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Another Memorable Week

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I have called this tale a memorable week because it was for many reasons and I hope you like our story.

Julie and I and our 2 Newfies left Bolton at around 5.30am in the morning on Friday 11th September and headed over the M62 to the A1 and then down to Newark and across to Sleaford for our usual stop at the McDonalds for breakfast.

We arrived at Sleaford at around 7.45am and we stayed here until 9 when we continued our journey towards Norwich stopping off twice more before making our way to Tescos at Stalham to stock up on provisions for the week

We then got to Richardsons at Stalham around midday where we picked up our lifejackets, and paperwork, had our chat to staff before heading off down river around 1.30pm

Our boat for the week would be "Escapade" which we chose as we had never had a sedan type boat before and we assumed our Newfies would have plenty room to relax in the large aft well.

Firstly I would say the boat had plenty room, has 240 volts, and is easy to handle. On the downside, visibility from the cockpit is very poor, there is no windscreen wipers and the screen soon mists up and there are many blind spots so you cant always know where your crew is. The seating position is low but the windows and bow is very high. The boat is not easy to get on or off as the aft and sides are also very high and as such I wouldnt recommend this boat for big dogs or anybody with mobility issues. I also wouldnt recommend it for the novice as I found it easy to handle, but due to the comments made, I think this boat could be a challenge for a novice.

Day 1 we headed down he Ant and mud-weighted in Barton Broad for lunch, then made our way to How Hill to give the dogs a good run and onto Ludham Bridge for the evening. Ludham Bridge Stores is a favourite stopping point and the wayfarers cafe serves great food morning and afternoon. We though made our way to the Dog Inn for a couple of drinks before settling in for the evening having warm baguettes with tuna, tomato and cucumber served up on board and a couple of glasses of Pinot Grigio. The weather at this time was tremendous as we sat on the back of the boat taking in the late evening rays

We come to the broads for our dogs usually twice a year and as such you will find that the majority of our movements have them in mind.

On Saturday we woke to grey skies, rain and wind which was a complete contrast to the Saturday. We made our way to Potter Heigham, mooring on Repps Bank facing down river opposite the entrance to Herbert Woods boatyard. This is a very challenging mooring when the wind is up as could clearly be seen by the number of boats struggling to moor or move off from a mooring. I do feel a little more needs to be done to help novice boaters and I will touch on this later, as I saw a couple bounce off a mooring or worse another boat and there was obviously a few stressed skippers with some of the words being uttered which doesnt help adhere them to the broads for future generations.

Having walked the dogs we had a short stop at Thurne Dyke before making our way down the Bure to the moorings directly outside the Bridge Inn at Acle. This is another favourite spot of ours with public toilets and a shop across the river, more toilets at the Horizon Craft yard and water and pump out facilities available.

We did notice Broad Ambition moored outside the Bridge Inn also and White Champagne double moored with Broad Ambition and another hire cruiser nearby, but we didnt know if they were together and who was aboard at this time.

http://www.norfolkbroadsinns.co.uk/acle-bridge-inn/

We made our way to the Bridge Inn early doors and sat outside for a period having a few drinks, before making our way inside to the large dinning room to the left of the main entrance. Shortly after sitting down with Cooper and Gigi at our feet we were approached by Griff and then more people including Robin (London Rascal) as it turned out they were there to celebrate Robins mothers 70th birthday.

We hope you all had a wonderful evening and the two group photographs I took came out OK!!

Julie had fish pie and I went for cod and chips as my first choice of steak and ale pie was sold out, but I wasnt disappointed as the food served at the Bridge is always top notch and Julie tends to go for the fish pie when here as again it never disappoints.

After eating we made our way outside and got chatting to a couple with a brown and white collie who were on the broads for the first time and hopefully enjoyed every minute.

We then settled in for the night and on the Sunday 13th September we made our way to St Benets Abbey who were holding an open day with guided tours of the site which we took in with our two Newfies in tow. This was a really interesting insight into this large area and we recommend anybody who hasnt stopped here to do so. We even had a chant to a resident of Norfolk who walked with the aid of sticks and stated he registers the boats on the broads. He was a real gent and it was great chatting to him about the broads and the boats and especially the growth of the private owners and the new modern fleets which are all adding to the quality of the holidays on offer and the whole area.

We then made our way to Ranworth around 2pm and after mud weighting for 30 minutes I managed to grab a stern on mooring. The broads this week was probably the busiest I had known for many a year with double mooring and full moorings at many locations, as such I recommend that people have a fall back plan if their planned moorings are taken. It is good to see the broads apparently growing in popularity again.

Around 5pm a bathtub type boat was coming into the last space on the moorings on the opposite side of the day boat slipway and did so forwards as the skipper appeared to lack confidence in reverse, and a woman who was stood on the bank started shouting at the skipper that he cant moor like that. The skipper reversed away and then instead of coming back in moved off out of Ranworth. I felt for this guy as he obviously lacked confidence and needed help. I then saw a Herberts Woods boat (Shinning Light I believe) move towards the mooring and try to reverse, but again seemed to get it all wrong and then turn to go away. I asked the skipper of the boat on the end of our row if I could go to the front of his boat which he agreed and I shouted to the skipper to bring his boat to me. The woman opened the door and I said, if he brought it to me forwards I will moor it for him, which he did and I soon had the boat moored up and showed the skipper how to do it.

At this point I had no idea who these people were, but as they say its a small world. The skipper was called Jeff and he said he had completely lost his confidence as this was there first time on the broads, had only 20 minutes tuition and whilst trying to moor at How Hill earlier that day, got it all wrong and had hit 3 boats which was so bad the river police were called and he was advised to go to Ranworth and practice. He was contemplating going back to Herbert Woods and either getting more tuition or going home. This man was physically shaking and a holiday should not do this to a person. As such I offered to go the Ranworth Island in the morning and spend as much time as he likes practicing stern and side on moorings and general boat handling. Jeff was so pleased and took me up on the offer.

Later I got my dogs off the boat and the woman who I just didnt recognise from Jeffs boat came over and said she was the welfare officer for Newfoundlands and helps to rehome them. I said that Gigi was from Newfoundland rescue and I had got her through contacting a woman called Ros Dyer and low and behold she said "I am Ros Dyer"

http://www.northernnewfoundlandclub.org.uk/welfare.html

It is a very small world indeed and no doubt we have made friends for life. The following morning we did indeed spend a good hour on Ranworth Island and although Jeff was not perfect by the time we parted company he had made many manouvres and had moored the boat single handed many times both stern and side on. This wasnt the last of Jeffs problems on the broads though!

The following day we made our way to Wroxham for the day and after collecting some more provisions then made our way to Salhouse Broad to spend another idyllic evening with our newfies in these tranquil surroundings.

The following morning my parents had started their holidays on "San Carlos" from Richardsons at Stalham on the Monday and we planned to meet on the Tuesday at Wroxham. I moored up at the Faircraft Loynes boatyard near to the "Shed" bistro and after contacting my parents they arrived soon after, and after walking the dogs, doing some more shopping and generally relaxing we bumped into Ros again she said she was just going to ring me as Jeff had just fallen in the river!

Apparently he was moored in the public moorings north of the bridge with his mudweight down and as he was lifting the mudweight he slipped and fell into the water. Jeff isnt a strong swimmer and thankfully he was wearing his life jacket which immediately inflated and with the help of the other boaters got back onto dry land. Huge lesson was learnt about wearing a life jacket and I went over to the moorings and although potentially serious I couldnt help but take the mickey out of a now dry boater!!

We didnt see them again on our travels, but fingers crossed it went, or is going OK................................. As this was only day 3 of a 2 week holiday!!

I had booked 2 moorings at the New Inn at Horning and as such my parents and I made our way their for the evening ably assisted to moor by the ever helpful and reliable Gus.

http://www.newinn-horning.co.uk/

That evening I had Steak and Ale pie, Julie, my dad and my mum had the Gammon. Everybody reported the food was first class and we chose this pub as it is a favourite of mine, but my parents had never visited before, through lack of confidence in mooring. They now have it firmly on their list to attend in the future as a result of this visit and the confidence someone like Gus can give boaters trying to moor stern on at a busy location.

Dogs are not allowed in the New Inn, but they are allowed outside and on the heated decking area.

On the  Wednesday we firstly called at the Lion Inn,Thurne Dyke http://www.lion-inn-thurne.co.uk/ before making our way to Womack Water as Sunday and Wednesday its cavery night at the KIngs Arms, Ludham and Womack Water is another location that my parents had not been to before

http://www.kingsarmsludham.co.uk/

The cavery was excellent apart from the roasted potatoes which had obviously been left on the warm plate to long as they were exceptionally hard. They just needed rotating more, but the Kings Arms is an excellent pub which does allow dogs and has heated area outside and a restaurant at the rear with a terrific little railway running overhead!

For our last full day we made our way to Ludham Bridge for lunch and a couple of pints at the Dog Inn http://www.thedoginnludham.co.uk/ and we also purchased some of the delicious local pork sausages from the Ludham Bridge Stores before making our way to Neatished dyke as we intended having our last meal at the White Horse at Neatished http://thewhitehorseinnneatishead.com/ as you guessed it this is a location my parents had never visited before

As we approached the dyke a boat was coming the other way and stated there was no moorings in the dyke so it wasnt looking good, but when I arrived I was told that they could get my boat in with a little help from the other boaters who moved some boats up. I then reversed down the dyke and moored, but this left a problem as there wasnt any more moorings so I stepped aboard my fathers boat and reversed all the way down to the head of the dyke and left it in the middle stern on, knowing that if anybody wanted to move I would shift it. I had just tied the ropes when thats just what happened and a boat left the moorings so after going out of the dyke and reversing back down we were moored up, albeit my fathers boat was still not ideally placed.

My father and I then made our way to the excellent White Horse and booked a table for 4 and 2 Newfies for 8.20pm. If you inform the staff what you require they will find the ideal table for you and I asked if we could have a quiet table away from others so my dogs didnt disturb others and this was provided.

When we got back to the dyke we noted that my parents boat was no in a different location and there was at least 2 further moorings available as some had left and I was informed that some of the boaters had moved a couple of boats around to ease leaving and entering the dyke. All good stuff and no issues from us.

Later that evening a yacht and a powered craft filled the last tow places.

We then went for a meal and we were seated at the front room of the pub at the back of the bar which was ideal as our newfies were able to spread themselves out across the floor as we ate

The pub is terrific, the beer on offer and service tremendous, but all but me were disappointed with the food on this occasion, as Julie and my parents ordered the battered fish and chips and to say the batter looked and tasted burnt was an understatement. I ordered burger and chips which was fine and we ordered a side order of garlic bread and onion rings which to be fair were to die for, just the battered fish was a huge disappointment.

We later settled down for the night and in the morning Julie, the dogs and I headed off to Stalham for our handover as my parents headed off to the Bridge Inn at Acle

The service at Richardsons is second to none as you arrive, are directed to a mooring and within minutes the fuel, water and toilets have been done and you have your paperwork to take to the office and start your journey home.

First class again!

On a final note I spoke to my mum who stated dad slipped stepping onto the boat at Acle and his glasses popped off his head and into the water and my mum sat on her glasses..............

So they are running blind at the moment!! so be careful if you see San Carlos coming!!

I hope you enjoy reading this, and yes we have already booked again for our next trip so hope to see some of you again soon

Take care

Julie, Warren, Cooper and Gigi

 

 

 

 

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I really do hope there are newbies reading this, it's what the Broads is all about, good people like yourselves taking time out from their well earned break to help others, I take my hat off to you, fantastic blog and very kind people indeed :clap and the dogs are pretty nice too ;)

Grace

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Hi we passed a couple of times last week and remember saying to Kaz wouldn't say that dog was big but think he'd need a carrier bag when he goes.

We found out our new on Friday that our new 4paws was born on Thursday am so middle December we get him

ps ours will fit in my pocket.

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What a great read to finish my weekend. So interesting to hear about the people you helped. Have to admit Ranworth Island is often our backup plan and I do like it there. It is often relatively easy to get moored up there compared to reversing into the last space on the staithe. I am grateful to anyone who will help walk other boats in.

Haven't tried the New Inn for a good few years so perhaps we'll consider booking a mooring there for the first night of our holiday in a few weeks time.

Really interesting to hear your thoughts about the boat as well as that's one style we haven't hired yet. 

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Hi we passed a couple of times last week and remember saying to Kaz wouldn't say that dog was big but think he'd need a carrier bag when he goes.

We found out our new on Friday that our new 4paws was born on Thursday am so middle December we get him

ps ours will fit in my pocket.

All the best with your new arrival

If you ever see me walking the dogs you will notice I have a drawstring bag over my shoulder!

I will let you use your imagination for what that is for!!

 

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Well said Dave, My dad helmed a Boat back to a hire yard once, an elderly couple were trying to moor up for the first time and was cruelly critisised by another couple, they were traumitised and shaking the lovely gent became unwell as a result. I think they spent the rest of their holiday on board at the yard, my dad explained that not everyone is like that but they said they would not be hiring again any time soon. How things could have been so different if people like Julie and Warren were around to help. If there are people doing the most stupid things and flouting the rules then have a go all you like I say, but newbies trying to get it right and messing up would respond so much better to a kind word and a helping hand, fall in love with the place like the rest of us and come back time and time again, sorry Julie and Warren for the slight hijack of your lovely holiday tale :kiss 

Grace

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I really do hope there are newbies reading this, it's what the Broads is all about, good people like yourselves taking time out from their well earned break to help others, I take my hat off to you, fantastic blog and very kind people indeed :clap and the dogs are pretty nice too ;)

Grace

Brilliant read Warren and Julie, so glad you had a nice holiday with your two fabulous dogs. Like Grace has said, I also take my hat off to you for helping out with Jeff, although he did have the misfortune to get a bit wet, later in the week. Notice you are from Bolton, I was born in Radcliffe many many moons ago,but now living in the Midlands, still have my Lancashire accent though. 

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Well said Dave, My dad helmed a Boat back to a hire yard once, an elderly couple were trying to moor up for the first time and was cruelly critisised by another couple, they were traumitised and shaking the lovely gent became unwell as a result. I think they spent the rest of their holiday on board at the yard, my dad explained that not everyone is like that but they said they would not be hiring again any time soon. How things could have been so different if people like Julie and Warren were around to help. If there are people doing the most stupid things and flouting the rules then have a go all you like I say, but newbies trying to get it right and messing up would respond so much better to a kind word and a helping hand, fall in love with the place like the rest of us and come back time and time again, sorry Julie and Warren for the slight hijack of your lovely holiday tale :kiss 

Grace

Grace,

That sounds very like a couple who had hired from Alan Johnson's. They used the car for the rest of the week, just slept on board.

 

cheersIain

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Great tale Julie, thank you.

You raise a good point about tuition for newbies. I was at Ranworth 2 weeks ago and I had the same experience as you watching a skipper give up after several attempts at reversing, even though two people on boats already moored were doing their best to shout instructions and be ready to take ropes. Well done you for offering to take control of the boat that was struggling - I've had the same thought myself but worried about invading someone else's private space.

I hired Broadland Wave 2 (sister to Escapade) last year and I have to say I disagree with your comments about the visibility, especially as the sun roof is large enough to stick your head out and rear visibility is brilliant. As such I think it would make a great boat for the inexperienced, albeit I do agree with you that the decks are on the high side.

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Well said Dave, My dad helmed a Boat back to a hire yard once, an elderly couple were trying to moor up for the first time and was cruelly critisised by another couple, they were traumitised and shaking the lovely gent became unwell as a result. I think they spent the rest of their holiday on board at the yard, my dad explained that not everyone is like that but they said they would not be hiring again any time soon. How things could have been so different if people like Julie and Warren were around to help. If there are people doing the most stupid things and flouting the rules then have a go all you like I say, but newbies trying to get it right and messing up would respond so much better to a kind word and a helping hand, fall in love with the place like the rest of us and come back time and time again, sorry Julie and Warren for the slight hijack of your lovely holiday tale :kiss 

Grace

No problem Grace

The broads can bite the backsides of the most experienced boaters, so I do feel a helping hand to newbies and a little advice here and there doesnt go a miss.

 

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Great tale Julie, thank you.

You raise a good point about tuition for newbies. I was at Ranworth 2 weeks ago and I had the same experience as you watching a skipper give up after several attempts at reversing, even though two people on boats already moored were doing their best to shout instructions and be ready to take ropes. Well done you for offering to take control of the boat that was struggling - I've had the same thought myself but worried about invading someone else's private space.

I hired Broadland Wave 2 (sister to Escapade) last year and I have to say I disagree with your comments about the visibility, especially as the sun roof is large enough to stick your head out and rear visibility is brilliant. As such I think it would make a great boat for the inexperienced, albeit I do agree with you that the decks are on the high side.

I did steer the boat with my knees on the seat and my head out the sunroof, but I am sure it isnt designed for that!!

:Stinky

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