Sunday, 31 August 2014

The River Lee

We set out from Limehouse basin on 7 August 2014 along the Limehouse cut to join the river Lee.  The river Lee is navigable for 27 miles up to Hertford with 18 locks.  At Hoddesdon (6 miles before Hertford) the river Stort branches off north east for 14 miles with 15 locks.


This is a map showing the rivers Lee and Stort.  Our trip up and down the Stort is covered in September under Buddy Walks The Plank (River Stort).

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The Limehouse cut leaves Limehouse basin to the east and runs dead straight for a mile until it hits the river Lee at Bromley by Bow.  We had hoped to moor along this section so that Karen could pop into the office in Canary Wharf for the odd day but it was far too rough to think of leaving the boat even for an hour.

The London end of the river Lee also leaves a lot to be desired.  An amazing amount of litter on the tow paths around Hackney.  Lots of duck weed between Bow and Walthamstow; we had to stop four times one evening to remove weed from the propeller.

It was interesting going past the site of the 2012 Olympics and good to see that the Bow back rivers are being rejuvenated so that one day boats may be taken right into and around the Olympic park.

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Here is the extent of weed through Bow, although coming back down in October it had all but disappeared.  It is said that spring and summer are the times to aoid the river Lee and its weed problems:

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The largest tidal mill in the world was built at Bow in the 18th century and has been restored; very impressive.

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It wasn’t all doom and gloom as there were some very pleasant stretches and we found plenty of places to moor away from roads, railways and houses (I’ve lost count of the number of photos of Karen sitting on the towpath with her slippers on!).

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Here are some views of well known London towns from the river point of view:

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When we were moored at Dobb’s Weir near Hoddesdon we managed to find a mooring right next to the car so handy for transporting stuff on board for our year out.

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Going through Harlow we saw what must be one of the largest wind turbines erected on a boat:

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At Sawbridgeworth we christened the washing machine to make sure there were no leaks and it worked OK - drying is going to be fun in the winter so I will be erecting an attachment on the tiller to take a rotary clothes line.

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My youngest son, Jake, and his friend Tripti joined us on a rainy afternoon at Tottenham:

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Ware and Hertford were nice places to visit and walk around and the gazebos at Ware were interesting.  These are covered in the Gazebos At Ware blog entry in September

These are the 18 locks on the river Lee, number one being at the far end in Hertford and number 18 in Bow.

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