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  1. 21 points
    So here we are again. Back aboard Swan Reflection 1. I’m posting from my phone courtesy of Richardson’s on board wi-fi so these posts may be brief! Good journey up from Essex. Nice lunch in Bridgestone’s Tea Rooms in Potter Heigham. Very good handover from a nice polite young man and out of the yard by 2. Very quiet cruise down to How Hill. Turned around and went back to moor at Irstead. Hurray! Finally I have managed to get on the staithe here! Took a walk to look round the church then on to the Boardwalk for a lovely peaceful look at Barton Broad. Beautiful even on a grey day. Now back on board with the heating on having a very quiet evening.
  2. 18 points
    Being both a boater and an active Angler, I too have a trotter in both camps. With regards to those that quote scientific argument on either side of maintaining or abolishing the closed season - I don't give a toss - Not even a nanno. I do however have an opinion and complete any surveys related to this hot topic I come accross I want the closed season maintained just as it is, not reduced but maybe extended if owt. My reasons are not scientific but they are my reasons, opinions and I'm entitled to them all the same. I do not expect others to agree with my opinions, just respect my right to voice them whether they are agreed with or not. I'll list a few of my reasons to continue with the closed season on the rivers of the Broads in no particular order. My list is not definitive and I maintain the right to add to it as I see fit:- 1) It gives the banks / fauna a respite. 2) It gives nesting birds a respite. 3) It give none nesting birds a respite. 3) It gives all riverside wildlife a respite. 4) It gives the fish a respite. 5) It gives boaters a few precious weeks of not having to keep a wary lookout for bank anglers camouflaged or otherwise. 6) It gives the rag-n-stick brigade full use of the river without having to worry about anglers. 7) It removes any potential arguments with regards to mooring / angling for a few precious weeks. 8) It gives no end of partners a respite from the Angler onboard a vessel choosing a mooring based on the prospect of fishing. 9) It gives non fishing partners the opportunity to 'Get Stuff Done' by their Angling other halfs. 10) It sometimes gets my blood pressure up witnessing out of season fishing but a chance to 'Do the right thing' - Report them! and finally 11) I like the closed season Griff
  3. 17 points
    Just to let you all know that today I forwarded £1000.00 in cheques to the Neuro Care Charity in Sheffield from family and friends in memory of Tan. Regards Alan
  4. 17 points
    We the mods of NBN are, Reading all your posts from afar, Jokes and opinions, (BA posts, the sticky 'uns) Smoothing the things that jar.  Ooohh watch that post, the naughty one,  Just too far that joke has gone. Shall we hide it? Let it ride? It's Bound to cause a lot of fun.  Christmas comes but once a year, it's the season for good cheer, Post of boats and cheery notes Of quarrels we'll steer well clear.  Ooohh watch that post, the naughty one, Just too far that joke has gone. Shall we hide it? Let it ride? It's Bound to cause a lot of fun. The Forum's in a holiday mood, Lots of gifts and plenty of food. Friends we recall, God bless us all Mods wish you a great New Year.
  5. 17 points
  6. 15 points
  7. 15 points
    “Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing.” Kenneth Grahame,The Wind in the Willows At home, I have neighbours and acquaintances. Just like badger, I'm not much of a social animal. But the rivers and broads make friends of us all and Grace was more than a little intrigued to discover I knew more people in, on and around The Broads than I did at home. After receiving a royal salute from Vaughan on board his new boat as we left Simpsons boatyard, Gracie was wearing her thoughtful expression. “Timbo?” “Yes?” “Do all of you friends live in Norfolk?” “Not all of them, but a lot do.” “Do they all have boats?” “Some of them do, but not all of them.” “Why do all your friends wear silly hats?” “To stop their heads exploding!” The boat was fuelled, the dogs walked, Dylan and I were medicated and Ellie was still feeling delicate from three glasses of wine and a five thirty wake up call. Potter Heigham would be our destination for Grace to buy gifts for Mummy, Daddy and her baby brother Arlo. So while Ellie went back to her bunk, Captain Gracie and I helmed Royal Tudor down the River Ant. After talking so much about Princess Grace and while my queen is snoozing in the forward cabin I should say something about the majesty that is Royal Tudor. Built in 1960 my grand lady turns sixty next year. Believe it or not, boats do have a personality. To me, RT's personality is somewhere between Margaret Rutherford and Joyce Grenfell with the looks of a young Jean Simmons. It must be well over four years ago since I last helmed Royal Tudor in near solitude. Her time off the water has changed her in some subtle and not so subtle ways. In the past Royal Tudor was deft at manoeuvring, she could turn on a sixpence with the lightest touch of the helm where it takes some effort to turn her wheel now. I'm going to have to take a look at that. In motion RT sets her own pace. There is no hurrying her unless she wants to or she needs to. There is no need for fancy instrumentation, Sat Navs or GPS systems, not that there ever is on the Broads, as the old girl will tell you if you are going too fast. If you take her above a walking pace she will groan and grumble, rattle, creak and complain. Hit the sweet spot, RT will guide you to it, and she glides through the water with barely a murmur. If you need to overtake Royal Tudor, then you are speeding. Having said that, Gracie, Royal Tudor and I took it especially slowly on our trip to Potter Heigham. Plenty of time for me to order my thoughts and reminisce on forty seven years of visiting The Broads. I retrieved the set of folding steps I used in the past for Uncle Albert to disembark and set them up in front of the helm so that Gracie could stand on them to see over the cockpit and reach the wheel. It took us the distance from Stalham to joining the Ant for Grace to master keeping Royal Tudor in a straight line. “I know what to do Timbo, I can do it!” That little girl was fascinated by everything she saw. Trees, birds, wild flowers, stoats, the names and history of the landscape that glided past us. We nosed into Barton Turf so she could see one of our favourites mooring spots and turn the boat. Around The Heater we discussed shields and sword fights. Across Barton we discussed different types of sail boats (I have to learn more), weather patterns, cloud shapes, fish nets and ecology. Gracie helmed RT all the way down the river Ant, across Barton Broad, and further down the Ant to Ludham bridge. Along the way we encountered the wherry Albion under full sail. As we were just bimbling along we were happy to sit a way upstream and follow along. But soon there was a backlog of boats behind us, many of them new helms, and Albion had slowed almost to a stop. Before we could make our move one of the boats behind us decided that it was OK to go flat out and overtake all the other boats as well as Albion through blind bends and into oncoming boats. I edged RT further out into the river to stop the rest following suit and waited for Albion's helm and lookout to look behind and give an indication. “You pillock! Give us a clue?” I muttered under my breath. The first at another hire boat trying to come around us without noticing the huge wherry in front then suddenly going into reverse, and the second at Albion's lookout. Eventually the lookout looked and waved us through. So now with clear water ahead we continued our bimble. Before Ludham I spotted a familiar and welcome sight. Listing to port, probably under the weight of her master who was looking decidedly 'piratey', was Nyx under the command of a certain Maurice Mynah. Nyx was still in the distance when Gracie started to chuckle. "This is one of your friends Timbo!" exclaimed Gracie. "How do you make that out?" "The hat!" Ellie surfaced just before we reached Ludham bridge. Gracie wanted to try the horn as we went under the bridge.The temporary air horn inflated by bicycle pump was feeble to say the least. Gracie was somewhat disappointed. “That sounds like a duck trump!” declared Gracie before erupting into giggles. A new horn is something we need to add to the growing shopping list of items Royal Tudor needs. To this list can be added two new mooring warps, without which mooring is decidedly difficult having to swap lines from various parts of the boat when coming into moor. Through Ludham we headed to the Ant mouth and turned to follow the River Bure downstream. That weekend the Three Rivers Yacht Race was taking place, so I put on some revs and got a wiggle on to Potter Heigham hoping to get a mooring. Gracie disappeared below decks with Grandma but they soon arrived back bearing cake, biscuits and a cup of tea. I have a new found enjoyment of cake. I blame my very best friend Doug for this. Call a tea break and I can guarantee Doug will ask 'Is there any cake?'. It's either Doug's fault or I admit I've entered that stage of life where cake features heavily, as do sheds. We made Potter Heigham before tea time, 4 pm proper tea time, moored in the only open space opposite Herbert Woods yard river entrance (not ideal) and took the boys and Gracie for a walk into 'town' to stretch legs, before I headed back to Royal Tudor for a well deserved nap! More later!
  8. 15 points
    Home again ... we hadn't been on the road for long this morning when I wished that I was out of the traffic and back on the boat! And it always seems so funny that in ten minutes you drive along from Stalham, past Sutton and on through Potter Heigham whereas we all know how long that journey is by boat! Anyway ... time for some Reflections on Reflection ... The Boat - Swan Reflection is still a great boat to hire. Compact at 31 feet it is a little tight for space on board but ideal for a couple especially if you haven't got much experience. Plus it warms up quickly once you get the heating on. Great to steer - you can set the revs, set the steering and it will go in a straight line for as long as you need until you reach the next bend in the river. Comfortable bed, the seating has been re-upholstered at some point, decent size fridge and ice box plus a gas cooker as well as a microwave. Electric flushing toilet which does use a fair amount of water but is a nice little luxury! I would always highly recommend this boat. The Yard - We had only hired from Richardson's once before and that was at a busier time. It still feels like a holiday camp kind of check-in to me but the system works well. The staff were all very friendly and the young lad who did our handover and refuelled us this morning, was great. He asked how our week had been, asked if there were any problems with the boat and wished us a safe journey home. That counts for a lot with me and we would definitely go back. The Food - Always a highlight of my holiday because we don't eat out much at home and it's a treat not to be cooking. The Sutton Staithe Hotel was first class, Bridgestone's Tea Rooms in Potter Heigham was excellent, the New Inn was great value and good food as always. The Swan Inn was my least favourite, good service but overpriced and not as good food as everywhere else. That's just my personal opinion based on the meals we had on the days we dined in each of these establishments. Incidentally the Staithe & Willow in Horning was closed and looks to me as if it has just been sold from something I saw on a property website. The Wildlife - there was a lot of life in the wildlife ... if you know what I mean. Plenty of birds flying around in pairs. ;) But what a delight to see an otter and to see a good number of kingfishers around Irstead. Plus the sound of the owls in the trees after dark was amazing ... I don't get that living here in the city. The Firsts - I always like to try to tick some items off my "still to do" list. This week we moored at Irstead, we went right down Lime Kiln Dyke, and we moored on the public staithe in Horning. That was good enough for me. All About March - Finally my thoughts on hiring in March as this was only the second time that we have been out this early in the season. Don't forget that even if it is going to be mild for the time of year, you are not at home in your double glazed centrally heated house. So for me it is always going to be cold and my thermals were required every day! We had one sunny day, the rest was overcast and grey but it was dry although the breeze picked up on our last day. No bright sunny frosty mornings but I'll take that over wind and rain and ice. But best of all was the ability to choose where to moor at any time of day and be almost certain you wouldn't have any problems. We were completely on our own overnight at Irstead, Womack Water and Paddy's Lane. And it would have been a full set if someone else hadn't turned up when it was getting dark at Cockshoot Broad. The photos through the week were from my phone so below are just a few off my camera. There will be a video as soon as I get time to put things together.
  9. 14 points
    Friday 5th July Mandy was reasonably pleased that with my planned depart time of 9am, the previous Friday we left at 6am to get to Cumbria, so on this trip there was no need to wrap herself up in a throw as she did the previous week. The car was loaded to bursting, and Lottie was quick to take her place on the back seat to ensure we didnt leave without her. (She is secured by the seat belt to her harness) The journey was pretty uneventful and we made excellent time until the single carriageway A143 held us up with HGV's and the odd tractor We still made it to Loddon by 11.30am, I had arranged with Fiona to pick the boat up a little earlier at 1.00pm, so obviously we were way too early. So a plan came to mind (actually this was always my intention but dont tell Mandy) 'We're too early darling' I said 'What do you want to do' she replied 'Well, Lottie needs a walk and we've never been to the White Horse', we could have some lunch there?' I like it when a plan comes together, although after 33 years of marriage I think she knew I planned this! Well, what a great pub the White Horse is, why haven't we used it before? Superb garden, very friendly landlady but the Landlord is a very bad man and cruelly exposed a weakness I have! I ordered a pint of Wherry or Southwold and a J2O for Mandy and got a bowl of water for Lottie, I went back to the bar and ordered a couple of baguettes. About 15 mins later the landlord bought our food to the table, looking at my glass he said 'you need another pint' it wasn't a question, what a mind reader, and he insisted on bringing it to the table! Later he came back to collect our plates 'Was everything ok with your food?' 'Would you like more drink?' I could have said no, but found myself saying 'yes please' Bad bad man! It was now about 1.10pm, and I was now sitting in the passenger seat, Mandy drove the last mile! Well I did do the previous 149! A couple of mins later we were parked on the lawn at Pacific Cruisers. Now, I cant heap enough praise on Richard Fiona and their team, I know they are a business (a business that I hope does very well) but they make you fell you are friends and are just borrowing a boat! Everything is handled so informally and friendly, nothing is too much trouble. This is our third consecutive hire with them and third on Dawn. I really cant imagine using anyone else! Mandy and Fiona 'fitted' Lottie with her life jacket, I was just the labourer and emptied the car Soon everything was loaded, Mandy managed to drop my fleece in the drink, (and I was the one that had alcohol) mind you it would soon be dry, not that I would! As envisaged, my experience with the Wrynose pass made the Chet a doddle, taking it slowly after about an hour we were soon cruising down The Yare My favourite pub on the broads is the Surlingham Ferry, I love the beer, the food the garden and Sonia and all her staff are really lovely, I'd booked a mooring so we didn't need to hurry to get there As I already said I hadn't used the White Horse at Chedgrave before, two other pubs we hadn't used was the Beauchamp and Coldham Hall. I wanted to correct this, as we approached The Beauchamp, it looked quiet, there were plenty of moorings, but no one was sitting outside, which I thought odd as it was a lovely sunny day, I quickly 'googled it' - it didn't open until 5pm, and as it was only about 2.30pm, ruled it out I know the owner feels that not getting planning permission on his caravan park is going to 'kill' his pub, but not opening until 5 on a Friday is hardly going to help, is it? So Coldham Hall it was then, and I was really pleased the Beauchamp was closed, Approaching Coldham Hall there was a mooring at the front, but .......... I know this shouldn't make any difference but there was a private boat moored just behind us as we came in, that first mooring of the year suddenly came with extra pressure. No need to worry, straight in no problems..... I'm back! A couple of 'mature gents' got up and took our ropes, which I thanked them, but we had it all under control. We had a chat with them once we got our drinks, they confessed to having been in the pub a fair time, and good luck to them! A couple of pints of Ghost Ship for me, Pimms and a tea for Mandy, Lottie had to stick to water, well someone has to be sober to stern moor at The Ferry House We decided to 'cut the corner' at Brundall and entered Bargate Broad, it was so peaceful we decided to mud weight for 30mins. I like the idea of mud weighting overnight but it's not possible with Lottie We arrived at The Ferry House about 5.30pm and saw the board reserving our mooring for the night. Second mooring of the hols and although Lottie was prepared to moor for me, I decided she should keep to her job of watching the ducks! Another good mooring, and again plenty of help with the ropes, although I'm not sure with the advice passed back to me from Mandy from someone on the bank to shut the engine off despite still being 6ft from the bank! We had a nice chat with a private boater to our side about dogs, Lottie is a rescue, and although we've had her for a while, she was mistreated and get easily spooked and can be unfriendly to strangers, once she know you she loves you to bits! I take her to work with me, she now loves everyone in my office, especially the girls in accounts who bring chicken in to feed her! Sorry cant remember your name or the boat you were on, I only remember we were both the same age a very young 62! We decided to have a couple of drinks, Mandy soft, me Humpty Dumpty (I think) Lottie just water We returned to the boat to freshen up, then back to the pub for dinner I cant remember what we had, but I'm sure it was good, Mandy had two glasses of wine, me a couple of beers and Lottie was still suck on the water Now this is where I had a little mishap, now I accept I had consumed a few beers, but it was over a long period and I had two meals, I was feeling good, and I'm used to drinking regularly I took Lottie for a fairly long walk, about 45 mins Although I've worked in and around London for 40 years I am a country boy at heart my dad was a farmer and I'm comfortable in the countryside and do a lot of walking with Lottie and dogs before her I've noticed recently more and more gates on footpaths are now 'self closing' obviously a necessity in these days because some people cant be bothered to close a gate behind them Well a set of circumstances that night lead to what could have been worse, as I approached the last gate before the pub I put Lottie on her extending lead, I opened the gate which has a concrete step on the pub side. Lottie got spooked by another dog barking, pulled on her lead, this made me loose my footing as I stumbled forward the gate closed and trapped my ankle between the bottom of the gate and the concrete step This wasn't just an ouch moment, my ankle was stuck and I couldn't reach the clasp on the gate, and guess what? I hadn't taken my phone with me, I always have my phone, I'm always berating Mandy for not taking a phone! So there I was stuck and doing my best not to embarrass myself my having to call 'help' so I sat there for a couple of mins, when for some reason I let go of Lottie's lead, the lead recoiled that spooked her and she ran off! I still dont know how I freed myself, you hear stories where under pressure people use natural adrenalin to preform great strengths, that may have been my moment, as the dog ran off I managed to reach up and open the gate, something I obviously tried to do several times with no success Lottie had come straight back to me at this point so we both got back to the boat unharmed, a few cuts and bruises for me! Mandy told me I was a silly old fool and that it was all my fault, and I couldn't argue Sorry for the ramble, later days were less eventful! To be continued
  10. 14 points
    Another great evening was had on our Dining Out Night. The staff at The Bridge Inn looked after us very well (We had the back room) they were superb as was the food as per the norm. The pre-ordered Lap Dancers however let us down and did not turn up. No surprise there then as they have failed to turn up each year to be honest. Note to self - Write to my MP about this matter. The inter boat quiz was won by 'B.A' with J-of-L II coming a close second. The 'Vicars' theme. I did have a vicars outfit that I had took with me but the lads had secretly secured a Popes outfit that I was presented with once alongside and ordered to wear on the night Today Saturday 13th 'B.A' sailed at 0630 for Stalham via Robert at Sutton Staithe for pump out and diesel. Jewels 1, 2, and 3 sailed at 0740 for Potter Heigham. By 1000 all crews were away on their way home apart from me n Bro who had to do the usual clean through on 'B.A' We eventually got home for around 1615. It was agreed by all that this has been yet another memorable successful Lads Week, No one fell in although two crew members did get wet from foot to crotch through trying to walk on water when getting onboard, they failed of course as neither of them are Yorkies. No accidents. One certain southern crew member lost his false front tooth on the first Friday night. apparently having left it in the Norada Pub. He found it yesterday evening down the side of his mattress by his pillow - Laugh did we? Gnasher who we wore false top rack of teeth for appreciated our support and has sent that photo off to his family etc who all agreed we were a great bunch of mates supporting him and that it was hilarious. Herbert Woods staff looked after us very well, especially on the Friday afternoon / early evening as we started to arrive and then again during Saturday forenoon prior to sailing, nothing was too much trouble for them, not that we gave them any trouble you understand. The three Jewels are provisionally booked for next year Diesel consumption for the week was:- 1 = 95 x Ltrs, 2 = 102 x Ltrs, 3 = 97 x Ltrs and 'B.A' = 93 x Ltrs, 'B.A' having to sail from Stalham to PH to meet up with the Jewels on the first Friday evening then back to Stalham from Acle so she covered more river miles. So when is 'B.A' crewed up once more and underway on the H20? - No idea at present although I will be onboard for a maintenance weekend next month but staying in the wet shed Griff
  11. 13 points
    As we are getting closer to the beginning of Gracie's next voyage, I suppose I had better finish off this one. “as one by one the scents and sounds and names of long-forgotten places come gradually back and beckon to us.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows Feeding the ducks. I am not a supporter of the 'do not feed the ducks bread brigade'. Let's say I've been sceptical ever since this Facebook driven marketing campaign by pet food manufacturers reared its head. It takes a matter of seconds to track the money changing hands, and a little perseverance to wade through the pseudo-science. Calls related to malnourished water fowl have increased ten fold these last few years here in Lincolnshire. On my beloved Broads, the wildlife populations have changed drastically. The Broads are stuffed with harriers, heron, otter, buzzards, hawks, cormorant, and owl. I often wonder what all these predators are eating and was wondering exactly this point watching eight barn owls hunting the meadow behind the pilot office at Potter Heigham Bridge, when a common buzzard grabbed one of the owls. The answer being, each other! Populations of grey lag geese currently seem to stand out on The Broads. The uniformity of the flock making the lack of duck and coot more prominent. Duck and coot seem to have vanished. My favourite bird the Great Crested Grebe are still here but not in any number. A centre cockpit boat above the reeds exposes the myth the missing birds are in flood dykes. So, you will see me feeding the 'ducks' or in the case of Gracie that morning, feeding the black headed gulls who stood in for the missing ducks on this occasion and they will be dining on bread and scraps. I could feel the 'Norfolk Coffee' I had with Maurice Mynah that morning 'doing me good' as I dropped RT's cockpit roof and made ready to leave Potter Heigham. I waved farewell to Maurice Mynah as he left his mooring, and started the engine. "Wait, wait, I'm not ready!" called a little voice from the galley as Gracie finished her toast and rushed up to the cockpit in a swirl of summer dress and long blonde hair. Leaving the mooring and turning in front of the bridge we headed back down stream with the smell of cooking bacon and eggs wafting deliciously from the galley. Within seconds Grandma arrived bearing a plate of bacon and egg sandwiches and a pot of fresh coffee. Gracie and Grandma then climbed onto RT's roof from the cockpit to take in the sights of Tin Town. Thurne will always have a special place in my heart. It's been the site of so many family holidays from the early 70s onward. In 1972 we were cruising upriver to Potter on board Captain XII. Uncle Albert was at the helm and usually he gave fisherman plenty of room. Cruising up to Thurne Dyke he was paying very close attention to two fishermen hidden in the reeds between the old landing craft turned houseboat and the dyke. The boat in front had cut close to the fishermen hitting the fishing rod of one of them and received 'a good cussin' . Turning Captain XII at the dyke he headed back down stream before turning again and heading upstream. This time he hugged the bank tightly which would mean the irate fisherman would be even more irate having a boat park in front of his peg. "What kind of daft pill...oh aye up ah kid!" the fisherman had started to shout angrily before a gleeful smile crossed his face and he swarmed into the cockpit mud dripping from his waders as he hugged my mum. The two fishermen were father and son in law, renowned for their pranks and practical jokes. The son in law was married to my Mum's school friend and Mum had spent the majority of her childhood as a part of their family, although we had not seen them for almost seven years as we had been abroad wherever Dad was stationed. For the next ten years or so we would join the families camping in the field behind the farm and fishing the Thurne. I relived my childhood memories sharing them with Gracie as Thurne slipped by in a golden haze of sunshine. Out through Thurne mouth and we passed St. Benets. "When I come back we are going there for a picnic!" Gracie announced. Grandma was making a list of places Gracie wanted to visit 'the next time' as I basked in Gracie's enthusiasm. My preoccupation with Royal Tudor, all the hard work of my friends was at last seeing dividends. Under Ludham Bridge and the air horn gave the most pathetic of raspberries as Gracie pressed the button. I've heard the beagles break wind louder than that! Air horn for RT has been added to my Christmas wish list! As we twisted and turned along the River Ant, Grandma went to make sandwiches for lunch and Gracie joined me at the helm. By Irstead we came across the wherry Hathor under sail. In no rush, we pottered along behind her and I kept an eye on river traffic behind us when a shout made me jump. "Oi pillock give us a clue?" I looked down at Gracie stood on her step ladder at the helm, blonde hair flying, straw summer hat and sunglasses. "That's what you are supposed to say isn't it Timbo?" asked Gracie. "Erm...yeah...but not when Grandma can hear you!" I replied glancing nervously into the galley to see if Grandma had heard. The young chappy at the helm of the wherry had not been looking behind him. He was looking now, and looking a bit shocked, but he waved us through with a grin. Across Barton and about to make the turn for Stalham and I heard a thing I thought I would never hear. "Is there somewhere else we can go? It's such a shame to go back now!" said grandma Ellie. "Huh? What, what what what what?" "Shut up and drive!" "Yes Maam!" So we pootled on to Wayford before finally making our way back to Stalham. RT back in her berth, Grandma started her cleaning and I began packing luggage in the rear well ready to load in the car. Cleaning done we had a trip to Sea Palling to attend to before the drive home. At the beach, Gracie and Grandma made sand castles while I took the beagles for a good long walk along the beach. Fish and chips for tea and it was time to say goodbye to Royal Tudor and head for home. "We are coming back?" Gracie asked as I closed the stern canopy. "Yes we are coming back!" said Grandma. "See you very soon!" said Gracie patting RT. Soon we will be back on board RT with Gracie. Since her voyage on RT Gracie has named her new pet fish Royal Tudor. A new picnic basket has been purchased for that picnic at St Benet's. Gracie has compiled a long list of things she wants to see on the Broads...and Grandma has been down to Royal Tudor and started the interior restoration in earnest with a thorough, thorough scrub. RT gleams! Doug has sealed leaks and made new window hoppers, and our friend Trev has fitted new galley taps and sorted a plumbing leak in the shower and under the Captain's Cabin. So...new adventures await Gracie, this time on the Southern Broads!
  12. 13 points
    I couple of weeks ago I posted on the 'My Day' forum a post about my first completed project from the 'Stained Glass' evening classes that I've signed up for this autumn. Really clumsy soldering - my first attempt! Jean (SwanR) suggested that I start off a new thread recording my further adventures with this class - so here goes! We had 'half term' off last week... (What's that about? It's not like we are in school and it was a week or a fortnight behind most schools' half terms anyway, depending on which authority you are under!) so I was quite keen to get back as I hadn't caught up with the rest of the class in the last session, having had a week off on the Broads mid-October. I turned up over half an hour early this week, as the Tutor had mentioned that he arrives early to set up, and he was quite happy for me to start to cut out the glass for the next project, which is a butterfly sun-catcher. I had cut out the paper templates for this at the last session. Using these templates, the next stage is to mark out the shapes on the glass using a 'Sharpie' pen, and then cut the glass using a hand-held glass cutting tool. For the first project we were given pre-selected glass, but this time we had been able to select our own glass from a batch that the tutor provided. I had selected a sort of green-blue glass at the end of the last session. Cutting out the glass was fine - I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, though I don't think my templates were very accurate! Inevitably, it didn't quite fit, and part of the process of preparing the glass is using a grinder to ensure that the glass is shaped properly so that it will fit together. After a bit of grinding here and there I was able to move on to the next stage, which is to put copper foil around the edges of each piece of glass. The copper is on a roll of about 1/2 cm (or less!) wide strips, and once you peel off the backing paper is supposed to stick to the edges of your glass. I got on okay at first, but then found that the copper just wasn't sticking to some of the smaller pieces. Tutor suggested I go and give my glass a good wash with hot water and detergent, and that worked - the copper stuck to the edges, which was a huge step forward. It was still really tricky to fix the copper with an even overlap both sizes of the glass though. Very, very fiddly! Still...I'm ready to go with the soldering next week! Not sure all my edges are where they should be though! Doh!
  13. 13 points
    We're visiting the Broads, for the first time ever, in mid-June. We're both approaching 60 years of age but I've always wanted to have a boating holiday on the Broads and have finally got round to visiting. We're hiring from Richardsons in Stalham, and I've read this thread with interest, and have watched several YouTube videos including nearly all of the excellent and informative Captain's Blog ones. I fully intended to cross Breydon Water and will still do so. I'll be following the helpful tips on this thread and am really looking forward to it, but will also treat the waters with the respect they deserve. Steady as she goes seems to be the overriding message.
  14. 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
  15. 12 points
    Well I'm full of praise for the person that pulled the chap from a burning boat not knowing whether there may have been a second explosion. Colin
  16. 12 points
    If I can comment on some of this. Firstly, a modern diesel engine compared to an old-tech BMC 1.5 is barely any more economical if at all. We have just had a customer back after 6 days on the Southern Broads and they have been pretty-much everywhere. They used about 26 litres of fuel and must have covered about 120 miles. This is on a BMC 1.5 which is known to be a very reliable engine and is used in thousands of Broads boats still. We have modern engines and these too are capable of very low fuel consumption in a similar way to the BMC; the rule is simple, beat the engine and it will beat your wallet. At Freedom, we have invested heavily into improvements across the fleet. All boats have: USB charging points TV & DVD systems Heating Electric Fridges (many full-size under counter units) Uprated charging systems 240v Mains system (except Tranquil which has a plug-in inverter) Current upgrades programmes include: LED lighting across the fleet (most boats have already had this for years) Shore power (including battery charging) Hot water immersion systems on some In the main, these upgrades do not mean that our boats cost more; we are keeping up with advances in technology and customer need and we do this to keep our vessels attractive and competitive. I am unaware that any other fleet has installed USB charging points across all its boats but stand to be corrected. I really take issue with the phrase "better modern cookers". Sadly, many common modern cookers on boats are far from "better" than a solidly build older one. Increasingly, these are made of nasty thin stainless steel (inside the cooking cavities and out), are poorly put together and often badly designed. The hob burners are truly nasty and we have a few "modern" units that I would truly love to rip out and replace because of the lack of resilience these remarkably expensive things offer. They look nice, but often, looks are only skin deep. One of the absolute key points of a Freedom Boating Holiday is the freedom to start and end your holiday on any day. This is unique on the Broads and allows our business to work around the very busy lifestyles that people lead these days.
  17. 12 points
    She is now finished (exterior wise) as painting goes and will be launched tomorrow at 08:15 all being well with a lock through to Oulton Broad for 14:15. Here are some of the photos:
  18. 11 points
  19. 11 points
  20. 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.
  21. 11 points
    Spent a short break last week on Silver Cloud after no one wanted the full week. Weather was very mixed and spent the time basically cruising down to Stokesby and up to Sutton with small diversions to Ranworth and Thurne. Rivers quiet but Herbert Woods had a fair few boats out. Fred
  22. 11 points
    Thursday 9th October It was just breaking light as I arose and knowing that I only had 45 minutes before I needed to be on my way, I opted for a toasted currant teacake for breakfast. Of course, because I was in a hurry, I could not get the grill to stay alight. In the end I resorted to holding each half of the teacake in tongs over one of the gas burners. Not ideal but it worked. So just time for a cup of tea and then I was off. Goosander was facing the wrong way but into the ebbing tide so a quick burst on the bow thrusters easily got me out into the stream so I could turn around. Optimum arrival time at Yarmouth was around 9 to 10am so I tried to pace the speed accordingly, thinking as I had done on the last holiday that if I arrive too soon the rangers at the Yacht Station may charge me twice – once to 10am and then for the following 24 hours. But then again, if I arrived too late to traverse the bridges, I would kick myself for having to turn around and go back all the way to Berney Arms. So I decided to slow my approach as the tide was adding speed to the trip. However, by the time I got to the start of Breydon, the tide was flowing in again wish it would make it’s mind up) and the height gauge was showing just 8 feet of headroom. So I decided now to put my foot down to get to the bridges before “access was denied”. Just before passing under Breydon Bridge, I called the Yacht Station and asked what the headroom was. The chap told me it was 7.1 feet – that’s how he put it but I guessed he meant 7 foot 3 inches. He told me not to dawdle and assured me I would get through OK. Within 5 minutes, I had hit the incoming flow of the Bure and doing my best to approach the bridges as slow as I could – just in case. One of the YS rangers came to meet me on his bike, checking the headroom and assuring me it was OK. So I passed under the first bridge noting around 3 inches clearance, then the next and with a huuuggge sigh of relief turned the boat around to moor into the stream, right alongside the electricity post, where the ranger was waiting for me. I had arrived smack on 9.30am and was NOT charged for two stay periods. The ranger told me when I called he could see there was a little over 7 feet clearance and as he knows the required headroom for this type of boat, and as he considered the bridge gauges to be a few inches out, our safe passage through was assured. They know their stuff and out of all the places you need to pay a mooring fee, this is the one I consider to be value for money! They tied my ropes for the night and over a settling cup of tea, I wondered what I would do with the day, being tied up so early in Yarmouth. I decided to have a walk along part of the perimeter of Breydon so I made my way past the train station, past the ASDA car park and stopped on a convenient bench to observe an egret in the shallows of the water. Everytime I got a little closer, it flew a few feet away but eventually plodded its way back to it’s “fishing pond”. I watched it for about 20 minutes, creeping further around the pathway to get closer but had to give that up when a group of people talking loudly rounded the corner before proceeding into ASDA. The egret also gave up and flew off. I have some nice images of it nevertheless. I needed a few items from ASDA too so on my way back I called in and arrived back at the boat around 2pm. It was a lovely day so I thought I would just stay on the boat watching the world go by. The next boat to Goosander, sharing the electric post, was a Commander from Richardsons. They are lovely boats and I told the skipper as much as I went by. We got talking and he showed me onboard. His crew consisted of his wife and himself and I asked how he coped mooring such a large boat. With the bow and stern thrusters, he could easily manage it. He had hired it a couple of occasions before and was a regular Richardsons customer. He always chooses one of the elite (or whatever Richardsons call them) cruisers paying anything up to £4,000 for two weeks in late June, together with a week in spring and a week in autumn. He is a regular at the YS and calls the rangers in advance, who then save the electricity post mooring for him, which he occupies for up to a week because he likes it there. It does no harm that his wife prepares bacon sandwiches each morning for the rangers. I told him it would be cheaper to stay in the Premier Inn across the river but he laughed that off. The YS was where he wanted to be. Come 7pm, I was on my way to the Kings Arms once more for my evening meal. It was very quiet in there. I ordered a lamb steak, which was a special for the night. Again, the food was really good. After that I returned to the boat to watch the final download of Killing Eve on my laptop. The weather forecast for the next day was a little concerning because the warm weather system we were experiencing was due to break down with strong winds and rain. Gusts of up to 45 mph were forecast from 11am. My plan for Friday originally was to stop of at Potter Heigham for lunch before returning Goosander to her home mooring in Horning for the evening. But the thought of trying to moor single handed in the cross winds of Potter did not appeal to me so I made my mind up to travel up to Horning in one trip come the morning. Sorry - no more drone shots now! Looking towards the Yacht Station from the road bridge at Yarmouth The Yacht Station (not a yacht in sight!) The Egret I asked him to stand up for this one Looking over Breydon bridge from the pathway alongside Breydon
  23. 11 points
    Tuesday 7th October Another early start as the tides are rising. I had envisaged a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea before setting off but a conversation with one of the rangers saved a few extra millilitres of Cholesterol from slushing around my veins. The height board was showing 7ft 9inches so I asked him how long I would have before it rose enough to block my passage and was told to go now! So I quickly packed up, detached the shore power cable and all but two of the ropes. The ranger let the tide swing the boat around to face the bridge and then I was away. Breydon was quiet with no passing boats and at an average speed of around 8mph I soon arrived at Burgh Castle where I decided I would stop for breakfast. By this time the flow was slowing right down so as the 24 hour free moorings were closed, I came alongside at the Fishermans moorings. It seemed wild , almost on the edge of civilisation. The arrival of a famous dark blue police telephone box would not have looked out of place. It was chilly so I went back onboard to make myself another cereal breakfast as the taste for bacon had passed. After about 30 minutes I was back on my way for a stop at St Olaves. People often talk about the barren country between Stracey Arms and Yarmouth but the stretch between Burgh Castle and St Olaves can easily rival that. Not much to see then until the sight of the crane’s jib which pierces the sky just before happening upon St Olaves. That crane always intrigues me as it was obviously just left where it stands to rot. It looks to be in an area surrounded by reeds now so is lost to any sort of recovery. Later I will fly the drone over the area to get an impression of the boatyards that used to line the river at this point. There is just one small cabin cruiser at the free 24 hour moorings so I have lots of space to moor up towards the end facing the bridge. My plan is to stay here for lunch then move on to Oulton Broad for the night. As it’s so quiet, I decided to launch the drone before any other boats arrive. The flight is good but it’s a little breezy so although I headed for the crane area, I didn’t get as close to it as I would have liked. Still, the images are pretty revealing as you will see below. I have always liked these moorings and can remember many overnight stays where the sun sets in the direction I have just come from. With the fast flowing (at times) river beneath you, it really takes you back to how it must have felt before the arrival of the hire industry. After lunch I decided to use the drone again, this time from outside the Bell Inn to view the other side of the bridge. All went well until I realised on the way back to Goosander that I had not replaced the SD card in the drone after transferring the earlier images to my laptop. STUPID BOY! So back out to do the same flight with an SD card this time. I thought I am just asking for trouble here and something will go wrong, but it passed without event. It had been necessary to turn Goosander to moor against the tide when I arrived but by now, the tide had turned and with the aid of the front rope, I allowed the stern to swing around so I was once more heading into the stream. Then I was off towards Oulton Broad. Enroute, at Somerleyton I saw what was obviously the Lads Week flotilla moored up so having never met any of them before, I decided to moor up and present myself! I recognised Charlie so approached him first. He made me very welcome, introduced me to the crews – too many names to remember but I recognised the Wizzard from an earlier photograph, Robin who was busy playing Battleships and I spoke with Grendel whilst viewing the micro version of Broad Ambition, before inspecting it’s bigger brother. Thanks Charlie for your hospitality. All four of their boats then departed in one direction, which was my cue to depart in the other. Occupants of the only other boat on the moorings shouted to me as I left “was it something we said?” I finally entered Oulton Broad around 3pm and was in a quandary as to whether to moor outside the Wherry with it’s better view or at the Yacht Station with it’s security. As there were no other boats outside the Wherry, I opted for the Yacht Station. I try to avoid moorings where you are packed in like sardines so as I rounded the outer pier I was pleased to see I could moor stern on close to but not on the floating jetty. That meant nobody would try to moor that side and the other side was a decent six feet from the next boat, plus I could still see out through the entrance to the Broad. All settled, I walked to the Wherry for my evening meal. It was of course the carvery for me. I even went for the two course option to include a dessert. I was properly stuffed by the time I returned. I noticed that the sun was setting over the Oulton Dyke end of the Broad and that this would be a good time to fly the drone as if I left it until the morning, the sun would be shining right at me. So I took up a position in Nicholas Everitt Park, close to the Broad and got the pictures you see below. After that I returned and stayed on the boat for the rest of the evening. Time to catch up with Killing Eve and some other programmes I had previously downloaded to my laptop. NOTE: The Oulton Broad drone images will be in tomorrow’s installment as there are enough photos already for today. St Olaves looking away from the bridge The bridge Still St Olaves but from the other side of the bridge The derelict boatyard area I was talking about. The crane can just be seen in the distance. If you enlarge the image by clicking on it then clicking the plus sign on the curser, you can see many abandoned hulls and boat tops. Oulton Broad His and hers? Seen better days
  24. 11 points
  25. 11 points
    Wow Vanessan, You've been quoted a lot with that one. :) There are many ways of picking up the news, with (in my opinion) newspapers being one of the least reliable. Picking on another thread where a TV news item would say "The European otter is being re-introduced to the Norfolk broads", perhaps you will permit me to couch the headlines as I believe the newspapers would report it. The Times... "The European otter is being re-introduced to the Norfolk broads" The Financial times.. ."The European otter is being re-introduced to the Norfolk broads at a cost of £1,372,100.50". Daily Mail... "Tens of millions being spent reintroducing the otter to the Norfolk broads." The Daily Express... "Vicious otter to be released in family holiday hotspot." The Telegraph... "It appears that the otter has been absent from the Norfolk broads and is being re-introduced" The Guardian.. "The ueropean toter is being re-introduegd to the Norfolk Boards." The EDP... "The European Coypu is being re-introduced to the Norfolk Broads. The Mirror... "Millionaires playground pays for rare mammals to be introduced." The Sun... "Wow! What a cutie. This water's just getting otter." So Vanessa, now do you see why I don't often buy a newspaper?
  26. 10 points
    So onto day three ... Tuesday! It wasn't long before the inevitable conversation around where to go. In many ways this is exactly the same as our holidays on the boats ... a few ideas of what we might want to do but planning happens on the day subject to the weather and what we feel like doing. We do like places with somewhere to get coffee mid-morning so the news that the Post Office now also has a tea room had put Reedham onto our list. We probably hadn't been there since our last holiday on the southern Broads which I think was 2015. An interesting journey took us along the A47, turning off before Acle and heading cross-country through Halvergate and Freethorpe. Plenty of free parking along the quayside. We had a lovely walk from one end to the other watching the boats and the bridge swinging, before we stopped for coffee. The ladies in the tea room were very chatty and friendly, service was good, coffee and cake was very good and I would highly recommend supporting this business. I am sure that we will go back. After sitting outside in the sunshine we moved across to one of the seats on the quay near Sandersons. Watched the swing bridge which was interesting. We thought it wasn't going to close at one point, and as it turned out this was the day before they had problems and closed the bridge to river traffic. An indication of what was to come ... maybe. Hubby did the decent thing and helped a large Norfolk Broads Direct boat to moor. The father was at the outside helm on top and one of his children and his wife were waiting at the stern with ropes. But with tricky conditions we could see that he couldn't get close enough to the quay for them to get off so hubby went over and helped them out. It was busy there that morning and we thoroughly enjoyed watching the comings and goings. I could have stayed there longer but it was getting on for lunchtime so we headed back to the caravan for the rest of the day. You can probably spot the pattern here ... go out in the morning, get any shopping we need on the way back then stay around the site for the afternoon and evening. More of that on tomorrow's write-up. For now ... here's Reedham.
  27. 10 points
    Wednesday 10th July Check-out time at the Yacht Station, is 10am so the fact that the tide would be still ebbing out for another couple of hours and was therefore going to really eat into my diesel usage crossing Breydon, was something I had no control over. So after another healthy granola breakfast, I removed two of the securing ropes, at which point one of the rangers joined me to assist my departure. Whilst waiting for a clear run, he told me he would prefer everyone to ask for help if needed and related how a few days earlier, a large cruiser departed into the ebb, hit the boat in front, frantically applied reverse not realising that one of the ropes was just waiting to wrap around the propeller… which it did. No doubt the rangers just strolled to the end of the moorings, waited for the boat to pass, then requested that they be thrown a rope. Anyway, I got on board and when the time was right (I was already facing the bridges) the ranger released the aft rope, which swung Goosander’s rear into the river. The signal was then given to reverse out and off I went, quite fast at that point. Pretty soon I was upon the yellow marker post and could feel the strength of the current hitting me broadside from Breydon. So a fast traverse down the last of the Bure became a passage through what seemed like treacle, up the Yare. Having seen how the Richardsons boat had overheated the previous evening, I was a little apprehensive to push the throttle too much, watching the temperature gauge as I slowly passed each marker post. Finally I reached the other end of Breydon and made my way past Berney Arms Mill. I had not varied the throttle at all, which was giving me around 4.5mph, so it was illuminating to see it slowly pick up as I got further away from Yarmouth. My destination for lunchtime was Loddon, another location where I hoped to launch the drone. Reedham Quay came and went on my starboard side, where I noted that there were still a number of spaces available to moor. I would need one later, as I planned to come back out from Loddon and overnight there. I entered the Chet, which is very narrow and winding at the start, doing the prescribed 4mph, which was certainly fast enough in those confines. Around one of the bends came a bathtub of some sort, careering towards me at speed. I worked out that if he was going to hit anything, it would be the outside of the bend so I just stayed as close to the nearside as I could until he passed by. I am not exaggerating, it really was as hairy as it sounds. I continued on down hoping to be able to moor in the basin, as I had spied a good launch site on Google Maps. Upon approaching the Pyes Mill moorings, I was shocked to see every space taken and thought that was not a good omen for my chosen location. I looked behind to see if anyone was following and was surprised to see I was the first of three boats which were hoping to find a place at the basin. Well it was too narrow to pass me so I resolved to just take my time and hopefully being first, would have more of a chance of a mooring. In fact there were exactly three spaces left. I masochistically chose a space just wide enough for one boat and to my amazement, (and with a little help from the bow thrusters), managed to reverse Goosander in with a minimum of fuss. I decided to check out the drone launch site straight away. I did not want to fly it from the car park as too many people were around. Google Maps showed a footpath leading down past the rear of the adjacent marina, and through into an open scrubby field, which led down to the river. It was ideal! I went back to the boat to collect the drone and I think I got some good shots of the area. Returning to the Goosander, a shower started so I had just carried out the “operation” in time as it is not recommended to fly in the rain, which can damage the motors. Pleased with myself, I had lunch onboard, before taking a walk up into the village. Ever concerned about the availability of moorings, I opted to set off for Reedham at 2.30pm. An hour’s cruise would get me there before most people gave up for the night. As the quay came into view, I could see a choice of mooring spots and chose a spot closer to the Ship Inn end. The tide was flowing in so the task of coming alongside was that much easier. I was soon tied up and just sat there, with the top back watching the comings and goings for a while. It had become noticeably warm and humid so most people were sitting atop their boats. I walked up the ever descriptive “Middle Hill” so I could purchase a newspaper to read that evening, then returned to Goosander planning to visit the Ship Inn for an evening meal later. Come 7pm, I was on my way to the Ship. It was so warm, I decided to order the meal and to consume it sat in the gardens overlooking the river (as did lots of other people). This time I had the Hunters Chicken. I have only ever ordered this a few times, but this meal was the best I have tasted and I would thoroughly recommend it. Today’s cheesecake was a sort of cookie dough texture with ice cream and that too was delicious. It became a little cooler around 9pm, which is when I decided to head for home. The "narrow" approach to Loddon, where the bathtub came bouncing off the sides. Loddon Mill Loddon basin A Triffid at Reedham. I had to be careful it didn't bite my ankle. Reedham Swing Bridge All the rest are Loddon from the air.
  28. 10 points
    Once upon a time as a child and for years after I used to love receiving the Hoseasons brochure each year. Then that darn Internet went and ruined everything and booking online became the thing. In recent years, the Hoseasons brochure became a shadow of its former self, now with tiny photos, lack of prices, wrongly labelled photos and only a partial view of the Richardson fleet. Nevertheless I fancied giving it a try once again only to find the option to order one on the website no longer seems to exist. On a more positive note, the larger boatyards are all producing good old fashioned colour brochures with large boat photos and transparent pricing. There's still something very nice about having the paper version, especially in winter when you want to be transported to sunnier times.
  29. 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.
  30. 10 points
    Friday 10th October Blue skies welcomed me as I tweaked the bedroom curtain open. There was no wind and you would think the warnings were misplaced. I turned on the radio and the forecast was still the same. So I made a breakfast sandwich using up some of the remaining bacon and generally readied the boat for departure. I wished the couple in the next boat a pleasant holiday and arranged for one of the rangers to assist me by holding onto the bow rope to allow the tide to turn Goosander to face away from the bridges, before reversing out into the stream and on my way up river. I was on my way by 10am and thought as long as I keep mid-stream, any gusts of wind are not going to do me any harm. It’s a long old slog all the way to Horning in one go and there were hardly any boats on the river, probably heeding the weather alert. By now, the gusts of wind were punching the boat which made me think I was not going to enjoy coming into the mooring at Horning. By 2pm, I was turning into the dyke where Goosander lives taking a very slow cruise down knowing I would need to swing her around to get her into the mooring. Often, there is someone living on the boat behind Goosander’s mooring and I was pleased that on this occasion, they were not in residence. Anyway, I managed to come alongside without mishap and scrambled ashore as quickly as possible, grabbing the ropes to stop the wind from carrying the boat across the dyke. I made the ropes secure and noticed the amount of goose excrement on the walkway. Clearly, in Goosanders absence, every goose in Horning had decided to stake a claim. Two of the blighters we sitting comfortably watching me struggle. If it stayed there I would be walking it in the boat and it was slippy under foot so I used the nearby hose to wash the surface clean. Well most of it just splashed onto Goosander’s hull at first so then I had to wash the hull and the decks so by the time I had finished, I was soaking wet. Well, if I was wet, there was no way the geese were getting away with it so I chased them off the staging with my trusty colt 45 hose pipe. There were around 10 of them all squawking at me from the dyke and it took quite a few sprays before they decided this was a battle they were not going to win, and headed down the dyke to the open river making more noise than Status Quo at full pelt in a telephone box. After completing the task it was still only around 3pm so I decided to drive to Potter Heigham as I could not reach it by boat. I thought Lathams might have some of those PVC bench covers I saw earlier in the season which would be ideal to protect some garden furniture I have at home over the winter. Well, Lathams have most things but alas no bench covers. I wandered into Bridgestones and had a decedant peice of cake and a latte to make up for the wasted journey. By nightfall, the wind was shaking the leaves from the trees, though it has to be said, it was a warm wind. I decided to eat at the Ferry Inn this evening as it was much closer than the New Inn and I did not feel like a long walk in a battering wind. Upon entering, I could see there were no free tables, mostly because the room to the left of the carvery section had been dressed for someone’s wedding forcing everybody else into the remaining space. So I turned around and went back to the boat to make myself a meal from what I had left onboard. If I could remember what that was I would tell you but I am writing this some two weeks later and it’s gone right out of my mind. I had already started packing away certain items “ not wanted on voyage” and resigned to leave the rest until the morning. I had to be off Goosander by 11am. On your marks, get set..... Saw this at Ludham Bridge on the way to PH Lots of these about all week A couple of Goosander internal images
  31. 10 points
    Saturday 13th October Me, hubby Graham, our eldest son Harry and collie dog Seren on this trip. When we originally booked we thought it would be just me and Graham, but Harry has managed to book the week off work and is intending sleeping on the sofa-bed. We left MK just before 8am, and stopped off at our usual Costa’s coffee break at Caxton Gibbet – toasted teacake for me this time as I’ve decided that having a toastie messes up my appetite. Harry had a wrap of some sort and Graham a Danish and a muffin. (Now that’s just greedy!) Once on our way again we had a very good journey. Lovely weather today too, sunny and a very pleasant 21°C even before 10am. We got to Wroxham and Hoveton around 10:30. Graham took Seren for a walk and then joined us in Roy’s for the fresh food shop. After we’d stashed away the food in the car we went to check the bridge – 7½ ‘, which sounds like plenty for the boat we’ve hired this week – Bronze Emblem, which has 7’1” air-draft with canopy and screens down (well, that’s the ‘official’ figure). I emailed them a few weeks ago to ask what the air-draft is with canopy up – they kindly measured her for me – 7’9”. We toyed with the idea of going to the Station Smokehouse for lunch and started off in that direction. However, none of us were very hungry, so as we were passing Massingham’s butchers we changed our minds and popped in to buy a pie/pasty each and some water, which we ate sitting on one of the benches facing Hoveton St John moorings. They were very tasty…lovely pastry and good filling, but slightly salty for our taste (probably because we have been trying to cut down on salt). By this time, it was getting on for noon, so we thought it would be worth phoning up the yard to see if we might pick up the boat early. Not only was she ready, but the receptionist said that she’d been trying to contact me earlier to say that we could pick up the boat early. (Note to self…make sure the boatyard has your latest mobile number!) We had the usual very friendly welcome at the yard. The receptionist insisted we bring Seren in so she could make a fuss of her. Ian (the guy who had done the handover for our first trip with Ferry Marina in 2016) gave us a quick and very efficient handover, so it wasn’t long before we were on our way. I took the helm to leave the Marina, and handed over to Harry just after Cockshoot Dyke. Harry has sailed the Broads on several Hunter’s boats, but he’s never been on a motor cruiser before, so this was a new experience for him. Don’t know whether it was the fresh oncoming breeze, but the steering needed a lot of input initially to keep in a (relatively) straight line. We stopped at St Benet’s for Seren to have a run. I thought it would be more sheltered inside the old mill, but it was remarkably windy inside it. The wind was blowing directly into the doorway and then blowing around it. When we got on our way again the wind seemed to be strengthening. Once we passed Thurne Mouth the river became much quieter (boat wise). I was surprised that there weren't many boats moored at Acle and when we got to Stokesby there was a space on the BA 24hr moorings, and 34p left on one of the electric points. We were tickled to find we were moored in front of Fair Regent 3, which is the boat we hired last Autumn. Finished unpacking and then sat for a while watching telly/reading until almost 6pm before making our way into the Ferry Inn. Seren got a lovely welcome from the landlady (who also has a collie). Graham thought Christmas had come early – he was offered a low alcohol Ghostship (also a 0% Bitburger Drive, which he also likes). Harry had an IPA (can’t remember which) and I had a full-fat Ghostship. The meals were enjoyed too – standard pub food, but done well. I had a lovely Pork and Apple Burger, Graham had Scampi and Chips and Harry had their Fish and Chips. We watched the first hour or so of ‘The Fellowship of the Rings’ on ITV when we got back to the boat (how is it that every time Graham and I are on holiday one of the Lord of the Rings films seems to be on ITV2?) but my eyes started to droop and we were set for a dawn start tomorrow, so we settled for an early night shortly after 8pm.
  32. 10 points
    Wednesday the 8th and today we're going to have a slow meander up the Ant, see if we can nab an over-night mooring at Neatishead as we've never managed that before. Compared to some of the long days cruising we've done this week it's quite a gentle day ahead with a couple of lengthy stops en-route to get Boris off the boat. He's growing into it and coping better now but ashore is definitely his preference, he likes nothing more than sniffing around new places. We were promised a mighty storm last night, something to clear the air and cool the blood but it never came, just a few spots through the night and today is nice again, if cooling a bit. We were in no hurry today, we walked up into Ludham and I called in the butchers for some raw best mince for the Dog (I know I know, it was Bev's idea and he's on holiday too) and while I was in there I might as well get some of those pork pies and a couple of scotch eggs. I also popped into the general store and was hugely impressed with their deli-counter, shame I couldn't buy anything from it as we only had two more nights and we weren't short of supplies but I now know for next time. What I did need was ingredients for chicken & sweetcorn soup, like you get in a Chinese restaurant, I recently learned how to make this from a youtube video and it was to be our last meal on the boat tomorrow night. The staithe was fairly empty when we returned to the boat, everyone off to do their thing, go their own way towards whatever adventure today would bring. Chores finished we set off at about 9.30 ish, and we took a little detour around the Island. This was truly bitter-sweet for us, actually very emotional because this spot two years ago is where we finally accepted that our last dog, Alfie was so poorly that we would have to take him home. We'll never forget you boy. Next stop was St Benets, it was quite a challenging mooring because the current was strong but we managed it, the boat was soon secured and we were off for a good walk to burn a few calories off. The wind had picked up a bit which was welcome, fresh, it was nice here. A good while was spent wandering around, no livestock in view so Boris could wander off the lead although he's still insecure so he never goes far from us. Lots of pictures taken, lots of memories, lots of smiles. Boris always seems to attract a lot of attention, he's a big rough looking fella but soft as clarts, not an ounce of aggression in him. It always pleases us when he gets a fuss because we know a little about his background from the people at the Dogs Trust and believe me, hugs were in short supply. He's a very happy dog today though, absolutely bouncing. Next stop How Hill, before we left I prepared the boat for the bridge because it would be busy once we got there, yep it's busy as hell. I thought about stopping for a cuppa in the tea shop, but to be honest the madness of Ludham Bridge needed to be left behind so I kept going. I don't need to tell you what a nice river the Ant is to cruise on, but I will. It's delightful, twisty as I like it, not too busy once the bridge is but a memory and the weather today is a bit cooler so even Boris is enjoying the view. There is plenty of room at How Hill moorings, and we set off up the hill to the tea room. Let me tell you about the cake they do in the tea room....Bev had Victoria Sponge and I had lemon Drizzle Cake, big slices of soft moist loveliness washed down with good strong tea. Go there if you haven't been, you wont regret it. Sated we had a walk around the impressive grounds, the secret garden is beautiful and so well laid out but to be honest, we found it pretty easily so it wasn't all that secret. I know I know, I'm joking but it reminds me of the Top Secret War Bunker in Liverpool, a tourist attraction that's advertised all the way from the M62. A nosey through the windows of Hathor the Wherry, but it's shut so back to the boat for the last leg of the day. The houses through here are magnificent, but I wonder how much people like me looking in annoys them. Slowly through this part respecting their property and the river opens up into Barton Broad which has lots of sailboats, an organised event. We're turning left today, and care has to be taken to allow the wind dependent boats to do their thing, it's nice to see so many boats with young people, children who obviously have done this for ages as they are brilliant. They're also nice and polite as they without exception thanked me with a wave if I'd given way for them. Limekiln Dyke was passaged as slowly as I could manage, just enough speed to allow me to steer, it was magical. Would there be a space for us? Gay's Staithe had a couple of spaces as we passed but yes, the end mooring (last on left as you face the river from the road) was free so I turned and moored. Happy days, lets go for a pint at the White Horse and book a table for tonight. We booked for 6.30 as we like to eat early, and went for a walk with Boris, we actually walked miles across fields and down lanes and we were a bit short of time when we got back to the boat, only time for a quick wash and change before our reservation. The excellent reputation the White Horse enjoys is earned and deserved. A lovely meal with a couple of pints of Spitfire lager, everyone here tries their hardest to make sure you're enjoying it, thanks for a lovely meal. We don't stay late, we're back at the boat by 8.30 and I take up residence on the seat at the end of the moorings by the ladder. Bev is catching up on TV as this is the first time it's had a decent signal, and I have a bottle of Malbec, the company of a devoted dog and a view up the dyke that will stay with me for a long time. I watched a kingfisher, or more accurately a blue flash of colour streaking backwards and forwards across the dyke, when suddenly a sailboat approached, it's reflection in the still water quite breath-taking. Oh my goodness, this place is heaven. I managed to get a picture which I posted on facebook at the time, I hope no-one minds me including it again here, it's the Norfolk Broads to me, the epitomy of serenity. I sat for ages into darkness, the wine gone replaced with Balvenie 12 year old malt. I'd brought Boris's bed out and he was asleep on it next to me, I couldn't see a thing, perfect blackness. Time to reflect on a week almost gone, the highs without lows, the peace, the company of my wife who I still can't believe agreed to marry me, my dog who is changing from a nervy shell of a dog into a confident and loving companion, I'm so at ease, so relaxed, when......HISSSSSSSSS........ bloody swan, Me and Boris just nearly had a dicky fit. Time for bed, the weather's changing.
  33. 9 points
    Across the world extreme views are proliferating towards intolerence in a way not seen since the 1930s. Any and every effort to counteract the idea that it OK to to negatively discriminate against any group is to be welcomed with open arms. It matters not at all whether any strong attempt is made to police the policy what matters is that here is a large respected business that says bigotry is not OK and they want no part of it. Once you give people permission to hate a group you unleash hell on that group. Never underestimate the potential for hate among those who are easy to persuade! Well done Hoseasons!
  34. 9 points
    Well what a shame. We haven't moored at Langley for a few years, and when we got to the Abbey, we found out it was closed to the public about four years ago. We walked back to Lightning and got underway. Our plan was to go to Rockland for the 240 hook up, but wile en-route, I suggested we carry on up the Yare to our home mooring at Brooms, where we could jump in the car and get the last few supplies for the last few days. We got home so to speak, and shopping bought, along with some rope hangers for Lightnings stern ropes, which either live on the side decks, or in the aft well. We're back aboard, and Karen has a shower. We wanted the 240 for her hair dryer, and straighteners, plus our home mooring hook up is meter read so we didn't us a card. I fill up with water, fit the rope hangers, and we're back under way. We have lovely cruise down the Yare, where our plan is to Moor at Hardley Mill, somewhere we've never moored at. We pass the sugar factory and find the mill moorings (or should that be pump?) with three boats on them, one at either end, and the smallest boat there moored slap bang in the middle, allowing only small boats in between. Oh well, time for plan B, we carry on to Reedham. As we approach Reedham, we're following two other boats, the second of which took the only mooring space big enough. Thinking we may have to opt for plan C, which was Loddon for two nights, Karen see's someone pulling out, leaving a massive gap, sorted. Things didn't go too plan when mooring up, I didn't realise the tide was running so fast, and as I turned the bow into the mooring, the tide pushed our stern into the boat behind. It was only a slight tap.,but it is still someone's pride and joy. We tied Lightning up with springs, and I went back to apologise and take all blame, it was me on the hel, and I should have taken a few seconds extra to check the tidal flow. I've moored at Reedham in fast tides before, and have mostly shown a clean pair of heals. Oh well, I asked the other owners aboard to inspect their boat, but all was well, with only my pride taking a bashing. We get chatting to the other owners, who start complementing us on the good condition of Lightning, and saying how spacious she is. Just as they depart, our new found friends Martin and Jane come upriver just in time to see another boat leave, so they pull in and Moor. Again, we get chatting, over a cuppa. Karen and I have already decided to use up what food we have left, and agree to meet up with M and J for a drink in the Ship. We use up the last of the potato's so kindly given to us by the Admiral, along with some cold pork and salad, me?, healthy eating, whatever next?. We get to the Ship, meet our friends, only to hear they could only get fish n chips as that was all they had, and at 7.00pm. Not good for a pub with a supposed good reputation. We sit chatting til 10.30, and make our way back to our boats, where as typing this post, I'm listening to Owls calling in the distance. It's one of Mother nature's wonderful night time sounds, and a sound that will hopefully help me drift off in bed. But that's just another normal night time sound on the Broads. Good night all.
  35. 9 points
    nothing wrong with being proud of your boat, but it takes all sorts to make this world spin, we like seeing pictures of boats.
  36. 9 points
    Friday 8th February We were up at the usual time on Friday morning. Debbie took Harley for her walk and I had breakfast and went to get showered. What a godsend the immersion heater is, too. Our little fan heater had been set to low and on all night and had certainly kept the chill off. The pub moorings were not busy and we had moored side on, due to the weather and it certainly was windy and the sky grey and cheerless with heavy cloud cover. Debbie had breakfast when she returned and while she was waiting for me to finish showering, she had stated to pack. She went to get ready as I emerged from the aft cabin, feeling better for my shower. I started to move all of our bits and pieces from where we had stowed them into the saloon, so they were all together and when Debbie was showered and dressed, we finished packing our clothes, stripped the bed and moved all of our bags into the aft cabin to make it easy to get them out of the aft doors to pack the car. I topped up with water at the pub, as I knew from our experiences earlier in the week, that the hose at the kiosk at Brooms had been turned off. We had really been in no particular rush and by about 11:00, we cast off for the short trip back to the yard, filled up with fuel and had the required pump-out, which all together came to about £90. Bill paid, we moved to our berth, I packed the car and the wife vacuumed through MS. With everything done, we pulled out of the boatyard at about 12:15. We weren’t in any great rush to go home, so headed for Hoveton (for the pedants) and had fish and chips from Greys before heading for home. The return journey took about three hours, largely due to a combination of roadworks and Friday traffic and could have been worse has it not been for some local knowledge around Bedford, where I turned off the A421 and headed through some local roads home. No scenic photos on the last day – the weather was too uninspiring, just one of MS at her home mooring. That’s all for this trip – thanks for reading and your comments. Just looking forward now to April and another week on Moonlight Shadow.
  37. 9 points
    You know what this item is? Of course you do, it is the original helm taken off MTB102 last month. Looks in a sorry state doesn't it? So would you be if you had been out in all weather since the thirties. Skipper Richard Bassey reckons it is the first time it has been removed, certainly since MTB102 has been under his watchful eye. He had a right old carry on removing it, had to make a custom made puller to get it off. So the helm is now with me. I took it round to one of our 'Lads Week' crew in t neighbouring village (In fact he is one of our Skippers) who's hobby is restoring motorbikes. The reason that the helm is now in my care is that I have a huge soft spot for MTB102 and like to help out whenever I can. Last time out at sea onboard (Last year) I remarked to Richard the sorry state of the helm and why had it not been removed / powder coated? I got 'That Look' then - 'No one has volunteered to do it' Here was a chance for me - I volunteered for the job. So, our motorbike restorer will paint strip and rub down the hand pegs only to a smooth finish as they are heavily pitted. Then later this month it will go off with some motorbike parts to deepest Pontefract where it will be blasted then powder coated in black. Back to me where I will exchange some beer chits for the job. Back down to Norfolk, Richard to collect and then back onboard MTB102 where hopefully it will last another 80 odd years. Completed photo to follow in due course Griff
  38. 9 points
    Shortest most boring write up ever. Sailed Saturday about 1600-ish, still windy but gale ceased, overcast but dry and cold. Gave 'B.A' a run to the Southern end of Barton Broad and back to base for about 1700-ish. Nowt to report, saw no one, heard nowt, said nowt much either Griff
  39. 9 points
    I was once stopped in a small queue at traffic lights in Donny. (Cantley Lights) The road is inclined uphill to the lights. A lady in a car in front of me rolled back into my van. I couldn't see what she was doing at the time but a driver next to her could - It was the lipstick thing. She got out of her car, came to me and accused me of hitting her car from behind and it was therefore my fault even though I had the handbrake on. Fortunately the driver next to her bore witness that her car had rolled back. The 'Grifftile' van has s/steel bars on the front of it so no damage but she had two tiny marks on the rear of her car. She was furious the witness had intervened and tried to give him a rollocking for not minding his own business! You could not have made it up. Rather than giving her a rollocking I just laughed and told her bedrooms were the place for applying lipstick not busy junctions and away we went. She would have had the issue of explaining to her partner (If she had one) as to how the car came to be damaged Another time I was in a clients house alone (Client off to work), knock at the door, I found a very attractive lady looking distresses, she told me she had just reversed into my van and could I have a look at it please? Now the van has many battle scars on it, yes she had indeed added another small bit of character but it was really minor. I told her not to worry about it and it was just fine, she flung her arms round me and gave me a right smacker and told me I was a very nice man. I told her would she like to reverse into my van again? Months down the road I was on a tiling job, I asked the client where they found me from, the Lady of the house said that her sister recommended me as being a nice man when she had reversed into my van! Strangest recommend I ever had Griff
  40. 9 points
    Indeed it has! In the mid 70s there was a very serious scheme to build a flood barrier across the Haven at Gt Yarmouth. This was about the time they were building the Thames Barrier and so Norfolk wanted one too! It very nearly got built but in the end public opinion (including mine) won over and it was cancelled. What was the reason we were against it? Because it would be fine at stopping surge tides but once it was physically in place, it might be used by all sorts of environment "experts" who would say "Why don't we use it to raise the overall level by 4 inches?" Or alternately - "Why don't we use it to drop the level by 4 inches?" Nowadays, in the upper reaches, we can see clearly how much of a drastic difference that 4 inches can make! We also saw recently that the Thames Barrier is completely ineffectual when it comes to rainwater flooding in the upper reaches and that has the same effect on the Broads. There are many who say that the lower Bure needs deeper dredging to get the flow of water out to sea and I am one of them but the more we discuss it, I am not so sure it is the single solution, on its own. Personally I believe that the problem started when they began to "protect" huge areas of meadow by building flood banks so that the land could be given over to arable crops. The problem was that those meadows had been deliberately used as washlands, to absorb the water from surge tides. Now that these large tracts of land are once again being returned to grazing meadow I don't see why parts of the bank cannot be lowered to allow them once again to become washlands. I believe we would see a big difference if that happened.
  41. 9 points
    It has been some time hasn't it? Well time for a little update - here is the long awaited video of when Independence was lifted back in the summer and Charlie and I spent just 4 days to complete all the works both inside and out. David Emms popped down and pulled out all the stops to compound and polish the entire hull in a day and of course thanks to this Forum when Nigel, Steve and John popped down to help crew her to Lowestoft and our very own JennyMorgan for taking people back to their cars in Brundall. So here she is from lift out to the works we undertook:
  42. 9 points
    Wednesday 17th October Another dawn start, with a beautiful sunrise. Yesterday evening we spent some time debating whether to stay another day and night ‘down south’, to allow time to get to Geldeston and stay overnight in WRC, or to return north today. Obviously, given the early start, we had decided on the latter, aiming for 11:15 slack water at Yarmouth. The cruise down the Waveney was so beautiful and quiet. We only passed 2-3 boats before Somerlayton, and we stopped there for a while so that Seren could have a run around and have a ‘comfort break’ before the passage through Yarmouth. She ran around like a mad thing. Ooh look! A flying dog! By now Harry was doing all our moorings and setting off again, and getting more confident with each one. The departure from Somerlayton was the first time he’d left a side on mooring, reversing out into the river. It had clouded over by the time we got to Breydon Water but it remained dry. Breydon was fairly quiet. Harry pumped up the revs and got up speed to about 9mph. However, the tide was still flowing out of Breydon. The tide that day seemed a bit later than forecast in the tide table, so next time we cross from south to north we are thinking it might be better to wait until about ½ hour after slack water, given that we ended up punching against the tide all the way up to Acle. That wasn’t an issue in Bronze Emblem fortunately – we had plenty of ‘oomph’ in the engine and not having to think about fuel usage was an extra plus (as the cost of fuel for Ferry Marine boats is inclusive in the hire charge). At Acle we struck lucky as there was plenty of room to moor outside The Bridge Inn, at which we arrived around 1pm. We had a lovely warm welcome and were given a bowl of water for Seren. Graham and I had dishes off their ‘specials’ two for £12 menu – Haddock and Chips for Graham and Steak and Kidney Slice with mash and veg for me. Harry had a steak and trimmings. We all enjoyed our meals, even more so as the plates weren’t overloaded for our relatively modest appetites. When we emerged from The Bridge, we found that it had started to rain. Harry had another go at reversing off a mooring, this time with the tide flowing in a different direction. We had a drizzly run up to Horning, getting there around 4pm, just in time to nab the final space outside the front of Ferry Marina. It looked a very tight space though, so we side-on moored near the pub and I went to reception to check if they thought we would fit. The receptionist agreed it was a bit tight and called one of the younger lads to move the boat for us. Later, he also did a (free) pump-out for us. We got chatting to a couple moored next to us in a Herbie Woods boat (I think they said they were from Doncaster). They had been there since yesterday as their starter motor was playing up. The Herbert Woods engineer turned up shortly after we’d moored but was unable to fix the problem that day and promised to return with parts first thing the following morning. Before departing he installed several new batteries, as it wasn’t a boat that could connect to shore power. I thought that the couple were remarkably cheerful considering – but as the lady said, you can get problems on any boat. As it was still light and Roy’s was open until 6pm, we hopped in the car and went off to Wroxham to pick up a few bits and pieces. Whilst we were there we checked the bridge – only 6½‘, so that ruled out going to Coltishall tomorrow. We also popped to Weyford Bridge to check the clearance under that – almost 7’, so Dilham looked like a possibility. We watched ‘Hugo’ on DVD this evening (what a delightful film!) and had a very light supper – just a small portion of pasta with dairy free pesto sauce each, as we were still fairly full after our lunches. An early night again!
  43. 9 points
  44. 9 points
    sacrilege, she was named after Titty mouse, not Tatty mouse, I will stick with AR's original not some pc corruption.
  45. 8 points
    We went to Brundall on Friday 26th July for the weekend and eventually arrived after a lengthy journey (due to two diversions caused by roadworks) at about 22:30. We stopped at the Chinese takeaway (just as it started to rain), for some food before heading to the boat. Food eaten, we unpacked the car and watched the TV for a while to digest our meal, before going to bed. It rained all night and was still raining when we got up the following morning, so we got ready and wandered round to the Co-Op for a few supplies. Fortunately, the rain had eased and there were just a few spits and spots by then. We returned to Norfolk Lady and I set to work on the faded gel coat on the wheelhouse roof with some compound, wax and a polishing machine to see what sort of shine could be achieved. It was quite a lengthy process and although I have machine polished cars before, I was not used to compounding gel coat, so was taking my time to make sure I didn’t make things worse. We had some lunch and decided to go for a short cruise, so put the polisher away and set off along The Yare, heading for Langley Dyke. There were a couple of other craft there, but plenty of room for us to moor. The weather was grey and miserable, so we sat and relaxed for a while, grateful to be away from the noise and interruptions that make daily life so hectic. It wasn’t long before the rain started again. We had dinner, watched TV and had an early night. It must be the Norfolk air that makes me so tired! The rain was still falling on Sunday morning, so we took our time getting ready and had breakfast before it eased off. I wanted to do some more polishing, so we set off for our moorings and headed back to Brundall, where I managed to finish working on the wheelhouse roof before the rain started again. We needed to get home at a reasonable time, so packed up a few bits and pieces, loaded the car and went to The Yare for an early dinner, hoping for better weather for our next visit. The journey home was not the easiest, either, with a road closure and forced diversion extending our journey home. Friday 9th August So we arrived at Brundall at about 21:30 on Friday evening, stopped at the Chinese (again) for some food and drove round to the yard where we are moored. We ate before unloading the car as usual, watched TV for a while and went to bed. Saturday dawned to a windy start, just as forecast. We showered and got ready, before wandering down to the Co-Op for some food supplies (again) and returning to the boat. I had planned to spend some time compounding and waxing at least some more of the top of Norfolk Lady to restore some shine to the faded gel coat. The continuing windy weather put paid to any hope of escaping for a cruise, so I managed to complete most of the top before giving up for the day, satisfied with my efforts. We walked back to the Co-Op to buy some garlic bread and I felt compelled to stop at The Yare for a cheeky Ghost Ship on the way back. The wife prepared our meal, which we enjoyed with a couple of glasses of wine. I was somewhat tired, due to the exertions of the day (and probably the wine) so went to bed early where I fell quickly and soundly asleep. It was bright and sunny when we woke on Sunday, although still quite breezy, so we decided to have a short cruise up the river before having breakfast. We managed to get away from the moorings and chugged up the dyke, turning left onto The Yare. Short Dyke was my intended destination and it didn't take too long to get there. We moored up and my attention turned to cooking breakfast. Once eaten and with the washing up done, we took the opportunity to relax for a while before heading back to the yard. The weather had changed and the clouds had rolled in, but it wasnt raining. I still had a little more polishing to do, together with a couple of other bits and pieces, which were completed before we had a brief, but heavy shower of rain. Sadly, we packed the car, the weekend having passed far too quickly, but stopped at The Yare for a meal before leaving for home. The next visit is planned for August Bank Holiday weekend. Bring it on, but hopefully with some more clement weather for a change!!
  46. 8 points
    And in my experience, it is the totally callous attitude of the HR departments towards their own employees that is largely responsible for the high rate of attrition.
  47. 8 points
    Hello, Ive been reading posts for a while on this forum now and thought it would be nice to join as I’ve much to learn about boating! Ive always had an interest in the broads and owning a boat myself. I’ve lived in Norwich my whole life and spent a lot of my childhood in Wroxham. My great great Grandfather was Earnest Collins of Wroxham. I wish I could buy one of his later boats that my Grandfather would have worked on. Around this time last year we (myself, my wife and our two kids aged 10 and 8) bought our first boat. A lovely Seamaster 27, this boat had been beautifully built and kept. I really did love Theodore 11, we all did! But unfortunately we realised relatively soon that she just wasn’t big enough for us to comfortably spend as much time as we wanted on the water. the Seamaster sold earlier this year and has been replaced with a Princess 30DS, not quite as classically charming as the Seamaster but does the job we need it to do perfectly! It’s everything we hoped a boat would be and has enough room for our kids to grow. we are moored at Brundall and love spending time on Surlingham Broad plus the fine selection of pubs towards Norwich and Reedham. This summer we hope to venture onto the Northern rivers for a few days. Our old boat is now that side so we plan a reunion with it’s new owners plus other friends are moored at the same broad also. Anyway that’s enough introductory rambling for now! Hopefully pics of our previous and current have loaded up.
  48. 8 points
    Last one for this short outing, I took this photo this morning just downstream of How Hill. I've made it black and white because it looks like it could almost have been taken any time in the last 100 years!
  49. 8 points
    Don’t post his number in an open forum , much better to make an enquiry to a PPI company or two leaving his number as the contact , those companies are relentless and won’t give up
  50. 8 points
    The current trend for new boats is to provide fewer berths and more living space and there has always been a need to use space cleverly. In something that is just 12ft wide by, on average, 35ft long, getting everything in that a few humans need to live comfortably together is always a challenge and trade-offs exist everywhere. There hasn't been a 10 berth boat built in years, and whilst it is true there are a few 8-9 berths, the trend is more to produce walk-around beds which seriously impact the amount of space available for other berths. It's slightly cynical to suggest that boatyards put in more berths so that the charge can be increased; demand creates supply and, a large boat with fewer berths but more space will still demand a high hire price anyway. It is also fair to say that in a 44ft x 12ft space, getting 10 people all sleeping and then eating around the same table at the same time is a utopia that few vessels have EVER pulled off. Large capacity boats have been produced for donkeys years though nobody has built a new one that will take over 10 people in at least a decade. It is inaccurate to suggest that older boats have more space than newer boats. Different boat layouts with different designs produced by different people have different amounts of space available. I am currently refitting a 33ft cruiser which was originally a 4 plus 2 berth with two shower/toilet compartments. With a rejig of the saloon/galley area, I can increase the galley space, improve cupboard storage, add new appliances AND put in an additional sofa which doubles as a berth making her a 4 plus three. All this modification is achievable without encroaching on the original floor space of the boat.
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