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Mouldy last won the day on October 7

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About Mouldy

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  • Birthday 18/05/1956

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  1. . . . . . . But it’s worth it! Hire a day boat for five or six hours, moor at Horsey wind pump and walk through Horsey Gap to the beach to see the seal colony. When the weather is fine, it’s a terrific day! I’ve never hired from Silverline, but they have one of the best fleets on the Broads. They are always immaculately presented and look as good at the end of the season as the beginning. Welcome to the Forum by the way!
  2. To be fair, Crick is fairly central for the majority of the syndicate members to get to and if the AGM was on Saturday, wouldn’t be too bad to get to Brundall afterwards. Sunday, on the other hand means that either owners can’t attend or miss at least one night aboard. I suppose they could ‘Skype’ in. The ideal time would be during winter maintenance, when no one is aboard, but the prevailing weather conditions in January may make attendance difficult.
  3. Ooh er, missus😉😉. Steady on! Certainly will. Sunday isnt the best day imho. Whoever should be on board from Saturday will either miss the opportunity to voice their opinions, or miss at least one night of their allocation. At least on Saturday, depending on where you live, you can call in either on the way or way back. I fear that ours could be contentious this year, there's much to discuss, some involving money. Just blame Brexit!!!!😁
  4. Their website is a bit behind the times, too.
  5. Shame. No wonder it doesn't look busy when we pass. Food menu used to be extensive, not expensive.
  6. Me, too. Haven’t been there for years and was, for us, a regular overnight stop. It used to be very good, with all of the moorings full every night, but usually seems so quiet now even with the available moorings greatly reduced.
  7. Thanks all for the kind comments and ‘likes’. It was good to have an extended break on The Broads, our first since April. Debbie and I are both now looking forward to November and our first full week on Norfolk Lady, which should be going back in the water early next week. We are going to see her this Saturday, before she goes back in, to see what a difference all of the work has made. With the AGM for Moonlight Shadow on Sunday, it is going to be a busy weekend ahead.
  8. I wonder if they meant that the cost of like for like batteries would be the issue? I get that dragging batteries to Salhouse Broad from the car park would be difficult, but yet another engineers visit during a one week hire is too much. I trust that an offer of some financial compensation will be made and not in the form of a voucher to be used against the future hire of another boat.
  9. In eight years hiring from Summercraft, we didn’t ever need to call the yard to resolve any issues. Perhaps that is the benefit of hiring from a small yard, where there is time to be proactive with regard to maintenance on changeover days. Regardless of the speed with which the engineers respond, given the cost of hiring a boat, there can be no excuses for multiple call outs during ones holiday (imho obviously), especially to fix issues like leaking stern glands which surely should be checked weekly.
  10. Saturday 28th September I was up early, switched on the kettle, the immersion heater and the heating. It was certainly a chilly morning, but not raining for once. The wife followed shortly after and was joined by lain to take the dogs for their last early Broadland walk. I made my tea, which I drank before going for my shower. Before buying into Moonlight Shadow, when we were hiring, we’d never had a boat with 240v plug-in, never mind an immersion heater, but it didn’t take long to realise what an advantage it is, when mains is available. Fortunately, Norfolk Lady is similarly equipped, for which we are extremely grateful. The others arrived back just as I had finished getting ready, so we quickly mopped the windows with the Karcher window vac, before casting off for the short journey back to Brundall. It was about 07:30 when we arrived at Broom’s fuel quay, just ahead of two of their returning hire craft. Well timed, or what, I thought to myself. Pump outs completed and with Moonlight Shadow refuelled, I paid the £93 bill before casting off and moving to her home berth just a few yards away. With the fuel totalling £70 and given the cruising we’d completed over the week, I was quite happy with the amount we’d used. We moved the cars nearer to the mooring and began to pack them. At least the rain held off and although the process took some time, we were locking her up by 09:30, with the carpets vacuumed and the bathrooms cleaned. Although the boat is cleaned at the end of every weeks use, I hate leaving it in a mess and we always try to leave it as we find it, a habit bred by hiring over the years. It was just a short drive to McDonalds for breakfast, before making the journey home and back to reality. Despite now having our own boat, which we visit every other weekend and will be spending future holidays on, I hate leaving Norfolk. Over the years it has become a happy place for the wife and I, a place where I feel comfortable and ‘at home.’ Norfolk Lady should be back in the water soon and we can’t wait to return, anxious to see the results of Paul’s efforts. I am so thankful that a dream that I held for so long has now become a reality.
  11. Friday 27th September The dawning of the morning of our last full day and for once, the weather looked okay. Deprived of the opportunity to photograph many sunrises this trip, I hastily pulled on some clothes, grabbed my camera and went outside. It wasn’t spectacular, but was a pleasure to watch the sun rise over the horizon, especially at a spot at lovely as Pyes Mill. The wife and Iain had taken the dogs for their walk and Iain and Rachel had expressed a desire to go to Norwich, so we started up and cast off as soon as they arrived back. I’d received a text from Paul at our yard regarding Norfolk Lady, which had been lifted as planned the previous day. He had found a couple of additional jobs under the waterline that required looking at, that hadn’t shown up on the survey. As a result, I needed to call into Brundall on the way through to see him and look at the boat. We arrived there at about 09:00, so we quickly moored and I went to see what he had discovered. We went through the extra bits and pieces, agreed the costs and were quickly heading back out onto the rivers. Someone once said that you don’t so much buy a boat, but buy a hole in the water into which your money is deposited. I’m beginning to understand exactly what that means, however it doesn’t detract from the enormous enjoyment that owning Norfolk Lady has brought to the wife and I so far and the hope that it will continue to do so as I reach retirement and beyond. It wasn’t long before the clouds rolled over, but it still wasn’t raining as we cruised into Norwich. I headed beyond Pulls Ferry and moored, before we all readied ourselves for a walk into the fine city. I realised just after we’d locked up and left the boat, that I hadn’t picked up an umbrella – a mistake that I would later regret. Instead of crossing The Bishops Bridge and turning left, as usual, we turned right, passed the Cow Tower and Jarrold Bridge, before crossing Whitefriars and along Quayside, before arriving at the Ribs of Beef. It really is a pleasant walk in the middle of a busy city. We went up Elm Hill and it was then that the rain started. A few spots at first, then turning into a heavy downfall. I went into Mountain Warehouse to buy another brolly and whilst there, got a raincoat for Harry. Next was Greggs for some snacks for lunch, before wandering back to the boat. Due to the weather, the Cathedral was given a miss, to my disappointment, but we can visit Norwich on Norfolk Lady over another weekend, so not really a problem. Once back on-board Moonlight Shadow, we had lunch and a cup of tea, before casting off and mooring further along the yacht Station to top up the water tanks. The ranger rode up on his bike and collected the mooring fee. By this time, it was approaching 15:00, se we set off again, heading for our overnight moorings at The Ferry House (Surlingham). I had booked a table and a mooring, so space was assured, but the weather was slightly gloomy, matching our moods on the last full day, so we chugged sadly out of Norwich. We passed a couple of craft heading into the city, but them aside, the rivers were quiet as we cruised back along the Yare. I noticed Hot Gossip, moored outside the Sheerline factory at Thorpe, with a For Sale sign displayed. A beautiful looking boat in wonderful condition, but far too expensive for us to consider unfortunately. We were soon at the pub and a concerned private boat owner watched anxiously as we moored stern on, close to his boat. A breeze had picked up and with the ebbing current, it had been a challenging manoeuvre, but exercised without incident to his (and my) relief. There was credit on the nearest electric post, so I gratefully plugged us in, so we could use the immersion heater the following morning. The wife and Iain took the dogs for a walk and I started to pack a few things away, ready for our departure. It was a part of any holiday that I hate. Once again, the sky had cleared and it turned into a lovely, but chilly evening. The others returned and we chatted for a while about the week, before changing and making the short walk to the pub for dinner. The Ferry House has such a warm, welcoming atmosphere, coupled with good beer and great food, it really has become our favourite pub on the Broads. We enjoyed another lovely meal and I even managed three courses – rare for me even with my appetite, before returning to the boat. We did a little more packing before retiring for our final night. It was to be an early start in the morning and I needed to be up, showered and ready.
  12. Thursday 26th September My assessment of the previous evening regarding the weather had been entirely correct and it was grey and cloudy again, but not raining. One has to look for a positive! The dogs were taken for their usual morning stroll by Debbie and Iain and I set about making breakfast. Sauteed potatoes were on the menu, so I par-boiled and sliced some baby spuds, ready for frying. The sausages went under the grill to start them off, before being finished in the oven and I grilled the bacon, dry fried some fresh tomatoes and finished off with fried eggs. Once again and although I say it myself, it was rather good and we were set up for the long day ahead. I’d started the engine for hot water, so went for a shower and emerged refreshed and ready. We set off at about 10:00 turning left out of the dyke and left along the Bure. With everyone showered and dressed, I swung into the Broads Boating Company basin again for water. Harry fed the ducks whilst the tanks filled. We were running slightly early for slack water at Yarmouth, but I knew that I would have to punch the tide to get to a decent mooring before sunset anyway. Low water was just before 15:00, so we headed for the Stracey Arms to moor for lunch and so Harry could see the animals and arrived there just after 12:00, so with about an hour and a half to kill, we wandered over to the shop. Although there were a few boats moored there, we were the only visitors at the mill and shop. I bought some pasta and a sauce mix for lunch – we had some parmesan left over from the Bolognese on Saturday night that needed using to accompany the pasta. I cooked lunch, which despite the hearty breakfast went down readily (I attribute the appetite to the Norfolk air as well). We cast off at about 13:30, heading for Yarmouth, Breydon and the Southern rivers. The sky was still overcast, but the sun poked through the occasional break in the clouds, creating shafts of light over the marshes passing through Yarmouth just after 15:00. Moonlight Shadow slowed as we turned at the yellow post, as expected, so we opened the taps a little and crossed Breydon without incident. There was one other boat going our way, but several heading in the opposite direction. I had intended to head for Rockland, mooring either at the staithe or on Short Dyke, but Rachel discovered that she had less nappies than she thought for Kayleigh, so a change of plan was necessary. Instead of Rockland, Loddon became the destination, with the Co-Op more likely to have the required items. We passed through Reedham and the almost deserted moorings at Reedham Ferry. I remember not too long ago when it was difficult to moor there, even with the additional moorings that are now closed. How things have changed. The entrance to the Chet soon appeared, se we pointed Moonlight Shadow's bow into the entrance and cautiously went through the first narrow bends. It is such a pretty river and one that we neglected to visit for far too long. Before our first cruise on Moonlight Shadow last November, I believe that last time we had been along there was in 1995, when we hired Tramotana from Gale Cruisers for one of Iain’s first ever trips on the Broads. Over the past few months and especially since we bought Norfolk Lady, it has become one of our favourite destinations. We arrived at Pyes Mill just before 17:00 and were grateful to find them almost empty. I moored at the end, furthest from the village and the others readied themselves to walk into Loddon. I stayed on the boat to start dinner and take a few photos. Once again, the cloud had broken and although not a full-blown sunset, the setting sun cast a lovely glow over the river and surrounding countryside. I snapped away happily, rushing back on board to check that the food was cooking. The others returned after a successful shopping trip with the required nappies, so all was well. Dinner was soon ready and we had fresh faggots (from the butchers in Ludham) cooked in onion gravy, creamed potatoes and mixed vegetables. As usual, the washing up was done and we played crib for the final time. A meal in The Ferry House was planned for Friday night, so with packing to do as well, there would be no time on Friday. A hot drink followed and we were in bed before 22:00.
  13. Wednesday 25th September After the previous mornings, I guess no one would be surprised when if I said that it was another grey, dismal morning when I woke, but at least the rain had stopped for a while at least. The morning followed the usual pattern, with me brewing up and Iain and the wife taking the dogs for their morning walk. I dressed and wandered up to Toad Hall Cottage and the end of the moorings where Hathor was moored to take a few photos. I returned to the boat and we had toast and marmalade for breakfast. I intended to go to Ranworth Broad, so we cast off at about 08:45, heading back down the Ant and under the bridge. There was one cruiser waiting to go upstream, holding station as about four or five of us were going the other way. The cruise to Ranworth Dam was uneventful, but I was wondering if there would be space for us to moor, as the rivers seemed quite busy. The binoculars made an appearance as the view across the broad opened and I could see that there were several spaces available, so panic over. I made for Cambridge Cabby’s favoured spot at the cab rank and we secured the boat. Once again, there was a brief, heavy shower as we moored. We needed a couple of bits from the shop, so Debbie and I wandered across to pick up what we needed. The sight of some bacon and sausages in the fridge inspired me to think about another cooked breakfast the following morning, so the couple of bits turned into an expensive basketful. What the hell? We were on holiday!! I plugged into the mains, where someone had thoughtfully left 26p credit – not much, but sufficient to allow us to get the Dyson out and vacuum the boat through, before we availed ourselves of the rubbish facilities. Debbie and I took the dogs and our grandson for a walk to the church. Well it would be rude not to and I hadn’t made it in April when we were last there, due to the weather. Debbie stayed outside with the hounds, whilst I took Harry in for a look around. I thought better of trying to tackle the stairs up the tower with a daredevil three-year-old – I’ll leave that to his parents on a future trip! We headed back outside and went into the tea rooms, where dogs are now allowed inside. Debbie had a pot of tea and shared a millionaire’s shortbread with Harry, whilst I had a slice of apple pie with clotted cream, washed down with a coffee. Very nice too!! We walked the back way to the boat and Harry collected a few conkers on the way. It took me back to when Iain was young and used to pick them up too. How the years have flown by! When we arrived back at Moonlight Shadow, the kids (as we call them) decided that they wanted to go to the church, so left us baby-sitting while they went. Unfortunately, the downside of mooring in the cab rank, is that the water hose won’t reach the boat. Doh!! The staithe by then, was full, so we moored alongside the boat at the end, having first sought their permission, to take on water. It turned out that their boat is also moored where Norfolk Lady is, but I’d not had the opportunity to talk to them before, so we had a chat whilst the tanks were filled. When done, we said our goodbyes and cast off, heading for Thurne Dyke and my long-awaited dinner at The Lion. When we arrived, there were already a few craft moored, but I reversed in, to a space about three boat lengths in on the mill side. Debbie was knitting, Rachel was tending to Kayleigh and Iain was keeping Harry amused, so I went for a wander with the camera. It was still cloudy, but a little after we arrived, the cloud began to break and the sun poked its head out. Before long, the sky was completely clear and it turned into a lovely afternoon. I noticed Royall Commander moored further down the dyke, so wandered along and spoke to Russell. He admitted to having been in the pub (no real surprise there) and apologised in advance if he slurred his words. He wanted to have a look at Moonlight Shadow so we walked back to the boat, where I made him a coffee (at his request)and introduced him to the family, where we chatted for about an hour. He is a really nice guy and I hope we can meet up again at some point in the future. He has a real love of the Broads and has bought into the Thunder syndicate, so his visits to the area will become even more regular. I look forward to the vlogs!! After Russell had taken his leave, I went out with the camera again to capture a few more shots as the sun went down, casting a glorious golden glow over the mill. I could see clouds were rolling in again and feared that the respite in the weather would be only temporary. We all walked down to the pub and had an exceptional meal. I may be in the minority when I say that I used to like it as it was. I never had a bad meal there, but the place has certainly changed for the better and it is without a doubt, my favourite eating establishment on the Northern rivers. Sated and relieved of a good chunk of hard-earned, we returned to the boat for a hot nightcap and bed. We were to cross Breydon on Thursday and a cooked breakfast was planned. How quickly the week was passing.
  14. Tuesday 24th September Once again, I woke to an awful, wet, grey morning. I stood looking out of the windows, with a cup of tea, observing a dreary scene. As usual, Debbie and Iain took the dogs for a walk and I started to make preparations for breakfast. As there was no one else to disturb, I started the engine at about 07:45, as I knew that with a cooked breakfast, there would be much washing up and copious supplies of hot water would be needed. When the others were back, I prepared grilled bacon, scrambled eggs, sautéed tomatoes, mushrooms gently cooked in a little butter and some black pudding. Even though I say it myself, it went down a treat, all washed down with more tea. With the washing up done, I headed off for my shower and once ready, we cast off. The destination was to be Stalham, as we needed Tesco for a few bits and pieces. There was a bit of traffic on the river as we headed up the Ant and entered Barton Broad bringing up the rear of a convoy of craft who had gathered behind a boat whose helmsman was content maintaining a steady 2mph. Keeping to the right of the island, we headed across the broad. The weather had not really improved and we were being caught in brief but very heavy showers. As usual, I cursed the clown who designed the almost useless windscreen wiper on Moonlight Shadow. Whoever it was must still raise a smile thinking about its total ineffectiveness! We were soon across the broad and heading up the river, turning right, towards Sutton, then left into Stalham. We moored (in another heavy shower) at Simpsons Boatyard for water, before moving across to the public staithe (in yet another brief, but heavy downpour) so we could nip round to Tesco. Iain and the wife volunteered to go, while I made a coffee and Rachel fed Kayleigh, our granddaughter. They were soon back, with necessary supplies, so we cast off as the heavens opened yet again, for another brief downpour, heading back the way we had come in. On reaching Barton Broad, we headed for Gayes Staithe, where there were plenty of available spaces. I reversed into the side on moorings, carefully passing a very nice private sedan cruiser as I went. With Moonlight Shadow secured, we had lunch of pasties (not Cornish as they had been locally made). The wife and I took our grandson (Harry) and the dogs for a walk to find the fudge lady. I’d never been before and am partial to some decent fudge, so we headed from the staithe and turned right along the road towards Neatishead. It must have been rush hour, as we were passed by five cars before we arrived at the famous premises. I selected four bags of fudge and left the money in the honesty box, before we turned and walked back to the boat. Rush hour was clearly over as not one car passed as we returned! A few more boats had arrived, whilst we’d been away and the moorings were filling up. I wanted to overnight at How Hill, so we set off again and chugged back towards Barton Broad. I spotted Simon again in Brinks Benmore. We waved and exchanged greetings as we passed each other. There didn’t appear to be many spaces at the How Hill moorings, so we pulled up in front of our sister boat Evening Shadow. Iain jumped off and trotted along the bank and beckoned us to move further along, where another cruiser was just casting off. I prefer to be nearer the bend as the river is wider and probably less chance of being hit by another boat. Once moored, Iain and Debbie walked the dogs and I wandered about with my camera. The showers were less frequent and the cloud was beginning to break. However shortly after the others returned from their walk, there was another sharp, heavy shower. The watery sunshine that followed, combined with the patchy cloud to cast some strange light over the mill. I kept nipping out to take more pictures as the sun set, the sky never achieving that lovely red colour that one associates with a Norfolk sunset, but still photo worthy. As the river traffic ceased, the rivers surface became calm and reflections of the cloud became more visible. After such a damp day, this was probably about the best we could have expected. Dinner was ready, so we had a chicken traybake, with cherry tomatoes, red onions and baby new potatoes in a herby tomato sauce. As had become the norm on this trip, with the washing up done, we played crib for a while before heading for bed.
  15. Monday 23rd September It had rained on and off through the night and I awoke as dawn broke a grey, gloomy sky, so clambered out of bed to make my customary morning cuppa, whilst the wife and Iain readied themselves to take the dogs for their walk. We’d had a problem with boat on Sunday and were planning to meet the engineers from Broom at Womack Staithe on Monday morning, so we left our moorings at Potter shortly after 08:00 and headed slowly down the Thurne, passing many Herbert Woods craft heading in the opposite direction, presumably heading back to base aa t the end of their holidays. We turned into Womack Dyke and I noted that there were a few spaces at the BA moorings, but carried on to Womack Water. There was only one space at the staithe, but it would have been tight to get into, but three other craft were getting ready to cast off, so I waited for a couple of minutes before reversing into a gap vacated by Grand Girl. I left the engine running, to heat the water and went for a shower, before calling the syndicate’s management company to report our location, so they could call the engineers. The others readied themselves and as Broom had not arrived, I stayed on the boat whilst the others walked round to the shops. I filled the water tank with what must be the slowest filling hose on the Broads and was just tightening the filler cap when two engineers arrived. Fixing the fault took about an hour and they were departing as others returned from their shopping trip, so with their purchases stowed in the fridge and cupboards, we cast off and headed away from our moorings. The previously grey sky was clearing and it was getting warmer, so we wound back the roof to let the autumn sunshine in. I noted the family on one of Richo’s large cruisers who took the hose from me as I went to stow it, were still filling their tanks. We had lunch of pork pies bought from the butchers as we chugged back out onto the main river, heading back down the Thurne and turning right onto the Bure. My plan was to head up the Ant and moor at the semi wild moorings between Hunsett Mill and Wayford, if there was space, but I was concerned at the number of craft on the river, especially as we passed St Benets, which was fairly full. We turned right up the Ant and for once, had a relatively easy passage under the bridge. Iain was at the helm and I was standing at the bow, camera in hand anxious to get some shots of How Hill and Turf Fen Mill in the sunshine. There were some scattered clouds, but it had turned into a really wonderful day. The moorings at How Hill were quite quiet. I spotted a Benmore moored, with the canopies slid back and as we cruised past, the person I now realise was Simon (Broads01) jumped up and shouted my name. I responded and waved back – one day we must meet for a chat, but it was good to spot him all the same. We rounded a couple more bends and I noticed that Johnny Crowe’s Staithe was empty, so checked with the others before turning and mooring. It was, as far as I was concerned, an opportunity too good to miss. A beautiful, private wild mooring on a wonderful, sunny afternoon. What more could we ask for?With Moonlight Shadow secured, the wife and Iain took the dogs for a walk, exploring the track that leads from the mooring. Rachel was looking after our grandchildren and I took a few photos, before mopping down the boat. When the others returned, Iain and I drowned some more bread as we spent a couple of hours fishing and generally watching the world go by. Idyllic. We caught a few more fish, my biggest was a sizeable tench (I think). It was green and slimy, so it managed to slip from my hands as I unhooked it, falling back into the river before the wife could take a photo to prove I’d landed it. It sounds as if it was a fisherman’s tale I know, but the damned thing nearly broke the cheap rod I’d bought for the occasion and I definitely didn’t imagine it! As the evening drew in, we gave up and went inside for a meal of pork chops (from the butchers in Ludham) with vegetables and potatoes and very good it was too. We played crib for a while before heading for bed just after 21:30. There is something in the Norfolk air that makes me sleepy, I’m sure and I drifted off to sleep at the end of an excellent day.
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