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Mouldy

A Week On Gainsborough Girl

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4 hours ago, VetChugger said:

Can I ask what camera you have been using and your main lenses please?

Certainly can - my main camera is a Fuji X-T2 and I currently use the following Fujinon XF lenses: 14mm, 23mm, 10-24mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm and 100-400mm with a 1.4x teleconverter. I also have a Panasonic TZ60 zoom compact, that is used as a point and shoot, although it does have a very good lens and a lot of available manual overrides.

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Ahh! I guessed from the quality of some of the images that this wasn't the product of your typical happy snapper type of camera. Admirable work produced but its just a few quids worth more than I'd be happy investing. That is in no way at all a criticism, simply a personal observation and I do appreciate you giving us the opportunity of viewing images like this, Thanks very much for the response.

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What a magnificent write-up and series of photos Sir !

Thank you for giving me a lot of pleasure in reading it .......

Best wishes

Charles

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Saturday 6th October 2018

I set my alarm to get up early and it duly went off.  I climbed out of bed with a heavy heart.  The holiday had been booked at the end of our Broads break the previous year, had taken what seemed like forever to arrive and had passed in a flash.  I put the kettle on, peered out of the windows and the weather matched my mood – gloomy!

Debbie got up shortly after, got ready and took Harley for a walk.  Fortunately, her injured paw (the dog’s, not the wife’s), seemed to be troubling her less each day that passed and we had already arranged an appointment to visit our usual vet that afternoon, when we had returned home. 

I stripped the bed, as we usually do, folded the linen, duvet and pillows and piled them neatly on the bed, folded the blankets that we cover the seating with, except one and moved various bags that were already packed into the saloon and onto the seats that I had removed the blankets from.  Debbie returned with the dog and we had a cuppa.  Harley, somewhat confused by all the other activity, made herself comfy on the still covered seating.

By now it was about 07:00 and I started the engine to heat the water.  It was early, I know, but there were no other boats moored near us and we needed to shower.  We did some more packing, tidied the kitchen, collected the rubbish together and I vacuumed the fore cabin, using the handheld rechargeable Dyson that we have taken with us since buying it a few years ago.  So much easier that a dustpan and brush. 

I headed for the shower, dressed and was ready before 08:00, so sadly cast off while Debbie headed to get ready.  I chugged slowly across the broad, taking a lingering look back as I turned left onto the Bure, heading for Wroxham and Summercraft’s yard.

No boats passed us in the opposite direction, but we found ourselves in a convoy of three as we cruised past Wroxham Broad, a Barnes behind and one from NBD in front.  The weather was grim, damp in the air, but not raining and quite dark.  Heavy rain was forecast for later in the day, though.

We were soon at the turning for the boatyard, so I turned right off the main river and right again into the basin that forms their yard.  There were already two Gala Girls under the canopy, so I spotted a suitable space and reversed in under the watchful stare of one of the staff.  Good job Gainsborough Girl handles so well!

Safely moored, our diesel was dipped and we started unloading and packing the car.  With the last of our belongings off the boat, we had a quick tidy round, the saloon and aft cabin were vacuumed and had a last check of the cupboards, then collected the rubbish as we jumped off for the last time and said goodbye to Gainsborough Girl.  She had been a wonderful home for the last seven nights and provided us with some great memories.  I will post a few internal pictures of her and a short review soon.

The wife sat in the car with Harley, whilst I dropped the rubbish in the bins, before going to see Sue in the office.  It was not a meeting that I had been looking forward to, after so many happy holidays with Summercraft.  Telling Sue that we would not be back (due to buying into the Moonlight Shadow syndicate) would not be easy.

I needn’t have worried, though.  She wished us well and said that we needed to do what was best for us and that we would be welcome to call in whenever we were in the area.  I collected my refund against the £100 fuel deposit, which meant that we had used £92 in fuel over the week and was refunded the cost of the replacement bulb purchased from Brian Wards.  I offered her some money to get the lads a beer and she said it would go in the pot towards their Christmas party, said my goodbyes and left.

I have read some negative comments and reviews about her and her boatyard, but have never received anything but a warm welcome, courtesy and great service.  Their boats are not new, but are immaculately presented and amongst the best kept and maintained on The Broads (in my opinion, obviously).  Over eight years hiring, faults and breakdowns have amounted to a hair dryer not working, a blown light bulb and flat batteries in a TV remote – not bad compared to some of the horror stories I have read about on forums and seen on YouTube.  Should the need to hire again in the future ever arise, Summercraft will be the first yard I go to.

We drove the short distance to park in Roys car park for breakfast.  Debbie headed for the St Johns moorings to find a bench with the dog and I went to McDonalds, bought something to eat and joined the wife.  The weather was becoming increasingly gloomy and it started to rain as we finished eating, so returned to the car and headed for a brief stop at Wroxham Barns to buy a couple of small gifts for Debbie’s mum and dad for looking after our cockatiel whilst we had been away (and a cheeky bottle of gin, from a Norfolk based distillery for us), before setting off for home.

The journey was fortunately uneventful, other than the rain becoming heavier as we headed back along the familiar route to Northampton, arriving home just after 13:00.

As a footnote, Harley was taken to the vets, where they found that her wound had become infected, so prescribed a course of antibiotics and she is now fully recovered, aside from missing a toe-nail.

We were due to be back on The Broads in early February on Moonlight Shadow, which will be a novel experience for us both, having only visited in spring or autumn before, however we have bagged a short break on her in November, so not long to wait before we are there again, if only for a few days.    

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Hello Mouldy,

If you have s much fun as we have had since buying our share in our boat back in 2001 you will do well. 

Syndicates are not for everyone but if it works for you then it will be a job well done.

By the the way we do allow pets and one of our owners used to bring his parrot with him.

Regards

Alan

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Lovely write up and I will look forward to hearing how you get on aboard Moonlight Shadow.

Your reflection on Summercraft is interesting ... I think that we each form our own relationship with the yards that we hire from, especially if there is one that we find suits us best. It's nice to feel that you are a regular and valued customer. And I always enjoy reading such positive reviews.

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On 18/10/2018 at 13:29, ranworthbreeze said:

 . . . . If you have s much fun as we have had since buying our share in our boat back in 2001 you will do well. . . . 

I'm sure we will, Alan.  Thank you.

Our syndicate AGM was held on 13th October, where we met most of the other owners and now know our allocated weeks until May 2020.  The Broads remain a special place to me, almost 50 years after my first holiday today there and this ensures that we will be able to keep on  visiting as long as we are able to get on and off the boat.

Thanks each for your positive comments about our tale.  It was a pleasure for me to relive a wonderful week and to share some of the hundreds of photos I took whilst there. 

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Just back from our own break on the Broads and very much enjoyed your account.  Spectacular photos!  

Helen

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Hired Gainsborough girl about 12 years ago, really couldn't fault the presentation of the boat. Only niggle we bad was the saloon upholstery need an updating, from the recent photos I've seen it's still the same. Summer craft stand out for me in terms of boat presentation along with silverline at Brundal. If a yard puts that much effort on prepping a boat on turn around then I'm pretty sure everything else has had just as much attention. 

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