Monday 24th June
Why is it that sometimes in life everything happens at once when we booked this weeks holiday our house had been on the market for 9 months hardly any viewers let alone any offers would you believe that only a few days after paying the final balance we have a full price offer buyer in great position so we accept only they want completion on the 5th.July so we really don’t have time to be away this week, hence the last 2 weeks of frantic packing giving away furniture to relatives and numerous visit to the tip and charity shops we are as ready as we can be to leave the house on Friday week.
So off around 9:00 we leave Essex and head out we are taking Aqua Emblem from Ferry marina for a week starting today, first call as always Wroxham where we like to do the fresh shop in Roy’s some lovely fresh Cromer crabs will do nicely for dinner tonight with salad and new potatoes
That done we head to Horning where we shop in the butchers for sausages bacon eggs cooked ham and not forgetting the black quack.Letting ferry marine know we are in the area we are very happy to hear the boat is almost ready and we will be called shortly the weather was warm and sunny so we sat outside the Ferry Inn and had a drink no sooner had we finished we had the call to say you can load up now great off we go , this does not take too long and we wait for the handover i guess we waited about half an hour before a very nice gentleman came aboard and told us all we needed to know about this particular boat one we have not been on before 15 mins later he is happy to let us on our way.
Headed out on the river towards ranworth or south Walsham , a lovely sunny warm afternoon we pull the roof back and enjoy the weather and the tranquility slowly making our way we decide on south Walsham however no soon have we turned into fleet dyke but a large sailing barge is ahead of us going very slowly and it also stared to rain not what we expected after little or no progress down the dyke we about turn and make for plan B Womack water
Took about 45 mins to get to Womack dyke and all the free moorings were taken so we carried on to the Staithe and as luck would have it a couple of space were free, we tried to remember the last time we moored here and think it was 2003 or 2004 when we had Braemoor booked with Moore’s but became Barnes before our trip.After the unpacking I realised I had forgotten a couple of things so headed up to the village to throwers the rain had stopped and the sun back out on the boat glass of wine what joy.
Dinner tonight on board was easy and soon polished off and cleared up had a chat to boaters both side of us sat on the bow for a while and enjoyed the tranquility but both soon felt tired and decided to turn in as with some previous boats we have hired we are using both cabins I sleep poorly and Mick likes to get up really early so it works best for us first nights sleep very peaceful until 5am when the rain came down in earnest forecast saying it will stop by 10am so we have a leisurely breakfast clear away and by 9.30 the rain has gone and the sun is trying to shine destination today we think will be Salhouse but with a trip to Wroxham first as when he fished yesterday evening he noticed one of his rods had broken set off shortly before 10 had a lovely slow cruise up to Wroxham as we passed the ant and before ranworth we saw an otter crossing the river sadly did not manage a photo though carrying on we manage to moor on the outside at Barnes off he pops to the tackle shop whilst I stay onboard 15 mins later he’s back and with a signal on the phone we make sure all upto date with solicitor and estate agent.
Back out of wroxham and down to salhouse plenty of moorings it is about 2 by now so a quick bite of lunch a lovely walk for me and trying out the new rod for him a while later back at the boat chair out in the sun reading until 7 ish when I go in to cook another salad.
Not such a great nights sleep could hear some guys who were fishing very late talking and the lady on the boat moored beside us gets off about 2am at the back of us shining a torch through our windows not sure why Mick went out but she had gone he thought maybe she was checking the ropes as he said they were making a noise but it woke us and I struggled to get back to sleep.
Wednesday morning overcast windy and about 10 degrees colder we decide a short trip to Ranworth we can have a nice walk and as all the salad has been eaten we plan on ordering a curry from Acle spice, a quick breakfast and we set off about 9.30 I think slow cruise back up the bure lots of marsh harriers about no kingfishers yet though and through Horning the Staithe was free but we did not need any shopping so did not stop passed the boat yard and on to cockshoot dyke where he was tempted to stop as the end mooring right on the river was free a place he has always fancied fishing from , but we carry on and head down ranworth dam several boats going in the opposite direction so we are hopeful of a spot as we near the Staithe someone indicated there was a space down the side in we go but the wind was not helping so we had a second go and slotted right in the electric post behind us was fully occupied so we just settled down had a cup of tea and coffee as it was surprisingly cold and the wind was quite strong we both had a nice hot shower although both bathrooms were quite tiny and a bit difficult to manoeuvre if I left the shower head in its rest the water just went over my head and onto the toilet so I could not step back to make it get me I am under 5 foot tall so I had to hand hold and that’s not so easy in a confined space but it is a boat after all, showers done we are ready for a walk as we set off one of the electric sockets is free so we plug in as we have shore power , a nice walk once out of the wind it was not too bad it was overcast no sun quite thick clouds back just before 1 we head in the malsters for a beer and a glass of wine we sit outside again out of the wind just have the one drink then back on the boat I prepare a ploughman’s lunch which we both enjoy clear away then enjoy watching the comings and goings at the Staithe, some lads come in on a Richardson’s boats and moor bow first off they go to the pub after a while the boat next to them leaves giving the wind chance to spin them round to side on taking up about 3 or 4 spaces , one of the other boaters goes in the pub to get them to move it they had a bit of trouble as clearly unsure what to do with several helpers from other boats finally managed to stern moor then they went back in the pub a lovely couple came in to moor next to us on their private Haines Mick took their ropes and helped then in we had a nice chat and I was invited onboard to have look at the boat ,back on the boat we were ready to order the takeaway they said it would be an hour which was fine by us but 40 mins later get a call to say he is 10 mins away I go out to the back of the boat and he is in the car park as I start to get off he shouts stay there and comes over to me great service paid up and in to eat , it was honestly the nicest chicken tikka biryani I have had in a long time Mick also said his Madras was good we ordered extra sides and naans so we can have leftovers for dinner tomorrow.Again not such a good nights sleep for me the boat next to us ran their heater until quite late and the outlet was right by our front cabin so really noisy I don’t blame them it was cold but still going at 11 pm , I finally got to sleep around midnight but was awake again about 4am stayed in bed until six then got up for a cup of tea and later some breakfast ,we had our showers and talked about where to go today we have food on board enough for lunch and dinner so somewhere without a pub or shops is fine we decide to head up the ant and see where we end up a lovely slow cruise down the bure again lots of marsh harriers and herons but no kingfishers and no more otters onto the ant and make our way up through ludham which was busy but not packed past how hill which was almost empty apart from 2 boats in front of us who decide to moor we continue up to Irstead where it got interesting the boat we were following was going so slow we found our boat did not go that slow so we had to keep stopping at the Staithe a boat was trying to moor but was across the river the boat in front carried on going behind him as another from the Barton end carried on coming straight down we stopped short and let them all sort it out no one hit anything or anyone a few shouts that was all safely through we overtook the slow boat on Barton had to negotiate half a dozen sail boats and then decided to take a look at Paddy’s lane moorings were free so we decided to stay all moored up it was about 12:30 so I made us some lunch put the chairs out on the bank still no sun but out of the wind it was pleasantly warm then the wind got up a bit so I left Mick to his fishing and went inside forecast said it would brighten up later , should not have had the glass of wine with lunch because 2 hours later I woke up. It was quite a bit warmer outside so we sat out until again around 7 chatting to fellow boaters and reading and fishing time to go and put the oven on the heat up the curry a couple more glasses of wine and a pleasant evening was had very quite moorings the lads from the previous day at ranworth came in to moor but were a few boats down from us I think they along with a couple of other Richardson’s boat were back on Friday am because by the time we got up and going they were all gone. Lovely nights sleep right through till about 4 am that was good for me read a bit before I got up at 6 to make the tea and coffee.We had breakfast and thought what shall we do today we were out of fresh food so need to shop / pub for dinner we hired this low boat to try to head to Coltishall somewhere we have never been before so just after 8 I called the pilot at Wroxham to see if there was a chance we could get under the boat said it was 6 foot10 he said yes come along so we set off about 8:20 and took a lovely cruise to Wroxham nothing much to say saw a couple of kingfishers along the ant and once on the bure more harriers but not too many boats it was Friday morning so some would have returned them today got to Wroxham about 11:30 moored up by the bridge was just about to call pilot when he came over the bridge gave us a shout got on board and asked if we were mooring up or going on we said the latter and he passed the moorings on the right and hopped of after putting the bow in just before the railway bridge. With the sun now out it was a really lovely ride up to coltishall took about an hour and 15 mins whilst coming along we took a call from the solicitor saying all ready to go in and sign and we made an appointment for Monday afternoon, quite a few moorings available and we chose to moor near the electric post making sure we had full power to charge laptops and phones which were needed in the circumstances.Once settled we both had a shower it was by then 2 ish and we decided to have a few drinks outside the rising sun and a late lunch sun still shining we enjoyed being out by the river one or two more boats arrived but it was no way full the pilot said Friday was always quiet. Lovely meal in the pub I had the fish and chips Mick had Monkfish both very enjoyable , forgot to say we passed Malanka at Wroxham where she was moored saw no one on board though.Beautiful evening sat watching the cows in the field and some paddle boarders go passed really warm now , still full from lunch I did not want anything else to eat but Mick finished off the pork pie and a bag of crisps a few glasses of wine and it was time for bed, what a great nights sleep heard nothing from about 10:30 until 4am really good for me got up made the tea about six we were going to set off early to get back to Wroxham for the pilot and do a small fresh shop in Roy’s so that we could moor in south Waltham left about 7:20 later than planned Mick was mucking about putting the camera underwater as it was so clear what a glorious morning so calm really warm already saw lots of kingfishers saw a bird of prey just past Belaugh take off right in front of us with his breakfast in his claws fantastic it was quite magical ,what a lovely way to start a morning slowly cruising down to Wroxham we arrived about 8:45 having taken it slow , I hopped off to Roy’s something for lunch and tonight’s dinner was required Mick had said he would enjoy a second crab salad so that’s what I looked for and got him a large ( Cromer crabs are not big )
Crab and for me I purchased half a dressed lobster again not big but with a lovely salad and some more Norfolk new potatoes it would be good also got some fresh rolls and ham to make some lunch once we got moored.
Malanka was still mooored at Wroxham but again I did not see anyone to say hello too bridge pilot had apparently already walked past and spoken to Mick so a quick call to say we were ready he came aboard and said the water was low at 7 foot 5 off he jumped at the bridge moorings and we set off down to south Waltham, uneventful cruise lots of day boats some good some not so good weaving in and out quite a few private boats out but more seemed going towards Wroxham than the other way , no marsh harriers or otters today saw a couple of kingfishers, nearly had a collision at the ferry Inn Horning a guy pulled straight out without looking and we and another boat heading upstream had to avoid him , no sorry no care just kept going.
Passed cockshoot dyke again the end mooring was free and he was tempted to pull in but we had yet to go to south Waltham and it used to be a favourite mooring, just as we got to the dyke 3 yachts pull in ahead of us so passage was dead slow , Mick likes an end mooring on the bend so that he can fish but both we taken but there was space still for several boats so mooring up was done, we used to like the moorings further down by the broad but since the trees have all grown up it’s not the same for us and you cannot see the fields on the right to watch the owls .Lunch prepared chairs out I realised how hot it had become of course when you are cruising along it did not feel so hot , we pulled the roof back over on one side to give a little shade and I only managed a short walk before returning to the boat and sat out less than an hour before I was too hot ( I hate saying that I love the sun but it was roasting and no shade). Mick had the best fishing of the whole week here caught several nice size bream he sat in the back cabin in the shade and fished from the aft well, the afternoon went by so quickly it was past 6 before we knew it as the air cooled we sat out and enjoyed a glass of wine before I prepared a salad and boiled the potatoes, it was really tasty and ideal for the hot day, I love cooking but on a boat we keep things as simple as possible for meals and eat out or takeaway if available ,after dinner Mick said he would clear up so I went and sat on the bank In my chair enjoying the peace and a glass more wine , then I looked up and saw a first for me a crane flew over and almost all the people on the bank were shouting look look , I called mick but too late for him to see it , our neighbours missed it too and asked me what it was we carried on chatting for about an hour before I returned to the boat just as I stepped aboard the crane returned and flew over again , there was also deer in the furthest field an a little later the owls came out hunting all in all a really great day.
Knowing we had to be back Monday afternoon for the solicitor we had decided to go back to the boat yard on Sunday evening so we could get an early start home first thing Monday , I called the yard as we had to pay the bridge fee and said we would leave the boat 7 ish Monday morning.
Had broken sleep woke at 1 am the wind was blowing strong and it kept me awake awhile finally got up about 6 still blowing strong, we decided to have a cooked breakfast I had left over potatoes some eggs tomatoes and a couple rasher bacon the frying pan was rubbish,but breakfast was good and we both enjoyed it, cleared away and suddenly decided that rather than stay overnight we would make back to the yard and pack up and get off home today sad but we have so much to do in 4 days we really need the time and we are back in September so not too long to wait.
Set off about 8:30 nice down fleet dyke but once we turned up the bure it was really blowing easy cruise back to Horing Mick thought mooring on the main river would be tricky with the wind but he did it with ease and got a well done from one of the ferry marina staff made his day. It was 9:15 we set about packing and cleaning the boat which did not too long about an hour we emptied the rubbish filled the car and went into the office to hand over the key and the life jackets and we were good to go sad to be leaving early but we knew it was the best decision in the circumstances, arrived home about 1 pm washing straight on and ready to start the final packing tomorrow.
We liked ferry marine they were helpful efficient and very pleasant, the boat was quite nice a few issues , the immersion heater did not seem to work when on shore power the fridge ice boxed dripped and the front hatched leaked ,luckily on the left berth not the right and it only rained heavy Tuesday am the oven ignition did not work pointed these issues out at the yard and was thanked for doing so , we did not get to Dilham so that’s still to do we went under Wroxham and that’s one of the reasons to hire this boat we are back again with Ferry Marine in September when we have hired silent Emblem a different kind of boat altogether
And if all goes to plan this week we will have a long drive up from Cornwall instead of an easy one from Essex but I know where I would rather be.
Thanks for reading I took quite a few photographs but all on my camera and I need to upload them onto the laptop before adding them here and that may take awhile.