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The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Men


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I have a confession to make.

Do you know what. I have never owned a boat, up until last year I have never hired a boat, and I have never ever had a trial run.

This year, in August is an important birthday for the dearly beloved. My old mawther. So the beneficiaries of my estate will be captured up, together with their children for a jolly down the river. Giving granddads meagre pension another whack.

A boat was sourced from the Waveny River Centre. Not any old boat I can tell you. The Admiral a top of the range day-boat. Brand new from Haines. On booking the boat I casually informed the receptionist that I intended to go down river to Geldeston Lock. This would give the grandchildren the opportunity to explore the delights of the area whilst granddad and his followers, the father of the children and his brother in law enjoyed, once again my generous hospitality.
The receptionist made eye contact and informed me whilst sucking air between clenched teeth that under no circumstances would I be allowed to go under the old Beccles road bridge. Condition of hire. I decided that on the day I would blag my way round this little hurdle.

However, I thought that I would check the state of the tide before informing Mr Knights of my experience of the water ways and that Beccles would present no problem for this salty old sea dog. This crusty old man of the rivers. 

I discovered to my dismay that high water at Beccles bridge was approximately 13:00. and a spring tide to boot. I certainly did not relish informing Mr Knights that his boat was stuck the wrong side of the bridge for goodness knows how long and would he please arrange transport for me and my scurvy crew back to the WRC.

Plan B. Moor at the yacht station. I made my way to the harbour masters office with a steely resolve. Knocking politely on the door I invited in and met Tim the Harbour Master. I explained my dilemer and to my pleasant surprise he said that he would reserve me a mooring. What a star! He then informed me that as an added attraction it was the very day of the Beccles annual duck race. A duck race. What could be better. I will tell you. It would have been better if the river from the old road bridge to the new road bridge was not going to be closed to all river traffic from 13:00 to 16:00 for this wretched event.
If I am unable to get the Admiral up on the plane there is no way that I will be able to get the boat back to the WRC by 17:00.

My heart gave a terrible thump. Where could we go?
Then a stroke of genius for which I am renowned. I would moor the other side of the new road bridge.

I quick reccy of the area filled me with hope and joy. Just before the bridge was a superb mooring. Ideal for my purpose, what was not so good was that an enormous boat was moored exactly where I would moor on the day. This boat was huge. Aerials, satellite  dishes, unknown poles festooned the flying bridge, on top of which was  an impressive blue tent, more of a marquee actually to protect the owner from the elements I suppose. I am sure that there would be others there on the day, it would only take one more. No room for little old me.

Undaunted I walked towards the sailing club. There must be a mooring somewhere. What a mess. What was originally a magnificent quay heading was a nightmare. For several yards, if not to the sailing club was a disgrace. Would have been better if they had ripped the whole thing out, but as it was, nothing but a hazard. What will become of us?
Also, what will become of me. Double moor against Costa Plenty or his mate The Bankers Bonus.

Do you think a bottle of 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau would do the trick.



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Found this thread by chance, worth a read. Loath to do Mr Knight out of his let I could pick you up at Beccles and, with suitably lowered mast, take you and yours up to Geldeston. Another alternative would be for you to moor at the Yacht Station, walk up to the swimming pool and board the Black Dog Ferry & travel up to Geldeston Locks but perhaps not quite in the style of Mr Knight's finest.

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