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Hockham Admiral

Friday Girl's September visit to the Northern Broads

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cheersbar

This was a pre-planned "first-time" visit for us to the Northern Broads; also to meet up again with Loops and Red Rover and hopefully more of the team.

It started on Monday, 31st August, when Mary-Jane and I plus grandson and his lady (he is 25!) drove to Burgh Castle. When we arrived we hurriedly loaded up after Alan Goodchild warned us about mud and approaching low-water! Ben and Jo hadn't been on the boat before so we quickly set off for Stokesby, preceded by Mary-Jane in Jo's car.

Ben quickly picked up helming and we set off across Breydon in lovely early afternoon sunshine. I was horrified... :norty::norty::norty:THREE speed-boats were roaring up and down Breydon with no thought whatsoever about their wake and the effect on the fleet of hire boats crossing Breydon...

We passed under Gt Yarmouth bridges about an hour before LW and saw 10ft 6ins on the tide gauges. (Two hours earlier than planned but it was a lovely day!). We finally arrived at the Ferry at 15.00 and found plenty of space to moor right in front of the pub. Ben and Jo then said their farewells in order to get home (via Boston) before the Bank Holiday traffic nightmare really developed!

We then ventured inside for a beer or three... Adnams Regatta, no less! It was awful and I only managed a couple of gulps before it hit me. The young lady serving didn't seem too interested but did eventually replace our drinks. Not long afterwards a man came up to us and said he'd just witnessed a small dinghy hit us quite hard... Later when I'd found the owner of the dinghy (who was most apologetic and agreed to pay/let his insurers pay) I returned to the pub and noticed a Forum burgee on the front of the boat moored immediately behind us. It was Sandpiper with Boycee and Mags who turned out to be our witnesses! Many thanks, guys, without your info it would have been down to us to pay!

The meal in the evening was acceptable but whether it was the Regatta or the Beef in Black Bean Sauce I had to eat I don't know. I only know that it was quite some time before my stomach returned to normal despite many Lomotil. (prescription anti-diarrhoea tablets).

Tuesday dawned bright, sunny and relatively calm. We set off for Womach Water at 09.45 and arrived at 11.00, just 50 minutes before Tot Tyme arrived. Re-union with Barry and Olive; it was lovely to see you both again, you're such a lovely couple.

We left Ludham at 09.25 on the Wednesday morning in convoy with Tot Tyme, heading for Stokesby and The Bell.

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We had friends visit us shortly after our arrival and we went with them to The Bell for an early recce of the evening's entertainment. Very impressed, too! They had lunch but I was saving myself for the rack of ribs later! In the afternoon Martin arrived in Eden Bridge and we were all introduced.

In the evening we were all picked up in two cars by the Bell team.; what an excellent service they provide! In no particular order I recollect Barry, Olive, Simon, Jonzo, Lou, Roy, Martin, Brian and Colin. Brian had challenged me to the ribs which I did eventually manage.. did the pics come out, Martin? I'd like to see them, please. The walk back to the moorings was more a route-march in pouring rain and strong winds... Olive, however did you manage to keep up with us?

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After the heavy rains overnight it was still windy, but dry, the next morning. Eden Bridge left at 10.15, followed by Tot Tyme at 10.45. We slipped at 11.00 for the short trip to Hotel Wroxham. What a really nice place! We were having a quiet beer at lunchtime when a hire-boat appeared to be heading for Friday Girl.. I jumped outside over the wall in time to see it hit us and was told to “Go away†by one of the gentlemen onboard. They then moored up on the hotel's front to wait for the pilot. As I had the name and number of their boat I wasn't too concerned and asked four men sitting by the window if they'd seen it happen... good witnesses! The Commodore of the NBYC and the hotel owner! Who went outside to tell them that “Private Moorings†meant just that!

Later in the afternoon Rod (Sally B) called my mobile and arranged to meet in the bar at 19.00 for a chat. Mary-Jane declined as she has heard all my chats with aeroplane enthusiasts before! It was good to meet up with Rod and Shirley and we had quite a few bevvies (at £2.45 a pint!). Before long it was 22.00 and time for lights out and we arranged to meet in the morning for a trip up the river in Sally B.

First thing in the morning and we moved Friday Girl into the dyke at the side of the Hotel Wroxham. She looked much safer! Then along with Jim to meet Treacle! They sort of got on together but Jim is over 9 years old and Treacle is young and sprightly! After filling up with water we had a lovely cruise along the river to Coltishall with a couple of cannies to keep us going! Watching Rod helm is an experience most so-called expert helmsmen should be caused to witness! Never in a hurry, just calm and collected, he showed me several things and in particular the use of full helm and a burst of power against bow-thruster to effectively move the boat sideways onto the mooring. (I tried that at the Acle Bridge with great success, Rod!).

We had another couple of pints at Coltishall as Treacle and Jim tore around in circles with Jim chasing, barking vigorously.. we don't know what his intentions were as he never caught her! I then managed to bring Sally B back to Wroxham in a downpour but declined to navigate her under the bridge! Perhaps another time, Rod!

That evening it was the “Steak Night†at the hotel and we had a meal there; cheap and cheerful at £6.95 each it was good value for money.

I had spoken to Gus at the New Inn as we passed by en-route Salhouse and he had confirmed the moorings in their dyke at 11.00 on Saturday. Saturday morning and we left Wroxham just before 10.00 to arrive outside the New Inn at......... 11.01! Terry (Col's mate off Southern Comfort) and Gus were waiting to help us in and I apologised for being late......... Thanks, Terry!

HJ2 arrived in the early afternoon and we settled down to celebrate Lou and my birthdays (one on Friday, one on Sunday). Then a meal in the evening with Lou, Col and Connor. Excellent food, Lou had the Seafood Plater, Mary-Jane the Steak and Stilton pie, Col the Gammon and egg, Connor the Steak and Ale pie and I had the Steak and Kidney Pudding! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meal and I promised myself the Steak and Stilton pie the next night! Also a very good band and Essex Blonde's hen party! Thank goodness I can easily take my hearing aid out! We had such a good time that we changed our plans and stayed there until Tuesday!

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Sunday was my birthday and we started the day with a Full English! That set us up for the day! We said our goodbyes to HJ2 and crew later that morning and I walked up to the Swan to try their wi-fi. Not cheap at £2.95 for 30 mins but worth it to try their super real ales. The Steak and Stilton pie was as good as I'd hoped for!

We returned to the Swan on Monday for lunchtime drinks but kept our appetites for more food at the New Inn in the evening.

On Tuesday we left Horning and made our way down to Acle Bridge where we were amazed when Phil recognised us from our one and only previous visit.. last September the 22nd, 2008! Good beer, great food, free wi-fi and he even waived our mooring fee when I mentioned the NBF and NBN!

For our final day's cruising please refer to the High Tide topic by DaveS.

We'll be back 'oop North' next year but probably not during the school holidays... it's a little too busy for us!

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Guest

Hi John

very nice read sounds like you enjoyed your self.

After the heavy rains overnight it was still windy, but dry, the next morning. Eden Bridge left at 10.15, followed by Tot Tyme at 10.45. We slipped at 11.00 for the short trip to Hotel Wroxham. What a really nice place! We were having a quiet beer at lunchtime when a hire-boat appeared to be heading for Friday Girl.. I jumped outside over the wall in time to see it hit us and was told to “Go away†by one of the gentlemen onboard

man how rude was that some people dont know how to show common curtsy.

Jonny ice sliceice slice

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Nice to see you and Mary-Jane again :grin:

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the New Inn and my fish platter was lovely.

Great picture of Hobbit stuffing her face :lol:

Lou

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Sounds like you had a good time John. Sorry to hear about the bashes and bangs. On our first morning up north we saw 5 collisions before we even left the moorings on the first day. I very nearly turned around and headed south again. We went very much out of our way after that to put her in places that would be difficult to hit. Still managed several near misses though!

The speed boats on Breydon don't sound too clever. Were they towing skiers or anything like that? Or just being ignorant? We upset a few small children when crossing Breydon because we DIDN'T plane past them. I crossed Breydon (both times) at around 3000rpm (out of 4000rpm) which equates to about 17kts but that was enough to get people leaning out to see us coming and children in particular seemed very disappointed when we slowed right down. We got lots of gestures which appeared to indicate that we should "wind it up" again. :lol:

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Sorry to hear about the collisions John, one of the reasons we were southern based and rarely ventured north and a major factor in our final decision to leave. Every winter saw at least gel coat repairs needed. Now all we need is a polish every year.

The broads is a beautiful place but if you’re on edge each time you moor it takes the shine away from it.

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cheersbar

Sounds like you had a good time John.

The speed boats on Breydon don't sound too clever. Were they towing skiers or anything like that? Or just being ignorant? We upset a few small children when crossing Breydon because we DIDN'T plane past them. . :lol:

Simon, they were just 'having fun'. Just before the end of Breydon they were stopped in a bunch chatting and not near any other boats.. I couldn't help but quickly open up to 3400 rpm which in our case is about 20kts... the wake certainly shook them up a bit!

cheers

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cheersbar

Sorry to hear about the collisions John, one of the reasons we were southern based and rarely ventured north and a major factor in our final decision to leave. Every winter saw at least gel coat repairs needed. Now all we need is a polish every year.

The broads is a beautiful place but if you’re on edge each time you moor it takes the shine away from it.

And that's why we only made it to Acle Bridge last September. I chickened out and turned back after one day North of Gt. Yarmouth! This year we were really looking forward to meeting up with the North Broads based crews. So glad we did!

cheers

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Glad you enjoyed your foray up north John! We have learned to take the odd knock, but then our old tub had 30 years of that in the hire fleet, so she's well used to it. After we painted the hull last year, I was protective for all of about a week, and then soon learned to carry some paint and a brush rather than spend the whole time terrified of some poor inexperienced helms mistakes.

I do wish some of the yards (Clive, some of Rickos have these) would get rid of the sharp metal corner castings on the aft corners where the rubbing strips should be. We had to fend of one of Rickos boats at the weekend whilst I was doing a pump out. It wasn't the helm's fault as he was doing his best mooring stern-on with limited experience and a bit of a cross wind, but those lumps of metal can't half leave a gash, rather than a black streak like the rubber would!

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Hi,

I am glad you did not comment about the yacht tacking in front of you at Thurn Mouth :Sailing:wave

Ian :Sailing

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cheersbar

Hi,

I am glad you did not comment about the yacht tacking in front of you at Thurn Mouth :Sailing:wave

Ian :Sailing

Ian, Hi

We spent 20 years tacking about in an old motor-sailor and often muttered darkly about :Stinky s!

Now in one I try to be as patient as possible with :Sailings! Even if it means reversing back along my course!

And we did smile and wave to you as we passed by!

cheers

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Great write up :)

Cant wait to see the pics that Martin took of the Ribs with your Bib ;)

THe quiz on the Tuesday evening was good, shames about NBN Starborad cheating, or was that NBN Port ? :lol:

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cheersbar

Brian had challenged me to the ribs which I did eventually manage.. did the pics come out, Martin? I'd like to see them, please.

Under starters orders...

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Ready!

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Passed the finish line (eventually) but plenty of bones for Jim.

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(That was the second tea towel bib!)

Good value for under £12!

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What a feast! I have 3 racks defrosting for tea tomorrow evening yummy!!

Great tale too John, very brave going through Yarmouth and can fully understand your thinking on this!

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The speeding on Breydon may be OK on a reasonable day ,but we came over Breydon today from Oulton , very strong wind over tide conditions,we had waves breaking over the bow (On a Bounty 28 )and clearing the roof ,when ahead of us we saw a large Broom approaching at a good rate of knots he came off the plane as he passed ,a few seconds later we were hit by his swell with troughs of 3 to 4 feet as we dropped into one the breaking wave flowed into the forward well and deposited many gallons of water which drains into the binge and gets pumped out the stern .We thoroughly enjoyed the crossing but were concerned that a boat that was not well equipped or with a novice crew could have had a very uncomfortable experience. I wish the guy on the Broom could have seen that his speed and slowing down in these conditions did not help the other boats he had just passed. cheersbar:party2:

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It is possible to get it wrong sometimes Roy so, as you say, it is important to look back and check. When we crossed over Breydon last time I dropped off the plane for river cruisers but after passing the third or fourth I looked back and saw one being hit by a large wake so obviously I was not dropping off quickly enough. I adjusted what I was doing to ensure that it did not happen again.

I'm not sure that the weather makes a great deal of difference to the wash of the boat but I suppose it can mean that there are other waves out there as well.

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cheersbar

The speeding on Breydon may be OK on a reasonable day ,but we came over Breydon today from Oulton , very strong wind over tide conditions,we had waves breaking over the bow (On a Bounty 28 )and clearing the roof ,when ahead of us we saw a large Broom approaching at a good rate of knots he came off the plane as he passed ,a few seconds later we were hit by his swell with troughs of 3 to 4 feet as we dropped into one the breaking wave flowed into the forward well and deposited many gallons of water which drains into the bilge and gets pumped out the stern . :party2:

Roy and Diane, Hi.

I'd never considered that happening and would imagine it's downright scary even for an experienced owner, let alone a hirer! If the door was open (heaven forbid!) or leaked it wouldn't do the carpeting much good either!

I'll be even more circumspect in future, as Simon said.

cheers

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Not that I am in any way defending selfish behaviour on the part of fast boats on Breydon but I do sometimes read stories which make me think the odd hirer needs to develop a bit of spine. Breydon Water is not the upper Ant and any boat striking out across it needs to accept that they are crossing a proper river estuary and rougher water with stronger tides is part and parcel of doing so. If you think that is going to cause stress levels above that which you can handle then make other plans. A holiday is meant to be fun, not frightening, but you also need to be realistic with these things.

I once read a post on another forum, going back 3 or more years, where someone complained that they had left a bottle of red wine open on the table as they crossed Breydon and the wake from another craft caused it to fall over and stain the carpet. Er sorry, no sympathy there - at least an attempt at common sense when running in that environment might make life less stressful. It's no wonder stories of 6kt tides and krackens abound when people treat the estuary with such little respect.

As always I am sure that it is only a minority of boats that this applies to.

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But the good news is that anyone who can do more than 15kts can out run a kraken so we're alright Jack, er, I mean John. :naughty:

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Point taken Simon we have crossed Breydon many times and know what to expect.I have done some long sea passages in the past ( in a Sail boat ) so did not find the conditions a problem , just felt that not all boats would have expected or beeen prepared for that amount of wind and wild water when leaving the relative calm of the River and coming on to Breydon for the crossing. cheersbar:party2:

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