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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

A HOLIDAY OF TWO HALVES

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Hi all, Our week on Swallow started at 4-00am with the clock/radio alarm going off an hour earlier than normal :roll: , as instead of our usual "drive up to kent and stay with mum and dad for the night" before a leisurely saturday morning get away, we had to do the whole journey of 240ish miles on Friday morning. We got away dead on time at 6-00am, and i`d estimated the journey taking nearly six hours due to rush hour traffic on the M25. In reality, it turned out to be the best trip around the M25 i`ve ever had, and that includes the conraflow aound the northern section. As a result, instead of reaching Beccles at noon, we got there at 10-20, which i was very pleased with, beaing in mind it was 240 miles, at a sedate (for me anyway) 65-70 most of the way, We decided to see if any of the forumites had arrived early for the meet. As we walked along the quay, there was a young gentleman adjusting mooring ropes on a boat called "Friday girl". When we got closer, i gave a smile and started chatting to John, (Hockam Admiral) who, like all the other forumites, i`d never met face to face. There were two other boats there, but the crews, Mr & Mrs Lucky (Job Done) and Robert and Rachael (Relentless) were off in town somehere. After a brief chat with John, we said goodbye and headed to Tesco`s for supplies for the first few days, and eventually got to Loddon about 12-30ish, and met up with Mr & Mrs Stranger in Rosie Lea`s Tea shop. after about 15 minutes chatting, in walks w44nty, who we`d arranged to meet anyway, for the loan of his 240v hook-up lead. Our "mini meet" was most enjoyable, and after Lunch, we went out to w44nty`s care and collected the power lead, and went round the corner to the yard. When we arrived, there was Swallow, all ready for us, and looking as good as ever. We were only going as far as Reedham for the Friday night, so we had a chat with John, Linda, Graham, and Jane, and took our time unloading the car and packing everything in the boat, so we could put all the bags etc back in the car. Once everything was packed away, we decided to get underway and make for Reedham. Somebody suggested if we left it late, we may not get in, so we had to think of an alternative, which we`d decide on when we got there. The cruise down the Chet was a very gentle one at low revs because we had the tide with us, and plenty of daylight left. Also the weather had been good all day, but clouds had started to gather. The Chet will ALWAYS be my favourite river :love:love , because my very first Broads holiday started from Loddon on the Aston Orion when she was brand new in 1970, so i`m always happy to cruise this beautiful river at a very sedate pace. Once we reached the Yare, we turned right for Reedham and noticed our speed picking up dramatically due to the much stronger tide, also the clouds started to get thicker, and look slightly threatening. After a short while, we could see up to Reedham quay and could see we need not have worried about not getting a mooring, as the there were only about three boats along its length. We decided to pick a mooring near the Rangers hut because the tide was ebbing well, and i wanted plenty of room before the bridge to turn round, and come up against it. When we turned, it was quite apparent how strong the tide was, as our speed was dramatically reduced, so i kept the engine revs low, and slowly picked our way to our chosen mooring. I was a little worried because i knew Karen could`nt "jump" ashore as she`s still suffering due to surgey on her foot, so i had the canopy open ready for me to quickly jump ashore with the bow line, but all was well, with karen throwing the line to the ranger.

All safely tied up with springs set, which meant it was time to get below and start preparing our traditional first night meal of Spagbol. One slight problem, we got everything we need from Tesco`s, except one vital ingredient, ... The pasta :oops: , so we decided to treat ourselves to a meal in the Nelson. By this time, the rain had started to fall, and it was good to be tied up and tucked up for the night. After a very nice meal in the Nelson, it was back to the boat for a cuppa and watch some telly. We had to re-tune the telly, as all we could get on BBC1 was a picture and loads of crackle, but Karen always works out how to sort these things out, whereas my way of doing things would be to chuck it in the river. By this time, it was about 8-30, and the rain was coming down, and the wind had got up, so we had to turn the heating on for a short while, and settled down and soon got warm and snug. 10-00pm and i`m yawning and very tired, it was a long day, with a long drive, so it`s time for bed. We`ve hired Swallow twice before, so we know the bed is nice and comfortable, and we were both glad to get our heads down ............ Good night all

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Swallow safe and snug at a damp and dreary Reedham.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

One bit of excitement i forgot to mention-

While we were watching telly i noticed one of Faircrafts boats coming down river with the tide under him, and started to approch the quay in front of us. We could see he was coming in to moor, so the ranger quickly ran out and managed to make him understand to pull back out into the middle of the river, go down stream a bit, and turn round and come in to moor against the tide. This the guy did, and got moored up safely. After about half an hour, and a fill up with water, he decided to cast off. They untied the boat and pushed the stern out, and then just let the boat drift straight back with the tide and "bounced" off swallows port bow. It gave us quite a thump, and the carried on drifting down river crashing in to the large private yacht moored imediately behind us.

I took the boats name and registration number, and gave it to the owner of the yacht, and also phoned Maffett cruisers, and reported it. Luckily, there was no damage, but had anybody been in the galley with a kettle or saucepan of boiling water in hand, the outcome could have been very severe. The guy then got his boat moored back up, and came up asking what all the shouting was about. Yes, he was totally oblivious to the fact he`d done something that could have been extremely dangerous :roll::roll: . He then got back on his boat and carried on further down river.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Saturday morning, and we`re awake at a sensible hour after having a good night`s sleep (i said the bed was comfortable). So up and about at 8-00ish, and tea and breakfast was the first thing to do. After Breakfast, i did the engine checks while Karen washed up, and it was off to the little store beside the Nelson. I needed a pair of sunglasses as i`d left mine in the car on arrival, so i bought the cheapest pair they had, and they`re actually rather good. Back to the boat, with a chat to the ranger on the way, who explained how to use the 240v hook-ups, and also how to use the cards :naughty::naughty: . Back on board, and it was engine up and running, and filling up with water while the truty Perkins 4108 warms up. The tide was flowing, and we were facing up-river, so it was stern out first and allowed to swing out followed by reverse, and we were soon out in mid stream and turning into the incoming tide. We were punching the tide untill we got through the new cut, and had the tide with us all the way to Beccles where there was a motely crew waiting to greet us. The weather was pretty good with broken cloud and sunny spells, but all was about to change. About halfway between WRC and Beccles, all of a sudden, a Falcon 23 came past, but not in mid stream, this clever fellow decided to go between us and the bank, but there was nothing to worry about, as i was already neare mid stream so if we came up against any well concealed fishermen, we would at least be far enough out to give them room and hopefully not disturb them too much (considerate person me?). By this time the rain started again, though it was by no means heavy, but as we neared Beccles, things started to get worse. The rain started to come down heavier, and then a bit heavier still, and then with a sudden rush, it was torrential. We thought the rain was hard enough and would`nt get any harder, but then a sudden squall, and down came the hail stones, and i have to say, it`s quite amazing to see the river "dance". Just as we approached Beccles, the local sailing club must have had a regatta of some kind, as the river was full of youngsters in sailing dinghys going round a set course, so extra care was the order of the day. As we approached Beccles new road bridge, the sun came out again, so i slid back the canopy ready to moor. It`s at this time, you could`nt fail to see the NBN were in town, with the eastern end of the Yacht station full of seagoers, with broads boats as well. We turned into the yacht station and were assisted in mooring by Martin ( Goodall_m1), which was a big help due to the weather being very windy, and Swallow only having one engine and no bow thruster. With mooring lines and mudweight set, it was time to put faces to names and meet all the forumites.

What a rreally great bunch, and a team of people who i was proud to introduce to my beloved wife, who i was also proud to introduce to the forumites. During the fun and laughter, the weather was really playing tricks on us, and as a rather fierce looking black cloud came along, bringing with it one of the strongest continuous basts of wind i`ve ever experienced on the broads, which saw several of us holding down gazebo`s etc. After an hour or two of chatting and mingling and making new friends, we had to go to Morrisons to buy the previously forgotten pasta, so off we went. By the time we got back, Karen`s recent surgery to her foot started to dictate she had to sit out part of the fun and chat, so we sat in the boat watching telly, and i made what should have been the previous nights dinner. I kept surfacing and joining the crowd, but did`nt want Karen to feel as though i`d abandoned her, so i could`nt stay out for long (many apollogies to anybody who thought i was being anti-socilal). It was starting to get late, and i was starting to yawn again, so it was time for bed. Good night all.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Members boats at Beccles. Note the threatening clouds.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Sunday morning, and the weather again is a bit mixed up. I look out and see Colin (happy jax 3) cleaning up, so i offer to help, and start washing one of the bar b queue`s. In hindsight, i should have done more to help tidy up as it was`nt fair to see Colin doing it all, but i was`nt sure who owns what etc, so did what little i could, and went back to the boat and had breakfast. A little while later, everybody started to emerge, some feeling the worst for wear, and some as bright as a button. It was`nt long before people had engines running and were saying their goodbyes and setting off. Karen and i on the other hand went round to Hippersons to leave a note on Pauls (Paul and Lorna) boat about meeting up with them later in our holiday, but we could`nt find their boat. I asked a member of Hippersons staff who was less than helpful, so we went back to the boat and did the various engine checks and set off for Geldeston to meet up with buffalo Bill and do a couple of hours fishing. As we went under Beccles OLD road bridge, the tide was considerably higher than i`d though it would be, so when we got to the Locks inn, we stayed and chatted with Bill for about 20 minutes, and then made an early exit to get back before the tide got too high. What a good decision it was too, as when we got there, the bridge height gauge read 6ft 9ins, and Swallows air draught is written at 6ft 10ins. i know John and Linda at Maffett cruisers alway give a little bit of extra in boat height as a safety measure, so bearing in mind the tide is coming in, and were were punching it, i approached at tickover revs (about 2mph, maybe a bit less?) so that if we were`nt going to get under, we would have the safety of the tide working in our favour, and helping us to stop pretty quickly. As it turned out, looking under the bridge with my head above the middle of the centree of the screen/cabin top, i could see both sides of the underside of the bridge, so i decided to give it a try. When we went under, we had slighty less than 2inches to spare, so it definately was the right decision to leave Geldeston early. When we passed the yacht station, there were still two members boats there, so we hooted and went on down river, but now we were punching a more noticeable tide. After about an hour, we reached the staithe at North cove, and decided to moor for an hour and have lunch. When we got there, there was one other boat, and three other men fishing, so i went and offered my apollogies for disturbing their fishing. I must admit they must be the friendliest fishhermen we`ve ever come across. By this time the weather had started to deteriorate, and the rain returned, although nowhere near as heavy as the previous day, but we could see in the distance it was going to brighten up considerably. So we cast off, and reversed out so we did`nt disturb our friendly anglers, and got going for WRC. By now, the incoming tide had started to ease, and we were making good progress, and reacehed WRC in about 40 minutes, but hey, we were`nt in any hurry. Now many people will know, i`ve often been very critical of WRC , saying it`s too comercialised, and overpriced, but several forumites have said give the place a try, including Dave-S who unfortunately could `nt attend the meet and could`nt be WRC, sorry you could`nt be there Dave, so when we got there, i was pleasantly surprised at the lack of goose crap, and also at the tidyness of the place. So we moored in the basin on the outer quay because we wanted to use the leccy pylon. Right here goes......... Rip off no1, we had to pay £9 to moor for the night. ... Rip off no2, to use their leccy , you have to buy THEIR cards, as apparently, the BA cards don`t work, so we enquired and were told we could get them in £1-00 and £5-00 values. We already had a £1-00 card which we bought off the Reedham ranger, so we decided to buy a £1-00 card. Rip off no3, "Sorry, but we`ve only got £5-00 cards at the moment, but the mooring attendant might have some £1-00 ones on him" . Apparently, they ALWAYS say that :roll: . The previous morning, the Reedham ranger advised us to check the pylon metre`s first, as when you insert the card, it loads up the metre, and whatever you don`t use, you lose to the advantage of someone else, so when we checked the meter, wey hey hey, there was still £4-10p left on it, so we quickly got connected up. By this time, the weather had improved quite drmatically, as well as the wind dropping, so it was time to set up the fishing gear. As i was doing this, i watched this stunning looking Birchwood coming in to moor, and then i recognised a certain young Wayne (Wayneakp) at the helm. I watched him bring Katacalouse in very nicely indeed. A little earlier, we `d seen Robert and Rachael going past in Relentless, what a shame they could`nt be at the meet as well as their boat. One of the benefits of paying £9-00 per night is free use of the toilets and showers, so i decided to give them a try. I have to say, although they are good showers, they could have made a better job of the layout, because of the proximity of the toilet in the changing/drying/dressing area. Back on board, and it was time to try and catch some fish, after all, w44nty had good sport while down here in his caravan at a site near our home with its own lakes. So much so, that his picture is still on the wall of fame with pictures of the fish he caught. So i had a lot to live up to. Result/........ NOT A DAMN THING :oops::oops: ! The weather stayed bright for the rest of the evening, and we made good use of the free electricity on the pylon, charging up camera batteries, mobile phones, Karens 240v hair dryer and straighteners, and the DVD player. Is`nt it amazing how a simple change in the weather can bring a dramatic change of mood. Before long, time had caught up with us, and it was time for bed. Goodnight all.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Barracuda on there way home closely followed by Robert and Rebbeca

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Sunday morning. On Friday, Robert and Rachael got to Beccles, but had an emergency and had to leave Relentless as their representative, while other members were saying their goodbyes. We saw Robert and Rachael cruising past WRC later that evening. Sorry we never got a chance to meet you and say hello folks.

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Monday morning and we wake up to bright blue sky. A check on the mobile phones and camera batteries which have been charging up all night on the free leccy left in the pylon, and all are fully charged and ready to go. As It`s such a gorgeous morning, we decide to try the breakfast in the cafe, and sit out on the terrace. What a wonderful way to set yourself up for the day. With breakfast consumed, it`s back on board, and get the 240v hook up lead squared away, but first, i have a look to see how much leccy has been used of the £4-10p that was left on it. Mmmm, that`s interresting, still the same £4-10p?. Well, never look a gift horse in the mouth as they say. Maybe other visitors to WRC got the same bonus as we did?. After squaring away, the engine checks were done and Perky was up and running, i went to get the water hose for the usual morning fill up. Rip off no3- Having paid £9 for the night, they still want to charge you for water, so i tell Karen we`ll fill up at Oulton Broad yacht station, where we said we`ll meet John and Mary Jane (Hockam Admiral). Cruising across the broad, and we see Friday girl moored on the pontoon, and also Gav & Annies boat near the entrance. When we arrived at about 11ish, the yacht station was already very busy, but we get a mooring near the park gate, and get charged a wopping £2-90 for the privalage of stopping for one hour, so we make our way to see HA and Mary jane. After a quick chat (they were in the process of going to the pub), we went to the gift shop in the main road, and bumped into Gav and Annie, who were also en-route to the pub. Gifts bought, and it`s back to the boat and fill up with water, and off to Reedham. That`s when we see the charge of £1-70 for water, on top of £2-90 for one hour?, not bloody likely, so we get going to Reedham. As we were going back across the broad, we see a chap having difficulty righting a sailing dinghy, and it was clear he was struggling, and getting tired, so we circled him, and offered our assistance, which he accepted. We helped him get the boat up, but it was clear, he was almost exhausted, so we offered a tow to the southshore marina, which he accepted. He threw us a line, and we started to slowly tow him th shore, but all did not go to plan. Without realising it, he tied the tow rope to his mast, and soon the dinghy capsized again. By this time the guy was completely exhausted, and was having difficulty in holding on, and we were starting to drift toward the moored boats on the north shore. It was at this point a rescue boat came along, so we threw them the rope and had to leave them to it. The cruise up to Reedham was a nice peaceful one, in lovely sunny weather, and when we neared Reedham, we decided to head back to Loddon to get the holding tank pumped out at our home yard, which would save us £15, so we had a really pleasant sunny cruise back up the Chet. We had the toilet pumped out, and had a chat with John and Linda, and then had a walk into Loddon to get some supplies, then it was back on board to get to our next mooring as early as possible, which was 50yds away at Pyes mill. We`ve never moored at Pyes mill, but can now see why so many people make for it. What a stunning peaceful location, and only 5 minutes walk from the village. Should have stayed there years ago. An evenings fishing was the order of the day, so i get settled in the aft cockpit for a good seesion, with Karen very kindly keeping me fed with cups of tea, but yet again, NOT A DAMN THING :pirate :pirate . After drawing a blank yet again, the light started going, so it was time for bed Good night all.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL
A good read indeed Neil! Also rest assured your kind donation to the forum funds made it's way safely to Brian for banking.

Thanks Mark, i`m sorry it could`nt be any bigger, but this last 4 months have been a bit hard, and i`m still trying to get finances back on track. I do have an emergency supply, but if i cash it in, i`l lose a lot in bonuses, which is the reason why i`ve put any thought of buying a boat on hold for a couple of years. It did`nt stop us looking and giving it serious consideration while on the second week of our holiday though :naughty::naughty: (i`m sure you know what i mean?)

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Karen at the helm while en-route from Beccles to WRC

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

When we booked Swallow last year, Karen and i decided rather than rush around, we would concentrate solely on the southern rivers this year, as Karen has only ever seen Loddon and Beccles. It was a very wise decision because we were on many occaisions "a lonely little boat". It`s very rare to have the rivers of the Northern section like this for any longer than a few seconds. On the southern section, we had the rivers very much to ourselves for sometimes up to half an hour.

This was taken while en-route to WRC from Beccles.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

It`s not just the Northern rivers that are starting to require the attention of a dredger.

About a mile below Beccles on the southern bank of the Waveney.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

At last. The sun was shuning, and we had a very peaceful and quiet night at WRC. I still think it`s over developed, but it`s NOT much more expensive than Oulton broad yacht station, and with free showers it`s not bad value either. Still a bit expensive, but if your reading this James, (Eddie the fish), i take back my rather harsh comments of previous posts. I have to admit, i don`t mind paying that bit extra for the peace and quiet, and most importantly, "sheltered" mooring basin.

However, i still say, if a customer has payed £9 to moor for the night, you should give them a token for the water meter free of charge?.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

En-route from Oulton Broad to Reedham, which turned out to be Loddon. Yet more empty river.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

We`ve often passed this little inlet which i think is on the first bend on the Waveney to the north of the top of Oulton dyke, and wondered if the water is deep enough to moor for a secluded overnight stop, anybody moored there before?. It`s on the eastern bank.

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One of the very few hire boats we saw all week while on the southern rivers.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Some of the stunning houses that must have an absolutely fabulous view down the Waveney at St Olaves. Note Westminster bridge in the distance.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

One of many Marsh Harriers we saw while cruising the Waveney. These beautiful birds are becoming more and more prolific around the Broads, and are a magnificent sight. Sadly, i could`nt get a much closer one, though i tried many times.

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