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  1. 27 points
    Oh, I do apologise Kadensa if you were offended. I will, of course, await moderation of my forum post from the team. I will, of course, suspend immediately my work for the NBN while my position is reviewed by the team. I have taken the liberty of reporting my post as you have not done so. In the meantime perhaps you'd like to share exactly what 'such a person' you think I am? Feel free I don't mind in the slightest. Of course, I am speaking as an individual here, shame? After stroke number nineteen in February, I'm up at 6 am on a June morning washing my own soiled bed linen so the carer won't notice. You see it may have escaped your attention but I tend to belittle and do my best to laugh at life's little niggles and speak and write precisely as I find. Dressing it all up in wishy-washy liberal descriptors is in my experience ridiculous. A very good friend of mine laughs uproariously when faced with a caucasian trying to describe his 'colour'. He's never seen such a stupid state of affairs. 'I am BLACK' he will roar. In a similar vein, even though I've suffered brain damage, my face sags, I have a pronounced limp, one hand and arm won't work properly and I'm doubly incontinent... I don't have a problem being described as a cripple, proud to be classed as an idiot by MM and Ray, called deaf as a post or one that made me guffaw yesterday a 'crumbly'. I got 'spaz' the week before, last year's 'spavined' was a classic not heard in a long, long while. You see sat at the end of that tailback... I am a decrepit wrinkly with my hands clasped at ten past ten, nose peeping over the wheel of my adapted 'spaz car' praying everyone gets's a move on so I can pitch my tent near the loos and showers and I don't have to pull over to change my drawers again before I get to Norfolk. I'm quite aware of who and what I am, will do my damnedest to overcome what life throws at me, ever willing to talk about what it's actually like to those that are worried, and I will do so with a smile on my face and my tongue planted firmly in my cheek...mind that could explain my slurring and speech impediment when I get tired, it might not be the strokes at all! I will await moderation.
  2. 25 points
    but what the heck, Easy for you to say, it messed up Team Indy's plans no end. Missed the Breydon / Yare trip which we were all looking forward to more than any other leg of the trip, that was to be our reward if you like. Plus my boy had further to drive to collect us and a longer journey home for all of us. By the time I got into bed with a full days work the following day booked in we had been on the go for 22 x Hrs, of which eleven of those hours were tough, eight of them especially so and for what? It put Robin onboard overnight single handed having to tend ropes / tides etc, then having to ask at short notice for volunteers from the NBN (They were the lucky ones) to be onboard early the next morning by 0700 to get Indy ready for the lift at 0730 as promised which never happened. The volunteer crew could have bimbled along for 0930 and still had plenty of time in hand. But the real biggy was Team Indy having a 'Call the hands' at 0400 for a 0500 departure, battling huge seas (Well huge to Indy) initially during a night navigation to GYA when we could have run for a safe haven on numerous occasions as Robin suggested. That is just some of the consequences - There are others plus a host of questions But what the heck. While I'm not having any of it. If I let this one go, the Haven operators will just become even more blasé and start treating river users as a nuisance or second class travellers. I'm taking them to task over it and hope it will benefit all of us A very annoyed - Griff
  3. 24 points
    I would just like to wish everyone on here a very Happy New Year. Have a lovely evening whether you're afloat, partying or at home and let's spare a thought for those who are working to keep us safe. They're the one's that should be on the New Years Honours list Tonight will be spent with just my men and me round the fire watching movies, whatever you're doing stay safe and warm. I hope 2018 brings us all happy times afloat and maybe the odd new pair of shoes Thank you for another great year on the forum too, especially you guys that keep it up and running, you're stars you really are (sounds like a ruddy Oscars speech Lol)..........and I would just like to thank.....nah just kidding Happy New Year to you all Grace
  4. 22 points
  5. 21 points
    So here we are again. Back aboard Swan Reflection 1. I’m posting from my phone courtesy of Richardson’s on board wi-fi so these posts may be brief! Good journey up from Essex. Nice lunch in Bridgestone’s Tea Rooms in Potter Heigham. Very good handover from a nice polite young man and out of the yard by 2. Very quiet cruise down to How Hill. Turned around and went back to moor at Irstead. Hurray! Finally I have managed to get on the staithe here! Took a walk to look round the church then on to the Boardwalk for a lovely peaceful look at Barton Broad. Beautiful even on a grey day. Now back on board with the heating on having a very quiet evening.
  6. 20 points
    I'm new to NBN but not the broads, I've been going on the broads since I was only a few years old. My parents bought Judith 2 from Martham Boats back in about 1992. We had her in the family for a good few years till they regrettably had to sell her. After 20 odd years and coming back to the broads we have been lucky enough to find her again and purchase her back from the family we sold her too. She has been in a shed for a good few years and now the restoration is underway. Martham Boats are sorting her hull and next year the upgrade of the inside will start! The NBN seems the ideal place to ask questions and share experiences along the way. Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app
  7. 20 points
    It's a real shame that this excellent thread has turned the way it has. It was one of the best I've ever seen, genuine hold your breath grip the desk stuff.......... oh well.
  8. 20 points
    As a result of my late wife's illness our small cruiser was emptied out and not touched for eighteen months. It was totally green and baked on, the teak bathing platforms were covered in moss and I thought they were a write off. There was no way I could have tackled the job and having not moved the bottom was covered in mussels so much so you could not see the log paddlewheel. I left it all to Broadsedge and was delighted with the result this morning, I just need to put on the summer canopy and get the kit back on board which I started this afternoon. Though a bit emotional doing the boat on my own, it has given me a lift. The other reason I am pleased is I took my wife's wedding ring and engagement ring to Bradley Hatch in Wroxham (Hoveton) I did not want them sitting in a drawer. They have re-sized the ring and mounted the diamond so that I might wear it. I am very pleased with the result. I was eighteen when I bought that ring, Judith was seventeen, last Monday the 15th would have been our 46th anniversary.
  9. 19 points
    When you come in to moor, and put the engine in astern, the stern of the boat will swing over, usually to starboard. If you can understand why this happens, it is a big help when handling the boat. I have looked for pictures on the internet to describe this, but can't find find any, so you will have to put up with my scribbles! Fig (1) shows a standard 3 blade Broads type propellor. As it turns, the main thrust (a) is straight back but as the blade is angled, there is also a small sideways moment (b). The mean of these two is a moment (c) which comes out at an angle to the shaft line. This is why the wake from a propellor goes back in a corkscrew pattern (fig 2) which you can see clearly in underwater films. Next thing to consider is water pressure. We all know that if you go snorkelling or diving, as soon as you put your head under, the pressure increases rapidly and you have to clear your ears. The same thing happens to a propellor, even a small one. So when the prop turns, the pressure is greater on the lower blades and they are therefore making more "effort", some of which is sideways (fig.3). This means the propellor is always pushing the stern slightly sideways. When you are going ahead this is happening all the time but you don't notice, as you are steering to compensate for it. When you go astern, however, the rudder now has no effect, as it is in front of the propellor, not behind. So the "kick" of the propellor will move the stern sideways. Almost all Broads boats will have a left hand propellor, which kicks the stern to starboard when going astern. This is because you are keeping to the right of the river, so when you want to turn round, you will do so to the left. In that case, the propellor will help you round, when you go astern. Leaving out wind and tide, it will therefore be easier to approach a stern on mooring so that you have to turn out to the left, before going astern, so that the astern gear will help to turn you in. You don't normally do this in a bath tub, as you can see easily down the port side, but you can't see anything to starboard! In which case, leave the wheel, step up onto the bench in the forward well, and you can see over the cabin top. While we are at it, you may have sometimes wondered about the size of propellors. Most Broads cruisers will have something like a 19 X 17 prop, where 19ins is the diameter of the blade circle, and if you can imagine the prop turning in mud or soft sand, where there is no slippage, then 17 ins is the distance that the prop would move forward in one revolution of the shaft. (see fig 4). A fine pitch prop will give you high speed at high revs, but a coarse pitch will give you thrust at low revs, when manoeuvring . This is what we want for Broads cruisers. Why don't they tell you this on the trial run? How much time have you got to spare?
  10. 19 points
    Weeks turn into months and I'm slowly getting towards sorting the last of Uncle Albert's belongings. There is still the odd 'pang', so to speak, usually about now on a Saturday morning, when I suddenly start to panic thinking I should be doing the old boy's shopping and nipping up to see him. And then the whole process of feeling 'raw' starts all over again. So I was more than due a bloody good laugh when I was contacted by my friend who is also Uncle Albert's solicitor. I was expecting the last of Uncle Albert's small estate to be popped into the bank. "How's the boat coming along?" asks the solicitor. "Huh?" the question had come out of left field somewhat. "I said how's the boat coming along? Any nearer to putting it back in the water?" Of course now that we are talking 'boat' I can warm to the subject. "It's going to be a while yet, still trying to sort out time to get down to Norfolk. Materials and logistics etc. Why do you ask?" "Well your Dad left instruction..." the solicitor started. "Yeah I know we discussed it but I'm not putting the old bugger in my bilges as he will bung up the pump. I spoke to Doug and we are putting him in the keel..." I interrupted. "No, no it's about his estate." said the solicitor interrupting in turn. "Yes, what about it?" I asked warily. "Well I've collected in all monies." said the solicitor somewhat hesitantly. "And?" I asked knowing something was afoot. "Well your Dad has instructed that you don't get it until the boat is back in the water." chuckled the solicitor. Now we are not talking a lot of money here and it wasn't until I was telling Polly the tale on the phone yesterday, and having her laugh like a drain, that I appreciated Uncle Albert's conniving, devious genius, and just how badly the old boy wanted to get to his boat. Did I laugh? Long and hard until tears streamed and my sides ached. Uncle Albert certainly got the last laugh. OK Dad, I'll play the game!
  11. 18 points
    Being both a boater and an active Angler, I too have a trotter in both camps. With regards to those that quote scientific argument on either side of maintaining or abolishing the closed season - I don't give a toss - Not even a nanno. I do however have an opinion and complete any surveys related to this hot topic I come accross I want the closed season maintained just as it is, not reduced but maybe extended if owt. My reasons are not scientific but they are my reasons, opinions and I'm entitled to them all the same. I do not expect others to agree with my opinions, just respect my right to voice them whether they are agreed with or not. I'll list a few of my reasons to continue with the closed season on the rivers of the Broads in no particular order. My list is not definitive and I maintain the right to add to it as I see fit:- 1) It gives the banks / fauna a respite. 2) It gives nesting birds a respite. 3) It give none nesting birds a respite. 3) It gives all riverside wildlife a respite. 4) It gives the fish a respite. 5) It gives boaters a few precious weeks of not having to keep a wary lookout for bank anglers camouflaged or otherwise. 6) It gives the rag-n-stick brigade full use of the river without having to worry about anglers. 7) It removes any potential arguments with regards to mooring / angling for a few precious weeks. 8) It gives no end of partners a respite from the Angler onboard a vessel choosing a mooring based on the prospect of fishing. 9) It gives non fishing partners the opportunity to 'Get Stuff Done' by their Angling other halfs. 10) It sometimes gets my blood pressure up witnessing out of season fishing but a chance to 'Do the right thing' - Report them! and finally 11) I like the closed season Griff
  12. 17 points
    A couple of people have asked me to report on the progress of the restoration of Broadland Grebe. I have been reluctant to do so for several reasons: not least of these is that I admit to being no expert on the subject, and I am all too aware that most people on this forum know a lot more about wooden boats than I do. Furthermore, I am all too aware that there are a loot of keyboard captains who just love to tell me that I am mad and naive! to undertake such a task. To the experts I say that I welcome your advice, but I love many, trust few and always steer my own course. To the keyboard captains, I say don't waste your time on me. The caveat part over with I will begin at the beginning. My wife and I spent about ten years hiring boats every summer, we hired from a number of companies and the boats were pleasant with most of the mod cons one would expect to find. Being a teacher, we hired every summer and this eventually ended up every October and soon it was every school holiday. There was no option other than to think about purchasing our own boat. We spent a couple of years looking at different types of boats, mostly ex-hire craft and a few others. Throughout this time we constantly admired wooden boats, there was just something about them that seemed to resonate with us. It was our admiration of wooden boats that took us to the wooden boat show in Beccles some four years ago. It was there that we saw the boat that made us go "wow", although looking rather sad, the streamlined shape struck both us. We knew something of the history of the boat and it was love at first sight. A look around her revealed a degree of neglect, and like the sad dog in the dog shelter, this boat needed a new owner. Another look round her revealed even more issues, a few gins and some calculations, followed by a trip out on her showed us that she was in a sorry state. We returned home to think and plan. Finally we offered a price that was agreeable. The previous owner arranged a survey: one look at this "survey" told me it was not worth the paper it was written on. No names , but the so called "surveyor" was no more of a surveyor than I was! Moral of story - check the credentials of the surveyor. Luckily I knew where most (but not all) of the problems where. So in October of 2012, we took ownership of Broadland Grebe, eight ton of boat, an estimated ton of rot, and a crippled Lister engine which belched multi-coloured smoke and sounded like the Flying Scotsman on acid. We spent the October holidays cleaning (as much as we could) and doing a short cruise from Somerleyton to Beccles. Whilst cruising, we began to find the leaks spurting from various places and the mushrooms (yes, actual mushrooms) around the back bunk. Further investigations revealed the "wood" in this area was more like sponge, previous owners had done "repairs" that would make Dodgy Dave the Essex car dealer proud. Filler and more filler held the oat together. I began to think that the previous owners had shares in a filler factory. So out of the water we came. Now the real work began. We had discussions with our friendly boat builder and drew up a five year plan. We worked out that we could do restoration in the winter and still have the boat in the water by May to cruise in the Summer holidays. Whilst taking her out of the water, the transom was removed in one sweep of the power washer! Much to our amusement and the horror of the person operating the washer. Well, we were intending to replace the transom! We tackled the worst parts first, it was difficult to decide which because there was so much rot. Wheelbarrow after wheel barrow load of rotten wood was removed from the aft part of the boat. The port side top four planks needed replacing urgently, not to mention the transom steps. (see pictures). We also stripped back the paint and repainted her As planned we were back in the water in April of 2013. We were also on budget! Did I mention the cooker blew up! So we had to get a new one. Oh, the fridge as well. Not to mention the bits of wood we would find breaking off. Now dear reader I will have bored you with our little journey so far. So I will leave this here and wait to see if anyone wants more. More rot....there is lots more.
  13. 17 points
    Just to let you all know that today I forwarded £1000.00 in cheques to the Neuro Care Charity in Sheffield from family and friends in memory of Tan. Regards Alan
  14. 17 points
    We the mods of NBN are, Reading all your posts from afar, Jokes and opinions, (BA posts, the sticky 'uns) Smoothing the things that jar.  Ooohh watch that post, the naughty one,  Just too far that joke has gone. Shall we hide it? Let it ride? It's Bound to cause a lot of fun.  Christmas comes but once a year, it's the season for good cheer, Post of boats and cheery notes Of quarrels we'll steer well clear.  Ooohh watch that post, the naughty one, Just too far that joke has gone. Shall we hide it? Let it ride? It's Bound to cause a lot of fun. The Forum's in a holiday mood, Lots of gifts and plenty of food. Friends we recall, God bless us all Mods wish you a great New Year.
  15. 17 points
  16. 17 points
    Just back home from a weekend onboard Independence - lots to sort out, just begun to edit the Blog for this adventure, I am not sure I am happy about the footage I have captured but it is what it is, new camera, new mic set-up bound to be teething problems. I am not regretting buying Independence, but sometimes I can share a little too much 'in the moment' and people hang on to everything I have said as if gospel, but actually half an hour later I am back to myself. I will say this, there is not the emotional bond and feeling I thought I might have to the boat, she is lovely but she is a real social boat and you need that element of people onboard and being part of the experience - even if just a cruise down the river - without it it is a very large space and can be a little overwhelming when their are only two of you and having to literally shout out from the back cabin tot he front to be heard. As to YBW people take it all too seriously I am going to deal with that as well but that really is just the side show and keeps me interested reading peoples latest opinions about stabilisers and risks.
  17. 17 points
    mods hat off Well as 2017 draws to a close, the first thing I wish to do is wish all friends old and new, members new and old a very merry Christmas and healthy new year. To all non christian friends may you all have fantastic celebrations on your celebratory dates. Today is the day I believe that all messages of good will should be said (just my opinion). We have had quite a few members in 2017 with health issues, to those that have said about them in posts, I wish you all the very best with your recoveries and fights against them, sadly some fights do get lost. To all with illnesses my thoughts are with each and everyone of you. Right looking back on it 2017 has been a strange year indeed on the forum. It seems from my eyes and ears, that a lot that should never have surfaced has, from the bickering through to a lot of negativity and bullying. We did very very nearly loose the forum this year, due to the guidelines not being adhered to, so lets not go their again. If you don't agree with someones opinion, just think before you type, as a lot of what is typed I am sure would never be said face to face no matter what is said in the typing of follow ups. All opinions are just that one persons opinion, if you dont agree fine, but turn it into a bickering argument, just agree to disagree and move on. A discussion is fine but the bickering has been beyond belief this year. As for the face book type posts lets just keep them as that on face book shall we in 2018!. Now the bullying, whether it is in real time, cyber, disguised as some thing else, I for one hate it, I will as I have always done do my very best to stamp it out, I for one have no room for it in my life. So now looking forwards to 2018, I would like just to wish and hope, that everyone will just stop and think before posting argumentative posts, to gain reactions and or to bully. Lets keep the NBN family a happy fun filled one in 2018 To finish I would like wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Broadsy (if that is a word) 2018. I will repeat this is from me Charlie without mod hat on. I dont want it cause unrest, bickering, arguing or any thing else this just my outlook and wishes. Merry Christmas and fantastic new year. Charlie
  18. 17 points
    Can I just ask you all a huge favour? Those of you who are planning to put Christmas lights outside your property's, please can you avoid anything blue and flashing? Every time I drive past, I think it's the police and have a mild panic attack. I have to remove my foot from the accelerator, slam on the brakes, put my seat belt on, throw my phone on the floor, hide my bottle of Rum, swallow my joint, and shove the gun under the seat. It's a major drama, and proper awkward when I'm on my mighty Tiger. I really appreciate your cooperation and understanding........Thanks Griff
  19. 17 points
    How do you know we don't all help sick kids? Also I think Martham have a very different offer to that of Little ships, Herbert Woods boat is very different to ours. Also how do you know we don't all get along and help each other? We have not finished ours ready for hire yet, but I am not doing it to make a packet, I just like old boats, I have a few and would like to justify having so many and I like them out on the water, I am sure it will be hard work so lets just see how it goes..
  20. 17 points
    Re the photo I submitted, it was not taken by me but my Bro' Howard on Saturday and forwarded onto me. I had to sit and have a think about just what I was going to do about it one way or t'other. You see I like to think I'm a sort of live and let live kinda guy. Anyone speeding past 'B.A' whether I'm alongside or under way - so what? if no harm done then I'll put it down to ignorance or high spirits. Rowdy river behaviour? - same thing 'B.A' is 8 tons of biodegradable it is unlikely to do us any harm, and besides I do not own the rivers or banks. I also try to kinda weigh up any given situation as to whether or not to contact authorities or take any action. However having said all that I am only 'Uman' and my pet hate is fishing out of season. Why? - Cos I'm a fisherman too. I like to think the fish get 3 x months off for their breeding and a respite from the pressure they are put under. I also get proper jealous that I can't fish during those three months if others flout the laws and assume they are above such laws - that route leads to anarchy. So having thought about the situation I did what the majority of forumites on here don't do. I did something about it. Yes it is all too easy to moan behind a keyboard in here but more effort required to take the next step. I took the next step. I have contacted the EA, provided a witness statement, photo, details of location, boat owner / Hirer etc etc. The EA have replied and stated they will get back to me with an outcome Now I have to live with myself Griff
  21. 17 points
    I have, for some months now, been curious about posts that have been "liked" and have wondered about the order the likes are displayed. They are not in time date order, nor are they in alphabetical order. What order are they in please? I just wondered. Perhaps if loads of you "liked" this post I might be able to work it out.
  22. 16 points
    My route. Take pic, tie boat up then post pic along with details of it now being tied up and an apology for boarding the vessel, Any decent owner would then thank me and say "apology unnecessary" That way, all safe and all bases covered. Mooring could then be checked if required. Simples!!
  23. 16 points
    Far too many "experts" and armchair admirals on this forum for my liking. Hence the reason why I have stopped posting about our restoration of BG, and will not be participating in the Forum after this post. Brilliant Socrates, just great. By not posting about your excellent BG restoration project means the background static, constant whine and armchair admirals of a tiny minority of members denies the rest of us to enjoy / admire your adventure. Don't pay any heed to em and let the rest of us enjoy your ride too. You have a lot of friends in here. Griff
  24. 16 points
    Evening Y'all, Update with regards to my communications with the Port Operations Manger at Peel Ports GYA who are responsible for maintenance and operation of Haven Bridge. I would like to state that right from the off the said Port operations manager has been quick in replying to my comments and questions and at no time tried the trusted but tired old excuse of time wasting, not being able to contact staff etc. Nope he was on the ball right from the word go. Some points of my statements / questions we were never going to agree on, Yes I could have forced the issue by getting signed statements from the Tuesday morning Independence crew, but I needed to put this in perceptive, it was not a murder investigation. To condense it down and not bore you all with every little detail and all the exact questions I put to him, the outcome is as follows. Copied and pasted from his replies:- The reason the operators were unable to lift the bridge on the Monday at 16:15 was due to a fault with the PAWLS, which were not locking into place, and it would have been unsafe to lift as the safety controls in place were not giving a safe indication of the PAWLS being locked in position. If the bridge had been lifted and closed again with the PAWLS in an unlocked position then the bridge would have been unsafe to cross and potentially a catastrophic failure could have resulted in the bridge sections failing and falling into the River. The reason for the fault was not given to Robin, as at that time the engineers could not ascertain the route cause other than what the indicator was saying. It is not normal practise for us to give details of the fault as the outcome is the same i.e. it is a fault that has stopped us from lifting the bridge for vessels to safely pass under the bridge. If Robin had asked for more details we may have given the above details but Robin did not ask for any specific details. The engineers that were responding to the fault had recommended that the bridge may be out of action all night while the investigation was undertaken (The bridge is of 1920/30’s construction and the lifting mechanism is original and so we have to treat her with a considerable amount of care and attention). At this time the bridge crew would also have been unavailable the next morning due to our requirement to give them a compulsory rest break under the working time regulations i.e. if we had kept the bridge crew as far into the evening as possible, and the bridge was not fixed for the morning, then we would have had the same issue of not having sufficient resources available. If a night opening of Haven Bridge (Breydon Bridge does not lift at night) is planned in advance, then this can be scheduled to offer this service, but short notice requests are obviously more difficult to accommodate. The fault was still evident from the engineers feedback at 07:00 when the operators met them on our site which is 10 minutes from the bridge. The fault had unfortunately not been rectified by 07:30, and this is why no lift was made available to any users. The bridge booking at 10:15 was arranged at approx. 09:15 following the conclusion of the fault with the Bridge and prior to the Pilot boat requiring access. We are also the operators of the Pilot Boat service at GY and this passage was requested via telephone from Pilot Boat at approx. 09:45 which allowed him to pass through at the same time as the booking at 10:15 i.e. the Pilot Boat was in the same situation as yourselves, but communications are made internally by telephone and not via VHF for this booking. The Duty Officer was unfortunately travelling into work at the time Robin called and was unable to safely answer his phone. However, as soon as he is in the office, the out of office diversion is transferred to the person who answered your call at which time his focus was on dealing with the bridge lift issue raised in the voicemails, by which time you had made contact with the office who advised you of the status and then latterly contacted you to say that the bridge lift was hoping to take place at 10:15 (which thankfully it did). The manager also stated:- The crux of the issue seems to be around the morning communications . On the comment about the treatment of River leisure users, we feel that we have a very good relationship with the groups that frequent the port and so I am disappointed to hear this. Therefore, yourself or any other leisure user for that matter, are more than welcome to attend our marine liaison meetings that currently include the following parties, and where your views would be more than appreciated. (He goes onto list names / positions etc) I will also make sure that we take any learnings from these unfortunate events and again I thank you for your honest feedback and again, I pass on my apologies to yourself, Robin and the crew that were inconvenienced on this call. I do hope that the above answers your queries, and we again apologise for the issues experienced at GY for the vessels visit. So I am leaving it at that. I have thanked him for his timely remarks and he did his best with interviewing his staff, even though imho they were being economical with the truth. No need to flog a dead horse. Robin is of course aware of the communications I have been carrying out. I have invited said operations manage to have a read of this thread and make comment if he wishes too. If nothing else, I would hope that me getting onto Peel will hopefully sharpen up the staff that operate the bridge into being somewhat more on the ball and not taking us leisure craft for granted, otherwise they will suffer yet another internal investigation. Eventually some mud will stick. There isn't and never has been smoke without fire. Yours Griff
  25. 16 points
    Ok the prize is revealed, an Oak platter as below can be used as is or as a wall hanging or similar. For a bit of provenance it will be made from a piece of the custody counter from the now demolished North Walsham custody suite. Going to be embarrassing if I win..........
  26. 16 points
    Just thought I would let all know that I visited the hospital today for my normal check up on my prostrate cancer. It appears that the 51g of it they cut out a couple of days before last Summers meet at Oulton Broad removed it all. I still have to keep taking the 2 tablets, but now I go back in November again, but in a couple of moth an mri scan will be done to make sure every where else is clear. So my point is as was Richard in his post, the slightest doubt get checked, Men and Women Men especially if you do start having waterworks troubles its not always just getting old. That add that's started appearing on the TV for self medication could mask the problem until its to late to act. Sorry if this is jumping about but its not as easy to put into words the relief I am feeling at the moment. Charlie
  27. 15 points
    A9FF2AB7-3B35-4364-BB73-DC657E81CD2D.MP4
  28. 15 points
    “Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing.” Kenneth Grahame,The Wind in the Willows At home, I have neighbours and acquaintances. Just like badger, I'm not much of a social animal. But the rivers and broads make friends of us all and Grace was more than a little intrigued to discover I knew more people in, on and around The Broads than I did at home. After receiving a royal salute from Vaughan on board his new boat as we left Simpsons boatyard, Gracie was wearing her thoughtful expression. “Timbo?” “Yes?” “Do all of you friends live in Norfolk?” “Not all of them, but a lot do.” “Do they all have boats?” “Some of them do, but not all of them.” “Why do all your friends wear silly hats?” “To stop their heads exploding!” The boat was fuelled, the dogs walked, Dylan and I were medicated and Ellie was still feeling delicate from three glasses of wine and a five thirty wake up call. Potter Heigham would be our destination for Grace to buy gifts for Mummy, Daddy and her baby brother Arlo. So while Ellie went back to her bunk, Captain Gracie and I helmed Royal Tudor down the River Ant. After talking so much about Princess Grace and while my queen is snoozing in the forward cabin I should say something about the majesty that is Royal Tudor. Built in 1960 my grand lady turns sixty next year. Believe it or not, boats do have a personality. To me, RT's personality is somewhere between Margaret Rutherford and Joyce Grenfell with the looks of a young Jean Simmons. It must be well over four years ago since I last helmed Royal Tudor in near solitude. Her time off the water has changed her in some subtle and not so subtle ways. In the past Royal Tudor was deft at manoeuvring, she could turn on a sixpence with the lightest touch of the helm where it takes some effort to turn her wheel now. I'm going to have to take a look at that. In motion RT sets her own pace. There is no hurrying her unless she wants to or she needs to. There is no need for fancy instrumentation, Sat Navs or GPS systems, not that there ever is on the Broads, as the old girl will tell you if you are going too fast. If you take her above a walking pace she will groan and grumble, rattle, creak and complain. Hit the sweet spot, RT will guide you to it, and she glides through the water with barely a murmur. If you need to overtake Royal Tudor, then you are speeding. Having said that, Gracie, Royal Tudor and I took it especially slowly on our trip to Potter Heigham. Plenty of time for me to order my thoughts and reminisce on forty seven years of visiting The Broads. I retrieved the set of folding steps I used in the past for Uncle Albert to disembark and set them up in front of the helm so that Gracie could stand on them to see over the cockpit and reach the wheel. It took us the distance from Stalham to joining the Ant for Grace to master keeping Royal Tudor in a straight line. “I know what to do Timbo, I can do it!” That little girl was fascinated by everything she saw. Trees, birds, wild flowers, stoats, the names and history of the landscape that glided past us. We nosed into Barton Turf so she could see one of our favourites mooring spots and turn the boat. Around The Heater we discussed shields and sword fights. Across Barton we discussed different types of sail boats (I have to learn more), weather patterns, cloud shapes, fish nets and ecology. Gracie helmed RT all the way down the river Ant, across Barton Broad, and further down the Ant to Ludham bridge. Along the way we encountered the wherry Albion under full sail. As we were just bimbling along we were happy to sit a way upstream and follow along. But soon there was a backlog of boats behind us, many of them new helms, and Albion had slowed almost to a stop. Before we could make our move one of the boats behind us decided that it was OK to go flat out and overtake all the other boats as well as Albion through blind bends and into oncoming boats. I edged RT further out into the river to stop the rest following suit and waited for Albion's helm and lookout to look behind and give an indication. “You pillock! Give us a clue?” I muttered under my breath. The first at another hire boat trying to come around us without noticing the huge wherry in front then suddenly going into reverse, and the second at Albion's lookout. Eventually the lookout looked and waved us through. So now with clear water ahead we continued our bimble. Before Ludham I spotted a familiar and welcome sight. Listing to port, probably under the weight of her master who was looking decidedly 'piratey', was Nyx under the command of a certain Maurice Mynah. Nyx was still in the distance when Gracie started to chuckle. "This is one of your friends Timbo!" exclaimed Gracie. "How do you make that out?" "The hat!" Ellie surfaced just before we reached Ludham bridge. Gracie wanted to try the horn as we went under the bridge.The temporary air horn inflated by bicycle pump was feeble to say the least. Gracie was somewhat disappointed. “That sounds like a duck trump!” declared Gracie before erupting into giggles. A new horn is something we need to add to the growing shopping list of items Royal Tudor needs. To this list can be added two new mooring warps, without which mooring is decidedly difficult having to swap lines from various parts of the boat when coming into moor. Through Ludham we headed to the Ant mouth and turned to follow the River Bure downstream. That weekend the Three Rivers Yacht Race was taking place, so I put on some revs and got a wiggle on to Potter Heigham hoping to get a mooring. Gracie disappeared below decks with Grandma but they soon arrived back bearing cake, biscuits and a cup of tea. I have a new found enjoyment of cake. I blame my very best friend Doug for this. Call a tea break and I can guarantee Doug will ask 'Is there any cake?'. It's either Doug's fault or I admit I've entered that stage of life where cake features heavily, as do sheds. We made Potter Heigham before tea time, 4 pm proper tea time, moored in the only open space opposite Herbert Woods yard river entrance (not ideal) and took the boys and Gracie for a walk into 'town' to stretch legs, before I headed back to Royal Tudor for a well deserved nap! More later!
  29. 15 points
    Home again ... we hadn't been on the road for long this morning when I wished that I was out of the traffic and back on the boat! And it always seems so funny that in ten minutes you drive along from Stalham, past Sutton and on through Potter Heigham whereas we all know how long that journey is by boat! Anyway ... time for some Reflections on Reflection ... The Boat - Swan Reflection is still a great boat to hire. Compact at 31 feet it is a little tight for space on board but ideal for a couple especially if you haven't got much experience. Plus it warms up quickly once you get the heating on. Great to steer - you can set the revs, set the steering and it will go in a straight line for as long as you need until you reach the next bend in the river. Comfortable bed, the seating has been re-upholstered at some point, decent size fridge and ice box plus a gas cooker as well as a microwave. Electric flushing toilet which does use a fair amount of water but is a nice little luxury! I would always highly recommend this boat. The Yard - We had only hired from Richardson's once before and that was at a busier time. It still feels like a holiday camp kind of check-in to me but the system works well. The staff were all very friendly and the young lad who did our handover and refuelled us this morning, was great. He asked how our week had been, asked if there were any problems with the boat and wished us a safe journey home. That counts for a lot with me and we would definitely go back. The Food - Always a highlight of my holiday because we don't eat out much at home and it's a treat not to be cooking. The Sutton Staithe Hotel was first class, Bridgestone's Tea Rooms in Potter Heigham was excellent, the New Inn was great value and good food as always. The Swan Inn was my least favourite, good service but overpriced and not as good food as everywhere else. That's just my personal opinion based on the meals we had on the days we dined in each of these establishments. Incidentally the Staithe & Willow in Horning was closed and looks to me as if it has just been sold from something I saw on a property website. The Wildlife - there was a lot of life in the wildlife ... if you know what I mean. Plenty of birds flying around in pairs. ;) But what a delight to see an otter and to see a good number of kingfishers around Irstead. Plus the sound of the owls in the trees after dark was amazing ... I don't get that living here in the city. The Firsts - I always like to try to tick some items off my "still to do" list. This week we moored at Irstead, we went right down Lime Kiln Dyke, and we moored on the public staithe in Horning. That was good enough for me. All About March - Finally my thoughts on hiring in March as this was only the second time that we have been out this early in the season. Don't forget that even if it is going to be mild for the time of year, you are not at home in your double glazed centrally heated house. So for me it is always going to be cold and my thermals were required every day! We had one sunny day, the rest was overcast and grey but it was dry although the breeze picked up on our last day. No bright sunny frosty mornings but I'll take that over wind and rain and ice. But best of all was the ability to choose where to moor at any time of day and be almost certain you wouldn't have any problems. We were completely on our own overnight at Irstead, Womack Water and Paddy's Lane. And it would have been a full set if someone else hadn't turned up when it was getting dark at Cockshoot Broad. The photos through the week were from my phone so below are just a few off my camera. There will be a video as soon as I get time to put things together.
  30. 15 points
    Why expect anything else from the people who bought it? They had grand plans to build a new factory - now it is to profit from that land being turned into housing. My suspicion is also that they have been only been building up their hire fleet to keep them occupied as they may not have had other orders to keep the guys busy - a hire fleet that small is not sustainable so I wonder what plans they have for the yard as a whole? Am I just being cynical awaiting the planned development of the site for other uses. Sounds like a well thought out plan from the outset - you never want to think that but I cannot see any real investment having been made. Does it actually say in so many words they are going to expand their hire fleet? Is "developing" the same word? Lets wait before we all get too excited especially as we all know hire fleets alone. are not necessarily the way to making lots of money However there are probably some people who will really benefit by trousering a wedge I guess, and its not the workers!! I would really really like to think otherwise and I hope I am wrong but like others, I have been very suspicious of this whole operation from Day 1 !!! Somebody prove me wrong please!!!!
  31. 15 points
    Today I have the Broads Authority Tolls office in a spin over the short visit Toll. I called to renew it for a further two weeks, since the BSS examination did not take place as expected yesterday and there will be a week of nothing much taking place until this coming Saturday when the examination (I hope) does take place. Once it has taken place, and I have the list of items to rectify, I need to get such put right and I am hopeful that this could happen at reasonably short notice, not to mention also sort the issues with the heater stand pipe leaking from the fuel tank. The question I put to the Authority was; what would happen if the items that needed to be sorted (of which I know not what they may be currently) was not to be rectified by the expiry of the second two week visitor Toll? They said I could apply for a '50% toll' (which I think is where you get an annual toll but it effectively is a six month toll as you are paying for half of the year). This is because they could not issue me with any further visitor Tolls but I am also getting very close to the end of the current year (April to April) so my visitor Toll payments made so far would be deducted from my 'six month Toll' that in fact would only be valid for a couple of months before I had to spend for a further full annual Toll. This is all making sense to me, until I pointed out the issue of lacking a current BSS certificate and how can I be issued with a six month Toll if the boat has not got one? Ah Urm .. And with that I was told they would to discuss my case at a senior level and I am now waiting a call back to see what will happen. It is also interesting the amount I paid over the phone at the side of the river when I had the Ranger stop by in his launch was incorrect by £43.50. Now moving on from the current situation on the ground, so to speak: This thread I know irks some that follow it (and indeed who engage in it) that either the thread is wandering off away from the likes of the above (whereby I share what is what and currently going on) to those who reply and are involved with the discussion and are kind with their offers of help or advice. They may feel I ignore such advice proffered and then feel a bit off with me over it. With respect to anyone who has given advice to me, or may wish to in the future, please don’t be miffed if I either don’t take it or do something contrary to it. I am not snubbing anyone personally and I am sorry if anyone feels I may have or am, but I am simply wanting to do things in my particular way. This may lead you to read and look on in horror and pull your hair out wondering why I am doing something in the manner I am, but I need to do this and I need to make my own mistakes and cost myself my own money and learn and experience such things – just as I have all along with this project. You see this is as much a test of my own self resolve and character to do this than anything else. To decide to go for it initially and buy the boat without doing the usual and proper checks such as having an out of water survey, a sea trial and so on. The way I negotiated the price, the manner in which I was sharing the progress of such in my posts and videos right up to now where I am dealing with local engineers, examiners and the Broads Authority. Nobody is telling me “What you need to do Robin is...” or “Now, if I was you I would do this...” I am doing it in the way I see fit to, which may be about face and a right faff about and cost me double what It might have done but I really need to do this and I simply wanted to share this as I went along. By saying the above it might seem as some kind of heartfelt emotional response to recent opinions others have shared, when actually from my point of view it is the opposite. In short, what I do will be what I do and that is for my own reasons and I will continue to chart the progress (or lack thereof) I make so what others may feel or say I can’t allow to bother me because the moment I do or I begin to take heed of what others may be saying then I am no longer being true to myself, and making my own choices (and mistakes) which as I say is what this is all about. I know that may be hard to understand but that is what the current situation is, this is an outlet as other platforms are for me not to tell people this is what to do, not to ask for people’s assistance, but to simply share what it is I am doing. That said when people have sub-discussions about something this is great because it may be someone learns something that may help them with an issue quite unconnected to my own - so I am not saying do not reply, do not offer advice to me, but please don't be offended if I do something contrary to it. If nobody replied further here or elsewhere and I was simply posted updates to a blank wall, I would continue for nothing else that I like to read over things myself as almost a diary and record of a time and experience that took place. I've given myself 12 months with the boat to see if I love her, if this time next year I am not then it will be a case of saying I came, I tried, I did and now it is time to move on so I ma very much not being lead by my heart in this project but none the less I am enjoying each twist and turn, even if sometimes I might get a bit low when you find and solve one problem and another pops it's head up right after.
  32. 15 points
    I joined the NBN nearly ten years ago, mainly because it was a friendly forum about boats on The Broads. I see today that I've averaged 1000 posts per year and I really must try to put more effort into it! We had just moved from sea-going to river-going boating and although we had a fair bit of Yare-bound sailing twixt Brundall and Gorleston we knew little about anywhere else on The Broads. Earliest Friday Girl, our Fairline Holiday, here shown when we visited St Peter Port in her with Daughter and Son and returned to Brundall! Sea-going, our trusty old Freeward 30, Friday Girl 2 Our "Froggy", Friday Girl 3, in Vlissingen And now Broads Bound until last year when I needed (and have since had) two new knees: I can honestly say that I've enjoyed every hour of it, be it sail, motor, sea or river! One day I'll finish the saga of all the adventures we've had in them all!
  33. 15 points
    I am sorry that I have not got round to writing up some of our adventures over the Christmas and New Year period on Broad Ambition - but having spent 11 nights on here I had to hastily return to London for a night before heading off to Plymouth to meet engineers there. That said it was a lovely time afloat. Shiela and I arrived in the Wet Shed late afternoon on 23rd December. Last year we arrived to find Broad Ambition in a bit of a sorry state internally with a lot of mould and mildew on surfaces and I feared that with all the rain and mild weather this may be the case this year, but not a bit of it. We dropped off our cases and headed back out to our taxi I had from Norwich waiting for us, to take us into Wroxham. I have to say Goldstar Taxi's do always seem reliable and good value - Norwich Train Station to Stalham, waiting time then into Wroxham for £31.00. In Wroxham it was time to hunt down the new electric cards - boatyards that were open had them but were keeping them for their own hirers, try Norfolk Marine I was told and so duly arrived to find they had some and we bought ten. I then spent another 20 minutes looking over things and being lead out by Shiela "we need to get food shopping Rob not fenders for Indy". So we duly went to Roys and ended up with a trolley full of all sorts from Mince Pies to Pepper. They had some helpers on the tills to pack bags and the lady who was at ours was a fellow Londoner visiting her parents nearby and had got roped into with her younger sister to help out and was fun comparing Wroxham to London - even the packing of bags here was a low pressure affair. So time to get back to the Boat - Wroxham Taxi's had nothing, Horning Taxi's the same Stalham Taxi's could get to us in 40 minutes - I accepted, and we went to McDonalds to kill time and right on schedule the chap arrived. Shame the car smelt of stale smoke but any port in a storm we were back at the wet shed and getting our shopping stowed. Our plan now was to sit tight and head out on the water tomorrow morning, this evening we would take a walk into Stalham to the Swan and have a few drinks - and very nice it was too. Christmas Eve arrived and it was out the wetshed and into some mayhem. Yep Richardson's fleet is everywhere with a small chicane of open water to go through between bows and sterns. But because the wet shed has some new arrivals it makes getting Broad Ambition out very much harder than in the past, indeed we have to exit astern now and I had to turn, avoiding the two fishermen in their dinghies and the aforesaid fleet of Richardson's hire boats. Underway along the deserted River Ant, then over Barton Broad - ahh it was good to be back on the Broads. We were to have our Christmas Day dinner at the Swan in Horning, so it would be ideal if we could get moored in Horning making our walk to the pub so much easier. We duly arrived to find the Staithe empty! Moored up and plugged into the electric all was well - and then the wind began to build ever more as the evening went on, rain too but this was a proper lazy holiday unless we had to we would be eating out and so it was a walk to the Ferry Inn a Horning. Lucky for us the rain had stopped and to be honest it was a good meal, better than in the past and worth noting they have gone up to a 4 start food hygiene rating so I was happy. Back to the boat and the not long after the rain set in good and proper for the night - and the wind continued to get ever stronger but we were comfy inside and the usual Christmas telly, drinks and nibbles were on the go. Come Christmas Day and Father Christmas had come (well Shiela had bought us two matching giant stockings) and yours truly had loaded them up the evening before when she had gone to bed - so now it was time to get opening the pressies and my new love is Alexa (Amazon Echo). Later we got ready and headed to the Swan for our Christmas Day dinner and I had high expectations based on last year, but they shattered when we walked in and there were people leaving unhappy, then another party - we were kept waiting and waiting and 55 minutes after arriving were shown to a table, devoid of any festive charm such as Crackers - these hurriedly plonked on it sometime later. I won't go into every detail but suffice to say we arrived at 3:45pm and at 7:15pm were had just got our desert. One waitress had a break down and had to be comforted by an elderly couple, the Chef was shouting and people were all very unhappy. It turned out the manger, a Chef and a member of staff had all been asked to rush to another pub to help and left the Swan in disarray. I was offered the drinks on the house, but honestly I and many others there I think will need a lot to gain trust and risk such again for such a special occasion to be spent there - having emailed twice to Vintage Inns I still have had no real response. I heard good things about the Ferry Inn's Christmas Lunch though. Back on the boat and we settled in for another evening, and at this point things began to get into the routine where we did very little, cruised relatively short distances and generally were very lazy but why not. We were surprised at how many boats were out from Broads Boating Co. at Acle and Faircraft Loynes coupled with privateers either out for a cruise for the day or staying out over the Christmas period. Boxing Day saw us depart Horning and head down the Bure to Acle - where we duly moored outside the Bridge Inn and this would be our base as it turned out for another two nights. But with good food and drink and a real warm local friendly place to spend time it was fine by us. The Bridge Inn really had laid on the festive charm and the real open fire in the bar area was great - although on limited opening hours, they really were busy with visiting locals which made for a nice vibrant atmosphere, sadly Phil was not about but in Glasgow meeting old friends and attending wedding so I missed catching up with him this time around. Come the following day and we had decided to head to Ranworth, but the wind over night which was bad enough was now just plain stupid strong. Once the tide turned we had the wind almost on our bow with the ever rising water coming up the Bure and no word of a lie the well and waves rolling in along this stretch were something else. Over on Facebook posts were coming in from Ranworth - there it was less bad but the waves were hitting the Staithe quay heading and over topping it, new from Potter Heigham was no better with photos of boat canopies being liberated from their fastenings and generally rough old conditions. I spent a lot of time outside getting soaked with near horizontal rain adding fenders, lines and generally ensuring we were secure and safe in what is a pretty exposed mooring. By early evening the wind had dropped some but it was far from being over. In fact the wind direction changed and we had a new issue - rain water was now finding its way into any crevice and crack it could - and a seam between the wood panels on the sides of the boat was weeping water too into Shiela's cabin. I am pleased I bought some Vaseline and duct tape to seal up small areas around the wheelhouse and said seam and keep the tree, and cabin dry. The following morning (27th December) and it was all over, as if there had never been any high winds and rain and so we left, and duly cruised to Ranworth and by the time we arrived we had the entire Staithe to ourselves. Bright blue skies, still waters and chill in the air - it was the perfect winter scene. Shiela and I decided to do something different and got a Taxi from the Staithe to Wroxham (Wroxham Taxi's £15.00) where we then got the bus into Norwich. Having been on the water and not moving too far the hustle and bustle of the city was a bit of a shock to the system but we visited the usual places and got some reduced bits here and there and then headed for lunch at Zizzi. This duly had it was time to grab a few essentials to take back to the boat and get a Taxi back to Ranworth (Courtesy Taxi's £19.00) and when we pulled into the Staithe parking area were shocked to find how many boats had turned up. From the odd hire boat to continuous cruisers and people who had just come for the day at the pub and were now headed back - so many had their festive lights on it really was a nice sight, and later in the evening Shiela and I headed into the Maltsters for a few drinks where I found Little Sharpie a very easy drinking Ale that went down nicely. Tonight was a cold one - clear skies outside but we supplemented out heating with a fan heater despite being just below freezing outside inside we were cosy as could be and so settled into what was now becoming a rather nice existence of day time exploration, early evening drinking and night time feet up not a care in the world type living. We awoke on 28th December to a different scene - gone was the clear skies and grey gloom had set in, the wind had got up again, nothing too strong but none the less a constant stiff breeze and rain - yes more of the stuff was falling from the sky. I was aware that we had had the heating running more on than off and certainly over the previous evenings overnight too, with our usual places for fuel and pump out's closed until after we were headed back to London, I used the opportunity of Boulters being open for a few hours to head to Horning. We duly called to confirm their could accept us and set off. Now this is no easy manoeuvre getting into their basin and we did such stern on first because we had a rather strong wind wanting to blow us away from Boulters and towards berthed boats. In the rain Shiela was outside ready to fend off and giving me instructions on how far away from quay headings I was and so I was just a little miffed when Sonny could have taken our bow line from Shiela but did not and stood watching then did lend us a hand but called to me "still learning then" - I took it on the chin, we topped up with 44 litres of fuel and a pump-out and Silver Cloud a syndicate boat had arrived during our servicing (they have a bow thruster) and when we came to leave, Dave duly filming us. I must have learnt a lot in that short time as we left, turned and headed down the dyke despite the wind perfectly - and so we cruised back to where we had come from, Ranworth. Once tied up it was time to go meet face to face a chap that has got his fair share of judgment and on the Interwebs and who I also have only known through his videos - Miles Weston. Well turns out he is a very easy to get along with person and having got him a four pack of Strongbow and having a natter find a lot of his views might not be that of the majority but I respect him for putting his head over the parapet and stating them in the public realm not behind a keyboard. Back to the boat, collect Shiela and on to the pub - disaster - they don't serve food. Now last year they did but no this year it was only done till 3:30pm, so with no food on the boat to talk of what would we do? Well back on the phone to Wroxham Taxi's - to Horning I said, are you absolutely sure you want that asked the chap? It is not far but will cost you a fair bit - yes I said and so we were duly rescued and had another nice meal at the Ferry Inn and were duly collected on time and taken back to Ranworth (return trip cost £40.00). It was then back into the Maltsters were Miles was to be found at the bar and a few other locals too. Shiela and I had a mini-domestic over Apple Pay needing to have your finger print verify the payment, she said it did not as could pay with her Apple Watch which had no finger print reader but I was right, she could not get my phone to make a payment unless I was there to verify my fingerprint - she lost, was annoyed and it must have seemed to those in the pub all hell was breaking out lol because when she is frustrated people know about it. Later on we came back to the pub where Shiela was in her Pyjama's - it did happen though I don't have a photo of it sadly. I should explain we were cosy there on the boat and needed the loo, so why not use the shore side ones I said? So we duly set off but she just put on a coat over her PJ's. She got a fright in the dark in the loo (not lit at night) so I said well lets go to the pub for a night cap - and so it was that Shiela ordered two drinks at the Maltsters in her slippers and PJ's - but somehow, in Norfolk, at Christmas that just seemed perfectly acceptable. You will forgive me if I forget what happened between the 29th and 30th December, I think by now all this pub visiting and drinking had got the better of me but I know that come 30th December we were back at Ranworth and meeting my, Mum and husband Simon who would join Shiela and I for a few days and see in the New Year. Having got them safely onboard we left Ranworth Staithe and cruised to Horning, where we found space at the Staithe once more. Water levels were very high and my Mum was not happy with our arrangements for getting on and off Broad Ambition for the older generation, she was all for getting a folding step ladder but I said I recon a certain Yorkshire man could make up a nice stable pair of steps in a good varnished wood to bring along with us when we knew the less able visitor was due to be onboard and help in their getting on and off. I thought Simon (12 years my mother's junior) might be the man to help, but no he had a bad back too so it was down to be to lift my old dear on and off while Shiela made sure the boat was snug to the quay. We had a great catch up since my mum has retired now and moved away from the London area so not seeing her as often as once did, and what with all the work and going to and from Plymouth we have not had much chance to be together. Later that evening it was a walk back to...Yep the Ferry Inn lol - by now the staff were on first name terms with us. Another well priced belt busting meal and I was ready for being put in a Barrow and taken back to the boat, but no I had to walk. Simon being around now was a bad influence as we had moved from Pints to Spirits and this continued once we were onboard although we did have some grapes and cheese to soak up the alcohol, it is safe to say I slept very well that evening. New Years Eve and we departed Horning - for a relatively short cruise to Acle, where we would be spending the evening and a formal meal and music to see the New Year in later. Claire, Andrew, Simon and Sonia (and Dylan) later joined us on their respective boats and we settled in for what a really lovely meal. They had moved tables about, all white table clothes, balloons, party packs and a really very well prepared 5 course meal. You never can be too safe from a certain Mr Griffin mind you as a waitress came over and said our first round of drinks had been bought by said Yorkshireman. What a star! I We duly sent a thank you video to him. The problem was the fireworks - they were meant to all go off, but only one box did (rain got the better of them) but it was great to see the staff let their hair down (literally) once the DJ got going and Vanessa was on top form Facetiming Phil showing him what he was missing out on, and it has to be one of the best New Years I have had and to then go back to the boat, and carry on the party and drinking - well it was gone 3:00am when we settled into our berths. New Years Day and Shiela had to depart us for London - work to start the following day, so Taxi duly booked she was collected and then it was just Simon, myself and my Mum - we cruised in company from the Bridge Inn with Claire, Andrew, Simon and Sonia on their boats - they headed up the Ant and home and as for us? Well naturally back to Ranworth and Maltsters. We took a walk up to the Church and to the top of the tower where we saw the flotilla of boats coming in on their New Years Day Pub Cruise (I like the sound of that) and then I duly had a nose bleed - not had one for years - back down to sea level lol and prayers said it was back to be sinful at the pub. They were doing food - but had little left on Menu - not to worry we got what we wanted and it was good too, met Rod who owns a boat that moors almost opposite us in the wet shed who had a few words of advice about bringing Independence to Norfolk since he is a Pilot on the Thames and previously captained some pretty large stuff so knows a thing of two about offshore boating. Back to the boat and we were all pretty drained and I think it must have been about 8:00pm and we were off to our berths. 2nd January and we departed Ranworth headed up to Sutton Staithe - this was because we could have stayed out longer but I had a call from the boatyard in Plymouth wanting to meet me and see what was what on Independence so I would have to get Broad Ambition back to the wetshed, come to London and the next day head to Plymouth - no rest for me then! But back in the present, the water was very high - when we approached Ludham I had Simon outside to give me a better understanding of what space we had under the bridge. The gauge showed 7ft 3" (we have an air draft of 7ft 7" with windscreen up) he said we could do it, and we all breathed in and sure enough we did with 2" spare but damn sight easier than lowering the sides, windscreen and canopy it was also experience that kept up dead centre as the walkways were well under water. Now I had heard about this storm 'Eleanor' but it would not affect us - I was more worried about the south west and Independence so had not been keeping quite the eye I should on the local weather. Having moored up we headed to the Sutton Staithe Hotel. Now this is under another owner/management and - well you'd never know it when you walked in but please, do not let that put you off or cloud your judgment. The Carvery is returning in January, and the menu has changed and we all ate there that evening and the food was really very good - far better than the last time I was there, so I think it is a case of slowly slowly does it as to progress. To be honest having got there about 3:30pm, it was gone 8:00pm when we eventually left and the wind had got up. Simon is then telling me about various weather warnings and so on, gusts of 70MPH down on the Cornish coast already and Norfolk would have its fair share too. I checked the lines and by about 10:00pm was in bed. At about 1:30am I was wide awake - what on the hell was going on outside! From there on until getting on for 6:00am I was up and doing ever more things to keep us and the boat safe. First was to deploy a small lightweight fender that I tied on and had flat floating on the water to protect the portside waterline from the quay - which was only a few inches above water. Waves coming up from the Sutton Broad were crashing into Broad Ambitions transom with such force the spray came in to our aft well. The mast was all over the place so that was lowered, but still the wind grew stronger. Small branches were now coming down from the trees, large Reed 'islands' were finding their way up having been liberated from the side of the Broad and our canopy was doing it's level best at parting company with the sash side windows. You see it has a combination press stud fasteners and Velcro to hold it down but the air pressure was lifting the entire side batten that has the felt part of Velcro on it (and which we lift out when taking down the canopy for low bridges etc) so I had to use zip-ties to attach to this and sash side handles to keep it in place. I can honestly say it was the strongest winds I have ever encountered on the river and the gusts in the early hours around 3:30am were really at the worst. Still, we got through it ok with no damage to the boat whatsoever. By the time we needed to head back to the wet shed the wind had eased but we had the issue of the boat pointing the wrong way. I briefed Simon and my mum on what we would do - take the boat by hand on the ropes to the end of the moorings, this being away from other boats, and a wider point. Then I would take two bow ropes to the shore and a fender and Simon would use this as I let go of the stern to fend off the boat, and pay out line as the wind brought her stern around and thus with a bit of engine assistance turn the boat in her own length. It went perfectly and once we were pointing bow into the waves and wind on the Broad it was an easy departure and a short time later back to base. Only it was not that simple because as we came into Richardson's a boat was adrift and there were some staff making fast ropes on some others, a real chicane to get around and then I noticed the water was so high one could not see the broken down quay heading either side of the wet shed entrance. Mast down just to get in the shed - back in our berth we could all relax and begin our through clean up of the boat and make her ready for the next outing. I had spent 11 nights onboard, the longest I have so far been on Broad Ambition, it was also the longest Shiela had been on the water but we both loved it and Broad Ambition has shown what a comfortable, cosy, warm and safe boat she is. I did not do any Blog, because this was our holiday but here are a selection of photos from our travels: Even the older folk prefer phones and Facebook to talking... Tight at Ludham Bridge
  34. 15 points
    Time to mention the "Elephant in the room" Liveaboards are not the problem, it is peoples perception of liveaboards that causes all the issues and there is a logical (but not good) reason for this. A number of these people keep their boats clean, in good order and are genuinely a credit to the community. These people are hardly ever mentioned when discussions about livaboards occur. Why not? Because nobody notices them for what they are. Their boats are seen but not recognised as homes, they are thought to be "just another boat on the broads". Then you get the stereotyped liveaboard. This boat is dirty, covered in rubbish along with the bank beside it. Nobody wants it near them, and it's owner is considered a worthless skiver and probably dishonest too. I don't remember how the occupants of Thorpe Island were allegedly described by someone in the BA or the council, but I do remember the description being thoroughly offensive. I also know nothing about the people who live on the island nor the general appearance of the site but all parties need to look at the island and see which camp it lies in. Typical or stereotype. Please please please no one should take offence to the above and remember I am talking about PERCEPTIONS here.
  35. 14 points
    Friday 5th July Mandy was reasonably pleased that with my planned depart time of 9am, the previous Friday we left at 6am to get to Cumbria, so on this trip there was no need to wrap herself up in a throw as she did the previous week. The car was loaded to bursting, and Lottie was quick to take her place on the back seat to ensure we didnt leave without her. (She is secured by the seat belt to her harness) The journey was pretty uneventful and we made excellent time until the single carriageway A143 held us up with HGV's and the odd tractor We still made it to Loddon by 11.30am, I had arranged with Fiona to pick the boat up a little earlier at 1.00pm, so obviously we were way too early. So a plan came to mind (actually this was always my intention but dont tell Mandy) 'We're too early darling' I said 'What do you want to do' she replied 'Well, Lottie needs a walk and we've never been to the White Horse', we could have some lunch there?' I like it when a plan comes together, although after 33 years of marriage I think she knew I planned this! Well, what a great pub the White Horse is, why haven't we used it before? Superb garden, very friendly landlady but the Landlord is a very bad man and cruelly exposed a weakness I have! I ordered a pint of Wherry or Southwold and a J2O for Mandy and got a bowl of water for Lottie, I went back to the bar and ordered a couple of baguettes. About 15 mins later the landlord bought our food to the table, looking at my glass he said 'you need another pint' it wasn't a question, what a mind reader, and he insisted on bringing it to the table! Later he came back to collect our plates 'Was everything ok with your food?' 'Would you like more drink?' I could have said no, but found myself saying 'yes please' Bad bad man! It was now about 1.10pm, and I was now sitting in the passenger seat, Mandy drove the last mile! Well I did do the previous 149! A couple of mins later we were parked on the lawn at Pacific Cruisers. Now, I cant heap enough praise on Richard Fiona and their team, I know they are a business (a business that I hope does very well) but they make you fell you are friends and are just borrowing a boat! Everything is handled so informally and friendly, nothing is too much trouble. This is our third consecutive hire with them and third on Dawn. I really cant imagine using anyone else! Mandy and Fiona 'fitted' Lottie with her life jacket, I was just the labourer and emptied the car Soon everything was loaded, Mandy managed to drop my fleece in the drink, (and I was the one that had alcohol) mind you it would soon be dry, not that I would! As envisaged, my experience with the Wrynose pass made the Chet a doddle, taking it slowly after about an hour we were soon cruising down The Yare My favourite pub on the broads is the Surlingham Ferry, I love the beer, the food the garden and Sonia and all her staff are really lovely, I'd booked a mooring so we didn't need to hurry to get there As I already said I hadn't used the White Horse at Chedgrave before, two other pubs we hadn't used was the Beauchamp and Coldham Hall. I wanted to correct this, as we approached The Beauchamp, it looked quiet, there were plenty of moorings, but no one was sitting outside, which I thought odd as it was a lovely sunny day, I quickly 'googled it' - it didn't open until 5pm, and as it was only about 2.30pm, ruled it out I know the owner feels that not getting planning permission on his caravan park is going to 'kill' his pub, but not opening until 5 on a Friday is hardly going to help, is it? So Coldham Hall it was then, and I was really pleased the Beauchamp was closed, Approaching Coldham Hall there was a mooring at the front, but .......... I know this shouldn't make any difference but there was a private boat moored just behind us as we came in, that first mooring of the year suddenly came with extra pressure. No need to worry, straight in no problems..... I'm back! A couple of 'mature gents' got up and took our ropes, which I thanked them, but we had it all under control. We had a chat with them once we got our drinks, they confessed to having been in the pub a fair time, and good luck to them! A couple of pints of Ghost Ship for me, Pimms and a tea for Mandy, Lottie had to stick to water, well someone has to be sober to stern moor at The Ferry House We decided to 'cut the corner' at Brundall and entered Bargate Broad, it was so peaceful we decided to mud weight for 30mins. I like the idea of mud weighting overnight but it's not possible with Lottie We arrived at The Ferry House about 5.30pm and saw the board reserving our mooring for the night. Second mooring of the hols and although Lottie was prepared to moor for me, I decided she should keep to her job of watching the ducks! Another good mooring, and again plenty of help with the ropes, although I'm not sure with the advice passed back to me from Mandy from someone on the bank to shut the engine off despite still being 6ft from the bank! We had a nice chat with a private boater to our side about dogs, Lottie is a rescue, and although we've had her for a while, she was mistreated and get easily spooked and can be unfriendly to strangers, once she know you she loves you to bits! I take her to work with me, she now loves everyone in my office, especially the girls in accounts who bring chicken in to feed her! Sorry cant remember your name or the boat you were on, I only remember we were both the same age a very young 62! We decided to have a couple of drinks, Mandy soft, me Humpty Dumpty (I think) Lottie just water We returned to the boat to freshen up, then back to the pub for dinner I cant remember what we had, but I'm sure it was good, Mandy had two glasses of wine, me a couple of beers and Lottie was still suck on the water Now this is where I had a little mishap, now I accept I had consumed a few beers, but it was over a long period and I had two meals, I was feeling good, and I'm used to drinking regularly I took Lottie for a fairly long walk, about 45 mins Although I've worked in and around London for 40 years I am a country boy at heart my dad was a farmer and I'm comfortable in the countryside and do a lot of walking with Lottie and dogs before her I've noticed recently more and more gates on footpaths are now 'self closing' obviously a necessity in these days because some people cant be bothered to close a gate behind them Well a set of circumstances that night lead to what could have been worse, as I approached the last gate before the pub I put Lottie on her extending lead, I opened the gate which has a concrete step on the pub side. Lottie got spooked by another dog barking, pulled on her lead, this made me loose my footing as I stumbled forward the gate closed and trapped my ankle between the bottom of the gate and the concrete step This wasn't just an ouch moment, my ankle was stuck and I couldn't reach the clasp on the gate, and guess what? I hadn't taken my phone with me, I always have my phone, I'm always berating Mandy for not taking a phone! So there I was stuck and doing my best not to embarrass myself my having to call 'help' so I sat there for a couple of mins, when for some reason I let go of Lottie's lead, the lead recoiled that spooked her and she ran off! I still dont know how I freed myself, you hear stories where under pressure people use natural adrenalin to preform great strengths, that may have been my moment, as the dog ran off I managed to reach up and open the gate, something I obviously tried to do several times with no success Lottie had come straight back to me at this point so we both got back to the boat unharmed, a few cuts and bruises for me! Mandy told me I was a silly old fool and that it was all my fault, and I couldn't argue Sorry for the ramble, later days were less eventful! To be continued
  36. 14 points
    Another great evening was had on our Dining Out Night. The staff at The Bridge Inn looked after us very well (We had the back room) they were superb as was the food as per the norm. The pre-ordered Lap Dancers however let us down and did not turn up. No surprise there then as they have failed to turn up each year to be honest. Note to self - Write to my MP about this matter. The inter boat quiz was won by 'B.A' with J-of-L II coming a close second. The 'Vicars' theme. I did have a vicars outfit that I had took with me but the lads had secretly secured a Popes outfit that I was presented with once alongside and ordered to wear on the night Today Saturday 13th 'B.A' sailed at 0630 for Stalham via Robert at Sutton Staithe for pump out and diesel. Jewels 1, 2, and 3 sailed at 0740 for Potter Heigham. By 1000 all crews were away on their way home apart from me n Bro who had to do the usual clean through on 'B.A' We eventually got home for around 1615. It was agreed by all that this has been yet another memorable successful Lads Week, No one fell in although two crew members did get wet from foot to crotch through trying to walk on water when getting onboard, they failed of course as neither of them are Yorkies. No accidents. One certain southern crew member lost his false front tooth on the first Friday night. apparently having left it in the Norada Pub. He found it yesterday evening down the side of his mattress by his pillow - Laugh did we? Gnasher who we wore false top rack of teeth for appreciated our support and has sent that photo off to his family etc who all agreed we were a great bunch of mates supporting him and that it was hilarious. Herbert Woods staff looked after us very well, especially on the Friday afternoon / early evening as we started to arrive and then again during Saturday forenoon prior to sailing, nothing was too much trouble for them, not that we gave them any trouble you understand. The three Jewels are provisionally booked for next year Diesel consumption for the week was:- 1 = 95 x Ltrs, 2 = 102 x Ltrs, 3 = 97 x Ltrs and 'B.A' = 93 x Ltrs, 'B.A' having to sail from Stalham to PH to meet up with the Jewels on the first Friday evening then back to Stalham from Acle so she covered more river miles. So when is 'B.A' crewed up once more and underway on the H20? - No idea at present although I will be onboard for a maintenance weekend next month but staying in the wet shed Griff
  37. 14 points
    Platter and stand Nearly done
  38. 14 points
    I really don't let things worry me, bother me or concern me - you get on and deal with it. When we had issues with the upper helm station commander and I had to move the boat to the fuel pontoon the most excited (upset/annoyed/bothered) at having to do this maneuver from the inside helm and have no vision of the boat other than the bow rail was to utter "bloody hell". When Dan dived down and showed me photos of a chip taken out of the port propeller blade I don't fret and worry about it - I think that might make it out of balance, along with the Anodes needing to be replaced I might need a new prop - file away into the 'sort out when in Norfolk' cabinet which is in my mind and get on with the rest of my day. I think what this thread actually shows and having bought the boat is more about me and my outlook on things than anything else. I had an email from a worried salesman about the heater installation - his manager had got involved and since the company fits out Princess new builds they went over the requirements of what a new 55 foot Princess would have and turns out to be 16Kw output. The fact I am wanting only a 5Kw output seems to have really worried them I might not be warm enough. He also drew to my attention about am i sure I did not want the heads heated? I guess they are used to more demanding client's since I sent a reply explaining that over Christmas I was on the Broads, on a 40ft boat with a vinyl canopy over the wheelhouse and a heater with a 3.5Kw output which had not only no heat in the heats but nor the galley and I was just fine. I am sure this sort of thing to some causes a great deal of time and thought and planning but with me it is more a case of it doing for the time being and above all can they keep to their deadline of fitting it prior to our departure. My advice is just sit back and relax, it will work out in the end.
  39. 14 points
    The customer is always right? Wrong! I was reading an article this morning on the boycotting of retailers and businesses by customers and discovered why I would be no good what so ever working in customer service. You see, it's because I'm getting a bit tired of standing in shops listening to the crap coming out of the pompous, jumped up, obnoxious twonks that think that somehow they are entitled to something for nothing. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a bargain and excellent service when I go shopping, but things are getting a tad ridiculous. I was stood behind a well-heeled woman yesterday shouting her mouth off because the supermarket refused to replace the bottle of gin she had allegedly bought, taken home, and had leaked so badly the bottle was empty. The manager on checking the bottle pointed out that the seal was broken, the cardboard packaging was not gin-soaked, the bottle itself did not leak and the cap fastened securely, and the woman did not have a receipt. Fortunately, it was the elderly lady in front of me that intervened "Shame on you!" she scalded the woman who then quickly left the shop and hopped into her new Mercedes car, this time without her free bottle of gin. This is not an isolated incident. On one of my many trips to a chandlery this year I stood behind a chap that selected quite a pile of 'potential' purchases plonked them on the counter and announced 'you will have to knock 50% off". I started to chuckle when another member of staff served me and pointedly informed me he had 'applied my usual discount'. A bit confused I looked at my bill and he had...10% knocked off, for not being a twonk I assumed. Probably because I'm a smoker, I'm usually loitering outside shops while my better half is doing the actual hard work of shopping. It's my story and I'm sticking to it. I often hear some quite shocking conversations from customers of the shop as they plan exactly the tactics that they will employ to get free stuff or a discount or a refund and still retain the product. A recent one was 'look they have a trainee, keep her flustered and we will get some money off'. To my mind, this is just as much theft as the hoards of shoplifters that descend on shops now that the silly season is almost upon us. In this instance, I sidled up to the security guard in store and passed on what I'd heard. It was with some satisfaction I noticed the store put an older staff member with the trainee and while the couple dithered over till point the manager graciously opened a till just to serve them. In the article, I was reading one Tesco customer boycotted the store because a checkout assistant called her 'darling' which was supposedly belittling and derogatory. When the woman complained and was informed she could use another checkout assistant and one would be made available, perfectly reasonable in my mind, she decided to boycott the store. As the silly season approaches (notice how I avoided the C word there) please spare a thought for the people who work in retail. Long hours, often unsocial, stressful...on their own as their other half is off mending a boat in Norfolk...ahem Now my other half who works in retail would like to point out that not all retail staff are downtrodden. The majority of them would not know what 'good customer service' was if it jumped up and bit them on the bum.
  40. 14 points
    Day 4 - still, still learning to moor The proceeded similarly early. Morning found us on the Hadiscoe New Cut as uninspiring piece of waterway as any I’ve seen. It was saved a bit by the oyster catchers on the marker posts which allowed me get a very close look at them. Reedham was in sight no sooner than you start along straight channel however it seemed never to draw any closer. We were due a water stop and Reedham seemed like the only place – I had a vague notion of reaching Norwich that day so wanted to get going early. As we approached Reedham I was pleased see a mooring spot on the BA moorings having checked the times of the tides I was confident I was approaching from the right direction… confidence misplaced…… as I pulled alongside the bank, the back end was already kicking back out into the stream. As it turns out I was looking at the wrong dates. Next time I resolved to look at the water not the charts. We managed to spin around and somehow with luck more than judgment got into a mooring space at the pub. I was then treated to a wigging from the BA mooring man who had a brief rant about tides and “a*se ends going out” I meekly apologized and resolved to add another reason to the list of why boaters seem to dislike the BA A stance I have sometimes felt unfair as a local government worker reading forum posts. I dare say he sees many a clown in a hire boat and I was just 1 of many for the season. I did feel he looked reasonably harassed so early in the morning. Milk purchased and water topped up we pressed on. ElTel and Hamez were keen to do some helming so again I found myself just watching the world go by, Reedham Ferry was in operation so there was a bit of a slowdown as she crossed. Every time I looked up Cantley Sugar Factory seemed to be on a different side in a different direction. I was trying to keep up with the meanders on the map. After what seemed like an age we were passing the plant – it was far bigger and uglier than I’d supposed and It’s amazing to find something like that in a *coughs* “national park”. The Yare meandered on and reeds gave way to pasture and more trees, the abundance of wildlife was still vast and I would say compared to the northern rivers the south takes the cake for bird spotting. At one stage a marsh harrier was being harried by a buzzard which I thought unfair as the buzzard had the weight advantage, then as if only to compound my sorrow for the harrier the buzzard compelled it drop a small dark lump which the buzzard caught in mid air and made off with. An indignity for the harrier and the dead creature. Brundall passed in a blur of spectacular and expensive boats ownership of which were wild day dreams. Somewhat more affordable were the Broom hire fleet some of their boats look great and they are a bit cheaper per week than Richardson’s top notch boats. As we approached Norwich the landscape took on a more urban feel there was more activity on the banks tyre swings and children’s camps could been seen as could riders on bikes in Whitlingham Country Park. Norwich it’s self is imposing enough for big city, however this was my 1st time by water – obviously the lowest way in terms of height. As with most cities in the UK the east side of town housed the industry so the prevailing winds carried unpleasantness away from the city and smarter neighborhoods grew up away from the smoke and smells. That being said there is a distinctive air of gentrification in the area. The new blocks of flats in red brick to imitate old architecture (not Norwich architecture by my guess) were impressive they had some more character than some of the blocks I’ve seen go up near where I live and work. I dare say it won’t be long before most of the warehousing and factories on that side of town will all be smart flats with the country park and the broads on one side and chic urban ciy life on the other I predict that the area wll be Norwich’s sought-after area and flavor of the month. I hope that it’s locals that buy them, and not wealthy investors. We coughed up and paid for a short stay at the yacht station – this was my 2nd time Norwich and everyone else’s 1st. We made a bee line for the cathedral I’d not had a chance to have a look at the peregrines on my last visit as id forgotten my binos and we missed the guys in the gazebo. This time however we were rewarded. The pair was on the tower and the baby was on the screen. Big thumbs up to the guys running the stand they were friendly and knowledgeable and we all had a good long natter. A tour of the market and charity shops complete Mum had supplied herself amply with knickknacks. We were soon back onboard and underway our evenings destination to be Bramerton Common the weather had held and the afternoon into evening was glorious. We moored up outside the Waters Edge id wanted to see this place after one of Russell Thompson’s videos recommended it. I was not disappointed. As arrived there had been a reserved mooring sign chalked out but it been poked behind a post and I didn’t notice it until we’d tied up. A couple having a drink and from a boat next to us seemed less than enthusiastic about us stopping “it was probably reserved” as Meat-Soph was reliably informed and they had pre-booked their mooring. Undaunted I enquired whether we could stop the night and book a table. This was to be the “nice” holiday night out of the week. We were encouraged to stay by the numerous attentive and friendly staff so we booked a table for dinner. Apparently it was the last available booking I was naturally skeptical that it was just line but I can say for a Thursday night the place was packed by 7pm. The meal was exquisite if expensive, 2 course each plus a round of drinks came to 155 quid. This was not an unheard of price but a 1st for me on the broads in a waterside establishment. That being said the place did have the whole package, location and sunset alone were enough to tip the balance well in its favor. A few pints in the warm evening and a few games of cards saw the evening out and we retired.
  41. 14 points
    Kadensa - was it wrong side of bed that day? Have we become so politically correct and sanitised here in the NBN we can no longer enjoy each other's banter nowadays? 'Shame on the NBN'? That's a bit strong, one day I hope to be an old wrinkly mysen (if I ain't already) Shame on you for missing the gist of the post and trying to make sommat out of nowt Griff
  42. 14 points
    Well what a full on weekend that was. I estimate we did around 125 river miles, used 88 x Ltrs of diesel, spent an arm and a leg in various watering holes, had many laughs, Macie dog had a great time, got some items attended to onboard, had wall to wall sunshine most days, witnessed lots of deck totty doing their thing. Did not witness any anti-social river behaviour, saw no out of season fishing etc etc - a great weekend afloat all in all. Two incidents spring to mind that are worth a mention. Our macerating vetus w/c decided it was not going to evacuate into the holding tank in the normal manner. One of our girly crew was most embarrassed about this thinking her 'Admiral Brown' has blocked it. So of course sorting this out is always the onboard skippers job. Whilst we were all ashore at Geldeston I told them I was off onboard to sort it. It was such an easy issue to correct, two screws removed, draw forward the w/c see the outlet rubber housing twisted and kinked thereby closing off the exit path, straighten, apply zip tie - fully operational, re-site w/c, screws in place, a total of around 5 mins to cure. Now I had an opportunity here that just couldn't be missed. I gave myself a good half an hour onboard on my todd, got some chocolate, softened it in the sun then got plenty under my fingernails. Went back to the table where the crew were sat enjoying the sunshine sampling the many real ales of offer. (That was Paul plus 3 x girlies and Macie Dog) I explained that sorting out the w/c was a proper messy job, full stripdown to clear the blockage and that the latex gloves normally kept onboard were ashore back at Stalham. 'I'm still trying to get poo from under my finger nails' as I proceeded to clean them with my teeth Well, the look on their boat races, then retching, MrsG nearly crucified me when I came clean Did you know Norfolk, that is specifically the Broads now has a new species of feathered bird? No? - Neither did I. Judy spotted a particular bird then looked it up in our RSPB book of British birds onboard, then proudly proclaimed that we had all just seen a 'Harsh Marrier' that caused merriment, followed up by me receiving a clip round the Stbd Listen-out from Judy for telling her that back home around our village I often see 'Ked Rites' ! There was a third incident that was not at all funny, involved no other craft / crews but I'll come to that one in due course over on the TLC thread, Griff
  43. 14 points
    Day One On the forum's behalf and with no thought of myself...I booked my svelte eighteen stone frame into the Wayford Inn for a few days while I worked on Royal Tudor. What a gallant figure I must have made, with my tricorn hat, tricorn trousers, and an unexpurgated first edition of the forum flag. I checked in my seaman's trunk and elephant gun then set off to rendezvous with one M. Maurice Mynah and his travelling companion Rufus. "Nice chap, bit eccentric." M. Mynah had said of his companion. Dear reader you will forgive my bluntness but my immediate thought was 'Good Lord! MM's mental and he thinks Rufus is eccentric?'. I met the sage gentlemen aboard M.Mynah's craft Nyx, just as they were finishing dinner. Leaving poor Rufus to the washing up M.Mynah and I retired to the Wayford Inn for a pint or two of Adnams. I produced my cigars, rolled on the tender thighs of the Richardson's cleaning crew. M.Mynah admitted he had not smoked since the 1990's. I put this down to his bathing thrice a day in olive oil and the consequent lack of friction. Still, he selected a fine cigar. A red one with a wick in the end. Bathed in glorious Norfolk sunshine and Honduran cigar smoke we smoked and drank good beer, while I waited for the bang, until Rufus joined us. No sooner had he arrived than he discovered that it was his round! A couple of rounds later I realised that I was incredibly hungry. As MM and Rufus had already eaten I would dine alone while they stopped the bar from escaping. I asked the barman if he could fetch my elephant gun. "My God man you can't hunt elephants in England!" exclaimed MM. "Why ever not?" I asked. "They're out of season." Rufus explained. So I opted for the Prawn and Avocado Timbale, a delicious multi storied tower of plump prawns sandwiched between avocado accompanied by a Marie Rose sauce and fresh ciabatta. This was quickly followed by my favourite dish at the Wayford Liver and bacon with mashed potato and fresh vegetables. The liver was tender, the mash smooth and creamy, the vegetables al dente...and the gravy...oh words cannot describe the piquant delicately seasoned, yet rounded, wholesome delight! I finished the meal by joining MM and Rufus at the bar, which had not escaped, where I ordered two cheese boards stacked with a deliciously creamy brie, tangy stilton and I think a Norfolk Dapple. We washed the cheese down with a delicious half bottle of 'something whistled up by Karen the landlady' and M.Mynah indulged us in a bottle of best port. I returned to drinking the Adnams when something truly shocking occurred. M.Mynah retired early! Dear reader I cannot relate adequately the gravity of this event. One minute he's sitting beside me the next he announces he's going to bed.What what what what what? "Yes Timmy lad you will go down in history as a witness." said M.Mynah. "But I never saw the accident!" I gibbered. "Think, Louis Pasteur, Madame Curie, and now, you!" continued MM from the door. "I agree. But what's you leaving early got to do with me and Pasteur and the other painters?" I asked...too late for he had departed. This left Rufus and I to make sure the bar didn't follow MM. We stayed until closing...just for appearances. I went for the Lincolnshire idiot look while Rufus went for dishabille. Eventually it was time to leave and I decided to escort Rufus back to the boat. Halfway across the carpark his legs caught up with him. Down the path to the water's edge it was very dark. We tried using a candle, but it wasn't very bright and we daren't light it. Splash! Rufus had missed his step. He'd fallen in the water! Ten miles he swam. The last three were agony as they were over land. As he swam ashore, he dried himself to save time. Eventually I saw him safe and sound back to Nyx and I returned to the comfort of my hotel room. Tune into the next episode where I meet Wildfuzz and Royalty.
  44. 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!
  45. 13 points
    Morning! Dylan has been found thanks to the very nice couple who went out of their way to not only make sure he was safe but to bring him back too! Returning to the wet shed at the end of the day's work, Dylan simply vanished. One second he was trotting in front next second he had gone. His absconding and capture seconds in total. The hunting high and low and worrying and looking for dog wardens and returning beagle several hours. Thanks so very much everyone. Dylan is safe as am I, not so much in the doghouse as the wheelhouse and being ignored by Toby!
  46. 13 points
    I remember the good old days (60s & 70s) you could always tell. No hire craft had a pulpit or nav lights, and no hire craft flew the red ensign. Now it's not so straight forwards, but I reckon I'd get it right more often than not. The private boat is skippered by someone who looks frightened all the time and it's festooned with fenders. .
  47. 13 points
    Wednesday 16th May The wind had really got going now with gusts up to 35mph, which I guessed would make it tricky today. My plan for the day was to spend the night at Potter Heigham with another lunchtime stop at Ludham Bridge, for no more reason than that I like the hustle and bustle there. So after another tug of war with the frying pan, I decided it was time to get underway. The gusting wind was chilly so there was going to be no al-fresco driving today. Stationed at the inside helm, I started Jazz up then went to release the stern ropes - we were stern moored so it would be easy to head out. The wind was already pushing the boat out into the channel so I quickly made for the helm and pushed the lever forward. Nothing happened. I checked the lever which switches control from upper to lower helm and rather relieved, realised that I had not returned it to the inside position. However much I tried, it would not move. So in the howling wind I thought I had best go to the upper deck and reverse the boat to the quayside so I could work out what was going on. The upper throttle lever has to be in exactly the right position - not just neutral- to enable the change lever to work. I quickly realised that the only sure way was to try pulling the neutral pin out. If it came out the switch lever would work. So having tamed this foible I went back inside and we (me and the boat) were on our way. The wind was very strong across Barton and I was glad I was inside. Soon enough, Ludham Bridge came into view. A solo mooring in such strong winds was not going to be easy there. As I approached I considered that it would be easier to moor on the shops side as the wind would blow me in as opposed to the other side where I would have had a job pulling the stern in after having tied the bow up. Yes, the thought that it would be a devil to get out from the mooring again did enter my head but I thought I could deal with that later. So I came alongside and moored up without any calamity. At the same time, two boats had just come under the bridge and were trying to moor on the opposite bank. Both were wrestling with the rear of their boats trying to get them close enough to the bank to tie up. I told you! Well no I didn't but at least I felt smug for a while that I had chosen the right option - for now. Most of that lunch stop was taken up watching and/or helping others getting into and out of moorings on my side of the river, and very exciting it was too. The boat directly in front of me wanted to use the water hoses but would need to moor adjacent to them to get them to reach so I opted to help them get their boat past mine and into the vacant water station mooring. The wind was coming down the river at this point so the forward rope was released so the bow would swing out and the helmsman gently steered his boat around Jazz and we were able to tie it up again before the the wind snatched it. Their water tank duly filled, we repeated the bow out into the wind manoeuvre and they were on their way. Soon after, it became clear that one of the boats on the opposite bank had seen this abundance of drinking water and wanted some for himself. So with some forethought, once she had assisted him getting away from the bank, he dispatched his wife to wait for him next to the hoses so she could grab the ropes. She quickly crossed the bridge and awaited his arrival. He cruised towards her but for whatever reason, perhaps the wind had taken him away, he aborted "the landing" and continued up the river, pursued by three other boats which by now were on his tail. So it was some 15 minutes or so before he could turn his boat and make a second attempt at mooring, which this time was successful. So it was time to cast off and make for Potter Heigham. I must have been very lucky because at departure time, the wind had dropped. I removed the stern rope expecting the wind to push it out at which point I would run to untie the forward rope then dive inside. However, Jazz just stayed where she was so I stepped aboard and reversed out of the mooring. It all went swimmingly. The cruise to Potter Heigham was uneventful though the wind had found it's way back to me by then. Potter is another mooring where a strong cross wind can play havoc so I was planning how I should tackle my mooring for the night. I wanted to moor on the riverside, but if it got too hairy would opt for the shelter of Herbert Woods marina. Approaching the moorings I could see a good spot not far from the bridge so I turned initially 90 degrees into the space and came alongside. Just as I tied up I saw a man trotting down the path looking at me and wondered what I had done. It turned out he was on a Broadsman moored first to the pilot station and was looking to move it to my space - which as he put it, I had nabbed. There was another larger space a little further away so I asked if he would like me to help him move by catching his ropes. He and his wife were the only two onboard and were elderly. I wondered how they handled such a large boat on their own. The wind was proving challenging for most sailors, but with the aid of his bow thrusters, he turned his boat around then slowly drifted into the vacant space. He thanked me and said he imagined there would be less fuss getting the Ark Royal alongside. I said yes but then a huge lump of metal like that was not going to be blown around in the wind. Soon enough it was time to visit that doyen of shopping establishments - Lathams. One year, we went in just for a look around and came out with a pair of curtains. Seemed a good idea at the time but they never got hung. The last time we visited, Doreen liked those three foot garden gnomes so we got one but it stands in the house not in the garden. She said it was too good for the garden. They still have them on sale today. Doreen always liked rummaging through the "bargains" and the sight of these many and varied items brought back memories and a secret tear to my eye. Having completed the shopping experience I popped into Bridgestones cafe on the way back for a Latte and perhaps a small piece of cake. Well, if you have been in there you will know there is no such thing as a small piece of cake. I can't remember what it was called but it was chocolaty with nuts in and it was delicious. It's a good job there isn't a Bridgestone’s at every mooring or they would have to re-enforce the upper helm! Talking of food, I decided to visit Norada (Broads Haven Tavern as was) for my evening meal, but waited until around 7.30pm to make room for it. I wondered what this reincarnation would look like. I have read that a lot of money has been spent on it so far. My initial impression was that with everything being coloured black, including the ceiling, it looked very dark in there. It was also a little cold. The new boss, the chap who used to have a restaurant in Yarmouth, told me the heating was on but it was making little impression with the chilly wind. There were only a couple of other people in and I hoped his trade would improve through the season. It definitely had a feel of a shake down cruise - open but not everything working at the moment. I ordered an 8oz burger I think it was, with chips. It came within 15 minutes and was of good quality. The owner told me things would be better once the roof terrace was completed, but that there were some planning issues slowing progress. He seemed very enthused and I hope for all us boaters sakes, that he makes a go of it. There were beers and lagers on tap by the way - not just bottled, but not being a big drinker, I could not tell you what was offered. I finished reading my paper and returned back to Jazz for the night, having read the weather forecast which promised a reduction in wind speeds for tomorrow. Potter Heigham from the other side of the bridge Had to get the camera out - Nobody moored at Irstead Ludham Bridge Ludham Bridge
  48. 13 points
    The wind can break up the by now quite substantial ice flows that are on the rivers and than can be quite damaging to a boat's hull. On top of that working on a boat's deck can be hazardous when ice forms. An inevitable and wise decision by Richardsons.
  49. 13 points
    Hi all, Well lets clear a few things up :) I have indeed had a good look through the Bylaws, and you know what concerns me more than beam or length is draft - I'll get on to that in a moment, but the boat I am planning on owning is 15ft beam so this means the relevant section of the Dimension Bylaws 1995 is: (c) Vessels having a beam exceeding 4.27 metres (14ft). River Waveney: Upstream of Beccles Town Road Bridge River Bure: The entire waterway including Ranworth Dam and South Walsham Fleet Dyke Therefore I am good to cruise the Yare in its entirety (though in reality there are areas off limits due to bridges that don;t really work now or are too low to begin with such as at Thorpe) and I can cruise the Waveney too - since the boat has a 20ft air draft Beccles Yacht Station is a no no, but I could truthfully use the moorings on the upstream side of the bridge for boats unable to get under it. Northern Broads is a no-go but it matters not because that is why I am sticking with Broad Ambition for the river cruising 'practical' stuff. The reason I am bothered about draft is because the draft of these boats is so variable and changes from boat to boat based upon what engines, tank capacity for fuel and water and so on was specified at build - I have seen drawing showing a 3ft 6" draft, and others speak of 5ft 4" - that seems frankly enormous - but even the Survey reports have made no mention of her actual draft. Anyway, to clear some things up this is not going to be a 'live-a-board' because that would mean a lot of fussing and planning and goodness knows, so I will be spending a lot of time on her but I won't be living on her full time and since I own a house in Cambridgeshire this has become my 'official residence' so far as documents, Council Tax and the like all go. As to future jobs believe it or not I have not begun to look into this area yet because I am pondering a change of direction where that is concerned too, from my point of view as long as I have the money to look after my obligations I am happy, and once you 'let go' so to speak of the ladder and rat race you sure do feel a lot more free and see life in a different way. Clearly this is an enormous step to be taking, and much of it is being done alone and there will be a great deal of time I need to take to 'get to know' the boat if I am successful in her purchase. They way these Traders are made means their systems and engine room is laid out in rather a professional manner taking design ideas from larger passage making craft not the typical powerboat. There are a number of issues that will need looking into right away to have her BSS compliment not least her extensive fuel filtration system and glass bowl Racor filters which as installed would be a fail. At least there is no gas on the boat, which makes me happy. Anyway time will tell.
  50. 13 points
    Hi everyone, My name is Chris and I have been messing around in boats, big and small, for most of my life. I first came to the Broads back in the mid 1960s as a lad and loved it, coming back every year until 1971 when my job took me over to Northern Ireland and the Broads dropped off my radar. Fast forward to the early 1990s and I was back on the Broads as a single dad with my two young children and our dog. The first boat we hired was a 30ft craft from a boatyard in Horning, I have forgotten its name (It's the one next to the New Inn). The boat was a disaster, breaking down several times over the first weekend. On the Monday, we broke down again going up the River Bure, but fortunately we drifted over to the moorings at St Benedict. A passing boat saw our predicament and offered to take me up to the boatyard at Horning. I arrived expecting an argument and a ‘Gallic’ shrug of the shoulders, but what I got was a genuine apology and the offer of another boat, the Monarch, which was out of Herbert Woods’ yard. The crew onboard my lift boat had hung around and offered to take me back down river to St Benedict’s. It was the first of many examples of how people on the Broads help each other. When the Monarch arrived it was enormous, compared to the the floating wreck we were on. A quick bit of cross decking, and off we went. The kids and I loved every minute of the remaining week and tried to hire the Monarch every year from then on. Over the following years we had some great holidays, some brilliant holidays and always wonderful family times, but then college and universities come over the horizon, the children became young adults and moved on. We still reminisce about those holidays and the memories are strong. It was as a result of one of our “do you remember” sessions about 4 years ago that I decided I wanted to go back to the Broads again. I now go solo and I must thank Robin of the “Captain’s Blog” for his excellent videos and how he makes solo cruising look so easy. It was his video blogs that finally persuaded me to go for it, but it wasn’t so easy on my first solo trip; more a disaster looking for somewhere to happen, but once again the other boaters were there to help. I go every year ‘out of season’ and enjoy the solitude and peace. Its magical. I look forward to picking up all manner of tips and knowledge from this forum. Cheers, Chris
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