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last week in october, glorious

Guest doc

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with a pick up time of 1pm last tuesday & an aim to get to horning for the jam night @ the new inn we managed to set off nearer 8am than usual 10am from yorkshire (though later than targeted 7am )

No problems with the journey, stopping @ the usual layby @ heckington minus flask, (driver bought coffee , i opened the bar) & arrived @ richardsons just after 12.30pm.

The suitable 2 berth serene gem we had in the summer was now unavailable due to being holed in the hull & we had been given a 'superior looking' 240 volt boat star gem.

Quick look @ boat , 4 poster, armchairs , spacious , microwave , dvd , cd etc looks great empty car onto bed , let's go.

standard checks (no weed filter , great ) head for horning.

Had rained most of the journey but now dry with a little blue sky.

the extra 4'' -7'' on previous boats & bigger engine took a little getting used to. Great for not being overtaken but a pig if let the steering get too far one way.

A pleasure to meet the legendary gus @ the new inn , his reversing directions so clear , & perfect spot in the side moorings.

picked up a menu cracked open some wine & a walk to the village prepared for the suet steak pie & some ale.

singers not too bad though the previous visits end of nite comedy songs didn't seem as good/suitable @ 9pm

b4 the end the fresh air , food & ale were kicking in , can go nearly 24 hours in the city but river air seems to tire the body.

Here lies(or doesn't) the 1st disaster , after previously rejecting the petite gem (one of few small boats with a separate shower in its favour ) for serene gem to accomadate myself being over 6'' now found the 4 poster with 3 walls & 2 curtains to be on the short side.

Never really considered this would be the case on bigger boat & poss didn't want to say great replacement can we test the bed on getting it.

terrible nites sleep but woke up to GLORIOUS blue skies & sun and a visit to wroxham planned after a look round the shops.

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How were the rivers? It seems quite a few other forumites were out last week as well. I remember crossing the Breydon Bridge one morning on my way to work and Breydon Water looked like Piccadilly Circus, it was packed with boats going in all directions. I've seen that a few times this year but I really didn't expect to see it like that in October and it took be somewhat by surprise.

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the girlfriend thought there was more boats around than when we did school hols july last year .

june this year was week after main spring bank week & pre fishing season so was v.quiet.

last week was 1st of the occasions we had to queue for ranworth staithe

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Hi Doc

Know what you mean about the beds. It's a shame they put headboards on them, or dont 'face' the bed the other way with no end board. Loads of people are 6ft or over so I'm sure lots of people would sleep better on this basis. We often consider this quite highly in our choice too. The Calypso, refitted for next year looks a good one for this criteria so maybe more boats are being fitted this way now.

Hope you slept a bit better the other nights and enjoyed the rest of your break! cheersbar


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cheers dan ,

well wednesday morn in the sun cast away for wroxham just passing the swan & an alarm sounds.

One benefit of the bigger boat was the engine starting easier ( the man @ hornings little ferry shop last year reckoned a problem with petite's gears though) so thought take it to the edge of widest point , turn off & quick check of engine.

Crew very concerned re manouvre but she found water bottle to top up the engine water empty.

Filled it, something never had to do b4 & didn't expect to do after 2.5hrs cruising.

Paused, set off, alarm went so back to the side next to the large private house with flags just off the bend.

woman rushes out, fortunately the cleaner, who kindly ties us to the fence & offers to ring , said we'd give it 15mins.

15mins later 10.45 prob remains & kind lady calls richardsons but concerned had another job to do & house having private grounds would have to leave.

She waited till 11.45 then rang again & arranged we'd move to the swan & wait for the engineer there................

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the only benefit of the breaKdown was being in a glorious suntrap , the bad part of being in horning is the lack of t-mobile signal so we waited & waited & morning sail gone & the engineer arrived and said he'd been sorting a lassie in wroxham.

he checked the spare water checked the main part revved her up concerned with the heat still then took apart a pipe & said something about a new empeller over an old empeller causing a block & removed some lumps.

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report filled out , dinner cooked & decision to make , i've always liked to do @ least 2 places in a day though the aim was to be @ ludham for the carvery & crew was concerned would not make womack water if delay arrival .

around 2pm sun seemed to hide as it did each day but kept dry for good cruising weather .

We did a non stop tour of south walsham somewhere I don't ever recall going & may stp there in the future & headed for womack with the possibility of stopping @ thurne dyke

Now the bigger engine was more fun overtaking a convoy of woods boats, turning in & out of thurne dyke seeing fairly busy chaos already , then taking the lead again to have the inside line for the left turn to womack.

The woods boats all carried on to potter...

Got onto the end mooring of the staithe @ womack & 2 boats then sailed into the drl moorings which used to be full of private boats.

debate on whether we could have gone there ended by a reserved sign being put up & settled back with wine for the facing sunset.

about 4pm sign removed & permission given to move across with mutiny on the grounds of looking ridiculous over ruled .

had a good chat with the staff of drl ended when they went to try & catch a rat .

Excellent carvery up @ the kings tho once again v.tired after eating. who says fresh airs good for you

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thurs 29th oct

woke to glorious sun @ womack water , checked engine , filled it's empty bottle again, & headed for potter.

warm enough for skipper to remove shirt a while.

always enjoy the different bungalows & chalets on the approach & had a read of the history of them in lathams.

Moored in Woods as usual & opened the bar while crew went round lathams.

Bridge was fairly high water & the hickling side was full of richardsons boats with about a 4 hour to get through.

Managed to leave lathams with one small purchase & had a late fry up with the sun roof back b4 heading off to wroxham.

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leaving woods dirty look from crew as i slightly catch the little bridge for the 2nd time in 3 goes , (i was trying to watch the boat b4 go under potter road bridge).

Once again with the clocks having gone back had a dry sail with the sun always trying to get out but never quite making it fully, but the odd patch of blue sky.

No probs with the journey to wroxham & no extra passengers as in june had a duck aboard the top for quite a while.

Arrived @ wroxham after 4pm with a few barnes boats in their yard but took a mooring on their riverside. Was one of those slightly not straight banks where as you pull one rope the other end goes out just a bit too far, much to a watcher's amusement.

All done & man from brinks comes over & says @ 8am friday all their fleet coming in & we'd be untied & double moored or left floating.

didn't seem to be joking.

Passing royalls stopped to watch them working on a boat & enquired re poss mooring & he offered to move a boat & allow us till 10am (thank you kindly).

Went back and moved b4 full darkness.

set off to roys emporiums (needed something for one main meal onboard) although as contingency was sent to check the take aways with rendezvous set for 6pm .

As an early teenager I looked forward to wroxham , one reason being the arcade (leading to a few misspent years )& it always seemed to be a busy place.

In those days we used to moor in a little dyke next to the kings & remember there being another pub too. Now think the other place is king's storage place , the dayboat dyke doesn't look right as where we used to moor & the new wider moorings look too far down.

Back to the present over the last 2 years still a must visit due to the approaching river scenery, bridge & roys but found the evening pubs disappointing. 2008 was a saturday nite & everywhere empty.

This year while checking the takeaways, kings was advertising a quiz & expecting it busy i found the library , joined & checked quickly postings on here & leeds music scene then met the other half.

The indian takeaway advertised some good looking deals which basically amounted to free coleslaw & the chinese although good last year was declined for the planned corn beef hash.

Darkness & damp fully descending now when disaster the can opener that had struggled to open m&s ham 2 days b4 now gave up the ghost completely.

dispatched to roys food hall to replace with a more standard working tin opener had the bonus of being there as the last 2 hot chickens were reduced & snapped one up for friday lunch.

Live in reach of several morrisons where some days chickens reduce some they don't but last year when in stalham went to the tesco just b4 closing as last resort &several professional loiterers were waiting for the chickens.

Casually asked staff if chickens reducing & they'd forgotten to do them & drastically took them to 50p each . We got 2 for that evening & a drive the next day to happesburgh & cromer.

Back with tin opener & chicken & although windows open the boat resembled a bit of a sauna from a couple of pans.

mopped the roofs enjoyed food & wine & bout 10pm said off on solo mission in the fog to check the kings.

Empty bar 3 people & a few smokers outside. Allegedly had been busy for the quiz & now gone.

Swift half & headed for wroxham hotel . Got a pint & comfy chair & poss this is the place jonny didn't like as being bit snobbish. Few more people than kings but no real vibrancy still.

Back through the fog climbed into bed , squashed in , rolled over and crack. Now i've put on a bit since stopping smoking but this was a noise like gunshot or the boat splitting in 2.

In the morning found the hollow base made a loud noise but couldn't recreate by moving . Wondered if something had flown into the boat, but just glad to be afloat.

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Hi Doc

great read keep it coming cheersbarcheersbarcheersbar

Swift half & headed for wroxham hotel . Got a pint & comfy chair & poss this is the place jonny didn't like as being bit snobbish. Few more people than kings but no real vibrancy still.

yep i dint feel right in that place felt like people were watching & there was qwite a few people in there but all dressed up so yer not realy a place for me now Sutton thats my place :grin::grin:

Jonny ice sliceice sliceice slice

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i tend to like places with music & people but not totally rammed

lady of the lake in oulton broad good for music & real ale on a weekend

will come onto the bonus of a johnny cash tribute band in stalham & staying in a music pub in norwich later

the 3 girls in the wroxham hotel when i was in were fun comparing their filofaxes for any statement

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QUICK VISIT TO roys foodhall for things to go with the chicken then expertly turned around by mr royalls broom.

On trying to turn around the nite b4 the house opposite had got a bit panicky & set his dog on us.

Headed off to ranworth staithe doing a tour of wroxham & salhouse broads with another morning of sunshine.

Got to raNworth b4 noon with it looking a full and richardsons melody queueing, the previous 2 times we'd got straight in no problem.

To my eye there was room down the side of the staithe , crew was adamant there wasn't & i was mindful of queue jumping.

Melody finally set off & took the space right @ the end.

A brinks 2 berth forward drive came up & asked about the etiquette & i made it clear 1st come 1st served meaning us next.

He made a better job of staying still than myself & i circled them a couple of times to explain it was worth waiting for .

finally got a space on the side corner & not too much longer the brinks got alonside

his previous control was let down by giving a le boat a le crunch on the way in by reversing instead of going forwards .

short bit of fun watching the queues , looked like one sally b got queue jumped then turned around & then 3 richardsons travelling together came in to get water b4 going to salhouse for the nite.

visited the church visitors centre & the traditional visit up the tower as the breeze got up a bit then back to the boat for alfresco chicken & wine b4 heading up to stalham /sutton staithe

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fri 30th oct pm

journeyed up to stalham still deciding whether to go to the boatyard or take in sutton staithe, in the end took the 1st right turn to sutton , went nearly up to the staithe & turned around deciding if we didn't like it would be too far to walk to the village.

Took the 1st right back to stalham.

On the way discovered 2 more little niggles . The front inverter would work the television but not the fone charger (it would charge in the cabin inverter. The 2 pin plug for the razor gave no power although that 2 worked through a converter in the cabin inverter.

Moored back @ the boatyard ready for morning, got the case & decided to report the bed to the sales staff with the response to put it on the hol questionnaire.

showered taking it in turns to press the empty switch and set off to make our 3rd attempt to eat @ the harnser.

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30th oct pm contd

previously we'd tried twice to eat @ the harnser taking the path by the caravan park opposite richardsons.

the 1st time mid summer 2008 arriving just b4 9pm after travelling back late aft from thurne dyke was told, after checking with the kitchens, 'cookers off' had a drink & headed to tesco for the chickens

earlier this year after travelling late aft from ranworth got there a bit earlier , check with kitchen , 'just turned cooker off' & we headed to the grebe where we were provided with cutlery to eat a takeaway from the indian next door

now after arriving back b4 5pm we thought we'll catch em out & got there b4 8pm & off he went to check the kitchen . 'just in time'

ordered the medium & large fish specials & saw on the menu meant to be a 'second sitting' @ 8.15pm

as we were the last to order looked like was planned to cancel the 2nd sitting if we'd been 5mins later.

fish was beautiful & fully recommend it in a proper village pub.

headed to the grebe not expecting much to be happening & saw a disco in the middle pub (name eludes) with some rugrats so carried on.

Grebe was rammed with loads in fancy dress for a johnny cash tribute band & landlords retirement party. (sunday he was planning to drink the place dry with 50p discounts)

great band , great atmosphere , vodka doubles on offer , best nite of the week & heading back bout 11.30 thought about going in the other pub still discoing but declined to return watched by tractorman @ the museum

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sat 31/10

did the fuel, £37.00 (compared to 47.00 with serene gem over a week going to oulton broad & coltishall) packed & filled out the questionnaire b4 getting the fuel refund.

listed minor points of plugs not working (forgot tin opener) , listed major points of bed being too short & engine overheating as a result of possible faulty workmanship.

Also by getting bigger boat with nanni engine had used more fuel.

The helpful lady who'd checked us in earlier in the week offered us the chance to speak to the person who deal with the points on the questionnaire.

Sat there waiting & a gentleman came out to open with the statement 'we can't please some people & wish you'd said you didn't like it as tried to give best replacement' Basically saying we'd originally chosen a poor boat too although it served it's purpose previously.

My impression of this later on the way to norwich was'you ungrateful bastards' in a john cleese python style.

Next time i'll try & have a nap b4 setting sail & didn't expect a 'luxury boat' to have a bed for a person of diminished height.

informing the engine was knackered reduced the bluster a little with no recompense for the lost morning & on informing of the poss faulty plugs was told they wouldn't have been on the original holed boat & to write in if not happy .

Whilst updating the loyalty card was informed the lovely man was a head of an area tho complaints go to someone else.

More puzzlement came from the people we'd met @ ranworth the day b4 saying they'd travelled from salhouse broad in 2 hours that morning which seemed mathematically impossible.

Anyways set off to norwich with a slight detour to check out sutton staithe with the worst weather of the week & the first rain.

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Hi Doc

Just a few thoughts to ponder over.... Star Gem has a relatively new Nanni engine in, Serene Gem (only 3-4 ft shorter) has an old perkins engine in. If I was a betting man I'd be putting my money on the Nanni being pretty economical by comparison, so I'm not sure you were done over or landed with a heftier bill there in all truth. The difference in fuel cost could be due to a few other things (fuel increases, end of red diesel, or driving round in circles so long possibly...) :grin:

I can appreciate you were disappointed to be swapped over, due to your careful bed selection, but I suppose can also imagine the yard thought you'd have been pleased, as it was a good upgrade. Upgrades are always a bit dangerous as you cant predict what made someone book their first choice, but I suppose if in the case of mechanical or unforeseen breakdowns or problems sometimes they might be necessary rather than cancelling someones holiday.


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the fuel expected a bit more as told in the summer all the fleet going to nannis in the end & they do use more fuel.

As rod says it's a nicer looking & more powerful engine than the others & could overtake.

Some of the wear & tear things are prob end of season & a few people were coming back raising different things

poss ties in with the thread on maintainance on the hire boat discussion board.

As said b4 had a 20yr gap from the broads & earliest boat i went on apparently was moonlight but 1st really remember was brooms supreme commander.

If i show my old man , who can no longer go, brochures he looks @ extras included these days & says what do you want all those things for.

Reading the thread praising petite gem on the other board had to agree with the positives raised.

We hardly put the tv on when boating never mind dvd's & gameboys etc

so my original choice was based on price , availability , having everything we needed including big bed

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sat 31st oct norwich

following aa internet route to get to aylsham rd eemed easy & it was till rackheath. then it said take a right @ traffic lites onto magpie road

passed many traffic lites no magpie road , turned round , thinking gone wrong @ the tesco & ended up entering the park & ride .

The bloke in the hut was excellent with directions & back on the same right road we got to the king edward v11 b4 midday .

Had found it on late rooms then booked direct & was aware was 3 rooms above a music pub having a halloween party.

When placed opened @ noon found we'd got the triple room for price of the double & the do it yourself breakfast was well stocked with juice , toast , milk & cereal.

Headed into norwich by foot , bout 20mins , with myself wanting to catch the r.l .

Ended up watching it in panasonic store with big screens & commentary while the other half went to find her church for later.

quick look round market @ half time & watched 2nd half in the pub on the corner with a man from wigan down for the beer fest.

We then took advantage of the £1.00 for last hour @ castle musuem & saw as much as we wanted to i felt.

while she was @ church I looked round bit more not finding the river & bars area that people said disturb the yacht station.

deciding on whether to get back or eat stumbled upon little chinese place doing takeaways of ready cooked food , just the job.

took another wrong turn found tombland, the quaint hill & wetherspoons , then back in time for the 2nd band.

good way to end the short break inj nature with a quick city break & would stay @ edward v11 again

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