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Wonderwall

Mystic Horizon Here I Come

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Prepare yourself little handsome boat, myself and my good wife shall board you on Tuesday. I promise to look after you, care for you , be gentle with you and treat you as my own. In return , I want you to take me to all the sheltered spots, with good food , good beer, good people and plenty fish :default_biggrin:

Ive looked forward to this for a long time, the last few weeks have been pretty stressful, so it's come at the right time. Bring it on.

I leave the Bonnie land of Scotland tomorrow night, around 8pm, travel to sleaford for a stop over , which leaves us a easy 3 hour drive , so we are nice and refreshed for picking up our boat  at Stalham on Tuesday. 

My sis and bro in law are hiring from Barnes same week , so we will meet up with them and then just go with the tide. The boat don't do bridges!! So our distance is limited , but so too is day light these days. So, a lot of cruising around not in a hurry , with good company is the order of the week. May hire a rowing dinghy from Richardsons or H woods for part of the week , but a crew of 2 and a dinghy may prove tricky if stern on is required . 

Dont plan to be online much , but will try and post a few pics and quick updates while I'm there , and will for sure bore you all with a tale and pic or two when I return. If anyone sees me , say hello , there's always a beer in my fridge!!!

Happy days ahead , see you all around .

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I have a real soft spot for this boat. I hired her for a week, got home and two weeks later was back on her for a fortnight.

Very easy to handle and not as high as you might think – so Ludham Bridge even when stated less than 8’ 6” is very doable. What I especially liked was the large forward cabin and comfy double something you’d not usually expect on a compact boat.

Have a great time on the water.

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Have a great time Neil (and your good lady) we managed to get a lovely mooring at St Benedicts church staithe for the first time last week and it’s so peaceful. Just us on the mooring as we were 42’ but you could get two shorter boats on.

You can walk into Horning (2 miles each way) we did it in the afternoon for a few provisions and a couple of beers ...... well it’d have been rude not to!

If you do it at night make sure to take a torch 

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Well, all done and dusted , another superb holiday has come to an end, as it must . 

My patience typing isn't the best :default_dunce:, so I will do my blethering  in stages. 

Im sure the road workers , once they find out I'm travelling the 500 miles , decide " better get the cones out then":default_cool:, but We  arrived safely , via a sleepover in Sleaford , around midday , to be told our boat will be good to go at 1330.

Perfect, enough time to stock up at Tesco , load the boat park the car and recieve a very professional hand over from Richardsons.

The boat was everything I hoped for . Clean , tidy, floating :default_biggrin:, dry and never missed a beat all week. The boat is in the lower price range , so let's not kid ourselves on ,that its all singing and dancing . If you pay for three star.  You don't expect 5, value for money it was 9'out of 10 . Very little wash and quite quiet.Lots of cupboard space , easy to handle , though the wind can catch it with it being quite high. The galley and shower/toilet is compact , but like I've already said, it was exactly what I expected, and totally adequate. To sum it up , I would hire it again in a flash.

Like every single boat I have ever hired , it has a few drawbacks . It's not the easiest to get off from the side when mooring up. If you are not the most mobile, it could prove tricky. Stern on however it is the best. The Windows seemed to take a while to clear, quite a lot of squidgy work went on for the first hour of cruising until it seemed to be the correct conditions. Not that it's much of a hardship giving windows a wipe, inside and out , but again may be an issue if your not an athlete :default_blink: like me .  It proved a difficult boat to keep the floors clean . just the design of plastic floors on entry and a few nooks and crannies where some leaves and debris gathered. No big deal though.

Richardsons were excellent , every member of staff I encountered were faultless, busy busy people but nothing was a problem.

In fact my experiences over the last 6 years , of Herbert Woods, Pacific Cruisers and Ricos have all been exceptional. It really adds to the broads experience.

The weather was very kind , mostly warm , fair bit of sun , a little rain during the day , with some misty mornings , all adds to the broads ambience , does it not.

Any heavy rain came at night, which was very convenient.

I set off around 1330 , there really is no better feeling than leaving the boatyard , with a lovely boat with your whole holiday ahead. The bar opened around 1332!!!

I will fill you in where I went , what I seen , and what I caught ( fishing you naughty peeps:default_blush:)

back to work for just now though:default_badday:

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First port of call was Barton Turf, where my sister and bro in law were waiting , having picked up their boat from Barnes the previous day. BT was busier than I expected , but we got moored next to them but 1. Big cuddles all round , a wee look at each other's boats, fishing rods set up , a wee malt shared to christen our holiday and then a lovely late afternoon  cruise in the sun up to Wayford , then back to a wild mooring on the Ant , chairs set up , fishing gear out for the night and a lovely night was had . 

 A few beers and fizzy stuff for the girls, and a plan was roughly made to have breakfast at Ludham bridge in the morning , giving us all a chance to shower , and of course enjoy the beautiful morning Ant. 

By the time I got up , my bro in law was already up catching fish , I just sat with a coffee and watched , very enjoyable. Ludham bridge it was then , to watch the shenanigans that place always gives. It didn't let us down , as a privateer went full knots to the bridge in a lovely, quite large craft, however his fishing rod was vertical at the front of boat!!!  Only one winner I'm afraid. A very expensive looking rod gone . It seemed to catch everyone's eyes just seconds before it happened. It was the talk of the moorings for a good 5 minutes, could happen to anyone , but funny none the less!!!!,

A breezy , cloudy run up to Potter with some provisions bought , tunes played and lots of reminiscing quickly filled our day , and Womack did we head for . 

Only one mooring available , so off to try the new Thurne Lion , which after some fishing and beer a lovely meal was had. Very nice meal , very reasonable price with great smiling service from the pretty waitress in lovely surroundings . If the place had a little snug bar , with even a dartboard or the likes I would give it a 9.5 , until then I will give it a 8.75 . I do like my "pubs" to be places you can also just pop in for a beer and change of ambience!!  Highly recommend folks, if you not been give it a go.

Back to the boat, a bit non eventful spinning for a late pike, then inside the boat for a game of dominoes and much nonesense chatting !! Me at my happiest !!!

Heavy rain during the night  woke me up , but not for long, 2nd up again for some fishing but the long grass was soaking and I didn't last long, I get itchy feet and want to cruise!!!   Gathered the crews and toast and tea was chewed while we made a plan . 

More to follow 

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What are the moorings like at Thurne Dyke these days? That's another one we haven't done yet.

I love the Thurne Dyke moorings especially if you can get in at the mouth end, always a lot of boats to watch passing but still peaceful.

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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10 hours ago, SwanR said:

What are the moorings like at Thurne Dyke these days? That's another one we haven't done yet.

They were fine , grass was a bit long but nothing to worry about. We had to use our rhond anchors, not sure if that is the case all the way to the pub end, we were almost at the other end. It was quite busy , both sides , with a lot going on around . Cows in the adjacent field were loud in the morning!!!!

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Slow cruise down to Upton , which on arrival my bro asked me what happens if you meet another boat on the way up the dyke? It is tight!!!  Has anyone had to back down half way?

The sun came out , as did a couple of sun showers , the girls went for a walk while the boys fished , taking in the calm peaceful water , though quite a lot of human traffic passes by for such a quite place. Most people that walked pass, stopped for a blether , another unique Broads trait. A cruise down to Stokesby , beer , pool and sit in the sun watching the river as it picks up speed towards Yarmouth.  Head back up to Acle bridge ( moored outside closed down shop :default_badday:) and an early dinner then South Walsham , surprisingly both sets of mooring were busy , so went to an old favourite spot, just before the shallow broad , mud weight either side , boats tied siren to stern , fishing , followed by cards, music, cheese and biscuits and of course a few glasses . A few gaps in the clouds revealed some fantastic star clusters. I was making out I knew what they were called , nobody was fooled!!!!

Next morning , after we all took in the morning , we headed for Horning as I fancied a swim , proper shower etc. As many on here will know, but not I ,until a few days ago , swimming pool no more in Horning!!  I must have looked daft walking up to a boat sales shop with swimming bag!! 

Wroxham it was , bit shopping , a bit fishing , where I had my best session , with a couple of decent perch.

Pub for lovely food, few games of darts then off to the shed for some proper pub experience. Here I had the pleasure of meeting Cambridge Cabby and his good lady. A very nice couple with a huge passion for the broads, and this place, good taste obviously!! Much to the amusement of my party who couldn't get there head round I could travel 500 miles and meet someone !! Walked back to boat with a bunch of lads , early 20's, who are now Hibs supporters and know the " hibees 3 rangers 2" song:default_biggrin:

Another great day, sadly over .

In the morning we walked around the glass deco shop over from the boatyard , some very beautiful, quirky , expensive items on show. If you've never been in its worth a vist. Then looked around more expensive items , checking out fair craft loynes  fleet, some of which they allowed us to board . All with an eye of returning with a bigger squad in the near future . Lovely boats , but the tv's in the bedrooms , just seems over the top for me . Well equipped boats though , very impressed. . My sister particularly liking the proper shower and press flush toilet!!,

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The next plan was to take some flowers to Salhouse broad, where our much missed Mums ashes are scattered. A lovely cruise down in the sunshine , the boats then set up stern on stern for a beautiful afternoon , of fishing, chats, music and keeping up to date with the Saturday football. Cambridge cabby pop into the broad and I seen his fantastic looking boat, a quick hello and wave . 

We laid the flowers , raised a glass and thought happy memories. My sister then dropped her phone into the drink, a fruitless task of trying to fish it out from the mud silt was attempted a few times before we gave up . At least , we all commented , my Mum could see all her pictures etc. Not great but we didn't let it spoil or day. Neither did I let the fact for the first time in I would estimate 20 vists , I failed to catch a fish on Salhouse . 

A very nice Chinese carryout was purchased in Horning , eaten tied up to the jetty on the small broad ( I know it says no mooring , but it means a lot to us , we always treat it with respect and don't do any harm) The sunset was magnificent , fishing was okay, the 3 card brag an absoloute hoot. A bit fishing in the morning , cruise into Horning for some food , and watched all the going ons . 

Sadly this is where we parted company with our companions , they headed Wroxham direction while we went to Ludham bridge. It was quite sad waving goodbye, a lovely time spent together , I'm sure we will do it all again.

Will get the final read in shortly , 

cheers

Neil

The Ant was really busy , nice and slow , and I got moored immediately after the bridge and fished for a while, with two nice perch bagged , then off to the pub for some lovely food. 

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From Ludham bridge , we took a cruise up to the " secret " dyke just off Barton broad. Of course , I only knew about it from here , even though it is on the map , I wouldn't have chanced going outside the posts , however I found it .I have to be honest, it was a bit of a letdown . Maybe I expected too much , but algae water , no view , and a bit waste ground for mooring wasn't  what I expected . Stil glad I visited, and don't let me put you off , go see for yourself , it does have feeling that you shouldn't really be there and quite mystique .

So , Gays staithe it was , perfect mooring , on the end of side on side . The fishing was plentiful , the view idyllic , my first time I have over nightered  there ( I think) .  A combation of the weather forecast , and something which while not urgent, required our attention back, we made the decision to hand the boat over the following evening ( sacrilege I know, but it was the sensible decision ) 

So, on our last night, and for the 1st time , we took the tv out and watched a comedy DVD . A very cosy relaxed , if not a little sad night was had . I popped my head out a few times just to remember myself where I was. 

In the morning I fed two of the prettiest , most friendly ducks I have ever had the pleasure to meet , were treated to my maggots , ground bait and a few goodies we had.  They ate out my hand , on the boat, I nearly took them home!!

A cruise up to Wayford , still sunny but the wind picking up , the forecast rain was in the post for sure. I dangled my last remaining worms off a hook, catching a few before symbolically packing my fishing stuff away.  This is a sign of the beginning of the end , all goods things and all that . 

Slowly back to Stalham , handover done , car packed , 500+ miles ahead. It all comes with the territory. 

A great time was had , many laughs , many beers, great company, and great memories . Sooner I'm back, the better.

Thankfully my wife feels the same , and it's a place which pulls us closer and closer , just a happy place 

The broads were surprisingly busy , which tells me they are thriving , that is heartwarming.  Nearly everyone I met were friendly, happy and pleasant , it's a special place on so many levels. 

I love it . 

Will post a few pics , not sure what forum is best ?

Hope you all enjoyed 

Neil

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Sounds like another great trip, I was only up there this time last week and am missing it so much. It was the first time my good lady has been on the Broads and I wasn’t sure what she’d make of it, but she fell in love between Wroxham and Salhouse, she’d checked off everything on her ‘must see’ bird list within the first 24 hours...

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Lovely read, reminds us of our quick trip away- funny how "The Shed" seemed to be the place to meet other NBN members - there were three of us I think and the lads made it a lively evening! We were very impressed with your ingenuous stern to stern mooring on Salhouse and it looked idyllic in the sunshine. Nice to meet and greet other members and the friendly waves and toots adds to the pleasure - thankyou for your tales. 

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