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  1. 25 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 …..
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 16 points
    Someone who knows which way round a boat should be when going under a bridge. :-)
  12. 16 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 15 points
    It would have been Iain's 70th today. I miss my dear old friend deeply.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 12 points
    Thursday 18th April A relaxed morning overlooking the broad in the sunshine was the order of the day this morning. It ended up being nearer 1100 before I eventually set off for a dinnertime stop in Beccles. We travelled down the river in glorious sunshine, reaching Beccles and mooring in the Yacht Station. We had a walk around the town, and a quick refreshment in the Bear and Bells garden. Returning to the boat I set off back up the Waveney being assisted by the tide, and made good progress along the quiet river. As I reached the New Cut I began to fight the water more but reached Reedham sometime after 1730 taking the last available mooring spot. We then had a walk to the Reedham Ferry for a few drinks before taking the riverside walk back towards Reedham. When we got back to the waterside village we popped into The Ship to refresh ourselves before returning to the boat for tea and some games, before finally it was lights out.
  23. 12 points
  24. 12 points
    Went out Monday afternoon in the boat to give her a run. Moored up for the night at the Acle Bridge Inn for a lovely dinner after our trip out. A few phone shots from Tuesday morning at the Bridge. IMG_4562 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr IMG_4567-Edit by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr AdobePhotoshopExpress_2019_02_05_08:16:35 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr IMG_4590 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr
  25. 12 points
    Day 2 then. And it turned into an absolutely beautiful sunny afternoon. So the day started at Irstead. Cruised up to Neatishead, my first time ever down Lime Kiln Dyke. Then back to Ludham Bridge where we stopped for coffee. On from there to the New Inn in Horning for lunch. Had a lovely chat with Seagypsy and his good lady - lovely to meet you both - before cruising on towards Salhouse. Turned around and came back to Cockshoot Dyke where we are now moored. Barring any late arrivals we have the place to ourselves! Took a walk down to the Broad and are now sat in for the evening about to get some tea. A few photos - not sure how the quality is coming out as they are from my phone. Edited to say that I spoke too soon! Another boat has just moored up as the sun is setting!
  26. 12 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..
  27. 12 points
    Wednesday 6thFebruary I was up at about 06:00 as usual and followed my usual routine, kettle and immersion heater on and a quick inspection of the weather from the windows of the saloon. It wasn’t raining and it wasn’t as cold as the previous morning and is it became lighter it became apparent that it was cloudy. Still, it was early February and we hadn’t been hit with a repeat of the atrocious weather that started 2018. Debbie took the dog for a walk and I cooked some toast for my breakfast and ate it whilst they were out. Being the caring sort of guy that I am, I even cooked her some when she came back!! She told me that we would have to go back into Beccles as she had decided that she needed some wool and a pattern to knit a jumper for our grandson. Why she couldn’t have decided that when she was in the shop the previous day, I don’t know! Showered and dressed, I called into the harbour Master’s office to pay for the mooring before we headed back into the town, where I spent another fifteen or twenty minutes patiently waiting outside the needlework shop before Debbie emerged with a bag full of wool, needles and stuffing for the cuddly toy that accompanies the jumper she intends to knit. It was only as short walk back to Greggs, where I managed to get a London Cheesecake – one of my favourites and a quick wander around the town before returning to the boat. Whilst we were out, the cloud had broken and it had become sunny, not the strong sunlight, but the watery veiled light that we frequently see during the winter months. I filled up with water and had a cuppa before starting the engine and casting off, destination Loddon. The river was quiet as we headed back along the Waveney, although we did follow a small cruiser for a while, although whoever was at the helm had little regard for the speed limit and had soon disappeared from view. By the time we’d reached the junction with Oulton Dyke, it had clouded over again but the sun did try to break through at odd times for the rest of the journey. A small wooden aft cockpit cruiser pulled out of the boatyard just beyond the bridge at Somerleyton and we followed it all the way to the other side of Reedham, the crew resolutely helming with the canopy down. Just a bit too chilly for me, though. Reedham Quay was deserted as we passed, but I did have to slow a little as we approached Reedham Ferry as it made its way across the river, wary of the chains and the potential for disaster that could be caused by passing too close. We turned onto the Chet and soon arrived at the basin, where I moored at the end away from the road. We both got ready and took Harley for a walk (yes, really – me as well!!), turning left out of the car park to the church, then following the lanes and road to Pyes Mill, returning to the moorings through the field to the side of the river. I’d only taken my small camera with me, but still managed to capture some acceptable shots of a heron stalking about in the field, before arriving back to the boat. With the aerial set up, we watched TV for a while, the wife did some knitting and I did a crossword or two, until it was time to start cooking the dinner, nice big pork chops purchased the afternoon before in Beccles. After our meal, with the washing up done, we watched TV for a while and as ever, headed for bed at about 22:00 with a hot drink. I was slightly concerned about the threatened strong winds and was thinking about what we might do if our concerns proved to be warranted as I drifted to sleep.
  28. 12 points
    Very interesting point. In short, yes I do. However, I will take this opportunity to be frank and open up. Firstly, I think for me what was the initial draw and big part of boating when I look back was the ability to escape to an area that was so very different to that where I lived, and be away from all the usual pressures of life and work - but also family. When I would hire a boat and be alone it was that solitude on the water that I found to be the perfect medicine. Along with the above, going boating was the only way (short of cycling) that I could have complete control on where I was going, and do it all myself. Since I have learnt to drive, it has now opened up a entire new landscape to explore. Last weekend I was in Scarborough and Whitby. This was an idea I had the evening before when onboard Independence with Shiela and by 8:30am the following morning we were on the A47 leaving Norwich behind headed for Scarborough with Shiela using her phone looking at hotels to head to. I began driving in late November last year, and now it is late February 2019 - lets call it three months, and in that time I have covered some 7,000 odd miles. I have turned into 'Victor Meldrew' behind the wheel but other than that I am loving every moment. I am also missing a great deal about the boating though. Right now BA is looking forward to having some pampering come April, she has also had a lot of work and upgrades as Charlie has been posting on here too but she so far has not been out 'in anger' on the water, Trixie has been in and out of boatyards since last September and Independence - well she has had a few issues here and there but has been acting as home for a good part of the year which is intended and explains why the type of boat, size and internal space/fit out was chosen. It does beg the question though - what about boating? What about the videos? To be honest I got tired of the Blogs because they were the same style, same way repeated - sure you could mix up the boat, location and so on but there is only so many moorings, rivers and places to go and film on the Broads. Other 'Vloggers' have come along and are doing their thing too, but I realised that what I was doing was going on boats not necessarily because I had wanted to, but to make a new Blog, or because viewers and followers were asking when the next instalment would be. My channel's core demographic is men in their 50's and 60's and a smaller percentage is men in their late 30's. Hardly any women, and certainly very few younger viewers. When you look about the Broads at owners of boats, my channel's viewership reflects this, then you have the hirers who tend to be younger and come in groups - families and friends. The thing is while I may be 40 this year, I certainly don't act that age, I am not sensible and responsible and I don't really consider much before doing things - I live for the moment, get bored easily and prefer not to settle - perhaps a typical Gemini then. So imagine having to conform to the same old in Blogs - I wanted to put the camera down and enjoy things, like spending 2 days and nights on the mud weight on Barton Broad. That would make for incredible boring video, it would also cause someone like Shiela to go mad with boredom - but for me it was lovely to experience it. I have made some subtle changes to the Channel, no longer is it "Boating. As it happens" but now the tagline is "Life, captured". I feel like the old rocker who went quiet and came out with a new album years later which 90% of his followers thought was to 'progressive' and were up in arms, but he having played the industry line was free from doing what a label thought was best and decided to put out music he wanted to, free to experiment and explore his creativity in new ways again. That is what I want to do myself. Expect more driving films, but the boating stuff will surly come too - at the moment, it is about doing things how I want to, when I want to in the style I want to.
  29. 11 points
    What an interesting concept. Made me chuckle and brought back a veritable medley of memories. At the height of the season I would put through 'that bridge' one hundred plus cruisers per day - hire and private - and often received the comment, "You must be paid per boat. You almost run from boat to boat!" Crews were surprised to learn that I was paid £2.00 something an hour whether I put one boat through or one hundred. In fact, of course, if the tides were so high as to limit the numbers, the job became much, much more difficult. Trying to explain about air pressure, wind direction off the coast of Scotland, neaps, springs, unexpected or forecast heavy rainfall to someone who just wanted desperately to get through 'that bridge' was, well, to put it quite bluntly, simply too difficult sometimes. Punters were often told a porky. The mains water pipe that crosses the river at Wroxham has burst - hence the high water. Now that's an idea that most people can get their heads around and to watch the lightbulb moment on their faces when told such fake news was as much pleasurable as it was a relief. The downside was that, having now understood the situation, the same punters then shouted the 'news' to every boat coming up the Thurne hoping to get through 'that bridge'. I have little doubt that even canoeists were treated to the bad news. To answer the question, no, there has never been a quota. Although every boat turned away had no effect on my wages, the impact on my income was dramatic. I always earned more in tips than I did from a subsistence level pay packet. It cost me dear to turn a boat away. I was never tipped for delivering disappointment. And, yes, part of the job was the decision as to the certainty, or otherwise, of getting a boat back. And, yes, I always advised the day and time slot. And, yes, there were always people who had worked it out for themselves - wrongly more often than not. To Willow I would explain that 'centre cockpit' boats ranged, then, from needing 6' 4" to 7' 2" and all stops between at one inch intervals. Someone who had just been told that they couldn't get through on 'Royal Crusader' (centre cockpit AF needing 6' 9") but then watch me take forty-five foot long Connoisseurs (centre cockpit needing 6' 6" - at a push) through one after another, of course they would pop back into the office for an explanation. I even had many a telephone conversation with boatyard owners and managers complaining that I had refused to put their hirers through. My answer was always the same (after a brief explanation of facts as they apply at Potter Bridge) if they, as the boat's manager or owner was instructing me to put their boat through then, against my better judgement, I would take it through. No-one ever took me up on the offer! Whilst many hirers chose their centre cockpit boat because of the sliding canopy, few hirers would appreciate a boat without the sliding canopy for the remainder of the holiday. Boatyard owners were even less keen. And to Willow again, I have to say, the pilot has to make a call at the point at which he is asked to make the decision. It is his decision alone, but that decision can be reversed provided developing conditions permit it - or the weather forecast changes throughout the day. I cannot with any certainty remember what height Countess of Light needed, but, if she was a 42' Alpha centre cockpit then she would have needed either 6' 10", or 7' 0". Nothing would have been going through that day if the gauge had been reading 5' 4" not even the Martham boats. I suspect, because you were eventually told that you could get through, that you went through right on the point of low tide which had gone lower than predicted, which is why you were told to get back at the same time the following day.
  30. 11 points
    Tuesday 19th March After finishing work at 8am I nipped home to pick up the dog and my meagre things and set off for a short break on the boat. The journey there was annoyingly slow, particularly with a tired mind from working the night shifts but after 3 hours I was back at Broom boatyard and dropped off my bag inside before walking the dog around to The Yare pub for a pick me up dinnertime drink or two. Refreshed and ready I set off back to the boat and after a chat with my mooring neighbour it was finally time to release the lines and head off down the river Yare towards Reedham at about 1300. The day was fine, with a light cloud and so instead of poking my head out of the roof, I lowered the canopy and cruised with the top down, accompanied by the local wildlife Passing the ever inviting Beauchamp Arms And then the love it or hate it Cantley Sugar Factory (personally, I love it) And then Hardley Mill Reaching Reedham Swing Bridge I passed under and then neared left and along the river passing Polkeys Mill and The Berney Arms before crossing Breydon to Yarmouth. Slack passage was given as around 1545 and I passed Yarmouth bridges at about 1600. The long cruise up the lower Bure then commenced, before I passed the deserted moorings of Stracey Arms and then onwards passed The Ferry at Stokesby where there were a couple of boats, one being Silver Cloud, so I gave the guys aboard a wave as I passed. The stretch along the lower Bure was helped by a beautiful sunset As I reached Acle there were moorings at the Bridge Inn but as I was solo helming opted to try for the BA moorings and the posts rather than opting for the rings at the pub, despite this making it a more awkward starboard side mooring. Mooring up on the BA moorings at around 1800 I closed up the boat and headed over to the Bridge Inn to enjoy a couple of beers. Before returning to the boat and finally falling asleep, exhausted from work and the day but happy to be back on the waters once again.
  31. 11 points
    Needless to say, Breydon, but I disagree! By and large there would be no need for an army of pen-pushers if anglers were to police themselves. For those who want to fish fifty two weeks of the year then what's to stop them? Plenty of pits, puddles, lakes and canals, plus the open sea, all there for those who want it. For those who want and respect the close season then we have our rivers thus there is a close season for those who want it and for those who don't, well there are plenty of opportunities for them too. Hands off our rivers!
  32. 11 points
    I think the shoe gene must have bypassed me Or maybe it's living up a muddy lane in the middle of the countryside for the last 30 years ... but here we go, from left to right .... Boating shoes, cycling shoes, going out shoes and on the right (most importantly) my everyday shoes Carol
  33. 11 points
    Heres a few more pictures of Rafiki in recent years... The first two are on the Thames. The last one is on the Avon and Kennet when I moved her to Bristol. 114 locks in six days. Quite a trip.
  34. 10 points
    Saturday 13th April As I finished my last night shift at 0800 hours on the 13th April, it was finally time to once again head home to collect the crew and our belongings and by 0845 we were once again on our way to Brundall to take the boat out for another week of enjoyment. A slow car journey finally terminated at Brooms boatyard at around 1130 and after parking the car it was time to once again head off to The Yare pub so the kids could have their dinner (apparantly it is now their tradition to eat here before we set off) and we could all relax with some refreshments whilst we waited for the cleaners and engineers to finish on the boat. Having satisfied appetites it was time to head back around to the boat and relieve the car of it's burden and load up the boat ready for the off. It was around 1415 when I was finally able to release the lines and begin a slow cruise down the river Yare heading for a favourite first night stop at Somerleyton ready to cross Breydon water the next day. Coldham Hall was popular that afternoon But we cruised on, passing a number of boats, one of which was Westminster Bridge. The very first boat I hired and helmed which began my love of the Norfolk Broads years ago. The rivers were fairly quiet, but not the deserted waters that I had enjoyed so much over the winter, along with busier moorings showing the signs of how the week would be ahead. The sky was cloudy, but with frequent breaks to allow the sunshine to warm the air a little as we continued along the river. We reached Somerleyton by late afternoon with plenty of room for us to moor up and get ourselves ready for a visit to the Duke's Head pub. Growing tired of waiting for everyone to get themselves sorted, I had a seat on the bench outside, and watched the world slowly pass by, deep in thought and thinking of previous visits to one of my favourite spots. Finally we were all ready to head off for a drink at the pub, and played a few games of exploding kittens once again, before heading back to the boat for an evening meal onboard, and then lights out ready for tomorrow.
  35. 10 points
    Wednesday 10th April We woke on Wednesday to a grey, cold windy day. The breeze had not abated overnight and coupled with the chilly temperature, it wasn't a pleasant morning. Deb took Harley for her walk and I tidied the boat, making the bed and straightening the blankets we use to cover the seating. When she returned, we breakfasted on toasted crumpets, thickly buttered. Just after 08:00, we started the engine for hot water (no shore power for the immersion heater at Salhouse) and cast off around 08:30, heading for Ranworth. Deb took the helm whilst I showered and dressed and took over when I’d finished so she could do the same. There were a few spaces available when we arrived, so we slotted in alongside another syndicated cruiser, Blue Mist. We had intended to walk to the church, but wanted to top up with water first, so moved to another mooring nearer a hose after discovering that the hose wouldn't reach. We had just finished topping up when a large craft from Richardsons eventually moored alongside. To be fair, they had manoeuvred with consideration and had made much effort not to hit the side of MS, but the operation had taken a good 15 minutes and it was clear the strong wind was seriously hampering their efforts. The weather had not improved and we agreed that it would not be an enjoyable stroll to the church and certainly not sufficiently pleasant to sit outside the church café and enjoy a coffee and slice of cake. Instead, we cast off, heading for the River Ant and chugged back up Ranworth Dam, turning right onto the Bure at the junction and shortly after, left onto the Ant. I was hopeful that there would be sufficient clearance under the bridge to allow us to pass without dropping the roof and screen due to the wind and was pleased to see 8ft 3ins on the advance marker, just 3 inches more than we needed. There was the usual confusion of craft attempting to moor on the other side, jockeying for space near the shop and water point, but we navigated through the melee without incident and carried on up the river. We passed How Hill and through Irstead before entering Barton Broad. Much to our surprise, after such a grey and cheerless morning, the clouds began to break, allowing the sun to peek through and by the time we reached the other side of the broad, the sun was beaming down, although the breeze continued to blow. We continued up the Ant, bearing left at the Stalham turn before passing Hunsett Mill. I was pleased to see the mill has now been restored, with sails replaced, but I cannot get used to the abomination that the once chocolate box pretty cottage has become. We travelled a couple of hundred yards further before turning and mooring for lunch of toasted ciabatta and pate. We stayed there for a while, the wife doing her cross stitch and me taking some photos, before casting off and retracing our route towards Barton Broad. I saw a flash of iridescent blue flash in front of the boat, but the kingfisher had disappeared before I could grab my camera. Another lost opportunity, but maybe one day I'll get lucky and get a photo of this shy, beautiful bird. The moorings at Irstead were taken and Johny Crowe's staithe was also occupied, so we moored at How Hill and settled down for the evening. The sun was still shining and there was a real prospect of a decent sunset, so dinner was delayed whilst I spent some time photographing the setting sun as it lit the horizon and Turf Fen Mill with a glorious orange glow. I stood outside to watch the sun drop below the horizon. Nature certainly does provide some wonderful sights and satisfied that I had committed some worthy shots to memory card, I returned to the boat. We had dinner on board, before watching TV for a while and retiring to bed at about 22:00, happy that the day that promised so little in the morning, had delivered so much in the end.
  36. 10 points
    Sunday 14th April Waking up to a lovely sunny morning, I took the dog out for her walk before returning for toast and coffee on the boat with the roof drawn back, allowing the sunshine inside whilst we relaxed. With Yarmouth crossing time at around dinnertime there was no need to rush off, and so after another coffee, I gave the dog one more chance to stretch her legs before undoing the lines and heading up the River Waveney, with the assistance of the outgoing tide. It was quiet this morning with no boats passing me by until I reached the start of Breydon water. Once there, a constant stream of hire boats heading south began to pass by, I remember counting around 20 boats passing one after the other, but in truth there was probably lots more than that. I was the solitary North heading boat as I made my journey. With sunny intervals between broken cloud, we continued through Yarmouth and up the Bure, a cooling breeze was blowing but the early signs of a brightening week were evident already. Reaching Stokesby seemed to take less time than usual as it always does when you have the assistance of good weather, and the moorings were all very busy as I passed by. As ever the Bridge Inn at Acle was it's usual hub of activity and although there were moorings available on the Pedro's side, I had a different destination in mind for the evening. When I had got to the St Bennet's Abbey moorings, I took a turn and travelled down Fleet Dyke and out onto South Walsham broad, I enjoyed the view myself, but the day had gotten too much for everyone else who had all decided an afternoon snooze was needed meaning they all missed the scenery. Spinning around I returned back up the Dyke and took one of the few spaces left on the moorings and tied up the boat at 1630. Everyone came back to life as I stopped the engine, and so we had a walk to The Ship Inn for a few drinks before returning back to the boat for a tea that my youngest had made for us all.
  37. 10 points
    I tried that once, and ended up here !!!
  38. 10 points
    The period when we had glass hulls and wood superstructures might be considered. This is a Moores Griffin/Bourne 35.
  39. 10 points
    That’s Kathleen service completed. Now having a catch up at her wake as one does. Clive is doing very well, a credit to his whole huge family. Much respect to him Griff
  40. 10 points
    Laura - I do hope despite the time delay you discover this post, as I can provide some detail for Sundog's last year or so. Vanessa, my wife, and I bought her around June 1974. She was then owned by the people who owned the wherry yacht Olive (or was it White Moth?!) and was moored at their property which was about a mile or so from Gt. Yarmouth along the Acle straight on the left heading towards Yarmouth. I think we paid £500 for her. We got married in the August and the first night was spent on her. By that time we had her moved to Wheatfen Broad, Ted Ellis' (the naturalist) property. We had a very interesting evening on our wedding night, somewhat worse the wear for alcohol we had to take everything about half a mile through the woods and then across the Marsh! Very memorable! Vanessa was teaching at Bungay Middle Schòol, and I was in my final year at Keswick Hall College of Education. Our intention was to do her up and we started a lot of work in that regard, whilst living aboard. We had her moved to Geldeston in September 1974, as that was nearer to Vanessa'so work, and lived on her very happily, despite the damp! The wood burner was brilliant! In the December we went to the West Midlands to visit Vanessa's family. Whilst we were away she sank! She had a plank removed, well above waterline. But a strong wind blew her onto the bank and as the tide went out she was held there, tipped and flooded! We came back to find all our possessions, including wedding presents, either floating or sunk! We had her pumped out and managed to refloat her. It was clear we couldn't live on her for sometime. But our intention was still to do her up. There's lots of details I could give in that regard, but sadly have no photos. But then a few weeks later Vanessa found she was pregnant and VERY reluctantly we decided to sell her. We sold her to two young men who worked on the rigs and so we were told and thought had the money to fully restore her. We went to see her a couple of times. On one occasion she had been hauled out and was on the bank, the next time she was burnt out. I don't cry much but I did on that occasion. She was truly magnificent and if I could rewrite history I would not have sold her. She still has a very special place in my heart. My eldest son, Ben, was conceived on her; that's how special and personal she is to me. I would be very happy to answer any further questions. Hope that's helpful and fills in a few gaps.
  41. 10 points
    So, today I collected Trixie, having had the last of the work completed on here - and all new seating internally. So since purchase she has quite a lot of work done one way and the other, this has included: New canopy New fenders and fender ropes New mooring lines New twin tone horns Compound and polish of both hull and superstructure New name decals New vinyl stripe (now in the correct colour red) New batteries making up a much larger bank (twice bought first set destroyed by over charging) Re-built Alternator All new drive belts, and Impeller a full engine service (done twice in 5 months for good measure) Striped down and cleaned heat exchanger All new sea cocks New engine water strainer New hot water tank lagging New water pump and accumulator tank New shower pump New taps New steering and throttle/gear linkage cable A battery monitor USB charging outlets New TV New 2500w Inverter New shore power connections, consumer unit, sockets and internal ring main wiring New automatic shore/inverter changeover switch New LED navigation lights New LED internal lights New seating including foam and upholstery Hard wired high speed LTE Router for onboard WiFi Remote monitored alarm There is some new carpets to get for the cabin and aft cockpit along with new curtains to match the seating colour better. Possibility for a new fridge that will reduce power consumption and have a bigger internal cavity space than the current and a new oven but the main thing is she is ready to go for the season so it will be nice to get some use and go exploring once more. Here is the seating which is a soft Sage colour in a hard wearing but smooth to touch frabric.
  42. 10 points
    Nah, I'll still visit regardless I'm afraid, there's too many pubs to pop in to in Loddon and Chedgrave
  43. 10 points
    The escorting police motorbikes would have sunk , obviously
  44. 10 points
    Beautiful clear skies and projected 16c today
  45. 10 points
    Can someone warn the NHS that there will be an unexpected influx of forum members suffering from shock.
  46. 10 points
    thats ok but when the crew has mobility issues and can't bend it's easier to leave them down
  47. 10 points
    I tend to find the more someone needs to rant, or use profanity to make a point, the weaker their argument is. Sadly, informed or unbiased fact on the closed season is very hard to find. Studies by pro angling groups suggest abolishing the closed season would have no impact on fish health and stocks. Those by anti angling groups suggest exactly the opposite. As with most things in life you could give the same "expert" the same "facts" and get any number of different outcomes depending on where the funding is coming from. Got to say I agree with Peter, there are plenty of opportunities to fish away from the rivers for the three months of the closed season. There is no good reason that I can see for any change.
  48. 10 points
    That's me on the reins some 68 years ago in more or less the same spot
  49. 10 points
    Hello Griff, Sadly we have had more than our share of owners that have had disabling medical conditions, life changing events or simply work has prevented the use of allocations. Needless to say none of the shares for sale our mine. I will be calling on family and friends to crew for me. Regards Alan
  50. 10 points
    Chumley & Hawke's Constellation 2 and Caravelle 3?, September 1966.
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