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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 17 points
  6. 15 points
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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!
  12. 13 points
    I couple of weeks ago I posted on the 'My Day' forum a post about my first completed project from the 'Stained Glass' evening classes that I've signed up for this autumn. Really clumsy soldering - my first attempt! Jean (SwanR) suggested that I start off a new thread recording my further adventures with this class - so here goes! We had 'half term' off last week... (What's that about? It's not like we are in school and it was a week or a fortnight behind most schools' half terms anyway, depending on which authority you are under!) so I was quite keen to get back as I hadn't caught up with the rest of the class in the last session, having had a week off on the Broads mid-October. I turned up over half an hour early this week, as the Tutor had mentioned that he arrives early to set up, and he was quite happy for me to start to cut out the glass for the next project, which is a butterfly sun-catcher. I had cut out the paper templates for this at the last session. Using these templates, the next stage is to mark out the shapes on the glass using a 'Sharpie' pen, and then cut the glass using a hand-held glass cutting tool. For the first project we were given pre-selected glass, but this time we had been able to select our own glass from a batch that the tutor provided. I had selected a sort of green-blue glass at the end of the last session. Cutting out the glass was fine - I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, though I don't think my templates were very accurate! Inevitably, it didn't quite fit, and part of the process of preparing the glass is using a grinder to ensure that the glass is shaped properly so that it will fit together. After a bit of grinding here and there I was able to move on to the next stage, which is to put copper foil around the edges of each piece of glass. The copper is on a roll of about 1/2 cm (or less!) wide strips, and once you peel off the backing paper is supposed to stick to the edges of your glass. I got on okay at first, but then found that the copper just wasn't sticking to some of the smaller pieces. Tutor suggested I go and give my glass a good wash with hot water and detergent, and that worked - the copper stuck to the edges, which was a huge step forward. It was still really tricky to fix the copper with an even overlap both sizes of the glass though. Very, very fiddly! Still...I'm ready to go with the soldering next week! Not sure all my edges are where they should be though! Doh!
  13. 13 points
    We're visiting the Broads, for the first time ever, in mid-June. We're both approaching 60 years of age but I've always wanted to have a boating holiday on the Broads and have finally got round to visiting. We're hiring from Richardsons in Stalham, and I've read this thread with interest, and have watched several YouTube videos including nearly all of the excellent and informative Captain's Blog ones. I fully intended to cross Breydon Water and will still do so. I'll be following the helpful tips on this thread and am really looking forward to it, but will also treat the waters with the respect they deserve. Steady as she goes seems to be the overriding message.
  14. 13 points
    Matron and the grandchildren made this wreath during the week.
  15. 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!
  16. 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. .
  17. 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
  18. 12 points
    I was last out cruising the rivers enjoying them and ''B.A' on 13th OCTOBER 2018, the last day of the lads week. It is now 20th May 2019. By my reckoning that is now over 6 months. SIX months! Now when one owns a boat (Well - Part thereof to be precise) and has the use of her 24 x 7 x 365, six months is plain and simple W A A A A A A Y too long. Yes of course I have been onboard since October but those visits have been upgrade / maintenance weekends. Then there was a ten day visit to Sutton staithe for her bi-annual AMP, spent all of 40 mins transiting her there and back to the wetshed on that one. However June 7th - that'll change. Four days afloat with MrsG, Son, his new partner (Just wait till you see her lads, proper stunner and top class deck totty) and hopefully at least one grandson, plus one if not two dogs. I intend to get 'B.A' out of the wetshed that fast after boarding we will probably still be plugged into shore power, wonder if I can get 10mph whilst still in the wetshed? No idea where we will be visiting / staying overnight, nor do I care. Counting down the days then once again Griff
  19. 12 points
    Well I'm full of praise for the person that pulled the chap from a burning boat not knowing whether there may have been a second explosion. Colin
  20. 12 points
    If I can comment on some of this. Firstly, a modern diesel engine compared to an old-tech BMC 1.5 is barely any more economical if at all. We have just had a customer back after 6 days on the Southern Broads and they have been pretty-much everywhere. They used about 26 litres of fuel and must have covered about 120 miles. This is on a BMC 1.5 which is known to be a very reliable engine and is used in thousands of Broads boats still. We have modern engines and these too are capable of very low fuel consumption in a similar way to the BMC; the rule is simple, beat the engine and it will beat your wallet. At Freedom, we have invested heavily into improvements across the fleet. All boats have: USB charging points TV & DVD systems Heating Electric Fridges (many full-size under counter units) Uprated charging systems 240v Mains system (except Tranquil which has a plug-in inverter) Current upgrades programmes include: LED lighting across the fleet (most boats have already had this for years) Shore power (including battery charging) Hot water immersion systems on some In the main, these upgrades do not mean that our boats cost more; we are keeping up with advances in technology and customer need and we do this to keep our vessels attractive and competitive. I am unaware that any other fleet has installed USB charging points across all its boats but stand to be corrected. I really take issue with the phrase "better modern cookers". Sadly, many common modern cookers on boats are far from "better" than a solidly build older one. Increasingly, these are made of nasty thin stainless steel (inside the cooking cavities and out), are poorly put together and often badly designed. The hob burners are truly nasty and we have a few "modern" units that I would truly love to rip out and replace because of the lack of resilience these remarkably expensive things offer. They look nice, but often, looks are only skin deep. One of the absolute key points of a Freedom Boating Holiday is the freedom to start and end your holiday on any day. This is unique on the Broads and allows our business to work around the very busy lifestyles that people lead these days.
  21. 12 points
    She is now finished (exterior wise) as painting goes and will be launched tomorrow at 08:15 all being well with a lock through to Oulton Broad for 14:15. Here are some of the photos:
  22. 12 points
    It has been a good while since I last wrote here to update on matters with Indy. But there have been a number of things that have taken place in the past weeks so I thought I would talk about them. If you were to see her externally, very little has changed - but the real changes have been going on in her engine rooms - which currently also do not look too different, but the invoices that have been coming through tell a different story. Part of my wish before we left Plymouth was to have Indy in as good a conditioned mechanically as possible - for both safety and confidence. Alas, having arrived here in Norfolk it has been found a number of areas had not been taken care of as had previously been thought or that jobs that I had wanted to be done just had not been. I am so pleased that I decided to use Norfolk Yacht Agency - not because of any recommendation or previous dealings with them, but just how very professional, honest and thorougher they are. I have made a good friendship with Shaun, who heads up their service team and having being working in boat engineering since he was 16 there is very little he does not know, and very few people he cannot call upon to supply something or clarify something at a moments notice. They went over the engines with a fine tooth comb with me wanting them to come up with anything that needed doing - even if it could be left, I wanted it changed and renewed now. The per-service survey took a couple of days and resulted in quite the outcome a number of hoses were going need replacing, some wiring needed to be replaced too, a combined total of 44 engine Anodes may be required and that was before we got to the service of the engines with the cooling system being drained and flushed before all new coolant, oil, primary and secondary oil filters, belts, fuel filters you name it was changed. All new impellers were to go in and new gaskets, a number of new fasteners were on the list as was 150Lites of hydraulic oil for the powering of the thrusters. It would take two men a couple of days labour to complete the overall task. This has now been done and the engines run like they never have - super silky smooth, very much more responsive and virtually no smoke even on start up. I am pleased to say they still have their lovely deep down growl though. I had been put off by the Caterpillar parts costs, and of course people may complain about Volvo Penta parts costing a fair bit too. I can however now report that they have nothing on Yanmar, especially when you are dealing with a commercial grade engine. I had wondered why most Yanmar engines are a metallic grey, but mine are white -- this is because white engines are high performance commercial heavy duty types - able to withstand more continuous duty operation and are usually put in applications where such over engineering is require - e.g. not a leisure boat. This also means that the parts on these engines cost far more than their lighter weight counterparts. Just an example - the lagging over the turbo's was past its best, this just corers the turbo charger - so is not that large, yet each of the lagging units comes in at £355.00 . Those anodes - 22 per engine - are £16.00 each and 6 high pressure braided fuel and oil hoses come in at almost £90.00 each. But I want to raise Indy from an ok example of her type to outstanding, and that means everything however small it may be being changed if required. Now the major mechanical works are over, it is time to move on to the cosmetic element. The engines will be treated to a professional re-spray using several layers of a high gloss, brilliant white enamel paint that is able to withstand high temperatures. The bilges will be cleaned and re-painted too and it would be nice to have the dull aluminum cat walks polished to a deep shine. Meanwhile, externally I will have the boat restored to her original shine, new seating, new canopies and work to the Teak decking too. Then I can begin on the work of the electrics - all new batteries weighing in at 55kg each and having a capacity of 230ah each and then work to be done on changing her auto-helm and chart plotter to updated versions - oh and I am still waiting to hear from Goodchild's as to if they want to work on lifting her, dressing and balancing her props, supplying and fitting the new anodes to the hull and having the hull compounded and waxed. After an initial positive response things have now gone a little quiet so it may need to be Brooms who have the capacity to lift her. I'll share more in time and get some videos up too :)
  23. 12 points
    I was out in my boat for the first overnighter at the weekend and ended up mooring at Reedham. Having secured my ropes the BA operative stationed there came along and asked if everything was OK which I replied yes. He then asked me if I was OK with my ropes in which I also replied yes, so he wandered off to the next boat to help them tie up. I wondered if I'd have asked him was anything wrong with my mooring lines whether he would have said yes, so I went over and had a word. He came back and educated me with a better way of tying up and not only that but a bit of further free advice. Firstly, I didn't know the BA put personnel permanently on these types of moorings and secondly what a nice pleasant chappie he was enjoying his work. So, a big thumbs-up from me and although I know some of you will say that’s what we pay our tolls for, I say value for money.
  24. 12 points
    Here's a view one doesn't see very often Griff
  25. 11 points
  26. 11 points
  27. 11 points
    Wednesday 10th April We woke on Wednesday to a grey, cold windy day. The breeze had not abated overnight and coupled with the chilly temperature, it wasn't a pleasant morning. Deb took Harley for her walk and I tidied the boat, making the bed and straightening the blankets we use to cover the seating. When she returned, we breakfasted on toasted crumpets, thickly buttered. Just after 08:00, we started the engine for hot water (no shore power for the immersion heater at Salhouse) and cast off around 08:30, heading for Ranworth. Deb took the helm whilst I showered and dressed and took over when I’d finished so she could do the same. There were a few spaces available when we arrived, so we slotted in alongside another syndicated cruiser, Blue Mist. We had intended to walk to the church, but wanted to top up with water first, so moved to another mooring nearer a hose after discovering that the hose wouldn't reach. We had just finished topping up when a large craft from Richardsons eventually moored alongside. To be fair, they had manoeuvred with consideration and had made much effort not to hit the side of MS, but the operation had taken a good 15 minutes and it was clear the strong wind was seriously hampering their efforts. The weather had not improved and we agreed that it would not be an enjoyable stroll to the church and certainly not sufficiently pleasant to sit outside the church café and enjoy a coffee and slice of cake. Instead, we cast off, heading for the River Ant and chugged back up Ranworth Dam, turning right onto the Bure at the junction and shortly after, left onto the Ant. I was hopeful that there would be sufficient clearance under the bridge to allow us to pass without dropping the roof and screen due to the wind and was pleased to see 8ft 3ins on the advance marker, just 3 inches more than we needed. There was the usual confusion of craft attempting to moor on the other side, jockeying for space near the shop and water point, but we navigated through the melee without incident and carried on up the river. We passed How Hill and through Irstead before entering Barton Broad. Much to our surprise, after such a grey and cheerless morning, the clouds began to break, allowing the sun to peek through and by the time we reached the other side of the broad, the sun was beaming down, although the breeze continued to blow. We continued up the Ant, bearing left at the Stalham turn before passing Hunsett Mill. I was pleased to see the mill has now been restored, with sails replaced, but I cannot get used to the abomination that the once chocolate box pretty cottage has become. We travelled a couple of hundred yards further before turning and mooring for lunch of toasted ciabatta and pate. We stayed there for a while, the wife doing her cross stitch and me taking some photos, before casting off and retracing our route towards Barton Broad. I saw a flash of iridescent blue flash in front of the boat, but the kingfisher had disappeared before I could grab my camera. Another lost opportunity, but maybe one day I'll get lucky and get a photo of this shy, beautiful bird. The moorings at Irstead were taken and Johny Crowe's staithe was also occupied, so we moored at How Hill and settled down for the evening. The sun was still shining and there was a real prospect of a decent sunset, so dinner was delayed whilst I spent some time photographing the setting sun as it lit the horizon and Turf Fen Mill with a glorious orange glow. I stood outside to watch the sun drop below the horizon. Nature certainly does provide some wonderful sights and satisfied that I had committed some worthy shots to memory card, I returned to the boat. We had dinner on board, before watching TV for a while and retiring to bed at about 22:00, happy that the day that promised so little in the morning, had delivered so much in the end.
  28. 11 points
    Spent a short break last week on Silver Cloud after no one wanted the full week. Weather was very mixed and spent the time basically cruising down to Stokesby and up to Sutton with small diversions to Ranworth and Thurne. Rivers quiet but Herbert Woods had a fair few boats out. Fred
  29. 11 points
    Thursday 9th October It was just breaking light as I arose and knowing that I only had 45 minutes before I needed to be on my way, I opted for a toasted currant teacake for breakfast. Of course, because I was in a hurry, I could not get the grill to stay alight. In the end I resorted to holding each half of the teacake in tongs over one of the gas burners. Not ideal but it worked. So just time for a cup of tea and then I was off. Goosander was facing the wrong way but into the ebbing tide so a quick burst on the bow thrusters easily got me out into the stream so I could turn around. Optimum arrival time at Yarmouth was around 9 to 10am so I tried to pace the speed accordingly, thinking as I had done on the last holiday that if I arrive too soon the rangers at the Yacht Station may charge me twice – once to 10am and then for the following 24 hours. But then again, if I arrived too late to traverse the bridges, I would kick myself for having to turn around and go back all the way to Berney Arms. So I decided to slow my approach as the tide was adding speed to the trip. However, by the time I got to the start of Breydon, the tide was flowing in again wish it would make it’s mind up) and the height gauge was showing just 8 feet of headroom. So I decided now to put my foot down to get to the bridges before “access was denied”. Just before passing under Breydon Bridge, I called the Yacht Station and asked what the headroom was. The chap told me it was 7.1 feet – that’s how he put it but I guessed he meant 7 foot 3 inches. He told me not to dawdle and assured me I would get through OK. Within 5 minutes, I had hit the incoming flow of the Bure and doing my best to approach the bridges as slow as I could – just in case. One of the YS rangers came to meet me on his bike, checking the headroom and assuring me it was OK. So I passed under the first bridge noting around 3 inches clearance, then the next and with a huuuggge sigh of relief turned the boat around to moor into the stream, right alongside the electricity post, where the ranger was waiting for me. I had arrived smack on 9.30am and was NOT charged for two stay periods. The ranger told me when I called he could see there was a little over 7 feet clearance and as he knows the required headroom for this type of boat, and as he considered the bridge gauges to be a few inches out, our safe passage through was assured. They know their stuff and out of all the places you need to pay a mooring fee, this is the one I consider to be value for money! They tied my ropes for the night and over a settling cup of tea, I wondered what I would do with the day, being tied up so early in Yarmouth. I decided to have a walk along part of the perimeter of Breydon so I made my way past the train station, past the ASDA car park and stopped on a convenient bench to observe an egret in the shallows of the water. Everytime I got a little closer, it flew a few feet away but eventually plodded its way back to it’s “fishing pond”. I watched it for about 20 minutes, creeping further around the pathway to get closer but had to give that up when a group of people talking loudly rounded the corner before proceeding into ASDA. The egret also gave up and flew off. I have some nice images of it nevertheless. I needed a few items from ASDA too so on my way back I called in and arrived back at the boat around 2pm. It was a lovely day so I thought I would just stay on the boat watching the world go by. The next boat to Goosander, sharing the electric post, was a Commander from Richardsons. They are lovely boats and I told the skipper as much as I went by. We got talking and he showed me onboard. His crew consisted of his wife and himself and I asked how he coped mooring such a large boat. With the bow and stern thrusters, he could easily manage it. He had hired it a couple of occasions before and was a regular Richardsons customer. He always chooses one of the elite (or whatever Richardsons call them) cruisers paying anything up to £4,000 for two weeks in late June, together with a week in spring and a week in autumn. He is a regular at the YS and calls the rangers in advance, who then save the electricity post mooring for him, which he occupies for up to a week because he likes it there. It does no harm that his wife prepares bacon sandwiches each morning for the rangers. I told him it would be cheaper to stay in the Premier Inn across the river but he laughed that off. The YS was where he wanted to be. Come 7pm, I was on my way to the Kings Arms once more for my evening meal. It was very quiet in there. I ordered a lamb steak, which was a special for the night. Again, the food was really good. After that I returned to the boat to watch the final download of Killing Eve on my laptop. The weather forecast for the next day was a little concerning because the warm weather system we were experiencing was due to break down with strong winds and rain. Gusts of up to 45 mph were forecast from 11am. My plan for Friday originally was to stop of at Potter Heigham for lunch before returning Goosander to her home mooring in Horning for the evening. But the thought of trying to moor single handed in the cross winds of Potter did not appeal to me so I made my mind up to travel up to Horning in one trip come the morning. Sorry - no more drone shots now! Looking towards the Yacht Station from the road bridge at Yarmouth The Yacht Station (not a yacht in sight!) The Egret I asked him to stand up for this one Looking over Breydon bridge from the pathway alongside Breydon
  30. 11 points
    Tuesday 7th October Another early start as the tides are rising. I had envisaged a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea before setting off but a conversation with one of the rangers saved a few extra millilitres of Cholesterol from slushing around my veins. The height board was showing 7ft 9inches so I asked him how long I would have before it rose enough to block my passage and was told to go now! So I quickly packed up, detached the shore power cable and all but two of the ropes. The ranger let the tide swing the boat around to face the bridge and then I was away. Breydon was quiet with no passing boats and at an average speed of around 8mph I soon arrived at Burgh Castle where I decided I would stop for breakfast. By this time the flow was slowing right down so as the 24 hour free moorings were closed, I came alongside at the Fishermans moorings. It seemed wild , almost on the edge of civilisation. The arrival of a famous dark blue police telephone box would not have looked out of place. It was chilly so I went back onboard to make myself another cereal breakfast as the taste for bacon had passed. After about 30 minutes I was back on my way for a stop at St Olaves. People often talk about the barren country between Stracey Arms and Yarmouth but the stretch between Burgh Castle and St Olaves can easily rival that. Not much to see then until the sight of the crane’s jib which pierces the sky just before happening upon St Olaves. That crane always intrigues me as it was obviously just left where it stands to rot. It looks to be in an area surrounded by reeds now so is lost to any sort of recovery. Later I will fly the drone over the area to get an impression of the boatyards that used to line the river at this point. There is just one small cabin cruiser at the free 24 hour moorings so I have lots of space to moor up towards the end facing the bridge. My plan is to stay here for lunch then move on to Oulton Broad for the night. As it’s so quiet, I decided to launch the drone before any other boats arrive. The flight is good but it’s a little breezy so although I headed for the crane area, I didn’t get as close to it as I would have liked. Still, the images are pretty revealing as you will see below. I have always liked these moorings and can remember many overnight stays where the sun sets in the direction I have just come from. With the fast flowing (at times) river beneath you, it really takes you back to how it must have felt before the arrival of the hire industry. After lunch I decided to use the drone again, this time from outside the Bell Inn to view the other side of the bridge. All went well until I realised on the way back to Goosander that I had not replaced the SD card in the drone after transferring the earlier images to my laptop. STUPID BOY! So back out to do the same flight with an SD card this time. I thought I am just asking for trouble here and something will go wrong, but it passed without event. It had been necessary to turn Goosander to moor against the tide when I arrived but by now, the tide had turned and with the aid of the front rope, I allowed the stern to swing around so I was once more heading into the stream. Then I was off towards Oulton Broad. Enroute, at Somerleyton I saw what was obviously the Lads Week flotilla moored up so having never met any of them before, I decided to moor up and present myself! I recognised Charlie so approached him first. He made me very welcome, introduced me to the crews – too many names to remember but I recognised the Wizzard from an earlier photograph, Robin who was busy playing Battleships and I spoke with Grendel whilst viewing the micro version of Broad Ambition, before inspecting it’s bigger brother. Thanks Charlie for your hospitality. All four of their boats then departed in one direction, which was my cue to depart in the other. Occupants of the only other boat on the moorings shouted to me as I left “was it something we said?” I finally entered Oulton Broad around 3pm and was in a quandary as to whether to moor outside the Wherry with it’s better view or at the Yacht Station with it’s security. As there were no other boats outside the Wherry, I opted for the Yacht Station. I try to avoid moorings where you are packed in like sardines so as I rounded the outer pier I was pleased to see I could moor stern on close to but not on the floating jetty. That meant nobody would try to moor that side and the other side was a decent six feet from the next boat, plus I could still see out through the entrance to the Broad. All settled, I walked to the Wherry for my evening meal. It was of course the carvery for me. I even went for the two course option to include a dessert. I was properly stuffed by the time I returned. I noticed that the sun was setting over the Oulton Dyke end of the Broad and that this would be a good time to fly the drone as if I left it until the morning, the sun would be shining right at me. So I took up a position in Nicholas Everitt Park, close to the Broad and got the pictures you see below. After that I returned and stayed on the boat for the rest of the evening. Time to catch up with Killing Eve and some other programmes I had previously downloaded to my laptop. NOTE: The Oulton Broad drone images will be in tomorrow’s installment as there are enough photos already for today. St Olaves looking away from the bridge The bridge Still St Olaves but from the other side of the bridge The derelict boatyard area I was talking about. The crane can just be seen in the distance. If you enlarge the image by clicking on it then clicking the plus sign on the curser, you can see many abandoned hulls and boat tops. Oulton Broad His and hers? Seen better days
  31. 11 points
  32. 11 points
    Wow Vanessan, You've been quoted a lot with that one. :) There are many ways of picking up the news, with (in my opinion) newspapers being one of the least reliable. Picking on another thread where a TV news item would say "The European otter is being re-introduced to the Norfolk broads", perhaps you will permit me to couch the headlines as I believe the newspapers would report it. The Times... "The European otter is being re-introduced to the Norfolk broads" The Financial times.. ."The European otter is being re-introduced to the Norfolk broads at a cost of £1,372,100.50". Daily Mail... "Tens of millions being spent reintroducing the otter to the Norfolk broads." The Daily Express... "Vicious otter to be released in family holiday hotspot." The Telegraph... "It appears that the otter has been absent from the Norfolk broads and is being re-introduced" The Guardian.. "The ueropean toter is being re-introduegd to the Norfolk Boards." The EDP... "The European Coypu is being re-introduced to the Norfolk Broads. The Mirror... "Millionaires playground pays for rare mammals to be introduced." The Sun... "Wow! What a cutie. This water's just getting otter." So Vanessa, now do you see why I don't often buy a newspaper?
  33. 11 points
    So here is what actually happened. To be honest we don't eat out very often so our experience is a little limited. Our guests who live in Norwich do eat out often and would be honest in their assessment. We arrived about 6.45 and given a window seat within a couple of minutes. We ordered drinks and the waiter told us the food orders were taking 45 minutes although it may be sooner. Prawn. Salad. Ham and Eggs, Lasagne and Chilli arrived after 45 minutes, the food was piping hot (apart from the salad), was well presented and plenty of it. Deserts of strawberry and cream with ice cream, banana split and ice cream followed, which again were all good. We left after about two hours having been able to relax and chat, enjoyed the view from the window of the garden and river. The pub was busy but not overcrowded. Our friends are definitely putting The Bridge Inn on their list of places to eat. They felt that the food was good and plentiful and the space around and between tables was good. The staff were attentive and helpful. So all in all a good experience for us all. (Apart from the staff -I genuinely forgot to leave a tip so we "owe" them). The cost was just under £75 for the food and 8 drinks. For what it's worth that is the actual experience.
  34. 11 points
    Spent my day dealing with the issues caused by the new neighbour's two cats. The biggest issue being the cat's crapping in my garden and then Dylan the Beagle rolling in the crap and the decaying corpses of their kills. Dylan was covered. He stank. He got showered. He stank. He got showered again. He stank. He got showered again. Slight improvement. My garden stinks of cat crap. It got hosed down. It still stank. Hosed down again and it got treated with Jeyes fluid. Improvement but smells like a public loo. Next the car. The cats pee under the car. It stinks when you turn the engine on. Jeyes fluid. Next, cutting the hedge where I discovered where the cats were depositing their kills. Fifty little feathered and furred corpses stuffed in the hedge back. It's no wonder we have not seen any birds in the garden since the new neighbours arrived. Visit to B & Q and found a jet gun nozzle that fits the garden hose. Bought Gracie a super soaker water gun, but appropriated it for my own use. Neighbours returned home just now and moaning that their cats have crapped in their garden...for a change...and are now trying to coax them into leaving their garden for mine. 'Well to tell you the truth, in all the day's excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being that this is an ANSIO Expandable Garden Hose Spray Gun with 9 Pattern Multi-Functional Watering Nozzle Head with Built-in Lock, and would blow your kitty clean off the fence, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well do ya, puss?"
  35. 11 points
    Ok my View, i left Beccles just as the swimmers started arriving, no holdups i was in no rush to get anywhere so took it very steady watching the swimmers swimming the last 2 and 1/2 miles into Beccles well organized with plenty of Marshall boats and we could have been an extra pair eyes too if anyone got into difficulties. the last boat following said they were the last swimmers , so i could continue without worrying i may see any stragglers . yes it was well organized , not as many swimmers as planned probably but nice to see.
  36. 11 points
    At last I have got around to posting an up-date following ten days working on BG. As with most re-fits we are behind schedule which is somewhat annoying, but nothing can be done about it as we are in "dockyard hands" for some aspects of the work. I was delighted to see that when I arrived at Somerleyton, the decks had been glassed and were ready to paint, it also meant that the toe rails and rubbers could be replaced and the sides painted as planned. Due to the light evenings I planned to work from dawn until dusk, cooking on a "Tommy cooker" and sleeping in my car in the boatyard. In other words field conditions. After all it would only be for 10 days and the Duke's Head is as the top of the lane. I worked out a rough work programme with the aim of completing a set number of tasks each day. I began with a light sand of all painted surfaces with the addition of some filler and a further sand before a final undercoat was applied. The decks had been glassed over and were lightly sanded before painting with a single pack deck paint. Toe rails and rubbers were replaced and plugged (easier said than done). The transom was lightly sanded and varnished, it will be stripped next winter when BG returns to the shed for essential defect rectification and the ongoing planned work. The sliding roof was glassed, filled and sanded back ready for painting. (see pictures). A further two coats of deck paint were applied in between lightly sanding and varnishing the toe rails and rubbers. Usually, I don't mind anti-fouling too much but the boat is close to the ground which makes it difficult to do. However, once completed I had a sense of satisfaction that deserved at least two pints of Ghost Ship. The blue and white gloss was applied and the toe rails given another coat of varnish. Numbers, vents and corner fenders were screwed on and BG was starting to take shape. Toward the end of my time, I was joined by my good friend Ricardo who was fitting an engine to one of the yachts (a man of many talents). Next winter we are back in the shed. There is a rotten frame in the front cabin which needs to be replaced. We are also tackling the interior of the boat and adding such things as a decent music system, new water system, and up-grading the soft furnishings. The interior will be completely stripped and re-varnished before replacing the flooring. But that, as they say, will be another story for another day. All that remains now is for the windows to be fitted by the boatyard and BG will be moved outside for the fitting of the sliding roof. I am assured that BG will be in the water at beginning of July - this remains to be seen! We are intending to come to the NBN meeting and the wooden boat show this year for quick visits. We are also intend to venture over to the Northern Rivers at some point.
  37. 10 points
    So onto day three ... Tuesday! It wasn't long before the inevitable conversation around where to go. In many ways this is exactly the same as our holidays on the boats ... a few ideas of what we might want to do but planning happens on the day subject to the weather and what we feel like doing. We do like places with somewhere to get coffee mid-morning so the news that the Post Office now also has a tea room had put Reedham onto our list. We probably hadn't been there since our last holiday on the southern Broads which I think was 2015. An interesting journey took us along the A47, turning off before Acle and heading cross-country through Halvergate and Freethorpe. Plenty of free parking along the quayside. We had a lovely walk from one end to the other watching the boats and the bridge swinging, before we stopped for coffee. The ladies in the tea room were very chatty and friendly, service was good, coffee and cake was very good and I would highly recommend supporting this business. I am sure that we will go back. After sitting outside in the sunshine we moved across to one of the seats on the quay near Sandersons. Watched the swing bridge which was interesting. We thought it wasn't going to close at one point, and as it turned out this was the day before they had problems and closed the bridge to river traffic. An indication of what was to come ... maybe. Hubby did the decent thing and helped a large Norfolk Broads Direct boat to moor. The father was at the outside helm on top and one of his children and his wife were waiting at the stern with ropes. But with tricky conditions we could see that he couldn't get close enough to the quay for them to get off so hubby went over and helped them out. It was busy there that morning and we thoroughly enjoyed watching the comings and goings. I could have stayed there longer but it was getting on for lunchtime so we headed back to the caravan for the rest of the day. You can probably spot the pattern here ... go out in the morning, get any shopping we need on the way back then stay around the site for the afternoon and evening. More of that on tomorrow's write-up. For now ... here's Reedham.
  38. 10 points
    Wednesday 10th July Check-out time at the Yacht Station, is 10am so the fact that the tide would be still ebbing out for another couple of hours and was therefore going to really eat into my diesel usage crossing Breydon, was something I had no control over. So after another healthy granola breakfast, I removed two of the securing ropes, at which point one of the rangers joined me to assist my departure. Whilst waiting for a clear run, he told me he would prefer everyone to ask for help if needed and related how a few days earlier, a large cruiser departed into the ebb, hit the boat in front, frantically applied reverse not realising that one of the ropes was just waiting to wrap around the propeller… which it did. No doubt the rangers just strolled to the end of the moorings, waited for the boat to pass, then requested that they be thrown a rope. Anyway, I got on board and when the time was right (I was already facing the bridges) the ranger released the aft rope, which swung Goosander’s rear into the river. The signal was then given to reverse out and off I went, quite fast at that point. Pretty soon I was upon the yellow marker post and could feel the strength of the current hitting me broadside from Breydon. So a fast traverse down the last of the Bure became a passage through what seemed like treacle, up the Yare. Having seen how the Richardsons boat had overheated the previous evening, I was a little apprehensive to push the throttle too much, watching the temperature gauge as I slowly passed each marker post. Finally I reached the other end of Breydon and made my way past Berney Arms Mill. I had not varied the throttle at all, which was giving me around 4.5mph, so it was illuminating to see it slowly pick up as I got further away from Yarmouth. My destination for lunchtime was Loddon, another location where I hoped to launch the drone. Reedham Quay came and went on my starboard side, where I noted that there were still a number of spaces available to moor. I would need one later, as I planned to come back out from Loddon and overnight there. I entered the Chet, which is very narrow and winding at the start, doing the prescribed 4mph, which was certainly fast enough in those confines. Around one of the bends came a bathtub of some sort, careering towards me at speed. I worked out that if he was going to hit anything, it would be the outside of the bend so I just stayed as close to the nearside as I could until he passed by. I am not exaggerating, it really was as hairy as it sounds. I continued on down hoping to be able to moor in the basin, as I had spied a good launch site on Google Maps. Upon approaching the Pyes Mill moorings, I was shocked to see every space taken and thought that was not a good omen for my chosen location. I looked behind to see if anyone was following and was surprised to see I was the first of three boats which were hoping to find a place at the basin. Well it was too narrow to pass me so I resolved to just take my time and hopefully being first, would have more of a chance of a mooring. In fact there were exactly three spaces left. I masochistically chose a space just wide enough for one boat and to my amazement, (and with a little help from the bow thrusters), managed to reverse Goosander in with a minimum of fuss. I decided to check out the drone launch site straight away. I did not want to fly it from the car park as too many people were around. Google Maps showed a footpath leading down past the rear of the adjacent marina, and through into an open scrubby field, which led down to the river. It was ideal! I went back to the boat to collect the drone and I think I got some good shots of the area. Returning to the Goosander, a shower started so I had just carried out the “operation” in time as it is not recommended to fly in the rain, which can damage the motors. Pleased with myself, I had lunch onboard, before taking a walk up into the village. Ever concerned about the availability of moorings, I opted to set off for Reedham at 2.30pm. An hour’s cruise would get me there before most people gave up for the night. As the quay came into view, I could see a choice of mooring spots and chose a spot closer to the Ship Inn end. The tide was flowing in so the task of coming alongside was that much easier. I was soon tied up and just sat there, with the top back watching the comings and goings for a while. It had become noticeably warm and humid so most people were sitting atop their boats. I walked up the ever descriptive “Middle Hill” so I could purchase a newspaper to read that evening, then returned to Goosander planning to visit the Ship Inn for an evening meal later. Come 7pm, I was on my way to the Ship. It was so warm, I decided to order the meal and to consume it sat in the gardens overlooking the river (as did lots of other people). This time I had the Hunters Chicken. I have only ever ordered this a few times, but this meal was the best I have tasted and I would thoroughly recommend it. Today’s cheesecake was a sort of cookie dough texture with ice cream and that too was delicious. It became a little cooler around 9pm, which is when I decided to head for home. The "narrow" approach to Loddon, where the bathtub came bouncing off the sides. Loddon Mill Loddon basin A Triffid at Reedham. I had to be careful it didn't bite my ankle. Reedham Swing Bridge All the rest are Loddon from the air.
  39. 10 points
    Once upon a time as a child and for years after I used to love receiving the Hoseasons brochure each year. Then that darn Internet went and ruined everything and booking online became the thing. In recent years, the Hoseasons brochure became a shadow of its former self, now with tiny photos, lack of prices, wrongly labelled photos and only a partial view of the Richardson fleet. Nevertheless I fancied giving it a try once again only to find the option to order one on the website no longer seems to exist. On a more positive note, the larger boatyards are all producing good old fashioned colour brochures with large boat photos and transparent pricing. There's still something very nice about having the paper version, especially in winter when you want to be transported to sunnier times.
  40. 10 points
    I tend to find the more someone needs to rant, or use profanity to make a point, the weaker their argument is. Sadly, informed or unbiased fact on the closed season is very hard to find. Studies by pro angling groups suggest abolishing the closed season would have no impact on fish health and stocks. Those by anti angling groups suggest exactly the opposite. As with most things in life you could give the same "expert" the same "facts" and get any number of different outcomes depending on where the funding is coming from. Got to say I agree with Peter, there are plenty of opportunities to fish away from the rivers for the three months of the closed season. There is no good reason that I can see for any change.
  41. 10 points
    Friday 10th October Blue skies welcomed me as I tweaked the bedroom curtain open. There was no wind and you would think the warnings were misplaced. I turned on the radio and the forecast was still the same. So I made a breakfast sandwich using up some of the remaining bacon and generally readied the boat for departure. I wished the couple in the next boat a pleasant holiday and arranged for one of the rangers to assist me by holding onto the bow rope to allow the tide to turn Goosander to face away from the bridges, before reversing out into the stream and on my way up river. I was on my way by 10am and thought as long as I keep mid-stream, any gusts of wind are not going to do me any harm. It’s a long old slog all the way to Horning in one go and there were hardly any boats on the river, probably heeding the weather alert. By now, the gusts of wind were punching the boat which made me think I was not going to enjoy coming into the mooring at Horning. By 2pm, I was turning into the dyke where Goosander lives taking a very slow cruise down knowing I would need to swing her around to get her into the mooring. Often, there is someone living on the boat behind Goosander’s mooring and I was pleased that on this occasion, they were not in residence. Anyway, I managed to come alongside without mishap and scrambled ashore as quickly as possible, grabbing the ropes to stop the wind from carrying the boat across the dyke. I made the ropes secure and noticed the amount of goose excrement on the walkway. Clearly, in Goosanders absence, every goose in Horning had decided to stake a claim. Two of the blighters we sitting comfortably watching me struggle. If it stayed there I would be walking it in the boat and it was slippy under foot so I used the nearby hose to wash the surface clean. Well most of it just splashed onto Goosander’s hull at first so then I had to wash the hull and the decks so by the time I had finished, I was soaking wet. Well, if I was wet, there was no way the geese were getting away with it so I chased them off the staging with my trusty colt 45 hose pipe. There were around 10 of them all squawking at me from the dyke and it took quite a few sprays before they decided this was a battle they were not going to win, and headed down the dyke to the open river making more noise than Status Quo at full pelt in a telephone box. After completing the task it was still only around 3pm so I decided to drive to Potter Heigham as I could not reach it by boat. I thought Lathams might have some of those PVC bench covers I saw earlier in the season which would be ideal to protect some garden furniture I have at home over the winter. Well, Lathams have most things but alas no bench covers. I wandered into Bridgestones and had a decedant peice of cake and a latte to make up for the wasted journey. By nightfall, the wind was shaking the leaves from the trees, though it has to be said, it was a warm wind. I decided to eat at the Ferry Inn this evening as it was much closer than the New Inn and I did not feel like a long walk in a battering wind. Upon entering, I could see there were no free tables, mostly because the room to the left of the carvery section had been dressed for someone’s wedding forcing everybody else into the remaining space. So I turned around and went back to the boat to make myself a meal from what I had left onboard. If I could remember what that was I would tell you but I am writing this some two weeks later and it’s gone right out of my mind. I had already started packing away certain items “ not wanted on voyage” and resigned to leave the rest until the morning. I had to be off Goosander by 11am. On your marks, get set..... Saw this at Ludham Bridge on the way to PH Lots of these about all week A couple of Goosander internal images
  42. 10 points
    Saturday 13th October Me, hubby Graham, our eldest son Harry and collie dog Seren on this trip. When we originally booked we thought it would be just me and Graham, but Harry has managed to book the week off work and is intending sleeping on the sofa-bed. We left MK just before 8am, and stopped off at our usual Costa’s coffee break at Caxton Gibbet – toasted teacake for me this time as I’ve decided that having a toastie messes up my appetite. Harry had a wrap of some sort and Graham a Danish and a muffin. (Now that’s just greedy!) Once on our way again we had a very good journey. Lovely weather today too, sunny and a very pleasant 21°C even before 10am. We got to Wroxham and Hoveton around 10:30. Graham took Seren for a walk and then joined us in Roy’s for the fresh food shop. After we’d stashed away the food in the car we went to check the bridge – 7½ ‘, which sounds like plenty for the boat we’ve hired this week – Bronze Emblem, which has 7’1” air-draft with canopy and screens down (well, that’s the ‘official’ figure). I emailed them a few weeks ago to ask what the air-draft is with canopy up – they kindly measured her for me – 7’9”. We toyed with the idea of going to the Station Smokehouse for lunch and started off in that direction. However, none of us were very hungry, so as we were passing Massingham’s butchers we changed our minds and popped in to buy a pie/pasty each and some water, which we ate sitting on one of the benches facing Hoveton St John moorings. They were very tasty…lovely pastry and good filling, but slightly salty for our taste (probably because we have been trying to cut down on salt). By this time, it was getting on for noon, so we thought it would be worth phoning up the yard to see if we might pick up the boat early. Not only was she ready, but the receptionist said that she’d been trying to contact me earlier to say that we could pick up the boat early. (Note to self…make sure the boatyard has your latest mobile number!) We had the usual very friendly welcome at the yard. The receptionist insisted we bring Seren in so she could make a fuss of her. Ian (the guy who had done the handover for our first trip with Ferry Marina in 2016) gave us a quick and very efficient handover, so it wasn’t long before we were on our way. I took the helm to leave the Marina, and handed over to Harry just after Cockshoot Dyke. Harry has sailed the Broads on several Hunter’s boats, but he’s never been on a motor cruiser before, so this was a new experience for him. Don’t know whether it was the fresh oncoming breeze, but the steering needed a lot of input initially to keep in a (relatively) straight line. We stopped at St Benet’s for Seren to have a run. I thought it would be more sheltered inside the old mill, but it was remarkably windy inside it. The wind was blowing directly into the doorway and then blowing around it. When we got on our way again the wind seemed to be strengthening. Once we passed Thurne Mouth the river became much quieter (boat wise). I was surprised that there weren't many boats moored at Acle and when we got to Stokesby there was a space on the BA 24hr moorings, and 34p left on one of the electric points. We were tickled to find we were moored in front of Fair Regent 3, which is the boat we hired last Autumn. Finished unpacking and then sat for a while watching telly/reading until almost 6pm before making our way into the Ferry Inn. Seren got a lovely welcome from the landlady (who also has a collie). Graham thought Christmas had come early – he was offered a low alcohol Ghostship (also a 0% Bitburger Drive, which he also likes). Harry had an IPA (can’t remember which) and I had a full-fat Ghostship. The meals were enjoyed too – standard pub food, but done well. I had a lovely Pork and Apple Burger, Graham had Scampi and Chips and Harry had their Fish and Chips. We watched the first hour or so of ‘The Fellowship of the Rings’ on ITV when we got back to the boat (how is it that every time Graham and I are on holiday one of the Lord of the Rings films seems to be on ITV2?) but my eyes started to droop and we were set for a dawn start tomorrow, so we settled for an early night shortly after 8pm.
  43. 10 points
    Wednesday the 8th and today we're going to have a slow meander up the Ant, see if we can nab an over-night mooring at Neatishead as we've never managed that before. Compared to some of the long days cruising we've done this week it's quite a gentle day ahead with a couple of lengthy stops en-route to get Boris off the boat. He's growing into it and coping better now but ashore is definitely his preference, he likes nothing more than sniffing around new places. We were promised a mighty storm last night, something to clear the air and cool the blood but it never came, just a few spots through the night and today is nice again, if cooling a bit. We were in no hurry today, we walked up into Ludham and I called in the butchers for some raw best mince for the Dog (I know I know, it was Bev's idea and he's on holiday too) and while I was in there I might as well get some of those pork pies and a couple of scotch eggs. I also popped into the general store and was hugely impressed with their deli-counter, shame I couldn't buy anything from it as we only had two more nights and we weren't short of supplies but I now know for next time. What I did need was ingredients for chicken & sweetcorn soup, like you get in a Chinese restaurant, I recently learned how to make this from a youtube video and it was to be our last meal on the boat tomorrow night. The staithe was fairly empty when we returned to the boat, everyone off to do their thing, go their own way towards whatever adventure today would bring. Chores finished we set off at about 9.30 ish, and we took a little detour around the Island. This was truly bitter-sweet for us, actually very emotional because this spot two years ago is where we finally accepted that our last dog, Alfie was so poorly that we would have to take him home. We'll never forget you boy. Next stop was St Benets, it was quite a challenging mooring because the current was strong but we managed it, the boat was soon secured and we were off for a good walk to burn a few calories off. The wind had picked up a bit which was welcome, fresh, it was nice here. A good while was spent wandering around, no livestock in view so Boris could wander off the lead although he's still insecure so he never goes far from us. Lots of pictures taken, lots of memories, lots of smiles. Boris always seems to attract a lot of attention, he's a big rough looking fella but soft as clarts, not an ounce of aggression in him. It always pleases us when he gets a fuss because we know a little about his background from the people at the Dogs Trust and believe me, hugs were in short supply. He's a very happy dog today though, absolutely bouncing. Next stop How Hill, before we left I prepared the boat for the bridge because it would be busy once we got there, yep it's busy as hell. I thought about stopping for a cuppa in the tea shop, but to be honest the madness of Ludham Bridge needed to be left behind so I kept going. I don't need to tell you what a nice river the Ant is to cruise on, but I will. It's delightful, twisty as I like it, not too busy once the bridge is but a memory and the weather today is a bit cooler so even Boris is enjoying the view. There is plenty of room at How Hill moorings, and we set off up the hill to the tea room. Let me tell you about the cake they do in the tea room....Bev had Victoria Sponge and I had lemon Drizzle Cake, big slices of soft moist loveliness washed down with good strong tea. Go there if you haven't been, you wont regret it. Sated we had a walk around the impressive grounds, the secret garden is beautiful and so well laid out but to be honest, we found it pretty easily so it wasn't all that secret. I know I know, I'm joking but it reminds me of the Top Secret War Bunker in Liverpool, a tourist attraction that's advertised all the way from the M62. A nosey through the windows of Hathor the Wherry, but it's shut so back to the boat for the last leg of the day. The houses through here are magnificent, but I wonder how much people like me looking in annoys them. Slowly through this part respecting their property and the river opens up into Barton Broad which has lots of sailboats, an organised event. We're turning left today, and care has to be taken to allow the wind dependent boats to do their thing, it's nice to see so many boats with young people, children who obviously have done this for ages as they are brilliant. They're also nice and polite as they without exception thanked me with a wave if I'd given way for them. Limekiln Dyke was passaged as slowly as I could manage, just enough speed to allow me to steer, it was magical. Would there be a space for us? Gay's Staithe had a couple of spaces as we passed but yes, the end mooring (last on left as you face the river from the road) was free so I turned and moored. Happy days, lets go for a pint at the White Horse and book a table for tonight. We booked for 6.30 as we like to eat early, and went for a walk with Boris, we actually walked miles across fields and down lanes and we were a bit short of time when we got back to the boat, only time for a quick wash and change before our reservation. The excellent reputation the White Horse enjoys is earned and deserved. A lovely meal with a couple of pints of Spitfire lager, everyone here tries their hardest to make sure you're enjoying it, thanks for a lovely meal. We don't stay late, we're back at the boat by 8.30 and I take up residence on the seat at the end of the moorings by the ladder. Bev is catching up on TV as this is the first time it's had a decent signal, and I have a bottle of Malbec, the company of a devoted dog and a view up the dyke that will stay with me for a long time. I watched a kingfisher, or more accurately a blue flash of colour streaking backwards and forwards across the dyke, when suddenly a sailboat approached, it's reflection in the still water quite breath-taking. Oh my goodness, this place is heaven. I managed to get a picture which I posted on facebook at the time, I hope no-one minds me including it again here, it's the Norfolk Broads to me, the epitomy of serenity. I sat for ages into darkness, the wine gone replaced with Balvenie 12 year old malt. I'd brought Boris's bed out and he was asleep on it next to me, I couldn't see a thing, perfect blackness. Time to reflect on a week almost gone, the highs without lows, the peace, the company of my wife who I still can't believe agreed to marry me, my dog who is changing from a nervy shell of a dog into a confident and loving companion, I'm so at ease, so relaxed, when......HISSSSSSSSS........ bloody swan, Me and Boris just nearly had a dicky fit. Time for bed, the weather's changing.
  44. 10 points
    Currently applying a clear coat of lacquer to the finished items
  45. 10 points
    There are two reasons why I would take this article with a pinch of salt. Firstly, the page dates from 2007 and if the law actually changed since I think we would know about it. Secondly, it's the Daily Mail - enough said.
  46. 10 points
    We and a number of others have just enjoyed a quiet night at the free quiet moorings provided by TBMC at Potter Heugham. Children had space to play and adults could sit on the well kept grass-all at no cost to us, so David (ex-pilot) please pass on our thanks to the committee. Also to others who also provide such facilities.
  47. 10 points
    So , usual early rise , a final tidy up of fishing gear and last nights moorings, everything rounded up, a very short cruise with a 360 turn and my young lad stern moored perfectly at the boat yard . The Pacific crew as usual were cheery and helpful as we loaded the car . Thats it, it's over A summary, the yard ,,,,,. Faultless. From booking to returning boat they never missed a beat. I would go back again in flash, and would recommend them hugely. Lovely people. the boat ,,,, Every boat I have ever had , has good and bad points . Taking into consideration the price range of this boat I would give it 8.5 out of ten . Visibility wasn't the best , the windscreen didn't drop and it just seem an awkward height . Luckily , the weather was such that you could stand and look above it . The tank for the loo was a bit smelly , one day after a pump out even , every now and then you got a whiff , didn't last , but kept coming back. I assume if the boat was at a certain angle it happened . You have to stay off the roof canopies , centre part is fine , but it is narrow . Thats all the minus points . The boat is very spacious for its length . There were cupboards we didn't even use . The bed was comfy . Simple things like a pole for the aerial, also , the tv gave us reception , even sometimes on the move when we put the football on . The boat is designed to go under all the bridges with relative ease. It was easily the most responsive and easily handled boat I have ever hired . Mechanically it never missed a beat, I had the utmost confidence in it at all times .All appliances worked as they should , again , all down to a great yard I think. The boat itself was presented in the condition you hope for , both inside and out .The bow thruster was a handy edition ( and a nice toy!!!) I would hire her again without a doubt, I will definitely go back to the yard, I really like the feel of the place. The weather ,,,,,, was incredible , 40 year plus of being on the broads and never have I not seen even a hint of rain, untill this year. Usually see a nightime lightning storm , which is enjoyable and impressive, but this year was Spanish like summertime. The food and Norfolk people were excellent . If I had my time again , I would redeploy to Norfolk and make a life of it . I didn't, and now I can't , that's life. Even the A47 on way home was trouble free, now that's unusual!!!! The rest of the long road , was thankfully uneventful. The crew,,,, Perfect , minus one! A fabulous time had, on a great boat, in the best place . Shame it's so far away, but maybe that's what makes it so special. Thanks to all who have liked and commented on my ramblings , I hoped you enjoyed it , I certainly did . Until the next time , all the best folks.
  48. 10 points
    awoke around 0630 , beautiful again, but a private boat just opposite us already had his engine running . Im not one to get over excited about this kind of thing, live and let is the way forward, but why, on such a beautiful morning do they not just go for little cruise and back? two birds , one stone and all that. I fished for a little while then went for a walk . Its a smart set up at the WRC , all the amenities are modern , with the glamping and yutes looking top notch . A very short cruise to Oulton broad, another walk , picking where we shall have lunch. back to the boat , where a terrific spell of fishing was had, with a few big fish caught, unusual for the middle of the day. We went to the " copper pot??!!" a new restaurant, on the same side and close to the entrance to the park. Very very nice, highly recommended, something a little different. The main St , and Oulton broad itself is looking a bit tired these days. Such potential here as well, I hope it dosent slide any further . The big tour boat was doing a great trade, so the visitors are there, as was the mooring busy. After lunch we set off and ended up at somerleyton (passing our 2nd otter of the week, the first around brundal). As far as I can remember, I cant recall ever overnighting here, so we made camp and set up for the night. the young lad pulling fish out at fair rate, some good sizes. Me , not so much!! I took a stroll up to the pub , but as expected it was just a place for eating . Looked lovely , but I do like a traditional bar, with darts dominoes and pool . Gave the young lad the bad news , then assisted him for the rest of night , pulling in fish and the odd eel. It was mostly private boats around us, a very friendly atmosphere , in a lovely spot , somewhat sheltered in the fast river. Barbecue for supper, and I think we watched a dvd . My last full day ahead tomorrow , just where does the time go?. I was just beginning to unwind!!!!!!!!
  49. 10 points
    Friday 18th May Ever the optimist, I had set the alarm for 7am in the off chance that the wind might have dropped enough to get the drone up above Wroxham before people had started to show their faces. The wind had calmed to a breeze and I decided it would be worth a try. I am not the sort of person who can just switch into operation as soon as I rise. I needed a cup of tea and in this case, a toasted currant teacake to wake me up. So after consuming this last meal afloat, I stepped ashore with the drone and it's remote control unit. I connected the battery to bring the drone to life then went to switch on the remote only to find it was already on - and the battery was dead. I had been playing around with it yesterday, thinking I could use it as a remote control camera on the front of the boat as I go along and must have forgot to turn it off again. I think someone up there was telling me that's your lot mate for this holiday! I consoled myself that I will have another chance in around 5 weeks time. By now, the staff had arrived and the yard was as busy as a suburban train station at rush hour. My journey home started with a departure from Hoveton and Wroxham Station at 13.10hrs (ish) so I was not angling to be the first one out of the boat. I packed away all the items which were left and waited for the fuel tank dip. The office presented me with a £65 fuel refund indicating I had only used £25 over the holiday. So overall the boat had cost just £300. Not bad for 4 nights away. I had asked reception if I could leave my luggage with them to save me carting it all over Wroxham whilst waiting for the train, which they had agreed to. So I set off walking and spent time in Roys, Roys, Roys and Roys. At midday I purchased fish and chips from Ken's and sat at one of the tables overlooking the bridge pilot moorings. Pretty soon I was surrounded by a platoon of pigeons so decided I would fall back to the trenches - sorry benches to eat my meal. Then into McDonalds for a McFlurry. Us Yorkies know how to push the boat out! Soon it was time to return for my luggage and make my way to the train station. The journey home was on time and very pleasant, complete with the sandwich, cake and drink I was entitled to on the first class leg from Peterborough to Leeds. All for £1 more than standard class. My views about Brinkcraft and Brinks Jazz 4. I was apprehensive using such a large yard and imagined I would be waiting an age for someone to come and do the boat instruction etc. This was not the case. The process is very slick and I was on my way both in and out of the boat in no time at all so commendations to them for that. Brinks Jazz is let’s face it, at the lower end of Barnes price spectrum so I was not expecting too much. The boat internally is very well thought out. The saloon area is very spacious, with lots of storage room and I liked that it was raised up for a better view of the world going by. The compact kitchen is perfect with everything literally around you. It only had a 2 burner stove and once you put the frying pan (did I mention the frying pan?) on one ring there was not much room for anything else. There was also a microwave so it was always possible to complete a meal one way or another. The shower was a shower! The bathroom was adequate and the bedroom was comfortable. I have to admit to not liking the bedroom door closed as it felt claustrophobic to me. The dual steer arrangement was particularly welcome for me, and I felt quite safe clambering up and down from the upper steering position. Robin mentioned the narrow decks on his video review and they are indeed narrow and there are occasions when you need to walk them. I was very careful and took my time so no mishaps. Whereas the internals were spotless and well designed, if there was going to be a reflection of the price I paid, I would say it was the exterior paintwork. It just looked a little tatty in places. The upper deck and parts of the forward well had ground in dirt which you just knew would not have been on any of Barnes Elite boats. I was also surprised that the windows had not been cleaned before I got on, though this may have just been an oversight. I was let out on my own very quickly remember! Overall I would commend the boat to anyone, but not perhaps to those used to Elite boat standards. As to my own personal circumstances, I was very apprehensive coming to the Broads on my own, a place Doreen and I had spent many happy times together over the years. Honestly, it was the first class travel, the dual steer boat and the use of the drone which convinced me this was something new and to give it a try. They say that nature has healing qualities and I think the Broads elevated my spirit a little. Anyone who has lost a loved one will tell you the overwhelming longing to be with that person again never goes away. All you can do is try to distract yourself from feeling it all the time. Thanks to everyone who read it and for the comments made and the likes. The more I got the longer the story became so you can see it was encouraging. I am back again in June so we will see how much use the drone gets then! For now, here are a few more elevated views which I missed out earlier. Stalham looking towards the Museum of the Broads& Staithe Ludham Bridge looking out towards the Bure Just behind the Ferry Boatyard at Horning Horning looking up towards the village centre
  50. 9 points
    Friday 8th February We were up at the usual time on Friday morning. Debbie took Harley for her walk and I had breakfast and went to get showered. What a godsend the immersion heater is, too. Our little fan heater had been set to low and on all night and had certainly kept the chill off. The pub moorings were not busy and we had moored side on, due to the weather and it certainly was windy and the sky grey and cheerless with heavy cloud cover. Debbie had breakfast when she returned and while she was waiting for me to finish showering, she had stated to pack. She went to get ready as I emerged from the aft cabin, feeling better for my shower. I started to move all of our bits and pieces from where we had stowed them into the saloon, so they were all together and when Debbie was showered and dressed, we finished packing our clothes, stripped the bed and moved all of our bags into the aft cabin to make it easy to get them out of the aft doors to pack the car. I topped up with water at the pub, as I knew from our experiences earlier in the week, that the hose at the kiosk at Brooms had been turned off. We had really been in no particular rush and by about 11:00, we cast off for the short trip back to the yard, filled up with fuel and had the required pump-out, which all together came to about £90. Bill paid, we moved to our berth, I packed the car and the wife vacuumed through MS. With everything done, we pulled out of the boatyard at about 12:15. We weren’t in any great rush to go home, so headed for Hoveton (for the pedants) and had fish and chips from Greys before heading for home. The return journey took about three hours, largely due to a combination of roadworks and Friday traffic and could have been worse has it not been for some local knowledge around Bedford, where I turned off the A421 and headed through some local roads home. No scenic photos on the last day – the weather was too uninspiring, just one of MS at her home mooring. That’s all for this trip – thanks for reading and your comments. Just looking forward now to April and another week on Moonlight Shadow.
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