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  1. 28 points
    I'd like to record how much I love this forum. Sadly my wife have become increasingly upset with the amount of time I spend posting here, and not paying attention to her and has issued an ultimatum. "It's me of the forum"! So sadly it's time for me to say farewell. I'll be back in a couple of hours when I've finished packing her things and driven her to her mothers. Don't do anything interesting without me.
  2. 19 points
  3. 17 points
    Beautiful sunrise over the early morning mist on the water.
  4. 16 points
    I am setting off to the Broads in the next 10 minutes until the 7th May, if you see Ranworth Breeze on the southern rivers give me a wave, I will be flying the NBN burgee (yours for a modest price, please see the shop details). If you see me moored up pop over for a chat. Regards Alan
  5. 15 points
    We have recently completed our bi-annual AMP for 'B.A' (Assisted Maintenance Period). First time we have use Sutton Staithe Boatyard and their services for this regular event We arrived at their slipway on Friday morning 5th April as previously arranged. After a short delay, 'B.A' was safely on blocks / chocks inside their shed. Work commenced. They launched us on Mon 15th early afternoon as previously agreed. During our stay, we made use of the workshop / facilities on regular 12 x Hr days sometimes longer. We were aware that this is a working yard / business and wanted to keep any disruption down to a minimum. I would just like to state how impressed we were with Robert and his team. When we did have questions or requests or needed advice - Nothing was too much trouble for them. They treated us with a jovial manner and certainly made us feel welcome and not in the way at all. We assisted with the general customer enquiries and yard running as and when we had the opportunity to do so. I was impressed just how well organised they are. Craft turned up at allocated times, were out in a jiffy onto the hard standing, immediately pressure washed and acid cleaned if required, checked over anti-fouled and back in the water, sometimes on the same day! They carry out all manner of boat repairs / maintenance. They also offer pump out and diesel sales in the slipway along with day boats / canoes for hire. The slipway is also available for customers to launch their own craft too. So - I whole heartedly recommend Sutton Staithe Boatyard to anyone requiring work done on their boats. Our agreement was of course on a DIY basis. This facility is not normally available to owners especially inside the shed / workshop We had to seek special permission way in advance with insurance policy's to cover us in the workshop with written prior agreements for us to be able to use their facilities, third party liability and the like, it is not normally a service offered. Robert does offer outside hard-standing and is hoping to be able to offer in the future a tent affair. Would we use them again in two years? - Most definitely yes and I hope so. Griff
  6. 14 points
    Went out at silly a.m to catch the early morning light yesterday on Lady Emma. A nice cruise from Acle to Womack and back. EY7P4857 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr EY7P4843 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr EY7P4895 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr EY7P4963 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr EY7P4981 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr
  7. 13 points
    I don't often do holiday tales, but having been accused today of ratcheting up pressure on the BA, apparently in a pompous and dogmatic way, that and seeing the water clarification project thread, I thought it was time to turn my hand to a holiday tale, partly by way of an explanation. Just over two weeks ago I headed to the boat with a friend to spend a week aboard. After spending the first day catching up with a few jobs and spending the first night in the marina we headed out on the Sunday to travel North for the week. Sunday night saw us nestled on The Bridge Inn moorings and a few pints and a very enjoyable meal, whilst we discussed plans for the rest of the week. Now normally at this stage we would discuss a route that involved a trundle up to Potter to check the bridge height in the hope that we might get through and plans for when we didn't. My boat is an ex hire boat, and was built to pass that bridge on occasion. Since it has been in my ownership it has passed that bridge about five times, but not for about four years now. Anyway for some reason we made our plans and never even considered Potter bridge and beyond. The plan was for Coltishall on Monday evening and to try out The Rising Sun which is now in the hands of Colchester Inns. For those that don't know, the same group that run The Recruiting Sargant and The Ship South Walsham. Monday morning see us up early as we knew the noise from the road bridge would mean little chance of a lie in. Coffee machine on and cast off and head towards South Walsham to drop the mud weight and enjoy breakfast. A thoroughly enjoyable breakfast done and it was time to cast off and continue our journey. The empty moorings outside The Ferry and it being lunchtime meant it was rude not to stop and part with some cash. Ever mindful of our final destination we didn't spend too long there and cast off to continue our journey. A very pleasant cruise towards Wroxham and as we headed into Wroxham, we were absolutely gob smacked and couldn't believe what we saw. 7ft7in clearance under Wroxham bridge! Yes that's right 7ft 7ins! We both looked at each other and at the same time said, "we never even consider Potter bridge this trip, what clearance is there under Potter?" My boat only needs 6ft6in under Wroxham, slightly less if I'm feeling really brave. My record so far is 6ft 4.5ins and never again at that. Any way we continued to Coltishall and enjoyed a thoroughly good meal in The Rising Sun. Perhaps not quite the standard of their other pubs, but given it's mass market location, still very good. A definite improvement and we shall be going back. The next morning dawned and so did a phone call to the pilot. Low water is still a few hours away and we have 6ft9in clearance. Give the pilot the name of my boat when it was in hire and he confirmed we need 6ft 9in. Wahay! I know that Pat took it under at less than that, but I'm happy when there're happy. Weather is looking fine for the next couple of days and we deliberate on whether to alter our plan which was for Tuesday night in Wroxham and give Liberty a chance in it's new disguise, or head straight to Potter. Wednesday had been planned for going up the Ant, but that would definitely be Potter if we didn't go Tuesday. Tuesday morning dawned nice and sunny and we had remembered the EA gauge at Repps and clearance was still holding good and potentially improving slightly so we opted for Wroxham Tuesday night. A very good meal was had in Liberty and I can only say that it really doesn't compare to last year's meal. Not sure if it is still the same owners as rumoured, but they have done more than just try to bury the bad reputation. The food and service is chalk and cheese. Sitting at the table just finishing dinner and talk turns to heading to Potter the next day for that bridge! We are moored at the Viaduct moorings and we could stay there, or perhaps take a night cruise to a more peaceful mooring! The trains do rumble through quite early. It's dark outside but little alcohol has been consumed, the bridge clearance is still really good at Wroxham and the thought of passing the bridge whilst it's quiet and without the day boats etc, buzzing around is just too appealing. TBC
  8. 13 points
    Being both a boater and an active Angler, I too have a trotter in both camps. With regards to those that quote scientific argument on either side of maintaining or abolishing the closed season - I don't give a toss - Not even a nanno. I do however have an opinion and complete any surveys related to this hot topic I come accross I want the closed season maintained just as it is, not reduced but maybe extended if owt. My reasons are not scientific but they are my reasons, opinions and I'm entitled to them all the same. I do not expect others to agree with my opinions, just respect my right to voice them whether they are agreed with or not. I'll list a few of my reasons to continue with the closed season on the rivers of the Broads in no particular order. My list is not definitive and I maintain the right to add to it as I see fit:- 1) It gives the banks / fauna a respite. 2) It gives nesting birds a respite. 3) It give none nesting birds a respite. 3) It gives all riverside wildlife a respite. 4) It gives the fish a respite. 5) It gives boaters a few precious weeks of not having to keep a wary lookout for bank anglers camouflaged or otherwise. 6) It gives the rag-n-stick brigade full use of the river without having to worry about anglers. 7) It removes any potential arguments with regards to mooring / angling for a few precious weeks. 8) It gives no end of partners a respite from the Angler onboard a vessel choosing a mooring based on the prospect of fishing. 9) It gives non fishing partners the opportunity to 'Get Stuff Done' by their Angling other halfs. 10) It sometimes gets my blood pressure up witnessing out of season fishing but a chance to 'Do the right thing' - Report them! and finally 11) I like the closed season Griff
  9. 13 points
    Thursday 18th April A relaxed morning overlooking the broad in the sunshine was the order of the day this morning. It ended up being nearer 1100 before I eventually set off for a dinnertime stop in Beccles. We travelled down the river in glorious sunshine, reaching Beccles and mooring in the Yacht Station. We had a walk around the town, and a quick refreshment in the Bear and Bells garden. Returning to the boat I set off back up the Waveney being assisted by the tide, and made good progress along the quiet river. As I reached the New Cut I began to fight the water more but reached Reedham sometime after 1730 taking the last available mooring spot. We then had a walk to the Reedham Ferry for a few drinks before taking the riverside walk back towards Reedham. When we got back to the waterside village we popped into The Ship to refresh ourselves before returning to the boat for tea and some games, before finally it was lights out.
  10. 12 points
    Well yesterday's choice of moorings was by horsey mill, they have completed the heading work here and very nice the new bits are. After mooring up about 1.30pm it was out for a sail on Lydia with Polly, a couple of hours jinking around horsey mere. I did get slightly wet when I was standing in the wrong place as the mudweight was deployed for raising sail. The evening was passed in a convivial atmosphere as we dined at the Nelson's head, they do a nice bangers and mash. An early start this morning as I want to get through potter as soon as the yard opens. As for turning in horsey dyke, go to the corner, (stick your nose in by the white post,) and a Judith can just get round . Be aware if you are even a few inches longer you won't make it.
  11. 12 points
    And Pally is one of the best diggers after truth I know. We all owe him, all of us. M
  12. 12 points
    Saturday 13th April I arrived in Horning around 2pm after a fairly uneventful drive from Leeds. Goosander was looking sparkling and the previous “occupiers” had done a great job in leaving her looking ***** and span. It was dry but with a chilly wind which was keeping the temperature down to around 10c. I stepped onboard and put the heating on to warm the place up before unloading the car. My key appointment today was to attend a screening of the football match between my team, Leeds Utd and Sheffield Wednesday at 5.30pm. I had decided to drive back to the Kings Head in Wroxham to watch the match so in the interim, I grabbed a late lunch at The Ferry Inn, Horning, primarily because it was just a short walk from the moorings. I went for the carvery and whereas the food was plentiful, it could have been hotter! Soon enough it was time to make my way back to Wroxham to watch the match. I found myself in the company of 10 other Leeds fans all wishing for a good performance. We won the game so this was the perfect start to my holiday. I got back to the boat around 8.30pm and after a wander around Richardsons yard, which is just opposite where Goosander lives, I decided to stay put for the night. The temperature dropped close to freezing so having an electric hook-up for additional heating was a bonus. More tomorrow. Looks like Richardsons bought at least three of the ex Faircraft boats, as these two were awaiting their new uniforms. More images tomorrow.
  13. 12 points
    I know it's important how it happened but let's not forget that little ones lost their Mum, a Husband lost his wife no matter the physics of it An absolute tragedy, my heart goes out to her family Grace
  14. 12 points
    Tuesday 16th April The sun was shining as I awoke. The wind was still a little chilly but not as cold as yesterday. Today was a bit of a compromise as I always make an out and back overnight visit to Yarmouth when passing through, but I needed time to reach Surlingham so the plan was to leave around 9am for Yarmouth, where I would spend around 4 or 5 hours before departing for Reedham in the late afternoon. I had read on Facebook that Reedham Quay had been full the previous two nights so I would need to ensure I arrived at Reedham at a reasonable time. So it was actually 9.15am by the time the ropes were untied but as the tide was just turning as I left, I would soon make the time up. Soon enough, I was passing the derelict Port of Yarmouth Marina control tower, at which point I called the Yacht Station and asked for assistance as a single-handed sailor when coming in to moor. This was all arranged with the minimum of fuss and 10 minutes later I was turning Goosander around to face the ebbing current and then guiding her into a space adjacent to the Rangers office. Even though low water was still four hours or so away, there was still around 10 feet of headroom should I have wanted to continue on. The rangers made my ropes fast and after paying my £6, I ambled off into Yarmouth town. First call was for chips at one of the chip saloons on the market place (always a must do!) then onto McDonalds for coffee. Yarmouth was very busy with trippers as the schools were still closed this week. Deciding I wanted to inhale some sea air I walked down to the Britannia Pier, the sea breezes getting stronger as I approached. It was nice to see the sea - well it was whilst trying to squint against the sand being blown in my eyes. I then walked along the seafront eventually coming to the Winter Gardens, next to the Wellington Pier. It is closed now and looking very sorry for itself. I can remember Doreen and I having a cool beer in there one hot day in June some years back and wondering at the Victorian elegance. So sad to see it like this now. I turned back and made my way back to the boat, arriving around 3pm. In the back of my mind was the warning that the quay at Reedham had filled recently so I decided to head off there now in the hope of arriving before 5pm. I started the engine and the Quay Ranger (mooring attendant or whatever they are called) allowed the tide to swing Goosander around on it’s last secured rope before casting me adrift into the current, which by now was negligible. I was fortunate in that it had already started flooding up Breydon Water so the cruise up to Reedham took a little less than 2 hours. Passing under the rail swing bridge I could see there was still a choice of mooring spots so I opted for one towards the Ship Inn end. By 7pm, I was on my way to the Ship for an evening meal. It was busy both in the bar and the restaurant, but I still managed to bag a small table close to the bay window overlooking the river. I recalled the many times we had their Steak and Ale Pie here which was always delicious, but no matter how many times I scoured the menu, I could not find it now. Instead I opted for the Ship Burger which came with salad, coleslaw and chips. The meal was filling so no dessert for me tonight (not even cheesecake). After reading my paper for a while, I made my way back to Goosander. I wondered how busy the Lord Nelson was so I walked past the boat and on towards his Lordship. I looked through the window and was taken aback to see just one customer in the place. It could have been a one-off but it would be worrying to see your competitor so busy whilst you are empty. This came sailing by as I left the moorings at Acle Oh I do like to be beside the seaside The Winter gardens - now closed How it looked in 2007 The Yacht Station at Yarmouth Breydon Bridge lifting for yachts Reedham The Old Post office -now a cafe
  15. 12 points
    Gretzky's recent post about being hit by a bunch of lads got me thinking about my first experience of hiring a boat on the Norfolk Broads. Yes, we were a bunch of lads, no, we didn't hit anyone! I thought I would share my memories of that first trip, hopefully to raise a smile! I should say that I wasn't new to the Broads, I had been 14 or 15 times with my parents, starting on Wavemaster from Brooms when I was about 18months old, but this was to be my first hire in my own name. To set the scene, 4 of us at school had just turned 18 and completed our A levels, we were all heading off to different corners of the country and wanted to celebrate the end of one phase of our lives and the start of the next. We didn't have much money but we decided on a trip to Norfolk, so we started browsing through the Hoseasons brochure and decided that Swiftway from Richardsons was within our budget and would suit our needs. Forms were filled, cheques posted and the confirmation letter soon landed on the door mat. I read the terms and conditions from cover to cover. One clause stood out, something to the effect of “we reserve the right to refuse to hire if we think you are unsuitable “ We were seriously excited, our first holiday as adults, no parents, just the four of us, boys on a boat and Beer, quite a lot of beer. We were nervous too, what if we got to the yard and they took one look at us and sent us on our way? The day came and we set off on a 5 hour road trip from Cumbria to Stalham, got to the yard and got checked in at reception and paid our security deposit (no damage waiver in those days). “Go and unpack and someone will be along shortly to show you the ropes” We unpacked. The sun was shining, we filled the cupboards with food and filled the fridge with essentials (beer), we went off for our trial run, everything was going swimmingly and we got back to the yard, all set to be released on the unsuspecting pubs of broadland. “I will just show you how to light the fridge, it runs on gas you see...” that's when it happened, clunk,clunk, clunk, clunk, the sound of a dozen cans of week American lager dispensing itself out of the fridge and rolling across the cockpit. Silence, nervous glances all round, this was it, “if we think you are unsuitable” Laughter from the engineer showing us round. “I see you have worked out the fridge”. “Don't drink and drive gents, the river police will pull you over and you can be fined” That was it, the start of one of the best weeks ever, the end of childhood. Maybe it was fear of losing the security deposit, maybe we just weren't bad lads, but we had an amazing time and didn't manage to upset anyone or break anything. Nearly 3 decades later I came back, with my family and some friends, the welcome at Richardsons was just as welcome and the Norfolk Broads are still a special place. Happy Days!
  16. 12 points
    Spoke to Richardson’s, fortunately the hirers held their hands up and admitted the incident, the Richardson’s are going to call me at some point today to sort out repairs. Closer inspection there are 1000's of scratches all the way down the hull a broken fender eye, broken window hinge in the head, a burst fender and a great big dirty black mark from the rub strip hitting us not to mention a very shook up wife who had me checking the bilges all evening for water ingress. BA have also spoken to the helm and given them a blue book warning. For anyone reading this remember this, if they had not stopped after I had called them back the BA were prepared to prosecute them for leaving the scene of an accident, so if you should hit another boat please don’t just drive off, stop and exchange details.
  17. 11 points
  18. 11 points
    This is a very interesting little booklet published by the Museum of the Broads. It's packed full of photos, many of which I've not seen before. The book concentrates on the former M&GN lines between North Walsham, Yarmouth and Lowestoft. There's no mention of the Beccles to Yarmouth line. None the less a very interesting book and very reasonably priced at 2.99. Well worth a look.
  19. 11 points
    Yesterday I awoke at 5.40 after a good 9 hours of sleep, I was set up for the day. The couple who were interested in purchasing a share in Ranworth Breeze arrived around noon, I showed them around and they were impressed with all the refurbishments we had done in the last two years. We chattered and I answered queries on the two contracts that new owners have to sign, all ironed out and the way that the types of shares are drawn at the yearly AGM. We went up the river with Terry at the helm after we had left the marina. I wanted to show Terrry how the boat could stop within its own length at 6 mph and the manoeuvrability of the boat with its tight turning circle. Terry was impressed and commented on how stable the boat felt. We turned around just before the Ferry House Inn at Surlingham, I was saddened to see that a boat had sunk on the moorings opposite the pub. We came back to the marina and with aid Terry did a fine stern on mooring into our berth. We chattered away and they left for home to mull over the option of the shares we currently have for sale. I had a late lunch and phoned one of our old owners who was a fellow trustee of Ranworth Breeze, we had talked earlier in the day about me popping over to his house in Watton for an evening meal. I eventually arrived with direction from Graham over the phone. I changed my car about 4 weeks ago from a Saab Convertible to an Audi S3 Convertible which I have got used to apart from the inbuilt satellite navigation that makes little or no sense at all, if you put in a post code (in the case of Graham it starts IP) but it does not allow you to put in any of the numbers and with Ipswich that covers a very big area. Anyway I arrived and we chatted away outside in the last of the sunshine, their two Labradors were barking away me but eventually settled down after licking me death. We had a great meal and all tried to put the world to right whilst conversing over dinner. Before we knew it 10.00 pm reared it head and I had to say my goodbyes before setting off back to Brundall. I arrived back at the marina a little after 11.00 pm, I noticed Robin was in residence with the lights still on in his boat. Once aboard I quickly headed for bed feeling somewhat tired, I took the last of my 7 days course of antibiotics which seem to have nothing to help my coughing, so its back to the Vick and the cold tablets. Bye for now Alan Regards Alan
  20. 11 points
    Wednesday 17th April Another great Norfolk morning had broken when I took the dog for a short stroll. Having stayed on the Pilot mooring I needed to be underway at around 0800 so as to ensure that I wasn't an inconvenience to him or any hirers who wanted to make use of the service. Dog exercised and a fresh mug of coffee brewed, I untied the lines and set off back down the Bure as everyone else had a lie in under their quilts. The morning was beautiful as I cruised slowly out of the village, no other boats disturbing the quiet solitude I was able to enjoy. A few friendly waves and greetings were exchanged when I reached Salhouse Spit, as the hirers moored there sat with a morning brew enjoying the sun. As expected, the river began to grow more busy as I reached Horning, the moorings still all full however, as I contined on towards the river Thurne. By around 1130 I was all moored up and heading into Potter Heigham. The kids other "tradition" it seems is getting a purchase from the bakery in Lathams after having a look at all the stuff they didn't know they needed until they saw it. I kept well out of the way, and sat with the dog as I enjoyed a beer in the sunshine outside the Norada. All purchases complete, we returned to the boat and set off at around 1315 to head back to Yarmouth and a return down south. As I hit Breydon Water a mist appeared almost from nowhere, all clear as I navigated the Yarmouth bridges and then descending swiftly as I travelled further South and so navigation lights were switched on. I had the company over Breydon of 2 other boats, both of which took the Yare after Breydon, as I instead continued onwards and down the Waveney, passing under both St Olaves and Somerleyton bridges with ease. Finally turning onto Oulton Dyke, having to be careful as a number of rowers were around, and the thickening mist didn't allow for good visibilty of their position. As I began to cross over Oulton Broad visibility had reduced to a couple of metres. I made slow but steady progress over the water, finally reaching The Wherry hotel moorings at about 1930. Once the boat was safely secured, it was time for a lad's night out of football and beer with "the boy" in Oulton And then we grabbed some tea on our way back before settling down to sleep for the night.
  21. 11 points
    Wednesday 10th April We woke on Wednesday to a grey, cold windy day. The breeze had not abated overnight and coupled with the chilly temperature, it wasn't a pleasant morning. Deb took Harley for her walk and I tidied the boat, making the bed and straightening the blankets we use to cover the seating. When she returned, we breakfasted on toasted crumpets, thickly buttered. Just after 08:00, we started the engine for hot water (no shore power for the immersion heater at Salhouse) and cast off around 08:30, heading for Ranworth. Deb took the helm whilst I showered and dressed and took over when I’d finished so she could do the same. There were a few spaces available when we arrived, so we slotted in alongside another syndicated cruiser, Blue Mist. We had intended to walk to the church, but wanted to top up with water first, so moved to another mooring nearer a hose after discovering that the hose wouldn't reach. We had just finished topping up when a large craft from Richardsons eventually moored alongside. To be fair, they had manoeuvred with consideration and had made much effort not to hit the side of MS, but the operation had taken a good 15 minutes and it was clear the strong wind was seriously hampering their efforts. The weather had not improved and we agreed that it would not be an enjoyable stroll to the church and certainly not sufficiently pleasant to sit outside the church café and enjoy a coffee and slice of cake. Instead, we cast off, heading for the River Ant and chugged back up Ranworth Dam, turning right onto the Bure at the junction and shortly after, left onto the Ant. I was hopeful that there would be sufficient clearance under the bridge to allow us to pass without dropping the roof and screen due to the wind and was pleased to see 8ft 3ins on the advance marker, just 3 inches more than we needed. There was the usual confusion of craft attempting to moor on the other side, jockeying for space near the shop and water point, but we navigated through the melee without incident and carried on up the river. We passed How Hill and through Irstead before entering Barton Broad. Much to our surprise, after such a grey and cheerless morning, the clouds began to break, allowing the sun to peek through and by the time we reached the other side of the broad, the sun was beaming down, although the breeze continued to blow. We continued up the Ant, bearing left at the Stalham turn before passing Hunsett Mill. I was pleased to see the mill has now been restored, with sails replaced, but I cannot get used to the abomination that the once chocolate box pretty cottage has become. We travelled a couple of hundred yards further before turning and mooring for lunch of toasted ciabatta and pate. We stayed there for a while, the wife doing her cross stitch and me taking some photos, before casting off and retracing our route towards Barton Broad. I saw a flash of iridescent blue flash in front of the boat, but the kingfisher had disappeared before I could grab my camera. Another lost opportunity, but maybe one day I'll get lucky and get a photo of this shy, beautiful bird. The moorings at Irstead were taken and Johny Crowe's staithe was also occupied, so we moored at How Hill and settled down for the evening. The sun was still shining and there was a real prospect of a decent sunset, so dinner was delayed whilst I spent some time photographing the setting sun as it lit the horizon and Turf Fen Mill with a glorious orange glow. I stood outside to watch the sun drop below the horizon. Nature certainly does provide some wonderful sights and satisfied that I had committed some worthy shots to memory card, I returned to the boat. We had dinner on board, before watching TV for a while and retiring to bed at about 22:00, happy that the day that promised so little in the morning, had delivered so much in the end.
  22. 10 points
    A second small glass of port was poured and it wasn't long before we could hear our beds calling. A very peaceful nights sleep ensued and a bit of a lazy start the next morning during which a full English brekky was called for. We had stocked the fridge with lots of tasty treats from Roy's the day before whilst in Wroxham. My friend started the cooking whilst I had a bit of a tidy up and setup the table ready for breakfast. Cook informed me that the plates would be hot, so I placed two place mats, (otherwise known as The Broadcaster) on the table at the ready. Over breakfast we discussed whether to call the pilot again to check the clearance or just head to Potter anyway. It was decided that plan A was head to Potter and hopefully through that bridge, with plan B being either The Lion at Thurne, or Womack if not. It was decided that we should fill with fresh water in case we do get through the bridge, not being sure how many water points there were above the bridge and also to help balance the boat in readiness for the bridge. Breakfast polished off and the roof is put down and we head over to the water point at Salhouse to fill up. The sky is looking grey and overcast, but no sign of rain. With a full water tank we start our gentle cruise down the Bure. We had been told on Monday that we should be at the bridge about 2 hours before low water which today was around 5pm, so a 3pm arrival would be ideal. Horning approached and discussions turned to whether we should stop for a pint, or carry on. In the end we decided to carry on as if we were earlier at Potter we might get through earlier and if there was no chance we had more time to implement plan B. After an uneventful slow cruise we arrived in Potter and got a mooring close to the pilot office, arriving just after 1pm. I go off to have a chat with the guys in the office and to find out what our chances are. The guys are having lunch and we chat about the possibility of going through the bridge. The gauge is showing 6ft10in and I'm told we will clear the bridge now, but the only concern might be coming back. I enquire whether we might be able to stay for one or two nights and am told that one night should be fine, but we need to keep a close eye on the weather and pressure. They say it is very unusually good clearance for this time of year and we need to watch out for the wind swinging back anywhere North of North East. I'm then asked if we want to go through now, or a little later, to which I jump at the chance of going now. "ok no problem, he'll be over in a little while" pointing to a pilot I'd never seen before. I return to the boat and inform my friend we are going through the bridge and proceed to ensure the roof is as far back as it can go, and that everything is clear for our passage. A little while later the pilot joins us on board and we slip our mooring. A brief chat with the pilot during which time he tells me how these are not his favourite boat to take through the bridge, as when you stand in the centre of the boat to line yourself up with the centre of the bridge the wheel is too far over to one side and you cannot reach it, without having to keep moving back and forth. This immediately reminded me of a night some years back when myself and another friend got chatting to the sadly departed Graham RIP at the bar of the Broadshaven. Keen to improve my technique for Wroxham bridge, I had already decided it would always be the pilot for Potter bridge, I asked Graham what the secret was for taking a boat through a bridge like Potter or Wroxham. No secret was the reply, you just need to know that it will fit, and then aim straight for the centre of the bridge. He told me that once a boat had been measured the first time they kept records of what height was needed and as long as you knew you had the clearance it should go. He told me to ensure you stand in the centre of the boat and ideally find something on the centre of the bow you can line you with the centre keystone of the bridge, even if this meant keeping the wheel at arms length. I asked him about the speed they go through at, did that help with lowering the boat in the water and he said it did a little, but it also helped to maintain a true course and offset any gusts of wind etc. This did however sound a bit like make or break very severely, and I've always adopted a cautious speed at Wroxham bridge. If I misjudge it, I want to hit the bridge as lightly as possible. We are now on the approach to the bridge and I give the pilot the same courtesy my friend offers me at Wroxham bridge and I step down out of the cockpit and stand still in the galley to allow the pilot to concentrate. This means that I have no view of where we are going, all I can see ahead is the closed cabin door and the bulkhead that makes up the front cabin. The Nanni beside me starts to scream like a banshee as the engine and transmission get their pilots stress tests. We are picking up speed and it is actually quite unnerving to not be able to see what we are heading for. Suddenly it all goes dark, then it goes light and we are through that bridge. The date is the 1st May 2019 and we are now North of Potter bridge for the first time in about four years. The boat has passed it's pilot stress test MOT and we are heading towards the green outside Norada, TBC
  23. 10 points
    With the meal paid for we set off back towards the boat, stopping on route to check the most accurate height gauge in Wroxham. For those that don't know, if you head towards the Faircraft Loynes day boat hut next to the bridge and walk down the pier towards the bridge, they have a height gauge mounted on the reverse of the where the BA height gauge is. That is the one that the FL pilots will work from and has the true height. 7ft6ins and we are well and truly good to go. We head back to the viaduct moorings and drop the sliding roof and fold the windscreen forward. My friend unties us and with nav lights on we slip our mooring and head under the railway bridge. At barely a little over tick over I head towards the bridge. My friend at this point steps away from the cockpit area and stays still, so as not to unsettle the boat at any point, and to allow me to concentrate and line us up for the bridge. It's a well rehearsed procedure that neither of us even thinks twice about anymore. Not for the first time in the dark I head downstream towards the bridge and with masses of clearance we glide under and past the Hotel Wroxham and the staff clearing up from the evening's trade. My friend reappears and asks if I want a glass of Red and then goes to select a bottle for a celebratory drink. We continue our journey slowly downstream and the first part is very easy gliding past the old Moore's site and Barnes until the harder part arrives. No not the tree lined banks, the endless floodlight after floodlight that are either left permanently on or flash on as you trip the infra red's. These people have obviously never navigated a boat after dark, and certainly not through Wroxham / Hoveton. To be fair, it is marginally better than normal because it is the closed fishing season. No anglers with 100W LED head lamps that look up from the water and directly in your direction and blind you. Eventually we reach the easy part, the darkness of the tree lined banks where once my night vision returns I am able to see clearly the twists and turns of the river. The entrance to Wroxham Broad approaches, as does a rather nice glass of Malbec and we turn into Wroxham Broad and cruise along the inside towards the other exit. Keeping a close eye out for buoys and the odd surprised swan we continue on our way until back out on the River Bure. The dampness is coming down and it's feeling colder, but still very pleasant cruising. As ever with night cruising we leave the windscreen and the roof down to gain the best possible night vision and continue on our way down the Bure. The Red is starting to cool a little too much in the damp air, but before too long we are at Salhouse, our destination for the night. We turn right into Salhouse and then right again to a nice empty spot and my friend dons his life jacket and goes to drop the mud weight. I set about putting the windscreen and roof up and before too long we are settled in the saloon chatting over a night cap of a small glass of port and discussing our chances of getting through that bridge! TBC
  24. 10 points
    I may have posted these before but my brother took these one holiday shortly before closure at Beccles. For years I used to think I dreamt seeing this train until he sent me the scans. Liz
  25. 10 points
    I may try and get this going again mainly as a bit of a momentum as time just flies too quickly! Also being back in a IT job means we will get to use the boat a bit more and should be able to enjoy a little more. Anyways here goes at least and see where we end up! Good olde Friday Time indeed does seem to wizz by, despite having the odd depressing maintenance trip upto Orca over the winter and seeing in a state of depression it was over 6 months since we had an overnight trip on her. Admittedly this was due to a number of reasons, work being one of them, but we've both had constant cold/flu since christmas! However given the amazing weather forcast I was looking forward to jumping aboard for 3 days afloat! Indeed unlike me I was up, packed and ready at 9am on good friday. Kinda expecting a bit of traffic we both kinda wanted to get on the roads as soon as posible. In the car for just gone 9 google maps was suggesting all looked well with a 2.5 hour drive, not bad at all! Dartford tunnel was indeed "Empty" (well as near to empty as you can get!). Dave was driving and I must admit I was in and out of consciousness for most of the trip but 4 hours later we arrived in Stalham! That has to be a record, it seemed like half of the south east was heading to the broads! We needed to restock the boat so first stop was the neat little factory store in Stalham for some new bedding and pillows which didn't make the winter as they was left aboard, and some other random little bits! Next to the butchers, thankfully they have plenty of supply of rations suitable for BBQing, £25 of kebabs, sausages, beer cured bacon, steak burgers and fresh warm sausage rolls for lunch meant we should be sorted for the weekend! Last stop was Tesco just for the little bits and junk food! It was already starting to feel pretty warm when we arrived at a fully rammed car park in the marina but we quickly unloaded. Thankfully Orca was dry (salt bowls highly recommended!). Orca started straight away, since installing solar panels last year the batteries are always powered ready to go. Orca is now on a stern on mooring and it's not overly easy and yeah I messed up a little but she backed out and span around easily enough and we was soon on a quiet River Ant, and straight away I could feel the stresses sooth away start to relax.. It's easy to forget the influence and effect just being on the Rivers can have. A little downstream we came across a huddle of day boats all drifting together and amongst them was what looked like an huge ice cream. Orca now has an anchor winch is opperated from the helm buy clicking a button, I signalled over and dropped the anchor just out of the way and over wizzed the ice cream boat! We had spotted this some years ago but haven't seen it for years, I also remember that she is good friends with some other friends located up here, whom we brought Orca from, We had a long chat, but it was a little upsetting as she mentioned that a rumour I had heard was that our friend was seriously sick and we must go and see him, we promised we would shortly but for now to please pass on our best regards. We waved quickly just as she was set upon by more boats :).. Oh Strawberry ice cream was eaten in seconds... so nice and perfect in this "Summer" weather. I've started to trust Dave with helming the boat a little more over the last few years, we repropped her last year and shes a little more responsive and predictable and I've started doing something which I really enjoy when it's warm which is go and sit up on the pointy end.. Up here it's far enough from thumper so all you truly hear is the sound of the water on the bow and the bird song etc. I just jumped back on the helm to get through Ludham bridge as if it gets messy we have to drop the mudweight or raft against another boat but thankfully it was pretty quiet and we was quickly through. If you've not sat on the bow heading through Horning it's really something to do! I wanted to head to Salhouse for overnight, thinking there would plenty of moorings.. On arrival at salhouse we spotted only a couple of Stern on moorings. I really fancied mooring here and having a bit of a stroll around as its been some months since we was last here, I didn't tell Dave but I also fancied the Idea of hiring a Canoe for an hour or so. Unfortunately though the only mooring available was next to a boat which had it's engine up and running and not on idle either and it was just a bit noisy, we paid the mooring fees though (Now a tenner, although we always pay this even if we go and mudweight as I see it as a conservation fee), but on the way in we spotted the moorings on the main river were pretty much empty and we've not moored here before so we swapped and headed over there. Thankfully they was empty and we moored just beside one of the channels into the Broad. It was already feeling late so Dave got the Cobb BBQ on straight away, once all warmed it was chicken kebabs followed 40 mins later by sausages, we forgot the cheese for the burgers so they would have to wait for tomorrow! As the sun set though it quickly reminded us that it wasn't August Bank holiday as it felt, but indeed easter and the temperature quickly dropped. So we retreated back aboard, Dave put Orca's canopy back on and put the DVD player on. Sherlock holmes movie.. which was pretty good. All in all an excellent day back on Orca and back on the Broads, and 6 months away perhaps was needed to help rekindle the Broads... I didn't take too many pictures but will try next time.. :) More soon ;)
  26. 10 points
    Friday 19th April Once again it was a glorious morning as we sat with the roof down in Reedham. We seemed to be the most attractive boat to the wildlife as before we knew it we were surrounded by ducks and geese which we gave a morning feast to. It was almost 1200 by the time I finally left our mooring, the kids had asked for a quick visit to Norwich today so that was our direction. The weather had seemed to bring more boats out along the water, and the usual popular spots were full as expected. We reached Norwich and paid for a day ticket, before exploring the city. In all the enjoyment of the holiday I had completely forgot it was Good Friday, and that along with the weather and Norwich playing at home later that evening had brought everyone out to the pubs. Most of the atmosphere was jovial however with just the odd numpty, but once the necessary shops had been visited, we returned to the boat and began the return journey back to Brundall. As I passed Thorpe I saw we could (just) get under the bridge, and so took a slight detour off of the main river under the bridge. The riverside pubs were once again busy, with a few joking comments called out to me, but it was all good fun. Returning to the Yare we progressed back to our home mooring at Broom After securing the boat we headed out to the Ram pub for a few drinks, before returning home for our tea. Sadly this brought our holiday to almost it's end, with just packing and boat cleaning the following morning before rerurning home and straight back to work Saturday night. I will be back in May however, so it's not too long to wait.
  27. 9 points
    I'm hitting the road early in the morning for the long drive to Wroxham and then a week on Brinks Jazz 5. Rollie is our 3 year old Lhasa Apso. He's a rescue dog we've only had since January hence this is his first trip to the Broads. I'm sure he'll enjoy it, even though it means him putting up with a long car journey to get there when he's not the happiest of travellers. I'm excited as always and trying to sleep tonight I'll be like a child on Christmas Eve. Even better this time, I'm meeting my son Cian in Wroxham tomorrow and he'll be with me until Monday, his first visit since 2015. We'll head off to a pub somewhere or other tomorrow night and then those of you at the meet we'll see at Salhouse on Saturday. I'll write up as we go, connection permitting.
  28. 9 points
    From the photos we're seeing and the look of the new menu I very much fear that the Locks is losing (has lost?) it's soul. Let's face it, it isn't the easiest place to get to by road or river, you have to make a real effort and there needs to be a good reason to do so. It's character was the old piano, the wine bottles covered in years of candle wax, the obscure wall hangings. The sense of being somewhere unchaged since the wherrymen stopped by for a bowl of stew, pint of black and a twist of shag. There was nothing like sitting in the bar at luchtime nibbling on a pork and stuffing roll with the sunshine beaming through the windows, illuminating the dust motes playing in the air. Sipping on a pint of Headcracker, or in more recent years "Gone Fishing", especially on the odd occasion that somebody would pick up the guitar that was always lying around the place and give us a song or two. The landlords wife used to have a cracking voice and would often give a short performance if asked nicely. That seems to be gone now. It would appear the place has been sterilised. We'll still pop in and see for ourselves when we're next tht way in July, hopefully the menu will have had a reality check and the pictures over emphasise the pillaging of the places character.
  29. 9 points
    Another massive thumbs up for Bridgecraft Boat ready early and sparkling like a new pin inside and out. Lovely friendly welcome, personal attention and nothing too much trouble. Highly recommended
  30. 9 points
    Moon through telescope
  31. 9 points
    Within the Brundall area we have, A partially burnt boat that has been abandoned on Surlingham Broad since last summer. A yacht left on Church Fen 24 hour moorings since before Easter, the local yoofs have taken an interest in it, i chased them off and photographed Saturday evening. These two untolled vessels will be more expensive to refloat than they will be be tow away. Two areas of the river still substantially obstructed by fallen trees. A collection of boats that have obscured reg numbers and no tolls, again. However, these things cost money to rectify, no point in pursuing boats that are continually untolled as the costs will never be recovered, far better to spend a considerable time and effort sending rangers out to check if reg numbers are displayed in accordance with the authority's latest whim, not the bye laws but a recently interpreted 'guidance' leaflet that is now the third version in a few years. How to win friends and influence people. NOT.
  32. 9 points
    What I saw Wednesday was about a dozen private boats issued with notices. The same two rangers then walked past three hire boats that had registration numbers incorrectly positioned as defined by the example given/explained to me earlier (and detailed above ). Those boats were not issued notices. There were about 10 hire dinghys moored in the slipway none of which have a number on them at all. Nothing to identify them in any way. They were also ignored. Now I am happy to play by the rules but only when the rules apply to all. So far on this thread we have established that sailies have a special dispensation to hang their numbers from a bowsprit, wherries seem to not need numbers at all, hire boats don't count and hire dinghys seem exempt. Oh yeah, and BA vessels are a law unto themselves where registration number s are concerned. Now before I go sticking compliant numbers on my 31 foot of mahogany and varnish I feel perfectly justified in asking for the requirements in law rather than someone's interpretation of the guidelines. I believe Broad Ambitions numbers to be within the spirit of the law as are Brookwind s, Chameleon's and as mine will be. And that should be good enough or we need a proper defined bylaw.
  33. 9 points
    Whilst I would never dare question the fantastic work that the RNLI do, it is always worth remembering the independent lifeboats as well. Norfolk has many - Hemsby, Caister, Sea-palling and Mundesley are all independent. It’s also worth noting that it’s an independent lifeboat which attends most emergencies on the Broads.
  34. 9 points
    Saturday 4th May, After my Brother left the boat, I caught up on my computer and had a light evening meal of beans on toast with grated cheese on top. I followed up with an apple and had a beer whilst watching some cheap DVD's, The Scarecrow was somewhat predictable, but it was company of sorts. I decided to have an early night and was in bed by a little after 8.15 pm, it was still raining and windy, but I managed to sleep in until 6.00 am, up and dressed and caught up on the forum before breakfast, just cereals and fruit this morning. Breakfast done and pots washed I got ready to go up to one of the wet-rooms for a shower (no Jay it was not my birthday) ablutions performed I headed back to the boat and got chatting on my arrival on the pontoon. Graham had left a message on my phone when I got back aboard Ranworth Breeze, to give him a call, I had already put a potato into the oven for lunch so I turned off the gas after Graham said he was nipping over to the boat and he would have lunch with me in the Yare. I had been planning mooring up at Bramerton Green for the day and evening, maybe another day. This gave me a short while to clean the upper seating that I had meaning to do all week, it was hardly dirty apart from some of the seams in the leather-cloth. Graham arrived and we talked on the boat before going up to the Yare. We had burgers me beef and he had a chicken burger, we were the last to leave the bar around 3.15 to 3.30 pm, back on the boat we talked away until Graham had to leave to take care of his dogs. It was good to see him again, between us we could talk both the fore and hind legs off of donkeys, he is great company and do miss him in the syndicate. I am sat having a lime and soda for a change rather than a beer, I will more than likely have a beer later with my jacket potato and sausages for tea. It makes a change for the rain to have finished and the wind has died down, a few boats have gone out of the marina today, no doubt to Bramerton whilst dodging the two yacht clubs that are racing in front of Coldham Hall. Regards Alan
  35. 9 points
    Saturday 20th April The alarm went off at 7.30am and conscious that I would need all four and a half hours to prepare Goosander for the next owners, I was straight up to put the kettle on. Breakfast was cereal – I was not going to muck the cooker up and make even more work for myself. Once breakfast was over, I started the task of removing my belongings back to the car in order to make some room to clean! When you first board Goosander, the first thing you notice is how spotless the big picture windows look – not a smear in sight. So which way round. Should I do the windows first so the “rinsings” run onto the deck to be mopped when I clean the superstructure later? Or do I do the windows last after the rest has been cleaned? It seems obvious now but I chose to clean the windows first. That was a stupid move. The windows were indeed sparkling by the time I had finished but were soon mucked up again when I was cleaning down the superstructure. Realising my mistake, my only move was to carefully wash/ wipe everything with a dishcloth to minimise the splashes on my pristine windows. It took much longer than it should have done. Boulters, where Goosander is moored, opens at 8.30am and I was wondering if I should take her around for toilet pump out as soon as they opened, in the event they were going to be busy. As soon as I saw the doors open, I maneuvered Goosander into position and the dirty deed was done. Just in time too as another boat was already waiting impatiently for me to get out of the way. Looking at my watch, I realised for once, I was going to get away on time so I had a brief chat with some people in the next boat to Goosander. They were enquiring how the syndicate boat share worked so I invited them onboard so they could see for themselves. They were suitably impressed. They were the second couple I had invited to look around whilst away this week. The way I see it is if I create interest for the syndicate then not only should it provide future buyers when someone wants to sell (not me) but a greater demand will hopefully keep the price up. So the car was packed and I was on my way just gone 11am. I called in at Roy’s – they are in Wroxham did you know? to buy a crystal pendant I wanted to take back as a present, then on to Brundall for what would be my final meal in Norfolk. I have already stated my favourite pub on the Broads is the Yare, so it would not have been right to leave without a visit. It was a beautiful warm day, and many people were sat outside on the benches. I have to say I was quite irritated that I was leaving in this weather! I stepped inside and found a table, already knowing what I was going to order. My final meal was the chicken pieces done in batter. It duly arrived and looking at it I realised I had done it again. I had forgotten to ask for the rice to be changed for chips. The same mistake I made on my last visit. Nevertheless, it was scrumptious – and the rice wasn’t bad either. Then it’s just the sorry tale of a long drive home to Leeds, which was actually the least congested journey I have had to date. Being Easter Saturday, I thought the roads would have been jammed, but it seemed everybody had already got to where they wanted to be, and it was too early for them to start back home again yet. Observations Most (not all) boats looked to have been cared for over the winter and were now sparkling and clean. In particular, I though Bridgecraft’s boats looked really good as they went by, especially when in full sun. They really do look after their boats. Springtime is a good time to visit. I wish people would be more thoughtful when mooring their boats, to not leave gaps between them. When mooring, wherever I end up, I will pull Goosander along to the nearest boat so more people can get in. Thinking about it, newcomers probably aim for the largest gaps then deliberately leave space in front to give them more room to get their boats out again, so it’s probably a no-win situation. Once more, you could not help but notice how many of the big flashy new hire boats were out. My guess is that they make up around 25% of the Broads fleet, but they represented around 50% of the boats I saw on the holiday. It’s good to see that the Broads can attract people who spend sums in excess of what they would pay for a 4/5 star hotel on the Med. I think the fact that I keep seeing them out, signifies that they are not on the whole, disappointed with the Broads product, and that augers well for the future. Thanks to everyone who had the patience to read my ramblings. I always set out to keep the tale to a minimum but seem to get a full head of steam and find it difficult to put the brakes on! As I didn't take any photos on Saturday morning, here are a few I missed out earlier: Where does this path lead to? No prizes for where this is Upton Those Bridgecraft boats really sparkled in the sun Acle Anybody care to guess where I photographed this character? Awwwww
  36. 9 points
    all I really meant was to be careful not to put body parts between the boat and whatever you are fending off from, such that they could become trapped between the boat and anything else, we dont want people as fenders.
  37. 9 points
    As the day of our journey began, the waking up from deep sleep process was not normal, it took me a few moments of gathering woolly thoughts and ordering them into some semblance of “awake” before I realized the disconnect in my mind. It was quiet, no shuffling doggie feet, no sniffing noises and no huge dog nose bumping into my face encouraging me to “get up daddy”. Thinking to myself that taking the woofs to the Hunde Hotel the previous day was such a great idea I shut my eyes for few more Zzzzz’s. Nope that wasn’t going to fly Fiona was up and rummaging about in the bathroom, as Fiona is not a quiet rummager it was time to bite the bullet and drag my carcass out of our lovely warm and still welcoming bed and GET UP! We decided to forego breakfast for a couple of reasons, one being we had made a pack up for the journey which we would subsequently consume somewhere in the area of Frankfurt AM, another being we planned to eat a lovely meal on the ferry. Showered dressed and last minute checks completed it was time to go… Departure was roughly half past nine which was a set off hour calculated to include traffic, lunch stop, pee breaks, fuel replenishment (only one needed) and leg stretches. Navigation on, engine start away we go to my favorite Brian Adams track (Too Hot to Handle) which sort of fits with Millie’s personality. We Were approximately ten minutes out when the completeness of our departure checks were revealed to be sub optimal (management speak for WRONG), where were the felties? They were sitting at home on the kitchen table NOT in the car enjoying the view through the windscreen, listening to the various Norse gods practicing percussion instruments at the rear of the car for the symphony/cacophony (depending on your viewpoint)to come later. Decision made we returned to retrieve the felties and so, once more we set off, this time it was 10:10 hrs. Great start team Malanka….Great start. The journey through Switzerland to Basel is BORING! This is not the country in which to exercise even a fraction of the horses under Millie’s long expanse of bonnet. So cruise control it was and just settle into the comfy sports seats gripping every part of one’s body and just enjoy the ride and the stunning mountain vistas one can see from the A3. The motorway post Basel after entering Germany is de restricted almost immediately, there are controlled sections with 100, 120 and 130kph limits but most of it to Frankfurt is Ohne Geschwindigkeit Controlle. Or as we call it FUN TIME… Once across the border it’s into “dynamic mode” which stiffens the suspension, steering response and also sharpens up the already quite amusing throttle response. Once in dynamic mode the ambient lighting turns a deep alluring red, the dials change to race mode and the deployable airfoil at the back rises to add downforce to the rear wheels, once past 200kph it retracts down again to increase speed, whilst still providing 20% more downforce to the rear wheels. So it was in this mode that we started our trek across Germany to the Dutch border 900km away. We had wonderful fun utilizing the supercharger and Millies horses and Torques of which she has a rather silly number, this is all accompanied by the God like percussion band in the rear popping and crackling with over runs. All this is great fun and I must admit when she goes back to JLR in a couple of months I will miss it all. We stopped for lunch near Frankfurt as this coincided with a leg stretch and pee break too. For those not familiar with the Autobahn, it now costs 70 Euro cents to pee in Germany. So we stopped and sat out in the lovely sunshine enjoying our sandwiches. With no fuss and no bother we were soon approaching Bonn near where we used to live so Fiona sent a quick picture to the Kids of the motorway signs near Mechenheim where we used to go shopping. When on a de restricted Autobahn this is about as close as I ever get to the back of the car in front, it reduces stress and increases reaction times. With no further stresses we reached Rotterdam in time for the check in at 7 pm and then sailing at 22:15 and then we just waited onboard to start the final leg of our Journey to the wonderful Norfolk Broads, which captivated our hearts many years ago and still to this day raises anticipation to fever pitch. This is Millie’s recollection of the journey to Koln. After a lovely meal onboard Fiona and I briefly visited the bar for a beautifully chilled white I can’t quite remember the name of. For future reference it’s cheaper to buy the bottle than two large glasses and they will provide an ice bucket so one can retire to ones cabin!! Wake up time is 05:30 UK time which deserves no other epithet than bloody silly O’clock. Waking is facilitated by loud whistling played through the PA to the tune of “don’t worry, be happy”. Very annoying it is too, that tune is now for me forever ruined. We disembarked with zero fuss, there were no late donkeys blocking everyone else in and then we quickly cleared immigration and customs and we admit to giggling to ourselves as the black Porsche with Romanian plates in front of us was pulled aside for a thorough going over. We joined the A12 and A 140 and duly arrived in Stalham with no trials in time for breakfast of a meat pasty from Cawdrons on the high street.. Yummms. When we arrived at the boatyard Malanka was ready for us and she was looking absolutely magnificent in the morning sunlight. Phil’s guys had washed her to remove the “accumulation of stuff” that falls onto her in her Wet shed berth, and so post wash, she was all shiny and beautiful. As I previously mentioned the luggage area is not large in Millie and so we had to unpack prior to shopping, a major disadvantage one might think but it did get us started with zero fuss and focused on our decision making. Whilst we were traversing Germany the previous day Christian had been conversing with Fiona by text, suggesting that he could come with us for a couple of days, so we of course sent him some texts when we arrived (silly O’clock remember!) and then we waited until he was awake to get any answers. Christian lives in Norwich, so after shopping and storing all the purchased items in their prescribed locations, arrangements were made to see Christian in Salhouse Broad later that day. Plans made we discussed “stuff” with Phil and duly departed at half past two on a bimble down the Ant and then to Salhouse to pick up Christian and perhaps stay for the evening. We had the top down as the sun was beating down and the day was simply too good to miss and we were enjoying the newly serviced and smooth running engine and the resulting 3.5 mph pootling speed. We dawdled quite significantly as there was no need to rush and Christian duly met up with us at 18:00 in Salhouse, where we decided to have a brief walk, enjoy the evening and a lovely dinner before mudweighting later. After dinner we abandoned the idea of mudweighting as one couldn’t see ten feet, a sticky damp mist had formed which made moving anywhere a silly idea. Decision made we settled in to catch up with Christian where we learned he now had been made permanent by his employer after being taken on in October last year prior to the Christmas rush. There were another 300 or so who had not been so fortunate. It’s amazing that the next generation can communicate to friends from across the globe on three devices at once but it took a relaxing meal and the magic of Salhouse Broad for us to learn of his good fortune. After dinner with the mist hanging over everything like a soggy wooly blanket we decided to put on the Eber and warm things up a bit. Fiona activated the heating controls and we waited for the usual tick tick tick vvvrrrrrrr whhooosh vroooooom of the heating only to be a tad disappointed as there were some sounds emanating from beneath the wheelhouse boards but not the usual ones associated with a working Eber. Feeling for some airflow from the saloon heating vent there was, nothing, nichts, rein, nada, NOWT. We could hear noises but felt no heat, pondering this dichotomy I went into the wheelhouse to determine if any heat was issuing from the vent into the front cabin. I opened the door into the cabin to be met with a voluminous assault of pale blue diesel fumes pumping out of the vent into the cabin. “Bother dash it”, I said, “that’s not right”. Simultaneously to the assault by diesel fumes our resident CO alarm started to ping ping ping its raucus alarm note. We immediately turned off the heating and ventilated the entire boat until the alarm stopped telling us we were being poisoned. We fitted the CO alarm after our electrical fire of a few years ago, on this occasion there were no flames to discover or the need to deploy the fire extinguisher as in the previous encounter with a smoke filled boat. Please readers of this Tale. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A CO ALARM PLEASE GET ONE IMMEDIATELY. It may save your life. We cleared the boat of fumes, visible and invisible and determined that we would return to the boatyard tomorrow to see what the guys could find out. With that thought firmly in our minds we retired to Bedfordshire to reflect upon the day.
  38. 9 points
    it is always sad to hear such stories, it is a none too gentle reminder not to try fending off of anything with body parts, after all we are talking about boats weighing in at tons, even though they are moving relatively slowly they have a great deal of inertia, and they just dont stop.
  39. 9 points
    Wednesday 17th April We were headed for Surlingham this evening via a lunchtime stop at Rockland Staithe. Realising that the Post Office Stores was now a cafe (and a post office which no longer sold papers), after breakfast, I walked up the “Middle Hill” as it is called and made my way to the stores up there. Returning with the newspaper I made ready to depart the moorings around 9.30am. The tide was flowing out gently so holding the last rope. I let the stern of Goosander be pushed around by the current before stepping onboard and reversing out. It was noticeably warmer this morning. The sun was out and the breeze had dropped. I had rolled back one of the wheelhouse sides so it was a pleasant journey up the Yare to my lunchtime destination. Just as I was about to turn into the short dyke which links Rockland Broad, three large Herbert Woods craft came hurtling out. They had been on the Reedham Quay last night – two of them having to double moor. Anyway, I thought, better out than in as I cruised the regulation 3 mph down the dyke. I think Rockland Broad is so scenic and seems untouched by the madding crowd. It probably hasn’t changed at all in the last 100 years. Having cruised up to Rockland Staithe many times I knew where to head but it struck me that anyone new to the area would have difficulty finding the Broad exit dyke now as there are no longer any boats moored on the right-hand side. I proceeded slowly on, looking to see if there was any space for Goosander. There was actually plenty of room and I was able to come alongside the moorings so avoiding putting the mud weight down. There was only a couple of other boats in attendance so I decided to fly the drone again to get some aerial shots. I prefer it when nobody is around to watch. I have an awful fear that as someone is watching me, perhaps distracting me, I will make a horrible mess of the flight and that will be the last I see of the drone. The flight was successful – again the results follow. I wanted to fly closer to the Broad so I started walking down the pathway on the right-hand side of the dyke in the hope it might bring me out at the Broad. It didn’t though as it takes a veer to the right after around 300 metres behind a huge new house/building of some sort which is being built. I carried on for a little while and then just a few metres in front of me, a deer – possibly a muntjac? bounded from the undergrowth on one side, saw me then high-tailed it to the other side. I was also aware of his mate who was about to follow him until he saw me and ran back into the undergrowth, probably hiding until I had passed by. I can honestly say I am not sure who was the most shocked at this, me or the deer, less than 4 feet in front of me. I returned to Goosander and settled back for a homemade lunch. In that time, a couple of other boats came including a brand new looking Waveney River Centre cruiser named Waveney Andromeda. It could only have been a matter of week, perhaps days old and looked very smart. I had not reserved a mooring at The Surlingham Ferry as it was midweek but nevertheless, I thought it prudent to arrive there before 3pm to ensure a space. Surlingham is about an hour from Rockland so I cast off at 2pm and made my way down the narrow dyke, across the Broad and back out onto the Yare. The sun was shining and it was very pleasant now. I cruised on past Brundall and eventually came upon the Ferry at Surlingham. There were lots of people sitting on the tables outside but only a couple of boats moored. I was able to moor at right-angle to the river, at the end of the new moorings – again avoiding having to drop the mud weight. As luck would have it, I was moored quite close to an electricity post so I thought I would use it to charge everything up and as insurance, if the temperature dropped in the night. I put a £1 card in the slot (unusual as normally you just hold it against the screen) and waited for the credit to show... but it didn’t. I walked into the bar and asked if they sold tokens as I guessed they must be different to the standard ones. It seems you in effect rent a card for £10 of which £5 is refundable on its return, the rest being credit to use. I had no intention of paying £5 for one night’s electricity so I declined. Seeing so many people at lunchtime, I decided to book a table for 7pm and was glad I did as the place was heaving when I entered. Most were locals or perhaps people from Norwich. I chose the Liver and Bacon from the menu an was not disappointed. It arrived all chopped up in a lovely gravy complete with onions. Lots of veg and new potatoes provided the accompaniment. It was delicious. I wanted a dessert so I went for a homemade banana and toffee cheesecake (yes a cheesecake again!) It was gorgeous and I rate this meal as my second favourite of my time on this holiday. The place started to empty as people finished their meals so not many stay for the evening. I returned to Goosander around 8.30pm just as it was starting to get dark. It was forecast to be warmer still tomorrow so that was a pleasant thought to finish the day with. En-route Rockland Staithe Waveney Andromeda was following me! Looking at the sign I think one hit it! The Surlingham Ferry All Rockland Staithe from the drone The New Inn
  40. 9 points
    Easter Sunday I was awake early and decided to peer through canopy to see what a mooring in Norfolk is really like.. It's not a view I normally get as yeah I like my lay ins! I was a very atmospheric morning and I took a few pictures.. Perhaps I do need to try and get up a bit earlier this year and grab some more pictures soon... Of course I dosed of again but back up for 10am. My parents had plans to drop by and exchange some easter treats. I had kinda hoped that they was up early but a text message was waiting and we should expect them for lunch time. However it did mean that we should have time to run and see our friends. Sadly as we approached our friends boat we could see coast guards on the bank and paramedics and ambulances just by the bank. A little closer the Ice cream lady appeared from the boat and we had a quick word... He's OK but yeah not good sadly.. I'm going to stop there and likely not mention on this blog anymore but wanted to as he was on our minds all weekends but we exchanged contact details and thankfully at time of writing all is stable. Back on the river, we decided to head back to the yard as my Parents had just left Brundall so should be at the yard as we arrive. Orca was all moored up safely, Dave unloaded the boat whilst I sat and compiled a shopping list. Annoyingly despite lots of work being done on Orca last summer there was still a few niggles which just need to be ironed out and completed, all simple things like sorting the burgees, sorting burgees, I had hoped to get the upholstery sorted whilst working with some trimming company but that didn't happen so we will need to do these (albeit slowly), neither air horn was working and the new fridge needs some more vents. Also sadly the dinghy "Jaws" had a bit of an accident last year so needs replacing! My Parents arrived goodies exchanged and we was all soon on the way home. We are back on the boat though the next coming bank holiday and despite the health issues with our friend we both had a brilliant weekend and it was really nice to be back aboard, I guess the amazing weather helped a lot!
  41. 9 points
    Quite simply Yes Me. Without a shadow of doubt. The pub enhances the holiday, not makes it
  42. 9 points
    Thanks Guys :) Easter Eve I awoke pretty late at long gone 10am. Peering outside Dave had long taken the canopy off and the Rivers where already pretty busy with the day boat traffic but yup all of the overnight boats had long gone! It was already feeling very warm, certainly a typical summers day. It was still early enough though so I fancied a quick run into Wroxham as the GPS tracks clearly show that we haven't really been into Wroxham that many times. I can't actually remember when the last time we was in Wroxham with the boat. I jumped on the helm we was quickly away upstream. I like heading briefly into Wroxham broad again it's not a spot we've every really explorer dispite just going in and back out.. I guess it's because it's almost a bit unwelcoming with all the Private signs, I do wonder why the Yacht club doesn't kinda welcome visitors with a mooring.. maybe one day we will overnight on the broad there. Back out the broad a little further up we was going pretty slowly but there was a bathtub boat which was zigzagging left and right, crew sitting on the roof enjoying Wroxham slowly passing by, unfortunately we had to overtake as the boat was barely moving and we had a bit of a convoy behind us. It was a bit tough as upon overtaken there was a very young child on the helm kinda playing with the steering wheel, The boat wasn't really a hazard but I couldn't help thinking that a little more supervision probably would have wise certainly being here in Wroxham where there's lots of boats wizzing around! Wroxham was certainly very busy with boats being dropped off at Barnes and hireboats being collected, we didn't get too close to the bridge as it was just too busy, it was nice to see that there's stern on moorings beside the hotel though, so hopefully we may have some chance mooring here a little later in the year. Once back underway, I left Dave on the helm and went to sit up front again.. My new favourite spot.. Seeing wroxham slowly drifting pass on this warm morning was pretty relaxing. I spotted a gap over at the nature reserve moorings and signalled to Dave to moor up for a walkies, he didn't fancy his luck as it was a small gap but easy enough for me, I just span around and drifted sideways with the help of the tide. Dave tied the bow and I did some loop things around a post at the stern (I still can't do a proper hitch but Dave always does it again anyway. The attendant in the reserve advised that there was only one other party in the reserve so we should have a pleasent walk. We really do this walk each time we are here at salhouse, Its a nice walk and we've spotted some cool wildlife here, including grass snakes and frogs/toads so it's never a walk to miss. This season it was clear that there was new information boards were being installed which certainly interesting to read through. I've no idea how long we spend but we was overtaken by another group so yeah it probably wasn't much of an energetic walk and we didn't really spot any wildlife but still relaxing anyway. Back to Orca, a Hunters fleet boat was struggling beating into the wind and against the outbound tide but was still moving forward, she certainly looked a postcard the crew certainly agreed with me that thankfully they wasn't in a rush! For a few years I've really wanted to hire one of these at least for a couple of days.. Every time I see one it only makes me want to more.. so maybe sometime soon we will hire one. Back on the boat, I got Orca out of a tight berth, people really knock stern drives but they are pretty amazing at manevouring, kinda as good as the other boat with it's twin engines and thrusters. It was far too nice to be sitting at the helm so over to Dave, I went forward again and again really enjoyed staying up front pretty much all the way to the mouth of the Ant. Annoying the wind was starting to pick up just as we approached ludham bridge, Despite what I say about stern drives, Orca hates the wind and is easily affected at the bridge here if it's a side wind, its one reason why I wanted the Anchor winch, so I hoped for the best, dropped 5 meters of mudweight chain so the mudweight is ready to take the ground if needed and hold us whilst we wait to navigate the bridge but thankfully no other boats were about so we quickly run through the bridge. We needed some bits for BBQ tonight which meant stopping here and heading to the shop.. there was only a couple of spots and two day boats was mooring up and trying to take up a fair chunk of the berths left, Orca wanted to turn around to moor up so I quickly span around (Yup she can do in her own length which is pretty amazing when needed!) and she sat happily in the wind waiting to slot in just infront of the day boats.. I'm not sure they was overly impressed with me kinda asking for some space but yeah Orca's not a fan of the wind and current her so it's typically a bit of a crash landing. Anyway sorting through the tourist trinkets in the shop and ignoring the prices we grabbed the bits needed, Dave wouldn't let me get a pirate sword and we didnt need any tea towels apparently :( I took the helm as Dave had been driving for most of the day, we wanted a wild mooring for a BBQ and the last night of this short trip. After a few potential spots but most of our favourite spots already taken we spotted a gap just downstream of Barton broad. I wasn't overly happy as there was lots of roots visible and through the clear water you could see some sticking out below the water. Once moored though I grabbed the boat hook and did a sweep on the hull and everything felt good (One of the good bits about being on the non tidal bit of the broads!). The ice cream boat was spotted and flag down, she mentioned that she saw our friends overnight and they would love to see us, we had a long and promised to head up tomorrow.. Of course two more strawberry ice creams were consumed! She wanted to start heading home but a couple of passing day boats couldnt resist not helped by my sales pitch, I got a scowled look from the ice-cream lady as she drifted back to work :) Dave dug the Cobb and BBQ out and got it going.. More yummy Kebabs and proper cheese burgers consumed. Just before dark we spotted what looked like a couple of Dogs struggling in the water but looking closer it looked to be 3 otters fishing or playing. I grabbed my phone and took a quick movie.. Personally I love seeing otters, certainly reminding me of seeing otters in the sanctuary in Bungay many years ago, thankfully we seem to spot them every time we are on the Ant and even in the Marina. Once the sunset again it quickly cooled down so we retreated back to the wheelhouse to finish off the movie from last night whilst catching the sight of the bats going mad outside the boat clearly having a huge feast.
  43. 8 points
    Today was a busy day, 7am start, down to wroxham, through the bridge and on to potter, through that at just a shade under 6 foot, then on to candle dyke. After changing to Pauline's boat we then sailed to west somerton, brewed a cuppa, then sailed up to the pleasure boat where we had our evening meal. (I had a most excellent suet pastry steak and kidney pud.) Then it was a sail back to where I had left Judith 5 on candle dyke, just around the corner from martham boatyard, ready to hand back in the morning.
  44. 8 points
    Evening meal last night was aboard Malanka, a wonderful meatball casserole prepared From scratch, on a bed of his special rice, (if this is ever offered to you don't pass it up, it is gorgeous). Followed by a great evening chatting with Martin, Sonia and Simon - great company that passed the hours way too fast, but all too soon it was time for bed, it will be an early-ish start this morning as I want to get back the other side of potter bridge today. The week has been excellent so far and the end of this solo adventure is approaching far too rapidly, a good week with great company found on the way, old friends met and new friends made.
  45. 8 points
    This boils down to two points for me: 1) it is either a law, or guidance. One can be enforced, the other cannot. I feel sure I could write some very detailed guidance for how the BA should operate and things that’s they should do, and even get it published and circulated. With much regret, my chances of ever enforcing my guidance on BA in a court of law are nada.... 2) the point of the law is to ensure that vessels can be identified easily and accurately, which allows BA to do so for checking that they have paid tolls, allows other vessels to identify them in case of any issues/accidents etc. The point of the guidance appears to be similar, to aid easy and accurately identification from the rear and from either side. I suggest the current placing of Broad Ambition’s identification mark would allow easy and accurate identification from each side and the rear. If m’lud has no further questions, then I shall rest my case....
  46. 8 points
    Hi all and sorry for the delay in continuing my last post, but we at last got started on our new boat Elusive. 9 new planks to replace as a earlier owner had Larch instead of Mahogany, must have saved about 5 Bob so now will be ripped out.. Got started last week and stripped the topside paint back to bare wood and started sanding, did it by hand in 2days with a hot gun and Scarston scaper, just 2 of us. Boat goes into Cox's shed after bank hol , new planks and splines topside Epoxy coated and back into varnish. We shall be in the yard over the next long weekend completing final paint and antifoul strip,pop in and say hello if your passing. Regards Paul and Ann Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app
  47. 8 points
    Very interesting photographic collection of the disused Beccles to Tivetshall railway line by RTW501 can be found on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/rtw501/albums/72157628163229983/page1 Fred
  48. 8 points
    I've finally got around to finishing off the cross panel I started off last term. Classes started off again this last Thursday, and both Graham and I have signed up again. This is what the panel looked like at the end of last term: and my progress on Thursday: Finished off the soldering. Here's the completed panel, but without the 'patina' applied to the solder... Here's the finished cross with the patina... ...and with the light behind it... Meanwhile, Graham has been working on his first piece for fusing: When it's finished, he's hoping it will turn out looking like a collie.
  49. 8 points
    Davydine's post rolled back the years to July 1987 and a holiday on the Broads after graduating before six of us (three couples) went our separate ways. We booked a six berth centre cockpit cruiser from Aston in Beccles. I had been on the Broads about a dozen times with my parents prior to then so I was put in charge... I was allowed to borrow my dad's car (Volvo 340GL in metallic brown) for the journey down from Nottingham, me, the girlfriend and a car full of her luggage, despite warnings of lack of storage. We successfully arrived in Beccles after five fraught hours on the road, the others in the party having taken the train to Norwich and then Beccles. The first problem was that the boat had a twin cabin and a double cabin, the second double being a converted sofa in the centre cockpit / lounge. We drew lots, I ended up with the fore twin cabin, not the worst place to be... Guess what? about 75% of the clothes that my girlfriend brought with her stayed in the car. We had a week of glorious weather, however, the couple who slept in the lounge didn't get up until late so we missed every early morning that week. The boat was well past its prime, however, it was cheap. We didn't hit anything or break anything. We took it through Wroxham Bridge without a pilot and managed to see most of everywhere. Memories are like old Polaroid photo's, somewhat faded around the edges but reflective of a gentler time...
  50. 8 points
    Don't worry Mark - there will still be business for you, once they have got the threads crossed on the fuel connections, put the fuel filter back on with the gasket cocked and wonder why they can't bleed the air out, snapped off the head studs in the thermostat housing, failed to align the raw water pump pulley and wondered why the gearbox rear oil seal is pouring oil because they failed to check the shaft alignment after launching the boat (or didn't know how to). You still can't beat practical, hands-on experience, especially with old engines.
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