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  1. 32 points
    I'd like to record how much I love this forum. Sadly my wife have become increasingly upset with the amount of time I spend posting here, and not paying attention to her and has issued an ultimatum. "It's me of the forum"! So sadly it's time for me to say farewell. I'll be back in a couple of hours when I've finished packing her things and driven her to her mothers. Don't do anything interesting without me.
  2. 27 points
    It's hard to believe that those halcyon days of endless summer spent on the Norfolk Broads are the best part of a lifetime ago. I sit in my armchair and gaze into the garden, rain making patterns on the French windows, grey clouds scurrying across the distant horizon. I have reached an age where I need a list to remind me to buy milk and bread when I go shopping. A small device in my pocket the likes of which once seemed beyond science fiction reminds me of the correct day to visit the Doctor and renew my various prescriptions and once in a while allows a family no longer nearby to check up on me. A call to see if it's worth spending a stamp on a Christmas Card or whether it's more prudent to invest in dry cleaning their funeral outfits. For all my great age and frailty I can still close my eyes and recall the names and faces of those days in Norfolk, recall them as if they were only yesterday. The man on the radio plays a tune, it's “Tracks Of My Years” time, I like that. It reminds me it's time to think about lunch. The intro sounds familiar and as the band begin playing I recognise the song we danced to so many times on those sultry evenings on Pakefield Beach, dancing, swimming and sitting around the driftwood fire, it's flames glowing blue green as the salt coloured them. They were carefree days, days of wonder and enlightenment. Everything was possible, everything an adventure, but I let that adventure die before I realised how magical it really was. Summer holidays were the one luxury our family enjoyed. Every year the money was scraped together somehow for our two weeks in Norfolk and Suffolk. Times were hard back then. We didn't think of ourselves as poor, in fact both my parents worked and we were better off than many in our local community but still there was “not much to spare” as my mother often said. She worked in the hosiery factory at the top of the street, my father was a carpenter. They paid the mortgage, sometimes with the aid of ten bob from a helpful grandparent, put food on the table and provided us with clothes, which sometimes fitted. We had no car, in fact in our whole street their was only one car, the scary man at the top of the road who worked at the bank. The street was for playing football and cricket, undisturbed by traffic. We did however have a television, and that too was one of very few in the street. Father's brother was a television engineer, remember them? Try explaining to the youth of today that when your TV broke down a man came and fixed it, or occasionally took it away in the back of his van if the repair was too involved, for it's return to be eagerly awaited like the delivery of a new baby in the family. Our TV was one which it's previous owner had given up having repaired but which Uncle Bill had pulled back from the brink of oblivion. It was black and white, of course, and it had buttons to switch between 405 and 625 lines depending on which channel you wanted to watch. There were three, can you imagine finding something worth watching with just three channels? To change the channel you had to twist the dial, little pieces of stamp paper marking the approximate location of each station. I was the remote control.... “lad, put BBC2 on” my father would say. During school holidays kids were left at home. That was the way. There would be somebody “on duty”, somewhere in the street. A non working mother maybe, or an older sibling. “If you need anything knock at Mrs Morris's” mum would say on her way out to work. I don't think it was ever said, but it was understood that you only disturbed mum at work if it was really serious. In truth we were not really “home alone” as we would be out playing all day. It seems almost unimaginable today, but kids played together outdoors back in those days. Half the things we got up to would probably have snowflakes from Social Services banging at the door nowadays. We climbed trees, built dens, made fires to bake potatoes on and if someone had got a ball we spent the afternoon in the park. Children of different ages played together, can you believe that, but there was a pecking order. The older kids decided what to do and the younger ones were allowed to tag along. Of course the school holiday we all awaited most eagerly was Summer. Nine weeks of freedom. Almost long enough to forget your teacher's name. Being factory workers my parents both had set holidays, when the works would stop and most of the county boarded a bus (our railway line having fallen victim to Dr. Beeching's axe) for Skegness. But for us, it was a car, hired, borrowed but never quite stolen and the A47 eastward East to Oulton Broad ……. to be continued …..
  3. 26 points
    Kenneth Grahame writes “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”. A little bit like the Mole, I ventured out of my hole and sniffed the late spring air. It had been a tough winter of coughs and agues, sneezes and diseases, wobbly legs, a jiggly hand and an errant and wayward cakehole. But spring was finally here and my white whiskers twitched with excitement at the prospect of adventures to come, for our granddaughter Gracie was making her first trip to the Norfolk Broads to meet Royal Tudor. Deciding who was the most excited about the impending trip to the Broads was going to be difficult. Gracie had packed her small suitcase the day we announced the trip. Walking Gracie to school became a chance to answer her questions about boats, boating and the rivers. 'Boat fever' was something I didn't mind catching in the least! How best to describe Grace? Six going on twenty-six. Bright as a button, very, very astute, long fair hair, tall and as limb-lithe as her name describes. Our walks to school were full of talk of ducks, otters, life-jackets, types of boats and pirates. 'There are no pirates Timbo, only those near Africa!'. There's no fooling Gracie! The day of departure finally arrived and after a fitful night's sleep, I of course overslept by half an hour, the day dawned bright and sunny. A quick coffee and after walking the beagles Ellie and I started to pack the QQ for the journey. Soon we were leaving 'Big G' three-quarters of an hour later than we intended with Gracie wedged in the back seat, the beagles in the boot and the QQ full to the gunwales with luggage and bits for the boat. We made our way via Doddington and Harmston to join the Sleaford roundabout. Just after the stretch of dual carriageway, Gracie was feeling travel sick. More I think due to Grandma asking if she was OK than actually feeling ill. So when I managed to find somewhere to pull over Gracie became my front seat navigator. I introduced her to the game of Pub and Church cricket. A game quite difficult to play since the demise of the public house. The rules are simple. Passengers take it in turn to 'bat'. A church with a square tower is '6 runs'. A pub name or it's sign provides additional runs to the number of 'legs' stated or depicted. So the Canary and Linnet pub provides four runs. The Carpenters Arms would have been no runs but the sign depicted two 'carpenters' holding up the arms so this was four runs. A church with a spire means that you are 'out' and the next passenger starts spotting to score. Due to the lack of pubs these days, windmills were substituted as three runs. Playing Pub and Church Cricket, Gracie reading the names of places on the Sat-Nav and handing out the mints, we were soon over Sutton Bridge and into Norfolk (According to Gracie the Bridge counted as fifty runs and brought her score to 367 not out). I stopped at the services at Swaffham, where Ellie realised what crap service we actually got from eateries at home. While Grace and Ellie went into McDonald's I sat outside with the dogs, the staff offering to bring my food outside while the ladies sat in comfort. Fed and watered we got underway again. As we drove along Gracie got more and more excited as I pointed out landmarks that were increasingly boat related. Down the new Broadland bypass, turn right for Wroxham and over the bridge and a 'wow' from Gracie as she saw the busy river and the boats. We stopped at Norfolk Marine to buy Gracie her life jacket. We were pleasantly surprised expecting a price tag of £50 plus to be asked for £25. While I waited with the 'beagle boys' Ellie and Gracie popped to Roy's for some last minute shopping. “They should call it rob-dog Roy's” Grace announced upon her return to the car clutching a new 'word search' puzzle book. “It's ever so expensive!” there's still no fooling Gracie. On our way again and we finally arrived at Stalham. Gracie was incredibly excited. The first job at the wet shed was to take the 'boys' for a well-earned wee. So Ellie, Gracie and I walked down the footpath behind the sheds while the boys stretched their legs. Back at the wet shed, I stopped by the two wrecked day launches parked on barrels outside. Gracie's face was a picture when she thought fleetingly that one of them was Royal Tudor. Just inside the shed, Dave (Janet Anne) was varnishing Uncle Mike's boat Chameleon. We made our way around the jetty until we, at last, reached Royal Tudor. Gracie was full of gasps and wonder and finally delight. It was love at first sight! While Ellie and Grace pottered around exploring RT, putting away the groceries and starting to clean, Dave and I did some catching up and waited for the chance to sort out the stern gland grease. We found this had already been done so Grace and I made a run to Tesco for last minute bits too expensive in Roy's, like beer, wine and batteries for Gracie's night light. In Tesco, Gracie looked thoughtful. “No, he's not a pirate.” “Who?” I asked her. “Dave. He might look like a pirate, but he's too nice to be a pirate. Besides, he doesn't have a wooden leg or a parrot!” “Ah!” Did I mention there's no fooling Gracie? At last with Royal Tudor fully provisioned and with the day waning rapidly, I made final preparations to get underway. By this time I was getting quite rushed, hot and bothered. I dropped RT's cockpit, took away her connection to shore power, started her engine, let loose the warps and we nosed out of the shed! Flags flying we made our way out onto the river and Gracie was elated! It wasn't long before she was acting as 'lookout' spotting birds and boats. As the river widened Gracie was even more amazed. “It's the first time I've ever been on a boat on a big river!” Gracie exclaimed. I was waiting for the look on her face when we reached the expanse of Barton Broad. As we made our way out onto the broad Gracie gasped. Both Barton Broad and Gracie's face were shimmering in the evening sunshine. What a glorious, glorious sight to see! “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”. Part Two soon!
  4. 24 points
    Travelling any distance took planning. It wasn't like it is now. I can get in my car today and be anywhere on the Broads in around three hours and a single tank of fuel completes the 360 mile round trip twice. If I don't have enough fuel I'll pass at least six filling stations in the first ten miles or so from home. In the early 70's we didn't pass that many garages on the whole journey, and they opened “office” hours. Saturday morning if you were lucky, never on a Sunday. A full tank would just get us to Oulton Broad with enough leeway. Three hours was a pipe dream, the journey took six on a good day, on a bad one it could take eight. There were no “improvements” on the A47 in those days. No dual carriageways, no crawler lanes, no straightened sections. The climb up Rutland's Wardley Hill could be murderous. Lorries laden with coal and gravel from the mines and quarries of Leicestershire could make no more than walking pace up the narrow, serpentine three mile ascent. The road passed through every town and village on the route, bypass was a word still alien to our language. Every village had it's crossroads, towns had traffic lights. Travelling was stop start, stop start. There were motorways, the M1 had opened some years earlier but mother would never use it and no motorway went anywhere near Norfolk. At least some things never change. For us, the adventure began on Friday afternoon. It was straight home from school and into the back of the car. The first car I remember was a brand new Ford Escort 1100L 2 door saloon, hired from our local Ford dealership and nicknamed “Silver Fox” after it's paint colour. Two adults in the front, three kids in the back and a rather portly and often flatulent dog in the back window. A boot full of everything but the kitchen sink and a roof rack on top with father's vast array of fishing tackle. All that and the grand total of 40 horsepower. Even when you found a bit of “open road” progress was never rapid. I often wondered if mother, who was the driver in our family, father never learned, was grateful to those lorries on Wardley Hill as I doubt we could have gone much quicker if they were not there! The first point of note on the journey, for me at least was Peterborough. Dad's parents came from Rutland and he had family across the county and through Northamptonshire and so we visited those places quite regularly. Mum would borrow her sister's Mk I Cortina to take dad fishing with a visit to his parents afterwards. Many a Saturday afternoon was spent at the tea table in Nana's dining room watching the Wrestling on World Of Sport on their second, yes second TV. The one in the lounge was even colour! Peterborough was different though. We never came this far other than this one time each year when we were going on holiday. This was the start of foreign territory. Exotic began here. The next place of interest was the small village of Thorney and fish and chips for supper. Well a bag of chips between the three of us kids anyway, I told you times were hard. A bottle of Corona Limeade washed them down, that being dad's favourite. We would wait until the pop was gone so dad could return the bottle and get the thruppence back on the empty before resuming our travels eastward. The reason for our Friday departure was the content of the roof rack, the fishing tackle. Dad would never pass a river, lake, pond or even muddy ditch without wondering what he could catch from it. He was a keen angler, more than keen even. He was an international match angler, fishing alongside the likes of Ivan Marks and Roy Marlow in an era when the top anglers didn't need make up, lights or sound engineers. One of the many clubs or associations he belonged to held fishing rights on the Rivers Welland and Great Ouse and the drains of the Middle Level so once we reached Wisbech we turned off the A47 and followed the A1101 through the pretty village of Outwell and to our destination for the night, Salter's Lode. Dad's aim was always to be set up and ready to fish before darkness fell and would fish through the night with the aid of his faithful “tilley” lamp. I was a great disappointment to my father. After two daughters he was delighted to finally have a son to share his passion for fishing and shooting but that wasn't the way I was wired. He would drag me along the bank and show me how he was setting up, how he was going to fish and what, hopefully, he was going to catch. I watched with feigned interest but mercifully was considered too young to spend all night on the river bank and so for me it was back to the car to bed down for what sleep we might manage. Mother would have the thermos out and tea made, all the good things in life seemed to be accompanied by a thermos flask. Meanwhile my sisters would walk the dog along the riverbank allowing for his night time ablutions. And so to “bed” dear reader. My eldest sister would claim the passenger seat due to the hierarchy of age leaving me and “middle sister” to fight over the rear bench seat. We always had pillows and blankets in the car so we could get reasonably comfortable. We watched the deepening black of the sky as sleep came slowly to us. And then the dog farted.
  5. 21 points
    Let's start a thread about all the wonderful things the Broads has to offer, the happy times we've all experienced, the help and support we all offer each other because we have the Broads and boating in our blood, two things we all definitely have in common Romantic times like when Jay and I sat on the bow of the boat late at night cuddled under a duvet having a glass of wine, watching the stars and listening to the water The helpful people like my Dad who once helped an elderly couple (novices) who were terrified, he climbed aboard with permission and took them back to the boat yard for extra tuition. I'm sure we've all helped someone out at some point or been on the receiving end of a helpful hand It's not all crashes, bumps and drunks Don't forget all the friendly waves as boats pass each other whether private, hire or even one of those ruddy flappy things The gorgeous pubs you can visit along the way for a few drinks or a bite to eat and not forgetting the absolutely beautiful scenery along the way too. It's summer time, here's to happy boating everyone Jay and I are kayaking soon, god help the lot of you Grace
  6. 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.
  7. 19 points
  8. 19 points
    hi, finally managed to buy the boat my wife fell in love with, at last we are back on the water, lovely mooring at Acle all sorted, thanks to everyone who's advice i duly ignored, thanks anyway. its 32 feet long 12'3" wide single volvo penta diesel (2.0 litre austin montego engine) or perkins prima. we love it!!
  9. 18 points
    Finally, at last, and those that know will tell you there were times we thought this would never happen. Then again it's all part of the ritual that is wooden boat ownership. Just got to finish the 200 or so little jobs that crave my attention, like fit the galley
  10. 18 points
    James Knight is a district counsellor. South Norfolk Council have appointed him as a full member of the Broads Authority I bet his high and mightiness is spitting feathers Griff
  11. 18 points
    Not a wedding anniversary or anything like that, but 46 years ago today, Doreen and I hired our first boat on the Broads, Sanderling No4 from Sandersons in Reedham. I remember it cost £29 plus the extras. We had never been to Norfolk before, let alone hired a boat so this was something completely new to us. Infact this was 18 months after we met and Doreen still lived in London at the time. To be honest, I just regarded it as a love-nest which was far from the madding crowd, well parents and nosey brothers anyway. We both loved it, probably for the uninterrupted time we had together, not to mention the new adventure we were on. It was so memorable I can still remember the "itinerary", which I have detailed below. Later that year Doreen asked if I would like her to buy me a new swish radio/record player for Christmas, but I declined and asked instead for a second week on the Broads, in November aboard Santa Lucia from Harvey Eastwood in Brundall. much better present! That was the start of the "addiction". It's funny how things get into your blood. The Broads has played a big part in my life, not just holidaying but working as well. Yet some people go once then never go again, or perhaps leave it for another 10 to 20 years. Saturday 3rd March. Reedham to Yarmouth Yacht Station We arrived at Reedham Station around 2pm thinking there would be a queue of taxis to take us to Sandersons. No such thing. It really did feel as though we have got off a train in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully someone gave us a lift down to the riverside. The 20ft Sanderling looked huge as we pulled up. I had read about the tides at Yarmouth and to be careful and as luck would have it, low water was at 4.15pm (about) so we arrived without mishap. I always think it's because we did Breydon etc on that first trip, that the fear you hear other people have of crossing over, never bothers me now. I can remember we went into the White Swan on the quayside for our night and there was a darts match on so it was packed out. It was a good night and we partook of the sandwiches and pork pies which were offered free of charge! Sunday Yarmouth to Wroxham We moored outside the Kings Head so we must have gone under Wroxham Bridge, though I don't remember that. Monday Wroxham to Neatishead. I can remember cruising down Lime Kiln Dyke standing with my head out of the canvas hatch above the wheelhouse, holding an umbrella above me. There were passing boats, even in March and quite a few laughed at that sight. Tuesday Neatishead to Acle (ended up at Upton Dyke) I have told the story before of how we ran out of daylight, mis-turned up the Thurne when heading for Acle, before turning around at Thurne Dyke and coming to a halt at Upton in the driving wind and rain - no mooring posts so rhond anchors. What a miserable night that was! Wednesday Upton to Oulton Broad Yacht Station There were no dramas crossing Breydon. I do remember arriving at Oulton Broad Y.S and seeing that two houseboats had been moored against the quayside. I asked one of the attendants where we could moor and he said at the floating jetty. We did so and I can recall accidentally dropping my earlier mentioned umbrella into the water and it disappearing into the depths when we were returning from a night at The Lady of the Lake, I think it was. Despite fishing for it with the boat hook and the fact that it was still erect when it went in, I could not retrieve it. It could still be there if anyone is short of a brolly! Thursday Oulton Broad to Brundall We moored outside the Riverside Stores which used to be at the head of the dyke leading to Brooms basin. I remember plenty of other hire boats there at the time. We spent the evening in the Yare Inn, which looked nothing like it does now. It was still big with two bars. We occupied the tap room/public bar or whatever it's called as that was where the jukebox was. I remember we had chicken in a basket with chips - one of the few meals we could afford to eat out. Friday Brundall to Loddon to Reedham We just went down the Chet to see what Loddon was like, spending a few hours there before returning to Reedham where we moored at Sanderson's yard. Cannot remember much about this day. Saturday Reedham - Home. Just to say that traveling by train, as many other people did at that time, involved changing trains at Norwich and Peterborough to get home to Leeds.
  12. 18 points
    Sunday 3rdFebruary We were awake by about 06:00 on Sunday morning – I’m usually up at about 04:30 and the wife by about 05:00 during the week, so sleeping in is unusual for us both. I got up, put the kettle and immersion heater on and peered out of the windows. It was a cold, frosty morning and the sky was clear, so hopeful of a photo-worthy sunrise, I pulled some clothes on, readied my camera and waited to see what developed. Debbie had taken Harley for a walk, leaving me to my own devices and as the sun rose above the horizon, I ventured outside, being extremely careful not to slip on the icy decks. The river was still as I wandered about, snapping happily away, until the first of many rowers passed by. The rising sun was casting some interesting light over the trees on the far side of the river and additional digital images were committed to memory card. The wife and the dog returned and went inside to warm up and I followed shortly after. We had breakfast of buttered crumpets and tea, before taking it in turns to shower and dress, ready for the day. I suppose it must have been around 09:30 when we started Moonlight Shadow’s engine and cast off, heading for Norwich. There were plenty of others on the river as we headed up the Yare, but only kayakers and rowers. The journey was uneventful and we cruised slowly into the ‘Fine City’, or it was until we reached the bridge at the Yacht Station. Unbeknown to me, there was an angling competition in progress that morning. I moved as far too the left hand side of the river as I could, trying to avoid the branches of the weeping willows as I went and headed very slowly past them. I hope I didn’t cause too many issues, though. We moored at the far end, between Pulls Ferry and Bishops Bridge and readied ourselves for the walk into town. It was a cold, crisp winter morning and even with the sun shining down, the pavements were still slippery from the overnight frost. Taking our usual route along the Riverside Walk and turning towards the Cathedral behind Pulls Ferry, we made our way carefully there. I wasn’t intending to go into the cathedral on this visit, but had a quick wander around the cloisters, and entered the building near the copper font and was greeted by the sound of the magnificent organ, still being played after the morning service had ended. I had a quick mooch round before going back outside to re-join the wife, who was decidedly put out by the fact that the bench she usually waited on, by the Edith Cavell memorial had been taken away. There were a couple of photographers with heavy duty telephoto lenses mounted on tripods aimed at the spire, so I wandered across to have a quick chat. It turned out that the Peregrines were out, taking in the sun. I chided myself for not taking my long telephoto with me, but took a few shots with my zoom compact camera, which does have a long telephoto lens (without resorting to digital zoom) and had to satisfy myself with the results. We carried on into the town, stopping at Greggs for some cakes (and a couple of sausage rolls – well it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it) before heading for Tesco. The city streets were busy with shoppers and several buskers, some of whom were very good, were playing in various locations. Shopping done, we sauntered back to Moonlight Shadow, retracing our steps past the Cathedral, along Riverside Walk and back over Bishops Bridge. I stopped to take a few pictures of the Cathedral, across the deserted school sports field, looking magnificent in the winter sun. Debbie made some rolls for lunch, with some ham bought from Tesco and we cast off, heading for our overnight moorings at The Ferry House, Surlingham, via the boatyard for water. It was a pleasant cruise back along the Wensum and Yare, with no anglers remaining at the Yacht Station to deal with. We chugged back to the kiosk at Brooms for water, only to find that the hose had been turned off. A sign indicated that water was available near the boat hoist, so we carefully passed the expensive craft that were moored nearby and manoeuvred close to the hose to top up with water, before heading the short distance back to the Ferry House to moor. I had booked the mooring earlier and had been told that it would be okay to moor side on, where there is usually only stern on mooring allowed and connected to the electric post. There was a substantial amount of credit on it, for which we were grateful. It was only then that I spotted a water hose at the pub, at the opposite side of the seating area and later, when we went in for our meal, I checked how much they charged to use it and was told it is free to patrons. A point well worth remembering. I set up the aerial and we watched TV for a while, before I went out to take a few photos of the setting sun. Dinner was booked for 19:00 and as ever, lived up to expectations – a warm welcome in a cosy pub and great value food. With the meal over, we left the warmth of the bar to take Harley along the lane to the village, before returning to the boat for the night. We watched Vera on TV, before making a hot drink and retiring to bed at about 22:30.
  13. 17 points
    Beautiful sunrise over the early morning mist on the water.
  14. 17 points
    I have used my drone to take images of 11 points on the Broads over the last 12 months and have posted some of them on here as part of my holiday tales. I have managed to get some more stills from the video produced and together with the originals, you can see 61 images on a carousel linked below on a web page on my site. The originals are now orientated better and in some cases enhanced where they were either too dark or too light. Each location is taken from separate pages on my website so not all are captioned on this one long rolling carousel, which is not for general public viewing. To stop on a particular image, just hold your mouse over it. Needless to say, they are best viewed on a laptop, tablet or PC. The link: https://www.norfolkbroadsboathire.biz/map_viewer.asp
  15. 17 points
    Monday 4thFebruary We woke on Monday morning to a pretty miserable day. It was raining and the wind was quite strong. The wife pulled on some clothes and took the dog for her walk and I turned on the immersion heater and kettle. I made a cuppa and looked out of the window. What a difference from the sunrise the previous day. Debbie soon returned, rather disgruntled. She had somehow turned the wrong way just as a particularly strong gust of wind had blown up, which had inverted her favourite umbrella. I was obviously concerned, or tried to sound it, however the thought of attempting to remove what was left of it from a sensitive part of my anatomy curtailed my chuckles!! We had toast and marmalade for breakfast and once again, took it in turn to get showered and dressed. Before casting off, we topped up with water, using the hose at the pub. My intended destination was Oulton Broad, so we headed back through Brundall and along the Yare. The wind was blowing quite hard and the wiper on MS proved absolutely useless in clearing sufficient of the screen to see clearly the river ahead. Still, it wasn’t exactly busy – I think we only saw one other boat between there and Reedham, which was deserted as we cruised through. I turned down the New Cut. Anyone who thinks the Bure between Stracey Arms and Yarmouth is monotonous, needs to go along the New Cut which really is monotonous! It was already lunchtime, so Debbie heated some soup, which went down well with a couple of slices of bread and butter. As we turned onto the Waveney from the New Cut, the weather began to improve a little. The wind had dropped slightly and the rain had eased. We easily passed under the bridge at Somerleyton and still hadn’t seen another boat on the river since much earlier in the day. Debbie put down her cross- stitch, which had kept her engrossed for much of the journey and stood near the helm, watching out of the window. She pointed to a shape swimming, ahead and to the port side, thinking it was an otter as we approached the turn into Oulton Dyke. By the time I looked where she was pointing, it had disappeared, but it resurfaced again and I saw it was a seal. I slowed down and we travelled side by side along the dyke until the river turned sharp left at the entrance to the Broad and managed to snatch a few photos as it surfaced and dove back down again. And that proved to be the only excitement of the day, really. We chugged across the Broad and found our mooring on the outside of the pontoon that we had reserved by phone earlier in the day. With the boat secured, I set up the aerial and we watched TV for a while. By then, the weather had calmed down considerably and it had turned into a pleasant evening. The sun began to set and I went for a walk with my camera whist the wife took Harley for her evening walk. It was soon dark, so the oven went on to prepare dinner and we enjoyed a glass or two of wine whilst we waited and another glass or two as we ate. Such decadence!! With the resulting washing up done, we settled down to watch TV until it was time for bed. Granted, the weather had been inclement, but in reality we had relaxed and enjoyed the surroundings, which is what it’s all about when you’re on the Broads.
  16. 17 points
    Before the next instalment I should like to congratulate those who have made it this far. If you stick around a little longer then I promise that my Hinge and Bracketesque "random jottings" will begin to encompass the Norfolk Broads, especially Oulton Broad and the Waveney Valley as seen through the eyes of a schoolboy. I'm writing this as I go along, and although it's all in my head somewhere, finding certain bits of it takes a little longer than it once did. Please forgive me if the interlude between instalments is sometimes a little longer than would be polite. If you are expecting a new edition of Swallows and Amazons then accept my apologies now and return to your daily life before I cheat you of time irrecoverable. Our adventures were, in hindsight somewhat more mundane. There will be no mysterious castings off to investigate, no tales of derring-do as we attempt to evade the attentions of hullabaloos, though, as you will see, Arthur Ransome had a big influence upon us. I woke early this morning, as I always do, if you can call it waking. Sleep is a luxury mostly denied to me now. Days are punctuated by brief periods of restless recumberance, itself perforated by nocturnal wanderings between bedroom and bathroom. Titter not, you will find out what I mean one day. My early rising did however afford me a glorious sunrise this morning. Firstly, as I always do, I checked that I was still breathing, I consider that my main goal in life. Each day that I can "tick that box" is one more minor victory. Another night successfully negotiated. Was it Edgar Allan Poe who said "Sleep, those little slices of death. How I loathe them? There would be little for him to loathe in my nightly routine. Last night was clear and crisp, very crisp in fact. The garden was icy this morning, shining bright silver in the half light which all too briefly perforates night and day. Standing in the sack yard on top of the old "coal hole" puffing away on the "e-cig" gadget which some years ago replaced the Woodbines I stood and watched the first promise of the day to come as the sun rose between the two plane trees at the bottom of the orchard. It was quite a Stonehenge moment. It was about then that I decided to pen this minor interlude. Originally it was my plan simply to divest myself of each episode as and when they became available, inflicting them upon an unsuspecting world through the vessel of your wonderful site, without comment or explanation. This morning I changed my mind. I do that a lot just lately. So at this point I would issue a word of warning. Some of what I write, if not much of it really happened. "The stories are real, the people are real", oh golly, too much daytime TV me thinks. To that end the names have been changed, what do they say, to protect the innocent? On this occasion it's perhaps more a case of protecting the guilty, but either way changed they have been. I have watched this site for many years, awaiting the moment when it seemed germane to dump this diatribe upon you all and I am aware that there are those amongst us who will know the area and the time, and perhaps some of the people in my story. One or two here I may well have met during the period covered. I would ask that if anything thing, or anyone seems familiar then ignore that familiarity and just go with the story. It will all make sense in the end. Sense? Who am I kidding, but stick around, nonetheless. Finally I should like to issue two apologies. Firstly for the somewhat coarse manner in which I ended the previous episode. A vulgar and unpleasant word however you didn't know the dog. No more polite descriptor adequately portrays the vehemence of the flatulent pyrotechnics of which that animal was capable. And secondly? Please excuse any errors of logography, my grammar and spelling are not what they might be. Occasionally I may invent word which doesn't, but which in my head should exist, hopefully it's meaning will be clear by the context in which it sits. All my life I have been a little dysexlic, though I try not to let it show.
  17. 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
  18. 16 points
    Well it has been an exciting time. I have bought an Alphacraft 29 Sports bridge, re named her Legacy because that's how I could afford her. A friend and I are still getting to grips with a thorough clean through and a bit of varnishing as well as making her dog safe. Chugged up and down a bit and practised mooring, peered at the engine checked the bilge pump and tried to look like I am an old hand! This Saturday another friend and I are on a hire boat, Sonnet 3 from Barnes. We decided to still have this holiday as Legacy isn't quite kitted out for a week yet, so hope to get some waves as we cruise by "the hand type not like storm Doris last year, very choppy"! I will do photos later in the year.
  19. 16 points
    I am setting off to the Broads in the next 10 minutes until the 7th May, if you see Ranworth Breeze on the southern rivers give me a wave, I will be flying the NBN burgee (yours for a modest price, please see the shop details). If you see me moored up pop over for a chat. Regards Alan
  20. 16 points
    A late start to work today so had the girls out for a walk around Salhouse broad. I thought it would be fairly busy as it’s half term but lovely and peaceful. The calm before the storm in a few weeks. John
  21. 16 points
    Someone who knows which way round a boat should be when going under a bridge. :-)
  22. 15 points
    Well, we arrived at Richardsons boatyard at 1pm on Friday 28th June via taxi from Norwich airport (Goldstar taxis, thankyou Robin). Swan Rapture was ready to go and Richardson's staff were super efficient. First impressions of the boat? She is a little frayed around the edges but well fitted out and very comfortable. I don't think i have ever had a more responsive helm. A joy to drive. First night at Ludham Bridge. A bit of a shaky first mooring but we made it ( with a bit of bow thrusters) then an evening at the Dog Inn. Saturday morning found us at Womack Staithe (we love that place) and then on to Ranworth for a special family occasion tomorrow. Evening meal at the Maltsters (steak and kidney suet pudding, or a well disguised mudweight). Now for an evening fish and a good red wine. So far the fishing has been high in quantity but a tad low in quality, apart from a huge eel which would have brought a pretty price gack home. I have my NBN stickers on my windows but my attempts to fly my New Zealand flag have come to nought. We are here for almost three weeks so give us a wave if you see us or say hello. So glad to be back. Chris.
  23. 15 points
  24. 15 points
    I still ain't deaded! Although it does seem that there's an ongoing plot or at the very least a concerted effort to rectify that situation! You know there is a theory that dogs start to look like their owners or the owner starts to look like their dog? Well Dylan the starboard beagle, he who sniffs out strokes and heart attacks in me...has been very poorly indeed. He started having seizures several months ago now. He was being monitored, we had barbiturates to use should a seizure last for too long. Sadly he had a seizure during the night. I was woken by the sound of my little lad banging his head against the wardrobe. I had no idea of how long his episode had lasted. He came out of it quite quickly once I got to his side. Unfortunately, he suffered some brain damage in the process. He is recovering well, now on medication daily with additives in his food...he eats better than I do. So we are now left in the position where both master and dog walk with a limp, both of us have a slight sag to our faces, both of us have discovered a childish streak...I tend to laugh and joke, Dylan has rediscovered the joys of playing like a puppy. Meanwhile, Toby has taken to looking after us both. This means that Toby, who snores louder than Uncle Albert ever did, has taken to sleeping curled up on my pillow at night. Last night I was woken by Dylan pawing at my face and then he pawed at Toby who was fast asleep and snoring loudly. When I shook Toby awake, Dylan dived back into bed and went to sleep. As did Toby...and resumed snoring. I got up knowing I would have no chance at sleep now as both port and starboard beagles started sawing logs! As many of you will know, history is a passion of mine. Time recuperating from the latest bout of pneumonia has been spent researching the history of another passion of mine perfume. To be exact, a 3000 square yard area of London and the perfumers that lived and worked there. During my research, I have discovered a new joy in life. The assorted diaries of 17th and 18th-century inhabitants and visitors to London. I started with the diaries of Pepys, moved onto those of Evelyn and I'm now busily chasing down some 300 unpublished diaries held in county records offices. It's fascinating. Better than any soap opera, far better than Game of Thrones. Talking of things fragrance and perfume my collection has been rapidly growing. It seems almost daily that new fragrances arrive. Every week we sit down for an hour and catalogue new arrivals into what will remain in the collection, what will go into storage and what will be donated to the various charities we support. The photo below is somewhat out of date. The latest additions to my collection are from Atkinson's a company started in London in 1799. 'Pirates Grand Reserve' is one of my favourites of theirs, rum, coffee and spices! I'm looking forward to getting out on RT in the next week. Ellie has been dangling a week's cruising with her and our granddaughter Gracie like a carrot to get me to behave and get well. I'm really looking forward to it as it will be Gracie's first visit to The Broads. I want to make it as special as my Mum did for my first visit. So Pirates ahoy! Treasure maps and exploring and fun and stories and...just everything Norfolk Broads and boating! Grace has already decided that I am 'Big Captain' and she is 'Little Captain'. She tells me I'm in charge of steering the boat she is in charge of 'solving clues and beagles'. Grandma is 'in charge of everything else when the boat stops moving'. Grace is looking forward to buying her lifejacket. Please let there be a light blue lifejacket for sale in her size! I don't know who is more excited. Grace or me? Once I'm feeling a bit better I will be starting work on the new curved roof beams for RT's cockpit. I will see how the first one goes before trying to make all four at the same time! Hopefully, I can get the new canopy on RT before the Beccles Wooden Boat Show this year! I have a list of jobs that need doing and will tackle them one by one...with one hell of a lot of guidance! So...I still ain't deaded and neither is the beagle and we are both looking forward to catching up with everyone on the water over this next year!
  25. 15 points
    We have recently completed our bi-annual AMP for 'B.A' (Assisted Maintenance Period). First time we have use Sutton Staithe Boatyard and their services for this regular event We arrived at their slipway on Friday morning 5th April as previously arranged. After a short delay, 'B.A' was safely on blocks / chocks inside their shed. Work commenced. They launched us on Mon 15th early afternoon as previously agreed. During our stay, we made use of the workshop / facilities on regular 12 x Hr days sometimes longer. We were aware that this is a working yard / business and wanted to keep any disruption down to a minimum. I would just like to state how impressed we were with Robert and his team. When we did have questions or requests or needed advice - Nothing was too much trouble for them. They treated us with a jovial manner and certainly made us feel welcome and not in the way at all. We assisted with the general customer enquiries and yard running as and when we had the opportunity to do so. I was impressed just how well organised they are. Craft turned up at allocated times, were out in a jiffy onto the hard standing, immediately pressure washed and acid cleaned if required, checked over anti-fouled and back in the water, sometimes on the same day! They carry out all manner of boat repairs / maintenance. They also offer pump out and diesel sales in the slipway along with day boats / canoes for hire. The slipway is also available for customers to launch their own craft too. So - I whole heartedly recommend Sutton Staithe Boatyard to anyone requiring work done on their boats. Our agreement was of course on a DIY basis. This facility is not normally available to owners especially inside the shed / workshop We had to seek special permission way in advance with insurance policy's to cover us in the workshop with written prior agreements for us to be able to use their facilities, third party liability and the like, it is not normally a service offered. Robert does offer outside hard-standing and is hoping to be able to offer in the future a tent affair. Would we use them again in two years? - Most definitely yes and I hope so. Griff
  26. 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.
  27. 15 points
    It would have been Iain's 70th today. I miss my dear old friend deeply.
  28. 15 points
    Ranworth Breeze was lifted today for its Winter Service, it is currently in the old BMS workshop now run by NYA. Currently the boat is being compounded & polished to highlight any gelcoat repairs that need doing and the bathing platform rubbers are being replaced. A powered winch is being fitted and the heating replaced because of cracks in the heating casting made it too costly to repair. Regards Alan
  29. 14 points
    Although we moved our boat from Horning to our moorings at Brundall, when we spent a night on board due to the tide times through Yarmouth, we had been looking forward to this weekend with eager anticipation as itvwas to be our first proper weekend break. We set off from home shortly after 18:00 on Friday evening and arrived at our moorings about two and a half hours later, after a relatively easy journey. We'd collected a takeaway from the Chinese which was eaten before we unpacked the car and stowed our things on Norfolk Lady. Both of us had been up for work early that morning and it wasn't long before we went to bed, very tired, but very happy to be spending our first weekend on board. Saturday dawned and there was no rush to go anywhere. The immersion heater was on and once the water was heated, we showered and got ready before wandering down to the Co-Op for some essential supplies. Back at the yard, we topped up with water and set off on the start of our new adventure. It was quite overcast, but for once, it didn't seem to matter. We were on our boat! We headed for Reedham and I was quite surprised at how busy the river was. We found a gap near the Rangers hut to moor and eased into the space. The ranger came out to assist and we had a chat for a while as several large cruisers sped through. After lunch, we cast off again, with a mooring at Pyes Mill the intended destination. It was a pleasant cruise and we passed several craft heading the other way, so I was hopeful that there would be space for us. Sure enough, there was a space at the end furthest from Loddon basin, which suited us. Nice and quiet and grass for the dog to mooch around, too. We wandered in the village, over the bridge and through the field, coming out near The Kings Head, the outside of which seems to have been painted since our last visit. We needed a couple of bits from the Co-Op that I'd forgotten on my visit earlier, before returning to Norfolk Lady, past the church and through the lanes, back to our moorings. The wife did some sewing, I did a crossword or two and we idly whirled away the afternoon with a bottle of wine (each). As we sat in the aft cockpit, the sky cleared and left a glorious, sunny evening to enjoy. I cooked our meal, we watched tv for a while before retiring to bed. Owning our own boat was an ambition I'd held for almost 50 years. As time passed, the idea that it would be realised became more and more remote, however due to my wife's diligence, this has turned into reality. I cannot express how lucky I feel.
  30. 14 points
    Saturday 29th June On this holiday me, hubby Graham, eldest son Harry and dog Seren. Almost two years since we sailed Lustre’s sister-ship Lullaby (see holiday tales July 2017). We did miss sailing last year! We started off around 9am. Had a couple of traffic delays on the way, and also stopped off for coffee at Caxton Gibbet Costas. I had suggested to Graham that we could skip the coffee break and get to Norfolk quicker, so when Harry asked his Dad if we would be stopping off for coffee, he got the response ‘Well I am, but Mum isn’t’. A signal that I’m going to be well and truly teased this week. (More than usual, that is!) We didn’t get to Ludham until almost mid-day. Made a bee-line for Alfresco Tearooms, where we always get a good meal and it's handy that they allow dogs inside as it was too hot to leave Seren in the car. Just a sandwich lunch today, but up to their usual high standard. After lunch I popped into Throwers for some bread and salad ingredients and into the butchers for some BBQ meats and bacon. We got to Hunter’s Yard just after 1pm, (a little early). The reason we had booked Lustre this year was in response to Harry’s discovering that she had been fitted with an ‘electric quant’, i.e. an battery powered ‘Torqeedo’ engine. On our previous holidays with Hunter’s Yard boats we’ve had to quant (use a very long pole to push ourselves along with) when the wind has failed us. There's been quite a lot of controversy about fitting the Torqeedo engines to three of the boats. Some people view it as sacrilege and think Percy Hunter would have been turning in his grave. We thought it was a really good aid though. We had heard that some older sailors had regretfully stopped hiring from Hunter's Yard as they found the manual quanting was too difficult. Hopefully, this will mean that more people will hire these wonderful old boats. The Yard Foreman, Ian, showed us how to use the Torqeedo. I asked whether we should buy some cards for topping up the electric charge (I have some that we bought for our last holiday on a Ferry Marina boat but forgot to bring them with us), but Ian reassured us that they haven’t yet had a battery run-out over a week’s hire. This year we just dumped all out stuff on board without bothering to unpack and got on our way as quickly as possible as we wanted to make sure to get to Potter Heigham for low tide (forecast for 4.50pm). First though, we removed one of the mattresses from forward cabin and put Seren's doggy bed in its place. Whilst Harry and Graham were taking off the awning and readying the boat for setting-off I spotted a small white bird with black markings (possibly a Little Tern?) suddenly drop down into the water of the dyke and fly off with a fish in its beak. The electric quant came into use immediately to get to the area at the end of Hunter’s Yard to set sail, and even after that we used it a little to help us down Womack Dyke, given that a SW wind was blowing down the dyke. We mostly sailed up to and through Potter Heigham, though we did use the engine once or twice when bungalows/trees ‘stole’ our wind. Seren loves it when she's allowed on deck. Mast down, ready for the bridge passage. It was getting on for 4pm by now, and since we had the electric quant, we thought we would go through the bridge without waiting for the turn of the tide. First though, Graham wanted to pop to Latham’s to get a blanket as he’d forgotten to pack the fleece blankets that we usually use to cover furnishings. It wasn’t long before we got on our way again. Harry took us though the bridges on the engine. A lot easier (and quicker) than quanting though manually! Sails back up, we continued with a fair wind up the Thurne and through Candle Dyke. We had thought we’d moor at the Deep-Go-Dyke BA moorings, but they and the Whiteslee mooring were full. We managed to find a space on the Deep Dyke moorings though, near the entrance to Hickling Broad. I put some new potatoes on the boil and Graham fired up the BBQ. We had Ludham butcher’s minted lamb chops and their soy, garlic and ginger chicken skewers with the potatoes and salad for our dinner. Yum! The chicken was especially tasty. We sat with a beer or two enjoying the late evening sunshine until sundown. A beautiful warm and still evening. Can’t believe how lucky we are…the weather has turned so favourably for us, after a fairly rainy June. A few mozzies were starting to come out, so we put the awning up and lit the paraffin lamps as they tend to deter the mozzies. A few other mod-cons have been fitted to the boat since we last sailed with Hunter’s. Some battery lights, fitted to ceiling magnets, fire-alarm and CO alarm. Harry managed to set off the fire alarm by letting his paraffin lamp smoke. We settled down for the night around 10pm, just as the light was failing. Harry and Seren (both in the forward cabin) took a while to settle as there were several flies worrying them. A lot of banging went on for a while as Harry swatted the flies. Seren settled for the night.
  31. 14 points
    After a good nights sleep, I was awake early on Sunday morning. I’m usually up around 04:15 for work and it’s a hard habit to break, but I did manage to doze off and rolled out of bed around 06:00. The kettle went on and despite the forecast of a grey, cloudy day, I was greeted by the sight of the sun rising over the river to the stern of the boat. Camera in hand, I stepped onto the bank and took a few photos, before returning make a cuppa. The wife was stirring and she readied herself to take Harley (our Staffie) for a walk. It was too early to run the engine for hot water and with no shore power, the immersion was of little use, so I spent a few minutes sitting quietly, thinking about our journey to the position we found ourselves in now and how lucky we had been. I’m still not sure that I quite believe that Norfolk Lady is ours, although the bill for necessary work completed since the purchase was completed, has helped it to sink in! The wife returned with the dog and I cooked breakfast, grilled bacon, scrambled eggs and sautéed baby plum tomatoes. It went down a treat, too. By that time, it was well past 08:00, so I started the engine for hot water and when sufficiently heated, went for a shower. The wife followed as I finished and we were soon dressed and ready. There was no great rush to go anywhere and I had no real plans for the day, but the clouds had rolled in and the sky was grey and leaden. We waited for a while, but decided to set off for a steady cruise back to the yard and our moorings. We cast off sometime after 11:00 and chugged slowly back up The Chet, turning left onto The Yare at the junction. There was quite a bit of traffic on the rivers, both hired and private, together with a smattering of sailies, clearly making the most of the breezy conditions. I can’t remember when we arrived back at base, probably between 13:30 & 14:00. We had rolls for lunch and I set about starting to clean Norfolk Lady up. We’d been left some boat cleaning products to try by the proprietor of our home yard, including some shampoo, so armed with a newly acquired deck scrubbing brush and a bucket, I attacked the grubby decks and cabin roof and was amazed at how well they came up. I cannot say for sure how much difference the shampoo itself made, but I was well pleased with the results. Debbie (the wife), had packed up the bits and pieces we needed to take back home and loaded the car. We had a chat with one of the other owners at the yard, who have a boat similar to ours and chewed the fat with them for a while, before finally locking up Norfolk Lady at about 16:30 to visit Steve and Deb, who also recently completed the purchase of their boat, which is also moored in Brundall. Id booked a table at The Ferry House for dinner, so took our leave in time to drive to Surlingham, where we enjoyed another good meal at one of our favourite Broadland pubs, before making the journey home to Northampton. It was always a wrench at the end of a holiday leaving the area that both the wife and I have come to love over the years and now regard as our spiritual home but we’ll be back very soon for another weekend on our boat. It’s a feeling that I never believed I would enjoy, but now we are in this fortunate position, it’s one that I fully intend to make the most of.
  32. 14 points
    yes I have joined the ranks of wooden boat owners, now dont start worrying, I will still be hiring as its only a little pram dinghy, it came complete with a seagull featherlite outboard, so will enable me to potter around those areas that would otherwise not be accessible, one of the sides needs reattaching to the seat, but its transportable on top of my car, and storeable in the garden.
  33. 14 points
    Went out at silly a.m to catch the early morning light yesterday on Lady Emma. A nice cruise from Acle to Womack and back. EY7P4857 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr EY7P4843 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr EY7P4895 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr EY7P4963 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr EY7P4981 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr
  34. 14 points
    Well, it has taken long enough but finally here is a video of what Trixie, a 24ft Sheerline Aft Cockpit from 1992 is like. I rather like her, cosy, warm and 'cute' with everything you need albeit in a very small space. These boats come on the market every now and then, and vary a lot with internal fit-out, some have a fridge in the cockpit area, freeing up space down below for more cupboards, others have a more open plan layout but they make ideal boats for a couple and can get into moorings others cannot. Cheaper to moor, insure and toll I think they work well and have aged well too.
  35. 14 points
    Some of what you said there Robin really made me laugh, whilst other bits made me quite sad. Ok, firstly Top tip, Treat it like a stylus and a touch sensitive screen. The pencil and paper is an old system but with practice you can get quite good at it. Hmmm, yes,,, small talk... Some people find this concept difficult to grasp so permit me to offer a quick explanation. Talking (of any size) used to be the way people related to each other before the days of computers. In the olden days people used to survive having telephones that you had to speak into, most of these were attached to a network by wire and had to be left at home. This required people to have to go to places, meet other people and speak to them. This of course suffered the disadvantages of not having emoticons to explain themselves and frequently catching colds from each other. In the enlightened days we are now in, we can converse with people without actually having to meet them and one day, if we are very lucky, we might be able to go through our entire lives without meeting or speaking to anyone. The answer for that embarrassing question all children eventually ask "Daddy, where do I come from?" will in future be far more straight forwards. "Amazon" We're doomed, we're all doomed.
  36. 14 points
    Saturday usually began at or just after first light. The trusty “torpedo” camping stove came out and the first thing on was the kettle. Whilst the girls walked the dog, named Sandy who was a basenji, for those who have asked, I was despatched to tell father that the kettle was on. This was an implied instruction from mother that it was time he was packing up. Tell your mother I'll have one more cast was the invariable reply as I was press ganged into service as a donkey, carrying the little bits and pieces like his net bag whilst he catapulted the last of his ground bait into the river and packed his basket and rod bag. I noted that more often than not his nets were dry. He was good my dad, at fishing at least, but he never seemed to do much on the Old Bedford. Once the tea was made a ready prepared frying pan appeared from the boot of the car, full of part cooked sausage and bacon and it was put on the stove to finish off whilst mum sliced and buttered rolls. The reason for our early start was Downham Market, where the A1101 crossed the A10 King's Lynn to London road in the town centre. Nowadays both roads have bypasses, the former to the south of the town, the latter to the east. Mother would be keen to get through Downham before this otherwise sleepy little town awoke to the weekly chores of shopping and such like. East of Downham we turn onto the A134 towards Thetford. With Thetford behind us the greenery of the forest gave way to the rolling greenery of the Waveney Valley as we continue east on the A1066 towards Diss. The arrival in Diss was always met by the regurgitation of many, generations old jokes. “if this is Diss, where is Dat? And, is this Diss Mere? No it's Dat dare ….” They seemed funny at the time. Of course we loved them because, as much as the familiar landmarks which we passed by, they were waymarkers of our journey. An indication that we were getting close to our destination. At Scole the A1066 crosses the A140 which ran north – south through the centre of the village. This was not quite so bad to cross as other roads as it was a staggered crossroads, left then right. The right turn was easy to miss, and it took dad yelling at mum on one occasion, “turn right there, by the fellow with the blue shirt”. To this day that junction is referred to as “the man with the blue shirt”. From this point onwards the road we travelled is hardly recognisable. East of Scole the 1066 joined the A143, almost completely rebuilt in more recent years along the line of a disused railway. Much of the old road is still in use now numbered the B1062 which winds it way through the village of Brockdish, more age old puns, and then through the pretty village of Harleston where petrol was obtained from a garage straight from the 1930's. The pump was inside the garage window and the delivery pipe hung from a gantry out over the road. You didn't pull in, simply parked on the road outside and would be served with your five gallons of four star. It was there that I remember vividly my mother remarking that the price had reached fifty pence per gallon. I think that would have been during the oil crisis of 1973/4. “Ten bob a gallon, where will it end” she asked? Harleston is bypassed today, as are most of the towns and villages between here and the East Coast, which whilst a blessed relief to residents I have no doubt, is still somewhat of a shame. The road continues to Bungay but before we arrive there is another stop to be made. I grew up in an age where everything had it's season and as a result we looked forward to them. One such item, perhaps the queen of seasonal produce was the Strawberry, it arrived in the shops is June and was gone by September. It was the essence of English summer and it was best enjoyed straight from the field, and that is what we did. Pick your own was not the widespread industry that it is today, it hadn't achieved it's current day status of family day out but there was a large pick your own farm near Earsham and we stopped and filled basket upon basket with large juicy fruits ready to permeate our holidays with pies, flans, scones or at their best with the lightest sprinkling of sugar and lashings of fresh cream. If you have only sampled strawberries from a supermarket then you have never tasted a real strawberry. There is a world of difference between something grown in a field, ripened by the sun and, dare I say it fertilized with horse muck and the bland, watery, pale imitations proffered by Mssrs Sainsbury et al, heavily hybridised varieties bred for yield at the cost of flavour, grown in huge poly tunnels, usually in Spain or Turkey or Egypt and increasingly in India in troughs of water suspended at the perfect height for picking and ripened to order by artificial light. They never see the sun, they never sit in soil and they never develop any flavour. With baskets (and my tummy!) full we climbed back into the car to complete our journey. The final stretch to Oulton Broad. I remember Bungay from my childhood as a colourful, pretty little market town. We passed through the centre of the town and onwards to Beccles. It would soon be time to start searching the horizon for the giant, four legged cranes which in those days stood on the quayside at Lowestoft and could be seen from miles away. With Beccles andWorlingham behind us we joined the A 146 bound for Oulton. Despite many recent improvements, straightening and widening this road largely still travels it's original course, past North Cove and Barnby into Carlton Colville and finally Oulton Broad. Our caravan park was at the end of Marsh Road which turns back sharply from the main road. Today, this left turn is prohibited, a complete circuit of the new roundabout on Saltwater way and a right turn being the preferred manner of entry onto Marsh Road. But in the 1970's a left turn it was, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear and then swinging wide across both lanes and then down by the railway station along the somewhat bumpy lane, past the “new” holiday chalets, Knight's Creek and finally to Camping Boats.
  37. 14 points
    Im the owner of Rafiki that is a windboat tradewind. I saw a picture of her on a thread on this sight about broads boats away from home so Ive joined the network. I bought her in 2007 when she was in windsor. At the time I was looking for the a floating digs and pretty much bought the first boat I saw and liked. She had been on the thames for a few years before I bought her. When I bought her she was in a very reasonable condition. I had no idea about concrete hulls. I didn't really know about boats in general but she had an authentic period feel that I found very attractive. She had all the period features including the original cooker. Since I bought her Ive fallen in love with her. Ive spent a fortune keeping her in a reasonable condition. The woodwork obviously needs constant attention and Ive done full revarnishing every 5 years, Interestingly the hull is amazing. If anyone wants to know how the seacrete has lasted after over 50 I can vouch its incredible. I stripped the hull a few years ago. I started with extreme caution not wanting to damage the hull. But in the end I could chip away at the paint but the hull would never show any marks. After 50 the hull is a solid as the day she was set. Ive now have Rafiki in bristol harbour. Last summer we hired on a boat on the broads and went to Woxham and I wandered into the windboat sheds and spoke to a few of the guys, trying to find out more about Rafiki. I've learned lots but I'd like to know a lot more. If any one has more information about Rafiki, archives or any anicidotes Id love to hear them . Her original number was T395.
  38. 13 points
    I am setting off to the Broads hopefully leaving by 6.00 am and getting to the boat before lunch, my Brother in law Jon is joining me for the early part of the week before joining his family at Cromer on Friday. . Looking forward to being back on the rivers again.
  39. 13 points
    The tale of my recent trip aboard Goosander for a week. Saturday 6th July After a rather painless journey down from Leeds, I arrived at Goosander’s door around midday. I unloaded the car and relayed the contents to their new home for the next seven days. So suitcase, groceries, cool bag, drone, computer, kitchen sink – sorry not kitchen sink, left that in the car as Goosander already has one. The plan for the rest of the day was to fly the drone over Wroxham once the Faircraft boatyard had closed down (so around 6pm) and then go for a meal in the Kings Head. Just over a year ago, I tried the same thing but the drone stopped working and I had to abort the “flypast”. So around 4pm I drove back in to Wroxham and parked outside this little store called Roys. I had a walk around town, visited some of the boatyards whilst at the same time keeping an eye open for suitable launch sites. One of the recent forum subjects has been on the whereabouts of the new Barnes Brinkcraft apartments – The River Views on the opposite bank to the boatyard. With time to waste, I decided to look for them. Whilst doing so I realised the nearby car park would be an excellent launch site. So I walked back to the car to pick up the drone and returned hoping that there would not be lots of people about, as I prefer to be undisturbed. And lets face it, a drone coming down in the river won’t do much for my street cred. Anyway, I duly launched the aircraft (fed up of writing drone) and did a circle around Wroxham. The results follow. Towards the end of the flight, I was joined by a chap who had been watching and wanted to know costs etc. So I carefully returned the drone to base without mishap and then chatted for a while before retiring to the Kings Head for a celebratory meal. The Wroxham flight was a big deal for me as it had taken a year to get the right conditions again (long days so I could fly in good light after 6pm) so I was pleased to tick it off my list. I chose the Chicken and Mushroom Pie at the Kings Head, having had the same last October, and it was just as good. I left Wroxham around 8pm and decided to call in at the New Inn in Horning before returning to Goosander. The New inn had live music on, a trio called… Trio so I thought it would be interesting to see what they were like. They consisted of two chaps and a female lead singer. I had intended to take in just the first set, around an hour, but stayed on for more as they were really quite good. It was mostly middle of the road stuff, 70s to 90s, and not too loud. So I left around 10pm to return to the mooring. I should add that it had been raining for most of the day, only stopping around 5pm, so I was hoping for a better day tomorrow. Goosander is a syndicate boat, for those who don't know. This is the old Brister Boatyard site in Wroxham. We hired from them many times - they were always the preferred choice, until they closed around 15 years ago I think. It's amazing that nothing has been done with the site, save for tearing down the sheds. I guess it must be connected to planning permission, as this is prime apartment land! The drone shots of Wroxham
  40. 13 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
  41. 13 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!
  42. 13 points
    Today of course is the 75th anniversary of D-Day.Just spare a thought for those that served and the many that gave there lives. We will remember them.
  43. 13 points
    “Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows “Just look at it!” Gracie almost squealed. “Grandma! Timbo! Just look at it! How far does it go?” There is nothing as joyous in life as watching someone discover something new and exhilarating. I felt like a showman. 'And for my next fete of prestidigitation...' “How far are we going?” asked Gracie. “Around Pleasure Hill Island and back to find somewhere to moor for the night.” Gracie's brow furrowed. “No, we are not!” “Not what?” I asked a bit concerned. “Going to Pleasure Island.” “We are it's over there!” I said pointing out the hummocks marooned mid broad. “That's not Pleasure Island!” exclaimed Gracie. “Not that Pleasure Island sweetie. A different one,” said Grandma saving the day and realising Gracie was thinking of Cleethorpes. Satisfied I was not pulling her leg and we were not bound for the 'Costa del Cleggy' Gracie hopped onto the step beside me. “Do you want to drive?” I asked her. I didn't really need to ask as Gracie swarmed onto the stool and took the wheel. So, we bimbled across Barton Broad, rounded Pleasure Hill Island and headed back upriver into the Ant looking for a mooring for the night Gracie 'at the helm' as I remembered my very first experience of The Broads. The last day of our holiday aboard Captain XII singing 'we shall not be moved' with my brother. 'Old hands' will have to forgive me, but for many years I've been renaming parts of the Broads. There's 'Perch Corner' which is the downstream end of the moorings that separate Salhouse Broad from the main river. This is where Matty our youngest son caught his first ever fish, a 3lb perch. There's 'Telephone Corner' one of the wild moorings on the starboard bank of the River Ant above Barton Broad where my daughter Holly dropped her phone and, like a good Dad would, I stood up to my neck in the water trying to retrieve it while the Stalham Mafia sent their wash to engulf my head. So that night's mooring was named by Gracie. The wild mooring on the port bank on the last corner of the straight before Barton Broad is now named 'Gracie's First Night Sleeping On a Real Boat Corner'. I should have learned my lesson about letting kids name things, especially pets, having had to walk a dog named 'Spot' for seventeen years! After a tea of sausages, bacon, eggs, beans, bread and butter and cups of tea Gracie decided she needed to try Royal Tudor's shower. So while Ellie supervised and Dylan and Toby stood guard, I opened the fridge and reached for a beer. Contrary to popular belief, I very rarely drink at home and Ellie almost never. A cold beer is something I save for boating, and boy did I enjoy this one! RT's new fridge was working perfectly. The ice box was frozen and the beer was chilled. What more can you ask for? It was at this point that I realised I had forgotten my medication and had left it in the car along with Dylan's medication too. But Dylan was engrossed in chasing flies on the river bank and I was feeling decidedly relaxed so I decided I would retrieve them in the morning. Out of the shower and dressed in gym-jams Ellie and Gracie joined me in the saloon while I telephoned Doug to let him know how we were getting on and that nothing major had dropped off either me or the boat! Then it was Gracie's turn to phone her Mum and Dad. “It's amazing Mummy you would love it! It's like a floating house, well a floating bungalow, you can cook and sleep on it and go for a shower and go to the toilet and I have my own bed and there are ducks and geese and water and boats...I LOVE IT!” Job done I think! With Gracie in bed, Ellie and I sat and relaxed over a glass or three of chilled wine. We talked well into the night. Something that, with the rush and bother of daily life, we don't really make time for and we really should. And so to bed where I slept like a log. If logs snored. Being kicked in my stomach at 5:30 am was a bit of a rude awakening. Dylan was in full seizure. Shouting Ellie, who was feeling a little delicate, aid arrived just in time as the dinette bed collapsed. I crashed to the floor nursing the still fitting Dylan. He came out of his fit and I immediately went into one preparing to leave the mooring and return to the wet shed to fetch his tablets and mine I fired the engine and freed the warps. RT must have sensed my urgency and responded quickly as I headed back to the shed with some haste. A cruise that had taken an hour the evening before was done in ten minutes with the tide pushing behind us. I tied up outside the shed and shambled and jogged, 'shogged', to the car to fetch medication. Tablets, a cup of tea and multiple slices of toast down the both of us and Dylan and I were almost ready to face the day. I say 'almost' as Dylan required an extra tin of dog food. He's always ravenous but particularly so after a seizure. The shock of Dylan's medical episode and three glasses of wine meant Ellie was feeling, let's say, delicate? Laid on the cockpit floor, eyes closed while Gracie applied make-up. This is not as bad as it sounds. Gracie loves make-up, make-up brushes, palettes, bottles, jars and generally related goomph. Working where she does, Ellie has been teaching Grace the professional techniques of application and regularly acts as Gracie's test subject. Grace, although only six, knows her stuff and makes a better job of applying make-up than you will see on ninety per cent of wearers on any given Saturday night. “Where to now?” asked Ellie opening one eye. “Time for a dog walk, then fuel the boat and then it's up to you guys!” I said fetching dog leads. “Potter Heigham! Gracie wants to buy presents!” “Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!”
  44. 13 points
    Tuesday 28th May Waking up to a grey and wet Potter Heigham, as usual I enjoyed a coffee listening to the rain hitting the roof, as everyone laid snoring away. I took the dog for her morning walk in the rain, something which she seemed overjoyed about as she came back inside drenched and cold. I was told that the kids wanted to head back South today which was a great surprise to me as I had plans for cruising up the Ant, nevertheless I set off down the Thurne, and then along the Bure. As we reached Acle, there was a pub mooring available just after the bridge and so another 180° turn into the mooring and we headed inside for a pint, as the kids ran off to the amusement area, and "won" pockets full of sweets. We were enjoying the Bridge Inn so much that by the time we set off back down the Bure to Yarmouth it was 1345, slack water at Yarmouth that day was 1245. Oh well So we travelled down the lower Bure fighting the tide as the sun began to appear, a welcome promise of the afternoon and evening which lay ahead as we contimued passing a number of boats as we went. The yacht station was busy, but we were ok as we went through the bridges, which were showing plenty of clearance for us. We travelled over Breydon and down the Waveney, the Fisherman's Inn was looking busy, and the old Burgh Castle moorings were being made use of but I continued to meander my way along the river. There was space available as we passed through St Olaves, but again we continued under the bridge and onwards. The kids had pointed out we hadn't stayed at Somerleyton so far this week yet, and despite me making it clear that it wasn't a necessity, I was told we should try and visit tonight anyway. As it turned out, there was no space on the moorings at all anyway, not helped by the BA boats taking a number of spaces along the moorings. We passed under Somerleyton Bridge and along the river, passing a speedboat and water skier, which was fun to watch as they went by, and enjoyed riding the waves they had created. As we reached the Oulton junction, I fancied taking a look at the refurbished Dutch Tea Garden moorings, so took the turning for the Dyke and although the moorings were fill, the pontoon was empty and so spun around into the space. We set off for a walk from the moorings, along the footpath and roads to Oulton (yes again) passing the broad along the way. Finally reaching the Commodore pub, we sat out in the garden enjoying the views in the evening sunshine. It wasnt long before we moved on to the Wherry Hotel, and as I sat down to enjoy my pint, I was informed that nobody wanted to walk back to the boat, as it was too lovely sitting in the sunshine. It appeared that muggins here was to leave the lady and the kids and make my way back to the boat alone, before bringing it to the hotel moorings again, for everyone else. So, off I set back to the boat, a journey that took around 40 minutes When I got to the boat I began taking her down the Dyke And over the broad, before mooring up stern on to the hotel mooring. Once complete we headed off out for a beer in the Waveney, before returning to the boat for something to eat and then, after walking the dog, it was time to go to bed once more and get our heads down.
  45. 13 points
    Porter & Haylett's yard at Wroxham in its Connoisseur days, Sept 81.
  46. 13 points
    I don't often do holiday tales, but having been accused today of ratcheting up pressure on the BA, apparently in a pompous and dogmatic way, that and seeing the water clarification project thread, I thought it was time to turn my hand to a holiday tale, partly by way of an explanation. Just over two weeks ago I headed to the boat with a friend to spend a week aboard. After spending the first day catching up with a few jobs and spending the first night in the marina we headed out on the Sunday to travel North for the week. Sunday night saw us nestled on The Bridge Inn moorings and a few pints and a very enjoyable meal, whilst we discussed plans for the rest of the week. Now normally at this stage we would discuss a route that involved a trundle up to Potter to check the bridge height in the hope that we might get through and plans for when we didn't. My boat is an ex hire boat, and was built to pass that bridge on occasion. Since it has been in my ownership it has passed that bridge about five times, but not for about four years now. Anyway for some reason we made our plans and never even considered Potter bridge and beyond. The plan was for Coltishall on Monday evening and to try out The Rising Sun which is now in the hands of Colchester Inns. For those that don't know, the same group that run The Recruiting Sargant and The Ship South Walsham. Monday morning see us up early as we knew the noise from the road bridge would mean little chance of a lie in. Coffee machine on and cast off and head towards South Walsham to drop the mud weight and enjoy breakfast. A thoroughly enjoyable breakfast done and it was time to cast off and continue our journey. The empty moorings outside The Ferry and it being lunchtime meant it was rude not to stop and part with some cash. Ever mindful of our final destination we didn't spend too long there and cast off to continue our journey. A very pleasant cruise towards Wroxham and as we headed into Wroxham, we were absolutely gob smacked and couldn't believe what we saw. 7ft7in clearance under Wroxham bridge! Yes that's right 7ft 7ins! We both looked at each other and at the same time said, "we never even consider Potter bridge this trip, what clearance is there under Potter?" My boat only needs 6ft6in under Wroxham, slightly less if I'm feeling really brave. My record so far is 6ft 4.5ins and never again at that. Any way we continued to Coltishall and enjoyed a thoroughly good meal in The Rising Sun. Perhaps not quite the standard of their other pubs, but given it's mass market location, still very good. A definite improvement and we shall be going back. The next morning dawned and so did a phone call to the pilot. Low water is still a few hours away and we have 6ft9in clearance. Give the pilot the name of my boat when it was in hire and he confirmed we need 6ft 9in. Wahay! I know that Pat took it under at less than that, but I'm happy when there're happy. Weather is looking fine for the next couple of days and we deliberate on whether to alter our plan which was for Tuesday night in Wroxham and give Liberty a chance in it's new disguise, or head straight to Potter. Wednesday had been planned for going up the Ant, but that would definitely be Potter if we didn't go Tuesday. Tuesday morning dawned nice and sunny and we had remembered the EA gauge at Repps and clearance was still holding good and potentially improving slightly so we opted for Wroxham Tuesday night. A very good meal was had in Liberty and I can only say that it really doesn't compare to last year's meal. Not sure if it is still the same owners as rumoured, but they have done more than just try to bury the bad reputation. The food and service is chalk and cheese. Sitting at the table just finishing dinner and talk turns to heading to Potter the next day for that bridge! We are moored at the Viaduct moorings and we could stay there, or perhaps take a night cruise to a more peaceful mooring! The trains do rumble through quite early. It's dark outside but little alcohol has been consumed, the bridge clearance is still really good at Wroxham and the thought of passing the bridge whilst it's quiet and without the day boats etc, buzzing around is just too appealing. TBC
  47. 13 points
    I see your point Chris, but don't agree with it, or perhaps more accurately don't see it in that way. The amount of waterway available isn't really an issue. When a visitor comes to the broads for the first time Life is very different from the norm. Life is afloat and with new and variable things to see. If that visitor returns many times his/her experiences change with each visit. The first time getting everywhere seeing little, the 20th time going to fewer places but seeing much more. The more frequent the visits, the lower the mileage. The Liveaboards (a generalisation) probably do the fewest miles yet absorbing the greatest amount of the peace and tranquillity to be had, and would, if permissible and practical, stay weeks on end in one place. (yes, I know some do, but that's another issue) The diversity to be seen on the broads is as good as you will get for the most part on any other waterway, missing out only on the more industrial features to be found on the canals. Another difference my parents and I found between the canals and the broads was the attitudes of people. On the broads the vast majority of people one meets are on holiday. They are all enjoying themselves, all having (or trying to have) a good time. This happiness is infectious (unless you are an angler :-) ) On the canals, the people you are most likely to meet ashore will be normal people doing their normal things. The pubs don't have that "holiday spirit" and are full of people not on holiday and busy moaning about their day at work. (Though they do make the anglers seem a jovial crowd.) No! give me life on the broads any day.
  48. 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.
  49. 13 points
    Not sure why owning or hiring a boat makes you any more or less a lover of the Broads? I for one enjoy seeing members pictures on here, either their own boat or ones they are hiring. Does seem a bit of a shame to dampen the mood of this thread. Obviously the OP and his wife are very happy with their new boat and I for one wish them many happy hours on board and enjoying the Broads.
  50. 13 points
    So here are the final pictures from last years maintenance that turned into a saga. No job yet but still working on it, but here is something to cheer us all up. The pictures are two angles for the new galley and the new window from inside showing the new window and underneath that the plank well fitted in and varnished to match already existing wood, great job Roger. View from the stern well: View from the saloon: New window and new internal planking: I hope you will all agree that the guys have done a magnificent job. We will be (me and Fiona no doggies unless Brexit rules sorted for pets) out for Easter, a few days before, then Easter, hopefully with Charlie Dolphin (if anyone wishes to say hello), then a few days after depending on the weather. If it's glorious we will stay longer, if rubbish we back on the Harwich ferry pronto like. We look forward to seeing you all out on the river and thank you all for following the continuing restoration of our old lady. I really do hope Clive can do something with the roof over us in the wet shed after all this expense. To watch it dripped on and the new canopies discoloured will be a PITB to say the least. Hopefully this year we can forgo the major hull dents too...lol. Malanka's poor port and starboard bows, starboard side and transom took some battering last year, almost exclusively from boats with bow thrusters and also stern thrusters. This year we hope for less. We hope not to be broken into as well, oh and less sinking would be good too. Without a job I will have more time for Malanka tales and so will write them up in 2019, until work drags me away. Best Wishes to everyone except southern Jessie Drascomb sheet danglers....Go northern monkeys go......lol More later Martin..
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