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June Meanderings On Royall Satin


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The video record of this holiday will be uploaded in a week or so to YouTube for anybody interested and I will then put a link in this thread.


A mixed week in terms of the weather ranging from hot sunshine through overcast conditions to heavy thunderstorms.  Despite the weather we did cruise almost all the time with one half of the canopy open and my arms got slightly burnt and we enjoyed ourselves.


Swallowtails were seen plus Damselflies but only a few Kingfishers and Marsh Harriers, no Otters though this time, however it turned out to be a fairly eventful week.


The water was fairly high all week (about 8’ under Ludham Bridge).



Saturday 11th June


On the boat just before 13:00 and away from the yard by 13:30 after a very brief handover.


Made our way to Cockshoot for the first night, Claire had a walk up to the Boardwalk but saw nothing of any interest and shortly after returning to the boat the heavens opened.  It did dry up a bit later on but then heavy rain in the early hours of the morning.


This evening we had a nice Chilli that we had brought from home out of the freezer.



Sunday 12th June


It was pretty overcast this morning so we decided on Womack, on the way we had a cruise around South Walsham Outer and Inner Broads, I had never seen so many boats mud weighting on the Outer Broad so we knew that it was going to be pretty busy on the rivers although I was already aware of that having been checking the number of boats available on the Hoseasons web site through the previous week.


Between St Benet’s and Thurne mouth we met a cruiser (aft cockpit, red canopy (I think)) ‘on the plane’ coming round a bend, he did slow slightly when he saw us.


On arrival at Womack we found plenty of space on the Staithe and moored very near the water hose, filled up with water which didn’t seem to take as long as normal so I don’t know if they have increased to pressure or we are very economical with water.


Nothing of much interest on the Broad other than the normal ducks, one with a single newly hatched duckling, a couple of Grebes and a coot (one of the few we saw).



Monday 13th June


Topped up with water again.


We had decided on Neatishead today in order to sample the food at the White Horse.


Nothing of much interest on the way and on arrival at Neatishead Staithe found plenty of room and moored (bow in) about half way down the Staithe on the left hand side.  It had now decided to rain but we walked up to the shop to get some Fudge, needless to say it was now raining rather hard so by the time we got back to the boat we were rather wet although we were wearing waterproof jackets.


During the afternoon it did dry up and, since the two boats behind us left, we decided to move the boat back to the entrance to the Staithe so that it was easy to get out in the morning.


Later on a private boat (Sheerline 740) that had been moored at the far end of the Staithe decided to leave at a fair rate of Knots and gave us quite a clout but didn’t stop or even look back, I did however take his number just in case.  I walked over to the other side of the Staithe to check for damage but all was ok.  There was no excuse for hitting us since, although there was a boat on the opposite side of the Staithe, this Sheerline is quite narrow at just over 9ft so he had plenty of room.


During the rest of the afternoon it was boat after boat coming up to moor, some decided that it was too difficult while others very carefully managed to moor up meaning that by tea time the Staithe was full.


We went up to the White Horse for dinner, although my steak and Claire’s fish were excellent we were little bit miffed that the menu was still the same as when we visited in April (meaning that there were still no Starters to my taste) and we were again seated in the Bar even though I had booked by phone.


Early evening the steam launch ‘Lollipop’ came up for a short stay.  Then, at about 21:00 one of Richardsons ex-Connoisseur’s came creeping along Lime Kiln Dyke and I have never seen so much alcohol on a boat, the entire forward cabin top was covered in wine boxes and even two kegs of beer on the fore deck.  They hovered at the end of the Staithe for a while then turned round (in the turning area) and came back and waited, it transpired that they were waiting for another two members of their party to join them.  Once their additional crew arrived at about 21:30 they very gently proceeded back down Lime Kiln Dyke.  I fully expected to see them moored on Barton Broad in the morning but in fact never saw them again for the whole week.  I have to say that they were very well behaved and seemed to know how to handle the boat so no complaints.



Tuesday 14th June


Today was to be a gentle meander up to Wayford Bridge and then back down to How Hill.


We stopped at Barton Turf for water and found that the area by the water tap was an absolute quagmire, my shoes sank in to the top of the soles.


No chance of getting through the bridge since the height gauge was reading just under 7ft and Satin is marked at 7ft 3in.  Had a very brief chat while passing with Jon at Wayford Bridge Boatyard who was moving a boat around along the river.


So it was onto a mooring at How Hill.  We wanted to walk the Nature Trail but decided that it would be too wet without Wellingtons so took a walk up to the cottage with the macro lens on the camera to be met by a lady dashing back to her boat for her camera who told us that there were Swallowtails behind the cottage.  Got to the Herb Garden behind the cottage and sure enough two Swallowtails, they refused to settle for long but we managed to get some photographs and video before they decided they had had enough and flew away.


Late in the afternoon an ex-Connoisseur (can’t remember if it was Richardson’s or Herbert Wood’s) came into moor in front of us facing up-stream.  He came in quite nicely and the lady jumped off at the bow and promptly slipped on the gravel.  I went out to help her by which time the boat had swung out across the river, the gentleman on the helm said that he had misjudged the tide vs wind and he was going to try again, by this time a lady from the next boat downstream had come out as well.  I decided that rather than the ex-Connoisseur try again the best option was to let the wind do the work and bring the boat into the mooring using the bow rope to pull her along so that she was facing downstream, completed successfully with the help of the second lady and with great thanks from both the crew.  Having checked that the lady was ok I retired back to Satin to have tea the cooking of which had been interrupted..



Wednesday 15th June


We were going back to Womack today (we like it there and wanted some ham from Throwers).


A completely uneventful cruse down the Ant, Bure and up the Thurne apart from a few yachts all of which were very helpful, we did get passed by a few boats including a Herbert Woods one flat out.


We decided to cruise up to Potter Heigham just for a look see but there was a fleet of Hunter’s yachts sailing very slowly towards the bridge so I decided that rather than make the congestion worse turned just past Maycraft’s yard.


On arrival back at the entrance to Womack dyke I could see a Wherry coming down under sail, I could have carried on and then turned back once the wherry was clear of the dyke but decided, since the dyke has been widened, to go for the dyke.  Although the wherry’s sail was up they were in fact quanting so no problem.


Once again there was plenty of space on the Staithe so we put the boat in exactly where we had been on Sunday.  This time it was next to a private boat “Roma’.


After a walk to the village to get our ham I had a good chat to the gentleman on ‘Roma’ who was waiting for midnight to start fishing and also spoke at some length to the gentleman on ‘Grand Girl II’ who told us that his father (“Biggles”) hired from Royall’s.  Most of the afternoon was spent relaxing and occasionally helping other boats to moor especially those who thought their boats wouldn’t fit in the spaces available, by the end of the afternoon the Staithe was absolutely full.



Thursday 16th June


Today we decided that we would go to How Hill again and this time walk the Nature Trail come what may because I wanted to photograph some Damselflies.


Another uneventful cruise but we decided that rather than risk our Waste Tank getting full (the gauge doesn’t work on Satin) we would get a pump out so diverted to South Walsham and Russell’s (£10).


Turned the boat just past How Hill (I always like mooring on the port side when possible since I can then see exactly how far from the bank we are) and came in for a very gentle mooring.


The Nature Trail was quite wet in places but passable with care without wellingtons.  In the first meadow we did see another pair of Swallowtails but too distant to photograph.  I actually found plenty of Damselflies and managed to get quite a few photographs, the other bonus was that the “Secret Gardens” were open.


Shortly after we returned to the boat the heavens opened for most of the afternoon.


I had been hoping for a good sunset but we were a bit too far at the northern end of the moorings to get a clear shot without too many trees but I did managed some until I realised I was getting eaten alive by the bugs.



Friday 17th June


Today was to be our last day since we always return the boat a day early and travel (1½hr) home late afternoon.


We decided that we would stop at Ludham Bridge to get rid of our rubbish so another gentle mooring just behind the Nancy Oldfield boats on the water point side of the river.  I got rid of the rubbish then Claire walked up to the shop and got a Teddy Bear for our young Granddaughter while I waited by the boat rather than bother to lock it up.


I watched one of Horizon Craft’s ‘Lowliners’ (Glistening Horizon?) come through the bridge and he decided to moor just behind us, but he came in at too steep an angle, the lady got off the bow with a rope no problem and tied it up quite nicely while the gentleman seemed to be trying to get the stern in by going into reverse.  He then left the wheel (upper) with the boat still in reverse and walked round to get the stern rope but by this time the boat had swung out a bit more and he tried to jump the gap with a rope that wasn’t going to reach; big splash as he fell in.  Fortunately they were both being sensible and wearing lifejackets, I managed to grab the gentleman's hand but there was no way I could get him out of the water there so it was lucky that another gentleman on a Richardson’s boat just upstream saw what happened and came out to help.  Between us we managed to drag the rather wet gentleman out of the water and somehow, I can't remember how, managed to get the boat moored.  The only comment I remember from the lady was ”We’re used to the North Sea” which I didn’t quite understand.


Once all was quiet again we left the mooring and cruised back to Hoveton (Wroxham) via Malthouse and Salhouse Broads.


Back at the boatyard the diesel was checked and we had used just over £46 worth, about our norm.


Well, next year will be our last with Royall’s since they are then closing down so we need to start looking at alternatives again, this happened to us once before with Brister Craft when we had two years with them and then they closed, I’m starting to wonder if we are a jinx.

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13 hours ago, Wonderwall said:

Very nice write up .

Can I ask why you hand the boat back a day early?  A week flies past for me without losing a day.

Sounded like you done well to the chap out the water. :clap

Hi Wonderwall

In answer to your question there are several reasons:

1.  It is somewhat historical and has become a habit.  Some years ago for a couple of years we had other commitments on Saturday morning so had to leave on the Friday.

2.  I have never really found a boat bed that is that comfortable.  I do not get on with rubber mattresses and although some boats do have interior sprung ones they are few and far between, Summercraft have a few and, I believe, the ex-Swan Craft boats do.  I am 6ft tall and suffer with bed lengths, we thought we had solved the problem when we changed over to Royall's with the walk round bed but my feet end up under the side deck, it would have been better with the bed the other way round. 

3.  By returning the boat on Friday we avoid the chaos that can occur on a Saturday morning.

4.  Royall's yard is not the most pretty of yards for overnight mooring (I think that accolade goes to Summercraft) and if  you want to walk up to the village and it has been raining hard then the road is likely to be flooded.

5.  Royall's boats need to be back by 08:30 so unless you moor in the yard overnight there is always the risk of fog in the morning.


As far as getting the chap out of the water, I could never have managed it on my own; he was wearing full 'wet weather gear', fine to keep the rain out but even heavier when saturated by river water.  This is probably the worst place to fall in on the Ant; fairly high quay heading and smooth, no escape ladders and no chains, there is absolutely no way you could get yourself out.

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10 hours ago, trambo said:

Already subscribed to your chanel Bryan and look forward to seeing it on the TV. Can I ask what camera you use, the clarity on your videos is remarkable.


The video camera was a Panasonic HDC-SD90 and the stills were taken with an Olympus OM-D EM-5 II.  One or two of the video clips were taken with the Olympus but the vast majority with the Panasonic.  All shots both stills and video were hand held.

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