared. At 5am mum got up & took us out which was a good move as a bit later we’d have had a right jump to get off. The tilt just got worse & all the stock came crashing down in the boat & crockery slid out of the cupboards smashing mums favourite cup. Daquiri twice tried to jump up on the bed but couldn’t make it due to the tilt & landed in an undignified heap on the floor. At 7am mum gave up & rang the emergency CRT helpline. Luke on the boat in front heard mum & got up to help running water slowly down from the lock above. By now we were on such a tilt we were cms away from taking water onboard.

Eventually the levels came up but went back down again in the afternoon. We couldn’t trade as we had such a gap between the bank & the boat but we were all so tired anyway from lack of sleep! In the evening mum went across for a BBQ organised by St Pancras cruising club & caught up with a few friends. Luke was delivering people by canoe as it was a long walk round!

BBQ Canoe

Sunday the sun shone & we had a good days trading at the festival. Mum even made it into the papers Islington Tribune.

Once we’d packed down as some of the festival boats had moved we were able to move too through the bridge to deeper water which was a good job as the water levels went down again a few days later but we were safe this time.

We had a lovely surprise visit from Helen Marie on Tuesday & she brought us pressies to chew which we were munched through straight away. Thank you HM

We stayed another week at Angel as mum had to catch a  train on Friday to Southampton for her Calendar Club training day. We weren’t impressed when she got us up in the dark at 5am! As mum was out all day we had a doggie walker come in at lunchtime from Daisys Dog Walks We were very well behaved for our doggie walk. Mum came home late & tired.

Saturday she went off to Camden market as this was really her last full day in London.Now I swear to God she should not be allowed out by herself. Just look at the coat she’s bought!! She thinks its hilarious. We’ll have to be seen out with her wearing it no doubt! Sooner she leaves it somewhere we can chew it the better….

Orville

We had a chick onboard by Daquiri

We spent a pleasant few days at Bishops Stortford. It had a nice park just over the road for walkies as well as the towpath of course. On Monday we had guests arrive Hillary, Steve & cute chick Vera the black Labrador. She’s two but already better behaved than us! After a spot of car parking & shopping we were off. Retracing our path for us as we needed to get to Stonebridge lock for some carpentry work mum is having done next week.

The first night we stopped at Harlow Mill & the humans & Vera went off to the pub.

We sat out the next morning for breakfast & to fill the boat up with water. We misbehaved on the towpath & Vera looked quite keen to join in but think she was scared we’d squash her!

Next day we had a long cruise down to Cheshunt. It was great having friends onboard as it meant we were allowed out for walkies alongside the boat & mum got some good photos of our boat.

Poor Vera got stung by a nasty wasp & I got zillions of sticky bud things in my tail that mum got the scissors to in the end. Not a cool look!! Then later poor Vera fell in the canal as we were approaching a lock.

We squeezed in a mooring at Cheshunt. It was a nice night for sitting out but became most unpleasant as every minute there were cyclists going past. Didn’t help that I wouldn’t lie on the grass & kept settling across the towpath! So we gave up & went to the pub. Any excuse eh?! The pub didn’t do food but let us get kebabs from the shop next door & eat them in beer garden. Result!

On the Wednesday we left Cheshunt & headed down to Stonebridge. We grabbed the first mooring we saw but then moved to boat twice more so that we ended up just two boats back from the lock.

Hillary went to get the car & the rest of us went for walkies. Then we went into Stonebridge cafe for a drink & ice cream & discovered its extremely dog friendly there.

Wednesday evening we walked up the towpath to another pub where mum met up with some of the very long term Spice coordinators from her early days running Spice. That was her job before we arrived on the scene! We were semi behaved but we did keep barking at a rat in the undergrowth & I put a big black paw print on Maggie’s white trousers as soon as she arrived! I reckon Cosmo is still watching fur the rat in this photo. I’m being a good boy & smiling at the camera.

On Thursday early we bade farewell to our visitors. Mum was busy working all day then dashed into London to meet up with friends. Friday we had walkies then breakfast in the cafe which was very nice as we got some toast, bacon & sausage yum! Mum was busy working again then dashed into London to see The King & I with auntie Sally

Saturday we set up & traded but it wasn’t very busy. Mum was busy rearranging the boat & emptying the cupboard that is being replaced by a desk next week. Sunday was torrential rain all day so after soggy walkies mum decided to do her google shopping study & exam whilst we had a great long snooze. Monday mum disappeared for ages & came back with food shopping & a Bluetooth speaker something she’s had on her wish list for ages. So now we’re a party boat with lots of music. Me & Cosmo like getting up & leaping around to the music with mum!

We’re staying here a couple of days for mum to have her new desk built but we’re nearly at the end of our time on the Lea & Stort. Next we’re off to central London for the Angel canal festival on 2 Sept & we’ll stay there just over a week as mum has some places to visit… but then we think we’re off back up the Grand Union through some of our favourite spots from earlier in the year. Mum is just awaiting final confirmation of a southern calendar club so we know our plans for definite for winter.

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!

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!