Saturday, 13 July 2013

Bishop’s Stortford. At the Top of the River at last

It’s taken us a long time but at least we’re here now. And as usual it hasn’t worried the Old Man at all. He seems to be quite happy with our overall .....slowwwwww..... progress up the River Stort.

I do wish he’d get a life.

I’ve loved the warm summer weather but the going’s been hard. The river is shallow and well weeded and quite often he’s had to stop to untangle it from my propeller. And because he and Janis have been going off for their long walks together it has meant that I’ve had to be secured in the most uncomfortable of places.

There are hardly any decent visitor moorings. Often I’ve been tied up to trees and because I have such a deep bottom, I’ve not been close enough to the towpath (if that’s what you can call it). He’s had to put the plank out to get onto the bank, which is very unsafe.

The fifteen locks have been long winded as well. The big steel gates I’ve noticed are so difficult to shift and the Skipper’s had ever such a job to move them. The steel arms are too short to give a proper purchase and are often fixed at right angles to the gates anyway for no apparent reason. Also the locks themselves though wider than a narrow one, are not wide enough for two narrow boats to lock at the same time. So it’s made the whole process of getting the two boats through very longwinded.

And so I’ve missed my friend ‘Roots and Wings’ a lot. We’ve locked now so many times snugly side by side on the journey south so far, that I now feel lonely rattling around all on my own in these big locks without her.

I’ll tell you ..... I shall be glad to get off the Stort and back onto a proper waterway again.

It doesn’t seem to worry him though. He seems to love the whole adventure (as he calls it ... That word is so so irritating all the time too).

I think the time it’s taken us to cover the distance is making Janis a bit anxious too. She keeps talking about dates with him because of course she has to arrange to meet up with her sister somewhere civilised on the 20th July, the date when Sharon gets back from Morocco. But the skipper doesn’t like to face up to any date responsibilities at all if he can get away with it, ‘coz I know he thinks it ties him down too much.

But there we are.

I think they plan to move back down the river tomorrow. Hope they do it quickly this time.

I like this weather though.

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