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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