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Mouldy

Moonlight Shadow Tales

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Thursday 26th September

My assessment of the previous evening regarding the weather had been entirely correct and it was grey and cloudy again, but not raining.  One has to look for a positive!

The dogs were taken for their usual morning stroll by Debbie and Iain and I set about making breakfast. Sauteed potatoes were on the menu, so I par-boiled and sliced some baby spuds, ready for frying.  The sausages went under the grill to start them off, before being finished in the oven and I grilled the bacon, dry fried some fresh tomatoes and finished off with fried eggs.  Once again and although I say it myself, it was rather good and we were set up for the long day ahead.

I’d started the engine for hot water, so went for a shower and emerged refreshed and ready.  We set off at about 10:00 turning left out of the dyke and left along the Bure.  With everyone showered and dressed, I swung into the Broads Boating Company basin again for water.  Harry fed the ducks whilst the tanks filled.

We were running slightly early for slack water at Yarmouth, but I knew that I would have to punch the tide to get to a decent mooring before sunset anyway.  Low water was just before 15:00, so we headed for the Stracey Arms to moor for lunch and so Harry could see the animals and arrived there just after 12:00, so with about an hour and a half to kill, we wandered over to the shop.

Although there were a few boats moored there, we were the only visitors at the mill and shop.  I bought some pasta and a sauce mix for lunch – we had some parmesan left over from the Bolognese on Saturday night that needed using to accompany the pasta.  I cooked lunch, which despite the hearty breakfast went down readily (I attribute the appetite to the Norfolk air as well).

We cast off at about 13:30, heading for Yarmouth, Breydon and the Southern rivers.  The sky was still overcast, but the sun poked through the occasional break in the clouds, creating shafts of light over the marshes passing through Yarmouth just after 15:00.

Moonlight Shadow slowed as we turned at the yellow post, as expected, so we opened the taps a little and crossed Breydon without incident.  There was one other boat going our way, but several heading in the opposite direction.

I had intended to head for Rockland, mooring either at the staithe or on Short Dyke, but Rachel discovered that she had less nappies than she thought for Kayleigh, so a change of plan was necessary.  Instead of Rockland, Loddon became the destination, with the Co-Op more likely to have the required items.

We passed through Reedham and the almost deserted moorings at Reedham Ferry.  I remember not too long ago when it was difficult to moor there, even with the additional moorings that are now closed.  How things have changed.

The entrance to the Chet soon appeared, se we pointed Moonlight Shadow's bow into the entrance and cautiously went through the first narrow bends.  It is such a pretty river and one that we neglected to visit for far too long. Before our first cruise on Moonlight Shadow last November, I believe that last time we had been along there was in 1995, when we hired Tramotana from Gale Cruisers for one of Iain’s first ever trips on the Broads.  Over the past few months and especially since we bought Norfolk Lady, it has become one of our favourite destinations.

We arrived at Pyes Mill just before 17:00 and were grateful to find them almost empty.  I moored at the end, furthest from the village and the others readied themselves to walk into Loddon.  I stayed on the boat to start dinner and take a few photos.  Once again, the cloud had broken and although not a full-blown sunset, the setting sun cast a lovely glow over the river and surrounding countryside.

I snapped away happily, rushing back on board to check that the food was cooking.  The others returned after a successful shopping trip with the required nappies, so all was well.  Dinner was soon ready and we had fresh faggots (from the butchers in Ludham) cooked in onion gravy, creamed potatoes and mixed vegetables.

As usual, the washing up was done and we played crib for the final time.  A meal in The Ferry House was planned for Friday night, so with packing to do as well, there would be no time on Friday.  A hot drink followed and we were in bed before 22:00.

 

 

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Friday 27th September

The dawning of the morning of our last full day and for once, the weather looked okay.  Deprived of the opportunity to photograph many sunrises this trip, I hastily pulled on some clothes, grabbed my camera and went outside.  It wasn’t spectacular, but was a pleasure to watch the sun rise over the horizon, especially at a spot at lovely as Pyes Mill.  The wife and Iain had taken the dogs for their walk and Iain and Rachel had expressed a desire to go to Norwich, so we started up and cast off as soon as they arrived back.  

I’d received a text from Paul at our yard regarding Norfolk Lady, which had been lifted as planned the previous day.  He had found a couple of additional jobs under the waterline that required looking at, that hadn’t shown up on the survey.  As a result, I needed to call into Brundall on the way through to see him and look at the boat.

We arrived there at about 09:00, so we quickly moored and I went to see what he had discovered.  We went through the extra bits and pieces, agreed the costs and were quickly heading back out onto the rivers. Someone once said that you don’t so much buy a boat, but buy a hole in the water into which your money is deposited.  I’m beginning to understand exactly what that means, however it doesn’t detract from the enormous enjoyment that owning Norfolk Lady has brought to the wife and I so far and the hope that it will continue to do so as I reach retirement and beyond.

It wasn’t long before the clouds rolled over, but it still wasn’t raining as we cruised into Norwich.  I headed beyond Pulls Ferry and moored, before we all readied ourselves for a walk into the fine city.  I realised just after we’d locked up and left the boat, that I hadn’t picked up an umbrella – a mistake that I would later regret.

Instead of crossing The Bishops Bridge and turning left, as usual, we turned right, passed the Cow Tower and Jarrold Bridge, before crossing Whitefriars and along Quayside, before arriving at the Ribs of Beef.  It really is a pleasant walk in the middle of a busy city.  We went up Elm Hill and it was then that the rain started.  A few spots at first, then turning into a heavy downfall.  

I went into Mountain Warehouse to buy another brolly and whilst there, got a raincoat for Harry.  Next was Greggs for some snacks for lunch, before wandering back to the boat.  Due to the weather, the Cathedral was given a miss, to my disappointment, but we can visit Norwich on Norfolk Lady over another weekend, so not really a problem.

Once back on-board Moonlight Shadow, we had lunch and a cup of tea, before casting off and mooring further along the yacht Station to top up the water tanks.  The ranger rode up on his bike and collected the mooring fee. 

By this time, it was approaching 15:00, se we set off again, heading for our overnight moorings at The Ferry House (Surlingham).  I had booked a table and a mooring, so space was assured, but the weather was slightly gloomy, matching our moods on the last full day, so we chugged sadly out of Norwich.

We passed a couple of craft heading into the city, but them aside, the rivers were quiet as we cruised back along the Yare.  I noticed Hot Gossip, moored outside the Sheerline factory at Thorpe, with a For Sale sign displayed.  A beautiful looking boat in wonderful condition, but far too expensive for us to consider unfortunately.  

We were soon at the pub and a concerned private boat owner watched anxiously as we moored stern on, close to his boat.  A breeze had picked up and with the ebbing current, it had been a challenging manoeuvre, but exercised without incident to his (and my) relief.  There was credit on the nearest electric post, so I gratefully plugged us in, so we could use the immersion heater the following morning.  The wife and Iain took the dogs for a walk and I started to pack a few things away, ready for our departure.  It was a part of any holiday that I hate.

Once again, the sky had cleared and it turned into a lovely, but chilly evening.

The others returned and we chatted for a while about the week, before changing and making the short walk to the pub for dinner.  The Ferry House has such a warm, welcoming atmosphere, coupled with good beer and great food, it really has become our favourite pub on the Broads.  

We enjoyed another lovely meal and I even managed three courses – rare for me even with my appetite, before returning to the boat.  We did a little more packing before retiring for our final night.  It was to be an early start in the morning and I needed to be up, showered and ready.

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Saturday 28th September

I was up early, switched on the kettle, the immersion heater and the heating.  It was certainly a chilly morning, but not raining for once.  The wife followed shortly after and was joined by lain to take the dogs for their last early Broadland walk.

I made my tea, which I drank before going for my shower.  Before buying into Moonlight Shadow, when we were hiring, we’d never had a boat with 240v plug-in, never mind an immersion heater, but it didn’t take long to realise what an advantage it is, when mains is available.  Fortunately, Norfolk Lady is similarly equipped, for which we are extremely grateful.

The others arrived back just as I had finished getting ready, so we quickly mopped the windows with the Karcher window vac, before casting off for the short journey back to Brundall.  It was about 07:30 when we arrived at Broom’s fuel quay, just ahead of two of their returning hire craft.  Well timed, or what, I thought to myself.  

Pump outs completed and with Moonlight Shadow refuelled, I paid the £93 bill before casting off and moving to her home berth just a few yards away.  With the fuel totalling £70 and given the cruising we’d completed over the week, I was quite happy with the amount we’d used.

We moved the cars nearer to the mooring and began to pack them.  At least the rain held off and although the process took some time, we were locking her up by 09:30, with the carpets vacuumed and the bathrooms cleaned.  Although the boat is cleaned at the end of every weeks use, I hate leaving it in a mess and we always try to leave it as we find it, a habit bred by hiring over the years.

It was just a short drive to McDonalds for breakfast, before making the journey home and back to reality.

Despite now having our own boat, which we visit every other weekend and will be spending future holidays on, I hate leaving Norfolk.  Over the years it has become a happy place for the wife and I, a place where I feel comfortable and ‘at home.’

Norfolk Lady should be back in the water soon and we can’t wait to return, anxious to see the results of Paul’s efforts.  I am so thankful that a dream that I held for so long has now become a reality.

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Thanks for the lovely tale and photos Malcolm. I’ve always enjoyed tales of her adventures..doubly (or more) now we’ve joined the syndicate.
Looking forward to our next week on Moonlight Shadow (more thanks!).

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Lovely write up and beautiful photos. Looking forward to seeing some of those sunsets myself soon. :)

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Yep, agree great holiday tale and superb photos :91_thumbsup:

Some excellent pubs too! :default_beerchug:

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Really nice write up Malcolm, many thanks for taking the time. We finished our week on Lightning the weekend you arrived, and had our customary last evening meal in the Yare, I did wonder whether our paths crossed at any time?. Had we have known you were around, we would have invited you aboard for a cuppa. 

If you saw a suspect looking bloke with a lovely wife walking up and down the lane looking at the Riverside cottages, it was us. We found one which we're hoping to book for a week after our trip on Lightning next October, but we're not back aboard till mid March next year, so will hopefully bump into you then?. 

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What stunning photos, thoroughly enjoyed your write up and pics, thank you for sharing, I had full intentions of doing a write up while we were away in Sept but never got round to putting pen to paper :default_dunce: 

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Thanks for the write up and photos Malcom, and thanks for the mentions as well. One of your How Hil photos has our boat on it which is handy. It was good to wave to you and in fact I spotted your boat at Potter and at Johnny Crowes staithe also. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future and we can meet properly that time. 

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Thanks all for the kind comments and ‘likes’.  It was good to have an extended break on The Broads, our first since April.  Debbie and I are both now looking forward to November and our first full week on Norfolk Lady, which should be going back in the water early next week.  We are going to see her this Saturday, before she goes back in, to see what a difference all of the work has made.

With the AGM for Moonlight Shadow on Sunday, it is going to be a busy weekend ahead.

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2 hours ago, Mouldy said:

Thanks all for the kind comments and ‘likes’.  It was good to have an extended break on The Broads, our first since April.  Debbie and I are both now looking forward to November and our first full week on Norfolk Lady, which should be going back in the water early next week.  We are going to see her this Saturday, before she goes back in, to see what a difference all of the work has made.

With the AGM for Moonlight Shadow on Sunday, it is going to be a busy weekend ahead.

Coincidentally, we have Lightnings AGM this weekend too, though ours is on Saturday. 

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Silver Clouds AGM also on Saturday. I take it Mouldy you will be off to Crick?

Where do you hold yours Neil?.........err, the AGM that is!

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51 minutes ago, trambo said:

 . . . Where do you hold yours Neil?........

Ooh er, missus😉😉. Steady on!

51 minutes ago, trambo said:

Silver Clouds AGM also on Saturday. I take it Mouldy you will be off to Crick?

Certainly will.  Sunday isnt the best day imho.  Whoever should be on board from Saturday will either miss the opportunity to voice their opinions,  or miss at least one night of their allocation.   At least on Saturday, depending on where you live, you can call in either on the way or way back.

I fear that ours could be contentious this year, there's much to discuss, some involving money.

Just blame Brexit!!!!😁

Edited by Mouldy
Predictive text!!

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2 hours ago, trambo said:

Silver Clouds AGM also on Saturday. I take it Mouldy you will be off to Crick?

Where do you hold yours Neil?.........err, the AGM that is!

😂😂😂😂

We always hold ours at Stibbington Station on the NVR. They have a meeting room in the grounds, and are central for all the members. 

We always have ours on a Saturday so people can attend while en-route to or from Lightning. 

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We have our AGM in November and again on Saturday so it is easier for our fellow owners to attend, but we have it in Norfolk so the owner aboard Ranworth Breeze at the time can attend. 

Regards

Alan

 

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16 minutes ago, ranworthbreeze said:

 . . . . . . . but we have it in Norfolk so the owner aboard Ranworth Breeze at the time can attend.. . . . . . 

To be fair, Crick is fairly central for the majority of the syndicate members to get to and if the AGM was on Saturday, wouldn’t be too bad to get to Brundall afterwards.  Sunday, on the other hand means that either owners can’t attend or miss at least one night aboard.

I suppose they could ‘Skype’ in.  The ideal time would be during winter maintenance, when no one is aboard, but the prevailing weather conditions in January may make attendance difficult.

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21 hours ago, ranworthbreeze said:

we have it in Norfolk so the owner aboard Ranworth Breeze at the time can attend. 

I think it makes the most sense to have it in Norfolk.

Anyone that has a share in any of the boats can clearly get to Norfolk, and furthermore there's the possibility to visit the boat on the Saturday turnaround and discuss the agenda items and perhaps remember some other things that need discussing as the AGM cycle for proposing upgrades / maintenance etc is perhaps not ideal.

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23 hours ago, Mouldy said:

I fear that ours could be contentious this year, there's much to discuss, some involving money. 

Even in syndicate ownership, money is always needed for investment for the future upkeep of the boat, especially in syndicates actually, as they are the most used boats on the Broads, and so ware and tear is much greater. In the Lightning syndicate, we always like to keep one step ahead of things, by way of continual upgrading and replacement.  Things such as batteries, when they start to degrade, we replace them immediately, and don`t wait around until they completely expire, possibly causing inconvenience to someones holiday.

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15 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Even in syndicate ownership, money is always needed for investment for the future upkeep of the boat, especially in syndicates actually, as they are the most used boats on the Broads, and so ware and tear is much greater. In the Lightning syndicate, we always like to keep one step ahead of things, by way of continual upgrading and replacement.  Things such as batteries, when they start to degrade, we replace them immediately, and don`t wait around until they completely expire, possibly causing inconvenience to someones holiday.

Hello Neil,

It sounds as if the Lightning Syndicate is managed in a similar manner as Ranworth Breeze.

Lightning looked in a fair condition when we popped in the see you at Oulton Broad Yacht Station.

Regards

Alan

 

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1 hour ago, ranworthbreeze said:

Hello Neil,

It sounds as if the Lightning Syndicate is managed in a similar manner as Ranworth Breeze.

Lightning looked in a fair condition when we popped in the see you at Oulton Broad Yacht Station.

Regards

Alan

 

Thanks Alan, and i can only echo your sentiments re Ranworth Breeze, she does, as always, look a peach. As for Lightning, she was looking a little grubby around the water line last time, but i did notice a lot of boats like that, i put it down to the condition of the river water. When we moored in Pacifics yard back in late June, every time we flushed the loo, it absolutely stank. However, once out of the Chet and on the main rivers, the problem did`nt arise, though you could still smell the stagnant water that had already been used to flush the loo that was in the tank below. We nenver had that problem last month.  As i said, i put it down to the water condition, though i could be wrong.

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11 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

every time we flushed the loo, it absolutely stank. 

I thought most boats these days had freshwater flush? I’m certainly surprised that Lightning doesn’t. 

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We stopped using river water to flush the toilets about 4 or 5 years ago, it helped with the staining of the porcelain and the earthy smell  of the river water. We just use the shower tap to fill the bowl.

Regards

Alan

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I have it in mind that I read on here some years back that it's not advisable to have the toilets linked to the main fresh water system due to the risk of bacterial contamination?. If you have a separate tank with a separate deck filler dedicated for the toilets, that would be fine. 

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Hi Neil our last 2 boats were river water flush but the Fresh water flush so much better, we have a big water tank though which lasts 3 or 4 days which is recommended other wise you may struggle to keep up. 

John

 

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3 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

I have it in mind that I read on here some years back that it's not advisable to have the toilets linked to the main fresh water system due to the risk of bacterial contamination?. If you have a separate tank with a separate deck filler dedicated for the toilets, that would be fine. 

I don’t think I have ever heard of a boat having a separate water tank for toilets but no doubt someone will know. I remember hiring boats with river fill for toilets and they were awful, the bowl seemed to be permanently filled with dirty water. (Probably long before they managed to cIean the rivers up.) I can’t really see how bacterial contamination could occur with the set up these days. Like Jbx5, we can last 4 days between water fills and that includes a freshwater flush system. 

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