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Everything posted by YnysMon

  1. Guide To Hustler 3. I was going to call this a ‘review’, but it seems a cheek to ‘review’ such a lovely cherished 1930’s boat. Maybe some people might like an ‘inside view’ though. If you want to get a good view of what the Hunter’s Yard boats are like have a look at ‘The Coot Club’ video, as they used one of their 4 berth ‘Lullaby’ class yachts for that. Hustler 3 is slightly smaller, with only two berths. You step on board into the well of the boat, which seats four people comfortably as you sail along, though it’s easier with just two as with four it can be a bit crowded for manoeuvring the tiller. Underneath the seats in the well are four drawers, containing willow-pattern china, mugs, tea pot, chopping boards and cooking implements, cutlery, plus room for storing food supplies. There’s a cubby-hole containing saucepans and frying-pan. There’s also an aft-locker containing two water containers, washing-up bowls, bucket etc. We found this generally stayed fairly cool even on the hottest days. On the port-side of the well there’s a hinged lid in the seat covering a two-ring gas stove. On the opposite side the gas bottle is in a boxed-in area above the drawers. When moored you raise the cabin roof, first the forward section, which raises about 6” and is secured by pins though the metal struts that hold up the roof, then you raise the stern edge about 2’, secured by wooden struts each side, so you end up with a sloping roof. Plenty of room to stand at the entrance to the cabin (at least if you’re only 5’4” like me) but not so much when you visit the heads at the forward section. There are double wooden doors leading from the well to the cabin, with a canvass sheet which hangs down to the doors when the roof is raised and which rolls up when not needed. There are two comfy but narrow bunks with lovely thick duvets and pillow with sheets and covers provided, unless you bring a dog with you, in which case you provide your bedding. There’s a folding table which you can either use between the bunks in the cabin or between the seats in the well of the boat. Each bunk has two drawers underneath and two shelves along the side of the boat. Above one of the bunks there’s the only light source for night-time, a gimbal paraffin lamp. We found that using the paraffin lamp had a bonus – we were far less troubled by mozzies at night when it was lit. Another set of double doors lead through to the heads, where there are more storage cupboards and cubby-holes. When moored you drape a canvass awning across the boom, the end of which rests on a set of wooden cross-trees, then you secure the awning around the mast and then unroll it so that it covers the whole of the cabin roof and the well. Nice and cosy. When not in use the awning is stored in the forepeak (a storage area in the bows topped with a hatch). We found the forepeak handy for storing our portable BBQ too. For me, being on a Hunter’s boat is a bit like camping, the lack of running water and electricity is part of the charm. It’s a lot more comfortable though! The boats sail like a dream, turning on a pin. There are times when you think ‘an engine would be handy just now’, but on the whole it’s part of the fun being without one; having to plan your day much more carefully to take account of the wind and tide and the relative narrowness of the rivers (I’m especially thinking of the Ant here!). One advantage for me is that I don’t feel seasick on the Broads. We’ve been sailing several times off Anglesey, but I always end up feeling queasy, even on a relatively calm day, which doesn’t add to the fun! Oddly I don’t feel seasick when canoeing on the sea…I wonder why…? Not that I’ve done that for a while… For those who haven’t been sailing before but who would like a taste, Hunter’s Yard do 2-hour skippered sails where a volunteer will take up to four people on a day boat for a very reasonable cost. They also have volunteers who can teach you to sail. For those interested, further information is available on their website. (I’m not sure what the etiquette is of providing website links, so I haven’t). Photo...skippers eye view. 2nd photo, skippers eye view from my son's boat (not that he drank any of it until moored up for the night)...
  2. How do you express a 'tears running down ones face type LOL'? I do love this forum...
  3. Those concrete cows! I admit it...I live in Milton Keynes. Never thought I'd like living in a city, but I do like MK, mainly for its green space. I can cycle from home to work along the river Ouse past fields of sheep (and lambs in Spring)...what other city can you do that in? Nothing can beat sailing around the Broads though! Helen
  4. Day 6: Friday 8th July. Our last day’s sail. Shortly after I woke at 5 it started raining. It had been a very windy night and was still windy in the morning. I could hear it raining on and off until around 8am when I got up and went for a shower whilst Graham continued to doze. Woke the boys up and I made breakfast for the four of us (fried spam with beans). It was getting on for 11 by the time we got on our way. By this time the sun was out. It was very windy and gusty though, so we put two reefs in again and were very glad we had done so by the time we joined the Thurne. It was exhilarating sailing. We had to beat out way up the Bure, but we found that it’s much easier tacking in a stronger wind. We even managed to sail most of the way up Ranworth Dam. Once at Malthouse Broad we mud-weighted and then used the dinghies to get to Ranworth Staithe. By that time it was just after 3, after the time that the Maltster’s stops serving food, so we had a quick drink in the pub and went to the Staithe Tearooms for lunch. A very nice lunch too – huge serving of stilton with crusty bread, salad and pickles. After lunch Graham stayed by the Staithe whilst the boys came with me to St Helens’ Church. They went up the tower whilst I took lots of photos of the rood screen with my ‘good’ camera (I’m very interested in medieval art, having done an OU Art History course a couple of years ago). Back at the Staithe I had a momentary panic as there was only one dinghy tied up instead of two, but Harry pointed out that his Dad had taken the other and was having a grand time sailing on the Broad. He returned when he saw us waving, and we all made our way back to the boats. It was well past 5pm when we set off, but we had quite a quick journey back down the Bure, mostly with a following wind. It wasn’t as gusty though, so Graham took out one reef as we passed St Benet’s. He was having difficulty getting the second reef out though, so we put our bow into the reeds to that I could hold the sail into the wind for him. The boys passed us whilst we were doing that and we then followed them up the Thurne, the wind dropping steadily but we managed to get back to the Yard shortly after 8pm. It’s been a glorious week’s sailing.
  5. Day 5: Thursday 7th July A beautiful morning again with a fair westerly wind. We left Hustler 3 at Deep Go Dyke and tied both dinghies behind Hustler and put Hustler 3’s quant onto Hustler so that we’d have two quants for the journey back through Meadow Dyke (having had a real struggle last year to get back against the wind). We had a lovely sail through the dyke and around Horsey Mere before taking our sails down as we approached Horsey Staithe. Once there we went to the National Trust shop for a coffee and cake and then went back to the boat. The boys each took a dinghy out on the Mere and enjoyed themselves sailing around in the stiff breeze whilst I took photos and Graham relaxed in the sun with a book. When they returned to the Staithe we walked along the road to the Nelson Head pub and had a really lovely lunch, Graham and I both had their Cheese Steak Philly – a huge portion of steak in Ciabatta with chips, coleslaw and salad. Feeling very stuffed we decided we could do with a longer walk than just the return to the boat, so we followed the pathway toward the dunes and watched the seals from the beach. On the way back we found a path which took us back to the Staithe through fields rather than along the road. Rather than sail the dinghies again we reviewed the tide table and decided to try to get through Potter Heigham on the falling tide (high water being just before 3pm). We had a brilliant sail tacking Hustler across the Mere. The boys then double-quanted through the dyke, passing just one other boat on route. We picked up Hustler 3 again and went on our way back through Candle Dyke and then tacked down the Thurne without any problems. We were able to get thought the bridge without problems too, although there wasn’t much clearance. We thought the water levels were higher this year than they had been last year, not sure whether that was because of Spring tides or all the rain that we’d had over the past few weeks or a combination of both. The sail down to Ludham was lovely. It’s much quieter on the river after 6pm, though the wind always drops away toward sunset. We reached Hunter's Yard by 8pm. We weren’t that hungry after our enormous lunches, so I just made corned beef hash for the four of us.
  6. Day 4: Wednesday 6th July. A lovely sunny, warm morning again with enough wind but not enough to merit any reefing. We didn’t hurry away from Hunter's Yard. After having a shower I cooked the sausages for both crews, borrowing the boys’ frying pan to cook eggs. Lucky I had waited until the morning to have a shower…I’d forgotten that the light sensor in the bathroom doesn’t cover the showers, so the light goes out half-way through your shower. Late morning we made our way up to Potter Heigham, getting away without doing any quanting, despite the wind being disrupted by the bungalows. De-masted and quanted through both bridges, moored up and then went to the PH Tearooms for lunch (Prawn Sandwich for me). After lunch we carried up the Thurne intending to make for West Somerton. We were a bit worried about getting past the boatyard at Martham, as last year they had a long line of boats stern-moored with bowsprits sticking out which we had to fend off. Fortunately they only had about three boats moored up in that fashion this year and we were able to tack past quite easily. I noticed the boys deployed their quant though. We did use the quant to get us through the gap at Martham’s swing bridge, but once past that there’s a wider, fairly straight run up to West Somerton Dyke which we were able to beat up, only ending up in the reeds a few times (!). There was some weed in some places, which didn’t help. By the time we got to the entrance to the dyke we had somehow lost the ability to steer, so we used the rond anchors to moor up against a grassy patch on the east bank and Graham rowed off up the dyke to call the boys on Hustler back. The wind was coming from the NNW, so we thought it would be easier to sail back down to the first mooring on Candle Dyke. I had a lovely half hour of so sitting in peace and quiet in the sunshine, just reading. Apart from a weed-cutting machine, nothing passed me at all (note...weed-cutting machine). Harry appeared rowing the dinghy, with Graham and Alec following sailing Hustler. Rather than bothering with mooring up I shouted to suggest that Graham continue on Hustler and that Harry should sail with me, and that we would meet up at Candle Dyke. Once Harry and I got going we found we still couldn’t steer, despite having a fair wind. Peering over the stern we found out why…we were trailing a great load of weed on the rudder (that rotten weed-cutting machine!!), so Harry took the helm whilst I dangled as far over the stern as I could without actually falling in and tried to pull the weed off. After that things were much better. It was getting toward 7pm by now, and a load of fishermen had popped up on fishing platforms, some with very long rods. Good job we didn’t have to tack! Once in Candle Dyke we did have to tack, and were still having problems turning. I leant off the stern again and managed to pull off more weed, losing my cap in the process. I wanted to continue without it, but Harry insisted that we go back for it. Fortunately, our steering was a lot better now. The wind was starting to drop by the time we spotted Graham and Alec. They had moored up in Heigham Sound just before the entrance to Meadow Dyke. Harry and I continued on and we moored both boats at Deep Go Dyke at just after 8pm. I cooked tinned haggis, veg and instant mash for both crews. Lovely sunset this evening. The photo below is at Deep Go Dyke the following morning.
  7. Day 3: Tuesday 5th July. It looked a bit grey and miserable this morning and to start with it was a bit drizzly. The wind was blowing directly onto our bank but was forecast to swing NW by lunchtime, so we decided to stay-put for the morning. Had tinned beans and sausages for breakfast. Around 8am G and I went for an early morning walk to see the secret garden at How Hill. When we got back we woke the boys and waited for them to have their breakfast before walking into Ludham. Fortunately it had stopped raining. At Ludham Alec and I went into the Church to see the wonderful rood screen, then we all went to the butchers. Got more bacon and some meat for a barbecue (nice meaty sausages and pork steaks in a Chinese marinade). Popped into Throwers for some groceries (bread, jam, wine etc.) and then went into Alfresco Tearooms for lunch (pie and salad for me). After lunch the weather brightened up and we walked back to the boat. The wind had veered as promised, and was fairly brisk so we put in two reefs. We managed to get away from the mooring without problems and had a fair wind to take us down to Ludham Bridge. We moored up at the furthest moorings from the bridge as we were a worried about the strength of the wind and a possible traffic jam near the bridge. It wasn’t a great problem to quant anyway. Once through the bridge we continued down the Ant. The wind was easing, so G took out one reef along the Ant before we turned down the Bure. We briefly moored up at St Benet’s, just to make sure that the boys were coming along behind us. Having let them pass us we then continued on down the Bure. Graham took out another reef as the wind had dropped a bit again. We then beat up the Thurne back to Hunter’s Yard, arriving there about 8pm. Lovely warm evening again. It was quite late by the time we fired up the BBQ, but we enjoyed our Pork Steaks, saving the sausages until the morning. I left having a shower until the morning.
  8. Day 3: Monday 4th July. Another beautiful morning. Graham didn’t want a large breakfast, so we just had porridge. We left Hustler moored up on Gaye’s Staithe this morning. The boys each took a dinghy out onto Barton Broad and G and I followed them in Hustler 3. Got some photos of them sailing and then headed back to the Staithe by lunchtime. Went back to The White Horse for lunch, since we'd enjoyed our previous day's dinner so much, and then decided (rather rashly given the wind forecast which Harry had been checking on Windguru) to make our way back down the Ant, since it looked like a westerly wind would help us. Harry decided to swop his Ddraig Goch flag for a 'Stars and Stripes' today, in honour of his American friends. We did manage to sail quite a lot of the Ant (once past Irstead), but it started to get a bit more difficult as we approached How’s Hill. First the boys got stuck for a short time in a tree, fortunately on the lee bank, but managed to free themselves, then G and I got our rigging well and truly stuck in a tree on the windward back in such a way as to prevent us dropping the mainsail. A kindly Welsh chap on a mobo towed us off, with another Welsh couple cheering on from where they were moored a bit further on. Then when we got to How Hill we just didn’t have enough room to tack properly and the wind kept blowing us sideways onto other boats each time we lost any forward motion. Lots of fending-off ensued before we finally managed to get a space to moor up. Whew! It was getting on for evening by then anyway, and we were all fairly tired. It had clouded over, so we were happy to stay at How Hill for the night. Graham and I cooked up some pasta with stir-in sauce and turned in for the night.
  9. Sorry about the messing about with pictures. I haven't quite got the hand of this posting malarkey.
  10. Day Two: Sunday 3rd July. By the way, if people are finding these posts a bit long it would be good to know so that I can edit them down a bit (or a lot depending on feedback!). Woke up to cloudy morning. I do tend to wake up very early on the Broads. Graham slept on, so I started reading the Kindle book I’d bought. Once G woke we had some bacon and beans. There isn’t running water on board, and although there is a sink it was just holding our wet things from the previous evening. My trousers had mostly dried, having been hung from a hook, but Graham’s were still wet at the bottom. There is a pump out loo (‘heads’) thankfully, though it’s a bit cramped as it’s right at the forward end of the cabin where the roof slopes right down. Washing on board consisted of a quick wipe down of ‘important bits’ with wet wipes. By the time we’d had breakfast, woken the boys and they’d started their breakfast, G and I had taken off our awning and were ready to go. Sails up, mud-weight up and off just as the sun started coming out. Since we were ahead of the boys G and I sailed first into the South Walsham inner broad. By the time we’d been around that the boys were getting their awning down, so we waved at them and set off up Fleet Dyke, having agreed to meet them at Ludham Bridge. We managed to get up the dyke without any quanting, tacked up the Bure to the River Ant and then had a fair wind up to the Bridge. The main difficulty when we got there was finding a place to moor. There didn't seem to be any areas clearly marked as reserved for de-masting south of the bridge, which was very odd given there’s a clearly marked area reserved for yachts just north of the bridge (I later found out subsequently there is an area on the right bank going upstream). We had to moor against the earth bank just before the proper moorings, but other than that it wasn’t too much of a problem to get the mast down and then quanting under the bridge. There was a bit of waiting in the basin just before the bridge for a long stream of mobo’s coming though in the opposite direction. Once we were the other side we got the mast back up fairly quickly and then quanted on to one of the longer term moorings before walking back down river to see how the boys were doing. They were just arriving as we did so and we were able to help them moor up. They also negotiated the bridge without difficulty, got their mast up and moored up next to Hustler 3 since we had decided to go to The Dog for lunch (it being about 11:30 by this time). We got to The Dog a bit early, since they don’t open until 12, so we sat outside for a while, until the very friendly landlady opened up. Had a really lovely half-pint (sadly can’t remember of what) before the food came. All cooked very well and presented in a homely fashion. We enjoyed it very much. After lunch it was back to the boats and a pleasant sail up the Ant in warm sunshine. We managed to sail some sections, though the quant came into use quite frequently, especially though Irstead. It was a lovely sunny warm day, especially toward evening. When we did hit Barton Broad there were quite a few sail boats out, trying to race, but not much wind. At least there was enough wind to push us gently into Gaye’s Staithe. We moored side by side at the Staithe and then went to The White Horse for dinner. Very nice it was too. Their beer was good too. Gaye's Staithe was a lovely quiet mooring.
  11. Hey Timbo...that's not fair to Milton Keynes, there's lots of old stuff sneakily hidden between the new stuff!
  12. I must admit that Norfolk seems very balmy compared to Anglesey when the wind is whipping across the Island...though I loved the place and never imagined that I'd leave it. Graham and I grew up there in the 60s and 70s and left in '83 shortly after we got married as the employment situation there was particularly bad. I think in the '80s Holyhead was badged the most depressed place in the UK, which at the time was no mean feat! Helen
  13. Saturday 2nd July Left home shortly before 7am, stopped off for breakfast in a Costa’s before 8am, except that Alec (No. 2 son) sloped off to McDonalds’ for his breakfast (tuh!). Got to Wroxham about 9:30am and spent the morning wandering around Hoveton; first Roy’s then the Chandlery (got some new sailing gloves) and then a wander around a couple of the boatyards (Summercraft and Barnes Brinkscraft). Had lunch in the River Kitchen Café. It wasn’t that warm but we sat outside on the terrace watching boats approach Wroxham Bridge, amused by the number of people who seem oblivious to other boat users. Alec had Halloumi and Risotto. I think he’d intended the Halloumi to be a starter, but they both came together. G and I had enormous doorstop sandwiches with smoked mackerel, horseradish and watercress. Harry (No. 1 son) had scampi and chips. All very yummy. Their cakes looked nice but we were far too stuffed to try them. After lunch we went on our way to Ludham and went straight to Hunter’s Yard even though it was only about 12:30. The boats were ready though, and they were quite happy for us to start loading up. One of the chaps wandered up and asked the Skippers (G and Harry) to complete the paperwork he’d left out in the office. Very casual, and no ‘showing us the ropes’ since we’re now 'old hands'. The boys were in Hustler and G and I in Hustler 3, and we’d hired a sailing dinghy with each yacht. We were ready to set off to the landing stage to put the sails up by about 1:00pm. However, we had to get there first. The charming thing about Hunter's boats is that they have no engine, just sails and a very long pole called a quant. There was a brisk SW wind blowing into the Yard’s dyke and we couldn’t get up enough ‘way’ with one quant to steer so the wind just blew us onto other boats in the dyke (lots of fending off!). We solved that by Harry coming across to help us out with a second quant. Once we were at the landing stage with Hustler 3 we did the same with Hustler. We were fairly cautious since it was so gusty and put two reefs in our sails before setting off. There were a few dark thunder clouds in the distance, but fortunately they kept their distance (mostly) and we had a lovely sunny sail down the Thurne and then up the Bure, having agreed to meet the boys at St Benet’s moorings. The boys passed us on the way. I was thinking that they must be sailing better than G and I, but later we found out that their boat had brand new sails that season, so no wonder they were going faster! Both boats were flying Ddraig Goch’s (the Welsh flag). G and I got a lot of friendly comments…far more than last year, mainly due to Wales being the only UK team remaining in the Euro’s, due to play Portugal in the semi’s on Wednesday. A typical comment was ‘At least someone can still kick a b*y ball!’ It was about 6pm by the time we got to St Benet’s. The boys were already moored up on the end mooring post, so G and I rashly thought we could moor against them, scandalising our sails to kill our speed. Unfortunately we misjudged it, came in slightly too quickly and Harry hadn’t realised we were approaching until we were almost alongside. Fortunately Harry caught the painter despite my falling over in the process. I had a wonderful bruise underneath my arm for the rest of the week! It didn’t help that we got caught on the edge of a thunderstorm just as we were approaching. We’d seen this large thundercloud rumbling away for a while and thought we would miss it. The rain didn’t last long though. After a quick conflab we decided it was getting too late to turn up the Ant or go to Ranworth, so we hoisted our sails and went down Fleet Dyke to South Walsham Broad instead. We didn’t have that much wind going down the dyke, so G did some quanting. We mud-weighted on South Walsham Broad, and then wondered where the boys were. They appeared when G and I had almost completed putting our awning up. Just as they were mud-weighting the heavens opened and we all got soaked in a matter of seconds. G hopped onto their boat to help and it wasn’t too long before they got their awning up. The rain didn’t last that long, but we caught a wonderful double rainbow, the arc of which was actually resting on the other side of the Broad. After changing our clothes G and I had some tinned veg chilli and rice for dinner. The boys said that they’d just heat up some soup. Most of our catering for the week is based around non-perishable food, as we have no power/fridge/running water. All part of the fun! It’s very cosy in the cabin, and the duvets provided are very warm, so we slept as well as can be expected for the first night in narrow beds.
  14. Love the fenders Robin! I know what you mean about work. It's been nothing but change where I work for the last few years.
  15. Hi everyone. I've been lurking around this forum for a while now and have come to appreciate its friendliness, so I've finally plucked up the courage to join. We live in North Bucks, but are originally from Anglesey (hence my forum ID). Hubby and I first discovered the Broads July 2015 when we hired a three-berth Wood class Hunter's boat with our eldest son and our dog Marvin. It's all thanks to the Open University really (yes, I know that sounds odd, but let me explain). I did a course in Children's Literature that year and discovered 'Swallows and Amazons', and then went on to read the rest of Ransom's books including 'The Coot Club'. We've really fallen for the Broads and hired twice in 2016, the two of us along with Marvin had a 4 night break in March on Turquoise Emblem from Ferry Marina (having been upgraded because the boat we'd booked wasn't ready for the new season) and we hired 2 x two-berth Hustler class Hunter's boats in July with both our sons joining us. Sadly our dog Marvin died in April, so we really missed him on the July trip. We've also booked again this year with Ferry Marina (Royale Emblem for the first week in May, as we've persuaded my cousins to join us) and a four-berth Hunter's boat for July again. We've now got a rather excitable 20 week old Collie, so things will be interesting this year! Doggie buoyancy aid a must at all times! I must admit that I've got a bit obsessive about the Broads and have withdrawal symptoms. When I was ill in bed over Christmas I managed to get through most of Robin's YouTube videos. Anyway, as you can tell we like to keep a foot in both sailie and mobo camps. I find the banter between them very amusing, having experienced things from both viewpoints, so to speak. I kept a diary of last year's trips, so will post those up on the forum when I get a chance. Helen
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