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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. 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!
  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
  5. 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!!
  6. 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
  7. 17 points
    Beautiful sunrise over the early morning mist on the water.
  8. 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
  9. 16 points
    Someone who knows which way round a boat should be when going under a bridge. :-)
  10. 15 points
  11. 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!
  12. 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
  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. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 13 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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!”
  21. 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.
  22. 13 points
    Monday 27th May I sat with the roof down enjoying a coffee on the bank holiday Monday morning There was a hive of activity going on around Salhouse as people made their preparations for heading off, after filling with water and such like. By the time I was taking the dog for a walk a lot of boats had left for the day leaving us in peace and quiet. Once the dog was sorted I made use of the water point myself and after making another coffee, set of in the morning sunshine. It was to be a day of short cruising it seemed, particularly in contrast to the previous day as I made my way back along the river Bure, the sun kept popping out from the clouds and the rivers, whilst busy, seemed to have quieted down a tad. Nevertheless there was still a constant stream of boats passing by, and also ahead and behind me all the way to St Benetts, which had empties out a lot to the previous day and so I made a 180° turn into the moorings there. We set off down past the Abbey And along the footpath between the farmers fields and joined St Benets Road before turning left along Hall Road which brought us to The Dog Inn at Ludham Bridge after 25-30 minutes. We had a refreshment break and the kids had a light dinner before we set off back to the boat, this time using the Permissive Path which follows the river from Ludham Bridge to St Benets Abbey. Once back on board, having achieved one requirement of the kids, I headed off to Potter Heigham to try and do the second. The rivers were busy still, but much less than the previous day and as I headed along the Bure I soon came to the Thurne mouth and made a turn to port, and headed up the Thurne. Not long after I came upon the Wherry, Maude. She was slowly winding her way up the Thurne too, and the hire boat in front of me seemed in a rush to get by and head down towards Ludham. I chose to follow behind for a while enjoying the slow progress and scenic views on offer. Once past the Ludham turning, I made my progress past the Wherry, exchanging greetings as I continued up the river. The rain had started to lightly fall as I approached Potter Heigham After reaching the first set of quiet moorings which were empty I decided I would make a turn and moor up there, we didn't need electric and expected the moorings nearer the bridge to be busy. Just as I was about to make my 180° turn outside Maycraft boatyard the wind kicked up incredibly and the rain became torrential, and made the manoeuvre all the more difficult. Once complete I moored up using the rhond anchors and returned back inside the boat soaking wet. Incredibly as seems to happen, as soon as I was inside the wind and rain stopped. I changed my shorts and shirt, and soon we was all heading up the footpath to Potter Heigham. The moorings were as expected, much busier than our quiet mooring spot, but there were spaces left. Once at the bridge I headed into the Norada for a beer or two whilst Lathams was raided by the kids. They were not pleased upon their return that the bakery had just shut and deprived them of their now traditional pastry craving, but soon got over it as we enjoyed messing around in the pub for the evening. Eventually we walked back to the boat, where my youngest once more made us a delicious tea on board Then after a little bit of relaxing and another walk for the dog, it was time to go to sleep, bringing another day to an end.
  23. 13 points
    Saturday 25th May Waking up at 0600 I set about making the preparations ready for departure. The classic game of car boot tetris as I tried to fit everything into the enclosed space. Once I had finally achieved the seemingly obvious it was time to head off upstairs to shower and get myself dressed ready to set off. Once scrubbed up to look and feel as good as this mug gets I headed off out to get in the car, only to find another collection of bags and belongings had accumulated in the hallway from the kids. Further bursting the cars welds and suspension to their limits to ram them in we finally set off to the boat at 0815. The 150 mile journey usually takes around 2¾ to 3 hours, today however with the bank holiday weekend in full swing, a larger number of caravans were slowing down progress along with the usual tractors, lorries, horse drawn gypsy caravans and the like. Fortunately however whilst slower, we weren't stuck stationary for any length of time and finally arrived at Brundall after 3½ hours. Only seemed one thing to do after all of that trauma, so we headed into The Yare for a quick bite to eat for the kids and a beer or two for myself. After the kids had fed their faces, a few glasses of wine enjoyed and I'd managed to savour a couple of pints of fine Kronenbourg we was off to unload the car and give it's well worked suspension a break for the next week. Once all the bags were thrown into the middle of the saloon (that's what unpacking is right?) And the essentials (beer, wine) were in the fridge chilling, we were ready to head off down the river Yare, after pouring another cold one to keep my whistle wet. I had a good idea where I wanted to end up that evening, and spent the next few hours convincing the kids that we didn't have to stop at Somerleyton on the first night, every time we were on the boat. So at 1350 (ish) we set off and cruised along the river in a lovely afternoon sunshine, the odd bit of cloud not hiding the sun away for too long each time. As expected for the bank holiday weekend the rivers and moorings were busy as we passed along with people enjoying the water and weather. After an hour we had wound our way to Cantley, which was also busy, but as we were continuing on anyway it didn't matter at all Our continuing cruise took us past the chain ferry and through Reedham and down the Haddiscoe New Cut, where we turned right to head down the River Waveney. By 1630 we had reached Somerleyton and having won the discussion on where to stay, I continued through the open swing bridge and down the river By approximately 1715, I had reached the junction of Oulton Dyke and turned to head past the refurbished Dutch Tea Garden moorings and out onto Oulton Broad. By around 1745 I was all moored up outside The Wherry hotel, which were completely empty with my exception and remained to be all night. No mooring mishaps occurred which is always fortunate when you don't know who is watching you on the hotel webcam. After a brief 45 minute relax and chill on and around the boat with the roof down.. We set out to the Commodore pub to enjoy the early evening sunshine looking out over the water from the beer garden. If my memory serves me correct, I remember the Commodore moorings being in a bit if a state, however they seem to have been refurbished and look very good once more now though, or maybe my mind is playing tricks on me and they never were the mess I thought Anyway, later we moved back to sitting outside The Wherry hotel for a few more beers (or wine for those that prefer) being warmed by the outdoor heater and generally talking about nothing in particular, but enjoying the company we had. Later in the evening the kids enjoyed a takeaway (not the best it seems) back on the boat, before everyone had a fairly early night as they were tired, it must be exhausting watching me do all the loading/driving/helming/mooring/work I stayed up a little longer and took the dog for her final days walk, before I joined everyone else in the land of dreams, happy to be back on the boat enjoying the rivers.
  24. 13 points
    Porter & Haylett's yard at Wroxham in its Connoisseur days, Sept 81.
  25. 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
  26. 13 points
    Being both a boater and an active Angler, I too have a trotter in both camps. With regards to those that quote scientific argument on either side of maintaining or abolishing the closed season - I don't give a toss - Not even a nanno. I do however have an opinion and complete any surveys related to this hot topic I come accross I want the closed season maintained just as it is, not reduced but maybe extended if owt. My reasons are not scientific but they are my reasons, opinions and I'm entitled to them all the same. I do not expect others to agree with my opinions, just respect my right to voice them whether they are agreed with or not. I'll list a few of my reasons to continue with the closed season on the rivers of the Broads in no particular order. My list is not definitive and I maintain the right to add to it as I see fit:- 1) It gives the banks / fauna a respite. 2) It gives nesting birds a respite. 3) It give none nesting birds a respite. 3) It gives all riverside wildlife a respite. 4) It gives the fish a respite. 5) It gives boaters a few precious weeks of not having to keep a wary lookout for bank anglers camouflaged or otherwise. 6) It gives the rag-n-stick brigade full use of the river without having to worry about anglers. 7) It removes any potential arguments with regards to mooring / angling for a few precious weeks. 8) It gives no end of partners a respite from the Angler onboard a vessel choosing a mooring based on the prospect of fishing. 9) It gives non fishing partners the opportunity to 'Get Stuff Done' by their Angling other halfs. 10) It sometimes gets my blood pressure up witnessing out of season fishing but a chance to 'Do the right thing' - Report them! and finally 11) I like the closed season Griff
  27. 13 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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..
  32. 12 points
    This is a very interesting little booklet published by the Museum of the Broads. It's packed full of photos, many of which I've not seen before. The book concentrates on the former M&GN lines between North Walsham, Yarmouth and Lowestoft. There's no mention of the Beccles to Yarmouth line. None the less a very interesting book and very reasonably priced at 2.99. Well worth a look.
  33. 12 points
    Well when I am away (and have been in Wales for a few days) I tend to let my logging in here slip a little. Either that, or I forget and that is just down to my age... Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes - today it was off to a Fur & Feathers for a drink and meal. Not been there before because being a lazy so and so the walk put me off. Looks lovely from the outside, the Beer really is very good (I guess it should be as it’s brewed next door) and the food was excellent. Not so sure about the interior, just not as old world and cosy as I expected based on the exterior. I was also bought the Ladybird Book of the ‘Mid Life Crisis’ and feel this page sums it up so well..
  34. 12 points
    Oh Gawd, here we go again. . . . .
  35. 12 points
    Friday 31st May Once again, I was fortunate to have a beautiful start to the day in Norwich And so with the roof down once more I sat and watched the world going by outside. After filling up with water and taking the dog for a walk, I set off back down the Wensum through Norwich's bridges and rejoined the River Yare back towards Brundall. The skies briefly clouded over but it remaind warm and the sun soon won the fight against the clouds and reappeared again to make a beautiful warm afternoon, which grew hotter as the day went on. I wound my way back to Brundall, passing a certain Topliner along the way Before I decided to pop over into the Coldham Hall stern moorings and we sat in the garden enjoying the sunshine and a drink, whilst the kids ate their dinner. Once we had finished I set off once more and travelled through Bargate where a number of boats were mud weighted. Heading back out to the river, I took a right turn and moored back up on our mooring at Broom. I spent the afternoon giving the boat a clean around outside whilst things were tidied and packed away busily inside, our own Psychicsurveyor passing by, as I slaved away busily, I didn't hold it against him too much and managed a friendly hello despite the beer he held in his hand Once the boat looked good (cleaning windows in hot bright sunshine ) once more, we had a walk up into the village, calling at the Coop for a few supplies and dropping into The Ram to give them our custom. We were soon heading back however for a relaxing final night on board, sitting in the aft well whilst the sun was out and then finally settling down for the night. The next morning was an early wake up and final packing was done, before the car was loaded up and we sadly waved goodbye to Shadow, until our next visit. Jay
  36. 12 points
    Thursday 30th May It was a gorgeous morning at 0700 in Loddon when I sat with the roof down once more drinking coffee. By 0900 hours everyone was up and so I took the dog out for her morning walk around the village and Chedgrave, some boats had already departed for the day And by 1000 we was underway ourselves, leaving Loddon behind and making our way back up the Chet The beautiful sunny morning was obviously far too much for some And I continued along the Chet, until by around 1100 I rejoined the river Yare Having joined the Yare I made a turn to port and began the journey up the river, in the direction of Norwich. Not long after having joined the Yare, I passed Malanka coming the other way, and we exchanged a wave and quick greetings as we moved past each other, before I continued on my way up the river. The clouds had begun to cover the sky a little by 1130, but it was warm with a breeze nevertheless and by 1230 I had taken a trip down Short Dyke which leads to Rockland Broad, and moored up there ready for a walk down the footpath to The New Inn at Rockland. The staithe was pretty popular, and I spotted one of our neighbour's in Loddon had also stopped off at Rockland this dinner time. We sat on the front of the pub enjoying a few drinks, the kids deciding to head off to the shop for a look around and the sun really began to turn the heat up, as I began to feel myself burning in the afternoon sunshine, and so once the kids returned and had drunk up, we walked back the way we had come to the boat Whilst the kids enjoyed their dinner, I headed over Rockland Broad and up Fleet Dyke to rejoin the River Yare, and continue in the direction of Norwich. We passed through Brundall, and onwards past the Ferry House and Brammerton, both of which were busy with people enjoying the sunshine. I cruised the remains of the Yare, and then headed along the River Wensum before reaching Norwich Yacht Station. I moored and tied up the boat before paying the £13 for our overnight stay. We all then headed off to the Red Lion for a refreshment break whilst watching the river. We had a walk up to the Cathedral which was closed off at the Bishopgate entrance so we took a right turn and just happened to take a seat outside the Adam and Eve, well it only seemed right to have a drink whilst we rested after such a long walk We saw the customers of the Ghost Walk start their tour before we headed off to continue our walk around the Cathedral perimeter, taking in another pit stop outside the Wig And Pen, seeing as it was such a lovely warm evening. Our little wander then took us along the Quayside, bringing us to The Ribs Of Beef and it's empty moorings We took a left turn and along the main road to head back towards the Yacht Station The Thursday night was beginning to get into full swing with people out for a drink and more, but the Compleat Angler was quiet so we popped in for a final drink before completing the walk back to the boat. The youngest didn't want to make any tea tonight, and so I set back out into the busy Norwich streets to pick them up a take away, not quite looking the part when surrounded by the skimpy dresses, and smart clothes everyone else was wearing in my shorts and t shirt I was soon back onboard however, and sat looking out at the water whilst everyone ate, until late into the night After a final walk for the dog, we all got our heads down for a good sleep.
  37. 12 points
    Sunday 26th May Waking around 0600 to a pleasant if cloudy Oulton morning I sat and had a quiet coffee whilst everybody slept before taking the dog out for a walk. Once back I made preparations for heading off and with a fresh coffee made at around 0715 I set off back towards the River Waveney. It was quiet along the river as I progressed through Somerleyton And then a busy St Olaves as I continued my meander up to Breydon water. I hadn't intended on travelling up North this week expecting it to be crazy on a May bank holiday weekend but the kids had asked to go North yesterday afternoon with just two objectives given. The traditional visit to Lathams so they could raid the bakery and a stop at St Bennetts in order to have a little walk down the lane and to Ludham Bridge. The Fisherman's Inn is now open, and the old Burgh Castle moorings are in operation "At Your Own Risk" By around 0930 we were crossing the expanse of water separating the Northern and Southern Broads, and they largest stream of boats I have ever seen crossing Breydon began. There were 3 of us crossing South to North at the same time, but a constant stream of boats all the way over the water were crossing North to South. Once I reached Yarmouth bridges I held station to allow 4 boats to pass through unimpeded before heading under myself, and then made slow progress up the lower Bure as I had arrived a little ahead of schedule and had to fight the last of the ebbing tide. The day appeared to be brightening up as the morning went on, a few boats passed in both directions as I continued up the river The Stracey Arms was busy and Stokesby completely full, a sign of what was ahead, but I was carrying on regardless so it didn't matter. I was also joined by a family of swans too, which was nice to watch. Spaces were available on the Pedro moorings at Acle and I nearly moored up there for a quick pit stop, but decided I would carry on for a while first. Just after leaving Acle I happened to hit the Thurne Regatta, a large number of those flappy things all over the river from before the Boundary Farm moorings along the Bure past the Thurne mouth and further onwards. It was enjoyable maneuvering around them and watching as I went, many acknowledged thanks for my assistance, but I think more in gratitude that I didn't do as a number of others did of trying to speed across their bow in order to get past, one in particular almost causing a collision, the flappy thing doing a great job of avoiding (just) the boat crossing it's path. Once onto clear waters again I continued along the Bure hoping (not believing) I would be able to get in at St Bennetts. Not a chance It was around 1330-1400 by now and there wasn't a single spot at the Abbey, so I made a left turn to have a look if I could make a pit stop towards South Walsham and wait to see if a space at the Abbey appeared later. Unfortunately I couldn't get in there either, so I was left with continuing along the Bure towards Wroxham and seeing where was available. As expected there wasn't any room at Horning, and I didn't waste my time even bothering to check Ranworth, knowing it would be full of boats by now, so we continued on some more through a mad rain storm which had picked up. On reaching Salhouse I popped into the broad, and whilst busy, there were a few spaces still available, one of which was near the water point and so I spun around and stern moored into there at around 1615, some 9 hours after setting off from Oulton. After paying and having a few minutes to stretch my legs, we had a walk up to the Fur and Feathers and whilst it was sunny, the tables and seats were still wet from the earlier rain and the wind was starting to pick up, and so in preparation for later we claimed a table inside. Another dog friendly pub by the way. We had a few beers And a good chat with the kids until at around 2030 we set off back to the boat as the sun set around us The head chef aka my youngest made us all a boat cooked tea which was delicious. As I wasn't required for meal preparation I took a beer and sat out on the bow having a chat with my gorgeous lady After we ate we had a walk with the dog around the pathways at Salhouse and then it was time to lay our heads down and get some sleep.
  38. 12 points
    I was last out cruising the rivers enjoying them and ''B.A' on 13th OCTOBER 2018, the last day of the lads week. It is now 20th May 2019. By my reckoning that is now over 6 months. SIX months! Now when one owns a boat (Well - Part thereof to be precise) and has the use of her 24 x 7 x 365, six months is plain and simple W A A A A A A Y too long. Yes of course I have been onboard since October but those visits have been upgrade / maintenance weekends. Then there was a ten day visit to Sutton staithe for her bi-annual AMP, spent all of 40 mins transiting her there and back to the wetshed on that one. However June 7th - that'll change. Four days afloat with MrsG, Son, his new partner (Just wait till you see her lads, proper stunner and top class deck totty) and hopefully at least one grandson, plus one if not two dogs. I intend to get 'B.A' out of the wetshed that fast after boarding we will probably still be plugged into shore power, wonder if I can get 10mph whilst still in the wetshed? No idea where we will be visiting / staying overnight, nor do I care. Counting down the days then once again Griff
  39. 12 points
    Well yesterday's choice of moorings was by horsey mill, they have completed the heading work here and very nice the new bits are. After mooring up about 1.30pm it was out for a sail on Lydia with Polly, a couple of hours jinking around horsey mere. I did get slightly wet when I was standing in the wrong place as the mudweight was deployed for raising sail. The evening was passed in a convivial atmosphere as we dined at the Nelson's head, they do a nice bangers and mash. An early start this morning as I want to get through potter as soon as the yard opens. As for turning in horsey dyke, go to the corner, (stick your nose in by the white post,) and a Judith can just get round . Be aware if you are even a few inches longer you won't make it.
  40. 12 points
    And Pally is one of the best diggers after truth I know. We all owe him, all of us. M
  41. 12 points
    Saturday 13th April I arrived in Horning around 2pm after a fairly uneventful drive from Leeds. Goosander was looking sparkling and the previous “occupiers” had done a great job in leaving her looking ***** and span. It was dry but with a chilly wind which was keeping the temperature down to around 10c. I stepped onboard and put the heating on to warm the place up before unloading the car. My key appointment today was to attend a screening of the football match between my team, Leeds Utd and Sheffield Wednesday at 5.30pm. I had decided to drive back to the Kings Head in Wroxham to watch the match so in the interim, I grabbed a late lunch at The Ferry Inn, Horning, primarily because it was just a short walk from the moorings. I went for the carvery and whereas the food was plentiful, it could have been hotter! Soon enough it was time to make my way back to Wroxham to watch the match. I found myself in the company of 10 other Leeds fans all wishing for a good performance. We won the game so this was the perfect start to my holiday. I got back to the boat around 8.30pm and after a wander around Richardsons yard, which is just opposite where Goosander lives, I decided to stay put for the night. The temperature dropped close to freezing so having an electric hook-up for additional heating was a bonus. More tomorrow. Looks like Richardsons bought at least three of the ex Faircraft boats, as these two were awaiting their new uniforms. More images tomorrow.
  42. 12 points
    I know it's important how it happened but let's not forget that little ones lost their Mum, a Husband lost his wife no matter the physics of it An absolute tragedy, my heart goes out to her family Grace
  43. 12 points
    Tuesday 16th April The sun was shining as I awoke. The wind was still a little chilly but not as cold as yesterday. Today was a bit of a compromise as I always make an out and back overnight visit to Yarmouth when passing through, but I needed time to reach Surlingham so the plan was to leave around 9am for Yarmouth, where I would spend around 4 or 5 hours before departing for Reedham in the late afternoon. I had read on Facebook that Reedham Quay had been full the previous two nights so I would need to ensure I arrived at Reedham at a reasonable time. So it was actually 9.15am by the time the ropes were untied but as the tide was just turning as I left, I would soon make the time up. Soon enough, I was passing the derelict Port of Yarmouth Marina control tower, at which point I called the Yacht Station and asked for assistance as a single-handed sailor when coming in to moor. This was all arranged with the minimum of fuss and 10 minutes later I was turning Goosander around to face the ebbing current and then guiding her into a space adjacent to the Rangers office. Even though low water was still four hours or so away, there was still around 10 feet of headroom should I have wanted to continue on. The rangers made my ropes fast and after paying my £6, I ambled off into Yarmouth town. First call was for chips at one of the chip saloons on the market place (always a must do!) then onto McDonalds for coffee. Yarmouth was very busy with trippers as the schools were still closed this week. Deciding I wanted to inhale some sea air I walked down to the Britannia Pier, the sea breezes getting stronger as I approached. It was nice to see the sea - well it was whilst trying to squint against the sand being blown in my eyes. I then walked along the seafront eventually coming to the Winter Gardens, next to the Wellington Pier. It is closed now and looking very sorry for itself. I can remember Doreen and I having a cool beer in there one hot day in June some years back and wondering at the Victorian elegance. So sad to see it like this now. I turned back and made my way back to the boat, arriving around 3pm. In the back of my mind was the warning that the quay at Reedham had filled recently so I decided to head off there now in the hope of arriving before 5pm. I started the engine and the Quay Ranger (mooring attendant or whatever they are called) allowed the tide to swing Goosander around on it’s last secured rope before casting me adrift into the current, which by now was negligible. I was fortunate in that it had already started flooding up Breydon Water so the cruise up to Reedham took a little less than 2 hours. Passing under the rail swing bridge I could see there was still a choice of mooring spots so I opted for one towards the Ship Inn end. By 7pm, I was on my way to the Ship for an evening meal. It was busy both in the bar and the restaurant, but I still managed to bag a small table close to the bay window overlooking the river. I recalled the many times we had their Steak and Ale Pie here which was always delicious, but no matter how many times I scoured the menu, I could not find it now. Instead I opted for the Ship Burger which came with salad, coleslaw and chips. The meal was filling so no dessert for me tonight (not even cheesecake). After reading my paper for a while, I made my way back to Goosander. I wondered how busy the Lord Nelson was so I walked past the boat and on towards his Lordship. I looked through the window and was taken aback to see just one customer in the place. It could have been a one-off but it would be worrying to see your competitor so busy whilst you are empty. This came sailing by as I left the moorings at Acle Oh I do like to be beside the seaside The Winter gardens - now closed How it looked in 2007 The Yacht Station at Yarmouth Breydon Bridge lifting for yachts Reedham The Old Post office -now a cafe
  44. 12 points
    Gretzky's recent post about being hit by a bunch of lads got me thinking about my first experience of hiring a boat on the Norfolk Broads. Yes, we were a bunch of lads, no, we didn't hit anyone! I thought I would share my memories of that first trip, hopefully to raise a smile! I should say that I wasn't new to the Broads, I had been 14 or 15 times with my parents, starting on Wavemaster from Brooms when I was about 18months old, but this was to be my first hire in my own name. To set the scene, 4 of us at school had just turned 18 and completed our A levels, we were all heading off to different corners of the country and wanted to celebrate the end of one phase of our lives and the start of the next. We didn't have much money but we decided on a trip to Norfolk, so we started browsing through the Hoseasons brochure and decided that Swiftway from Richardsons was within our budget and would suit our needs. Forms were filled, cheques posted and the confirmation letter soon landed on the door mat. I read the terms and conditions from cover to cover. One clause stood out, something to the effect of “we reserve the right to refuse to hire if we think you are unsuitable “ We were seriously excited, our first holiday as adults, no parents, just the four of us, boys on a boat and Beer, quite a lot of beer. We were nervous too, what if we got to the yard and they took one look at us and sent us on our way? The day came and we set off on a 5 hour road trip from Cumbria to Stalham, got to the yard and got checked in at reception and paid our security deposit (no damage waiver in those days). “Go and unpack and someone will be along shortly to show you the ropes” We unpacked. The sun was shining, we filled the cupboards with food and filled the fridge with essentials (beer), we went off for our trial run, everything was going swimmingly and we got back to the yard, all set to be released on the unsuspecting pubs of broadland. “I will just show you how to light the fridge, it runs on gas you see...” that's when it happened, clunk,clunk, clunk, clunk, the sound of a dozen cans of week American lager dispensing itself out of the fridge and rolling across the cockpit. Silence, nervous glances all round, this was it, “if we think you are unsuitable” Laughter from the engineer showing us round. “I see you have worked out the fridge”. “Don't drink and drive gents, the river police will pull you over and you can be fined” That was it, the start of one of the best weeks ever, the end of childhood. Maybe it was fear of losing the security deposit, maybe we just weren't bad lads, but we had an amazing time and didn't manage to upset anyone or break anything. Nearly 3 decades later I came back, with my family and some friends, the welcome at Richardsons was just as welcome and the Norfolk Broads are still a special place. Happy Days!
  45. 12 points
    Spoke to Richardson’s, fortunately the hirers held their hands up and admitted the incident, the Richardson’s are going to call me at some point today to sort out repairs. Closer inspection there are 1000's of scratches all the way down the hull a broken fender eye, broken window hinge in the head, a burst fender and a great big dirty black mark from the rub strip hitting us not to mention a very shook up wife who had me checking the bilges all evening for water ingress. BA have also spoken to the helm and given them a blue book warning. For anyone reading this remember this, if they had not stopped after I had called them back the BA were prepared to prosecute them for leaving the scene of an accident, so if you should hit another boat please don’t just drive off, stop and exchange details.
  46. 12 points
  47. 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!
  48. 11 points
    Here are some shots of the action from Potter Heigham
  49. 11 points
    Yesterday I awoke at 5.40 after a good 9 hours of sleep, I was set up for the day. The couple who were interested in purchasing a share in Ranworth Breeze arrived around noon, I showed them around and they were impressed with all the refurbishments we had done in the last two years. We chattered and I answered queries on the two contracts that new owners have to sign, all ironed out and the way that the types of shares are drawn at the yearly AGM. We went up the river with Terry at the helm after we had left the marina. I wanted to show Terrry how the boat could stop within its own length at 6 mph and the manoeuvrability of the boat with its tight turning circle. Terry was impressed and commented on how stable the boat felt. We turned around just before the Ferry House Inn at Surlingham, I was saddened to see that a boat had sunk on the moorings opposite the pub. We came back to the marina and with aid Terry did a fine stern on mooring into our berth. We chattered away and they left for home to mull over the option of the shares we currently have for sale. I had a late lunch and phoned one of our old owners who was a fellow trustee of Ranworth Breeze, we had talked earlier in the day about me popping over to his house in Watton for an evening meal. I eventually arrived with direction from Graham over the phone. I changed my car about 4 weeks ago from a Saab Convertible to an Audi S3 Convertible which I have got used to apart from the inbuilt satellite navigation that makes little or no sense at all, if you put in a post code (in the case of Graham it starts IP) but it does not allow you to put in any of the numbers and with Ipswich that covers a very big area. Anyway I arrived and we chatted away outside in the last of the sunshine, their two Labradors were barking away me but eventually settled down after licking me death. We had a great meal and all tried to put the world to right whilst conversing over dinner. Before we knew it 10.00 pm reared it head and I had to say my goodbyes before setting off back to Brundall. I arrived back at the marina a little after 11.00 pm, I noticed Robin was in residence with the lights still on in his boat. Once aboard I quickly headed for bed feeling somewhat tired, I took the last of my 7 days course of antibiotics which seem to have nothing to help my coughing, so its back to the Vick and the cold tablets. Bye for now Alan Regards Alan
  50. 11 points
    Wednesday 10th April We woke on Wednesday to a grey, cold windy day. The breeze had not abated overnight and coupled with the chilly temperature, it wasn't a pleasant morning. Deb took Harley for her walk and I tidied the boat, making the bed and straightening the blankets we use to cover the seating. When she returned, we breakfasted on toasted crumpets, thickly buttered. Just after 08:00, we started the engine for hot water (no shore power for the immersion heater at Salhouse) and cast off around 08:30, heading for Ranworth. Deb took the helm whilst I showered and dressed and took over when I’d finished so she could do the same. There were a few spaces available when we arrived, so we slotted in alongside another syndicated cruiser, Blue Mist. We had intended to walk to the church, but wanted to top up with water first, so moved to another mooring nearer a hose after discovering that the hose wouldn't reach. We had just finished topping up when a large craft from Richardsons eventually moored alongside. To be fair, they had manoeuvred with consideration and had made much effort not to hit the side of MS, but the operation had taken a good 15 minutes and it was clear the strong wind was seriously hampering their efforts. The weather had not improved and we agreed that it would not be an enjoyable stroll to the church and certainly not sufficiently pleasant to sit outside the church café and enjoy a coffee and slice of cake. Instead, we cast off, heading for the River Ant and chugged back up Ranworth Dam, turning right onto the Bure at the junction and shortly after, left onto the Ant. I was hopeful that there would be sufficient clearance under the bridge to allow us to pass without dropping the roof and screen due to the wind and was pleased to see 8ft 3ins on the advance marker, just 3 inches more than we needed. There was the usual confusion of craft attempting to moor on the other side, jockeying for space near the shop and water point, but we navigated through the melee without incident and carried on up the river. We passed How Hill and through Irstead before entering Barton Broad. Much to our surprise, after such a grey and cheerless morning, the clouds began to break, allowing the sun to peek through and by the time we reached the other side of the broad, the sun was beaming down, although the breeze continued to blow. We continued up the Ant, bearing left at the Stalham turn before passing Hunsett Mill. I was pleased to see the mill has now been restored, with sails replaced, but I cannot get used to the abomination that the once chocolate box pretty cottage has become. We travelled a couple of hundred yards further before turning and mooring for lunch of toasted ciabatta and pate. We stayed there for a while, the wife doing her cross stitch and me taking some photos, before casting off and retracing our route towards Barton Broad. I saw a flash of iridescent blue flash in front of the boat, but the kingfisher had disappeared before I could grab my camera. Another lost opportunity, but maybe one day I'll get lucky and get a photo of this shy, beautiful bird. The moorings at Irstead were taken and Johny Crowe's staithe was also occupied, so we moored at How Hill and settled down for the evening. The sun was still shining and there was a real prospect of a decent sunset, so dinner was delayed whilst I spent some time photographing the setting sun as it lit the horizon and Turf Fen Mill with a glorious orange glow. I stood outside to watch the sun drop below the horizon. Nature certainly does provide some wonderful sights and satisfied that I had committed some worthy shots to memory card, I returned to the boat. We had dinner on board, before watching TV for a while and retiring to bed at about 22:00, happy that the day that promised so little in the morning, had delivered so much in the end.
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