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riyadhcrew

Our Week On Fair Chancellor

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21st July – Day 1

Up early, car loaded and off from Kirkcaldy at 5.45am. Crossed the Forth Road Bridge and on to the M8 to head for the A74. 2 hours after leaving home, we had reached Gretna Green, so stopped for a coffee and some pastries. Crossed the A66 to Scotch Corner and then into the road works on the A1. Traffic was quite light so even with the speed limit, progress was still good. Down to Newark and then on to the A17.

Down the A17 and A47, traffic was OK and then Chloe says “I can see a jet fighter” and Skye says “there are 9 of them”. I told the girls that they were looking at the Red Arrows, but I didn’t know if it was a show or practice. They passed us 3 times and once with the smoke trails, so a brilliant start to the trip.

We arrived at the Wayford Bridge Inn just before 3.00pm, got checked in and were shown to our rooms, which I have to say were very fresh, clean and entirely adequate.

A couple of beers was on the cards for me and they went down extremely well, prior to us having a nice dinner outside on the terrace and an early night.

I should add here that the Inn has some very good wines and I finished off my dinner with the cheese board and a lovely bottle of 2012 Valpolicela. Yummy yummy.

All the staff were very helpful and pleasant and nothing was too much to ask for.

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22nd July – Day 2

We were up early and went downstairs for a nice breakfast, washed down with a copious amount of freshly brewed coffee. Checked out just after 9.00am (NBN discount included) and headed for Wroxham.

We parked in the Faircraft parking and I went into the office to say that we knew we were early but were in Wroxham, in case the boat was ready early. I was given my free hirers parking ticket, told to come back in a few hours and off we went to do the shopping.

Butchers was first for a few pies, sausage rolls and bacon. Then it was off to Roy’s supermarket for a wander around and filled a trolley with lots of nice snacks, salad and the important stuff - drinks.

We were on the boat unpacking before 1.00pm and as no trial was required, we were on our way by 1.30pm.

Our destination for the night was Acle Bridge, where we had a booking for dinner and were due to meet Geoffrey and Steve on The Corsican. Apart from canoes and day boats, the river was pretty quiet and there was even a space at Horning 24 hour moorings when we passed.

When we reached Acle, there was not a mooring to be had anywhere near the pub and that included both sides of the river and the boatyards. We went slowly passed The Corsican (moored directly outside the pub), said a quick hello and proceeded down river to turn around and try again. Steve came running down the quay heading and told us to moor alongside The Corsican for the night. Went in slowly and did a perfect double mooring.

A nice chat, followed by a delicious dinner and a night cap on The Corsican finished off what was a beautiful day. Early night required, as we are both leaving the mooring at 6.30am to get slack water at Yarmouth for our crossing to the south.

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Glad you enjoyed your night at the Wayford Bridge Inn Eric. We have certainly found the food good on both occasions that we had lunch there this year. But what a long haul down from Scotland. Makes me appreciate only having a two hour journey from Essex. 

Always thrilling to see the Red Arrows. When there are flypasts over London they usually fly literally down our street, right overhead, so we've been lucky to see them quite a few times now.

Acle was completely full the night that we were there in June as well. A very popular spot and there were boats going up and down all evening looking for any little space where they might squeeze in.

Looking forward to reading the rest of your tale.

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23rd July – Day 3

After a good night’s sleep, it was an early rise to get some breakfast and coffee before setting off. I had given Geoffrey some lorne sausage, black pudding and haggis, so I have no doubt that the boys would not be hungry this morning. Chloe did a bit of a fry-up and that, together with fresh Hovis bread and butter was delicious.

Engines started around 6.30am and it was a short cruise under the bridge, turn around and head back under the bridge for Yarmouth. Slack water was at 8.00am and we arrived at 8.20am. Plenty of room under the bridges and the tide had already turned, so we would get the flood all the way across Breydon (perfect timing).

Our destination for this morning was Oulton Broad Yacht Station to attend the NBN summer meet, so time was of the essence and when we could, we may have exceeded the speed limit, but only by a little. A trouble free run all the way to OBYS and a warm welcome from the members who were there. Mooring assistance was plentiful and I had to squeeze in stern-first between Broad Ambition and Paul’s boat. I thought that I did well and to my knowledge, I didn’t touch either boat on the way astern.

Time to put faces to names and there were plenty of them. Sorry if I missed anyone, but I remember Robin, Griff, Grendel, Charlie, Inge, their family, Frank, Tanya, their family, Jonzo, Admiral, Mary-Jane, Paul and many more. It was like a big family gathering and all were very friendly. A lazy afternoon was had, with plenty of chatting on everything forum and boating. The girls went to explore Oulton and get an ice-cream, while I did a little tidying on the boat, prior to Robin coming on board to have a peek and meet the girls. Then the girls took Austin (Geoffrey’s seeing eye dog) to the park for a run around and a play.

Dinner for the majority was a large table in the local Indian with 20+ peeps sitting around drinking and chatting, after which a few of the lads went to the pub and I retired back to the boat to make sure the girls were OK. Good nights were said to who was around and it was off to bed, as it had been a long day and long cruise.

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24th July – Day 4

I was wide awake at 4.30am, so I got up and put the kettle on for coffee. Griff and his crew were leaving at 5.00am, so I would get to say goodbye as they left.

The BA crew duly appeared just before 5.00am and started to prepare the boat. Robin was taking down the string lights and the other guys were doing the boat checks and the windows. BA was manually pushed out from the mooring before the engine was started to minimise the noise for the sleeping crews on the other boats. Nice gesture on their part I thought. Goodbyes said and off they went to catch the tide at Yarmouth on their return trip to the north.

I went back onboard and decided to get some breakfast on. A rather large Scottish breakfast was had with more coffee to wash it down. I went outside for a smoke and Geoffrey was sitting outside in the stern well of The Corsican, so we had a chat and it was decided that we would again CIC to Beccles for the day, with Geoff and Steve doing a barbecue in the evening.

The girls and I were supposed to be doing the shopping run to Norwich by train, but weren’t sure how many of the shops would be open on a Sunday, so Beccles was a better idea and we wouldn’t be wasting any cruising time.

We left OBYS around 10.00am and had a beautiful cruise up to Beccles, passing the rangers on the way, who were moored up with a radar gun covering the river. Got to the yacht station for lunch time and moored up side by side with the boys. The girls and I walked into town for some lunch and went to Prezzo where the food was just as good as the last time we were there. A wander around town and a stop in the supermarket were next, followed by a slow wander back to the boat for a nap.

The evening barbecue was amazing, with homemade burgers and salad, washed down with a nice bottle of Proseco and a few scotches. The boys sat around and chatted whilst the girls played around with Austin and it was difficult to see who was enjoying it the most – the dog or the girls. I am amazed at how well trained these dogs are, because he can play around like a puppy, but as soon as you put his harness on, he is at work and totally different.

The rain started to fall, so it was clear-up time and get everything inside. We would have an early night tonight, as we planned another long cruise tomorrow, with an early start. We all said our goodnights and farewells and we watched a bit of news on the TV before retiring.

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25th July – Day 5

I was up at 5.00am and it was a beautiful morning at Beccles. Couple of cups of coffee, a black pudding and bacon sandwich, a look at the news and the world was mine for the taking. We left the yacht station at 6.00am as quietly as we could and our destination was Norwich Yacht Station (long cruise). The tide was with me and the river was very quiet, with no boats on the move. The girls got up and I could smell the bacon and sausages being cooked, so knowing they were at the cooker, I asked for another coffee. We made the WRC in less than one and a half hours and the tide was still with us as we passed Somerleyton and into the new cut. Still very quiet on the water with only 2 boats passed, but as we came into Reedham, there were a few private boats trying to hold station above the railway bridge in a fast ebbing tide and I was against this tide, so going into the quay for water would be easy, which it was.

Got away from the quay using the bow thruster with help from the tidal flow and away we went. Passed the ferry, the Chet turn off, Cantley and on through Brundal. The river was very quiet and not a lot of boats around at all. We had a booking for dinner in the Ferry House at Surlingham and when we passed just after 11.00am, we could see our boat name on a blackboard at the stern-on moorings - nearest the pub (excellent position). Reached NYS at 12.00pm which was good going from Beccles with a short water stop on the way.

Off into Norwich via the cathedral, so the girls could see inside (they had never been in before) and they were amazed. Anyway, got their shopping done with a quick bite in McDonalds before stopping in Tesco Express on the way back to the boat for a few bits and pieces. Had a beer and a relax for half an hour before casting off and heading back down river to Surlingham. Our dinner booking was for 7.00pm, so plenty of time for a pootle. Arrived at 6.30pm, tied up, dropped the mud weight, plugged in the free electric supply and we were in the pub for 6.45pm on a table by the window.

Skye and I ordered the Ribeye and Cloe had the Gammon steak. Well, if I said the steaks were huge – I would be conservative in my comment, as they were hanging off the plates at both ends. All the food was delicious, but I could only get through half of it and Skye was beat as well, although to a lesser extent than me. I was asked if we wanted a doggy bag and I said no thanks, so the couple sitting opposite us with a little dog asked me if the dog could have it as a treat. I of course said “please do” and was glad that it wouldn’t be wasted. Back to the boat for a couple of night caps and it was off to bed, as it had been a long day.

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Great blog Eric but just to let you know for future reference and in case any other forum members do not know, electricity at Surlingham Ferry is not free. Sonia actual charges £2 per night in the summer and £5 per night in the winter payable at the bar relying on boaters honesty

Boycee:dance

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Thanks for that Boycee. I didn't know and nobody asked for payment, but I will know the next time.

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Norwich Cathedral is amazing. Glad you managed to get a visit in. Sounds like that was a lovely early morning cruise back up the Waveney. Best time of the day. :)

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I'm enjoying your tale Eric. On the Acle point, just wanted to say I've never had an issue mooring there, whether peak season or not. However, that's because I don't like mooring right outside a pub! I like the Bridge Inn, but for mooring I prefer the peace and quiet of mooring upstream of the bridge, even if it means getting the rhond anchors out because its beyond where the posts finish. It's a lovely walk past the moored boats down to the pub so I feel I get the best of both worlds.

People keep saying how good Surlingham Ferry is! I didn't realise you could book a mooring there - I will do so in the future.

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Hi Simon,

Thanks for your kind comment. From what I could see at Acle, all the mooring space was full on both sides of the river. We have moored where you said before and had no problem with the walk. We've been to Surlingham twice this year and had the name on the board both times.

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3 hours ago, riyadhcrew said:

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your kind comment. From what I could see at Acle, all the mooring space was full on both sides of the river. We have moored where you said before and had no problem with the walk. We've been to Surlingham twice this year and had the name on the board both times.

When we passed you and the Corsican at Acle both sides were indeed full or we would have stopped off as well....

Charlie

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26th July – Day 6

 

Today is Tuesday and we decided to go back north for a couple of days, before handing the boat back on Friday morning. Slack water at Yarmouth was around 10.00am, so a good time to leave Surlingham would be around 7.30am, as the tide would be with us all the way.

As usual, up early and a hearty breakfast was had by all. Cast off was at 7.45am and as I had lifted the mud weight the night before, I untied the stern ropes and gave the boat a good push out into the river before starting the engine to quietly leave the moorings (don’t try that one at home peeps unless you are sure the engine will start).

There was nobody on the river and we pootled in idle at 5mph all the way through Brundall, past Cantley, Reedham, which was quiet, down past the Berney Arms and on to Breydon. WOW, there was an enormous convoy of boats heading south, so I knew we had timed it right to catch the flood tide on the Bure.

Easily under the bridges and up to the Stracey Arms for a short ice-cream stop. Ludham (womak staithe) was the choice for lunch, but the chance of a mooring on the staithe was remote. The further north we went, the busier the river got and as we turned off the Thurne towards Womak, there were a few boats coming out. Now that could mean one of two things – all the moorings are full – or they have just left a mooring. Anyway, the dyke moorings were full, as was the island. We carried on to the staithe, which was also full, so we dropped the mud weight and within 10 minutes, a Broadsman pulled out and we were in like a flash.

Tied up and off to the King’s Arms for a delicious lunch and a couple of pints (I had the most enormous bowl of muscles which were to die for). Back to the boat via the little shop to say hello to Martin and pick up a big bottle of water. We all had a shower, filled up with water again and just relaxed. We had Hoveton sausage rolls, oven chips and beans for dinner and after cleaning up, we just chilled and watched NCIS on the TV before going to bed.

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Couple of days to go yet John, but I like to share the trip and thanks for your kind comment.

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27th July – Day 7

Early rise as usual and coffee in hand, sat listening to the rain on the roof. No plans for today, except to wait until the butcher opened in Ludham to get some of their excellent bacon. Chloe and I had a walk into the village around 7.45am and the butcher was open. 10 rashers of smoked streaky and 10 rashers of smoked back was the order of the day and back to the boat we went to get the frying pan and toaster on. Delicious breakfast had and a discussion was held to see where we were going today.

Ranworth was to be our next stop, so off we went in the hope that we would find a mooring on the staithe. As you can imagine, the front and side of the main moorings were full and there were a few boats “waiting in the queue” to get in. I went past the small quay on the other side of the dingy dyke and Richo’s pirate boat was on the end, with just about enough space to get in next to it. Well, a good bit of helming was required and that is what I gave it, so in we went for a perfect fit.

Skye and I went off to the little shop for a couple of bits and pieces and then I went off to the Maltsters for a couple of pints. Went back to the boat around 1.30pm and decided to try for Neatishead, so engine astern to hold the boat, untied and off we went up Ranworth dam behind 2 very slow yachts. We managed to pass one and then near the main river, the second yacht got stuck in the reeds and even punting could not get them off. I asked if I could help and the reply was “please”. I went astern, got lined up with him and Chloe threw them one of our bow ropes. Astern again and the yacht came off the reeds easily. It was smiles all around and off they went, making a starboard turn on the main river. We followed them and when we passed, we were given a big round of applause and lots of waves from the kids on board. It’s a nice feeling to help someone and be appreciated.

Turned off the Bure onto the Ant and as the roof was already down, we only had the windscreens to drop and we were ready for the bridge. Nothing coming from up river so through we went and up towards Irstead in what was now a lovely day. Turned to port on Barton broad and up onto Lime Kiln Dyke. Alas, all the Neatishead moorings were full, so we went back to Gay’s staithe, but that was also full. Back onto the broad and up to Barton Turf – full, but I spied a space next to the water point, so in we went and I had left enough space for another boat to get in stern-on if they needed water, which actually happened.

It was lovely and quiet up here and we had a nice dinner before watching some more NCIS (we don’t get much good TV in Saudi because they block most of it) and off to bed.

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Can't you get "middle" rashers of bacon anymore? You know, the rasher that has both the back and streaky bit??

Thinking about it, they wouldn't be able to charge as much as for two separate bits would they? Or is that pure cynicism?

 

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Hi VC, 

Yes you can still purchase Ayrshire Middle bacon. Its lightly cured and for a while was available in Morrisons. Sadly the way its cured these days, it lacks taste IMO.

cheersIain

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8 hours ago, BroadScot said:

A possible example of Eric's hearty breakfast !:party:

scottishbrekkie.jpg

only one egg???????

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37 minutes ago, Bound2Please said:

only one egg???????

My thoughts exactly, hardly worth dirtying the plate:naughty:

Regards

Alan 

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Without a shadow of doubt always two eggs to dip the toast in and the bacon MUST be crispy, yummy

As always a smashing read Eric :clap

Grace

p.s You can't beat the smell of bacon cooking on a boat :bow

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That was the dietry one of a Scottish breakfast, nae fried bread either oan it and YES just one egg ! 

cheersIain

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