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Wet n dry

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Was thinking this was going to be "yet another wet one" but how quickly things can change.

Anyway, headed down to the marina around 1800hrs Friday and already things were going wrong. As soon as I stopped the car, the heavens opened. I boarded the boat and dug out the on board golf umbrella only to have it snap in my hands and collapse on top of me. An omen perhaps? So instead I got soaked trekking backwards and forwards between car and boat to unload.

2100hrs the wife rings - she is meant to have been there buy now but has only just got out of work. She has been in charge of the unit for the first time and fate has conspired to make it the shift on which things all happen so she is running late and a bit stressed. So she arrives at around 2130hrs and, as we sit listening to the rain rattling off the roof, we are not feeling inclined to go out onto the river. So in the end, we reach for the booze and settle down to a night in the marina.

Saturday morning and the rain is harder than ever. Fed up with this happening to us time after time after time, we are all set to pack up and go home. The radio weather forecast, however, promises things will be clearing up around lunch time. So we head off in the car anyway, but leaving the boat fully loaded and ready to go at short notice. Car trip helps us sort out some things we forgot as well as buy a new golf brolly - though we're hoping not to need it. Back in the marina it's nearly midday and the rain shows no sign of slowing, but trusting the forecast we decided to push out anyway. So it's off to Loddon we go, without the rain letting up for a moment.

Tied up at Pyres Mill several hours later and still things are pretty damp so Susan gets on with creating the photo albums from our recent holiday and I have a go at getting the Garmin GPS system to talk to the Navman VHF, one of those jobs which seems to have been on the to do list for some time. Anyway, come evening with the radio and GPS remounted and the photo albums finished, the weather does appear to have improved, in that it's overcast and grey but not raining anymore. We have two fliers on board for local pubs and decide to go and visit one. Unfortunately the field into the village is so waterlogged after 10 mins we still hadn't found an accessible path. We contemplated using the much longer, but drier road route but one last attempt at accessing the riverside path results in me more than ankle deep in the water. Shoes, socks and trousers now soaked it's time to retire back to the boat which is well stocked with beer and spirits anyway. A very good night's sleep was then had.

Sunday morning and my normal routine begins the day - out of bed, kettle on and then take resulting cup of tea into the cockpit and drink it slowly watching the world go by and listening to the sounds. The sounds (and sights) in this case were wonderful to listen to and see - the dawn chorus of songbirds, the distant and distinct sound of cuckoo (a sound I have not heard in many, many years), a barn owl to be seen hunting over the field ahead of us, a field of very vocal sheep with a constant maaa, baaah and all the rest covering about 6 different octaves punctuated by the occasional "moo" and sharp "quack!!!". That lasted until about 0730hrs when most of the sounds were irradicated by the engine of Swan Rhapsody kicking into life. This boat, having made its way down from Brundall in mid to late afternoon (a journey of nearly three hours) then ran its engines again from 2030-2130hrs and at 0730hrs the next morning off it went again. This time it lasted a mere hour and a half when, finally, the crew were satisfied with drowning out the morning sounds of nature and cast off. Why people can't make slight adjustments to their lifestyle when afloat to avoid wasteful practices such as this I don't understand.

Still, one sound I had not been listening to, irrelevant of the throbbing diesel sounds, was the rattle of rain off the roof. By 0930 or so it was positively bright and before long the sun even began to shine. Bruce C (nice to meet you, btw) cast off in Blue Macaw and headed past before doing an about turn and heading off up the Chet with a wave as he passed. Slowly other boats began to make ready too. Susan and I decided we'd head into Reedham so we started up the old Pentas and trundled off up the Chet. It was an absolutely glorious run.

By the time we had moored up in Reedham the sun was shining brightly. A bit of cleaning and tidying up was done, followed by a walk and then a trip into the Lord Nelson. After 5 mins stood at the bar with no sign of service we gave up and left, heading on down to The Ship, or The hip as it now appears to be. Sitting out in the beer garden we were hoping to see lots of boats passing by but none came - at first that is, then a whole flotilla appeared all heading in different directions, and amongst them was the familiar silhouette of Kiki exiting the cut and heading down the Yare towards Breydon. Back on board things had really heated up and the cockpit was turning into a greenhouse so the decision was taken to open up the back and sides of the canopy, something we reckoned (in discussion) was only the 4th time since 2006 and that we have done that. From Reedham we headed to Langley Dyke and stopped there for about an hour and began cleaning the old girl - her first clean this year. Lots of winter grime to get off, particularly some really resilient black specs all over the coachroof. Very annoying!

Then we headed back to Brundall. The rivers were surprisingly quiet with very little traffic moving. I guess many owners don't live locally like we do and have to get back earlier in the day to head home. Our plan was to do something I love as much as anything in broads boating. Relax in the sunshine whilst swinging from a plug on a broad. Indeed, this is the reason why we base ourselves in Brundall. So on to Surlingham Broad it was. That was when we discovered why the rivers were quiet! Fifteen boats or so were anchored on the broad and at least one raft. We trundled slowly through the pack and found our favourite spot, helpfully unoccupied. Plop went the mudweight. We then finished cleaning off the coachroof and stupidly I began to polish in the blazing sunshine. Laying out on that amount of gleaming white GRP in the baking sunshine was akin to putting your head in a microwave. I did eventually finish polishing one side of the coachroof (so we have one side rather shinier than the other now!) but I knew I was going to be made to pay for it. Dinner came and went and we returned to the marina, packed up and headed home. Despite feeling dreadful (and burnt!) by bedtime, it was a truly fabulous day.

More please Dick. :-D

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Sounds a good weekend Simon and one which you seem to have fitted in a goodly amount.

The benefit of living near your boat is the ability to extend the day. Not much of Sunday passes by for us before thoughts start turning to the dreaded 4 hour trek back home :cry

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'Tis true. But it also underlines why we base ourselves in Brundall, despite not really knowing anyone else based in the area. If I was still a hirer I'd almost certainly choose the northern rivers, but as an owner who lives locally the ability to make use of the boat of an evening is an important issue for us. In fact, the most frustrating thing for me was the out one day and back the next aspect. Next weekend we'll have a little longer to play as, for once, Susan's rota is not buggering things up.

All we need now is a little assistance from Mother Nature, that it looks like things are starting to turn against us. :cry

I'd have sacrificed any number of yesterdays for a fabulous weekend 14/15. I believe you could use a good one too.

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I believe you could use a good one too.

That is also true but if it is not to be it is not to be, there is always another day.

A long way to go yet so will start looking seriously from Wednesday - Wind Guru will be getting a few hits methinks :)

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looks like you had a good time Simon

Bruce C (nice to meet you, btw) cast off in Blue Macaw

at last you have met the very nice and polite Bruce and the stunning BM

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All we need now is a little assistance from Mother Nature, that it looks like things are starting to turn against us. :cry

I'd have sacrificed any number of yesterdays for a fabulous weekend 14/15. I believe you could use a good one too.

it puzzles me to find out why people hate the rain while on boats i love it but hate it when at home simon did you happen to have slip on the wet grass this weekend and failed to mention it :-D :naughty::naughty::naughty:

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Bit different for us Jonny, if it rains the screens mist up so we can't see, or we get wet. but when it rains you get limited visability, the wildlife stops, everything gets damp and you sit behind a windscreen and under a roof instead of enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. can't understand why people moan about the rain.

Simon, good luck with the planned outing this weekend, hope you finaly get to make it through the pierheads, the 7 knot run to the first bouy is magical, full of excitment and adrenalin, if only every time was like the first we would never again touch land.

Perry, do I sense another adventure, where are you and our techical guru off to now?

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I believe it's somewhere that they could buy lots of Stella, should they feel so inclined. ;)

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The plan is to try to move the ships in the next few weekends Ian, in readiness for our holiday in early July, keeping a weather eye on this weekend as first option.

Plan will be based loosely on:

Here - http://www.eastcoastmarinas.co.uk/index ... &Itemid=36

Here - http://www.syharbour.co.uk/

Here - http://www.titchmarshmarina.co.uk/index.htm

and hopefully here - http://marinas.com/view/marina/9098

Stella yuk cheers

As ever the weather will have its say and make our decision. If worst comes to the worst it will be 2 weeks on the Broads so not so bad :-D :-D

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Well hats off to you guys, Lowestoft to Yarmouth was exciting to us, one day we would like to do the Dutch waterways and even that elusive trip to fill up at the home of eurofiz, hope you will be taking some proper beer to show the locals what they are missing.

Till then I will be pooring over charts and tide tables, planning the next trip to the dizzy distances of southwold, we are leaving from Yarmouth to double the distance :-D will be looking out to sea though and thinking about the proper passage makers amoungst us

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