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My Salhouse Weekend

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Well what can I say, the boat I brought to the Salhouse meet was too small to sleep in so it was somewhat of a different weekend for me.

It all started with loading the car back at home, The Model of Broad Ambition went on the back seat, a crate of food and drinks and other bits was loaded in the back, along with my woodstove and kube camping oven.

on the way up, just short of the M25 on the A2, the signs suddenly announced the exit slip was closed, at this point I was about 30 yards from the end slip road for the back cut to the tunnel at the bean interchange, I just slipped out, and went around the closed slip with no hold up. the rest of the trip up passed without incident, and I arrived at Salhouse car park at about 11.30am.

I had booked into the campsite which is behind the hedge at the top of the rise from the moorings - literally 30 seconds walk from the meet site.

they do say in the bumph they send you that there are barrows to get your camping kit from the car park to the campsite - there was one standard wheelbarrow (as the ranger explained there had been 3 and a bigger one, but someone had nicked all the wheels) they also tell you its an easy 10 minute walk (not with a crammed full wheelbarrow and an unfit camper it isnt - I did the trip in 7 short stages with 5 minutes between to catch my breath).

So the tent was set up, the ranger met and paid for two nights and a 25kg bag of firewood (£16 per night and £8 for the wood) I set up near the bins at the top end of the campsite, not far from the path up from the moorings to the bins.

after setting up my tent, I took a wander down to the moorings, where John, (Hockham Admiral) was moored up with Friday Girl. after chatting for a while. I had recovered enough to make a trip back to the car to return the wheelbarrow to the car park for the next lot of campers. this trip I carried my travel case and camera bag from the car, thanking my good luck that apart from the Broad Ambition model, this was the last I needed from the car.

With the tent all set up, I was just waiting for the firewood to arrive so that I could cook my tea, so it was back down to the moorings to await arrivals. several people did arrive, Peters Joy, (Paul and broken Paul), Belmore (Timbo , Ellie and the Beagles) Bound to Please (Charlie and Co,) Nyx (Morris Mynah and his friend Bernard with his Sailboat) Vaughan arrived on the first boat he has ever hired (I hear the waived the trial run for him as he had helped build the boat he hired back in 1975).

sometime late afternoon I popped back to the campsite to find they had delivered my firewood, so I decided it was time to fire up my stove, have a cup of coffee and cook some tea. It was now that I had the idea to run a test on the oven and bake my first loaf of the weekend, so I got the ingredients together, made up the dough, and left it to prove under the stove.

well while that was going on, the kettle boiled and I had coffee, after about 40 minutes the dough had proved, I  made a decision not to do a second proving and emptied it into the bread tin, gave it a few minutes under the stove, then put it inside the tin box kube oven.

I then started cooking my tea, eggs, bacon and sausages, all fried up and eaten as they cooked, the sausages went in first as they needed longer cooking.

after tea I put the kettle back on and checked the bread, the top wasnt browning much, in fact it had a bit of a sooty look from the wood smoke.

I used an infra red sensor to check the temperature, the stove was roaring at 360 degrees C, the bottom half inch of the oven was at 275 degrees, but 3" up the side we were struggling to maintain 140 degrees. after a while (maybe nearly an hour), a crust was starting to form on the top of the loaf, so it was taken out of the oven and put to cool.

I did have a thought to get a picture, but put it off until later. thinking I would do this after showing the others down at the mooring.

unfortunately we got carried away and by the time I left the moorings, a lot of people had done a taste test and declared it to be nice, and I had enough left for my breakfast in the morning and I never did get a picture, no problem I thought, I will get one when I do a second loaf tomorrow.

I hung around chatting all evening then once it started getting dark I departed to the campsite and my tent, where apart from a slightly leaky airbed, I had a great nights sleep.

Saturday Morning - the day of the meet -

I was woken at 5am by an almighty racket, yes it was the dawn chorus and all the birds in the world were trying to each make more noise than the others. 10 minutes later I was up and the kettle was on the stove, which was still going from the night before, I also took the opportunity to dry out my socks which were still wet through from the rain the day before. by 6am I had had my coffee and was headed up to the car park to get the Broad Ambition model. this was rigged up with a sling to make it easier to carry down to the moorings. the stove was still going but fairly cool (about 100 degrees) so the chimney was removed and it was carried down to the moorings. It was at 6.30 that I decided to give the model a first run out on the broad, the water was mill pond smooth with that lovely mist just rising from it in the early morning sun. a few people were just starting to move around, and Tim turned up just as I was launching, then went to get his camera, I had set up my camera with the tripod in the water and videoed some footage for Griff.

as it happened the model had 4 trips out on the water through the day, 3 of which had video taken, the fourth in the evening involved a launch from the quay heading beside Broad Ambition, with piloting done from the bow of Broad Ambition, and an appreciative audience, Sheila even commented she could see her cabin.

by now more people were turning up, and things were getting busy.

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Vaughan returned from a trip to Ranworth to pick up Wassername, having picked up The Corsican and taken her in tow - she had been having problems with an air leak on a fuel line, he came in and executed a perfect stern on mooring, with 2 boats, they had also managed to pass one of the BA rangers without getting any comments whilst towing. he then reversed back out and came back in to the slot no wider than his boat forward so his lounge was easily available to all. all the while his glass of wine has on the side deck outside his window, and when he pulled up had barely a ripple on the surface.

Through the day I spent a bit of time visiting other boats and chatting with people, the wood stove had been stoked up early on and breakfast cooked while various boats arrived. other boats shot off to wroxham to get some shopping.

by mid afternoon I decided to stoke up the stove and attempt a second loaf, this was started and the remainder of the bread flour passed to Geoffrey for his attempt at bread. with the stiff breeze across the mooring I was struggling once again to get the heat high enough in the oven for the bread to cook properly. eventually it was cooked until my wood ran out, and as it happened the bottom was nice and crispy - with a soft top.

This was taken into the Corsican while it cooled to show Geoffrey whose bread was not behaving itself and hadnt risen properly. in the end we got chatting, and tasted my loaf, whoops I forgot to get a picture - again.

The model of Broad Ambition was taken back to the car park as dusk was falling, then after moving all the rest of my bits up to the tent I came back down to the meet to join the party in the marquee.

When everyone started to head back to their boats I headed back to  my tent. I arrived back there to find a party of lads had got together with the tent that had 4 girls and they were all sitting around the camp fire pit chatting. I went to bed, and b about 1am they gave up and went to bed too.


once again it was 5am when the skwarking and screeching started- yes the birds were awake again, this time I made coffee and breakfast on the gas stove, not wanting to fire the woodburner up before packing it in the car. 6.30 breakfast done, I packed my clothes bag and camera bag and took them up to the car. then a wander back and a chat to the early risers, a wave to the early leavers, then about 8.30 it was back up to pack my tent. the one wheelbarrow was by the tent of the lads round the fire last night, and they had left it piled high with their provisions (3 packs of bacon and 3 cases of beers, plus a bottle of ketchup).

After packing everything up it was nearing 9am, and I spotted one of the lads up and about, I enquired about the wheelbarrow and he offered to unload it for me, the clinking of their provisions awoke some of the others. with the wheelbarrow empty I wheeled it over to my stuff and loaded up, I must be getting fitter as I made it back to the car park with only 4 stops. by now though I was out of breath, and the thought of doing the walk twice more to say cheerio was losing its attraction, so I got in the car and headed for home, arriving home early afternoon and collapsing on my chair, only moving to answer the door to the takeaway.

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Very interesting read. I saw the campsite when we were at Salhouse Broad last week. Quite a walk up to the car park, especially with all that luggage and equipment but a good way of attending the Meet without a boat. :)

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Grendel's model reminds me of the Globe Theatre but in reverse! I had seen so many models of the Globe that when I sat inside the 'real' one I had the oddest feeling that I had shrunk. Now with BA, having often been aboard, Grendel's model was so realistic in all its proportions, I thought it had shrunk!

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Just now, brundallNavy said:

What do you get for your £16 per night, are there toilets and showers nearby.


3 portaloos, a fire pit - no vehicles and tons of peace and quiet, plus 2 cold water taps down at the moorings. no showers. there is a camping pod for a little more, but that has nothing but a proper roof. there are proper toilets - at the car park.

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Could be a plan, I'm onboard 'B.A' this Thursday evening late on.  Not confirmed Navplan as of yet but maybe night-nav Thursday so far down the Bure, then early morning sail to pass through GYA at 0600-ish en-route for the Waveney Friday, not sure of destination Friday or timings yet, all subject to change but should be firming it up tomorrow evening - Hope this helps


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Passed the corsican at Barney arms yesterday all is now well with the engine.

Got overtaken by Vaughan too, exchanged waves and salutes, hope to see you around the southern waters sometime this week.

Was great to meet everyone at the weekend you are a great bunch. Happy sailing to you all.



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