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A Week On Rose Emblem

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Left Middlesbrough in pouring rain just after 8.30, not a good sign and despite the forecasts of it getting brighter as we headed south, so it continued.

This time round we were using the A14 / A11 for the first time ever and glad we did as we took over an hour less to reach Horning than the A57.

We arrived at Ferry Marina just after 2  as the rain started to ease, popped my head round the office door to be told cheerily that the boat was ready.

Half an hour later the young engineer turned up to give us the run through, and after being informed it was our third trip on her promptly left with his signed piece of paper.

By 3 we were under way destination as always Coltishall for the first night. Don’t know whether it was the rain or the fact it was Friday but on the few boats we passed everyone seemed so miserable and very few waved.

At 4.15 we were moored at the bridge and on the phone to the pilot expecting the worst, the dash plaque said 6-10 bridge said 6-9. No problem he said but as the chains rattled along the roof I doubted his confidence but through we went.

I asked how many were up there and he replied only 3 boats had gone through that day.

The rain stopped and the sun started to break through as we wended our way along one of our favourite bits of waterway, so by the time we reached the common the sun was shining. Sure enough only 3 boats moored there.

Tea was cooked and showers taken and then off to the Red Lion to sample the atmosphere. We went to the Recruiting Sergeant last time but the wife’s new pair of shoes ruined that experience.

Beer was good and atmosphere friendly and 2 pints later it was time for somewhere nearer the boat so off to the Rising Sun. I know it was late but next year we will stay in the Lion.

Back to the boat for a good nights sleep.

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Up for a cup of tea at 7 and had breakfast by 8 so we could walk into the village in the early morning sunshine. We have always used the butcher there and we wanted steaks for tea. Also got a really tasty lamb casserole for Sunday.

Back at the boat we cast off and for the first time we continued upstream to the lock. What a wonderful stretch of water spoilt only by the condition of the boats moored at the hotel.

On reaching the lock we had the splendid sight of a herd of Highland cattle at the river bank.

We turned around determined to revisit in the future.

It was then back to Wroxham for the obligatory visit to Roys.

We passed very few boats on the way back, one of the exceptions was Bob on Crown Gem looking very happy.

Ang has never wanted to helm and usually only does it while I visit the little room, but said she fancied a go and asked how we moored, so above the viaduct I gave her a few lessons, she was very good at it to.

Eventually got in at the bridge as the wind was proving difficult and the gap I was trying to reverse in to was small.

Off to Roys for supplies and a big sun hat for Ang. This would usually signal the end of the good weather but fortunately every rule has an exception.

Back on the boat and through the bridge the decision was made to mudweight on Salhouse broad for lunch and so a spot was chosen opposite you guys having the spring meeting.

Back on the river there was still very few boats about and fewer boats returning our waves. It seems the hirers were too embarrassed and privateers had seen it all before and couldn’t be bothered, only the day boats guaranteed a wave but were going so fast most were just a blur .

As always traffic picked up the nearer we got to Horning with the area around the New Inn reminiscent of the Peripherique with day boats passing us on both sides as we stuck to 4mph.

The sky was turning rather black as we arrived at Thurne where I had heard from the Wroxham bridge pilot that the Lion was now open.

Just as we moored the skies opened and it poured down and the wind picked up followed by a Brinks boat hitting us hard up the rear so I was out to try and help the couple on the boat if required. A few “sorry mate” and “ease the throttle” later and it was job done and back inside to dry off.

Perhaps it was because the pub was doing no food but a few boats left the moorings and due to the wind and or too much speed bumped from boat to boat as they left.

As usual the day ended with a couple of beers and bed.




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I always enjoy reading what other folk have been up to so I'm looking forward to the rest of your tale. 

One of the most useful tips that anyone ever gave me was about reversing out of a mooring rather than trying to go forward. It was on our first trip and we were trying to get away from Reedham which felt like an impossible task. Without that I'm sure I would have bumped a few more boats and riverbanks over the years.

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Woke once again to glorious sunshine and the sounds of an engine running, its 5.56. I have to say it doesn’t really bother me that much if anyone has holidayed on the canal du midi and listened to our American cousins running their engines all the time they are moored to keep the air conditioning going, well.

Bacon butties for breakfast watching some bird of prey circling over the marshes then swooping for his.

By half nine we were ready for the off but due to the inclement weather the night before we hadn’t turned around and now it was boats both sides all along the dyke. Schoolboy error. The only answer was to take the boat down to the end of the dyke and turn in the basin.

The wind was still blowing and Rose does drift in the wind so I owe an apology to Goosander for a slight glancing blow to the rubbing strip as I tried to get a 12 foot boat through a 13 foot gap. At the end of the dyke I started to turn round, causing a look of great concern on the face of a sailie moored there. She relaxed a bit as the bow and stern thrusters got us round no problem then back along the dyke  without a problem this time.

We made good progress until Acle bridge where a regatta was taking place, some scary moments but we made it through. I wouldn’t like to think I encountered this on my first morning on a boat though.

By the time we reached the Stracey Mill a few boats had passed but I find this a dull stretch of water and time seemed to pass slowly.

Eventually Yarmouth came into view with the tide still falling even though it was supposed to be slack. Passing the yacht station a flotilla of yachts cast off in front of us slowing us to a point of struggling to maintain steering.

Under the bridges and round the post and we were off passing the yachts easily and making 6mph despite being against the tide.

Half way across we had a very un nerving experience as a private gin palace overtook us at full throttle, the driver obviously trying to impress the two women with him on the after deck. The wash from this vessel picked us up, turned us to port And then tipped us violently to starboard. I managed to regain control as the same thing happened to the boat ahead of us and then the one in front of that. As one of the yachts behind us was an open decker I shudder to think how he got on.

Following this it was a pretty uneventful trip to Loddon. On arrival we got into a space between a pretty shabby liveaboard and a Freedom boat that was obviously in trouble as a portable pump and bilge pump was working furiously.

Little did we know but the liveaboard owner had the unsavoury character mentioned in earlier post. As the owner assisted Andy try to repair the boat he got drunker, louder and more offensive. A quiet word and he settled down for a little while at least.

Eventually he left and went home and everyone took a sigh of relief and settled down for the night, so it was off to the Angel then bed.

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We left Salhouse that Sunday morning after the Meet and maintained our usual 4-5 mph all the way to Acle Bridge.

I counted the number of boats who were observing speed limits on one hand.......... Horning was particularly bad....   :norty:

That gin palace should have been reported by every boat that he might have overturned; yes it's that serious. I wrote an article on bathtub stability a few years ago but I can't find it at the moment. If you reach a certain angle of heel ( a very LARGE one) you might experience negative stability and that would really frighten you.

Near Brundall a rather large ski-towing speedboat overtook us very closely and caused absolute chaos with lots of breakages..... I was too concerned to get his registration at the time.

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