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Broads01

Jazzing It Up With Rollie

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I'm hitting the road early in the morning for the long drive to Wroxham and then a week on Brinks Jazz 5.

Rollie is our 3 year old Lhasa Apso. He's a rescue dog we've only had since January hence this is his first trip to the Broads. I'm sure he'll enjoy it, even though it means him putting up with a long car journey to get there when he's not the happiest of travellers. 

I'm excited as always and trying to sleep tonight I'll be like a child on Christmas Eve. Even better this time, I'm meeting my son Cian in Wroxham tomorrow and he'll be with me until Monday, his first visit since 2015.

We'll head off to a pub somewhere or other tomorrow night and then those of you at the meet we'll see at Salhouse on Saturday. 

I'll write up as we go, connection permitting. 

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All really good so far. Left home in Cardiff at 0640 and pulled up in Roy's car park at 1210 after two stops en route - smoothest journey up for a long time. Picked Cian up at Hoveton and Wroxham Station just after 2. Boat was ready and we were very pleased with it (review at the end of the trip). I said hello to Andy (Boatyman), who'd taken over Brinks Encore and is also coming to the meet tomorrow.

It was an ultra laid back hand over.

"Have you been before?".

"Yes, many many times." 

"Is there anything you need to know?" 

I asked 3 or 4 questions about specifics I could think of for the boat and that was it. 

"Are you OK to get out of here?" 

"Yes, fine" I said, knowing the space was very tight. As it happened Jazz twisted around no problem and we were away. 

It was a cold and drizzly afternoon but nevertheless Cian and I enjoyed time up top enjoying the scenery. We decided to head for Thurne and a meal at The Lion. Lovely beer, food and atmosphere once again. 

Rollie has been fine aboard. I think he thinks the boat is a small house. I must admit although I like the boat so far it does have the look of a house about it. 

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Where better for our first night than my favourite Broads pub (also includes a free wind pump) 

DSC_0221.JPG

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11 hours ago, Broads01 said:

 my favourite Broads pub 

Solid choice :default_beerchug:

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Saturday 18 May

First up we chugged up to Potter and a quick visit to La Tharms for a couple of things we'd forgotten. Then it was time to head towards the meet at Salhouse. As we left Potter, we happened to time our setting off to coincide with a paddle board event going on. These were athletic types standing on boards and paddling along with a canoe-style paddle. We kept dead slow and watched them overtake us one by one - quite entertaining. The sun was shining by now as we turned right at the bottom of the Thurne and watched the paddle boarders head towards Great Yarmouth. There was less river traffic on the Bure than I expected, quieter than when I came two years ago at this time. Cockshoot provided a short break and doggie walk stop before we arrived at the meet around 2-30pm. It was good to chat to those I talked to and we really enjoyed the quiz later on. 

I'll add some photos when I have WiFi. 

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I've been slow at updating this. I've been enjoying myself so much I haven't want to waste minutes by staring at my phone. 

Sunday 19th May

We said goodbye to the folks at Salhouse and promptly messed up what should have been a simple departure. I forgot to switch over the steering from lower to upper, delayed by going downstairs to correct and then by the time I was back at the Upper helm the boat was pointing firmly towards next door. Thanks to Pauline and Cambridge Cabby for helping us correct. 

Today we were Great Yarmouth bound to head south. In the morning we made the journey as far as Acle in one hit. Those paddle boarder types were at it again around Thurne mouth but this time they'd turned away from Great Yarmouth when they reached the Bure. At Acle we needed water and so made a stop in Broads Boating Company basin. There were only 3 BBC boats in there and I've seen none on the river as I write this so I hope things are OK. We chugged around to the Bridge Inn where there was plenty of space and I'd booked a table for lunch. The food was lovely as always. We set off just after 3pm. This was on the early side given slack water wasn't until 1825 and sure enough we were in GY in no time with the outgoing tide but turning on to Breydon was slow. At full throttle on Breydon we made about 5mph. We moored for the night at Berney around 1815. It was very peaceful there, even though I continue to lament the loss of the pub. Rollie really enjoyed his 3rd walk of the day and seemed set on going as far as Great Yarmouth.... 

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Monday 20th May

With Rollie walked once again, off we set for Reedham. There was plenty of space at Reedham Quay where we made a brief stop for water and the shop at the top of the hill. I think I'm right in saying that with the Post Office now being combined with a tea room there's no longer a shop on the Quay which seems a missed opportunity somehow. We set off quickly again to make the most of the still incoming tide. We headed for Rockland but had a scary moment on Rockland Dyke as we neared the Staithe. When a boat appeared in the opposite direction I slowed to almost nothing and positioned myself on the far right, only to hear the crunching sound of us hitting the bottom. I waited for the other boat to pass and then went hard in to reverse and hoped for the best. Luckily we extricated ourselves without issue and were able to proceed to our peaceful resting point on the Staithe. Today was Cian's last day aboard before catching a 5-30 train from Norwich. Not having cruised in to Norwich for some time I was more than happy to cruise all the way to the Yacht Station. The number of new flats to our right as we neared the Yacht Station is ever increasing with new building work still going on. I can remember previously having good views of the Norwich City football ground but no more. Having said goodbye to Cian I decided to stay put overnight having previously only visited for a short stop. I was the most upstream boat of those staying and so I had an excellent view of Bishops Bridge and across to the cathedral. 

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Especially like the last shot of Jazz, dappled in the sunlight. 

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8 hours ago, DAVIDH said:

Especially like the last shot of Jazz, dappled in the sunlight. 

Stunning photo.

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Beautiful photos. Enjoying the read and curious to know what you thought of the boat, if you write some kind of review later in the tale. :)

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15 minutes ago, SwanR said:

Beautiful photos. Enjoying the read and curious to know what you thought of the boat, if you write some kind of review later in the tale. :)

Thanks Jean and yes I'm intending to write a review in the hire boat section once I've finished the tale. 

Tuesday 21st June

It was easily the sunniest and warmest morning so far and the weather stayed lovely for the rest of the trip. Whilst Cian had been with me, Rollie had stayed inside the boat rather than venturing up top. This morning, however, as I stood in the galley making coffee just before setting off he came and sat on my feet. I couldn't bring myself to leave him alone whilst I helmed up top so I put his doggie life jacket on, led him upstairs and secured him to the railings. Being a companion dog breed he was very happy being by my side up there and it became his default position whilst on the move from then on. I wanted to spend some time mud weighting on Surlingham Broad (or Bargate if you're a purist) and it was a sunny, peaceful cruise getting there. Before turning in to the Broad, however, I stopped off at Church Fen mooring to give Rollie a chance to stretch his legs. The Broad was as peaceful as I expected. The only thing which slightly for me was despite all the Broad being available for mud weighting, a boat came and plonked themselves what seemed like 20 feet away from me which meant I was more concerned than usual about any possibility of drifting from my position. I had intended to head for Loddon tonight but the lure of a river side pint in the sun was too great, so I chose to head for Reedham Ferry instead. Out of curiosity en route I made a short doggie walk stop at Cantley, mainly because having passed it many times I've never actually stopped there. It's not a bad stop but the factory is so close as to dominate the view I feel. I arrived at Reedham Ferry around 1630 and I think there was only one boat there. Although the former pontoon moorings upstream of the ferry are closed now there's still a reasonable amount of mooring space remaining in front of the pub and just downstream. I enjoyed my drink in the sun. 

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Wednesday 22nd June

Rollie's first walk of the day completed, as per usual I couldn't wait to get going, this time Loddon-bound. I'd long been looking forward to the views from the top steering on the Chet. I wasn't disappointed and the Chet was fairly quiet with no craft visible in my direction and only 3 or 4 passing the opposite way. I moored at the Staithe and made a short stop to top up the water and visit the shop. I would probably have visited Rosie Lee's if the weather hadn't been quite so good but I could hardly wait to get going again. My original intention for today was to finish up at Burgh Castle via a detour to Somerleyton or possibly Oulton Broad. However things didnt work out that way. I chugged away from Loddon and just past the Pyes Mill moorings when the engine warning alarm came on. I was able to pull in at the Chedgrave Common moorings just downstream and on checking the dials downstairs I found a sky high engine temperature. I called Barnes straight away and described my location. I had to wait just over 2 hours for the engineer to arrive (I think I was 3rd in his queue). He was a little confused about where I was and phoned me from Maffetts Cruisers, soon after which he arrived on Maffett's 'Titan' boat piloted by Maffett's owner John. The engineer and John evidently knew each other well and the three of us engaged in conversation as the engineer attended to the problem. The issue turned out to be a split pipe from the impellor which was preventing water circulating. Soon all was fixed and I was on my way again, albeit having been at Chedgrave around 3 hours in total. At that point I changed my plan for the day. As I no longer had time to visit Oulton Broad, I decided to make the most of low water at Great Yarmouth that evening and head all the way to Stracey Arms for the night. One of the really good things about coming this time of the year is the flexibility you have from the long hours of daylight. Having passed Reedham I had time to go the long way round towards Great Yarmouth via the New Cut and St Olaves. I did so just for the hell of it having come the Yare route on the way down. I had time for a decent break, a doggie walk and some food at Burgh Castle. I left Burgh at 6 with low water at Great Yarmouth being 730, so too early for slack but OK for decent progress I thought. The engine on Jazz is a little on the weedy side and so across Breydon with the outgoing tide we made little more than 7mph. As I rounded the yellow post at Great Yarmouth I got that slightly scary feeling of being swept sideways by the strong tide but made it safely on to the Bure where initially against the tide we were doing no more than 2mph on full throttle. I've never very much fancied the idea of spending the night at Great Yarmouth and I was half tempted due to the tide but plodded on nevertheless. Gradually we picked up a more respectable pace and with the outdoor temperature cooling I switched to downstairs steering and whiled away the time listening to music. We arrived at Stracey at 8-15pm with a lovely sky in view. 

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For us solo hirers, I think Jazz is a good design. It's not so large that it would make it difficult to handle single handed whilst mooring, but still affords the upper deck view which you get with the larger more swish dual steers. I must say, I liked it when I hired it last year and am watching for a special offer on it for late September, when I need to come down for the Goosander AGM weekend. 

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Looks very Quiet and Peaceful at Loddon! 

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12 hours ago, DAVIDH said:

For us solo hirers, I think Jazz is a good design. It's not so large that it would make it difficult to handle single handed whilst mooring, but still affords the upper deck view which you get with the larger more swish dual steers. I must say, I liked it when I hired it last year and am watching for a special offer on it for late September, when I need to come down for the Goosander AGM weekend. 

I agree David, with some minor reservations which I'll explain when I write the boat review. The top helm position is a fantastic asset. 

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Thursday 23rd May

It was the last full day today and time to make more good use of the fantastic sunshine. Rollie was fascinated by the animals which are kept by the shop at Stracey Arms but the donkeys and ponies intimidated him a bit, particularly one pony who chased us all the way back to the gate! We were soon on our way up the Bure. When we stopped at Acle for water I had a conversation with a novice hirer who told me he was disappointed with how brief the handover was at Barnes. I told him about my handover experience which I also considered too brief even for a Broads regular because it took no account of the individual aspects of the boat and the onus had been all on me to ask questions.

On we went to Fleet Dyke and a dog walkie stop at the mooring on the bend. That mooring was almost empty but walking to the one nearest the Broad it was near full even at around 11am. We continued by boat to the Broad and chugged around before returning down Fleet Dyke and headed for the Ant. I know the subject of the Ludham Bridge height gauge has been discussed on here before but I was reminded again that the reading it gives is complete nonsense - it may as well not be there. It read 8 foot, I needed 7 foot 10 but we had so much room there must have been over 9 foot available. I wanted to make a quiet lunch stop at a wild mooring and I found a lovely spot just above How Hill. Despite the fact the rivers had been quiet all week (albeit I'd spent some of the time south) both Ludham Bridge and How Hill moorings each only had one space available. Ah, so this is where all the boats have been. People tend to think all of the North Broads is busy all of the time but that's not the case in my experience - it's patchy busyness dependant upon time and location. Returning past How Hill around 3pm it was unexpectedly only about 50% full and there were spaces at Ludham also. I do like a pint in the sun and so I decided to head all the way to the boatyard for the last night and sample what Wroxham had to offer. I bagged a spot at Barnes at the downstream end of their main river (side on) moorings and that was the cruising done for another trip. I enjoyed a drink in the sun outside the Wroxham Hotel which has gone up market since I last visited a few years ago. I had a very ordinary dinner in the King's Head which seems to have gone in the opposite direction unfortunately. I enjoyed perusing the boats for sale, not because I'm thinking of buying but because I'm interested in the history of the numerous ex-hire fleet boats on offer. 

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Friday 24th May

Barnes Brinkcraft had a slightly chaotic feel about it as I was packing up with moving boats, cars and lots of customers and staff jostling for space. The site is bigger than it used to be with the pontoon moorings but nevertheless feels cramped compared to others. The staff were friendly and attentive which was pleasing to see. I was very pleasantly surprised by how little fuel I'd used - all of £47.50 for going to Norwich and back and more besides. That weedy engine had a plus side. The journey home seemed to take forever, this being the Friday before a Bank Holiday and choosing the M25/M4 route was a big mistake. It took me until 5pm to get home and I was tired but overall very happy with my week. 

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This was the most interesting ex-hire for sale - R644 sister to Broad Ambition and also ex Star Supreme/Superb Gem. Yours for £29950. It's flanked by Alpha's 42 foot 2 berth Jaguar and Teal 1 which has been brought back from hire life in Scotland. 

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Lovely write-up Broads01 and great pictures too. Rollie seems to have enjoyed his trip, I think a lot of dogs tend to get quite mesmerised by being on a moving boat and find it calming. Did you eat at the Fisherman’s Inn at Burgh Castle and, if so, what is it like now?

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'Goodnight Irene' Originally Star Supreme 4

She was the fourth craft to come out of the mold taken from 'B.A's hull, she would have been constructed in 67/68.  Tupperware hull with timber topsides.  She has / did have a berth in Richo's wetshed.  She is a lot of boat there

Griff

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