Jump to content
  • Announcements

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

    Not a member yet? Sign up here and you can soon be chatting away with friends old and new..

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

  • 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  
Broads01

Lucky Holiday Number 3

Recommended Posts

I'm a lucky, lucky man. For the first time in my life I'm enjoying a third Broads holiday in the same year. 'Regular readers' may recall that when I was on my first trip in April I lost a dear friend in a motorcyle accident. Since then enjoying life has seemed more valuable than ever and I feel lucky and priveleged to enjoy the Broads once again. I also feel lucky to have a full week afloat, the first time for 3 years following a succession of short breaks. 

This time I'm on Contessa from Richardsons with my Mum and daughter Natalia who's 18 now and about to go off to university. 

Saturday1 September

I said goodbye to my wife Mel around 6-45am and hit the road from home in South Wales. I picked Mum up at a station en route (Natalia is joining us Monday evening). It was a straight forward run, save for the fact I made the mistake of staying on the A47 all the way to Acle and we got stuck for ages in a lengthy queue at the roundabout where the Travelodge is. We arrived in Stalham around 1pm, grabbed some food at Richardsons and then following a Tesco visit checked in at 2-30pm. Soon after we were boarding, and our guy for the handover appeared even before I'd finished unloading the car. I had no need for a trial run so he quickly showed me what's what, we finished unpacking then we set off at 3-45. It was beautiful, warm weather and time to put shorts and sun cream on. The Ant was busy but not too much so and I was surprised as we passed How Hill how many mooring spaces were available. Ludham Bridge was different though with just one spot on the Hall Farm moorings free. Contessa officially needs 8 foot 4 at bridges and the gauge at Ludham read 8 foot 5 so how much room to spare do you think we had? Around a foot as it turned out! We opted for St Benets for the night but it was 5-45 by now and no spaces at all so we headed for Ranworth Island instead. There it was busy but a few spots available and we were very happy with our spot. Unfortunately we were askee for £10 to moor there which is on the steep side considering all you get for your money is a patch of grass with no water or any other facilities. Still it does put you in easy striking distance of Ranworth Staithe ready for when the overnighters there leave in the morning.... 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love mooring on Ranworth Island. Don't ask me why ... maybe it's partly that it is often a useful backup plan when other places are full. 

However one has to be careful if then nipping to the staithe for water and shopping the next morning. We did that once and our boat number was noted by whoever checks these things, in the ten minutes that we were there. We then managed to moor on the staithe the next night and yes, that is strictly speaking a "return within 24 hours"! So the following morning we were clocked again and asked to leave. We did try to explain but I don't think they were interested ... I suppose anyone could spin that line whether true or not.

Have a great week Simon. I look forward to reading about the rest of your trip. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, SwanR said:

However one has to be careful if then nipping to the staithe for water and shopping the next morning. We did that once and our boat number was noted by whoever checks these things, in the ten minutes that we were there. We then managed to moor on the staithe the next night and yes, that is strictly speaking a "return within 24 hours"! So the following morning we were clocked again and asked to leave.

Hmmm, That's an interesting one. Not sure what the answer is.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday 2nd September

We left Ranworth Island around 9am and made the short journey to the Staithe where there was a few spaces. We decided on a walk to the Conservation Centre. The staff there are very friendly and it's a lovely spot. On returning to the boat we set off in the sunshine and headed in Wroxham direction. Horning was it's usual buzzing self but Hoveton Little Broad had a certain calmness about it I've never thought about before. It struck me how different it feels to Salhouse which although lovely can have a buzzing touristy feel sometimes. It's funny that even after coming for so many years you can still notice different things. It was a beautiful warm day so we opted for a mudweight stop on Salhouse and sat eating on Contessa's generous outside deck. A while later we made the short chug to Wroxham and pulled in at Barnes for water. We didn't fancy doing anything else in Wroxham and Contessa can't pass through the bridge so it was back the way we'd come. We opted to overnight at Cockshoot and just after 4pm just managed to squeeze in thanks to kind people who pulled up their boats to make a big enough gap. It was a peaceful evening, punctuated by the sound of an owl not long after dark. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds idyllic. Haven’t stopped at Cockshoot for a while. Great that other boaters helped you out there.


Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monday 3rd September

As we awoke at Cockshoot, there was thick mist hanging over the river which made for an atmospheric scene. By the time we set off the sun was starting to break through as we continued downstream. We enjoyed a brief stop off and walk at St Benets and then picked up water at Russell Marine, South Walsham which I always think is one of the most scenic water stops. We continuee downstream bound for Womack Staithe. The weather kept us guessing - cold and misty as we awoke (heating on), sunny and warmish for a while then cloudy and blowy. By the time we arrived at Womack the sun was out again and the saloon felt like a greenhouse. We switched to more summery clothes and ate outside once again. By the time we returned froma walk to the village we felt pretty hot. We knew we were finishing up at Acle today because that's where I'd arranged to meet my daughter Natalia who was due by train. We made the short cruise to Acle and stopped on the Pedro's moorings. Natalia duely arrived around 7pm and we opted to try eating at Pedro's for the first time. We really enjoyed it. They say "it's not Tapas" but it kind of is really except the dishes are larger and they were all tasty. We thought it was pretty good value and a pleasant change from pub food. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday 4th September

Today we headed south and handily with slack water around 11-30 there was no need for a very early start. After a quick water stop at Broads Boating Company we were off. I'd been looking forward to this as I always enjoy the challenge of a run south (less so coming all the way back) and it was my first chance to do so for three years having been restricted to short breaks in between. The weather was cooler but still fine and no need to use the indoor steering yet. Just upstream of Stokesby, a hire boat had chosen a wild mooring and found himself high and dry as the tide dropped -we were still on the ebb so he would have had a few hours frustrating wait. We passed through GY at 11am 10 minutes after low water and with around 10 foot clearance at the bridges. Soon after we joined Breydon I spotted vlogger Russell Thomson on Royal Oak coming North and I shouted across his name and waved. He responded and we later exchanged messages - I'll enjoy the Great Broads Adventure 6 when I'm home. Breydon was surprisingly calm for a breezy day and we powerer across amongst light traffic. We pulled in at Berney Arms and took a break there. The mill is still looking sorry for itself with the sails in pieces and temporary fences surrounding it. I have happy memories of climbing it when my children were young. The pub also looks rather sad. There was a chap there laboriously cutting long grass with shears and with a tatty old lawnmower parked also. Quite what the situation is there at the moment I'm not sure. It was a peaceful spot with ours the only occupied boat. We proceeded towards Reedham, now zinging along on the flood. We pulled in at Reedham Quay for a short time. Alas the shop to the left of The Nelson is closing permanently on 30th September but signage suggested the Post Office is remaining. We opted to head for Loddon for the night and I was surprised to see how narrow the bottom end of the Chet seemed due to reed growth. I last visited in late April and it seems to have worsened since. The Chet was very quiet and we stopped for the night at Pyes Mill. We discovered that the short walking route to town across the meadow is closed. On the way there, we discovered the little bridge across the ditch near the marina has been damaged but we just managed to tiptoe across. There's building work going on immediately the other side and on our return we discovered the path is actually closed. When we queried with the builder how this wasn't clear from the opposite direction he just said "I've been told by the BA I'm not allowed to let people pass, we've been meaning to block it off". Thanks for your help mate. We were directed back up the hill to the church, through the church yard and then left downhill through the field. All with two heavy bags of shopping, such is life. Having finally made it back to the boat we had a peaceful and pleasant evening. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday 5th September

Today the weather started grey and rainy and didn't improve much unfortunately. I can't complain though given all the weather before. We chugged up to the Staithe first of all for water and a second visit to the Co-op before another short hop for a pump out at Pacific Cruisers. We received prompt and friendly service from owner Richard who happily chatted about his business. Bookings have been good this year with the weather although they were also very good last year. He also told me how much he's spent on Pacific Vista since acquiring it. "I had to change almost everything on that boat except the engine" he said. As we returned down the Chet, I relented in the rain and tried out the lower steering position for the first time. Its OK, apart from non-existent rear visibility, and limited leg and head room. We turned left uo the Yare towards Norwich. The usual dominant view of Cantley sugar factory was replaced with rain and mist. We headed for Rockland Broad and a very peaceful lunch stop at Rockland Staithe. We enjoyed a lovely walk as far as the bird hide which overlooks the Broad. Later we continued on the boat towards Brundall and a brief look at Surlingham Broad. We might have mudweighted there for a while but as it wasn't the weather for it we continued to our overnight stop at the Surlingham Ferry House where I'd booked a table. I knew what a lovely place it was having visited in April and this time Mum and Natalia were equally impressed. I need gluten-free food and they have an impressive range of gluten-free options from which I chose breaded scampi which is rarely offered as gluten-free. It was superb. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to say on the Yare we caught brief sight of an otter as he raised his head above the water before diving down again. That was a first ever experience. 

Thursday 6th September

Thankfully the sun was shining as we left the Ferry House and set off back down the Yare to head back north. The tide was in our favour and after a water stop at Brooms it was non-stop to Reedham Ferry where there was time for a pleasant walk. From the ferry we walked in a downstream direction in front of the converted windmill. There was a sign on the gate to the effect that the path no longer leads to the village and sure enough when we reached the property further along it had a sign to the effect that the former right of way had been closed at the request of the BA. The gate where the path used to continue across the field was locked so the path we walked on (well maintained) does nothing but connect two properties - very strange. We set off by boat around 12-30 and made quick time to Breydon and across so we passed through GY half hour after low water. We proceeded to Stracey Arms, said hello to the donkeys and made the decision that was far enough for today. We saw remarkably few boats on the afternoon cruise, especially on the lower Bure where I spotted no more than two boats crossing in the opposite direction. It was as if nobody bothers to make the Great Yarmouth passage on a Thursday. I don't normally enjoy the long run back north much but I really enjoyed today. Steering from the upper helm position in the sunshine was a joy. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On our walk from Reedham Ferry we could see water adjacent to the river which isn't obvious from a boat. 

DSC_0152.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friday 7th September

Today as we set off on our last full day I had all my layers on as it felt like October all of a sudden. We made a brief stop at Acle as I'd realised we'd left the mallet behind after Monday night but there was no sign of it so we carried on, Potter Heigham bound. We pulled in at Herbert Woods for water and a quick visit to Lathams. Unfortunately I wasn't at all happy with the service received from Herbert Woods staff. Suffice to say at this point I was sufficiently incensed to send them an email and I await their response. We decided to eat out for lunch at the Lion at Thurne based on my strong recommendation after my last visit. Once again they didn't disappoint and I love the rare offering of draft gluten free beer (Redwell Steam which is lovely) and I love the gluten free battered haddock. It started to rain as we ate but I was undeterred from using the upper helm which gives a great view of all the decks and makes turning in tight spots like Thurne Dyke a breeze. It remained cold but the rain abated as we returned to the Ant. We opted for How Hill as a last night stop which this time around at 4-30pm was almost full. A couple of very noisy stag groups came past us having set off from Stalham - one of them had set up a disco on board, no exaggeration. Happily though and not unusually, all our neighbours were very quiet and we had a peaceful last evening. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday 8th September

Today we set off just before 8am and returned to Stalham in good time. At the boatyard I mentioned the only two issues we'd had with the boat being an annoying whine from the propellor (between 1200 and 1600 rpm) and the grill on the cooker which didn't stay alight very well. I was pleasantly surprised with how much fuel we'd used for all the mileage - £90 worth which probably reflects well on the new engine and prop the boat has had recently (I'm told that could be causing the whine though). I'll do a boat review in the hire boat section. 

Overall a really fun week with mainly good weather and no mishaps. It was brilliant to have a full week aboard as opposed to a short break. Mum and Natalia really enjoyed also.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've enjoyed your write up too, and seeing your photos. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

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

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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