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  1. Thursday 11th July I awoke again about 6.30pm and as usual my routine was kettle on, make tea and slide back the roof. Again the weather wasn’t bad, a bit cloudy but the sun was doing its best to shine through, but not cold As with previous days I drank about half of mine before one of the ladies in my life was demanding my attention. No, not Mandy, she was quite happy where she was and had no intent of moving just yet! Yup it was Lottie, that little silent bark of hers was informing me it was time to do what dogs that have been shut in for 8 hours or so must do! So lead on and out we go Ludham Bridge isn’t my favourite mooring, but it is excellent for anyone with a dog because you can walk for miles either along the river or across the fields. ‘We’ chose the river walk. Breydon slack was at 12.53pm, the chart I use told me it was going to take 3hrs 40mins, so I decided we should be leaving at about 9.15am, providing my math was right. Actually Maths rather than English was always my stronger subject at school, as you can probably tell by my wittering on here! ;-) It was about 6.50am when me and Lottie set off, we had 2.5hrs before we needed to leave Reedham so we decided to take a fairly long walk along the bank. We returned to the boat after about an hour and again as usual it was kettle on, tea made and delivered to Mandy, I enquired when she might be getting up? Not yet it would appear! It was only about 8am, so no real hurry, she was going to read for a bit, so I sat at the helm listening to the radio and caught up with a few emails and my football clubs online forum. Nothing had changed there, quite a few in meltdown because we hadn’t signed either Messi or Ronaldo or both! Mandy got up at about 8.30am and asked if I fancied a full English, after my exercise this morning I felt I deserved it. We had breakfast another cuppa it was now after 9.00am, so we decided to head off and take a leisurely cruise to Yarmouth As I’ve said previously in this tale I’m a little paranoid with bridge heights, so having assessed the weather I took the screens down. Yes I know with Dawn, I wouldn’t have a problem, just makes me feel better, plus it’s a nicer view. The weather had sort of got better and worse, if that’s possible? Let me explain, it had got better because there was far more blue sky on show, however it had got worse because the clouds that were there had got a lot darker, with a few threatening black bits! It was a strange cruise, it was very quiet, a couple of private boats overtook us but nothing came the other way, I know they would have been punching the tide, but that hasn’t stopped boats before. As we passed both The Bridge Inn at Acle and The Ferry at Stokesby, I was surprised there wasn’t a single boat moored at either of them, I’ve never seen so much space to moor! It soon became clear that we were going to get to Yarmouth too early, we decided rather than having to fight the tide on Breydon to we’d moor up at Stracey Arms for a cuppa and walk Lottie to correct our arrival time at Yarmouth. This was a decision that cost us lunch (not that I needed it) and caused Mandy to get angry (not something that happens much) We turned the boat round and came in against the fast moving tide and moored quite easily. A Herbert Woods boat came in shortly after us with the tide and made a right ‘cods’ of it Well, they finished up moored into the tide, however not for the first time with week we had one member of the crew (husband) on the bank with bow rope and another crew member (wife) at the helm desperately trying to get the stern to go in! After smashing against the quay heading several times like a bucking horse, the tide eventually swung them 180 degrees to face the other way, they then tied up safely not facing in the direction they intended plus a fair few scratches to the bow Mandy made the tea, I took Lottie for a walk along the river path, it was only about a 20min stop, tea, walk and a bit of impromptu entertainment. We left at 11.20am, which by my calculations would be perfect for slack, however if we had got there earlier or later we were going through, I have no desire to visit Yarmouth! I have to say the cruise to Yarmouth isn’t the prettiest, unless you are into reeds and marker posts! Timing was now spot on and we passed under the first low bridge showing 9ft 3ins bang on time, the only thing of note I remember was receiving a text from my son Nick that we had the Aussies 14 for 3 in the World Cup Cricket semi, wow, I thought I had forgotten it was on. I decided not to jinx it by listening to it on the radio, but kept a watch on the score via my phone! The journey was good, we made decent time, the weather was dry and reasonably warm, although I did put a fleece on for a while as the cool wind whipped around us. The sky did look a little threatening, we were worried we might catch a shower, but our luck held out, all was good We had a loose plan (I like a plan) stop for a late lunch at The Bell St Olaves, then up the New Cut and moor for the night at Reedham. If we couldn’t get into Reedham we’d go to Loddon and moor at Pyles Mill or the basin (unlikely) and if that failed at Pacific’s yard as we had to have the boat back by 9am the next day! For some reason Mandy became very camera happy over Breydon/Yarmouth (as you can see below) these were the only photos she took on our broads holiday! Anyway, plenty of room under the bridges, turn past the yellow post and across Breydon. We had a bit of company on Breydon, but it wasn’t too bad, as we neared the end I suggested to Mandy that if there was any room outside The Fisherman’s Inn (and I was happy with the moorings) shall we stop there as we hadn’t been there before. She agreed that it would be nice to stop somewhere different At about 1.45pm we cruised past the Fishermans, and yes only one boat there so enough room to get in easily. I had read on here that the mooring were a bit ‘harsh’ so as I turned and came in against the tide I had a good look at them, the last thing I needed was to damage the boat, but they looked ok, so in we went moored up. I checked the fenders were at the right height to protect the boat. As we could see the boat from the pub garden, we left the roof and screens down The weather was quite sunny now, a bit breezy due to it being very open but quite pleasant as we chose a table in the garden looking towards the river As I stood at the bar waiting to be served, I noticed a sign ‘food served between 12 and 2pm’ I glanced at my watch, 1.58pm, a chap next to me paid for his drinks, the barmaid turned to me, I ordered our drinks and immediately said ‘we ok for food’ it was now 1.59pm ‘No, kitchen is closed’ I pointed to my watch and said ‘it’s close but not 2pm yet’ ‘Yes but by the time I take your order they will be closed’ she replied ‘Not even a sandwich’ I asked? The answer was a very apologetic No! Now I understand ‘rules is rules’ but we only wanted a sandwich, and they had two bar staff serving about 7 people, technically it was before 2pm and would have hurt one of them leaving the bar to make a sandwich or two? To be honest I wasn’t that bothered as I wasn’t desperately hungry, so I asked for a couple of packets of crisps and returned to Mandy outside threw her the crisps and said ‘that’s your lunch’ and explained the 2pm closure and the fact I was ordering at 1.59pm I thought it was quite funny, but Mandy’s fuse had been lit and the firework display was about to start! She was not happy, not like her really, but I do see her point, they are a new business trying to do well and get ‘punters’ through the door, two new customers enter the pub and even before their deadline they stop food orders! However, despite the moan, I liked it there, the beer was good as was the view and had we not stopped at Stracey Arms and fought the tide over Breydon, I might be saying the food was good as well Mandy didn’t want a second drink, so she went back to the boat taking Lottie with her to ‘prepare lunch’ I stayed and had another beer (surprise) I got talking to people sitting on the next table, who were new to the broads, about the broads, broad boat hire and other stuff, there was a couple from Essex and another couple from Suffolk. The weird bit was all us fellas were called Tim, three Tims on one table what joy! I don’t know what a collection of Tims is…….probably trouble! Mandy gave me a wave from the boat is indicate food was ready, so I said my goodbyes and returned to the boat, toasted cheese and onion sandwich, very nice and a beer! We left the mooring around 3.00pm and headed back towards Breydon and up the Yare towards Reedham. The moorings at The Fishermans were ok, I’m not sure I’d be happy doing an overnighter as the quay heading was unforgiving, and rising and falling against it would concern me England were now well on top in the cricket and truly giving the Aussies a spanking, which is always nice (rivalry thing) so instead of the usual cruising music I had 5 live extra booming from my phone through a Bluetooth speaker! We reached Reedham sometime before 5.00pm and was pleased to see a couple of moorings available, so I went past Reedham turned into the tide and slowly pulled into a space outside The Lord Nelson with the warden in attendance. He asked if we were staying the night, which I told him we were, he then tied the boat for the night, which I was more than happy to let me do He offered me the water hose, but we still had a quarter of a tank, with boat being returned the next day we didn’t bother, plus I was rather enjoying listening to the cricket Mandy suggested we went for a drink in The Lord Nelson, you should have seen the look on her face when I told her I was happy just sitting on the boat! 33 years married and that was a first! I enjoyed a couple of beers while the game progressed and toasted the success with a glass of red wine! Now it was time to get a drink in the Nelson’s garden, the weather now was really lovely the best of the day, we decided to have our last dinner of the holiday at The Ship, but first we took Lottie for a little walk We got back to the boat about 9ish, Mandy made a cup of tea for herself whilst I took Lottie for a quick walk. When back at the boat I sat at the helm, with the roof down with a glass of wine or two or…….and reflected what a wonderful two weeks we’d had in both The Lakes and The Broads! To be continued
  2. Thanks for the kind comments, and again I'm going to apologise for the lack of updates. My work partner is on holiday meaning I have two jobs (tbf fair its probably only one job, but I'm busy) and my daughter managed to write her car off last Saturday, she had a rear tyre blow out in hard rain, spun round on a dual carriageway and mounted the kerb Thankfully she wasn't hurt, just shook up, but it was curtains for her 4 year old Fiesta. And so to dealing with the insurance company, its an internet based company, their website was down all weekend, the telephone number took us around the houses for 15mins before telling us to go on line! I have a multi car policy mine, Mandy and Susie, they are all on my account, all linked to my email and telephone number, and all paid by me on the same debit card! So having spent 30mins on Monday waiting to get through, I was hit with 'data protection' they could talk to me they had to speak to Susie who was now on 12 hour shifts in a care home! Don't worry they said we'll email her (they got the email address wrong) and they gave me an out of hour number we could ring when she finished her shift, we we rang when off shift, only 20 mins going round the houses only to be told they were closed and would open again at 8am! Gladly, it was sorted on the Tuesday, she got the money on the Wednesday and another car on the Thursday! So Mum and Dad's taxi service can stand down again for a while! Anyway, not broads or a broads tale, just an excuse and a whinge! I promise I will finish the tale early next week!
  3. Wednesday 10th July I apologise for the delay, I've been a bit busy at work, and whilst I did consider doing less rambling, I decided I started it that way so I'll finish it that way! I awoke about 6.30 am again and got up about 20 mins later. It’s now becoming the usual routine, kettle on and pull back the roof, the weather was ok, very cloudy with a few dark clouds that looked like they were carrying rain, it wasn’t cold but I’ve seen better starts to the day. Tea made and delivered to Mandy, Lottie was happy watching the geese and ducks on Ranworth Island, so I sat back in the helm seat and drank my tea looking at the maps I’d brought with me After about 10 mins, Lottie started to do that silent barking thing, she obviously had got fed up watching the action and now wanted to be part of it I like Ranworth Island, but I’d rather be on the Straithe, if only for the walk for the dog. Now, this may shock you but with so many geese and ducks inhabiting such a small space, there quite a bit of goose and duck poo around, and dogs just like to be disgusting don’t they? So, she chased a few ducks into the water, they like at Salhouse kept winding her up by coming straight back, so I put her on the lead and tried to get her away from both ducks and poo, fortunately ‘business’ was completed soon so it was back to the boat More tea made, Mandy got up about 8.00am, breakfast discussion followed. The steak and kidney pudding at The Maltsters (I was corrected by Mandy over the weekend for spelling it wrong, well technically I wasn’t spelling it wrong I had the pub name wrong in my head!) was still sitting in my stomach, so the answer to breakfast should’ve been nothing. However, I was on holiday and getting used to stuffing my face, so settled for egg on toast (I’m not enjoying trying to shift the weight I put on!) Breakfast completed we decided we’d go to The Lion at Thurne for lunch (yup more food) but decided to have a little cruise to Potter Heigham before. I can’t say Potter Heigham is my idea of the nicest place on the broads, but we apparently needed a few bits from Lathams and Lottie (and probably us) needed some exercise, so we set off about 9.30 am I may not like PH much, but I do like the cruise down there, past all the different chalets and holiday homes, it is a bit of ‘liquorice allsorts’ and unlike Wroxham, I could probably afford one! On the way we passed a moored boat (see picture at bottom) who was taking no chances of getting any damage, he was quite well protected, and I don’t blame him/her, having seen the antics of some hire (and some private) boats this week. We got to PH about 10.30 am, no moorings on the river, which did surprise me, so into Herbert Woods boat yard and stern moored where the ‘visitors’ sign said. There were a couple of HW guys cleaning a boat near us, so I asked them if it was ok to stay for an hour or so? ‘As long as you like’ came the reply and ‘help yourself to water’ I’ve never hired a cruiser from HW, but I have hired a day boat a few years ago to go up through Hickling Broad and have lunch at the Pleasure Boat, but I have to say that the limited experiences I have had with them have all been very positive We had a walk around the town, I’m not sure what it is about Potter Heigham, but for me it just appears a bit ‘tacky’ this view is only strengthened by the old Broadhaven pub, I can’t remember its name now but it just doesn’t look that inviting We walked past the pub, and took the footpath towards Hickling Broad, not the prettiest walk but it was quite interesting to see the different condition of the properties, some were obviously holiday lets and were generally in better condition The weather started to look a bit ‘iffy’ with heavy cloud and a bit of light rain, we hadn’t taken coats but the rain wasn’t hard or long enough to cause any real discomfort. We walked as far as we could then returned on the same route. I would assume that most deliveries would have to come in by boat as I couldn’t see any vehicular access? Mandy went off to Lathams, I returned to the boat and put the kettle on and made Mandy a tea, as it was now 11.30 am (Stokesby Ferry would be open) I opened a beer and slid back the roof, I then took advantage of HW’s offer and filled the water tank The weather had improved and whilst it couldn’t be described as great, there was no rain and it wasn’t cold. Mandy returned, drank her tea, we left HW yard about 10.50 am, only a short cruise again we reached Thurne Dyke about 12.30 pm. There was plenty of room, however I’m normally lucky and get a spot at near the windmill, meaning I only have to reverse out to get back on the main river, those spots were taken so we had to go down the dyke and moor half way down on the left I know I’m in a minority of one, but I liked the Lion before it changed owners, I also liked Sid. I can only speak as I find, and he was always polite and friendly to us, although I have to admit it is better now, especially now that arcade has gone with that very annoying music that used to kick in every 5 or 10 mins We decided to take a seat in the garden, the beer was good as was the food, and we shared a pizza and a bowl of chips. I had a few pints of a local real ale Mandy a glass of wine and a coffee, my only criticism of the ‘new’ Lion was that I preferred to sit at front of the pub, which is now a car park, but I can understand the logic of using it that way Whilst we were sitting in the garden it started to rain very lightly, we decided to be ‘very British’ and braved it out, it didn’t last long and it still wasn’t cold. We prefer to sit outside when we can, probably because we spend a lot of our working life inside Over lunch we discussed our evening mooring / pub, this would be our last night on the northern broads, and we both agreed that our stay would not be complete without a meal at the Kings Arms at Ludham. Our preference was Ludham Straithe, back up plan was Ludham Bridge and walk We were back at the boat at 2.30 pm, but we needed to turn round, I decided it would be easier to leave the dinghy tied to the quay heading as trying to turn at the bottom of the dyke with it attached would be too much hassle Dawn is 35ft, so turning her would be simple, but turning her with dinghy would be difficult, so having turned we collected the dinghy and set off for Womack It didn’t take long before we were turning into Womack Water, about 30 mins, as we approached the moorings on the right it didn’t look good! Blimey I thought, if they are full here I’ve got no chance at the Straithe or island! As we went past Hunters (I don’t think they’re in the federation?) another boat passed us very slowly ‘Any room down there’ I called to the skipper ‘A little bit’ he replied Well, I don’t know where this ‘little bit’ was, but he was either unable to break bad news or he thought my boat was only 4ft wide! It was ‘chocker’ so was the island, an option would have been to use the dinghy So around we went and back in the direction we’d just come, a bit frustrating but I consoled myself with another beer, I was pretty confident that I’d get moored at Ludham Bridge, which would mean a visit to the Dog for a couple of beers before dinner at the Kings Arms It was only just after 3pm, so we should be at LB about 4ish, we have moored at the Straithe before, so I was a bit surprised there wasn’t a space at 3pm We got to Ludham Bridge about 4.15 pm, I’d taken the screens down as a precaution, but of course there was plenty of room for Dawn. I’m not really a nervous person normally, in fact I’ve been described as a bit of a ‘risk taker’ my mum, god rest her, used tell me that I’m not ‘fireproof’ but somehow I’m paranoid about bridge heights! Anyway, safely moored at LB we wandered up to the Dog. The weather had improved greatly by now, there was even a bit of sun! A couple of drinks at the Dog and back to the boat, freshen up and walk up to the Kings Arms at Ludham. As much as I would have loved to moor at the Straithe, LB gave us the opportunity to have a walk, so past the Dog, turn right shortly afterwards walk along the road before turning left through the farm and up to Lovers lane, then joining a footpath that runs adjacent to the road and into Ludham, about 30 mins from memory. The first time we went to the Kings Arms we sat at the front, we hadn’t realised the fantastic patio / garden they had at the back, obviously now we’ve discovered the garden we go there all the time, so far we’ve been blessed with decent weather I can’t remember what we had, but the food and beer were excellent as usual, we left the pub about 8.30 pm and walked back to the boat Mandy put the kettle on for tea, which I declined, because clearly I hadn’t had enough alcohol yet, so I had a couple of glasses of wine whilst sitting at the helm watching the sunset, which I was too stupid to take a picture of, doh! To be continued
  4. Tuesday 9th July I awoke about 7 am and put the kettle on shortly after, usual routine for me, pulled back the roof, the weather wasn’t bad, a bit dull but not cold Tea was delivered to Mandy, Lottie was now also on the bed so I thought to myself happy days, I might be able to finish mine for once, and I did, both ‘girls’ on the bed and me up making tea and mopping the decks, and they say it’s a man’s world I happened to mention something about a ball and a walk, Lottie joined me immediately, so with ball and launcher in hand we went up to the common for 20-30 mins, I can’t remember if it had rained overnight or if it was just the dew, but Lottie was soaking wet by the time we got back to the boat. I got one of her towels and tried to dry her off, the problem was that she’s only two and thought this was part of the game, oh well, did it eventually! The plan today was to head back to Wroxham, have lunch / drinks in the Kings Head and then try and get a mooring at Ranworth for the evening, with this in mind, we were in no hurry, I had already put Lottie’s cover on the bed before we went out, so she decided to go back to bed with mum! I made another tea, took it into Mandy and drank mine while sitting at the helm catching up with some emails and my football club Maidstone United’s forum. I think I mentioned in a previous thread that I’m chairman of the supporters club and organise away travel. We were relegated from the National league last season so our message board had been in meltdown from the end of the season. Football supporters do like a good moan! Mandy and Lottie got up about 9 am (not pm) she asked if I’d like a cooked breakfast, and again I thought ‘hell to the waistline’ The journey from Coltishall to Wroxham is one of my favourites, probably in the top 3 along with Barton Broad to Sutton on the Ant and Beccles to Gelderston Locks on the Waverley. Last year we did the other two, unfortunately we just didn’t get the chance to them again this year as well As I said we were in no hurry, leaving Coltishall at about 10 am, we just cruised at a gentle pace through the beautiful winding river until we reach Wroxham at about 11.30 am. To be honest I wished we had taken the time to go up to Coltishall Locks, unfortunately we didn’t, next time definitely! There were plenty of moorings at the Viaduct, but as at some stage we needed to get the pilot to take us under the bridge, we decided to try and get moored near the pub Low water at Wroxham was 1.15 pm, but as the pilot had told me the day before, Dawn would go through a good 2hrs either side of low water, probably more! We reached the stern moorings and there were a couple of slots, the pilot was just taking a boat through and there was a Ricko bath tub just hovering by the bridge. I called out to him to see if he was mooring, apparently not, he was going to get water from the boat yard on the other side then wait for the pilot in mid water, but he wasn’t really doing anything but get in the way (this later turned out to be Richardson madness day, although nothing like Brinks day) Mandy moved the dinghy to the front, it was tight with the Ricko boat just sitting there but we did manage to turn and into the quay side After we moored, the Ricko bath tub went off and moored for water, it would have been a lot easier if he had done that before we had moored, Oh well! The pilot was near our mooring, so I wandered down to him and explained that we would like to go through in a couple of hours ‘Which boat is yours’ he asked ‘Dawn’ I replied pointing to her ‘No problem, anytime you want, just give me a call when you are ready’ We took Lottie for a little walk, it was now about midday, Mandy needed to go back to Roys and exchange some shorts she had bought the previous day. Too big? Too small? Wrong colour? I’m sure I was told, but this stuff just washes over me. I was also invited to join her on her shopping trip, somehow I managed to wriggle out of that pleasure opting to go to the pub with Lottie! The weather had improved, not very sunny but bright enough and quite warm, so after getting myself a Yardbird (with 10% off) I found a table near the river and sat back to enjoy the view Mandy joined me after about 20 mins, I got her a Primm’s and me another Yardbird and menus. For the second day running we decided we were ‘fooded out’ So we again sat in the dappled sunshine, enjoying watching the boats and people, we had a couple of nice conversations with others in the garden and those passing by We left the pub about 1.30 pm and returned to Dawn, I had noticed it was a lot cloudier and some were looking a bit grey. I was hoping we could get through the bridge before it started raining About 20 mins after calling the pilot it started to drizzle which shortly afterwards turned light rain, I left the front screens down but put the roof up. Fortunately it didn’t rain for long, about 10 mins later the pilot arrived, down came the roof. As he pulled Dawn into the river I moved the dinghy to the rear, and through we went There was a Martham woody (I think it was Jayne) on the pilot moorings as he turned around, the pilot asked me to take the helm and pull up against Jayne, the pilot told the skipper of Jayne that he couldn’t take Martham boats through (anyone know why?) and that he should ring his boat yard to see if they were happy for them to take it through themselves We left straight away so don’t know the outcome of that situation It wasn’t raining, but it wasn’t sunny either and it wasn’t cold, so we continued our cruise to Ranworth. The journey time was about 2 hrs, this would mean arriving at 4 pm and unlikely be able to get a mooring on the Straithe, however we will try! I mentioned earlier about the Richardson bath tub that was causing me difficulties me difficulties mooring at Wroxham. Well two other Richardson’s bath tubs were about to annoy me more on our way from Wroxham to Horning I can’t remember exactly where it was, there a picture of the offending boats below, one was Star Gem 5 the other an former Horizon boat possibly Summer, I’m sure someone can put me right on this However two things I do know are: 1) I was trying to get to Ranworth as fast as (legally) possible 2) I wasn’t going to speed due to possible damage to moored boats and banks These two boats (they didn’t appear to be together) came past me on a blind bend, with other boats coming towards us at a good 2mph faster than we was travelling, neither looked at me as I called out about their speed! It’s not hard these days to know what speed you are travelling at, I have 3 apps on my phone that do that for you, I’m no ‘teckie’ so if I can do it so can they! Ok, rant over, got to Ranworth about 4 pm, as we went down the dyke I saw several boats coming out, I thought oooh, maybe we might get lucky, I grabbed the binoculars, it looked full from here, Mandy, who had been reading in the lounge joined Lottie and me at the helm to help No, it was ‘chocker’ we hovered for a while, got excited when we saw people coming back to their boats, but were given a signal by them that they weren’t going anywhere! There was plenty of room at the island, so there was no need to panics, mud weighting was an option, but I’d broken the boat steps I hang off the back of the boat at Salhouse when mooring (not sure how I did that as we’ve had them for 4 years) so getting into the dinghy might not be that easy and I’d also have to row Lottie to the bank late evening and early morning The weather wasn’t that bad by now, not nearly as good as it had been previous days but not cold, not windy and ‘brightish’ So decision made, well no decision really, drop mud weight, open a beer and see if anyone moves! Beer finished, no movement, open another beer and………….wait! While we were floating around on the mud weight Mandy received a call from her friend Elaine, we had said the previous night that we intended to go to Ranworth, they were in the area and did we want to meet up for a few drinks at the Malsters Ok, decision firmly made, pay the £8 to moor on the Island and row over to the dinghy dyke. We got to the Island, plenty of space, there was one mooring that was side on just before you go into the private moorings at the back, I thought that one is easy, and it meant we didn’t have to move the dinghy and it would be easier to get in and out of it There was a sign that told you to stern moor or you could be charged more if you side on moored, but there was no way you could stern moor there, you could block half the entrance I spied a warden in a motor powered dinghy heading our way, he moored in front of us and came over for his mooring fee. I braced myself for the side on mooring fee discussion but it never came, I paid him the £8 and away he went I have to say we’ve been lucky with moorings, £2 at Salhouse for an hour and £8 at Ranworth Island for the night, all others were ‘free’ however the amount spend in the pubs is another thing! We’d had agreed to meet Elaine and Gary at the Malsters at 6 pm, so a quick wash and freshen up, into the dinghy and off we went Now, I said in this blog that I’m a once a year boater, whilst that’s true, it doesn’t give the full picture My first job as a 14 year old was in a small boat hire business on the River Medway at Maidstone. We had day boats, rowing type boats with outboards or just plain oars. The largest boat we had was only 20ft, but the principle of boating never leaves you Back in 1972, I got paid 10p/hour, yup £1 for a ten hour shift between 10am and 8pm, by 1974 I’d been promoted to boatman class 1 (whatever that was) I was now on a staggering 30p/hour - £3 for ten hours, but I seem to remember paying 12p for my first pint of bitter back in 1973/74. If they had a quiet day and had spare boats we could take them out for nothing, it was a big hit with the girls back then! So off we rowed to the pub, and apart from Mandy saying ‘you need to go that way’ whilst waving both arms at the same time, we did get to the Malsters shortly after 6 pm Elaine and Gary were already there, they bought us some drinks and we took a table in the garden. We had a few drinks and a lovely time, for people that I barely knew before the holiday I know look at them as great company and good friends They left us about 7.45-8.00 pm, we decided it was time to eat, so I got us a couple of menus and ordered our food. I can’t remember what Mandy had, but I ordered the Steak & Kidney Pudding, it was lovely. I’d now given up all hope on my waistline and fitness, it would be tough when the holiday ended and I had to get back into the exercise routine I have, but I’d now worry about that when I had to! After dinner, we took Lottie for a walk to the church, then got back to the dinghy and rowed back to the boat Apologies for the lack of photos, clearly being lazy To be continued
  5. Thanks, it was yours and a few others on here that inspired me to write this, but it was yours that convinced me I might get way with the fact I move from pub to pub and do a fair amount of drinking! As for Mandy, she is capable of a 8.30 pm lie in, as a ward nurse of many years ago she used to do all shifts including nights, she could go to sleep on a clothes line! Getting to the pub on time was by main consideration, Mandy jokes that me and my three mates are like a cross between two old sit-coms, Last of the Summer Wine and Men Behaving Badly!
  6. I noticed that after I'd posted, but thought I might get away with it! As I was leaving the office at 3 pm (my turn on call this weekend) so go home early, plus I had an appointment with 3 mates at the pub and didn't want to get stuck on the M25 or QE2 bridge I didn't change it! By the time I'd got back from taking Lottie for a walk it was too late, doh!
  7. Thanks I'm terrible at remembering to take photos, so I'd have no chance it I used a proper camera, it's an iPhone X as supplied by my company Coltishall Locks was my plan if I hadn't got a mooring on the common / pub, I'm sure we'll go up there one year
  8. Monday 8th July I had a bit of a lay-in this morning, awoke about 7 am and up about 7.30 am We were meeting friends of Mandy at Coltishall in the evening, so a short cruising day today. After all the excitement of yesterday and the long cruise, it seemed nice to plan a gentle day As usual it was kettle on and slide back the roof, tea was made and delivered, and as I suspect you know the routine by now, so it was out with Lottie, it was a beautiful day I like the moorings at The Ferry Inn and I like the pub, I like pubs with gardens that front on to the river, but the walk for Lottie is not really that exciting or rural So it was a short walk, business done, and back to the boat Kettle on again, tea made again. Mandy got up about 8.30 pm and asked if I would like a cooked breakfast, why not, I thought. I had already expanded the waistline this holiday and Cumbria, so bit more won’t hurt Mandy does do a good breakfast, and as I finished I reflected on what a good decision it was to go back and get her at Stokesby! The plan (I do like having a plan) was to go to Salhouse to give Lottie a decent walk, then onto Wroxham for lunch and then onto Coltishall for the evening We left Horning around 9.15 am and had a sedate cruise to Salhouse arriving at about 10 am, on the way we passed the subsiding house, which by now must be the most photographed building on the Broads! I had just enough time to tie the stern ropes before a warden arrived asking how long we intended to stay ‘An hour or so’ I told him ‘it’s £2 for an hour if you go over you’re in the £5 tariff’ So I paid for an hour and took Lottie for a walk I’m not sure who was teasing who, but Lottie was enjoying making the ducks leave the bank for the water, the ducks seemed to enjoy winding her up by coming straight back, anyway I put her on the lead and took her away from the ducks We had a nice walk around Salhouse and got back to the boat with about 10 mins left on our ‘hour’ Mandy made a cuppa, I took the opportunity to fill the water tank So with cuppa in hand and a full water tank (Dawn has a gauge) we decided to leave Salhouse and move on to Wroxham. I was also conscience that the warden seemed to be hovering like a London Traffic Warden waiting to pounce! A gentle cruise to Wroxham, I do enjoy passing those impressive houses on the stretch of water, although I don’t think a lottery win would be enough We called ahead to the bridge pilot to advise him we wanted to pass under the bridge and gave details of our boat. He said he had a couple ahead of us but said to pull into the pilot mooring and he would come and find us Low water was at 12.21, we were about 30 mins earlier, not a problem for Dawn with an airdraft of 6ft 7inches, I’d already taken the screens down before we left Salhouse I felt a bit guilty as we pulled slowly into the pilot moorings, there were several children feeding the swans and ducks, these obviously scattered as we approached. Mandy wanted to get a few things from Roy’s, we had waited about 10 mins when I eventually persuaded Mandy to go and do her shopping and I would meet her on the other side and go and have lunch, she left with shopping list and mobile phone The only doubt I had would be if she would hear it ring! We guys know that ladies handbags are sound proof! A couple of mins later, the pilot arrived ‘You by yourself’ he said So I explained the wife had gone shopping and that I would meet her once through the bridge All seemed fine, the pilot took me and Lottie through but there was no mooring immediately after the bridge I told the pilot we were staying in Wroxham for lunch so I was happy with the Viaduct moorings ‘Will your wife find you down there’ he said ‘No problem, she’s got her phone’ I replied The pilot asked me to take the helm ‘If you nudge up to that boat’ pointed to a Richardson bath tub stern moored near the pub ‘I’ll get off there as that’s the next boat I’m taking through ‘Ok, no problem’ I replied now realising I was about to become a solo sailor for the first time, well, if you don’t count the ‘Stokesby incident’ but then at least Mandy was on the bank! Off went the pilot, I gently reversed back, used the bow thruster to correct my position and off I went I tried to call Mandy, ring ring ring ring ring…………answer phone! Now, I’ve left a few moorings over the years by myself, but I’ve never moored solo I thought of the number of members on here that always solo moor, so I thought to myself of course you can do this, and of course I could! My biggest problem was trying to decide the river flow, I just couldn’t read it It was now about 12.10 pm, low water was in 10mins so it must still be going out…….just! So having turned around to come in facing the bridge, I turned again to come in facing Coltishall This made more sense anyway as the helm would be bank side And guess what? I went in perfectly, tied up the stern then sorted the bow rope! Rang Mandy again, no answer. So I pulled the screens and roof up, locked the boat and took Lottie for a walk to the end of the moorings and then back towards the pub I got a call shortly afterwards and we agreed to meet in the garden of the Kings Head in 10 mins as she’d just paid for her shopping. I went to order the drinks, Pimms for Mandy, Yardbird for me, bowl of water for Lottie, I also got a copy of the lunch menu, I got a pleasant surprise, the Kings Head were offering 10% of real ale for Camra members, well every little helps, especially with the cost of Pimms We looked at the menus and we both came to the conclusion that we really wasn’t hungry so when I went to get another round of drinks I also got two packets of crisps It was really nice sitting in the garden of the Kings Head, very close to the river and the weather really lovely. We had another drink and stayed in the pub for a couple of hours just watching the Wroxham activity, which was fortunately far more sedate than Stokesby the previous day We walked back to the boat and left about 2.30pm and headed up the beautiful stretch of water between Wroxham and Coltishall The pilot had told me earlier that he had been very busy taking 30 boats through the bridge, I was a little concerned that we might struggle to get a mooring at Coltishall, I didn’t need to worry, there were several paces so I turned around and moored up outside the pub It was still a warm sunny day, so leaving the roof down, we went to the Rising Sun for another drink I then took Lottie up to the common with her ball and launcher and let her charge around for 20-30 mins Mandy’s friends are Elaine and her husband Gary, Mandy and Elaine used to work together a few years ago and although they now live in northern Scotland, they still meet up a few times a year It was purely a coincidence that they were holidaying in Norfolk the same time as us, so it seemed nice to meet up I’ve only met Elaine and Gary once, but it was a lovely evening in the Rising Sun’s garden, they were really good company and although Mandy and me get on really well, after 10 days solely in each other’s company it was great to have different conversations The beer and food at the Rising Sun was excellent, Elaine Gary and myself had the Lamb Shank with mash, sorry I can’t remember what Mandy had We went back to the boat for coffee (I had a glass of wine) I think they left to get back to their hotel about 9 ish, I then took Lottie, ball and launcher to the common so she could a good run! To be continued
  9. Lovely tale, I'm having a 'day off' from writing mine so I've been catching up with other blogs on here, and watching the cricket (we play sky go through a play-station to a 55 inch tv in the office) not that that's been fun viewing! I tried to like your posts, but 'computer says no' apparently I've used all my 'likes' up for today! Anyone know how many you get a day?
  10. Thanks all Got to say, I am quite enjoying reliving the holiday on here, however as I'm sure you realise it does take a bit of time, so excuse me if it takes a few days to get to the end Speedtripple We went through Bargate Broad on the way there, didn't see 'Peta`s Joy' I'm afraid, although I did see Moonlight Shadow on her moorings on the Sunday Also saw Lightning, we had a reciprocal wave but cant remember where but I think it was Southern Broads so must have been Saturday Also saw Ranworth Breeze when we were returning the boat on the Friday, not sure who was on it, but a gent and a young lad gave us a wave that was returned
  11. Hi Mouldy Lovely tale I hope you enjoy your boat Yes, we saw the Kings Arms and we drove out of Loddon after we handed Dawn back, that is a horrible green! Never been attracted to go in, probably wont now with that pain job As for owning a boat, it has crossed my mind several times, it's not the cost of buying or running as we could afford both, it's just how much we would use it I still work full time, probably cut my hours back in a couple of years then maybe? Mandy likes to do other things, so this year we will have done Venice, Lake District, Broads and Bordeaux Last year it was Barcelona, Cornwall, Broads and Naples However, I always to prefer floating around the Broads
  12. Sunday 7th July Ok, sorry I’ve not updated this tale for a few days, it’s just I was busy at work yesterday, and yes it is why they pay me, and weekends are more busy than work days. We have a house with a pretty big garden and the grass hadn’t been mowed for 4 weeks it was going to take some time. We bought the house when the kids were little because of the garden, quite often we had half the street in our garden, it cost be a fortune in coke I made a big goal down the end, and I used to practice my son Nick’s shooting skills, I used to make him shoot with his wrong foot every night for several years. This culminated in him being pretty good with either foot, a new lad joined his football team and I was standing with his dad, when Nick beat a defender and curled the ball with his left foot in the top corner, blimey this chap went ‘I didn’t realise he was a left footer’, he’s not I said So if I can do that with a reasonably talented footballer, but never was going to make a living at it, why are there so many premier league players earning £100k a week with one foot? Anyway, enough of football back to the tale Again I woke up about 6.30 am, and again just dozed until about 7 am, Kettle on, roof back and yes it looked a lovely morning, mind you, yesterday looked good early on but went steadily downhill until improving later on, just as my weather app had predicted This time I was hoping ‘weather pro’ would be right again as the forecast was pretty good 20/21 degrees part sunny with maybe the odd shower. I could live with that! Tea made, delivered to Mandy, I drank about half of mine then took Lottie down past the Chain Ferry and past the camp site. Only a quick walk for Lottie to do ‘her stuff’ and then back to the boat We intended to cross Breydon Water this morning, Yarmouth slack was 9.03 am, but I’d read on hear from some wise sage (well I hope he was) that going south to north you could leave 30-60 mins after slack water and be perfect to get the benefit of the tides, I was happy to give this a go as it meant leaving a bit later, at 8am The Herbert Woods boat in front of us was obviously going to do this journey by the book, he fired up his engine about 7.20 am and was gone soon after, not before nearly hitting the stationary Chain Ferry on his way out, it was an interesting manoeuvre but he was out and away and didn’t hit me so all good, it later turned out to be a day of such manoeuvres I decided against the idea of another full English for breakfast, and although a sausage & bacon sarnie was not particularly the healthy option it was better than what I’d been eating the previous week With the Herbert Woods gone, but the private boat still behind, I told Mandy that I wouldn’t need her help to leave the mooring I could do it by myself if she fancied a lay in, but she got up anyway helped with the ropes and then went back to bed. What a trouper! I have a speed app on my phone, which I monitor all the time to ensure I don’t speed, with the Yare quickly emptying itself I need very little revs to keep at 5.5 – 6 mph, I didn’t see another boat between Reedham and Breydon either in front or behind Dawn had an air draft of 8ft with the roof and screens up and 6ft 7inches with everything down I’m a little paranoid with bridges, so prefer to have everything down when going over Breydon and through Yarmouth I did say my weather app said the weather would be good but there was a chance of an odd shower. Well as I cruised down The Yare, the weather was lovely but there was this one big black cloud that seemed to be tracking me, one moment it was on the right next the left (ok port and starboard) then in front of me, somehow it was never above me, just as well it looked like it was carrying a lot of rain Mandy joined me and Lottie at the helm just before Breydon Water. We passed the Berney Arms Windmill & Pub, it always saddens me that the pub is no longer open, sadly I didn’t go there when it was open, obviously now I can’t and probably never will Anyway I’m now on Breydon Water, I thought lets open her up, full throttle was about 2000 rpm and about 8 mph, I thought that’s a racket for that speed so pulled her back to 1800 and reached 9 mph. Not sure what that was all about, as I wasn’t in a really hurry I slowed up to 1700 and just ‘pootled’ across As we went under Breydon Bridge I felt we were pushing against the tide a bit and had to increase the revs, by the time I reached the yellow post we were 1800 rpm and only 4 mph, just as we turned I could feel the kick (as expected) and were being pushed towards the bridges. We were now a little over tick over but doing 4-5 mph, the bridge height was showing 8ft 3inches, glad I had the screens down, as we passed under I said to Mandy ‘that’s the closest I remember being to the bridge’ she agreed Obviously with Dawn being 8ft with roof up we would still have passed under easily, I just don’t like being that close with fast running tides! This would be the day of ‘Brinks madness’ It was also the day that I ‘cocked up,’ more of that later The tide was giving us a big kick as we continued along The Bure at 5-6 mph and not a lot of revs, I suddenly became aware of a noise behind me, as I looked behind I saw two Brinks Emperors were bearing down on us very quickly. There was also a boat coming towards us, surely they’ll slow down not keep coming I thought, no they kept going, I kept as far to the side as I dared without the possibility of running aground, the other boat also move over and we both slowed down. The two Emperors just charged through the centre, their wash rocked the boat and crashed into the bank I yelled at them to watch their speed, they didn’t look at me and just carried on, both crews were lads in their late 20’s about 6 or 7 on each boat and clearly not interested in anyone else on the river. As I passed the boat coming the other way, we just shrugged out shoulders and shook our heads, I believe we were both thinking the same thing! Both Emperors were moored at Stokesby when we arrived, so god knows where the fire was? I had to promise Mandy that I wouldn’t say anything to them before she let me get off the boat, I was calmer by then, but she knows I can be a little fiery at times. We had moored directly outside the The Ferry, the two Emperors were moored at the farm moorings, so fortunately well away from us! It was now a beautiful day, it was about 11.15 am and there were already quite a few people sitting the pub garden having a drink, including several of the crew from the Emperors! We decided to take Lottie for a walk first, and as we walked past the lads from the Brinks boats, Mandy felt it necessary to remind me of the promise I made to her! We walked for about 20-25 mins along the path in the direction of Yarmouth, the path started to get very overgrown so we decided to go back and have drinks / lunch in the pub As we walked back towards The Ferry, two of the crew from one of the Emperor boats had decided to take one of the boats for a cruise, but they were doing very strange things. One lad at the helm, with his mate holding the bow rope was standing on the bank, was trying to reverse out at an angle of 75 degrees, they yelled at each other for a bit, the boat crashed into the quay heading a few times but not really doing anything apart from damaging their boat and potentially any other boat nearby. Mandy again felt in necessary to remind me of my promise and successfully took my mind off them by suggesting we went to the pub, good call! I was really just glad they were nowhere near where Dawn was moored! When I came out from the pub and into the garden with a pint of Wherry for me and a Pimms for Mandy, they were still messing around, but eventually moored again about 10 mins later I don’t know what they were trying to do but I was glad for all those moored near them that they appeared to have finished, they all left shortly after, I later saw them moored at The Bridge at Acle, I remember thinking that I had hoped they stayed there! Anyway, the Brinks fun and games hadn’t finished, we got chatting to another couple in the garden about boating, they hadn’t hired a boat before and asked how difficult it was? I said take it slowly learn from your mistakes and don’t be like them (pointing to the Brinks crew) they had also watched the madness As I said that, another Brinks boat, cant remember the name but it was a big expensive one, came in to moor at Stokesby, to say he made a mess of it would be an understatement, first he came in with the tide, I assume it was his wife, got off with the bow rope, this must be a Barnes Brinkcraft thing, because he then wacked the quay heading a few times, he then threw his stern rope to someone who had gone over to help, he then nearly pulled his wife into the river, fortunately she let go of the rope in time, but this then meant he had both ropes in the drink, and his wife on the bank, (I was soon going to regret laughing at that) and two other crew members scratching their heads! A man in his early 30’s sitting with his wife and child near to us said quite loudly, ‘if I was him I’d give up on this and find another pub, and sent a cab for the misses’ it did amuse the assembled audience To be fair he did eventually get in, not the direction he was first expecting but did get moored So the entertainment at Stokesby was now over? Not quite! We had a sandwich and another drink, whilst at the bar a lady came up to me laughing at the entertainment that had been on offer, I told her that I now felt extra pressure leaving the mooring as the eyes of Stokesby were now watching The Ferry at Stokesby is probably my second favourite pub on the broads, I love the garden, the beer and food is always very good. They now have another attraction, homemade chocolates! I’m not a big chocolate eater, but do like a strawberry cream, So Mandy went in with £20, and came back with a small box (4) of strawberry creams for me, and a larger selection (16) of various to share and very little change, oh well, they were good! So having finished our drinks, bought chocolates and been entertained, we decided to move on We hadn’t booked anywhere, we did ring The New Inn at Horning as the weather was looking good, they don’t allow dogs inside the pub, so we would’ve had to eat outside, not a problem now as the weather was lovely. However, they would book us a table but not a mooring, so that ruled that one out I decided to head for Horning anyway, if I couldn’t get a mooring on the pub side, there were a couple of places the other side and I could use the dinghy and row across, if that wasn’t possible then it would be Ranworth Island and row to the Malsters, I had a plan! Mandy said she wanted to use the loo, so I took Lottie and the chocolates back to the boat, I hadn’t closed the roof while we were in the pub as we were sitting in full view of Dawn, so chocolates in the fridge, Lottie in life jacket and on her seat behind the helm, just as Mandy arrived back All good to go then, we were still facing into the tide there was nothing behind us, so I released the bow rope and waited for Mandy to release the stern rope, I could hold the boat against the bank with the bow thruster and a gentle touch on the throttle kept the stern rope loose Thirty two years of marriage, we general communicate pretty well, we are normally pretty slick in mooring and leaving a mooring So, as I’ve done countless times before I called out ‘Are you ok?’ ‘On the boat, yes?’ Now, I heard yes! However, it appeared to have been no! So now it was us that were the entertainment! So as the check list went! Chocolates in fridge…..tick Lottie on boat……tick Wife on boat…...Oh sh*t! Mandy is still on the bank holding the stern rope, I couldn’t really get back as I’d drifted too far, ‘let go’ I shout, I couldn’t get back in and I was worried I could pull het in, she let go, putting engine in neutral I got to the stern and pulled the rope on board, ok good no real harm done, as I got back to the helm I was sitting quite still only about 15ft from the bank A wag from the garden yelled ‘this is your chance mate, run for it, Freedom!’ If was pretty funny stuff, even Mandy was laughing. I put my hand out and twisted it from side to side a couple of times, as if I was trying to decide, but it was never in doubt, after all who was going to cook breakfast? I took the boat passed the pub, came back turned again and came in against the tide and into the same mooring and collect the ‘light of my life’ to a round of applause from the garden Oh well, that was interesting, I was glad to have entertained a few in the process The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, however I’d probably had enough excitement for one day at my age! So off we headed to Horning, and apart from a couple sail boats it was pretty much plain sailing (excuse the pun) We got to Horning about 4.30 pm and as luck would have it we got a mooring right outside the Ferry Inn, two young lads (clearly working for the pub) helped us moor up, so I walked after them once we were tied and gave them a quid each for their help, they seemed pleased So with the roof down and back door locked we sat in the garden of the Ferry Inn and had a couple of drinks in the sunshine. Then it was back to the boat close the roof and walk into Horning (past the subsiding house) for a look round, we didn’t stop for a drink in either the Swan or New Inn. We then returned to the Ferry Inn for a meal in the garden and reflected on what had been an interesting day To be continued
  13. Saturday 6th July I could see the suns rays coming a gap in the curtains as I woke up about 6.30 am. I lay in bed for a few moments just dozing and got up at 7 am At home I leave for work about 7 am, so I'm usually up around 6-6.15, I've never worked closer than a 25 mile journey to work, for the past 40 years I've travelled between 20-30k miles per year, that's a lot of miles! Mandy is an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber, she is self employed and holds various surgeries across Kent. She always starts later than me, so I get up and make her a cup of tea before I leave home every morning That's our routine, so no need to change it just because we are on holiday. So kettle on and slide the roof back Tea was made and delivered, I drank half of mine but Lottie had other ideas, she does this strange kind of silent bark and turns her head from side to side when you ask her what she wants, I would very very shocked if she told me! She clearly wanted out of the boat, so off we went again taking phone and extra care as we went through 'That Gate' I was going to see if I could walk through the fields to Ferry Road and then back to the boat As we walked through the fields we started to have a 'Mexican stand off' between Lottie and a dozen cows, they all just stood and stared at each other, I put her on the lead and walked towards them thinking they would be more scared of me and move out of the way. Oh no, these cows had 'bottle,' my ankle was reminding me with every step what an idiot I'd been the previous night and I didn't fancy competing in the 400 metres hurdles, so turned around and went back to the river path. This I followed for 10 mins or so, with Lottie having performed the tasks needed I turned around and went back to the boat, taking extra care with that bloody gate! Back at the boat it was kettle on again, tea made again, delivered again but this time I enquired when her ladyship would be getting up? Clearly not yet! A couple of Broom boats were leaving to return to their yard, so after they left I moved our dinghy from the bow to the stern, this meant Mandy wouldn't have to do it while the boat was in motion, all heart me! For the last 5 or 6 years we've always hired a dinghy, to be honest its a pain in the bum having to move it when stern mooring or being extra careful when mooring in a tight space However, I dont know if you've picked up on this? but I like pubs, I like beer, I like being in a pub with beer! My worse nightmare would be being unable to moor near a pub, so my insurance is the dinghy! When I had to go to meetings or functions in central London, I would take an umbrella, therefore ensuring no rain, if I forgot to take one I'd get very wet, mind you I've left quite a few in restaurants and the train! So far we have only used it in 'anger' at Ranworth (and again this year) so not many Running Bear and Little White Dove moments (that's showing my age) anyone under 50 google Running Bear by Johnny Preston! We only cook breakfast on the boat, preferring to eat lunch and dinner in the many wonderful pubs the Broads has. When I say 'we' I mean Mandy, my cooking skills are pretty basic and whilst Mandy is a good cook she does require more space that the average cruiser has for her creations My signature dish is Chicken Ping!, you basically buy a chicken ready meal, stick it in a microwave turn the dial to about 5 mins, when the microwave goes ping, you eat it! So full English again! I hate to think how much weight I've put on, but back on the diet and exercise routine next week We were ready to leave Surlingham at about 9.30 am Destination Rockland St Mary We look a very leisurely cruise down the Yare, we were in no hurry, the plan was to moor in the basin, take Lottie for a walk then have a drink/lunch at The New Inn The weather had been nice earlier, sunny, warmish with a little cloud, I looked at my weather app earlier and it had forecast it to turn cloudy and then light to medium rain but getting brighter later in the day, I had hoped that the first bit was wrong, unfortunately it was pretty much spot on I can never remember which is which, it probably doesn't matter, we went down Fleet/Short Dyke, through the broad and into the basin it was about 11 ish, it was very quiet, from memory 1 or 2 boats, but would get busier later The weather was ok, cloudy very grey but no rain and about 18c, which is shorts and T shirt for me, jeans and a fleece for Mandy At home we have the 'battle of the thermostat' Mandy will turn it up to 30c and think the house will warm up quicker, I've explained this is rubbish, but when I get back in the evening when Mandy has been home all day, I'll open the front door and get beaten back by the heat. I loose 2 stone as I crawl through the hall and manage to turn it down to 20c, I swear I hear the boiler cry out 'thank you' Anyway, Mandy probably chose right with the jeans, the path out across Rockland Broad was very overgrown and didn't look like it had been walked much, it was a lovely walk and we managed to get to the main river, but the nettle stings did take my mind of my ankle! We got back to The New Inn, sat out the front under a parasol and had a drink, me a Wherry, Mandy a Pimms and Lottie still on the water, she can be very boring! It started to spit after about 10/15 mins, so we decided to drink up and go back to the boat The mooring were now much busier, we had a nice chat with a couple of private boaters unfortunately cant remember the boats names The rain was that 'cant make its mind up' sort, Dawn's saloon is in the back, I cover the electrics up with black sacks so I can keep the roof open in very light rain. We waited for an hour to see what the weather was doing, it did ease a bit so we decided to head off. I didn't want to travel down Short/Fleet Dyke with the roof up as vision isn't the best. We also had discovered that the wiper wasn't working! However, I had read on here a couple of years ago (I think it was Malanka) about Rainx, which I had applied to the windscreen Friday evening. I had also brought our window vac with us (I take all sorts of stuff I never need) this was helpful, once we reached the Yare Mandy took the helm and I cleared the windows a couple of times The rain was off and on the whole time, the roof was like a 'tarts knickers' up and down every 5 or 10 mins, but we managed to to get to The Reedham Ferry, our booked mooring for the night reasonably easily The reserved board was out 'reserved Pacific Dawn 35 ft 5 pm' we were early but went in anyway just behind a Herbert Woods boat already moored, I took the board down and moved closer to the HW boat leaving space for another boat behind me. This was soon taken by a private boat who was most grateful to me for budging up, 'happy to help' I told him! I only booked our first two nights moorings, The Ferry House because I love it there, The Reedham Ferry because I wanted to cross Breydon on Sunday, I was concerned I might not get a mooring at Reedham Quay. Mind you I do like the Reedham Ferry, good beer, good food, nice pub! The rain was very light, we decided to go into the pub for a drink It was about 4.30 pm, the rain had stopped our table wasn't booked until 7.30 pm, so with plenty of time we decided to walk into Reedham. It's a shame you can't walk into Reedham along the river like you used to, but it's not a bad walk along the road, so the road it was The weather had improved greatly, so much so that we were able to sit in the garden of the Ship. We had a couple of drinks and headed back to the boat We popped into the Reedham Ferry when we got back to see if we could eat earlier than the 7.30 pm, only to be told they were fully booked and that I had actually booked the table for 8 pm, Doh! Anyway they did seat us at 7.30 pm in the end, we had a lovely meal, for once I paid with a card so kept the receipt (I normally pay with cash) so I know what we had, Me the Ribeye Mandy the Salmon And of course more beers and wine, Lottie.........water! When we got back to the boat, Mandy decided to read for a bit, I took Lottie out, with my phone and promised to stay away from gates! Sorry for the lack of photos, I had every intention to take loads, but I'm just a man who failed to multi task! PS some of these were yesterdays photo's that I missed so I've just thrown them in here, sorry To be continued!
  14. Thanks for your kind comments, as for the ankle nearly two weeks on and it's still bruised and doesn't look very pretty! Not looking for sympathy, my fault totally One of Mandy's most common comments to me is 'what do you want to be when you grow up?' Good job I married a nurse!
  15. Thank you both, I'm meant to be working although I haven't had to walk Lottie today as Mandy is at home, but it took me 4hrs to put those two together! Probably do another tomorrow
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