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  1. 18 points
    Whoopee! Graham and I are now confirmed members of the Moonlight Shadow syndicate. We are very much looking forward to our first week on her during the August bank holiday week. (Oh! Er! Never been on the Broads before during school holidays apart from a day boat above Potter.) It’s all thanks to SueH really. She and her husband were kind enough to show us around Moonlight Shadow back in 2017, when we happened to moor behind her at Norwich. It’s taken us a while as we had my Mam to look after in 2017 and over the past couple of years I’ve been quite restricted in the weeks I could take as leave. Given we’ve not been on the Broads during the summer madness before, can anyone offer advice on good (I.e.likely to be available) places to moor? The tides are good for getting through Yarmouth, and although I know it will be more busy ‘oop north’, I fancy having at least a couple of days on the northern rivers as we’ll be restricted to the south on our next allocated week in February. I made the mistake of listening to the Mike Oldfield song on YouTube last night. Can’t get it out of my head. Am driving Graham mad too, as I keep humming it. Still, I feel like dancing!
  2. 18 points
    This is what the view from Thorpe Green used to look like in the 1950s and 60s. The first one shows the hire fleet on a Saturday in August, 1955, and was taken by Fred Low, who was resident photographer for Coes of Norwich. He was well known and liked, as he also took all the society wedding photos around the county in those days! I suggest to Paul and other new members that they might like to have a look at the history section of the forum, where there is a thread called "Vaughan's memories", started by our dear departed friend JillR, and where he may find the answers to most of his questions. There are also two ciné films taken by my mother, which show what the boatyard was like, and life on the island as it was then. This is where the forum can provide such a valuable archive of history and other information, in a way that facebook never can.
  3. 18 points
    Well it has been an exciting time. I have bought an Alphacraft 29 Sports bridge, re named her Legacy because that's how I could afford her. A friend and I are still getting to grips with a thorough clean through and a bit of varnishing as well as making her dog safe. Chugged up and down a bit and practised mooring, peered at the engine checked the bilge pump and tried to look like I am an old hand! This Saturday another friend and I are on a hire boat, Sonnet 3 from Barnes. We decided to still have this holiday as Legacy isn't quite kitted out for a week yet, so hope to get some waves as we cruise by "the hand type not like storm Doris last year, very choppy"! I will do photos later in the year.
  4. 16 points
    Yes she went through at 6'5 1/2" with close to 20 people on board including a family who just happened to be passing at the right moment. I did try to film it from the back deck but it wasn't my camera and I didn't set it right A fabulous effort from the forum members though for which we thank you all. Piccys to follow once the nice young lady who sat on the bench, camera poised, whilst her hubby took his life in his hands aboard Finale gets home and posts them.
  5. 15 points
    Although we moved our boat from Horning to our moorings at Brundall, when we spent a night on board due to the tide times through Yarmouth, we had been looking forward to this weekend with eager anticipation as itvwas to be our first proper weekend break. We set off from home shortly after 18:00 on Friday evening and arrived at our moorings about two and a half hours later, after a relatively easy journey. We'd collected a takeaway from the Chinese which was eaten before we unpacked the car and stowed our things on Norfolk Lady. Both of us had been up for work early that morning and it wasn't long before we went to bed, very tired, but very happy to be spending our first weekend on board. Saturday dawned and there was no rush to go anywhere. The immersion heater was on and once the water was heated, we showered and got ready before wandering down to the Co-Op for some essential supplies. Back at the yard, we topped up with water and set off on the start of our new adventure. It was quite overcast, but for once, it didn't seem to matter. We were on our boat! We headed for Reedham and I was quite surprised at how busy the river was. We found a gap near the Rangers hut to moor and eased into the space. The ranger came out to assist and we had a chat for a while as several large cruisers sped through. After lunch, we cast off again, with a mooring at Pyes Mill the intended destination. It was a pleasant cruise and we passed several craft heading the other way, so I was hopeful that there would be space for us. Sure enough, there was a space at the end furthest from Loddon basin, which suited us. Nice and quiet and grass for the dog to mooch around, too. We wandered in the village, over the bridge and through the field, coming out near The Kings Head, the outside of which seems to have been painted since our last visit. We needed a couple of bits from the Co-Op that I'd forgotten on my visit earlier, before returning to Norfolk Lady, past the church and through the lanes, back to our moorings. The wife did some sewing, I did a crossword or two and we idly whirled away the afternoon with a bottle of wine (each). As we sat in the aft cockpit, the sky cleared and left a glorious, sunny evening to enjoy. I cooked our meal, we watched tv for a while before retiring to bed. Owning our own boat was an ambition I'd held for almost 50 years. As time passed, the idea that it would be realised became more and more remote, however due to my wife's diligence, this has turned into reality. I cannot express how lucky I feel.
  6. 15 points
    As many of you know, we own a static caravan at Lowestoft and whilst still hiring the occasional boat as well, this allows us to visit the area much more frequently than we would otherwise do. Many summer weekends are spent in the area and when I can get some time off work, then we can have a longer break without having to book accommodation or worry about arrival or departure times, and knowing exactly what we will find ... because it's ours. We live just under two hours' drive away and it is a very stress-free thing to do. It suits us. Last week we were able to spend Sunday to Friday at the van. Yes, it was deliberately planned this way to be sandwiched between the first two Saturdays of the football season!! I know my place! ;) We had a really good journey up on the Sunday morning. Arrived, unpacked, had coffee and then headed to Tesco's for some shopping. We upgraded our caravan at the end of last year and had a new deck built around it. This was our first chance to make use of the extended outside space so the rest of a lovely sunny day was spent sat outside. Hmmm ... that leaves me with no photos to share from day one so instead here's a few pictures from a visit to Bungay a while ago now. Whilst not accessible as part of the Broads we had seen it on someone else's YouTube channel and were interested to visit. It had a similar feel to Beccles and we enjoyed a couple of hours mooching around.
  7. 15 points
    I am setting off to the Broads hopefully leaving by 6.00 am and getting to the boat before lunch, my Brother in law Jon is joining me for the early part of the week before joining his family at Cromer on Friday. . Looking forward to being back on the rivers again.
  8. 15 points
    The tale of my recent trip aboard Goosander for a week. Saturday 6th July After a rather painless journey down from Leeds, I arrived at Goosander’s door around midday. I unloaded the car and relayed the contents to their new home for the next seven days. So suitcase, groceries, cool bag, drone, computer, kitchen sink – sorry not kitchen sink, left that in the car as Goosander already has one. The plan for the rest of the day was to fly the drone over Wroxham once the Faircraft boatyard had closed down (so around 6pm) and then go for a meal in the Kings Head. Just over a year ago, I tried the same thing but the drone stopped working and I had to abort the “flypast”. So around 4pm I drove back in to Wroxham and parked outside this little store called Roys. I had a walk around town, visited some of the boatyards whilst at the same time keeping an eye open for suitable launch sites. One of the recent forum subjects has been on the whereabouts of the new Barnes Brinkcraft apartments – The River Views on the opposite bank to the boatyard. With time to waste, I decided to look for them. Whilst doing so I realised the nearby car park would be an excellent launch site. So I walked back to the car to pick up the drone and returned hoping that there would not be lots of people about, as I prefer to be undisturbed. And lets face it, a drone coming down in the river won’t do much for my street cred. Anyway, I duly launched the aircraft (fed up of writing drone) and did a circle around Wroxham. The results follow. Towards the end of the flight, I was joined by a chap who had been watching and wanted to know costs etc. So I carefully returned the drone to base without mishap and then chatted for a while before retiring to the Kings Head for a celebratory meal. The Wroxham flight was a big deal for me as it had taken a year to get the right conditions again (long days so I could fly in good light after 6pm) so I was pleased to tick it off my list. I chose the Chicken and Mushroom Pie at the Kings Head, having had the same last October, and it was just as good. I left Wroxham around 8pm and decided to call in at the New Inn in Horning before returning to Goosander. The New inn had live music on, a trio called… Trio so I thought it would be interesting to see what they were like. They consisted of two chaps and a female lead singer. I had intended to take in just the first set, around an hour, but stayed on for more as they were really quite good. It was mostly middle of the road stuff, 70s to 90s, and not too loud. So I left around 10pm to return to the mooring. I should add that it had been raining for most of the day, only stopping around 5pm, so I was hoping for a better day tomorrow. Goosander is a syndicate boat, for those who don't know. This is the old Brister Boatyard site in Wroxham. We hired from them many times - they were always the preferred choice, until they closed around 15 years ago I think. It's amazing that nothing has been done with the site, save for tearing down the sheds. I guess it must be connected to planning permission, as this is prime apartment land! The drone shots of Wroxham
  9. 15 points
    Tuesday 9th July It surprised me how early some boats were casting off for the day. I suppose, if you are only out for in effect, three full days (Monday to Friday), you need to get a move on. After breakfast, I walked to the shop for a paper, then made ready to cast off for today’s destination, Yarmouth Yacht Station. The sky was overcast and there was a cool breeze, but as previous days had brightened up in the afternoon, I would not miss much by cruising the 17 odd miles to Yarmouth in one go. So I departed around 9.30am, and was soon onto the River Bure. Low water was timed for 09.45hrs at Yarmouth, so I would have most of the ebbing tide en-route, and helpfully, the tide would be against me when arriving at the Yacht Station. Just after passing the observation tower at the old Yarmouth Marina, I telephoned the Yacht Station, asking for assistance in mooring as a lone sailor (something I do each time I visit). I must have done it a few times as the Quay Ranger (still not sure if that’s the correct term) knew what Goosander looked like and even recognised my voice! So I approached my allotted mooring, just outside their offices, and came alongside with the rangers ready to take the ropes. I didn’t make a drama out of a crisis! After paying my £13 overnight mooring fees (worth every penny for the way they tie the boat up to take account of the rising and falling tides) I strolled into Great Yarmouth. It was still miserably grey and as I got closer to the sea, the breeze was keener and cooler. So it was not one of my best visits to the town, though I still carried out my ritual of having chips from one of the salons in the market area, followed by a de-greasing coffee at McDonalds. A further walk to the promenade to see the sea, was enough for me so I made my way back to Goosander, arriving around 4pm. The Yacht Station moorings were fuller than I have ever seen them outside the school holidays, stretching right around the bend. There was no need for double mooring though I was assured by the rangers that this would happen in a few weeks time. I settled back on the boat for a while, planning to go out for an evening meal around 7pm. Not long before, I noticed a large Richardsons cruiser punching it’s way through the now ebbing current, having just crossed Breydon. It went past and the noise from the engine slowly dissipated. However a few minutes later, I saw the same boat drifting back down sideways, with its captain shouting over to the rangers office that he needed help. His engine kept cutting out. Plainly it would start up but then stall again. Me and probably the majority of the crews watching, were panic stricken as to what would happen to these poor unfortunates drifting slowly out to sea. The rangers strolled down to the end of the moorings and waited for the cruiser to come by before instructing the captain to throw a rope over. It was caught and the boat was lashed to an adjacent Commander style Richardsons boat for company. A bit like speed-dating I suppose. You never know what’s going to sit down next to you. I remember thinking well there must be one of the most expensive boats in Herbert Woods fleet, “making friends” with one of Richardsons' cheapest. It appears that the boat’s engine had been overheating and that’s why it kept stalling. So drama over, I cast myself off and made my way to the Kings Arms, which is on the road which runs adjacent to the Yacht Station road. The food is always good at the Kings Arms and remembering how I enjoyed the rump steak in a baguette with chips and salad last time I was there, it was an easy decision to choose the same again. This was followed by white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake and washed down with a pint of Fosters. The total cost of all this was just £12.05 – Bargain! I stayed until 9 ish then returned to Goosander for the rest of the evening. Now here's something you don't see often at Yarmouth Yacht Station The Haven Lift Bridge never gets photographed on here! Busy Yacht Station The errant Richardsons' cruiser
  10. 15 points
    After a good nights sleep, I was awake early on Sunday morning. I’m usually up around 04:15 for work and it’s a hard habit to break, but I did manage to doze off and rolled out of bed around 06:00. The kettle went on and despite the forecast of a grey, cloudy day, I was greeted by the sight of the sun rising over the river to the stern of the boat. Camera in hand, I stepped onto the bank and took a few photos, before returning make a cuppa. The wife was stirring and she readied herself to take Harley (our Staffie) for a walk. It was too early to run the engine for hot water and with no shore power, the immersion was of little use, so I spent a few minutes sitting quietly, thinking about our journey to the position we found ourselves in now and how lucky we had been. I’m still not sure that I quite believe that Norfolk Lady is ours, although the bill for necessary work completed since the purchase was completed, has helped it to sink in! The wife returned with the dog and I cooked breakfast, grilled bacon, scrambled eggs and sautéed baby plum tomatoes. It went down a treat, too. By that time, it was well past 08:00, so I started the engine for hot water and when sufficiently heated, went for a shower. The wife followed as I finished and we were soon dressed and ready. There was no great rush to go anywhere and I had no real plans for the day, but the clouds had rolled in and the sky was grey and leaden. We waited for a while, but decided to set off for a steady cruise back to the yard and our moorings. We cast off sometime after 11:00 and chugged slowly back up The Chet, turning left onto The Yare at the junction. There was quite a bit of traffic on the rivers, both hired and private, together with a smattering of sailies, clearly making the most of the breezy conditions. I can’t remember when we arrived back at base, probably between 13:30 & 14:00. We had rolls for lunch and I set about starting to clean Norfolk Lady up. We’d been left some boat cleaning products to try by the proprietor of our home yard, including some shampoo, so armed with a newly acquired deck scrubbing brush and a bucket, I attacked the grubby decks and cabin roof and was amazed at how well they came up. I cannot say for sure how much difference the shampoo itself made, but I was well pleased with the results. Debbie (the wife), had packed up the bits and pieces we needed to take back home and loaded the car. We had a chat with one of the other owners at the yard, who have a boat similar to ours and chewed the fat with them for a while, before finally locking up Norfolk Lady at about 16:30 to visit Steve and Deb, who also recently completed the purchase of their boat, which is also moored in Brundall. Id booked a table at The Ferry House for dinner, so took our leave in time to drive to Surlingham, where we enjoyed another good meal at one of our favourite Broadland pubs, before making the journey home to Northampton. It was always a wrench at the end of a holiday leaving the area that both the wife and I have come to love over the years and now regard as our spiritual home but we’ll be back very soon for another weekend on our boat. It’s a feeling that I never believed I would enjoy, but now we are in this fortunate position, it’s one that I fully intend to make the most of.
  11. 14 points
    Selsie and I had the great honour of being invited to the Beccles Wooden Boat Show despite being plastic, but we had a task to do as photographer boat. Having only bought Luna in November and working on her most weekends, we had only been to Salhouse for the spring meet and Ranworth a couple of times so this to us was a massive adventure, and I will admit I was nervous but having completed the week, it was the best thing we could have done and now full of confidence. Thank you Janet Anne for always being so positive about our abilities! (Im not sure the photos will load in order as i struggle with the ipad) 7th August 2019 Departed Horning at 11.30 and arrived at Stracey Arms at 2.15. Perfect side on mooring which of course as we were first to arrive, no one could marvel at the skill. We met up with quite a few other boats going to the show and had had lovely evening getting to know everyone and catching up with old friends. We all waited in anticipation for the newlyweds to arrive. Royal Tudor and Finale duly arrived with the romantic sunset behind them. We then retired for the night to prepare for a 10.00 am start in the morning.
  12. 14 points
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  13. 14 points
    No everything went well, most of my pictures are on the camera until I get home, here's a few from my tablet PC
  14. 14 points
    Friday 12th July I had a lot planned for my last day aboard Goosander. Being further up the Bure than I had expected to be, I decided I would first go for a lunchtime stop at Potter Heigham, followed by a cruise up to Cockshoot Dyke via another quick stop at Thurne to launch the drone. After that I would deposit Goosander back in her home mooring then take my car up to Coltishall for a second drone outing of the day. So at 9.30am on another warm sunny morning, I cast off in a fairly slack tide and continued my way up the Bure to the junction with the Thurne. I estimated I would get to Potter around 11am, which hopefully would see me bag a riverside mooring. I certainly had no plans to pay £20 to moor in Herbert Woods yard! Potter came into view and actually, mooring space was plentiful. So arriving mid morning or mid afternoon before boats stop cruising, really does help, even when it’s busy. I turned Goosander around and came alongside opposite the HW entrance. A passing chap kindly took one of my ropes while I got the other. We both pulled Goosander closer to the boat in front to give others a chance of mooring. This was not the first time I had experienced this behaviour on this trip, so hopefully the message is starting to get out there. It was too early for lunch so I walked to Lathams and had a wander around. Amazingly, I managed to come out without buying anything other than a newspaper. I reflected for a moment as to whether I had become too discerning to need any of the stuff they sell, or if perhaps it just meant my house was already full of it! Bridgestones was next on the itinerary – well you can’t pass the door without going in for a coffee and a piece of decadent cake can you? Well that put paid to the healthy salad I had planned for lunch. I had a walk around the HW yard and noticed they were building another of the Broom Captain type boats in one of the sheds. Sorry I forget what HW call them. It got to about 1pm ( by which time the moorings were full), so I decided to make my way down to Thurne. I wasn’t going to be staying long so was hoping to avoid going down into the dyke to moor. On approaching, I could see the very first space on the outside green part of the moorings, was available. This would be ideal as its right next to the mill. I pulled alongside and noticed there were no posts to tie up to. A passing chap pointed out a mooring ring at one end, which I tied up to. The breeze was blowing down the Thurne so I was fortunate that Goosander’s bow was kept next to the side, while I looked for somewhere else to tie up to. A rhond anchor would have been useful but as a sole sailor, there is no time to get back onboard, find it and then use it. In the end I tied up to the base of the signpost on the green. It wasn’t going to be for long and it seemed quite stable. The breeze was touching 15mph, which is the recommended limit for my drone, so I was a little worried it could all end in disaster. In fairness, I always am. It has happened to me. A while ago I launched it and as the joke goes, it flew back home to China. I never saw it again and it cost around £100 to replace the aircraft. It was my own fault, I had become distracted, and had not set it up properly to fly. Now you know why I prefer to use it in secluded areas. Anyway, I did not push my luck, I got the images and in five minutes, the drone was back on the ground. In 15 minutes, I was casting off and making my way to Cockshoot Dyke. The sun was beating down so I was looking forward to walking the path at Cockshoot. I visited it this time last year, and remember how calming and soothing it was to be in the middle of this place, teeming with dragonflies, butterflies, waterfowl etc. As I rounded the bend, I could see a good mooring spot, on the far side of the dyke, and made for that. It’s an excellent spot, as the sun is behind you, showering the bend in the river with bright light, making just watching the passing boats, a delight. I grabbed my camera and walked down the trail. I passed nobody, and felt I was the only human sharing this special place with its inhabitants. Back on Goosander, I had a little more to eat as the Bridgestones cake was not as much in evidence now. Around 3.30pm (I think) I set off again heading for Goosander’s pad. Cockshoot and Goosander’s pad are relative neighbours so 15 minutes later I was alongside securing the ropes. Back in the car, I drove to Coltishall in around 15 minutes (1hr 15mins by boat) and parked alongside Coltishall Common, I think it’s called. Friday afternoon – sun is out – so were most of the people sitting on their boats. I walked the green trying to find a launch spot not so close to inquisitive eyes, but I had to accept that if I was going to get the images, I would have to do it amongst the “throngs”. I sat on a bench near the road and started flying the drone. Hoping nobody would notice it. Anyway, I did a circuit and managed to get it down again and flying towards me on the bench. Being a little too clever, I tried to manoeuvre it to my feet, which propellers probably eat for breakfast, and I ended up jumping out of the way while it came to rest under the bench. Not a good look, but hopefully nobody was watching. I packed up and made my way back to Wroxham in the car to buy a couple of gifts I had seen at Roys earlier. I had planned to eat at the Ferry Inn in Horning this evening, but passing the fish and chip shops, the aroma was beaconing me in. So instead I had fish and chips whilst sat on the benches at the Pilot pick up site. Back at the boat, I unloaded and got changed for the evening. I was aware that the Ferry had entertainment on so I walked around and sat listening to someone called Fiona Harbor sing for a little while. She was shall we say, OK. I preferred to be sat outside so I occupied a table close enough to listen but not actually be assaulted by the sound, for the rest of the evening. Note: As I have so many photographs from today, I have left the drone flight images over Coltishall until tomorrow’s, last day commentary. Potter Heigham Thurne Mill Very flash Awww! Cockshoot Dyke Water ON a ducks back Thurne Dyke Looking down towards the junction with the River Bure Looking up towards Potter Heigham
  15. 14 points
    Hi @JennyMorgan, I’ve just had a chat with the team responsible for cutting. Cutting Sluttons was on our plan to be cut in early July but unfortunately we have been diverted onto the main navigation in Norwich as plant growth is significant there. We also had a weeks delay with our machine which partially sunk at Beccles (cause unknown) which caused a slight delay and meant that Sluttons was not cut when originally planned. We are returning to the area after cutting on the Upper Yare and Wensum and the cut should hopefully take place during the 2nd or 3rd week of August when we return to the Waveney for its second cut. Water levels and temperatures are meaning that plant growth is even more significant than normal and we are working hard to keep everywhere clear as possible. Hope that’s helpful, Tom
  16. 14 points
    Monday 8th July I could feel the warmth of the day as soon as I opened the curtains. The sun was already high and though there will still some clouds around, the sun was arm wrestling them out of the way. It was too warm for a cooked breakfast (a scenario repeated for the rest of the holiday) so I opted for Mornflake Tropical Granola. Seemed appropriate given the weather. My itinerary for today was to visit Dilham at lunchtime, where I hoped to launch the drone, then to spend the night back at Ludham Bridge. The two Commander hullabaloo boats, which had been making a hellabaloo yesterday, were on their way around 8.30am, I guess on their way back to Richardsons. I left the moorings around 9.15am, guessing that I would have more chance of bagging one of the limited spaces at Dilham if I arrived before lunch. I had not been that way for years, but remember that the dyke leading from Wayford Bridge becomes very narrow and that the North Walsham Canal leads off to the right. So I checked the bridge headroom, which at 7ft, allowed Goosander to squeeze under, and proceeded on, keeping to the left at the junction with the North Walsham Canal. Eventually, I came across another fork in the dyke, which I have to say I did not remember. A sign pointing to Dilham was facing me, but was quite overgrown so you could not actually see which way it was directing me. I sort of remembered that I must keep left and cruised down this ever narrowing waterway which was covered in weed and dead leaves. Well I had my doubts that this backwater led to Dilham and my suspicions were confirmed when I reached a dead end, with a few small boats moored at one side and someone’s garden at the other. I managed to turn Goosander round and high-tailed it back to the junction. Clearly I should have gone right, and once I took that turning, I did indeed start to recognise the route to Dilham. I arrived at the moorings to find no other boats in sight, so I turned around and moored in the first spot, just before the adjoining garden. Once tied up, I broke out the drone and flew a circuit just as another boat was making its way into the moorings. The drone was safely back down and I now have a routine of taking the SD card from the drone following a flight and replacing it with another so that should disaster happen and the drone either flies off or crashes to the ground (both possible), I’ll still have the footage I’ve just taken. I then transfer it to my laptop to safely store. By the time I was ready to depart, the moorings were full – mainly because a group of canoers had moored side on individually, taking up the room of two fair sized cruisers. At least one boat had to turn around and head back out. So around 1.30pm I was on my way again, heading for Ludham Bridge. There were very few boats about, and Barton was a shadow of its former self. Approaching Ludham Bridge, I could see that there was space in almost the same location as the previous day (a bit like having the same aircraft seat number out and back”), so I headed for that and tied up for the rest of the day. I had arrived around 3pm, before the Richardsons floodgates had opened, but after a while the usual congestion at the bridge ensued, provided my afternoon entertainment. Around 6.45pm, I wandered down the road to The Dog, which was already well patronised. Looking through the menu, I opted for the Liver, Bacon and Onions, with mash and veg. It made a change from everything with chips, the usual motto of Broads hostelries. It was delicious! I had thought about the steak cooked on hot stones, which I had experienced and loved in Gran Canaria a few years ago, but looking at the size of the steak (huge) and accompanying ensemble, I considered I had made the right choice. I stayed reading my paper until around 9pm, then returned to the boat in time to watch the sun go down on another lovely day. The wrong turning I was high-tailing out of at Dilham Proper Dilham Proper Ludham Bridge Room for one more on top! All Dilham from the drone I think this is Tonnage Bridge?
  17. 13 points
  18. 13 points
    Sorry to have missed the ride but no paparazzi boarding passes issued.
  19. 13 points
    Well I’d finished my book and was twiddling my thumbs after being stuck downriver from Beccles due to the wind and high water (I hate mooring single handed, let alone in high winds). I was getting quite concerned having moored under very large willow trees in such strong gusts of wind. However, having had multiple back operations there was no way I was going to attempt mooring again and end up being carried along in the water holding on for dear life as the wind blew myself, dog and boat away. I became very concerned when something heavy fell onto the boat. It turned out to be a large willow branch. Well, waste not want not..........
  20. 13 points
    As we are getting closer to the beginning of Gracie's next voyage, I suppose I had better finish off this one. “as one by one the scents and sounds and names of long-forgotten places come gradually back and beckon to us.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows Feeding the ducks. I am not a supporter of the 'do not feed the ducks bread brigade'. Let's say I've been sceptical ever since this Facebook driven marketing campaign by pet food manufacturers reared its head. It takes a matter of seconds to track the money changing hands, and a little perseverance to wade through the pseudo-science. Calls related to malnourished water fowl have increased ten fold these last few years here in Lincolnshire. On my beloved Broads, the wildlife populations have changed drastically. The Broads are stuffed with harriers, heron, otter, buzzards, hawks, cormorant, and owl. I often wonder what all these predators are eating and was wondering exactly this point watching eight barn owls hunting the meadow behind the pilot office at Potter Heigham Bridge, when a common buzzard grabbed one of the owls. The answer being, each other! Populations of grey lag geese currently seem to stand out on The Broads. The uniformity of the flock making the lack of duck and coot more prominent. Duck and coot seem to have vanished. My favourite bird the Great Crested Grebe are still here but not in any number. A centre cockpit boat above the reeds exposes the myth the missing birds are in flood dykes. So, you will see me feeding the 'ducks' or in the case of Gracie that morning, feeding the black headed gulls who stood in for the missing ducks on this occasion and they will be dining on bread and scraps. I could feel the 'Norfolk Coffee' I had with Maurice Mynah that morning 'doing me good' as I dropped RT's cockpit roof and made ready to leave Potter Heigham. I waved farewell to Maurice Mynah as he left his mooring, and started the engine. "Wait, wait, I'm not ready!" called a little voice from the galley as Gracie finished her toast and rushed up to the cockpit in a swirl of summer dress and long blonde hair. Leaving the mooring and turning in front of the bridge we headed back down stream with the smell of cooking bacon and eggs wafting deliciously from the galley. Within seconds Grandma arrived bearing a plate of bacon and egg sandwiches and a pot of fresh coffee. Gracie and Grandma then climbed onto RT's roof from the cockpit to take in the sights of Tin Town. Thurne will always have a special place in my heart. It's been the site of so many family holidays from the early 70s onward. In 1972 we were cruising upriver to Potter on board Captain XII. Uncle Albert was at the helm and usually he gave fisherman plenty of room. Cruising up to Thurne Dyke he was paying very close attention to two fishermen hidden in the reeds between the old landing craft turned houseboat and the dyke. The boat in front had cut close to the fishermen hitting the fishing rod of one of them and received 'a good cussin' . Turning Captain XII at the dyke he headed back down stream before turning again and heading upstream. This time he hugged the bank tightly which would mean the irate fisherman would be even more irate having a boat park in front of his peg. "What kind of daft pill...oh aye up ah kid!" the fisherman had started to shout angrily before a gleeful smile crossed his face and he swarmed into the cockpit mud dripping from his waders as he hugged my mum. The two fishermen were father and son in law, renowned for their pranks and practical jokes. The son in law was married to my Mum's school friend and Mum had spent the majority of her childhood as a part of their family, although we had not seen them for almost seven years as we had been abroad wherever Dad was stationed. For the next ten years or so we would join the families camping in the field behind the farm and fishing the Thurne. I relived my childhood memories sharing them with Gracie as Thurne slipped by in a golden haze of sunshine. Out through Thurne mouth and we passed St. Benets. "When I come back we are going there for a picnic!" Gracie announced. Grandma was making a list of places Gracie wanted to visit 'the next time' as I basked in Gracie's enthusiasm. My preoccupation with Royal Tudor, all the hard work of my friends was at last seeing dividends. Under Ludham Bridge and the air horn gave the most pathetic of raspberries as Gracie pressed the button. I've heard the beagles break wind louder than that! Air horn for RT has been added to my Christmas wish list! As we twisted and turned along the River Ant, Grandma went to make sandwiches for lunch and Gracie joined me at the helm. By Irstead we came across the wherry Hathor under sail. In no rush, we pottered along behind her and I kept an eye on river traffic behind us when a shout made me jump. "Oi pillock give us a clue?" I looked down at Gracie stood on her step ladder at the helm, blonde hair flying, straw summer hat and sunglasses. "That's what you are supposed to say isn't it Timbo?" asked Gracie. "Erm...yeah...but not when Grandma can hear you!" I replied glancing nervously into the galley to see if Grandma had heard. The young chappy at the helm of the wherry had not been looking behind him. He was looking now, and looking a bit shocked, but he waved us through with a grin. Across Barton and about to make the turn for Stalham and I heard a thing I thought I would never hear. "Is there somewhere else we can go? It's such a shame to go back now!" said grandma Ellie. "Huh? What, what what what what?" "Shut up and drive!" "Yes Maam!" So we pootled on to Wayford before finally making our way back to Stalham. RT back in her berth, Grandma started her cleaning and I began packing luggage in the rear well ready to load in the car. Cleaning done we had a trip to Sea Palling to attend to before the drive home. At the beach, Gracie and Grandma made sand castles while I took the beagles for a good long walk along the beach. Fish and chips for tea and it was time to say goodbye to Royal Tudor and head for home. "We are coming back?" Gracie asked as I closed the stern canopy. "Yes we are coming back!" said Grandma. "See you very soon!" said Gracie patting RT. Soon we will be back on board RT with Gracie. Since her voyage on RT Gracie has named her new pet fish Royal Tudor. A new picnic basket has been purchased for that picnic at St Benet's. Gracie has compiled a long list of things she wants to see on the Broads...and Grandma has been down to Royal Tudor and started the interior restoration in earnest with a thorough, thorough scrub. RT gleams! Doug has sealed leaks and made new window hoppers, and our friend Trev has fitted new galley taps and sorted a plumbing leak in the shower and under the Captain's Cabin. So...new adventures await Gracie, this time on the Southern Broads!
  21. 13 points
    Still HOT !
  22. 13 points
    Hello everyone, We just wanted to announce that we've managed to get an account sorted on the forum now. Thank you to the administrators for helping get everything approved. We're looking forward to getting involved with more discussions on here and engaging with forum members on topics related to the Broads. If you have any non-urgent questions or issues that you would like to bring to our attention please either mention us (using the @ function) or drop us a private message. For an urgent response we'd still recommend either giving us a call on 01603 610734 or sending us a message via our contact form as these will be dealt with using the official channels. Our account will primarily be monitored by our small communications team, however advice and guidance from other members of staff across departments will be sought and relayed as necessary. We are on here to help and advise where necessary, rather than tolerating abuse. Moderators have advised us to inform them of any incidents and they will be dealt with through the regular forum protocol. Finally, please bear with us if answers or input takes longer than expected as we won't be monitoring the account on a constant basis. We'll try to get back to you as soon as possible. Many thanks, Tom
  23. 13 points
    Saturday 6th July I could see the suns rays coming a gap in the curtains as I woke up about 6.30 am. I lay in bed for a few moments just dozing and got up at 7 am At home I leave for work about 7 am, so I'm usually up around 6-6.15, I've never worked closer than a 25 mile journey to work, for the past 40 years I've travelled between 20-30k miles per year, that's a lot of miles! Mandy is an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber, she is self employed and holds various surgeries across Kent. She always starts later than me, so I get up and make her a cup of tea before I leave home every morning That's our routine, so no need to change it just because we are on holiday. So kettle on and slide the roof back Tea was made and delivered, I drank half of mine but Lottie had other ideas, she does this strange kind of silent bark and turns her head from side to side when you ask her what she wants, I would very very shocked if she told me! She clearly wanted out of the boat, so off we went again taking phone and extra care as we went through 'That Gate' I was going to see if I could walk through the fields to Ferry Road and then back to the boat As we walked through the fields we started to have a 'Mexican stand off' between Lottie and a dozen cows, they all just stood and stared at each other, I put her on the lead and walked towards them thinking they would be more scared of me and move out of the way. Oh no, these cows had 'bottle,' my ankle was reminding me with every step what an idiot I'd been the previous night and I didn't fancy competing in the 400 metres hurdles, so turned around and went back to the river path. This I followed for 10 mins or so, with Lottie having performed the tasks needed I turned around and went back to the boat, taking extra care with that bloody gate! Back at the boat it was kettle on again, tea made again, delivered again but this time I enquired when her ladyship would be getting up? Clearly not yet! A couple of Broom boats were leaving to return to their yard, so after they left I moved our dinghy from the bow to the stern, this meant Mandy wouldn't have to do it while the boat was in motion, all heart me! For the last 5 or 6 years we've always hired a dinghy, to be honest its a pain in the bum having to move it when stern mooring or being extra careful when mooring in a tight space However, I dont know if you've picked up on this? but I like pubs, I like beer, I like being in a pub with beer! My worse nightmare would be being unable to moor near a pub, so my insurance is the dinghy! When I had to go to meetings or functions in central London, I would take an umbrella, therefore ensuring no rain, if I forgot to take one I'd get very wet, mind you I've left quite a few in restaurants and the train! So far we have only used it in 'anger' at Ranworth (and again this year) so not many Running Bear and Little White Dove moments (that's showing my age) anyone under 50 google Running Bear by Johnny Preston! We only cook breakfast on the boat, preferring to eat lunch and dinner in the many wonderful pubs the Broads has. When I say 'we' I mean Mandy, my cooking skills are pretty basic and whilst Mandy is a good cook she does require more space that the average cruiser has for her creations My signature dish is Chicken Ping!, you basically buy a chicken ready meal, stick it in a microwave turn the dial to about 5 mins, when the microwave goes ping, you eat it! So full English again! I hate to think how much weight I've put on, but back on the diet and exercise routine next week We were ready to leave Surlingham at about 9.30 am Destination Rockland St Mary We look a very leisurely cruise down the Yare, we were in no hurry, the plan was to moor in the basin, take Lottie for a walk then have a drink/lunch at The New Inn The weather had been nice earlier, sunny, warmish with a little cloud, I looked at my weather app earlier and it had forecast it to turn cloudy and then light to medium rain but getting brighter later in the day, I had hoped that the first bit was wrong, unfortunately it was pretty much spot on I can never remember which is which, it probably doesn't matter, we went down Fleet/Short Dyke, through the broad and into the basin it was about 11 ish, it was very quiet, from memory 1 or 2 boats, but would get busier later The weather was ok, cloudy very grey but no rain and about 18c, which is shorts and T shirt for me, jeans and a fleece for Mandy At home we have the 'battle of the thermostat' Mandy will turn it up to 30c and think the house will warm up quicker, I've explained this is rubbish, but when I get back in the evening when Mandy has been home all day, I'll open the front door and get beaten back by the heat. I loose 2 stone as I crawl through the hall and manage to turn it down to 20c, I swear I hear the boiler cry out 'thank you' Anyway, Mandy probably chose right with the jeans, the path out across Rockland Broad was very overgrown and didn't look like it had been walked much, it was a lovely walk and we managed to get to the main river, but the nettle stings did take my mind of my ankle! We got back to The New Inn, sat out the front under a parasol and had a drink, me a Wherry, Mandy a Pimms and Lottie still on the water, she can be very boring! It started to spit after about 10/15 mins, so we decided to drink up and go back to the boat The mooring were now much busier, we had a nice chat with a couple of private boaters unfortunately cant remember the boats names The rain was that 'cant make its mind up' sort, Dawn's saloon is in the back, I cover the electrics up with black sacks so I can keep the roof open in very light rain. We waited for an hour to see what the weather was doing, it did ease a bit so we decided to head off. I didn't want to travel down Short/Fleet Dyke with the roof up as vision isn't the best. We also had discovered that the wiper wasn't working! However, I had read on here a couple of years ago (I think it was Malanka) about Rainx, which I had applied to the windscreen Friday evening. I had also brought our window vac with us (I take all sorts of stuff I never need) this was helpful, once we reached the Yare Mandy took the helm and I cleared the windows a couple of times The rain was off and on the whole time, the roof was like a 'tarts knickers' up and down every 5 or 10 mins, but we managed to to get to The Reedham Ferry, our booked mooring for the night reasonably easily The reserved board was out 'reserved Pacific Dawn 35 ft 5 pm' we were early but went in anyway just behind a Herbert Woods boat already moored, I took the board down and moved closer to the HW boat leaving space for another boat behind me. This was soon taken by a private boat who was most grateful to me for budging up, 'happy to help' I told him! I only booked our first two nights moorings, The Ferry House because I love it there, The Reedham Ferry because I wanted to cross Breydon on Sunday, I was concerned I might not get a mooring at Reedham Quay. Mind you I do like the Reedham Ferry, good beer, good food, nice pub! The rain was very light, we decided to go into the pub for a drink It was about 4.30 pm, the rain had stopped our table wasn't booked until 7.30 pm, so with plenty of time we decided to walk into Reedham. It's a shame you can't walk into Reedham along the river like you used to, but it's not a bad walk along the road, so the road it was The weather had improved greatly, so much so that we were able to sit in the garden of the Ship. We had a couple of drinks and headed back to the boat We popped into the Reedham Ferry when we got back to see if we could eat earlier than the 7.30 pm, only to be told they were fully booked and that I had actually booked the table for 8 pm, Doh! Anyway they did seat us at 7.30 pm in the end, we had a lovely meal, for once I paid with a card so kept the receipt (I normally pay with cash) so I know what we had, Me the Ribeye Mandy the Salmon And of course more beers and wine, Lottie.........water! When we got back to the boat, Mandy decided to read for a bit, I took Lottie out, with my phone and promised to stay away from gates! Sorry for the lack of photos, I had every intention to take loads, but I'm just a man who failed to multi task! PS some of these were yesterdays photo's that I missed so I've just thrown them in here, sorry To be continued!
  24. 12 points
  25. 12 points
    Also the sad result of unthinking, irresponsible people owning dogs who really shouldn't have that privilege.
  26. 12 points
    Tuesday 9th July I awoke about 7 am and put the kettle on shortly after, usual routine for me, pulled back the roof, the weather wasn’t bad, a bit dull but not cold Tea was delivered to Mandy, Lottie was now also on the bed so I thought to myself happy days, I might be able to finish mine for once, and I did, both ‘girls’ on the bed and me up making tea and mopping the decks, and they say it’s a man’s world I happened to mention something about a ball and a walk, Lottie joined me immediately, so with ball and launcher in hand we went up to the common for 20-30 mins, I can’t remember if it had rained overnight or if it was just the dew, but Lottie was soaking wet by the time we got back to the boat. I got one of her towels and tried to dry her off, the problem was that she’s only two and thought this was part of the game, oh well, did it eventually! The plan today was to head back to Wroxham, have lunch / drinks in the Kings Head and then try and get a mooring at Ranworth for the evening, with this in mind, we were in no hurry, I had already put Lottie’s cover on the bed before we went out, so she decided to go back to bed with mum! I made another tea, took it into Mandy and drank mine while sitting at the helm catching up with some emails and my football club Maidstone United’s forum. I think I mentioned in a previous thread that I’m chairman of the supporters club and organise away travel. We were relegated from the National league last season so our message board had been in meltdown from the end of the season. Football supporters do like a good moan! Mandy and Lottie got up about 9 am (not pm) she asked if I’d like a cooked breakfast, and again I thought ‘hell to the waistline’ The journey from Coltishall to Wroxham is one of my favourites, probably in the top 3 along with Barton Broad to Sutton on the Ant and Beccles to Gelderston Locks on the Waverley. Last year we did the other two, unfortunately we just didn’t get the chance to them again this year as well As I said we were in no hurry, leaving Coltishall at about 10 am, we just cruised at a gentle pace through the beautiful winding river until we reach Wroxham at about 11.30 am. To be honest I wished we had taken the time to go up to Coltishall Locks, unfortunately we didn’t, next time definitely! There were plenty of moorings at the Viaduct, but as at some stage we needed to get the pilot to take us under the bridge, we decided to try and get moored near the pub Low water at Wroxham was 1.15 pm, but as the pilot had told me the day before, Dawn would go through a good 2hrs either side of low water, probably more! We reached the stern moorings and there were a couple of slots, the pilot was just taking a boat through and there was a Ricko bath tub just hovering by the bridge. I called out to him to see if he was mooring, apparently not, he was going to get water from the boat yard on the other side then wait for the pilot in mid water, but he wasn’t really doing anything but get in the way (this later turned out to be Richardson madness day, although nothing like Brinks day) Mandy moved the dinghy to the front, it was tight with the Ricko boat just sitting there but we did manage to turn and into the quay side After we moored, the Ricko bath tub went off and moored for water, it would have been a lot easier if he had done that before we had moored, Oh well! The pilot was near our mooring, so I wandered down to him and explained that we would like to go through in a couple of hours ‘Which boat is yours’ he asked ‘Dawn’ I replied pointing to her ‘No problem, anytime you want, just give me a call when you are ready’ We took Lottie for a little walk, it was now about midday, Mandy needed to go back to Roys and exchange some shorts she had bought the previous day. Too big? Too small? Wrong colour? I’m sure I was told, but this stuff just washes over me. I was also invited to join her on her shopping trip, somehow I managed to wriggle out of that pleasure opting to go to the pub with Lottie! The weather had improved, not very sunny but bright enough and quite warm, so after getting myself a Yardbird (with 10% off) I found a table near the river and sat back to enjoy the view Mandy joined me after about 20 mins, I got her a Primm’s and me another Yardbird and menus. For the second day running we decided we were ‘fooded out’ So we again sat in the dappled sunshine, enjoying watching the boats and people, we had a couple of nice conversations with others in the garden and those passing by We left the pub about 1.30 pm and returned to Dawn, I had noticed it was a lot cloudier and some were looking a bit grey. I was hoping we could get through the bridge before it started raining About 20 mins after calling the pilot it started to drizzle which shortly afterwards turned light rain, I left the front screens down but put the roof up. Fortunately it didn’t rain for long, about 10 mins later the pilot arrived, down came the roof. As he pulled Dawn into the river I moved the dinghy to the rear, and through we went There was a Martham woody (I think it was Jayne) on the pilot moorings as he turned around, the pilot asked me to take the helm and pull up against Jayne, the pilot told the skipper of Jayne that he couldn’t take Martham boats through (anyone know why?) and that he should ring his boat yard to see if they were happy for them to take it through themselves We left straight away so don’t know the outcome of that situation It wasn’t raining, but it wasn’t sunny either and it wasn’t cold, so we continued our cruise to Ranworth. The journey time was about 2 hrs, this would mean arriving at 4 pm and unlikely be able to get a mooring on the Straithe, however we will try! I mentioned earlier about the Richardson bath tub that was causing me difficulties me difficulties mooring at Wroxham. Well two other Richardson’s bath tubs were about to annoy me more on our way from Wroxham to Horning I can’t remember exactly where it was, there a picture of the offending boats below, one was Star Gem 5 the other an former Horizon boat possibly Summer, I’m sure someone can put me right on this However two things I do know are: 1) I was trying to get to Ranworth as fast as (legally) possible 2) I wasn’t going to speed due to possible damage to moored boats and banks These two boats (they didn’t appear to be together) came past me on a blind bend, with other boats coming towards us at a good 2mph faster than we was travelling, neither looked at me as I called out about their speed! It’s not hard these days to know what speed you are travelling at, I have 3 apps on my phone that do that for you, I’m no ‘teckie’ so if I can do it so can they! Ok, rant over, got to Ranworth about 4 pm, as we went down the dyke I saw several boats coming out, I thought oooh, maybe we might get lucky, I grabbed the binoculars, it looked full from here, Mandy, who had been reading in the lounge joined Lottie and me at the helm to help No, it was ‘chocker’ we hovered for a while, got excited when we saw people coming back to their boats, but were given a signal by them that they weren’t going anywhere! There was plenty of room at the island, so there was no need to panics, mud weighting was an option, but I’d broken the boat steps I hang off the back of the boat at Salhouse when mooring (not sure how I did that as we’ve had them for 4 years) so getting into the dinghy might not be that easy and I’d also have to row Lottie to the bank late evening and early morning The weather wasn’t that bad by now, not nearly as good as it had been previous days but not cold, not windy and ‘brightish’ So decision made, well no decision really, drop mud weight, open a beer and see if anyone moves! Beer finished, no movement, open another beer and………….wait! While we were floating around on the mud weight Mandy received a call from her friend Elaine, we had said the previous night that we intended to go to Ranworth, they were in the area and did we want to meet up for a few drinks at the Malsters Ok, decision firmly made, pay the £8 to moor on the Island and row over to the dinghy dyke. We got to the Island, plenty of space, there was one mooring that was side on just before you go into the private moorings at the back, I thought that one is easy, and it meant we didn’t have to move the dinghy and it would be easier to get in and out of it There was a sign that told you to stern moor or you could be charged more if you side on moored, but there was no way you could stern moor there, you could block half the entrance I spied a warden in a motor powered dinghy heading our way, he moored in front of us and came over for his mooring fee. I braced myself for the side on mooring fee discussion but it never came, I paid him the £8 and away he went I have to say we’ve been lucky with moorings, £2 at Salhouse for an hour and £8 at Ranworth Island for the night, all others were ‘free’ however the amount spend in the pubs is another thing! We’d had agreed to meet Elaine and Gary at the Malsters at 6 pm, so a quick wash and freshen up, into the dinghy and off we went Now, I said in this blog that I’m a once a year boater, whilst that’s true, it doesn’t give the full picture My first job as a 14 year old was in a small boat hire business on the River Medway at Maidstone. We had day boats, rowing type boats with outboards or just plain oars. The largest boat we had was only 20ft, but the principle of boating never leaves you Back in 1972, I got paid 10p/hour, yup £1 for a ten hour shift between 10am and 8pm, by 1974 I’d been promoted to boatman class 1 (whatever that was) I was now on a staggering 30p/hour - £3 for ten hours, but I seem to remember paying 12p for my first pint of bitter back in 1973/74. If they had a quiet day and had spare boats we could take them out for nothing, it was a big hit with the girls back then! So off we rowed to the pub, and apart from Mandy saying ‘you need to go that way’ whilst waving both arms at the same time, we did get to the Malsters shortly after 6 pm Elaine and Gary were already there, they bought us some drinks and we took a table in the garden. We had a few drinks and a lovely time, for people that I barely knew before the holiday I know look at them as great company and good friends They left us about 7.45-8.00 pm, we decided it was time to eat, so I got us a couple of menus and ordered our food. I can’t remember what Mandy had, but I ordered the Steak & Kidney Pudding, it was lovely. I’d now given up all hope on my waistline and fitness, it would be tough when the holiday ended and I had to get back into the exercise routine I have, but I’d now worry about that when I had to! After dinner, we took Lottie for a walk to the church, then got back to the dinghy and rowed back to the boat Apologies for the lack of photos, clearly being lazy To be continued
  27. 11 points
    Sounds perfect for Royal Tudor
  28. 11 points
    The Further Voyages of Grace “This is the BBC Light Programme!” A small coin drops into a tin cup. “Thank you!” And so begins our journey to Norfolk. This time Ellie had packed the car, so she and Gracie sat in the back seats, the beagles were in the boot space and I had the luggage for company in the front seat. Of course, this meant I could bring none of the items I wanted to bring and those that I was allowed to bring...were not in sufficient quantities! I had taken the time to record a selection of my favourite episodes of the Goon Show to while away the miles, the episode we were listening to was The Jet-Propelled Guided NAAFI. Now, dear listeners, I mean readers, if you should ever chance to listen to this episode, for extra giggles, swap around job descriptions and titles to reflect Broads related organisations and locations! The miles flowed swiftly with me chuckling in the front and Gracie giggling in the back at Bluebottle's 'naughty sausinges'. “I don't know what they are talking about Timbo or why it's funny, but it is so funny!” Soon we were at Stalham and after opening up Royal Tudor, Gracie and I took 'The Boys' for a walk while Ellie pottered about tidying. “It takes acorns a long time to grow, we did it at school. How old are these trees?” asked Gracie as she scooped a handful of new acorns. Some things, well...most things, I'm pretty lousy at. Some things I'm good at. When it comes to landscape and history I'm on very firm ground, even in a marsh. So adapting the information for seven-year-old Gracie I told her of the Great Storm of 1703, of cows blown into treetops, roofs collapsing, ships sunk and the devastation of England's oak trees and how important oak is to the English navy and economy. We touched on enclosure and how to estimate the age of trees (those we were looking at 1760-1810 give or take), the work of John Evelyn and Roger Fisher, 'Acorn Fever' and English naval officers scattering acorns through holes in their britches. I made sure to 'drop a fart' while demonstrating scattering acorns. Never underestimate the power of a good fart joke when educating kids of all ages, or cows blown up trees for that matter! Back at Royal Tudor I made ready to do all those little jobs I'd put on my list since our last visit. However, we had been visited by a crustulam navicula aedificium perito manducans, or 'Doug' as we like to call him. We had new window hoppers, a new hatch in the galley floor to stop me falling into the bilges, batteries charged and connected and not a crumb in sight! “We will have to buy cake for Doug!” exclaimed Ellie. “Unicorn cake?” asked Gracie. “Lots of cake!” confirmed Ellie. So I contented myself with doing essential engine checks before being dragged to Tesco. I lifted the cockpit floor and yes, the engine was still there! Tesco. I hate shopping. No, let me correct that? I hate aimless shopping. It's probably the geographer and cartographer in me, but I tend to map out the location of products in a supermarket. I cannot be doing with wandering aimlessly about starring into fridges and freezers and groping bread loaves. Luckily I had an excuse and while Ellie and Grace did the shopping, I sat with 'the boys' and gave them a drink. I whiled away the time talking to Mike (Chameleon) when he rang. Mike is another tortured soul, who like me, is regularly held hostage to 'the shopping' and we regularly 'conflab' while our respective other halves are 'on the shop'. Finally we were back on board Royal Tudor. 'The boys' had partaken of one last walk, Ellie was putting away the shopping and Gracie and I started RT. Her engine started first time, I gave her some revs and let her idle a while while I made sure all was well. We exited our mooring and RT was responding much better to the helm than she had of late. Gently we glided from the mooring. A nudge astern and forward and she easily swung to face the opening of the wetshed. A gentle nudge forward and we smoothly exited the shed and made our way down river. Ellie was still pottering in the galley and Gracie sat with me at the helm of RT, whose engine was gently ticking.
  29. 11 points
    Day five was Thursday, our last full day as we needed to drive home on Friday morning. So where to go? Well we have often thought about going to Burgh Castle, a National Heritage site and ... close by Breydon Water. As it happened the tide times were right for boats to be crossing Breydon mid-morning so we decided that this was to be our plan. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/burgh-castle/ It was a relatively short drive to get there and ... more free parking. We hadn't paid to park anywhere this week ... result! There were lots of people walking their dogs across the fields and the site is quite close to a number of holiday parks. We soon found the footpath across to a place meant for watching wildlife ... but I was far too excited watching the number of boats going across Breydon in both directions. Plus from this spot you can see the Waveney and the Yare so it was very interesting. We walked a bit further along a boardwalk that is part of the Angles Way and ended up right by the river a short distance from Goodchilds. It had turned warm and sunny again while we were out. We had a wonderful time ... I just got so excited to see and hear all the boats going past. Definitely a place to go back to, perhaps closer to sunrise or sunset when the light would be better for photography. Here's a few photos anyway.
  30. 11 points
    Day two brought a lovely lazy Monday morning, I didn't miss that post weekend back to work feeling and slept in a little. However I am a morning person so breakfast wasn't too late and the conversation soon turned to what we wanted to do for the day. "Can we go to Potter Heigham please?" I asked. Now I know that in some ways there's not a lot to recommend PH and not necessarily that much to do when you get there if you're not heading out on the river, but I love it. It's quite a nice drive once you get past Great Yarmouth, taking us up the A149. It always reminds me of family holidays at Seashore and Caister, and then it's very scenic as you go past Ormesby and Rollesby Broads. It's an area we think we might want to look at if we ever get as far as seriously considering that house move! First stop is always Bridge Stones for coffee, accompanied on this occasion by a cheese scone. Delicious! Then we had the obligatory walk around Latham's. We were actually looking for something we couldn't find and resisted buying all those other novelties we don't need ... including those early boxes of December 25th cards!! We crossed the road and went into Latham's angling store as hubby wanted to buy a new reel. He was impressed with their knowledge and service, and with his purchase made, along with a chat about Leyton Orient with the lad on the till, we finally headed for the quay to look at the boats for sale. Whilst you can't see it from this picture, this boat is called Jay ... hmmm ... wonder who ought to buy that then?! The sun came out while we were wandering around and I have to admit, that whilst I don't always see the attraction of some of the old wooden boats there was a fine looking example moored up here ... and there's Jay moored behind it. Here's a link to some info about this boat on the HW website. https://www.herbertwoods.co.uk/blog/history-of-spark-of-light/ So now that we were fed and watered, shopping done and boats perused, we headed for the obligatory seat by the bridge to watch what was going on. There was quite a breeze blowing and we watched a couple of boats really struggle getting in and out of the public moorings. One was a large Ferry Marina boat that was being blown sideways back to the quay before they could turn round so eventually came forward almost up to the bridge, gave it plenty of revs and managed to turn round. The other was an old Richardson's boat which ended up at 90 degrees to the bank until a chap from the Phoenix office assisted with the ropes. I didn't catch these on film as I don't like to show anything where someone might be identifiable ... we all seem to be fair game these days but I try not to be intrusive with what I share publicly. Back to the caravan we had another quiet afternoon needing plenty of sun cream to avoid getting burnt! Oh ... obligatory shot of the bridge coming up ...
  31. 11 points
  32. 11 points
    Wednesday 24th July I awoke at 8.30 am Jon was already making the breakfast I was surprised I slept so long after the broken sleep from last night. Today’s jobs were some more stitching and replacing a galley cupboard door catch (currently the last one at Brian Wards). We left Surlingham and travelled towards Norwich to show Jon some of the Broads he had not seen, we had just gone under the bridge (Norwich bypass) at Thorpe when I had an audible alarm for engine overheat. We crawled up to Freedoms yard and asked if I could temporary moor to sort out the issue, I suspected the raw water filter was blocked, on getting into the engine bay the filter was clear. My fault I should have checked, the previous owner had closed the seacock to clean out the filter. Seacock opened and engine cooled we proceeded passed the two railway bridges at Thorpe, Commissions Cut and Whittingham, of course there were moorings to be had there. We turned around just short of the railway bridge at Norwich. We decided to go to Rockland St Mary and moor at the staithe for the night. We managed to get the last available mooring; we noticed a yacht had sunk (only the mast could be seen). Moored up we trudged the great distance across the road to the New Inn. Jon had been talking to a few fishermen that had been fishing from their boats or the banks, hopeful for a few tips. We saw a few of the fishermen in the pub, which we had to call in just so we could book a table. The chap Jon had beaten for the first fish caught from the previous day managed to squeeze in next to us. We said our hello’s, he was only going to stop for a beer and then go elsewhere. A couple of beers later we went down to the moorings but decided to go for a walk and look at the new building on the other side of the river. It was after 4.00 pm and the workers had finished for the day (well it is Norfolk). On returning to the boat Jon fished and did some more stitching. We were somewhat rudely awakened from our tasks when a hire boat came up to the staithe with far too many revs on, the helm tried to moor in a now empty space, myself and a Silverline crew went to help them in. Sadly still too many revs and we could not get near enough to them to walk then in. One of the poles was hit, then a moored yacht on the opposite bank, after hitting a bush and another yacht they left the area. Another yacht came into the space after avoiding the leaving hire boat. We all have to learn, but this could have been a case of not listening to the instructor or not enough instruction. Shortly before 7.00 pm we left for the pub for our meal, our fishing buddy was still there and he stayed at the moorings for the night. Back at the boat we were both trying to stay cool with the breeze blowing through the canopy. We settled down and had some wine, crackers and cheese, before retiring to bed at 11.00 pm Regards Alan
  33. 11 points
    Tuesday 23rd July. I left home at 5.55 am the roof down and headed towards Worksop and the A1, it was sunshine all the way to Brundall. I arrived at 9.15 without a stop; needless to say I called in Brian Ward’s for a couple of fenders and rope to install as additional dock fenders. Jon (my brother in law) arrived a little after 10.30, I was making up his bed in the forward seating area, he helped me finish making up my bed before he brought his cloths aboard. I had already stowed all my cloths. I fitted the two dock fenders to help protect the bathing platform, I will be making a paper pattern of a teak section that I replaced about 3 years ago, it has a small chunk out of the edge. Work done we set off in my car to Beccles to do our shopping in Morrison’s. We decided that a big breakfast was the order of the day before we started the shopping. Suitably replenished, we started shopping, Jon wanted some prawns for his fishing, he managed to get a reduced tub of prawns and cockles because the sell by date was almost up. Bait pushed to one end of the trolley we hit the cheese counter for Yarg and White Cheshire. We only purchased a few beers because we intended to visit a few of the pubs on our travels. Back on the boat and food stowed we set off up river to the Ferry House Inn. We moored up and went into the pub for a couple of drinks and to book at table for 7.00 pm, advised of our mooring we enjoyed our drinks sat outside, for some reason we managed another pint before we set off back to the boat. We had left the top section of the canopy up as a sunscreen, I decided to do some stitching on the canopy whilst Jon started fishing, he got into a conversation with the chap in the next boat so the wager of a pint was taken for the first of them to catch a fish. In the end Jon won his pint, me not being a fisherman, it was more lie a sardine rather than a whale. We washed and went in for our meal, the pub was heaving at the bar with everyone ordering their meals for inside and outside tables, we remained inside, our meals arrived after a while, I felt sorry for the kitchen staff sweltering away in all that heat, but needs must, we enjoyed our meals and then went outside with fresh beers. Back on the boat Jon tried his hand again with fishing but had little luck with only a few bites. We were in bed by about 10.00 pm, we had not put the canopy sections back into the canopy to make the boat cooler. We like all the other crews were awakened by lightning flashes a little after 3.30 am, lights were on in all the boats on the full moorings, the chap in the sports cruiser next to us had also not put up his canopy sections, we were both scrambling to get the sections in before the rain started, needless to say we failed and Jon getting the short straw was pushing in the press stluds on the outside whilst I did all the zips. We thought we would not get back to sleep but I managed to sleep in till 8.30 am. All for now Alan
  34. 11 points
    Sunday 7th July Ok, sorry I’ve not updated this tale for a few days, it’s just I was busy at work yesterday, and yes it is why they pay me, and weekends are more busy than work days. We have a house with a pretty big garden and the grass hadn’t been mowed for 4 weeks it was going to take some time. We bought the house when the kids were little because of the garden, quite often we had half the street in our garden, it cost be a fortune in coke I made a big goal down the end, and I used to practice my son Nick’s shooting skills, I used to make him shoot with his wrong foot every night for several years. This culminated in him being pretty good with either foot, a new lad joined his football team and I was standing with his dad, when Nick beat a defender and curled the ball with his left foot in the top corner, blimey this chap went ‘I didn’t realise he was a left footer’, he’s not I said So if I can do that with a reasonably talented footballer, but never was going to make a living at it, why are there so many premier league players earning £100k a week with one foot? Anyway, enough of football back to the tale Again I woke up about 6.30 am, and again just dozed until about 7 am, Kettle on, roof back and yes it looked a lovely morning, mind you, yesterday looked good early on but went steadily downhill until improving later on, just as my weather app had predicted This time I was hoping ‘weather pro’ would be right again as the forecast was pretty good 20/21 degrees part sunny with maybe the odd shower. I could live with that! Tea made, delivered to Mandy, I drank about half of mine then took Lottie down past the Chain Ferry and past the camp site. Only a quick walk for Lottie to do ‘her stuff’ and then back to the boat We intended to cross Breydon Water this morning, Yarmouth slack was 9.03 am, but I’d read on hear from some wise sage (well I hope he was) that going south to north you could leave 30-60 mins after slack water and be perfect to get the benefit of the tides, I was happy to give this a go as it meant leaving a bit later, at 8am The Herbert Woods boat in front of us was obviously going to do this journey by the book, he fired up his engine about 7.20 am and was gone soon after, not before nearly hitting the stationary Chain Ferry on his way out, it was an interesting manoeuvre but he was out and away and didn’t hit me so all good, it later turned out to be a day of such manoeuvres I decided against the idea of another full English for breakfast, and although a sausage & bacon sarnie was not particularly the healthy option it was better than what I’d been eating the previous week With the Herbert Woods gone, but the private boat still behind, I told Mandy that I wouldn’t need her help to leave the mooring I could do it by myself if she fancied a lay in, but she got up anyway helped with the ropes and then went back to bed. What a trouper! I have a speed app on my phone, which I monitor all the time to ensure I don’t speed, with the Yare quickly emptying itself I need very little revs to keep at 5.5 – 6 mph, I didn’t see another boat between Reedham and Breydon either in front or behind Dawn had an air draft of 8ft with the roof and screens up and 6ft 7inches with everything down I’m a little paranoid with bridges, so prefer to have everything down when going over Breydon and through Yarmouth I did say my weather app said the weather would be good but there was a chance of an odd shower. Well as I cruised down The Yare, the weather was lovely but there was this one big black cloud that seemed to be tracking me, one moment it was on the right next the left (ok port and starboard) then in front of me, somehow it was never above me, just as well it looked like it was carrying a lot of rain Mandy joined me and Lottie at the helm just before Breydon Water. We passed the Berney Arms Windmill & Pub, it always saddens me that the pub is no longer open, sadly I didn’t go there when it was open, obviously now I can’t and probably never will Anyway I’m now on Breydon Water, I thought lets open her up, full throttle was about 2000 rpm and about 8 mph, I thought that’s a racket for that speed so pulled her back to 1800 and reached 9 mph. Not sure what that was all about, as I wasn’t in a really hurry I slowed up to 1700 and just ‘pootled’ across As we went under Breydon Bridge I felt we were pushing against the tide a bit and had to increase the revs, by the time I reached the yellow post we were 1800 rpm and only 4 mph, just as we turned I could feel the kick (as expected) and were being pushed towards the bridges. We were now a little over tick over but doing 4-5 mph, the bridge height was showing 8ft 3inches, glad I had the screens down, as we passed under I said to Mandy ‘that’s the closest I remember being to the bridge’ she agreed Obviously with Dawn being 8ft with roof up we would still have passed under easily, I just don’t like being that close with fast running tides! This would be the day of ‘Brinks madness’ It was also the day that I ‘cocked up,’ more of that later The tide was giving us a big kick as we continued along The Bure at 5-6 mph and not a lot of revs, I suddenly became aware of a noise behind me, as I looked behind I saw two Brinks Emperors were bearing down on us very quickly. There was also a boat coming towards us, surely they’ll slow down not keep coming I thought, no they kept going, I kept as far to the side as I dared without the possibility of running aground, the other boat also move over and we both slowed down. The two Emperors just charged through the centre, their wash rocked the boat and crashed into the bank I yelled at them to watch their speed, they didn’t look at me and just carried on, both crews were lads in their late 20’s about 6 or 7 on each boat and clearly not interested in anyone else on the river. As I passed the boat coming the other way, we just shrugged out shoulders and shook our heads, I believe we were both thinking the same thing! Both Emperors were moored at Stokesby when we arrived, so god knows where the fire was? I had to promise Mandy that I wouldn’t say anything to them before she let me get off the boat, I was calmer by then, but she knows I can be a little fiery at times. We had moored directly outside the The Ferry, the two Emperors were moored at the farm moorings, so fortunately well away from us! It was now a beautiful day, it was about 11.15 am and there were already quite a few people sitting the pub garden having a drink, including several of the crew from the Emperors! We decided to take Lottie for a walk first, and as we walked past the lads from the Brinks boats, Mandy felt it necessary to remind me of the promise I made to her! We walked for about 20-25 mins along the path in the direction of Yarmouth, the path started to get very overgrown so we decided to go back and have drinks / lunch in the pub As we walked back towards The Ferry, two of the crew from one of the Emperor boats had decided to take one of the boats for a cruise, but they were doing very strange things. One lad at the helm, with his mate holding the bow rope was standing on the bank, was trying to reverse out at an angle of 75 degrees, they yelled at each other for a bit, the boat crashed into the quay heading a few times but not really doing anything apart from damaging their boat and potentially any other boat nearby. Mandy again felt in necessary to remind me of my promise and successfully took my mind off them by suggesting we went to the pub, good call! I was really just glad they were nowhere near where Dawn was moored! When I came out from the pub and into the garden with a pint of Wherry for me and a Pimms for Mandy, they were still messing around, but eventually moored again about 10 mins later I don’t know what they were trying to do but I was glad for all those moored near them that they appeared to have finished, they all left shortly after, I later saw them moored at The Bridge at Acle, I remember thinking that I had hoped they stayed there! Anyway, the Brinks fun and games hadn’t finished, we got chatting to another couple in the garden about boating, they hadn’t hired a boat before and asked how difficult it was? I said take it slowly learn from your mistakes and don’t be like them (pointing to the Brinks crew) they had also watched the madness As I said that, another Brinks boat, cant remember the name but it was a big expensive one, came in to moor at Stokesby, to say he made a mess of it would be an understatement, first he came in with the tide, I assume it was his wife, got off with the bow rope, this must be a Barnes Brinkcraft thing, because he then wacked the quay heading a few times, he then threw his stern rope to someone who had gone over to help, he then nearly pulled his wife into the river, fortunately she let go of the rope in time, but this then meant he had both ropes in the drink, and his wife on the bank, (I was soon going to regret laughing at that) and two other crew members scratching their heads! A man in his early 30’s sitting with his wife and child near to us said quite loudly, ‘if I was him I’d give up on this and find another pub, and sent a cab for the misses’ it did amuse the assembled audience To be fair he did eventually get in, not the direction he was first expecting but did get moored So the entertainment at Stokesby was now over? Not quite! We had a sandwich and another drink, whilst at the bar a lady came up to me laughing at the entertainment that had been on offer, I told her that I now felt extra pressure leaving the mooring as the eyes of Stokesby were now watching The Ferry at Stokesby is probably my second favourite pub on the broads, I love the garden, the beer and food is always very good. They now have another attraction, homemade chocolates! I’m not a big chocolate eater, but do like a strawberry cream, So Mandy went in with £20, and came back with a small box (4) of strawberry creams for me, and a larger selection (16) of various to share and very little change, oh well, they were good! So having finished our drinks, bought chocolates and been entertained, we decided to move on We hadn’t booked anywhere, we did ring The New Inn at Horning as the weather was looking good, they don’t allow dogs inside the pub, so we would’ve had to eat outside, not a problem now as the weather was lovely. However, they would book us a table but not a mooring, so that ruled that one out I decided to head for Horning anyway, if I couldn’t get a mooring on the pub side, there were a couple of places the other side and I could use the dinghy and row across, if that wasn’t possible then it would be Ranworth Island and row to the Malsters, I had a plan! Mandy said she wanted to use the loo, so I took Lottie and the chocolates back to the boat, I hadn’t closed the roof while we were in the pub as we were sitting in full view of Dawn, so chocolates in the fridge, Lottie in life jacket and on her seat behind the helm, just as Mandy arrived back All good to go then, we were still facing into the tide there was nothing behind us, so I released the bow rope and waited for Mandy to release the stern rope, I could hold the boat against the bank with the bow thruster and a gentle touch on the throttle kept the stern rope loose Thirty two years of marriage, we general communicate pretty well, we are normally pretty slick in mooring and leaving a mooring So, as I’ve done countless times before I called out ‘Are you ok?’ ‘On the boat, yes?’ Now, I heard yes! However, it appeared to have been no! So now it was us that were the entertainment! So as the check list went! Chocolates in fridge…..tick Lottie on boat……tick Wife on boat…...Oh sh*t! Mandy is still on the bank holding the stern rope, I couldn’t really get back as I’d drifted too far, ‘let go’ I shout, I couldn’t get back in and I was worried I could pull het in, she let go, putting engine in neutral I got to the stern and pulled the rope on board, ok good no real harm done, as I got back to the helm I was sitting quite still only about 15ft from the bank A wag from the garden yelled ‘this is your chance mate, run for it, Freedom!’ If was pretty funny stuff, even Mandy was laughing. I put my hand out and twisted it from side to side a couple of times, as if I was trying to decide, but it was never in doubt, after all who was going to cook breakfast? I took the boat passed the pub, came back turned again and came in against the tide and into the same mooring and collect the ‘light of my life’ to a round of applause from the garden Oh well, that was interesting, I was glad to have entertained a few in the process The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, however I’d probably had enough excitement for one day at my age! So off we headed to Horning, and apart from a couple sail boats it was pretty much plain sailing (excuse the pun) We got to Horning about 4.30 pm and as luck would have it we got a mooring right outside the Ferry Inn, two young lads (clearly working for the pub) helped us moor up, so I walked after them once we were tied and gave them a quid each for their help, they seemed pleased So with the roof down and back door locked we sat in the garden of the Ferry Inn and had a couple of drinks in the sunshine. Then it was back to the boat close the roof and walk into Horning (past the subsiding house) for a look round, we didn’t stop for a drink in either the Swan or New Inn. We then returned to the Ferry Inn for a meal in the garden and reflected on what had been an interesting day To be continued
  35. 10 points
    Ellie stowed cakes and fresh ground coffee, cheeses and lashings of beer, no ginger, in the galley. Broads Edge slipped by and up ahead I could see the turning to Sutton. Gracie was bouncing up and down with excitement on the step beside me as we both helmed RT, her engine gently ticking over, gently down the river . Lots of things tick. Clocks, watches, I suppose ticks tick too, as do bombs! BANG! RT's engine stopped dead. Gracie yelped, I swore. “What have you done?” asked Ellie. I quickly checked that all of our mooring lines were safely tucked out of the way and not trailing in the water. They were. Behind us the stragglers from hand over were making their way down river and we were drifting into midstream and turning to block the river. Asking Gracie to 'please stand still', I went out on deck and deployed the bow mudweight to halt RT's progress downstream. Fortunately, RT is equipped with mudweights fore and aft for fishing purposes, so the aft mudweight was also deployed. I have to admit I struggle to lift and deploy the 25KG weights. I'd heaved the bow weight far enough to pull RT's nose into the reeds and bushes on the starboard bank. Ellie and I now used the aft mudweight to pull RT's stern out of the middle of the river. Hoisting the weight, swinging it back into the water, pulling on the line and then lifting the weight to begin the process again. While I made sure we were secure I asked Ellie to phone Doug or Dave for advice. Dave answered first, and after getting me to check the prop shaft, look for oil in the tray (there was none) we started discussing...my phone rang out loud. I could still hear Dave speaking, but my phone was ringing. I looked at the caller id on the screen. It read 'Dad'. The old boy has been gone these last years, but he was ringing my phone now! “Are you alright?” Ellie must have sensed I was somewhat shocked. I showed her my phone and got back to discussions with Dave. We flagged down a friendly privateer who kindly towed us back to the grassy bank in front of the wetshed. To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement. Crushed, devastated, bereft, distraught. None of these words could do justice to how gutted I felt. “I think we are going to need some spannering!” said Gracie giving me a hug. Ellie set about making a fry up. Ellie instinctively knows when I've over-done something and I'm flagging and in need of energy. After tea and the washing up was done, the theme tune to the A-team boomed around Kingfisher Quay as Super Dave arrived in his Spanner-Mobile. He strode around the wetshed, two giant spanners in his hand and 'spannering' was definitely going to happen! Ellie and Gracie set off on the march to the toilet block as Super Dave arrived beside Royal Tudor. “I've been fitting a galley!” he said, adjusting the gusset of his spandex tights, tweaking his mask and removing his silk cape before climbing aboard RT. Dear reader's, it just shows the depths of my distress that I made no comment at the time! Super Dave spannered for all he was worth! Ellie and Gracie returned and put the kettle on to make a cup of tea while we let RT's engine cool down and then spanner some more, but it was no good. RT's engine would not turn. Gracie's voyage had come to an end already, or had it? As Doug telephoned to see how we were getting on I was feeling totally crushed. I passed the phone to Super Dave so that he and Doug could talk technical. Things were not looking good. However, Super Dave passed back my phone, hitched up his tights, twirled his moustaches and activated the BoAT SIGNAL! You could hear the dots and dashes of the Morse Code 'da da and diditing' over the airwaves as Super Dave hatched a plan. Back at his secret hideout he had a spare engine which RT could borrow. A fellow caped crusader was being despatched to our location to tow us to Beccles so that Gracie's voyage could continue. After the Wooden Boat Show, RT would be towed to Super Dave's lair where the spare engine would be temporarily fitted to give us a chance to repair RT's engine! “Tea and cakes are ready!” Gracie called from the galley. Super Dave was ushered into a seat and plied with tea and cake. “Everything looks better after tea and cake!” said Ellie. “Yes it does Grandma!” agreed Grace.
  36. 10 points
    To say we have been looking forward to this holiday would be an understatement. We booked right at the beginning of September last year and at the time due to my work was tied to holidays in school holidays only. We have been on the Broads at peak time in August a couple of times so know it can get busy, had we have had a choice we would have holidayed in June or September. Next year we will have better options available being able to take time off not at peak times! Anyway, I digress, we have been on countdown for what seems like an eternity and finally the time was upon us. We packed the car up last night with just last minute stuff to pack this morning. We left home at 8:45am and traffic was not too bad. It was reasonably quiet on the A1, we did our usual bypass of the Newark turn off and came off at Coddington before turning on to the A17. Unfortunately we got stuck two cars behind a young lady doing at maximum 40mph in a 60 limit for a little way before we managed to get passed, then apart from the occasional tractor, which to be fair one pulled into a lay-by, one turned right and the other kept well into the left we had a fairly decent run. We didn't stop at Benny's for breakfast as neither of us were ready for a pit-stop, so carried on and pulled up into Faircraft's car park at 11:45am. Let reception know that we had arrived (early) and that we were heading off for something to eat and a bit of shopping. They said the boat was nearly ready and would ring as soon as it was. We were going to have a quick McDonald's but it was rammed so opted for a portion of fish and chips between us and sat at the bridge watching the world go by. Although they looked and smelt really good I have to say I have tasted much better! Off to Roy's for a few bits when Diane phoned to say the boat was ready. Back to the boatyard, unpacked the masses of bags etc (does everyone pack too much, or is it just me?), handover done and headed off just before 2pm. Can't believe how quiet the river is. Apart from dayboats there wasn't much about at all. Salhouse looked quiet and even Horning was. Cockshoot had spaces but we were put off by the private boat on the entrance. Now I know that people do their washing and hang it out on their boats but grundies and all? And not particularly clean ones at that . Would have out me right off my tea! I apologise if any of you were the said owner but ....... We past Gooseander and gave them a wave David . Headed towards Ranworth, plenty of spaces on the island and one on the staithe, but someone was fishing there and we didn't want to spoil it for them. There's plenty of time on this trip so will come back another day. What was really perculiar was that no-one was mud-weighted on the broad, not a sole! Like I said it seems very quiet - eerily so. Carried on towards South Walsham and moored on of the wild spots on Fleet Dyke. Absolute peace and quiet, not a sound to be heard apart from the occasional aircraft and about half a dozen boats. Oh and we heard a dog bark in the distance, just once! Off now to make some tea and enjoy our first night afloat this trip. Tomorrow we are heading south. This will be the first time for us although we have been on the northern broads many times. More tomorrow ....
  37. 10 points
    some from the cruise in company from Oulton to Beccles an encounter with sailies queuing to get past nicely spaced getting ready to leave Oulton after circling for pictures circling Oulton Broad Luna Aurora as camera boat wine and cheese party taxi rank ringside seats for the power boat racing, while waiting for the end of the race to proceed. moored at Oulton Broad Yacht Station arrivals
  38. 10 points
    So onto day three ... Tuesday! It wasn't long before the inevitable conversation around where to go. In many ways this is exactly the same as our holidays on the boats ... a few ideas of what we might want to do but planning happens on the day subject to the weather and what we feel like doing. We do like places with somewhere to get coffee mid-morning so the news that the Post Office now also has a tea room had put Reedham onto our list. We probably hadn't been there since our last holiday on the southern Broads which I think was 2015. An interesting journey took us along the A47, turning off before Acle and heading cross-country through Halvergate and Freethorpe. Plenty of free parking along the quayside. We had a lovely walk from one end to the other watching the boats and the bridge swinging, before we stopped for coffee. The ladies in the tea room were very chatty and friendly, service was good, coffee and cake was very good and I would highly recommend supporting this business. I am sure that we will go back. After sitting outside in the sunshine we moved across to one of the seats on the quay near Sandersons. Watched the swing bridge which was interesting. We thought it wasn't going to close at one point, and as it turned out this was the day before they had problems and closed the bridge to river traffic. An indication of what was to come ... maybe. Hubby did the decent thing and helped a large Norfolk Broads Direct boat to moor. The father was at the outside helm on top and one of his children and his wife were waiting at the stern with ropes. But with tricky conditions we could see that he couldn't get close enough to the quay for them to get off so hubby went over and helped them out. It was busy there that morning and we thoroughly enjoyed watching the comings and goings. I could have stayed there longer but it was getting on for lunchtime so we headed back to the caravan for the rest of the day. You can probably spot the pattern here ... go out in the morning, get any shopping we need on the way back then stay around the site for the afternoon and evening. More of that on tomorrow's write-up. For now ... here's Reedham.
  39. 10 points
    I know it won't make me popular with the dog owning population, but I am personally sick and tired of other peoples dogs pawing or jumping up at me when out and about in public spaces, only to be followed with the usual comment of "it's ok, he's only being friendly" Dogs in public places should be on a lead and well controlled at all times. I don't want someone else's dog leaving muddy or sandy paw marks on my cloths. I do like dogs, but just think they should be on a lead at all times when in public places. Private land, the owners house or garden, that's a different matter.
  40. 10 points
    Ghost of a Chance The traffic lights on either side of the ancient bridge went through their cycle once more. This time casting a sickly green glow over the pilot's office on the starboard bank of the river. I took another pull on the bottle of Jack, anything to kill the godawful feeling of dislocation and uselessness. In front of the short dyke that housed the day boats a Ripplecraft river cruiser, trussed up for the night, gently swung at her moorings. On the bow sat a young woman swathed in a blanket and nursing a mug. She glanced at me with what I took for disgust before quickly looking back up to the bridge. The lights of the pub flicked off. As the last customers weaved their way to the bridge to get back to their boats the traffic lights changed colour again. Away to my right the sound of galloping horses and the rumble of iron-rimmed wheels meant the night's entertainment was about to begin. A ball of fire burst from behind the pilot's office and headed for the bridge, the holidaymakers oblivious to the hell that was careering towards them. I took another swig of Jack and settled down to watch the fun as rotting horses pulling a blazing coach passed right through the holidaymakers traipsing over the bridge. Dried flesh and sinew framed the gap-toothed grinning maw of the coachman as he whipped the desiccated horses dragging the fire wrapped landau. The dumb-springs of the careering carriage dug into the parapet of the bridge and sent sparks out over the river and onto the Ripplecraft river cruiser moored below illuminating the upturned face of the woman on the bow. Undead footmen, limbs flailing, screamed and cackled into the flaming orange glow of the burning coach as the lead horse hit the wall at the centre of the tiny humped bridge with a sickening crack. The screams of the broken animals were joined by those of the occupants of the carriage, which tipped precariously over the parapet wreathed in flame. The frantic thrashing of the horses rocked the carriage. With an explosion of flame and flailing limbs, the carriage toppled over the edge. Flaming debris thudded into staithe around me as the landau dropped into the river which erupted in a flume of spray and mud. “You saw that!” demanded the yachtswoman who had leapt ashore and was now shaking me. This was new. I was not used to people sharing my hallucinations. “You've taken a hurt, what made you sit so close you feeble-pated loon?” demanded the woman. I looked down at my leg from which a twisted piece of metal jutted. This was also new. I'd never been hurt by one of my hallucinations!
  41. 10 points
    To each his own, I prefer to stay on my boat!
  42. 10 points
    But you did bring it up here! You are quite right though - it still rankles, including among planning professionals whose advice was either ignored or glossed over. I am afraid the photo below is a classic example of the political biais displayed by the BA and others at the time. This boat was moored, right opposite Jenners Basin, at the time when the BA invoked Norwich City Council (whose officers never consulted their own council) to declare that the bottom of the river Yare is owned by NCC under some ancient statute and therefore boats are not allowed to moor on the river bank in Thorpe. This was a deliberate and underhand attempt to stop boats mooring on the Island frontage and not only was it historically untrue but it totally ignores the existence of Wards, Jenners and Harts boatyards, one of whom had existed on that reach of the river for over 150 years and another for 100 years. It also ignores the existence of the public staithe at the River Green. But some of those worthies who live in grand houses on the Yarmouth Rd with lawns on the river front have far better political connections with authority, it would seem, than the owner of the land on the Island, who suffered deliberate persecution for 11 years. So this boat was allowed to remain on its mooring, right opposite. Now that it has sunk, it must be removed by BA as an obstruction to the navigation. Or is underhand politics still at work here? Now that the BA have given up their lease on the River Green and sat back while the Town Council have closed off the public staithe to public access, is this a sign that the BA no longer regard Thorpe reach as a legal navigation and therefore feel no need to maintain it in future? Perhaps our new member "Broads Authority", whom I welcome for his participation, could give us some guidance on this?
  43. 10 points
    Katie and I are up for the week , quick visit this a.m. in Boulters (starboard rocket cover gasket , did the port two weeks ago). Then a gentle cruise around the Northern rivers , we were originally going South but since we couldn’t start on Sunday we decided against it . We moored last night at Boulters so they could fit gasket first thing to a cold engine . awoke this morning to an incredible lightning display overhead accompanied by earth shaking thunder .
  44. 10 points
    Wednesday 10th July Check-out time at the Yacht Station, is 10am so the fact that the tide would be still ebbing out for another couple of hours and was therefore going to really eat into my diesel usage crossing Breydon, was something I had no control over. So after another healthy granola breakfast, I removed two of the securing ropes, at which point one of the rangers joined me to assist my departure. Whilst waiting for a clear run, he told me he would prefer everyone to ask for help if needed and related how a few days earlier, a large cruiser departed into the ebb, hit the boat in front, frantically applied reverse not realising that one of the ropes was just waiting to wrap around the propeller… which it did. No doubt the rangers just strolled to the end of the moorings, waited for the boat to pass, then requested that they be thrown a rope. Anyway, I got on board and when the time was right (I was already facing the bridges) the ranger released the aft rope, which swung Goosander’s rear into the river. The signal was then given to reverse out and off I went, quite fast at that point. Pretty soon I was upon the yellow marker post and could feel the strength of the current hitting me broadside from Breydon. So a fast traverse down the last of the Bure became a passage through what seemed like treacle, up the Yare. Having seen how the Richardsons boat had overheated the previous evening, I was a little apprehensive to push the throttle too much, watching the temperature gauge as I slowly passed each marker post. Finally I reached the other end of Breydon and made my way past Berney Arms Mill. I had not varied the throttle at all, which was giving me around 4.5mph, so it was illuminating to see it slowly pick up as I got further away from Yarmouth. My destination for lunchtime was Loddon, another location where I hoped to launch the drone. Reedham Quay came and went on my starboard side, where I noted that there were still a number of spaces available to moor. I would need one later, as I planned to come back out from Loddon and overnight there. I entered the Chet, which is very narrow and winding at the start, doing the prescribed 4mph, which was certainly fast enough in those confines. Around one of the bends came a bathtub of some sort, careering towards me at speed. I worked out that if he was going to hit anything, it would be the outside of the bend so I just stayed as close to the nearside as I could until he passed by. I am not exaggerating, it really was as hairy as it sounds. I continued on down hoping to be able to moor in the basin, as I had spied a good launch site on Google Maps. Upon approaching the Pyes Mill moorings, I was shocked to see every space taken and thought that was not a good omen for my chosen location. I looked behind to see if anyone was following and was surprised to see I was the first of three boats which were hoping to find a place at the basin. Well it was too narrow to pass me so I resolved to just take my time and hopefully being first, would have more of a chance of a mooring. In fact there were exactly three spaces left. I masochistically chose a space just wide enough for one boat and to my amazement, (and with a little help from the bow thrusters), managed to reverse Goosander in with a minimum of fuss. I decided to check out the drone launch site straight away. I did not want to fly it from the car park as too many people were around. Google Maps showed a footpath leading down past the rear of the adjacent marina, and through into an open scrubby field, which led down to the river. It was ideal! I went back to the boat to collect the drone and I think I got some good shots of the area. Returning to the Goosander, a shower started so I had just carried out the “operation” in time as it is not recommended to fly in the rain, which can damage the motors. Pleased with myself, I had lunch onboard, before taking a walk up into the village. Ever concerned about the availability of moorings, I opted to set off for Reedham at 2.30pm. An hour’s cruise would get me there before most people gave up for the night. As the quay came into view, I could see a choice of mooring spots and chose a spot closer to the Ship Inn end. The tide was flowing in so the task of coming alongside was that much easier. I was soon tied up and just sat there, with the top back watching the comings and goings for a while. It had become noticeably warm and humid so most people were sitting atop their boats. I walked up the ever descriptive “Middle Hill” so I could purchase a newspaper to read that evening, then returned to Goosander planning to visit the Ship Inn for an evening meal later. Come 7pm, I was on my way to the Ship. It was so warm, I decided to order the meal and to consume it sat in the gardens overlooking the river (as did lots of other people). This time I had the Hunters Chicken. I have only ever ordered this a few times, but this meal was the best I have tasted and I would thoroughly recommend it. Today’s cheesecake was a sort of cookie dough texture with ice cream and that too was delicious. It became a little cooler around 9pm, which is when I decided to head for home. The "narrow" approach to Loddon, where the bathtub came bouncing off the sides. Loddon Mill Loddon basin A Triffid at Reedham. I had to be careful it didn't bite my ankle. Reedham Swing Bridge All the rest are Loddon from the air.
  45. 10 points
    Well after what seems to be a long time....... Well it was really she's in the water and ready to use. Still some tidying to do on the inside but that's a whole new project in itself. Martham Boats have done a great job and spent a lot of time on her to get her back in the water. Just need to sort the injector pump and we will see some of you at Beccles! Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app
  46. 10 points
    Hello again. Just to let you know the Kiwis have safely landed back home in NZ around 8am today. I know that seems a long time since leaving our boat on Friday, because it is, but our flight out of Manchester was not until Sunday lunch. We plan to be back, if not before, we will make it in 2022 for our golden anniversary. Anyway i am attaching a picture i took today of the view from the 14th tee of my local golf course in the depths of the New Zealand Winter. 21 degrees. Not Womack Water but not too shabby. Cheers Chris
  47. 10 points
    Hi all, We thought you would like some accurate information about the number and role of our Rangers: We have a single Ranger Team with 12 full-time Rangers year-round, 2 Winter Weekend Rangers and 6 Summer Seasonal Rangers all of whom are trained and capable of performing a multitude of tasks including both 'navigational' duties and 'conservation' duties (such as tree management and bankside clearance). We also have 40 active Volunteer Rangers who also receive a high level of training and are absolutely invaluable in providing support to our staff. In total, 60% of Ranger time is devoted to 'navigational' duties which is paid for from navigation income. Engaging with the public, providing advice and offering assistance to visitors where possible is a key part of the working remit for all of our Rangers - our staff certainly haven't been discouraged to undertake these duties. As we hope you can understand, there are often pressures created by the fact that we have limited resources and a large area to work on, so sometimes Rangers may be preoccupied and unable to have a chat. If this is the case and you are ever in need of help, we would always urge you to call Broads Control on 01603 756056 so we can log your incident and get you assistance if required. It's pleasant to see so many reports of positive experiences with our front line staff being discussed in this thread, however I can see some criticisms too. Without knowing details of the particular incident it's difficult to comment, but please remember that if you are ever unhappy with how any of our staff have dealt with you, please get in touch with us and let us know by using our online contact form and we will follow up if appropriate. Thanks! Tom
  48. 10 points
    Us woodies just turn the bilge pump off for a few mins.
  49. 10 points
    Sunday 7th July I awoke to the sound of rainfall on the cabin top – not a good beginning, yet no sooner had I drawn the curtains, it stopped and as it turned out, that was the last I would see of it for a few days. Blue skies were approaching, or to be more precise, grey clouds were departing. My plan for today was to overnight at Sutton Staithe, with a lunchtime stop at Ludham Bridge. This was the closest to the school summer holiday I had ever been on the Broads so I was not sure what to expect in terms of mooring availability, but I guessed it would be busier than usual. As such, I departed my home mooring at 9.30am and slowly nosed out of the dyke and into the Bure. Nothing was coming either way, and for this part of the cruise, Goosander was mostly unaccompanied. The sun was out and the top was rolled back. I reached Ludham Bridge around 11am, and peaked through to see free moorings on the shop side, and as luck would have it, the tide was flowing out. So the first mooring manoeuvre of the holiday went without a hitch. The moorings opposite, reserved for yachts seem to attract boats like wasps to a jar of jam. In the two hours or so I watched, a number of craft came alongside, sometimes struggling to battle the offshore wind, only to realise that the yellow and white topped mooring posts meant something other than “here’s my ideal mooring”. There is a large sign proclaiming that only yachts should stake a claim, and in some cases, active moorers were stood right in-front of it but to no avail. After a salad lunch, I considered it would be a good idea to set off for Sutton sooner rather than later, bearing in mind it was a Sunday, and the staithe would likely get busy with “last night of holiday” Richardsons craft. So around 1.30pm, I cast off and made my way past the numerous boats now looking for a sardine tin to occupy for a few hours. How Hill was well stacked with boats and Irstead? – don’t even ask! Barton Broad was quite windy, which I guess suited the numerous sailing dinghies which were darting across the channels designated for my more sedate diesel chugger. Out the other end of Barton, I made my way towards Sutton Broad (not broad at all). Approaching the staithe always presents a dilemma in that the best part to moor is by the green, outside the hotel. However, you may well be passing a space in the dyke to get there, and if someone following nabs it, you may be left “homeless”, if you discover the green is full. On this occasion, to my delight, I noted that no craft were following me so I could turn my nose up to a dyke mooring, and cruise on down to the green with impunity should I need to retrace my steps in the event my first choice was occupied. It wasn’t. So I nosed into a fairly tight space, used throttle to kick the stern in and my first mate the bow thrusters, to guide the pointy end gently alongside. The sun was out and it was a pleasantly warm afternoon so I decided to walk into Stalham via the main road. When I last came here in April, I was glad I had booked a table as the Sutton Staithe Hotel which was very busy, so en-route I called in and made a reservation for 6.30pm. I was outside Richardsons yard around 25 minutes later and thought it would be interesting to see how many boats remained for hire. So I walked all the quays and would guess around two thirds of their fleet had set sail. Is a third remaining unusual for this time of the year? Not sure. Certainly, the boats that remained unattached, were the older, cheaper models - not the swish “instagram image” models. After a visit to the Tesco Supermarket, I turned around and made my way back to Goosander, arriving back around 4pm., which gave me time to kick my shoes off and relax for a couple of hours. I noticed that the two boats moored infront of me had now departed leaving two good spaces for any Richardsons latecomers. It was soon time for my evening meal so I got ready and stepped ashore. As I approached the Hotel I noticed two Richardsons Commander type cruisers come down the dyke and moor just in-front of Goosander. I looked at these gleaming white thoroughbreds and thought, wow there must be some money tied up there, and not just the boats themselves! My meal in the Hotel was lovely. I opted for the Steak and Ale Pie. If I say that this meal was every bit as good as that which used to be served up at the Ship Inn in Reedham, once the home of the finest steak and ale pie on the Broads, you will get an inkling as to its quality! Cheesecake (of course) followed, and by 8pm I was making my way across the green towards Goosander. The occupants of the two Commanders were outside barbequing to the strains of some very loud music, interspersed with shrieks of laughter (that or they were sacrificing a pig). The evening became cooler which was probably their signal to move indoors, sparing the rest of us any more verses of Agadoo and Dancing Queen. In fairness, I heard nothing more of them after that. I watched a little TV, then settled down for the night. Ludham Bridge Wonder if the RAC will warn of this busy junction when the school holidays are in full swing? This little fellow came for a ride with me to Sutton, then just flew off without a thank you! I always think my heart would sink if this was the only boat left to hire. It has all the attributes of it's dual steer sister ships, (Forth Bridge 1 & 2 for example) but does not have the alternative helm position. Can't see the point of building it like that! Saw this in Richardsons yard. Not sure if it's their new build sedan, or perhaps some sort of sea going craft Sutton Staithe Hotel He got very close to the boat. This was through the front window. Finally could not resist this. Perhaps just the thing when you are being assaulted by "noisy neighbors. Just joking - it's not mine!
  50. 9 points
    11th August At 10.00am we left Beccles to aim to get to Yarmouth for 3.15. It was still very blustery and overcast so we kept the canopy up. We left in a massive convoy of ..... two, later to grow to four. We pootled along and had to go slower and slower as the wind and tide were obviously going to get us to Breydon way too soon. We ended up mooring near Goodchilds at 1.15 for an hour. It was nice to have a break and a bite to eat and a chat with the three others who had all got there too early. We left at 2.15 to cross Breydon and got to the bridges spot on at 3.15 and had a very relaxing cruise back up the Bure. We were pretty tired and decided on mooring at Stracey Arms for the night. There weren’t many boats moored up and we had a lovely peaceful night.
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