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And Another Week On Swan Roamer: 11th June - 18th June 2019

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Almost a repeat of last year but Tuesday to Tuesday this time.  There is a link to the video at the end.  Saw plenty of wildlife, goslings, duckings, Grebes, a few Marsh Harriers, Herons and Kingfishers.  This was our fourth time with Swan Roamer.

Weather was rather mixed ranging from plenty of rain for the first few days and then sunshine with some showers from Friday onwards.


Tuesday 11th June

As usual we left home far too early and once we cleared the Milton junction on the A14 it was pretty much 70mph all the way.

As usual we stopped in Hoveton (Wroxham) for the toilets (parked in Roy’s car park) and then proceeded to Womack for sandwiches and coffee after which we made our way to Richardsons at about 12:15.  Womack Staithe was very quiet with only about four boats moored.

It had been raining, mainly heavy drizzle, much of the way but by the time we arrived at Womack it had stopped so it was dry while we loaded the boat thank goodness.  Once checked in the instructor very briefly (since this was our fourth time with Roamer) showed us round the boat, we did ask for an extra rope and blanket (didn’t need the second one).  Once signed off (no trial run) and the boat loaded we left the yard at about 13:45.

We decided to head for Gay’s Staithe for the night but when we got there found three boats on the side-on moorings and two cruisers plus a yacht moored side-on on the stern-on moorings so we continued up Lime Kiln Dyke to Neatishead where we found space which we reversed into second in from the end, it was only just big enough for Roamer.  No assistance was given by the occupants of the boat now behind us although they were watching us intently as we got into the very tight space, however assistance was not needed and no other boats were touched.

The heavy drizzle that had started just after we got to Neatishead continued through the rest of the afternoon and evening.


Wednesday 12th June

Having left Neatishead we looked in on Gay’s Staithe again and saw that boats were still side-on instead of stern-on although one of them was a different one, problem is that if one does it others will follow despite the signage.

Passing How Hill we noted that the moorings were absolutely full with a lot of yachts that appeared to be a large party of Sea Scouts or similar.

We were headed to Womack for the night with the intention of eating in the Kings Arms, the weather did not improve all morning and some time after we got to Womack the rain well and truly set in and continued throughout the afternoon and evening.

The staithe was completely full when we got there so we hung around just off the moorings and eventually a boat left so we got moored up.

At one point in the afternoon Fair President which was moored alongside us turned their heating on and filled our saloon with the exhaust which is mount very high on that boat, fortunately they left shortly afterwards.  Why have Faircraft mounted the heater exhaust so high?

Due to the rather inclement weather we did not go to the Kings Arms but ate on board instead.


Thursday 13th June

Unsure where to go today due to the weather but after a cruise up the Bure and down to South Walsham we decided to head back to Neatishead.

There were a lot of yachts on Barton Broad, presumably the group we had seen at How Hill the previous day.

Quite a decent morning with regard to the weather and on arrival found plenty of spaces so moored just behind Silver Cloud near the water and electric point.  The guy on Silver Cloud recognised my wife from our previous videos and took our ropes, once moored we had a very pleasant chat with him.

At one point a boat came into the staithe very fast and hit us side on nearly knocking me off my feet but no damage was done.

We walked up to the village with the intention of getting some bread but the shop had virtually none left and nothing to our liking, we still had some so were not too desperate.

A little later on I decided to connect our electric cable to give the batteries a good charge since there was credit on one of the meters but I did have to move the boat a little closer due to the length (or lack of it) of our cable.

Late in the afternoon Silver Cloud left and there were several comings and goings until the staithe was well and truly full.


Friday 14th June

On the way back down the Ant we stopped off at Ludham Bridge and actually got bread from the shop all be it at a rather inflated price, however I can’t blame them since they have to make a profit in the summer with no winter trade.

We did notice that there were quite a lot of Canada Geese at St Benet’s, a bit unusual at this time of year.

Back To Womack since the weather was brightening up and it’s a good place to be when the sun is out and found plenty of space this time.  Never did see the Grebes with chicks that were nesting when we were there in April/May.

Had quite a long chat with the very nice people on Bon Bon (identical to Roamer but built to a private specification) which moored immediately after us and next to us, they had followed us up the Thurne and Womack Dyke but very considerately had held back and not tried to overtake us as has happened in the past with people rushing to make sure of a mooring.


Saturday 15th June

Cruised up to Potter Heigham just for a look see knowing that there was absolutely no chance of getting under the bridge then back up to How Hill since it was now nice and sunny, plenty of room today.

We really wanted to go round the Nature Trail but thought it would be too muddy without wellingtons, this was confirmed by the BA guy in the little office so it was off to the Secret Garden where there were quite a few Damselflies and Dragonflies.

Later in the afternoon there were some showers but it turned out to be a lovely sunny evening.

Hathor (which was out when we arrived) returned late afternoon.


Sunday 16th june

This morning was pump out day even though the indicator light said it was still ok so it was a trip up to Richardsons for this and to fill up with water.

We got up to Stalham at about 08:30 and found no water on but one of Richardsons engineers gave us a tip that the blue water outlet is turned off until the office opens but the other outlet is always on so we used that.  The blue outlet comes from a tank and is pumped but the other outlet is mains water and pressure.

Once the pump out was completed we proceeded back down the Ant (Kingfisher videoed on Stalham Dyke) and saw that there was a mooring available at Irstead, somewhat unsure whether to moor there so early so cruised down to How Hill and finally made a decision, turned round and back to Irstead to find the space on the outer section was still there.  Later on I went to plug in our electric cable but it was too short, why did the BA put it towards one end of the mooring instead of in the middle?  I thought about turning the boat round but decided against it due to the high volume of boats passing and it is impossible to see the river upstream.

A small yacht came in towing an even smaller dingy, the parents/grandparents were taking two children out in the dingy in turns for a bit of sailing experience and were having to tack when going down stream, at one point a cruiser decided to pass them across their bow on a tack, the dingy ran straight into their side and came very close to capsizing, this cruiser then proceeded to nearly run into the stern of Roamer despite me and the people on the yacht shouting at them to stop but they didn’t even apologise and promptly nearly hit the quay heading of the house immediately upstream.  The video doesn’t show this particular incident but does show other boats not giving the dingy much consideration.


Monday 17th June

Having left Irstead we called into Paddy’s Lane to see if there were any photo opportunities but the only thing of any interest was a squirrel on the boardwalk.  Then went to Wayford Bridge for a look see but nothing of interest so it was back to Sutton Staithe for the afternoon.

After a few hours in the sun we left and went round the corner back to the yard to moor on Heron Quay.  Later in the evening I decided to fill up with water since we hadn’t done so that day but the water point we were moored adjacent to didn’t have the mains pressure tap so it was a quick move to the next one along.


Tuesday 18th June

Woke up early to a lovely morning, once packed and everything back in the car the boat was refuelled and we went to the office to checkout.  We got nearly £120 back from our £150 Fuel Deposit so just over £30 worth of diesel used (£1.15/l), ok, we had only done about 4 hours gentle cruising each day at mostly less than about 1400 revs but the heating had been on for the first few evenings.  Just shows, with no speeding and taking it easy how little diesel is used.

The drive home was uneventful.


This is the link to the video:


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21 hours ago, trambo said:

Hi Bryan, Nice to have met you both at Neitishead.

Fred & Co on Silver Cloud.

Hi Fred

It's good to put faces to names and good to meet you.  We didn't move away from Silver Cloud to give us more space, the electric cable is rather short on Swan Roamer so had to move to reach the post.

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Thanks for the write up Bryan, pleased you're still enjoying Swan Roamer. Having hired it I completely understand why you keep returning to it. You must feel like you own the boat by now! 

There's one thing that's always puzzled me about your visits. You spend all your time on such a small section of the Broads, being exclusively the Ant and Thurne and the small Bure section between. The Bure below Thurne mouth isn't for everybody and neither is the south (although I love both), but why miss out on all the Upper Bure? In particular I thought above Wroxham Bridge would be right up your street. Please don't take this as a criticism, I'm just intrigued. 

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On 06/07/2019 at 15:15, Broads01 said:

Having hired it I completely understand why you keep returning to it. You must feel like you own the boat by now! 

We do like Roamer and it does mean a very short handover.

On 06/07/2019 at 15:15, Broads01 said:

There's one thing that's always puzzled me about your visits. You spend all your time on such a small section of the Broads, being exclusively the Ant and Thurne and the small Bure section between. The Bure below Thurne mouth isn't for everybody and neither is the south (although I love both), but why miss out on all the Upper Bure? In particular I thought above Wroxham Bridge would be right up your street.

No offence taken.

We have our favourite spots but do like the section above Wroxham but would not want to essentially waste two days in a week going south.  Wroxham Bridge can be a problem with the height of Roamer at 7ft but recently the weather (and bridge clearance) has not been our friend, we did intend to try this time and also wanted Cockshoot but decided that it would be too wet and cold for any insects be about.

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