Jump to content
  • Announcements

    Welcome! New around here? Take a look at the New Members' Guide for some pointers.

    You can Sign up or log in with your Facebook account and you can soon be chatting away with friends old and new..

    Check out our Handy Information section if you're after something quickly!

  • calender payment

    Calendar Paymene

    Delivery Options
    Your NBN Forum Username:

  • If you would like to support the forum, please consider visiting the forum shop, where you can purchase such items as NBN Burgees, Window Stickers, or even a custom Limited Edition Wooden Throttle Control Knob

    Forum Shop

Sign in to follow this  
neilp1962

Fair Commodore 1 - My First Dual-steer Hire

Recommended Posts

It's two years since we had a holiday on the Broads, the last trip was cut short because we had to return home half way through with a very poorly dog who sadly had to be put to sleep. The experience was awful and to be honest left us with very mixed emotions about boating even though boats and the area had nothing to do with his illness. It was the memories of a poor loved pet in distress that were raw for us. Last summer we adopted a 3 year old Staffie called Boris from The Dogs Trust. He'd had a hard time up until then and was a bit mixed up but he progressed so well that we decided that we'd try him on a boating holiday. He's been on boats a few times and also loves our kayak, he copes very well with everything new we've thrown at him so here goes nothing, what will he think of being confined to a 35 foot vibrating noisy plastic boat? We'll soon find out....

Previous hires have been mid-steering sliding roof types, Aquafibre Pearl 38's to be exact, and I love them. I've always liked the look of the dual-steer boats though because they look sleek and the higher steering position must allow a view way beyond the high reeds. The 35' Alphacrafts in particular appealed because at 35 feet they're not too big for just my wife Bev and I and so Fair Commodore 1 was booked from Faircraft Loynes for a week starting Friday August 3rd, my birthday.

Pick-up time was listed as 4pm, although when they phoned a few days earlier to make final arrangements (typically efficient) they said they'd try and get us underway a bit earlier. We set off from Durham at 7.30am, had a good journey as far as Newark then a bad one from there on as the A17/A47 has so much slow moving traffic. I made a mental note to come home a different way, I wish I hadn't as it was worse, more about that later. We got to the boatyard at about 2pm, were told the boat was ready by a lovely lady who gave me alcohol and we could load up straight away before the hand-over so happy days, we're on holiday. We asked for a delay to the hand-over so we could walk Boris, no problem, I doubt that much is ever a problem at this establishment, and Boris was taken over the bridge and across the road to the park for a good walk. We had a booked a mooring and dinner at Pedros at Acle Bridge, as usual my plans were to head south as fast as possible so having a mooring booked meant a stress-free start to the holiday. Hand-over and boat instruction was provided to a high standard, as we had experience they weren't fussed about a test drive, nor were we, so at 4pm off we go turning right out of the yard and down the Bure towards Acle Bridge. Slowly slowly through the busy bit, being nosey looking at the nice houses and wishing we could win the lottery, approaching Horning we caught the end of the sailing event that had been on all week but had no problems edging through against the bank and cruised down to our overnight stop. Boris seemed happy enough, his bed was up-top next to me, he was tethered to the boat so was safe and he just sat watching the world go by. It took a little over three hours to get to Pedros so we had time to moor in the basin, walk Boris and have showers before going out to celebrate my 56 years on this earth.

Pedros was delightful. I loved how they have designed the interior, I loved the willingness of the young people serving, I loved the food, I loved the mojitos I drank (too many) and the young owner impresses the hell out of me with his attitude and ideas. Definitely a place to go, I love my food and I recommend pedros very very highly. Thanks for making my birthday memorable.

Another walk for Boris and it's time to retire to bed to sleep the sleep of the righteous. Nothing beats a night on a boat, the gentle rocking sends me into a slumber that I just don't get anywhere else. Passage time through the bridges at Yarmouth is a little after 10am next day so plans are to leave 8 ish to arrive on time as we head for southern waters.

001.jpg

Nachos.jpg

P1010710.JPG

P1010715.JPG

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boris looks lovely, looking forward to hearing more about him and the trip.

I know what you mean about the A47 on Friday 3rd, I had to tackle it too. Seemed to be stop, start, stop, start for much of it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday 4th August and because I'm on holiday I wake early, 6 o clock or so. Bev asks what time it is? "we have to get going, it'll be dark soon" says I. We have a long day ahead of us, we're going all the way to Beccles where we have another mooring booked at the Yacht Station. I want to stop at Waveney River Centre for lunch as well as fitting in a pit stop for Boris at Berney Arms Windmill.

Breakfast is warm croissants eaten up top, engine checks are done, Boris is walked, his presents to us disposed of in the bin and we're off with the tide by 8 down towards the sea (don't worry, I have no plans to see it). It's pleasant going and we pass Stokesby and Stracey Arms gently meandering along in no rush, gradually getting my busy head into broads mode. We hit Yarmouth pretty much on time, the so called 'boring bit' down the lower Bure seemed more interesting because as hoped I could see a very long way from up top. Boy was it hot, I'm not known for having a lush covering of hair and to be honest, my baldy bonce was taking a solar beating. Time to break out the cap I'd bought at Tesco in Norwich, hats aren't my thing but needs must and all that. I set up an umbrella for Boris to try and keep him cool, he refused to be sensible and go downstairs into some shade.

Breydon Water is easy going, we're at slack water, a bit after maybe and 1800 rpm gives us 7mph on the GPS speedo. Even though we're going down the Waveney we turn right and moor as planned at the windmill to give Boris a break. We would have stopped at the moorings past Goodchilds but I'd read on here they're out of action so didn't risk it, I've never liked the look of the pub moorings there, they look vicious and I have a personal need to hand back this boat I've borrowed in the same excellent condition I received it. We have a nice walk around, Boris appreciates it and we stay a little while to let the tide properly turn and take us onward towards the pub at WRC.

The river was quiet, we hardly saw a boat all the way to Beccles. I think picking up the boat on Friday got us a head start and the throng is a day behind us. Passing under bridges was fine even on a high boat as we were an hour or so after low water all the way down, we removed the highest point, the rear backrest just in case so we were 7'11" with plenty of room. Interestingly Somerleyton bridge opened as we approached, I was surprised having seen the problems recently and it was a very hot day. It wasn't opening for us though, a big tall thing was coming the other way. We arrived at WRC and moored side-on just inside the entrance and enjoyed a very nice lunch and a pint. The wasps were torture, I've never seen so many even inside where we retreated and I heard that the next day a lady had to be taken to hospital from here having been stung. We'd used our stores of bottled water already so called in the shop for more, then set off into new territory for us.

We've never been past the WRC before, I loved this part of the trip particularly since the river was almost empty of traffic, very serene. Beccles soon enough came into view and I turned into the station and moored in quite a tight space on the left just as you enter. The harbour master had kept me a place down near his office but I was happy where I was and as it happened, there was a gathering of boats over that side with a marquee and so it wouldn't have been quite so quiet setting the chairs up on the grass later on. We walked over the marshes then up into the town, settling down for supper sitting upstairs listening to the music from the marquee over the way. A lovely night in a lovely place on a lovely boat with a P1010724.thumb.JPG.2afbb937ec4dbf0a2dc3e9f58862b89a.JPGbottle of lovely single malt. Lovely. We're having a sleep in tomorrow morning, then another long day cruising.

20180807_150121.jpg

IMG_0293.JPG

P1010728.JPG

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, neilp1962 said:

It's two years since we had a holiday on the Broads, the last trip was cut short because we had to return home half way through with a very poorly dog who sadly had to be put to sleep. The experience was awful and to be honest left us with very mixed emotions about boating even though boats and the area had nothing to do with his illness. It was the memories of a poor loved pet in distress that were raw for us. Last summer we adopted a 3 year old Staffie called Boris from The Dogs Trust. He'd had a hard time up until then and was a bit mixed up but he progressed so well that we decided that we'd try him on a boating holiday. He's been on boats a few times and also loves our kayak, he copes very well with everything new we've thrown at him so here goes nothing, what will he think of being confined to a 35 foot vibrating noisy plastic boat? We'll soon find out....

Previous hires have been mid-steering sliding roof types, Aquafibre Pearl 38's to be exact, and I love them. I've always liked the look of the dual-steer boats though because they look sleek and the higher steering position must allow a view way beyond the high reeds. The 35' Alphacrafts in particular appealed because at 35 feet they're not too big for just my wife Bev and I and so Fair Commodore 1 was booked from Faircraft Loynes for a week starting Friday August 3rd, my birthday.

Pick-up time was listed as 4pm, although when they phoned a few days earlier to make final arrangements (typically efficient) they said they'd try and get us underway a bit earlier. We set off from Durham at 7.30am, had a good journey as far as Newark then a bad one from there on as the A17/A47 has so much slow moving traffic. I made a mental note to come home a different way, I wish I hadn't as it was worse, more about that later. We got to the boatyard at about 2pm, were told the boat was ready by a lovely lady who gave me alcohol and we could load up straight away before the hand-over so happy days, we're on holiday. We asked for a delay to the hand-over so we could walk Boris, no problem, I doubt that much is ever a problem at this establishment, and Boris was taken over the bridge and across the road to the park for a good walk. We had a booked a mooring and dinner at Pedros at Acle Bridge, as usual my plans were to head south as fast as possible so having a mooring booked meant a stress-free start to the holiday. Hand-over and boat instruction was provided to a high standard, as we had experience they weren't fussed about a test drive, nor were we, so at 4pm off we go turning right out of the yard and down the Bure towards Acle Bridge. Slowly slowly through the busy bit, being nosey looking at the nice houses and wishing we could win the lottery, approaching Horning we caught the end of the sailing event that had been on all week but had no problems edging through against the bank and cruised down to our overnight stop. Boris seemed happy enough, his bed was up-top next to me, he was tethered to the boat so was safe and he just sat watching the world go by. It took a little over three hours to get to Pedros so we had time to moor in the basin, walk Boris and have showers before going out to celebrate my 56 years on this earth.

Pedros was delightful. I loved how they have designed the interior, I loved the willingness of the young people serving, I loved the food, I loved the mojitos I drank (too many) and the young owner impresses the hell out of me with his attitude and ideas. Definitely a place to go, I love my food and I recommend pedros very very highly. Thanks for making my birthday memorable.

Another walk for Boris and it's time to retire to bed to sleep the sleep of the righteous. Nothing beats a night on a boat, the gentle rocking sends me into a slumber that I just don't get anywhere else. Passage time through the bridges at Yarmouth is a little after 10am next day so plans are to leave 8 ish to arrive on time as we head for southern waters.

001.jpg

Nachos.jpg

P1010710.JPG

P1010715.JPG

Where are these photos taken please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Hylander said:

Where are these photos taken please?

1st one is right at the back of Faircraft Loynes before we set off, rest are at Acle Bridge where Pedros/Broads Boating Company is, on the old Horizon Craft site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you I now realise what I am looking at.     Only been on the Broads for about 40 years and still get confused when looking at photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Hylander said:

Thank you I now realise what I am looking at.     Only been on the Broads for about 40 years and still get confused when looking at photos.

You’re not the only one! Some are quite obvious but others, like the third and fourth above, can have me scratching my head. But then I can only own up to 36 years. :default_norty:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At 73 I can only own up to 40 years,     What  I was doing for the other 33 I cannot think.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, vanessan said:

You’re not the only one! Some are quite obvious but others, like the third and fourth above, can have me scratching my head. But then I can only own up to 36 years. :default_norty:

I think you'd have to have hired from Horizon Craft to recognise inside the basin, or visited Pedros like me, this one makes it clear, I'm moored behind the fuel pump hidden by the shed

P1010712.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do remember your previous tale that you referenced back at the start of this one. So it's good to see you back ... and trying another boat with another dog. Looking forward to hearing how you liked this boat as the tale progresses. Haven't holidayed on the southern Broads for a few years now but we always loved the Waveney down to Beccles. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Neil, I remember your previous tale too. I'm enjoying this one so far. Why do you hire north and then go immediately south? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Broads01 said:

Hi Neil, I remember your previous tale too. I'm enjoying this one so far. Why do you hire north and then go immediately south? 

I like to do both North and South rivers, largely because I like quite long cruises each day rather than sitting at a mooring, it's the only chance I have of being a captain :default_cool:. Not teaching me granny how to suck eggs, but tides through Yarmouth are the main restriction on movement between the two and as everyone knows the ideal passage time gets later as any particular week progresses. Going early in my holiday gets me the most options for my mooring once I've crossed Breydon, if that makes sense. I could hire from a boatyard in the south but I'd still just head north and return to home grounds later in the week so it just comes down to boat choice.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you on the long cruises thing Neil and I like to go south if I'm out for a full week. With the Great Yarmouth times it's luck of the draw as to when slack water falls when you're hiring. Sometimes slack water can be late in the day at the start of the week but I get why you took advantage of the morning slack. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3 was Sunday 5th, it was going to be a hot one again and we had a long day planned ending at a booked side-on mooring at Surlingham Ferry Inn. Simon I told you I like long cruises :12_slight_smile:. A leisurely start as we couldn't get onto our night mooring until after 5pm, so we wandered into Beccles to find a shop that would sell us some provisions, mainly water as the heat had us using those 500ml bottles like they were going out of fashion. We breakfasted on croissants again sitting up top, I then checked the engine and tried cleaning the boat but that white gelcoat is very hard to clean with river water and an old mop so it still looked a bit mucky, then set off at 10 am towards our first Boris break at Somerleyton.

That stretch between Beccles and WRC really is delightful, clear water initially, a tree-lined river offering wonderful views and camera opportunities, not much traffic although a bit busier than the way down and this is exactly the scene I've played over and over in my head since booking the boat last October. Lots of fishermen along the way, but no animosity just a friendly wave given and received. I knew I was approaching WRC as the day boats became more common, but no issues or dramas, just people sharing space on the river in their own way. Waveney River Centre was busy as we passed, I sort of like it here and I've moored over-night before but it just seems so......crowded. Even the excellent shop has become holiday accommodation with the shop relocating to the old pub and consequently becoming smaller and less well stocked.

Boris doesn't like the heat, he wont go downstairs unless I do and I don't like the lower steering position so we've soaked a towel and he's wearing it to keep cool. We're stopping soon so he can have a break from the sun, I remember a nice path through the woods at Somerleyton where he can have a run.

Fair Commodore used to have just a flat upper surface with bench seating for the helm plus a couple more, but they've added a seat at the stern which increases the boat height considerably. You can remove the back cushion and the metal frame swings back horizontal for bridges and the airdraft therefore changes depending on how you've got the boat prepared. With everything up you've got a height above water of (I might be an inch or two out here as I'm going from memory) 8 feet 11 inches, the high point being the top of the rear seat. If you fold the backrest down the side panels become the high point at 8 feet 3 inches, fold them and the windscreen down and the steering wheel needs 7 feet 10 or you're hitting the bridge with it. We approached Somerleyton bridge and the gauge said 9 feet, just to be safe I not only lowered the seat but also the sides and windscreen, I went through with loads of room, I could hardly reach the bridge sitting down. Better safe than sorry though and this boat doesn't belong to me so taking no chances.

A good rest from the river with some lunch and a walk for the dog and we're on the move again, next stop Hardley Cross moorings again for the benefit of Boris the totally spoiled pooch. I'm trying to keep the cruising hops down to 2-3 hours maximum because he's not really settling if he's on the boat too long, I think it's the noise as well as the heat. I thought about Reedham for the next stop but I don't really want to go to the pub, the nice tea shop has closed and it's further from the moorings to suitable dog walks. An uneventful but pleasant meander up the Waveney, new cut and onto the Yare followed and I deliberately went through Reedham at snail's pace because I've previously been on the receiving end of the megaphone of doom from the ever-watchful moorings keeper, Bev was mortified so 3mph and a cheery wave seemed appropriate. I approached the chain ferry with caution and interest because of the recent incident where a boat became entangled on the chains, but my approach coincided with the ferry docking and so no problems or worries to report. Hardley Cross came and a stretch of legs, varying in number was enjoyed followed by a cup of tea 'upstairs' watching the birds doing bird stuff. I'm chilled like a polar bear in a freezer.

The last leg today was a couple of hours pleasant cruising up to our evening mooring at Surlingham Ferry Inn. It's a nice stretch of river, wide and tree-lined and although there were lots of other boats, it was nice waving and smiling at strangers who are enjoying the same thing I am. A Wherry passed us going downstream (I think it was called 'Norfolk' or 'Yarmouth'), magnificent, stalling as the wind dropped but they got her going again promptly. No boat envy at all (sic) as we passed Brundall and the battle cruisers of the fleet and soon The Ferry Inn came into view on our port side (see how I'm a proper sailor now). About turn into the tide and a half decent mooring in front of a garden full of people enjoying some outside entertainment ( a musician, not me) although there was a heck of a drop from the boat to the quay. Someone kindly came to the rescue and took the bow rope from Bev, securing it while I took care of the stern rope. I took some time securing the boat as clearly the water would drop so it needed thinking about and we then had time for showers, dog walk and into the pub for our 7pm reservation. This is a great pub, the quantity of people here tells you how good it is and it was a bit of a queue to order food, but I think everyone wanted to eat at 7pm so it was busy. They dealt with it admirably and soon the food was served fresh and hot. Another walk along the river before bed, a check of the ropes and a sleep full of dreams. Why would anyone do anything other than this?

20180805_094109.jpg

20180804_091658.jpg

IMG_0299.JPG

IMG_0315.JPG

received_281815305928791.jpeg

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like Surlingham Ferry too having stopped there in April. From the photo it looks like there was plenty of space to moor there? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Why would anyone do anything other than this?"

So true! I'm enjoying your tale very much. You have a very engaging way with words. Agree also about Beccles to WRC ... just beautiful. 

All we need is a new river from Beccles to Loddon and then we could avoid that whole stretch up the New Cut and through Reedham!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  

15 minutes ago, SwanR said:

All we need is a new river from Beccles to Loddon and then we could avoid that whole stretch up the New Cut and through Reedham!

I've got my spade ready Jean ,  have you got yours.    One long weekend as is coming up should cover it.     

 We should be so lucky.    :default_winko:

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Hylander said:

I've got my spade ready Jean ,  have you got yours.    One long weekend as is coming up should cover it.     

A new NBN DIY SOS weekend project! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tale Neil, I also remember your last sad experience and am happy you are back boating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Broads01 said:

I really like Surlingham Ferry too having stopped there in April. From the photo it looks like there was plenty of space to moor there? 

Hi Simon

The stern-on moorings were rammed solid, mainly with small sailies, all there to celebrate a 70th (80th maybe) birthday and they had a marquee. The two side-on moorings were me (obviously) and the other was reserved for Lady of Freedom. The little side cut behind me was occupied until just before the picture so although it looks like my own personal pub space (I wish) I was lucky to get a mooring because I didn't book it until a week before. The beer garden was full as well when we arrived, so I was a bit nervous about making a hash of it, but fortunately it went ok.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it Monday already? I've waited 10 months for this holiday, every day I've thought about where we'll go and what it will be like, I've pictured myself at the helm dazzling my fellow boaters with my skills and seamanship, I could tell you the state of tide and height at bridges wherever we plan to be and suddenly we're nearly half way to giving the boat back :51_scream:

Today we're continuing upstream to visit Whitlingham Country Park, a walk around the Great Broad will run some energy from the dog and a lunch at the cafe will revive me afterwards. Usual walk/breakfast/boat stuff etc done and we slip the lines at 8.30 am (ooh get me and my boating talk), turn around so we're pointing the right way and off we go. Another thoroughly pleasant trip down a wide picturesque river, no boats in view and the sun is up and cracking the flags, that's a north-east expression we use on the one day every two years ago that the sun is warm enough to heat the pavement. I love the way you get time to think when you're helming a boat. The lack of interruptions, distractions, other people demanding your time, the things that matter to you come to the fore in your mind and you can focus, but in a calm relaxed way. Strange, I wonder if they'll let me swap my company Volvo for a boat.

We pass Bramerton Common and the Waters Edge, both are quite full with boats who have presumably stayed over-night, both look like very nice places to do just that so mental note taken. I've heard the Waters Edge isn't very dog friendly though so I'll check that out before the next holiday, it's fine if it's not but I'd hate to plan a mooring there and have to sit outside in the rain. I didn't bother lowering the windscreen for Postwick Viaduct, and after a while the moorings at Whitlingham came into view with only a couple of boats there so lots of space. It's my first time here and it's really nice. The walk around the lake takes an hour and a bit, walking through a wooded pathway with glimpses of the river on your left with little beaches where Boris was able to cool off with a dip. You could see a change in Boris as he sniffed and explored, picking up his pee-mails as Bev calls it, this is more like his type of holiday. The cafe in the barn was a nice place to have some lunch, it did seem strange having a cornish pasty in Norfolk but I wasn't complaining. We sat outside and like almost everywhere we stopped to eat, we were plagued by wasps, it's a really bad year for them.

It was nice getting off the boat for a couple of hours but it's time to go, we're heading for Rockland Dyke and that pint waiting in the pump for me at The New Inn wont drink itself. We're hoping there is space in the basin, but if not Short Dyke will do, we'll be walking Boris down there anyway so it doesn't matter either way. Still hoping though. The trip there was again lovely, it's hard coming up with new ways to say how wonderful it is cruising down a river on a nice day, so I'll just keep saying it's lovely if that's ok. Going back the way you came doesn't detract at all from the trip, it's a different view spotting things you missed earlier, different boats to look at, pubs now filling up with lunchtime trade, new people to wave at and share a smug grin with. Even Boris has settled down and seems to be enjoying himself.

We take a detour through Bargate, it's busy with boats on mudweights. I think that one of my favorite things on a boat is the narrow winding stuff, like The Chet or Limekiln Dyke and I think it''s the need for caution, skill and boat control that appeals, a feeling of competency. The short trip through Bargate is a bit like this, I liked doing it a lot, it's one of my memories now. I thought about stopping at Coldham Hall for a pint but I really wanted to get the best chance of a place at Rockland, so on we go, next time maybe. Turning into Fleet Dyke and across the broad there are no other boats, down the dyke and hurrah, at least three moorings left. Come on Bev, race you to the pub.

Bloody wasps! I still enjoyed the pint though, it didn't touch the sides on the way down. We needed drinking water again so we set off for the shop, good grief that mile seemed like a lot further in the heat, I thought we'd never get there. It's like the Tardis that shop, small on the outside and massive on the inside, they sell everything you'd ever want to buy (except Doner kebabs) and the very nice lady behind the counter and I had a nice chat about the obvious true love David Hasselhoff's new child-bride has for him.

We'd taken our comfy camping chairs with us for just this sort of afternoon. We sat at the rear of the boat for a couple of hours, in the shade enjoying a couple of cans of cider, just sitting, passing a sunny day together. Boris slept, cooled by the breeze and there wasn't anywhere I'd rather be. The friendliness of people with a common interest was evident, as always, and we chatted with people, strangers no more. Boats and dogs, there's not really going to be nowt to talk about is there, plus Bev would chat to a tree if it would stand still long enough. We planned to eat in the pub that night but to be honest we were exhausted for some reason, probably the heat, so it was a picky tea with what we had and lights out by 9.30 ready for an early start in the morning.

P1010752.JPG

P1010756.JPG

P1010759.JPG

P1010760.JPG

P1010778.JPG

IMG_0329.JPG

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's Tuesday 7th and we have to make our way back North, I'm going to try something daring. A few weeks ago I asked a question on these here boards about passing through Yarmouth outside of the ideal passage time of Low Slack water. I got a lot of replies (genuinely, thank you very much) telling me that the ideal time was LSW for many good reasons, all valid, true and to be fair already fully understood but it was the question....'yeah but what if I go early' that I wanted answers to. Surely not everyone waits for LSW, and taking bridge heights as being researched and adequate, will it be impossible or just not ideal, water speed (current) was my concern in a low-powered hire boat. I'd considered this option for both south and north passages but decided against heading south early because as everybody quite rightly pointed out I'd be going through Yarmouth with (a potentially strong) tide, so steerage might be an issue. Going north however meant going against the current, so steering would be fine, bridge height would be fine, it's just the power (thrust) Vs current (resistance) and what that ratio would be. At the end of the day I've been through here at what was advertised as LSW and the flow was so great that I almost stopped moving, the boat managed and so did I so at worst I was going to use some extra fuel. I'll head that way, stop at Berney Arms for a think and make a final decision.

As quietly as I could manage I prepared for departure, and left the basin at tickover speed at 7.30 am. The next 2 hours were the best part of the holiday for me. It was yet another beautiful day in the making, already warm and sunny, no wind, the world was waking up (at least this part of it was) and no-one else was around. The boats along short dyke were passed with barely a ripple, I was 2-3 mph just enough to maintain a heading and once clear and into the Yare I was able to increase speed to what I was allowed to do and I felt like it was just me in the world. Beauchamp Arms, Langley Dyke (mental note to moor there one day), Cantley (what do they use Sulphuric Acid for when they make sugar?) Hardley Cross all passed before boats started appearing on the river. The chain ferry again reached it's destination as I approached so no avoiding action was needed, and soon I was approaching Berney Arms windmill. This was Boris's pit stop before the crossing to the North, so we took our time, walked for about 45 minutes to tire him out (no chance) and then I stood up top with binoculars to see what's what on Breydon water. There were quite a few boats, hire and private moving both north and south across Breydon, it was 10.30 am, mid-way between high and low water and I decided I was going to leave now to save hours and hours giving me best chance of somewhere nice to moor for the night. I could have a look at what the Bure was doing once I got through the lift bridge and turn back if necessary.

The Yare was emptying, progress was a dizzying 8 mph, and I had company with similar minded folk so I didn't feel at risk, and as it happened it was absolutely fine. As we passed under the lift bridge the siren went off, Bev jumped in fright and demanded to know what I'd done wrong but soon the bridge started to lift. I couldn't see anything following me that warranted this, nor was anything in view towards the sea as I turned into the Bure, so I wondered why it was interrupting the morning traffic. Never mind, other things to think about. Passage under the bridges and up the Bure was only slightly hindered by the outgoing tide, I would say I needed an extra 300-400 rpm to maintain the indicated speed on the label but I held off and headed upstream at 3-4 mph until things eased off a couple of miles upstream of Yarmouth.

We stopped at Stokesby to walk Boris, and also visit the terrific village shop. We bought ice creams and sat on the green, enjoying a summer's day on our holidays. Oh yes, if only it didn't have to end. Having departed at 1.30 pm we approached Acle bridge and what's this? a space outside the Bridge Inn that's what... the first one as we approach. But it's still early, I don't want to moor for the night yet but there's a flipping space outside the Bridge Inn! Nah, I'm going to try my luck at Womack Staithe, if I stop now I'll just spend the day in the pub and have a hangover tomorrow. As we passed a boat heading south spotted the space and you could see by their faces they thought they'd struck gold, I think they had. Onwards towards the Thurne and Womack Water, I hoped for the staithe, 2nd choice was the side-on moorings, 3rd choice was Thurne Dyke and the Lion, 4th was Herbert Woods boatyard. We'd find a place somewhere, keep your options open that's my motto. Actually we got in at the staithe, stern on in a tight-packed bunch of boats 5th one along from the shop, a good spot if a little cramped. Nice people either side of us we compared notes on places to go, things to do etc. We set up the camping chairs on the green and opened a bottle of wine, just chillin' until dinner at the Kings Arms. This is a nice spot to just sit and watch people doing their thing on their holiday. Children playing, adults burning stuff on barbecues, a triumphant cheer as a fish is caught. The little shop is another Tardis, loads of stuff to buy and I bought water, milk, bread and some cheese because although I still had loads of cheese left, I didn't have any of that kind of cheese.

We ate in the Kings Arms, it was ok but I was a little disappointed. Firstly the tables were very sticky, you couldn't rest your arms on them as if they'd been wiped with a dirty cloth. Then my Louisiana Burger from the specials board arrived as a plain old burger, literally just a burger with a bit of lettuce and tomato in a bun. It was a few quid more than the burger on the main menu so I was going to ask what made it the 'Louisiana' kind of burger but my wife hates confrontation so I ate it and we left. It was ok as burgers go, but you know when you just fancy a bit of Louisiana on your burger and you don't get it..... Back to the boat, I've got absolutely loads of cheese to try and get through, including the new bit I've hidden at the back of the fridge.

P1010794.JPG

P1010798.JPG

20180803_175119.jpg

20180807_090107.jpg

P1010816.JPG

IMG_0337.JPG

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting about your Great Yarmouth experience, Neil. So how long before slack water were you, do you think? I'm interested because the last time I tried going north well before slack the boat was hardly moving and I didn't enjoy the experience. Your tale, however, suggests otherwise. I'm thinking, perhaps, it depends on the boat and the power you have at your disposal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Broads01 said:

Interesting about your Great Yarmouth experience, Neil. So how long before slack water were you, do you think? I'm interested because the last time I tried going north well before slack the boat was hardly moving and I didn't enjoy the experience. Your tale, however, suggests otherwise. I'm thinking, perhaps, it depends on the boat and the power you have at your disposal. 

I went through approx 2 hrs 15 mins before the advertised LSW of 13.33 on the 7th. It wasn't so much the power, this boat looks fast but it isn't and my revs which would propel me at 6mph at slack water had me doing 3-4mph past the bridges, I've punched a faster tide through Reedham bridge before to be honest. I wonder if the rate of flow varies throughout the high to low tide transition, not linear like a 9 inch drop in water height per hour every hour, maybe once turned the water level gently drops then towards LW it drops faster. I don't know, that was the question in my other post about this subject. Certainly I've only ever entered Yarmouth early twice before, both times 2-3 hours early once from the north (I didn't know any better) and once now from the south. Both times the water state was the same, not very gentle flow exactly but nothing to concern me, I'd say 2mph water speed at most.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neil - re:tide rate of flow,its the other way round. I'm on my phone so can't do a long post,  if you google "rule of twelfths" all will become clear.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • NBN Mobile App

    Want to use NBN when you're out and about?

    Get our mobile app for Android and iOS!

    Get it on Google Play

×

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.