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Another wet one

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Spent Friday night on the boat in the marina. Saturday the Mrs was working and I had a prior engagement so I jumped on the train and attended to that. I got back early evening and got everything ready to get under way and put the immersion on so the Mrs could have a shower when she got back from work.

So at approx 2000hrs we pushed out from Brundall and headed downriver. The intention was to stay overnight at Langley Dyke but Bank Holiday popularity put and end to that so we pushed on to Cantley. As we got to Cantley it appeared that all the moorings there were full too. At this point we were starting to get a little worried but as we actually passed through Cantley (which we needed to do anyway to moor into the tide) we spotted a slot on the BA moorings which we thought we could squeeze into - and did. So it was off into the Reedcutter for a bottle of Bombardier Burning Gold (and a sample of all the ales they had on tap as the barman insisted I had to try them all). As always, an excellent pub and highly recommended. Then it was back to the boat to batten down the hatches. In fact Saturday night at Cantley was not as rough as I thought it would be and the wind came across from behind the flood defences and deflected most of it away from us.

Sunday morning was not so clever. We set out from Cantley and headed down towards Oulton Broad, intending to stop at Reedham and St Olaves on the way. But the weather was absolutely foul and the thought of mooring up and walking around grabbed us not. So in the end we ran down to the WRC where we stopped briefly for the Mrs to buy some "supplies" (read newspaper and lots of chocolate). We were there for longer than intended because the gale force winds were causing havoc with the boats. Several 40ft+ hire cruisers, none with a bow thruster, spent the best part of 15 mins bouncing around the basin and bumping into everything else there. The skippers were not newbies either but were on a hiding to nothing in those conditions. In the end he virtually reversed to the entrance which was the only place he actually had the space to swing the boat around and go out. And next it was our turn. Fortunately there were now a couple fewer boats in the basin and I have the advantages of a) twins and B) more familiarity with the boat. Even so I came scarily close to coming a cropper. And right after me two further 42ft stretched Alpha jobbies tried to exit but I didn't wait around to see the carnage.

So on to Oulton Broad with the rain driving hard into the screen, so much so it found a leak I wasn't aware of - at the top of the screen under the shelter of the roof! Down to Oulton Broad YS and looking to take up our reserved spot but we couldn't find one. All the spaces were full but the very windswept men in yellow came to our aid and rafted us up to a Cleopatra 1010 (or something like that) on the floating pontoon. The lady who owned the boat didn't seem impressed and merely glared at us when we scrambled over her boat to get off. After a trip to the nearest cash machine we were soaked through and returned to Silver Dream dripping wet. We plugged her into the shorepower and fired up the oil radiator which also prompted a change of clothes and the opportunity to dry out the previous ones. Our friend who was coming to see us in the afternoon cancelled, on account of the weather. But we'd have had to cancel anyway as Mrs Grumpychops on the boat we were moored against would not have tolerated people clambering over her boat all day, especially if one of us disturbed her satellite dish (god forbid). Can't say I blame her really, either.

So, in the end we never left the saloon of Silver Dream again, not even to venture into the cockpit. The rest of the afternoon was spent on board and when our evening guests phoned to cry off for similar reasons that confirmed we were staying put. A quick glance out the window seemed to suggest that was indeed the best option and eventually we turned in for a roughish night but one during which I slept relatively well.

Monday (this) morning we ventured out to pay the YS man for his troubles, untied and headed away. The intention was to wander back to Brundall and catch up with a couple of boating friends at Somerleyton and more at Reedham en route. So we arrived at Somerleyton and put in on one of the few spaces left. It looked like a yachties convention and most of the mooring was taken up with sailies, often stacked several deep. None of them seemed that keen to venture out, though a large group were huddled together having a chinwag. A few moments later I came to the aid of the owner of a beautiful Sovereign 34 who was struggling in the severe crosswind blowing perfectly across the quayside into the river to ensure maximum difficulty for attempted moorings. A quick exchange of views over the VHF established one of the expected boats was en route from upriver, and just passing into Reedham at that stage, the other had remained at Cantley where they had been overnight. The heavens prepared to open again so we remained on board Silver Dream and got off only to climb aboard our friend's boat for a brew when it arrived.

After a nice chinwag and a warm cuppa (and their Webasto works, unlike ours, so their whole boat was toastie warm) they took off to get through Somerleyton Bridge whilst it was open. We returned to Silver Dream and set off back to our next planned rendezvous at Reedham where, we hoped, Ian and family awaited us aboard White Lady. In fact we hadn't gone far when the VHF crackled to life to tell us our friends who had given us the tea at Somerleyton had decided to abandon their attempts to return to their moorings at the RNSYC because the weather had got so bad they didn't even want to go through Lowestoft Harbour, much less attempt to get moored in the yacht club in all that. Instead they were heading for Brundall as well. As we passed into Reedham the quay heading was almost submerged and, with two hours to go until high tide I was deeply reluctant to stop as I didn't fancy the thought of that concrete monstrosity they call a quay heading scraping along my hull under the waterline. Reluctantly I phoned Ian and said we would push on but Ian understood. They'd been on board for three days and were yet to even make it out of the marina because of the weather.

So we pushed on to Brundall, eventually catching up with a long convoy of boats doing somewhat under the speed limit. I wasn't interested in the hassle of overtaking them all at 1mph faster so I slowed and tagged onto the end instead and followed them all the way back to Brundall. Inevitably, due to our slow progress, our friends from back at Somerleyton eventually caught up and tagged on as well. The crosswinds were now very strong and the whole cavalcade slowly made its way back to Brundall going almost sideways at times and mostly down the wrong side of the river because no matter how much we tried that's where we tended to end up. Finally back in Brundall and we got a shock as we turned into Brundall Bay. The visitors moorings, for the last few weeks largely empty, were chock full. Indeed, we thought something was in our berth at first but nothing was, though the other of the two boats we had expected to see at Somerleyton (but had remained at Cantley) was in the next space along. With the wind being as unhelpful as possible, and with a large audience, guaranteed to make me cock up even an easy mooring, the inevitable mooring cock up then followed (mental note, inspect damage on next visit). After eventually being dragged into the mooring by the crews from the other two boats we set about packing up and leaving as quickly as possible.

Actually, for all that, it was a good weekend and I'm not sorry we went out, though I am concerned about the apparently new gash in the gel coat where the wind blew us sideways into the pointy bit at the end of the pontoon. :cry I hope Steve and Greg get their boats back to the RNSYC before too long and I hope Ian figures out why his VHF isn't working and gets a chance to actually get White Lady out of the marina.

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Many thanks for sharing your trip with us Simon, I was almost shivering reading it! The Southgates web cam was showing very damp conditions yesterday but of course you can’t fully appreciate the strength of the wind. Strange thing is that 100 miles up the coast here in Yorks, it has been a pretty good weekend really, bit windy but sunny and warm. The vagaries of the British weather. :shocked

Also good to hear that the Reedcutter is up to usual standards, looking forward to sampling the beer!!!

cheersbar

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Funny thing is Howard that David, of Antares_9 fame (currently playing with a rag and stick job in the Aegean) has tried to start me down this path of enlightenment away from "Eurofizz" (though in my case it's typically "Ozfizz"). But as I surveyed the options on tap at the Reedcutter I began to get worried and was literally seconds away from falling off the wagon and ordering a pint of Carling when I saw the bottle of Bombardier. As the barman poured it out I commented that I had been "lucky to see it because I was seconds away from ordering a Carling". He replied "That bad, was it?" after which he wanted to give me a tour of all the various ales on tap and was pulling samples faster than I could drink them.

I have to say, everything about the place was just right - good atmosphere, very friendly bar staff. I must more at Cantley more often.

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Glad you enjoyed the Reedcutter Simon, it’s a cracking pub. I’m also glad to hear that David has been spreading the gospel!!! ;)

Contrary to what the advertisers might have us believe, most lager sold in this country is brewed here. It’s not a patch on the authentic continental brews, and I would guess, the same would apply to Australian beer. Most lager in this country is much of a muchness. Real ale on the other hand has a rich variety of tastes and flavours and its worth sampling a few. For example Adnams bitter and Woodforde’s Wherry taste completely different yet are both classed as bitter!!

Some of the finest beers come from the smaller breweries of which there are about 20 in Norfolk alone. Last time I went in the Reedcutter they were selling beer from the excellent Wolf brewery. As a suggestion, look out for their superb Golden Jackal or Straw Dog. Both golden ales, have the appearance of lager but with a lot more flavour!! Keep up the good work!!!

cheersbarcheersbarcheersbar

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As a suggestion, look out for their superb Golden Jackal or Straw Dog. Both golden ales, have the appearance of lager but with a lot more flavour!! Keep up the good work!!!

cheersbarcheersbarcheersbar

I hear you Howard. ;)

That's exactly the kind of thing I am looking out for. I wish to could remember the names of the ales I tried at The Reedcutter but the only one I can remember was the famous Woodforde's Wherry. That was darker than the others and I have to admit, not my sort of thing. Last weekend I tried a Woodforde's Sundew at Coldham Hall but I confess I found it a bit bland.

My conversion from lager started when David, who doesn't keep the stuff on his boat, insisted he could recommend something from his stash that I would like. That something of choice in the end was Waggledance but it was a Saul on the road to Damascus moment for me and the scales fell from my eyes. Previously I was under the impression that anything that was not lager basically tasted like a pint of John Smiths, something I find undrinkable. Carling (or Tennants before I moved south) may sound bad but compared to John Smiths it was nectar. I am now slowly building up a collection of ales / golden beers that I will drink so I shouldn't have to revert to type too often. :)

Oh and don't be fooled by the Australians. If you order a Fosters in Oz you'll be greeted either with a blank look or a fist. Castlemine XXXX is readily available, particularly in Queensland, but it comes in several guises - the closest thing to what we get here is XXXX Gold which is regarded as a low alcohol light beer and can be drunk without too much stigma, though as they tend to serve it in pots with a stubby cooler you'll need to drink about 10 before you know you've had any alcohol. Aussies in Oz seem to drink lots of something called VB, Victoria Bitter. Think John Smiths....

As for the continental stuff. One week each year I go skiing to Mayrhofen in Austria where I drink a local brew called Zillertal Bier. It looks and smells like a lager but has a full bodied taste that a pint of Carling can only dream of. I've tried, and utterly failed, to find something of its ilk over here. Unfortunately the Zillertal brewery is a local microbrewery and only up to supplying local water holes. All my attempts to find something similar in Tesco / Asda / Roys have been fruitless. I did find some bottles of Singha Beer though, a brew I stumbled across in Thailand after a very friendly Kiwi girl insisted I shared one with her. Don't know if that counts as just another lager though, but it was rather nice.

Apologies to all for the massive thread drift!

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Simon

Very enjoyable drift but might have to adjourn to the beer thread or Matron will be after us!! :o

Interesting about the Australian beer, just shows don’t pay any attention to stereotyping! I wont disagree about the John Smiths either! Good point about Sundew, I agree it is a bit lacking in depth and flavour. It mysteriously replaced Great Eastern which, IMHO, was a far superior beer. I forgot to mention, Adnams do a summer ale called Explorer which I personally find very tasty. Also might be worth looking out for the Norwich beer festival which I think, is usually around October. Few beers to choose from there hopefully!!

cheersbar

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Ah now it might be that Explorer was one of the others on tap at The Reedcutter. The Wherry wasn't quite my thing, but the other two were pretty good. Explorer may have been one of them (actually there might have been 4 altogether, I can't remember now).

Friends of ours who were due to come and visit the weekend of 7/8 June now can't come which leaves us a free weekend so it looks like the old girl may by hitting the rivers again that weekend. As Cantley is only 1hr cruise, I am sure we can arrange a stop at The Reedcutter along the way to refresh my memory about those ales. ;)

I'll have to give my wife a crash course (not literally, I hope) in boat handling though because I believe I could now be done for drink boating (!) if I've had more than a sniff of alcohol.

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though I am concerned about the apparently new gash in the gel coat where the wind blew us sideways into the pointy bit at the end of the pontoon.

simon most yards that have pointy bits on the quary heading or on pontoons cover them with with off cuts of tyers

love the tale we will be down from the 20rd till 23rd of next month about time

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simon most yards that have pointy bits on the quary heading or on pontoons cover them with with off cuts of tyers

I am not sure Mr Ting Dene would be all that happy ;)

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