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Malanka Tales


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After the Aireboys had partied hard with our new Russian friends, the boys may have been treated to a couple of excess, surplus to requirements barbequed burgers. Our new friends were on their last night and it was an everything left on the barbe party, hence it was such super fun. I don’t think they took any alcoholic beverages home either, and we did try and help with that even if only a little bit. One does ones best in such circumstances.

image.png.e4b35bd9a3f8f70ac9ada1034cf750db.pngPost Party sleeping pups….


Tired out, pooped pups, their pawrents weren’t too far behind either.

Saturday dawned and it was time to decide where we were going to go, we had things we needed to do . OK this is Norfolk so that’s so not true……and things we wanted to do. Head up the Bure to Coltishal locks and spend a day doing not much.

So, plan made to head up-river to do nothing at all, we took a few photos of the boys enjoying the island before we set off up to the locks. I must admit the Aireboys were very compliant this morning, nothing at all to do with being exhausted the night before.

Normally you can’t get them this close for this long except when they are asleep.



Obviously heading up to the locks requires a negotiation of Wroxham bridge, hopefully it would not be a repeat of last Saturday with six boats triple moored (side on) against the hotel moorings just in front of the bridge. No idea how that was authorised but it caused mayhem all morning.

We had the top down and had a leisurely pootle to wroxham via a stop in Salhouse for a bit of breakfast / brunch / sit in the sunshine.

We arrived at the bridge, dropped everything, and went under and then moored up in the pre railway bridge BA moorings so Fiona could go gather some essentials from Roy. That little piece didn’t take long so it was still early doors when we headed up the last stretch of the bure to Coltishal. The kingfishers were trilling, flying, and generally being wonderful, there were few boats about all heading downriver, so we set 600rpm and 3.4 mph and took an age to get there, an age filled with lovely sounds, sights and a general feeling of wellness.  The sun was glistening off the water, the gentle breeze rustling the leaf heavy boughs of the trees, families and children were playing in the water and jumping off the banks, kayakers were doing their thing and free swimmers were doing their thing too. A truly magnificent day was in progress and it was still this side of 11:30 am. We gently chugged past the common, a good 30% of the available mooring space occupied by single kayaks, we were unconcerned as this was not our destination. The common was filled with socially distanced picknicks, families having fun and happy people just strolling in the summer sun. GLORIOUS.

We arrived at the narrow not very deep part of the river just after the Norfolk Meade Hotel, sandwiched between reeds on both sides and wide enough for one vessel only. There in front were three kayakers line abreast, one somehow didn’t figure out that an 11.5 ton boat can’t manoeuvre in those circumstances and managed to keep the centre line downriver and clatter the side of the boat with his paddle.  For what reason I don’t know, can’t figure out, and leave to him to understand. We were barely moving against the flow and basically kept station whilst they past. If they believe that area of river is not for powered craft, they are mistaken.

That slight unpleasantness behind us we moored at the locks just south of the Canoe launch area and sat and did, nothing, it was heaven. 

image.png.ca8f70052d3cd90b5421f48b105e597e.pngThis is Boris doing nothing.


There were some young people over by the weir doing young people stuff and having a good time, we heard them, talked to a few on a dog walk, and generally lived and let live. Having still one teenager in the family allows me to still feel part of that old life I used to have. They were all very polite and just lovely young people out having fun.

After a while some very nice members of Her Majesties Constabulary turned up on a routine visit (honest guv, wusnt me guvner), we had a lovely time chatting with them and they said hi to our hooligans too.


Boris confessing to everything…

The plan was steak, chips and peas with some garlic bread thrown in for our tea and frozen “raw diet” dog food for the boys.


Barbecue suitably cleaned, rump steak raised to room temp, oil and seasoning added, glass of wine in hand it was time to cook.


The sun set, the dinner was amazing, the company stupendous, the views outstanding, it was due to rain later so we could even fall asleep to the sound of rain on the cabin tops. Heaven, does it really get better than this? 

weekend tale .docx

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Heaven, does it really get better than this? 

Yes most definitely, it's easy and I'll enlighten you.

What is 'Better than this' is when me and mine are afloat doing the same thing(s) instead of reading your excellent write up / viewing the photo's and going a shade of green

We are due to board this Friday right through to the 16th  Then I'll get my own back see if I don't !


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Sunday dawned a little damply, ok it was chucking it down and had been since around 3 am. Both Aireboys were awake as we could feel their tails swishing back and forth. This is inevitably followed by the stretch and slide of the forepaws, claws extended, this part is to be avoided by any- and-all human flesh. Next comes the head shake, snake zig zag dance and woofle, closely followed by the sniff, woofle nose bump. We tried to tell the boys we were still asleep, we lay still, no moving, breathed slowly. Nope nothing worked, both boys crashed on top of us both, and it was all hands to protecting sensitive human parts.

One of us had to take them out into the deluge. Yes, it was me.

I made no bones about being positive so it was back on with the shorts, new Polo-shirt, deck shoes (no socks please gentlemen), I couldn’t be bothered to get wellies as they are in the front cabin. Open the zip stand back and let the dogs out, feel free to add the huh huh huh parts. Poo bags in hand I followed both enthusiasts as they headed for the nearest tree to pee. They met an absolutely soaked lady with her spaniel, they chased her, the spaniel, about for a couple of minutes then seemed to decide ok it’s our walkies now, and stood there, wagging tails and looking all expectantly at me.

I could hear sounds of men at the weir so decided to head over and take a look. I had both leads round my neck and both boys walking next to me, we headed to investigate. There were many canoeists playing in the fast-flowing water, and very proficient they looked too. Both Aireboys found this quite fascinating and stuck their heads through the wall to take a closer look, as it is with dogs, their interest peaked after 5 seconds and the next thing they needed to sniff out became the path back to the river, so we headed off under the trees getting quite quickly soaked by the larger drops formed by the leaves. The larger drops felt quite nice, but not conducive to staying dry.

When we returned to the boat Fiona had doggie breakfast ready and the kettle was whistling tea was ready too, it was 07:15. We decided to stay in situ and have breakfast before heading down river to our next destination, which we had decided after a couple of “Captain Morgans” last night was going to be Womack.   

We debated top up or down, as it was still drizzling very slightly, decision was more tea please. We sat in the stern well drinking our fresh brews and observing (sounds so much less intrusive than watching don’t you think?) a lady free swimmer preparing her kit to go off downriver. The free swimmer set off with a very proficient front crawl and I wondered if we would see her again later. Nope.. she was very quick…I wistfully remembered the days when I could do such things.

The clearing skies prompted us to drop the top but retain the screen until pre bridge. The sun was desperately trying to shift the annoyingly persistent clouds, we needn’t have worried, half-way to Wroxham the sun finally peeked out from behind the grey blanket just before 9:00 am. We arrived at the bridge lined up, sounded the horn, a good decent blast and started to advance to the bridge when a day boat appeared just under the bridge and decided to sit there’re whilst the passengers examined the bridge, wonderful. We made it through and enquired if the helm understood what the blast on the horn meant? “The what”, he replied, God save us from the innocents, we departed with nothing more said.  

We had decided to head straight to Womack and enjoy a long day lazing in the by now very strong sunshine.



Both Aireboys seemed very interested in the goings on and stood to better admire the changing scenery. This of course prompted more comments from passing boats about huge fluffy curly rugs and the like.

The journey was lovely, long enough to charge the batteries and sunny enough to prompt some sun-screen, sadly this proved not good enough and a week after returning the shingles, bane of my adult life, returned once more.

We arrived at Womack and the dyke was full so we didn’t even investigate the staithe or the island and popped smoothly (that’s a lie, current and wind against) into the little wild mooring as you enter the turning.

We moored up, sat down, walked the Aireboys, and it was suddenly wine o’clock. The Aireboys entertained themselves saying hello to all the walkers both human and canine, who passed us by. They soon got bored of this, well we certainly did and they settled down to some serious sleeping.

As you can see from the pictures it was an horrible day, where we met loads of horrible people, and horrible doggies and had a terrible time…. NOT





Dinner tonight was to be burgers from the butchers in Clare (our nearest town).

The day seemed to go forever, one of those amazing summer days that feels to last until bedtime with no passage of time at all.




After dinner it was one more “walkies” for the Aireboys where Monty found a cow pat… AND ROLLED IN IT!!

Anyone want a dog?

The end of the day came too quickly and soon the sun was setting.


Today was glorious, tomorrow after a potter to potter we would return home, what a wonderful long weekend.

The End….

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  • 1 year later...

image.thumb.png.73a0e4df6e86089bbddcbb8e214172aa.pngSummer cruise 2021


Where we went: Wroxham Broad Mooring, Wild mooring Womack, Pyes Mill Loddon, The Water’s Edge Brammerton, Hardley Mill, Fleet Dyke South Walsham, Wroxham above Bridge. Home…..Eventually.


The Pre amble:

 This was to be our first “extensive “ trip out post pandemic rules loosening, we had had a few false starts, bad jab reactions, sickness and general, ”can’t spare the time”. This year has the added complication of Fiona now working at a vaccination centre, so its not just my diary that must be juggled and cajoled into shape, now there were two.

Saturday morning dawned a little blearily for me, I had heard Fiona leave for work but didn’t actually surface for long enough to say hi bye see you later kind of thing.  My second “I am on holiday” celebratory rum and coke the previous evening was most definitely the issue, and I just needed various porcine products and a big mug of tea to set things straight.    


Today was packing, planning, and list making, designed to ensure full availability of all required equipment, clothing and accessories necessary for a successful Broads trip out.

Our last few weekends had been pitiful, camera no charger, charger no camera, no binoculars, no butter, no eggs and so forth. We put this down to the lack of the 1200Km drive which up until very recently was our standard out leg.

Lists made, bags packed, provisions for dog support made, dog dropped off at said support, it was time to collect Justin from Stevenage Station. Why Stevenage I hear you enquire, well as you asked, I will explain! Justin has just completed his 2nd year at Hull Uni and we haven’t seen him for a long period of time so we “asked” him to come and “enjoy” a break with mum and Dad.

Stevenage whilst a strange choice of pick up location for Kedington Suffolk, however it also has a direct connection with Hull so it’s a useful alternative to 4 stops touring the south east of England to get to South Suffolk.

His siblings would not be joining us mainly due to lack of available holiday time, so the three of us plus Boris and Monty the Airedales it was to be.

·       Boris on the right seen below, is now ten years old and has been boating since he was a 4 month old puppy

·       Monty on the left seen below, is four years old and has been boating since he was a 5 month old puppy.


I won’t say we don’t notice them as that’s clearly impossible, but they have their own routines when onboard, honed after many years of boating with the aim of getting precisely what they want when they want it. More specifically, “it’s light, we’re on the boat, it’s after 06:00 (just), time for a walk please?

  The Start:

Sunday morning dawned early as it always does in the UK, 18 years of living abroad have made us soft and getting used to early mornings and late summer evenings which most folks in the UK take for granted is a real pleasure after living further south in Mainland Europe. Where the long summer evenings don’t happen.

Plan was to pack car, put dogs in car and go, I had the woofs and the cold box, and Fiona had big bags, food (boxed) and Justin. Departure time 07:20 not bad, usual shenanigans on the A11 and A47 however we arrived at 09:10 and proceeded to unload cars and load up Malanka our home from home for the next as it turned out 9 days. (Hint trip planning was 7 days).  

We watered the old lady, she didn’t need any more preparation that that as Sutton Staithe Boatyard had prepped both the fuel and the pump out situation two weeks previously on my clean the boat weekend trip with my new toy (Cordless Power washer)

See below for results on the deck accompanied by liberal application of Muck Off.


So primped and prepped it was time to go, and so out of the shed we went into a lovely sun and clouds vision of sparkly water pleasant temperature and Sunday


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On 29/07/2020 at 15:42, YnysMon said:

Sounds wonderful. That Womack Dyke wild mooring is one of my favourites. Handy for dog walking. Great place for sunsets too.

Mine too and we cruised up and back on that very day in hope that Malanka had moved on lol 

No joy and who can blame them! As we passed back towards the Thurne we waved and received a "Cheers" salute from the author with a rather nice looking glass of wine in hand 🥂


EDIT - I should look at posting dates more closely lol However by coincidence, unless I'm even more confused, we did indeed pass Malanka as described, last week!

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Sun and clouds the weather folks said, just perfect cruising weather, the doggies hate it too hot and we humans hate it too sunny. Malanka does have a built in sunshade in the canopy top, we regularly cruise with top up and sides and back down, this saves many a neck or ear from sunburned crispness. Fiona and I have now centered on the “weather radar” app, other apps are available, however we find the radar picture with accurate times for downpours or just drizzle very helpful in planning what we intend to do.  

Heading down the Ant with my new speed app (Aweigh) gleefully informing me of speed, map location, tide times and tide status, we were happy. (other speed apps are available)

As the old lady has been plugged in whilst staying in the shed we didn’t have to drive for long at all, so we planned a slow pootle (this is a boating term meaning slowly going nowhere and not caring about it) down to the 24hr moorings opposite Wroxham Broad. Having decided we intended to spend the following evening at Coltishall lock. Of course this being Norfolk and a quick view of the weather  changed the plans to be a gentle pootle back to the Womack Dyke Wild mooring so lusted after by Ray.


OK back to topic, on our way down the Ant with the chug chug chug (more on that later and Shhh to those who know what happened) accompanied by the shriek of a kingfisher as the little blue darts fly past just skimming the water, or the gentler calls of a mummy otter to her little darlings hiding in the reeds, both of which we heard within the first 5 minutes. OK it helps that the little blue dart has taken up residence in the shed and the otters think it’s an otter assault course, but bear with me this is a tale. Coming up to How Hill a little “flutterby” gently glided past on silken YELLOW WINGS, yes, a Swallow Tail had graced us with its presence. Right Fiona and I said to each other that’s us well and truly Chuffed to bits with the wildlife so far. The sun was low in the sky as it was still before 10 am, but the temperature was warm and a light breeze blowing. The sun sparked over Barton, the three of us held our breath as this time last year we set off across Barton with it blowing a hooley and the Boat canopy parted company with us in five very graceful somersaults before crashing into the Broad with a big splash. We needn’t have worried, sparkling water and the gentle warm breeze had calmed our imaginations, at about this point I made my first enquiry of the day, “is it beer O’clock yet my love”. “No, it’s half past ten, you have to wait until at least 12”. As the tale goes on this exchange will appear a few times…

Our pootle continued as we passed good wild mooring spot after good wild mooring spot, all unoccupied apart from the one that shall remain nameless. We remained resolute in the face of such opportunities and the beautiful vista tempting our plans, almost to breaking point.   

As we approached Irstead, the woofs became more interested and restless as we chugged along, this is due to the resident woofers who like to woof at passing woofers, who of course woof in return. This exchange of woofing is crazy noisy and a whole lot of fun.


This is Boris preparing to woof.



We continued down the river and headed slowly via Horning to arrive after beer O’clock at the 24 hr moorings opposite Wroxham Broad. FULL (of the dreaded dayboats) and occupied, we enquired of the residents if they intended to relocate and determined that in two or three house a spare spot may be available. OK plan B, let’s head over to Percy’s Island and then watch the world go by. The day was sunny, the mood was high so off we went back to the Island. The reason for wanting the Wroxham location was that although I had stayed there (cleaning pictures were taken there), Fiona and Justin had not. Plus points being the woofs can get off for a pee and run up and down unhindered by anything other than falling in.

So, after executing Plan B we settled down with a couple of chilled Corona’s, a few snacks and our Meercat heads on.

Over the next couple of hours the need for the Meercat awareness became clearer and clearer and my anxiety levels became higher and higher, “we have to move guys, staying here it’s only a matter of time before we get struck by someone, plus I’m a bit tired of bobbing about like a cork in a bucket”. Our closest approach was a huge Harmonious Style Cruiser (hint hint), with full chat bow wave, whining transmission and a breaking wash came tearing past us less than two feet away, you may think I am exaggerating, please believe me, I am not, 2ft is a generous description.   


So, we went back to plan A and headed to Wroxham, we arrived at virtually deserted moorings and breathed an huge collective sigh of relief.  We moored up let the woofers off for an explore. The sun was shining, the breeze had dropped to nothing, and we just hit the relax button, and slobbed out reading books and “chillin”.

Towards the end of the afternoon our partners for the evening arrived and although they were new to boating with a little help moored up expertly and settled in a for a good evening.



Chillin at Wroxham mooring

Tomorrow we would head for Womack Dyke for more chillin where we would be harassed by Ray who passed us at least twice hoping we would move on (just joshin LOL)

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Now that the cat is out of the proverbial bag, coming later in the tale is video of being towed through Wroxham Bridge with 6ft 6 on the gauge. Then being towed in a Bridle, all the way up to the shed via Horning Regatta which we went straight through the middle of, no pics or video as I was concentrating on steering whilst being towed by Robert from Sutton Staithe Boatyard who kindly came and brought us home.


Our drive died just exiting Bridge Broad so we coasted without power into a mooring opposite the entrance to the Broad between two other moored boats. Justin was amazing doing a fair impersonation of Cpt America whilst holding both mooring lines and pulling a dead 10T plus boat into the side.  

He was one of our heroes that day.


More to come but profound thanks to Doug and Hele. All will be clearer with some patience as this happened on Saturday and Robert towed us from the electric points in Wroxham. Doug/Hele and Nipper are how we got there. Another Hero



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So sorry for letting cats out of bags Martin, I honestly wasn't sure if it was Malanka or not. After paying pennies short of five pounds (no pound sign on this keyboard!) for a pint, and having to ask them to top the glass up to  something nearer a pint, I was in shock.

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Before crisis struck I was very much enjoying this. In fact enjoying so much that belly laughs were part of the enjoyment. We particularly appreciated the explanation of ‘pootling’ (we do that a lot), and the ‘woofers who woof’, only we have one that mostly whines in a very talkative manner. Very sad to hear Malanka needed a tow.

More please!

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Hopefully will get some more done this weekend. Heading down to Yarmouth Tuesday morning was quite an adventure as our underwear drawer was filled with exhaust water and the bilges likewise. That’s just a teaser more to come, emergency stops at Tarmouth YS included with extensive use of gaffer tape the boating  persons fix all product  

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1 hour ago, Malanka said:

Hopefully will get some more done this weekend. Heading down to Yarmouth Tuesday morning was quite an adventure as our underwear drawer was filled with exhaust water and the bilges likewise. That’s just a teaser more to come, emergency stops at Tarmouth YS included with extensive use of gaffer tape the boating  persons fix all product  

As we call it in the shipping industry: “MacGyver” tape.  😜

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