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galleyali last won the day on April 26 2016

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  1. Hi broads 01 sorry for the delay in replying. Firstly we like new boats also having been on commodore last year we chose dazzling light because it was the newest in the Herbert woods fleet. Commodore was an excellent boat but we think lacked interior space in the lounge, although this compensated in the bedrooms and bathrooms, we felt the salon needed to be more spacious and dazzling light gave this. There is very little between these boats, both having good and niggling bad points!
  2. Dazzling Light 2 is 44ft long with dual steering, for us most of that was done from the upper helm. I think we only steered once from inside. Once your wrapped up warm with hats and coats it’s much more fun to see around you from up top! I think she is easy to handle, I say this with tongue in cheek as the majority of the helming was done by the other members of the crew J. The front cabin has a split bed one side was a large single and the other side a small single. Still at the front there is another double cabin to the right which was an excellent size, nice large double bed with plenty of storage. Both these two front cabins in our opinion lacked mirrors and power sockets. To the left is a toilet/shower room which was nice and roomy. Then into what we feel is this boats best asset, a large saloon in the centre. The sofa upholstery was excellent quality and the middle pulled out (presumably to make another double bed) but for us it meant we could stretch out and watch tv comfortably. To the other side behind the helm there is yet another seat, oh and the helm seat itself seats two (at a push) and again is very soft and comfy. There are some steps up to the upper helm position, which were narrow but you soon got used to them. A table folded up and tucked underneath the helm seat. The table however when opened up could have done with being a little bigger. (Perhaps they should swop this table with the one onboard Richardsons Commodore, as we hired this last year and the table was so big it meant that you could not sit around it). Moving to the rear of the boat the galley is kind of L shaped and has an excellent almost full sized oven/grill and four burner gas ring. There is also a neat little sliding window so you can grab the ankles of whomever is steering from the upper helm position (its really for ventilation for the poor galley slave who is sweating over cooking meals for the crew onboard)!! The kitchen cupboards were well stocked with all the usual good quality crockery pots and pans etc, however as mentioned previously it did not have any egg cups (a sin for the Norfolk dippy!!) Next is the rear toilet/shower room, slightly smaller in size but has good head height over the front one. Outside the door there is the only good mirror on the boat, so this became the dressing area for the three ladies on-board. To the right hand side at the rear is another bedroom with two single beds, it’s a very narrow room and became known at the torpedo shoot however, in terms of storage you could not fault it. It would make an excellent room for two small children. Then at the rear is the final double berth, the bed is one of the largest doubles we have experienced. There are plenty of storage drawers and a wardrobe which was shared with the broom, bucket and mop, but for us this stored coats. Only one fault with this room was again the lack of a mirror stuck to the wall somewhere and a power socket. Moving up to the top deck which is accessed via steps to the right and again one of this boats assets. There is a sunken table with upholstered seats big enough for 4 people, however we could not make the table higher so you had to squeeze your legs in a bit. Then two sun loungers in very nice thick upholstery and they even made sunken drinks holders which came in handy. Finally the upper helm position which was very comfortable with nice thick upholstered cushions. The upper windscreen also was a bonus which acted as a wind shield too. So overall we thought Dazzling Light 2 was an excellent boat, very comfortable with four good bedrooms. There were a few niggling points as mentioned but nothing major. The heating in the front cabin was not as powerful and didn’t seem to warm up this room, but everywhere else was ok. We are already looking forward to our next visit in September for hubby's "special" birthday
  3. Day 12 Friday Today was our last full day and after a superb night sleep in the peaceful setting of Neatishead and breakfast consumed we slipped our mooring and went on towards our first stop off at Irstead. A boat had just pulled off the staithe so we quickly turned around and moored up for a quick walk to the church and to see if there were any lovely hand-painted plant pots to purchase. Again such a lovely peaceful setting even the horse in the field was friendly J. Back onboard with purchased plant pot, we set off again for our next destination, How Hill. I enjoyed a coffee on the upper deck watching the boats float past whilst the crew went off to run some energy around the gardens with a football. Before leaving we made sure the upper deck windscreen was flat before we pootled towards Ludham bridge. 8ft and a quarter excellent this should be ok so we went straight for it, under without a hitch. We switched from downstairs helm to upper deck and secured the upper windscreen. The wind seemed to have picked up again although the sun was shining and not too many clouds were in the sky. We got to the end of the Ant and turned left towards Thurne, “bye-bye River Ant, until next time”. We turned left on the Thurne and then left again towards Womack Water. The dredging has made this an open entrance now and one can’t help but think it’s been spoiled, but I guess it’s been done for a reason and in time it will grow over again. We carried on down towards Womack Staithe and moored stern on. A private boat was moored fairly close-by and we admired the paintwork, it was obviously an old boat probably a 38ft aquafibre type but it had a lovely pale grey paint to it, this looked really nice against the dark black windows and black fenders and the black “under water bit” not sure its technical name - antifoul maybe. We went off for a walk towards the village to stock up on some steaks for our final night onboard. After a pint in the Kings Head and lunch we then popped into the church. We had a chat with a lovely old lady, 92 and going strong bless her. We went off to the butchers and they had a superb piece of fillet, so 3 were cut to size, along with a piece of lamb and a steak burger being the other choices, we headed back towards the boat. Once there Orca was launched again for a quiet row around. A few boats had started to moor up, quite a few from Herbert Woods like ourselves, their last night too I thought. We enjoyed our steaks etc which I cooked with some oven chips and peas and a peppercorn sauce, yummy – all done. Before retiring to bed we did a little amount of packing and watched some TV and played our last game of Trivia. Day 13 Saturday We awoke early and after a swift breakfast I started to pack the rest of our belongings, we set off for our last bit of motoring. It wasn’t long before the red roof top of Herbert Woods was in sight and this marked the end of our holiday. We moored up and the staff were quick to fuel her up, we had used a total of £170 so we needed to pay the extra £20, but considering we had 11 nights and travelled to Norwich, Beccles, River Ant and the usual northern stop-offs we didn’t think this was too bad. Also heating was on every night too with it being so early in the season. The coldest temperature we woke to was 3 deg and we heating it to a nice ambient 19/20 so this probably used a fair amount of diesel. Once the car was loaded up we said fairwell to our lovely boat, Dazzling Light 2. Boat review to follow ….
  4. Day 11 Thursday After breakfast the crew and hubby all set off for a walk towards the church and up the tower for some group selfies and on to the Wildlife walk whilst I stayed onboard for a nice shower. We had more group discussions over where we wanted to go today and decided that we would like to try the Ant. So we cast off, secured Orca safely at the stern and left Ranworth. We got to Ludham bridge with 8ft showing on the height and we needed 8ft, so we moored up just before the bridge and went for a walk to the shop and to do some watching of boats going through. After watching some go through with ease which were similar to ourselves, we decided to go for it. Hubby wanted to helm from inside though just in case, so off we went. With a pip of the horn and a member of crew stood at the stern just to make sure we had sufficient clearance we were through with ease. Then it was full steam ahead (ok diesel) towards Neatishead. We havnt been to this part for for many years as the Ant has mainly been rushed through years of starting off at Stalham, so it’s always been a last night mooring. For one of our crew members Neatishead was a first and it didn’t disappoint, it was lovely to take such a slow pootle towards the moorings at the end and once there we secured the mooring on the left hand side, so our bow was right at the beginning, perfect for river watching. We all decided on a walk to the village to check out the White Horse, after hearing so much about it from a previous chat with a neighbor early on in our holiday. Its easy to see why this pub has won so many awards it was really friendly and welcoming. We ordered drinks and checked out the menu and decided on lunch. Once back at the boat the crew went off for a row in Orca and I enjoyed yet more peaceful river watching from the upper deck. A few boats came down and I witnessed the usual “rope rows” from one couple, wifey jumps off and attempts to tie up whilst hubby does the wheel, then he jumps off to then start shouting at wifey and her attempts with the ropes, he wasn’t happy with her choice of post!!! This type of behavior always makes me smile whilst afloat on the Broads !! The crew was ages rowing around in Orca, even the GoPro went along too, although at the time of writing this tale I still have yet to see the footage. We dressed for the evening and without thinking off we went towards the pub for our evening meal. Oops why didn’t we think of booking first, it was fully booked and even after pleading to be squeezed in any time, alas it wasn’t to be. We stood outside and decided on our next plan of action, we thought about a taxi to Wroxham and it wasn’t far, but our of 5 phones we struggled with a reception, once one was sorted and a taxi firm sourced, we rung them, they had a 5 seater but he said he was fully booked up for our return journey so could only take us there. Hmmmmm what a dilemma, by this time it was getting late and so we decided that we would return to the boat and make a dinner with what we had left onboard. Some pasta, chicken, beans and sausages and a few slices of duck bread, a meal was made J. It was a really lovely evening nice and still and quiet. So after some TV and board games we hit the pillows yet again.
  5. Day 9 Tuesday We awoke after a good night sleep and had a nice fried breakfast on the boat, once cleared up we decided today we were going to head off for the bright lights of Wroxham. We were all conscious of being on the new live webcam so were on best behavior. After mooring stern on in the Faircraft boatyard we strode off in the direction of Roys (which one I hear you say) well we started in the department store and I spotted a sale in the Joules section so decided I needed a treat! A new scarf and a key ring with a knitted duck was purchased along with a new spring coat for the eldest daughter. Then downstairs to purchase a new mavala nail varnish or 3! We then popped across the road to the supermarket to pick up more essentials. Some of the crew decided they wanted Macdonalds whilst myself, hubby and our youngest daughter decided on Hotel Wroxham to see how the new management had changed it. We were very pleased we did it was lovely to sit at the window and watch the activities on the water and we had a superb lunch of prawn baguettes with skinny fries and a lovely homemade coleslaw and side salad all washed down with some lovely Broadside. We spotted some very nice deli touches here and there too. The other two members of our crew soon joined us and looked somewhat jealous !! It was getting on for 3.30pm and we were surprised at how late in the afternoon it was, so what was our next plan, well we opted for a nice mooring at Salhouse. Once there the crew stretched their legs on the grass with a football and frisby whilst I chilled out on top deck with a chilled glass of wine, ah this is the life indeed. It was a lovely evening, not many boats moored probably around half a dozen and we were all spaced out which was nice. It was whilst we were sat on top deck with the water so still that we decided tomorrow we would head back to our boatyard and hire a rowing boat so the younger ones could explore more in the evenings, after all we still had 3 days left! That evening dinner was fairly light onboard after our late lunch ……………………………………… and we eventually retired. Day 10 Wednesday After a fairly late start we left Salhouse and pootled all the way to Potter Heigham to the boatyard to fill up on more water and a pumpout and to enquire about the cost of a rowing boat. We had worked out in our head that £25 would be about right for just 3 days, but this wasn’t to be they wanted £45, I was at first a bit reluctant but the Hubby talked me around saying that the “kids” were looking forward to it. So more cash parted with and we were now the proud guardians of “Rowey” or “Orca” as it was then to be known due to the sheer size of it!! She nestled in nicely to the stern of Dazzling Light and we were off down the Thurne to our destination of Ranworth. We were moored up at around 2.30pm after spotting just enough space on the right hand corner of the front of the Staithe, perfect to have Orca tied to the side of us so as not to disturb other boats, plus this was easy for getting in and out rather than having to use the bow of the boat. The weather was again lovely moored up stern on looking out at Ranworth broad it’s easy to see why this is a favourite mooring of ours. The crew was happy rowing around the board and exploring all the little nooks and crannies. We had a few drinks in the Maltsters whilst contemplating what our evening meal was going to be and after chatting to the man who was warming up the pizza oven we decided that pizza it was going to be. We took our order forms back to the boat for later. More rowing around on Orca was had whilst I enjoyed the sunset from the upper deck. Then orders filled in Hubby went off to bring back the pizza, very nice it was too. We watched some TV then off to bed after yet another lovely day. Whilst we were back at Herbert Woods, I took this picture of hubby waving at the webcam
  6. Day 4 Friday Today’s destination was the Waveney River Centre, we had phoned ahead to book a mooring, so once the ropes were untied we set off for a leisurely cruise back down the Yare. The tide was very high, especially the New Cut, I’ve never seen it so high. Weather was stunning with clear blue skies and once we got to Somerleyeton the bridge opened for us, perfect !! We turned onto the Waveney and again surprised to see we were the only boat apart from the Barge and a few day boats. Perhaps we were over cautious to pre-book our mooring! There were plenty of caravans setting up for the Easter weekend and one family setting up their tent. It was here we started to learn of the impending Storm Kate! We had a lovely meal in the Waveney Inn, which seemed fully booked. It was burgers all around and again clean “boards”! Back to the boat for a board game and some TV before we turned in for the night. Day 5 Saturday Beccles was the destination today after a leisurely morning enjoying a cooked breakfast and showering in the facilities. It’s a lovely stretch from Burgh St Peter to Beccles and one we haven’t done for many years so we enjoyed it. Once arrived at Beccles we were again surprised but not by the lack of boats this time, more the quantity of them! We managed to get tucked in half way down and the helpful man tied up our ropes. It was here we learned more about the impending storm and our plans to try to get back to the Northern Rivers. We had originally planned to make our way back on the Monday, but after consideration and attention to the weather forecasts, we decided that we would be best to try to get back tomorrow (Easter Sunday). Anyway we all walked into Beccles town and such a lovely town it is. We went into Baileys and purchased some yummy deli bits and also the butchers for some mince steak so we had a back-up evening meal on the boat. By the time we returned to the boat we were feeling peckish so we sampled some of the deli produce! Tonight was going to be a take-out delivery and after a crewmembers vote a Chinese was ordered. After watching some TV and playing some board games we all went to sleep, hopeful that we could secure our crossing over Breydon the next day. Day 6 Sunday Happy Easter!! The sky was good and we decided to start our journey early whilst the sun was shining and the clouds were few. The trip back to Reedham was fairly steady and the water level was much lower than it was when we first came that way. Once secured at Reedham we had lunch of hot dogs onboard, we don’t have them often at home but they tasted really good on water! After a phone call to the Great Yarmouth yacht station we decided to move on again, we knew our height was ok on leaving, so with the extra hour and halfish to go until we get to the bridges we were happy. Once around the yellow post again and under the bridges without concern it was then we relaxed a bit. It was a long old treck getting to Stokesby, but once there it was disappointment as it was full, well if everyone moved up to the next post we might just have squeezed in, but nobody offered and we didn’t want to ask. So onwards towards Acle we went. By this time the sun was well on the way to setting and by the time we managed to find a space in Richardsons Acle yard stern on it was getting on for 7.20pm. The Bridge Inn was full, as expected, but we had planned for a meal on the boat this evening anyway, so spaghetti bolognaise it was. We were all very tired due to the amount of cruising that day so we retired early. Then it happened ………………………………………… 3am I awoke !!! Storm Katie was fierce, I lay there hoping that the ropes would be strong enough; the youngest daughter came through and wanted to snuggle up. At one point the wind worked loose the pins on the upper deck windscreen and the middle section worked loose and crashed down flat on the roof !! then the bilge came on OMG !! At this point I was thinking would I be safer outside, my daughter said she felt safer on her own and I made her feel worse and hubby said we were ok and it would be more dangerous outside than in. So I lay there again for what seemed like an eternity until daylight broke. Day 7 Monday Once up we inspected the roof and the section hadn’t shattered so was ok, also the boat hook and mop were still intact as was the couple of sunbed cushions which we had left up there (e tended to only take in the smaller seat pads at night due to storage). The Staff at Richardsons were all arriving and my next fears were realized when we had a knock to the door “we have over 40 boats coming back in today Love, can you move on” – er the river didn’t look too pleasant and reluctantly we untied the ropes and left. It wasn’t long before we sneaked into the front of Upton Dyke. The wind was still doing her worst and in the end we had all 4 ropes tied to various posts on the side. We rode it out until around 3pm, then it seemed to calm down a bit, so a quick phone call to reserve a mooring outside the New Inn Horning and we set off again! It was a fairly rough journey down past St Bennett’s Abbey and on towards Horning, but soon we were moored up stern on at the New Inn with Gus on ropes we were again secure. Hubby and myself went straight for a drink whilst the rest of the crew stayed onboard for a while. We had booked our table for evening meal for 6.30pm so after our drink we went for a walk into the village popping into the Deli on the way. Our meals were amazing; I chose the grilled pork chop with stilton mash and wilted spinach, Hubby and our oldest daughter chose the curry, daughter’s boyfriend chose lasagne and the youngest had a grilled chicken burger and I have to say they were excellent quality. The weather had turned out really nice now with blue sky, it was hard to believe that the day started out to be totally different. Ah well hopefully this evening we will sleep well.
  7. Today we were meeting up with our fifth crew member at Norwich Train Station so we slipped our mooring and headed off for a slow journey up the Yare. There were four of us to share the helm so we went straight for it and eventually moored up safely at the Norwich Yacht Station. After a quick shop around Morrisons and the other retail outlets for yet more provisions we decided to split up. The young ones wanted to eat Nandos and we opted for lunch at Costa whilst we waited for the train to pull up. Fifth crew member safely onboard we set off down towards our destination for the evening, Coldham Hall. We always cruse slowly past Brooms in the hope that one day our numbers will come up and discuss what would be choose…… ah if only!! Once we turned the corner with Coldham in sight we were again surprised to find we were the only boat moored, I know its early season still but it’s the evening before Good Friday, where is everyone !! Our evening meal was lovely though I chose the lamb tagine and the others the fish and chips. All plates were cleared and we retired to the boat for the evening.
  8. Day 2 Wednesday After a peaceful evening sleep we awoke to decide our destination for the day. We had planned our trip ahead of time to coordinate with meeting our fith crew member who was travelling down by coach in a few days. Originally we were to meet at Wroxham, however after checking the tide times we changed our plan and decided to take advantage of the late afternoon crossing today, which would mean we could meet up at Norwich Train Station instead. So plan decided, we took a brisk walk to Acle village to stock up on bacon and something for our evening meal onboard. The butcher’s was well stocked and as we later found out they do some very tasty meat! Back onboard we set off for a slow cruise down the Bure and the obligatory quick stop off at the Donkeys. They are so friendly especially the Goat who almost wanted to climb onboard. Slack water was still a few hours away, but after a quick phone call to Great Yarmouth Yacht Station we were surprised to find out that the clearance was already over 10ft, so we started up and enjoyed a pleasant cruise down towards the bridges at Great Yarmouth. I suppose it must be something to do with the Spring tides, but when we arrived we have never seen such a high clearance, it was over 11ft. We slipped under with ease and turned the yellow post onto Breydon, the water was calm and the crossing smooth. Onwards towards our evening mooring at Reedham, which we were surprised to find empty, we were the only boat for the evening! We had a drink or two at the Ship which was looking nice and fresh from its recent re-paint we had dinner onboard which consisted of marinated chicken kebabs served with rice and vegetables and lashings of chilli sauce, very nice too. We then retired early, what is it with the Broads air that makes you so sleepy!! Day 3 Thursday One fault onboard this lovely boat was that there were no egg cups for our “dippies” <shakes head> so the purchase of the day had to be this lovely knitted Easter Egg family which I found in the Post Office shop in Reedham and including the egg cup they were only £1.50 each
  9. Day 1 Tuesday After our usual 3 hour drive, we arrived at Herbert Woods to collect our boat. The Reception Staff were friendly and to our surprise the boat was ready for us ahead of the quoted time. We were shown the way to the Life vest area and once issued we were walking around to find our boat. Dazzling Light II was to be our home for the next 11 nights and she didn’t disappoint. We chose this boat for the lovely spacious lounge area inside and the bedroom arrangement suited our party of 5, giving us spare to use as storage. The handover was good and as we are regulars to boating we declined the offer of a trial run. The Herbert Woods complimentary gift bag with local produce was a really nice touch too. So after unpacking the car boot onto the boat, we just needed a quick trip to Lathams to get the essentials before we were underway. Destination was Acle Bridge Inn …… after a short trip down the Bure we arrived to find one mooring right next to the road bridge, not ideal but we went for it anyway. Moored up fine and then noticed the Broadsman which was moored right in front on the Bridge Inn had just started to leave, so we quickly decided to cast-off and turn around and slipped right in the to its mooring, perfect we were right where we wanted to be! It was lovely sunshine too as we chilled out with a cold beer and started to unpack our belongings before our evening meal at the Pub, ah this is the life !
  10. galleyali

    Pub Quiz

    Hi, just wondering which pubs do quizzes on which night?
  11. Anybody got any updates on the refurbishment and when its likely to open ?
  12. Many thanks for the replies and advice. I think after discussion we might opt for mooring at either Stokesby or Stracey Arms and taxi into Great Yarmouth (if indeed we need to) and then enjoy an early start at sunrise.
  13. We are planning to cross Breydon on Saturday 26th March (Easter Saturday) and as the tide times are relatively early we are thinking about mooring overnight at the yacht station. With this being Good Friday though I am a little hesitant, having read some previous news about mooring lines being untied etc. Does anybody have any experience of mooring overnight here at Easter ?
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