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TostockTimonier

The Sound Of Silence

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Friday 27th July   We arrived at the boatyard at about 1pm, having stopped at the co-op in Long Stratton for supplies and Jenny’s booze and the butchers in Horning for freshly sliced bacon for the obligatory bacon and eggs. The staff were busy getting the boats ready, so we made ourselves known to reception and as luck would have it Silent Emblem had been readied first. So we collected our paperwork and were issued with suitable life jackets, then taken to the boat. I backed the car close and loaded the holdalls, bags and stuff on board (how much do you need for ten days Jenny?) parked the car and reported back to reception. Our friendly instructor gave us a thorough run through of Silent and her systems. I must have seemed competent as he asked if I was happy enough to skip the trial run, after 34 years you would hope I’d be able to pull out, turn round etc. So we were off to start our 10 days.

The sun was hot and the sky clear, with a strong breeze to help keep cool. A hybrid boat was a new experience for us, as she would run on electric silently for up 4 1\2 hours (depending on load) and then the generator would cut in. There are no engine tones to assist with how much throttle you’re applying. So, for example when you put her in reverse to stop, it’s all done by vision and feel. Neutral is a gentle click, no engine rev tone to remind you, instead you look to make sure and use the digital readouts for amp usage, battery level, motor revs and gps.

There is a sliding window between the sun deck and the lounge/galley area which Jenny opened and asked if wanted anything, I replied a cold Budweiser would be nice please. Jenny was in the midst of unpacking and organising everything  below decks. Now bearing in mind that electric boats are very very quiet, I was able to hear a stream of expletives that you wouldn’t want your mother to hear! I looked down to see Jenny doing some form of one legged tribal dance. Upon enquiring, it was apparently due to her catching her foot in a holdall handle and bashing her leg on the corner of the solid wood bed frame. As I said, whilst commiserating with her, at least you didn’t spill my Budweiser. When Jenny had finished organising, calmed down and made a mug of tea she joined me at the upper helm, insisting it was at best a compound fracture.

On the sun deck, Silent has lots of padded seating, enough for about twelve, not including the two upper helm seats, a table and a padded sunbed for three with a tilted back. There is  plenty of room and well designed.

We had a slow, serene and uneventful journey (apart from Jenny’s leg of course) from Horning to Stokesby Glebe Farm moorings for the night. The wind had become very blustery and made the mooring difficult, not my best, I was very glad to have the bow thrusters to save the day, only a 7/10 I’m afraid, but it was my first on Silent.

I now had time to have a good look round the boat and I helped the boats moor safely in front and behind us. The land owner came to collect the five pounds mooring fee and we got ready to go to the Ferry Inn (01493 751096) for dinner, I had salt and pepper calamari with salad garnish and a sweet chilli dipping sauce, then chilli con carne with rice and salad garnish and Jenny had the spicy crab cakes with a salad garnish and spicy chilli dip, then the vegetarian mushroom linguini in a creamy garlic sauce topped with rocket and parmesan. With no room left for pudding, we finished our drinks and went back to the boat (nice pub grub at pub prices, clean, friendly and good value for money)

Jenny read her book as I checked out the freesat and opened the Zubrowka (a bison reed vodka from Poland) which went down a treat. The wind was getting stronger and a storm was building, we were facing Acle direction and were treated to an amazing show of sheet and fork lightning around half of the boat and the heavens opened. Light show over, it was time for bed.

Silent has a very large walk round bed with bedside cabinets and flexi chrome reading lights on both sides, plenty of room and a very comfortable mattress and the most amazing pillows. The bed was super king size and the mattress was high quality and very comfortable.

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A super king size walk round bed on a boat and with bedside cabinets each side?  That’s amazing! Sounds like a real special boat. Hope you have some pictures to go with your write-up. 

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Looking forward to reading how your holiday goes and how you got on with the boat. I would love to hire one of Ferry Marina’s newer boats - the cabins and fit out look such great quality in all the photos on their website. 

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Lovely tale. Pushing your luck abit with the At least you did not spill......

It is always an interesting place to moor with wind and tide at,east you can have a good guess as to what is going to happen, but there are some funny swirling currents there to catch you out as well.

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On 11/08/2018 at 20:05, vanessan said:

A super king size walk round bed on a boat and with bedside cabinets each side?  That’s amazing! Sounds like a real special boat. Hope you have some pictures to go with your write-up. 

Vanessan, it was a fantastic boat here is a link to the Ferry  Marina video tour.

 

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On 11/08/2018 at 22:02, SwanR said:

Looking forward to reading how your holiday goes and how you got on with the boat. I would love to hire one of Ferry Marina’s newer boats - the cabins and fit out look such great quality in all the photos on their website. 

Hi Jean, 

Yes the quality was great, more to follow on the holiday blog.

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14 hours ago, Maxwellian said:

Lovely tale. Pushing your luck abit with the At least you did not spill......

I'm well known for pushing my luck with the good lady :default_norty:

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Day 2 Saturday 28th  I awoke to a warm, dry morning and took a refreshing shower. Silent has a large shower tray with a sliding door and a shower with a deluge head and separate hand shower. I made the mistake of putting the water on before getting in, so when I stepped in it was very slippery (very nearly did myself a mischief) so it would have been a much better idea to get in first and stand back whilst the hot came through, only took seconds. That aside, what a great shower.

I put the kettle on and made us a mug of tea each, I always bring Jenny a cuppa in bed (I don’t think that she would get up until she got one) I went up onto the sundeck, uncovered and clipped back the digital display cover and shammy leathered the seats, table and the upper helm ready for later, mopped down the decks and my morning chores were done.

Jenny had risen (the tea worked) and showered (yes I had warned her about slipping, one bruised leg’s enough and what a bruise it was)  we awaited our weekend guests, who hadn’t been on the broads since we hired the Aston Seabird back in the 80’s (a new Broom 32) which was rather expensive to hire, but a great boat for two couples. I think the hire cost put us all off boating for a while as you could have had two weeks partying abroad for your hard earned cash and  when we were younger, we partied hard.

Grant & Chrissy arrived a little after 9am, we met them at the pub car park, the landlady had granted them permission to park there for the weekend (would be rude not to ask first) as we were booked in for Sunday lunch, we helped take their bags and stow them on board.

We walked back to The Riverside Tea Rooms where we were booked in for breakfast (01493 750470) at 9.30am. I must say she does a great breakfast, reasonable price and great conversation. I bought a couple of watches (he refurbishes them and my last one I bought from him was four years ago and is still going strong) Jenny and the rest of the crew bought pirate hats, fake moustaches and eye patches, which she then decided to wear back to the boat… I lagged behind in the hope that people didn’t think she was with me. The moustache was an improvement, not sure about the eyepatch though (she’s  going to kill me when she reads this)

Back on board and we gave the guests a quick tour of Silent. I shammied the upper deck again as it had rained whilst we were having breakfast, turned on the power, set her to upper helm, switched to upper dash then untied the front rope so the wind would start to bring the bow out, untied the back rope and then we were off. A slow cruise up to Wroxham was planned for today’s journey, by the time we reached Acle bridge it had started to rain, so I had to swap to the lower helm. I don’t like inside front steering positions (a matter of personal preference) but it wasn’t too bad and the rear camera was helpful, the rain didn’t stop for the best part of an hour. Jenny and Chrissy festooned the bedroom and aft well with balloons and 60th birthday banners, a precursor for my birthday on Wednesday. Back up top and the sun blazing again, we detoured down Ranworth Dam and cruised round Malthouse Broad, Ranworth Staithe was full to bursting, with boats mud weighting, ready to pounce, we headed back up to the Bure and towards Wroxham. The sun was really hot now, Jenny and guests were relaxing on the sun lounger sipping g&t’s (pirate regalia now abandoned because of the heat) whilst I stuck with my Budweiser. We negotiated several yachts as we left Horning as it was the start of regatta week. When we got to Salhouse Broad, we took a trip round for our guests and there appeared to be an Elysian club meet on, it was a lovely sight to see so many side by side, gleaming in the afternoon sun. They filled the moorings to the right of paddling area, as you look towards the bank. We all spotted the ice cream boat so I stopped and, pipped the horn and waited for him to finish serving the day boats, it was a novelty for our guests to be served ice cream from a boat.

Onwards to Wroxham, when we arrived at Barnes Brinkcraft were still doing the handovers so we moored on the first jetty (the v shaped one) temporarily until such time as the boats on the main jetty went on their trial runs. As luck would have it both large boats left one after the other, so I untied and moored in the farthest space, easy mooring 10/10.

We got ourselves ready for dinner and as we were early we took a walk to Roy’s (I believe it’s an unwritten rule that you must visit Roy’s whilst here) Jenny got some Arnica cream to help bring out the nasty bruise on her thigh (which my darling drama queen still jokingly insisted was still possibly a compound fracture rather than a bruise) then across the road to the other part of the shop, Grant bought a cap and Jenny bought a couple more scarves (as if the fifty plus she’s already got aren’t enough, no joke) we then headed for The Wroxham.

We had booked a table for 6pm (01603 782061) and were seated, drinks order taken, the menus perused and food ordered. Grant decided on, devilled whitebait and citrus mayonnaise followed by 8oz rib-eye steak, mushroom, tomato, onion rings, chunky chips and watercress then sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce, rum and raisin ice cream for dessert, Chrissy chose asparagus with pea shoots and garnish followed by oven -baked sea trout, seafood linguine, watercress and chard lemon then chocolate nemesis, honeycomb and orange cream for dessert, Jenny also had the asparagus followed by a Greek salad from the specials board, and I had sea scallops, curried parsnip puree, pomegranate and parsnip crisps followed by fillet of beef, potato rosti, cavolo nero, morel sauce and fried leeks, cooked medium rare, Jenny and I had no room for dessert. We could not fault The Wroxham, the restaurant was smart, staff were attentive, friendly and helpful, service was great, waiting times excellent and the food fantastic. The food may have cost a little more but was worth every penny.

We returned to the boat for the rest of the evening and caught up on old times whilst the drinks flowed, old music played and pirate hats were compulsory, until we ran out of energy and it was time for bed. Now we had to convert the sofa into a bed, it might have been prudent to have rehearsed this before drinking, but we managed with a laugh or two. A fantastic day with great food and superb company, who could ask for more.

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What a lovely boat but why oh why is the freezer part of the fridge so tiny, just enough for a packet of peas.     We dont all eat in pubs.   Just loved the bedroom and the bathroom,  real luxury.        Is that a slow cooker on the front or is it a steamer?

 

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Day 3 Sunday 29th  I awoke at about 6:30am and went for a walk as it was nice and dry out and I didn’t want to wake everyone else up. When I returned the lazy so and so’s were still not up so I had my morning shower, by the time I had come out Chrissy had risen and made the tea. I took Jenny’s through to her (tea in bed again) Chrissy, Grant and Jenny had showers in succession and I filled up with water whilst they were using it, an endless task. I shammied up top and readied the helm and set the switches below decks. I untied the ropes, turned round and proceeded to head back up the river Bure, to our lunchtime booking.

By now the sun was getting very hot again and everyone was up on the sun deck, making the most of it. We had a lovely slow cruise back to Stokesby and our guests were looking at the riverside properties, just in case their lottery numbers came up. You have a great view, over the top of the reeds of the beautiful landscape and the wildlife from the upper deck . We had booked a table for Sunday lunch as mentioned at The Ferry Inn for 2pm. (01493 751096) When we arrived, the staithe and the pub moorings were full, in fact all of the Glebe Farm moorings were full apart from one space of approximately 40ft between two boats. We were punching a strong wind and tide so I steered the bow in and the tide pushed the stern in, a little throttle held her steady whilst Jenny temporarily fastened the bow rope, I tied the stern ropes and then I tied the bow rope, this was definitely a 10/10 for this mooring.

We freshened up and headed off down to The Ferry Inn for lunch. Grant ordered the beef and pork roast, Chrissy had the beef roast, I decided on the chicken and pork roast and Jenny settled for the vegetarian mushroom linguini again. Three of us had syrup sponge and custard, whilst Jenny had the sticky toffee pudding with cream. Once again good pub grub at a reasonable price, good service and we didn’t feel rushed at all.

We went back to the boat and chatted until it was time to part company with Grant & Chris, it had been a wonderful weekend with two really great friends. It wasn’t long before the land owner came and collected the five pounds mooring fee. We were both quite worn out so we settled in for the night with a drink or three.

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Day 4 Monday 30th  Awoke to an overcast morning, it was damp outside due to an earlier shower. I made a brew and gave Jenny hers in bed as usual. Whilst we were waiting for today’s guests to arrive, I popped to the stores for bread and milk. When I left the stores it was raining quite heavily and I was drenched (much to Jenny’s amusement) Thankfully it had stopped by the time David and his son Sam arrived at The Green, Sam had driven, he knew the way as he visits Hemsby a lot. I went up to greet them and we walked back to Silent.

We told them about the boat being electric and as they are mechanics they asked about the generator and management board. I slipped the ropes and we were off. We headed for Acle as we needed a pumpout, Silent holds all waste water in a grey water tank to cut down on pollution and there had been ten showers, numerous flushes plus washing up. All emptied for £12, we carried on down the river to the Ant. There was not too much traffic at Ludham Bridge, but by the time we reached How Hill it started to rain hard enough to warrant switching to the lower helm but it wasn’t long before it stopped and we could swap back to up top. As usual Irstead Staithe was full and at Barton Broad we turned left, our destination was Neatishead Staithe, we were booked in at the  The White Horse (01692 630828) for lunch at 1.30pm. Thankfully there were a couple of spaces left and I tied up and switched off just as it started to drizzle again.

We put our raincoats on (except for Jenny who got soaked) as it rained for the 5 minute walk to the pub. We ordered drinks at the bar and were shown to our table, we perused the menu and placed our orders, David and Sam both had fish cakes with rocket and tartar sauce followed by meat pie with chips and seasonal vegetables, Jenny decided on olives with bread, hummus and oils followed by duo of smoked haddock & mozzarella fish cakes with new potatoes and salad, I had salt and pepper dusted calamari with sweet chilli sauce followed by tavern tasty olde English sausages with creamy mash and seasonal vegetables. All four of us really enjoyed our meals service was good, food was great, all in all what a lovely pub and reasonably priced too. The sun was out again as we walked back to the staithe. 

private boat was reversing into the staithe and I had to fend them off a few times, they moored in front of us and when they tied their ropes I untied ours and reversed out onto the main dyke, two more boats were coming in. It’s a popular staithe and there’s always competition for a mooring space, but it is worth the gamble. Back on board we headed back up the Ant to the Bure where Sam took over the helm. David was regaling us with tales of his holidays ‘in the old days’ on the canals, he once left his key in a lock gate after using it, he followed a boat through the next lock and only realised when they got to the next lock and couldn’t find the key! He had to wait until the next morning before a replacement key was bought out. Or the time that he blew the chimney off of the stove… he’s a bit of a muppet sometimes but we love him anyway.  We reached Acle at about 5.30pm and the moorings were almost full, there were only two left. I took the helm and we carried on to Stokesby, when we got there it was full so we asked a chap on the sundeck of a Faircraft Loynes boat if it was possible to pull alongside so as our guests could get off, thankfully he said of course you can, so we turned into the wind and they duly stepped off.

We turned again to make for The Stracey Windpump moorings as the couple at Acle would surely have gone by now. We passed ten or more boats in the 12 minutes it took to get there and your mind starts telling you that they are all full too. No need to worry, there were loads of empty spaces. The daughter and her lovely white Alsation came to collect the £5 mooring fee , which saved a walk up to the store. I rang David and Sam to say a proper goodbye as they had a hasty departure, they thanked us for a great day and lovely meals. We put a film on freesat and drank a few vodkas until we were ready to turn in, another lovely day was over.

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I'm really enjoying your holiday 'write up', but I'm afraid I have to say it... That really is one ugly looking boat. :56_anguished:

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1 hour ago, kingfisher666 said:

I'm really enjoying your holiday 'write up', but I'm afraid I have to say it... That really is one ugly looking boat. :56_anguished:

Thank you, Silent is all one level with plenty of headroom throughout though and the upper helm and sundeck was brilliant.

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8 hours ago, kingfisher666 said:

I'm really enjoying your holiday 'write up', but I'm afraid I have to say it... That really is one ugly looking boat. :56_anguished:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Silent is clearly a well designed boat and will appeal to many for lots of reasons. That’s one of the things about the Broads I think, you will never get bored looking at boats because there are so many variations and designs. (Not to mention the way some of them are helmed! :default_norty:

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I really like Ferry Marina's boats and would love to hire one of their new builds.

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4 hours ago, vanessan said:

 

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

I can't disagree with that...

I love the idea of the quiet running. if she could pass below certain low bridges, I might find her a little prettier to look at too... :10_wink:

 

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Day 5 Tuesday 31st  Woke up to lovely sunshine this morning and decided to have a quick shower. With the tea made and of course delivered to she who must have tea in bed, I made myself some long overdue bacon sandwiches for breakfast, they were worth the wait, very nice bacon. I went outside in the sunshine to mop down the decks and ready the upper helm for departure, we planned a slow cruise to Wroxham today as we didn’t expect any visitors.

We stopped at Acle for water and met a couple on a hire boat that they weren’t very happy with, they said they struggled to find moorings, to physically moor the boat and hated the boat because it was dirty, shabby decor and seriously not enough bed space for all three of them to sleep comfortably. They had decided not to move the boat anymore, instead they intended using their car for day trips out and the boat to sleep on, such a shame as it was their first trip on the broads and they had travelled all the way from up north. By now the hose was free, so I began to fill the sizeable water tank, meanwhile they had asked Jenny to have a look on board for her opinion, which was that the boat was not fit for hire, can’t mention who’s boat it was for obvious reasons, but we had never heard of the boat yard before. They then asked if they could have a look onboard Silent and Jenny gladly gave them a tour., water all filled up, we said our goodbyes and said to them that they should give the Broads another try using a recognised boatyard with a website and accountability.

We continued on down the river as far as the island moorings next to Wroxham Broad, we spent an hour or so relaxing and feeding the swans, they are cheeky little so and so’s, they would tap on the aft deck until Jenny fed them. When we left the moorings, the bow thrusters wouldn’t work, all I got was a flashing warning light on the switch, so I had to work the stern out and use reverse to clear the moored boats, a couple of minutes later and they were working again, most annoying.

We arrive at Wroxham and decide we would moor on the inside of the new floating pontoons, it had electric hook up nearby and it was free, thanks Barnes Brinkcraft. We spent the rest of the afternoon lazing in the gorgeous sunshine. In the evening we had intended to get a takeaway from The Yim Siam Thai Restaurant but we decided we would fix something light on the boat, We settled in for the night, put on the freesat and had a drink, we had enjoyed a lovely hot day, just the two of us.

 

 

 

 

20180803_193304.jpg

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Day 6 Wednesday 1st   Woke up about 6am to a nice hot day and had a shower I went for a walk around and got rid of the rubbish. On my return I made the tea and wished Jenny a happy anniversary and she in return wished me a happy  anniversary and 60th birthday, then called me an old fart!, I told her that next year she would be 50, so percentage wise she was catching me up. We were awaiting the arrival of Jenny’s brother Robert, her sister Marina and her husband John. At about 10:30 they arrived in a picnic boat and we headed under Wroxham bridge to Coltishall Common. Such a beautiful stretch of river, the water is so clear that you see the fish, the Damselflies and Dragonflies were in abundance and fascinated Marina’s dogs, as did the fish.

We moored up at the common and went to have lunch at The Rising Sun (01603 737440) John had a jacket potato with tuna & Norfolk dapple melt, Marina had Cromer crab cake with local samphire & lemon butter sauce followed by Cajun flat iron steak with caesear salad & spiced fries, Robert had warm bread with balsamic, olive oil & marinated olives followed by smoked & unsmoked mixed fish pie with peas, topped with Norfolk dapple cheddar mash, Jenny picked mozzarella, vine tomato & basil salad with balsamic vinegar, followed by the fish pie and I started with crayfish and prawn with Asian salad & sweet chilli dipping sauce followed by braised shoulder of lamb shepherd pie, cheddar mash, crispy onions, peas & carrots, all of the food was delicious, staff were very helpful friendly, we loved it. We cruised towards the lock and then turned back to Wroxham, we all ate my birthday cake for desert (made by Marina, chief family cake maker supreme) and took a detour around Bridge Broad, then under the bridge and we stern moored in front of Silent on the pontoon. They had a look around the boat, I gathered up my birthday cards, the remainder of my cake and gifts, said our farewells and they took the boat back and we set off.

We got to Acle about 7:10 pm to find it full again, then passed a full Stokesby, so we followed on to The Stracey Windpump. There were a few moorings left, we had tied up by the water filling area as it was after hours and Jenny asked at the shop if we could remain there as we would be gone by 7:30 in the morning, as it was past 8pm she said no problems, so we paid and Jenny cooked up a light tea.

Then a boat moored behind us, half on the bank, the rest across the Anglian Water inlet/outlet and their friend doubled moored alongside them. They were drinking, playing loud music and dancing on top of the boat when the land owners daughter came to tell them they would need to move further down whilst it was still light and there were still spaces available, as they were moored across Anglia Water property and double moored and neither were permitted, plus they would have to pay £5 mooring fee each. They refused both and got quite abusive, then they reluctantly paid and decided that they wouldn’t move. The Landowner came out and told them why they had to move and then it kicked off. The men got off the boat and tried to  intimidate her, but she kept her cool and warned them that she would call the police if they didn’t comply. Then one of the women got off and tried to goad her into a fight, at this point she told them all to get back on their boats and off her land and went to call the police. She came back and informed them that she had done so, after she was given further verbal abuse the two boats moved further down to moor as previously requested, but now in total darkness by torch light, threatening that they would return in the morning. Jenny spoke to the lady who said that this was the fourth incident in as many weeks and that she had considered closing the moorings and the store.

We can’t afford to lose those moorings due to rude, arrogant and ignorant people. It would be unthinkable to lose these moorings and facilities due to the behaviour and actions of morons, we need to retain as many mooring as we can and these being the last/first before/after Yarmouth.

Despite all of the goings on, I had a cracking 60th birthday celebration and we had a few drinks before bed.

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Hope you did manage to enjoy your birthday despite the way that the day ended. Those crews sound like everyone’s nightmare neighbours. You must have been relieved when they moved albeit feeling a little sorry for whoever inherited them further down the line. I’ve seen late arrivals forcing their way into small spaces a number of times but fortunately never seen it turn unpleasant like that. 

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It is a pity in life that there is always that small minority that spoil it for the majority.

That is why we need rules in life to protect the majority from the minority

 

Great read feels like we are there with you

 

Ray

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