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Norfolk Lady Tales


Mouldy

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Have a lovely time. It was certainly a beautiful sunset after quite a grey gloomy day. Watched the weather  forecast for the week ahead on Countryfile this evening. Looked reasonable. Expected to be mostly dry and a reasonable temperature for mid October. 

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Monday 11th October 

My alarm went off and I was getting up before even the first sparrows had broken wind.  Deb took Harley for what turned out to be a very brief walk, Harley doing what she needed to not very far past the mill.

The window vac was busy, clearing the condensation from the windows after what had been a chilly night and we cast off at about 06:20.  Fortunately, it was quite a clear morning and navigating along the river was relatively easy.  As dawn broke, a light mist was hanging over the water’s surface in places, particularly as we cruised through Reedham.

There we’re several craft moored at Polkeys Mill and a few at Berney Mill, most of which either having crossed Breydon the previous evening or waiting to cross north this morning.  The sunrise was impressive, especially so as we ruined onto Breydon.

The crossing was uneventful and we passed though the yacht station at about 08:15, punching a fairly weak falling tide as we headed up The Bure.  A lot of traffic was heading down river, proof if needed, that the hire yards were still busy.  Several boats were moored at Stracey Mill, however Stokesby moorings were deserted, save for a lone Broom hirecraft.

We stopped at Acle for water, as usual, using the hose in what used to be Horizon’s basin.  Just as we were preparing to leave, one of The Broad’s YouTube vloggers, Dan Pratt (One Dan and his Boat), chugged in, so I had a quick chat with him before we departed, destination Womack Dyke.

We arrived at about 12:15, found a mooring, secured the boat and wandered into the village.  We had nothing on board for lunch and had considered getting something from The Kings Arms.  Despite the boards outside proclaiming them to be open 11:00 - 20:00 for food every day, they were closed.  Slightly disappointed, undaunted (but peckish) we carried on to the butchers and Throwers (as was) for supplies, then back to the boat for a sausage roll and a bag of crisps.  We know how to live!! 😁

We relaxed through the afternoon, watching the comings and goings along the dyke, me reading a very funny book by Richard Osman and the wife knitting.  It had been a good day, weather wise, with some sun and variable amounts of cloud, accompanied by a chilly breeze.  However, the sky cleared through the afternoon, much as it had the previous day.

As the sun began to set, I flew my drone to get a few more shots, before cooking dinner of hunter’s chicken with potatoes and carrots.

Washing up completed, we watched tv for a while, but tiredness caught up with me and I went to bed before the denouement of an old Lewis that my wife stayed up to watch.  I dare say that I’ll catch the ending when it’s next repeated!!

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Me too! Even though I write longer posts in Word and then re-read my pasted version again before clicking submit. I think Grendel once mentioned that if, you are quick enough, you can edit. I don't remember how many minutes grace we are given though.

Helen

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1 hour ago, YnysMon said:

 . . . I think Grendel once mentioned that if, you are quick enough, you can edit. I don't remember how many minutes grace we are given though.

It’s about 10 minutes, I think.  I was driving the boat whilst finishing the post and by the time I read it through, it was too late to edit.  They say men can’t multitask and in my case, it’s true!! 😉

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Tuesday 12th October

We woke early, but not as early as the previous day.  I peered out of a window and saw the promise of a photo worthy sunrise, so pulled some clothes on and collected a camera.  Sadly, it failed to live up to the promise, but I took a couple of photos anyway.

The higher than usual river levels had caused a change of my plan to go up The Ant and head for Hoveton instead.  I’d ordered something from Norfolk Marine that was awaiting collection and I needed a new CO alarm to replace the one that met with an accident the previous weekend when it wouldn’t turn off after the wife cooked (not burnt) some toast.  Funny that the smoke alarm remained silent!

We cast off around 09:00 and headed back down The Thurne and onto The Bure, arriving at Barnes yard around 12:15.  The rain had started to fall - showers of varying intensity, mostly light but some heavier.

The river was busy with traffic, but I was  surprised to see so many boats in their yard.  A few were clearly being prepped for new hirers, but there was no activity on a few too.  Safely moored on an appropriate pontoon mooring facing the river, I went to the office to pay my fee of £7 as advertised and was charged a fiver!  Happy days!!

We went to Norfolk Marine first, collected the pre ordered item and bought the new CO alarm and a replacement warm white led bulb for the lamp in the heads, the bright white one fitted proving too bright for my night time visits.  It’s an age thing, you know!!

We needed a few bits from Roys, so the wife volunteered me to go shopping whilst she waited outside with the dog.  She took the shopping back to the boat, whilst I nipped into Jeckells to discuss some new cushions for the aft cockpit of Norfolk Lady.  My last stop was Greys for some fish and chips for lunch.  It was as I left Jeckells that the heavens opened and it threw it down, forcing me to trot (run sounds better, but I’d be lying) round to the chippy.

Fortunately, by the time the food had been cooked, the rain had stopped and I could go back to the boat at a more age appropriate pace!  The fish and chips were very good, Greys having won my custom over Ken’s of late.  We topped up with water and headed back through Horning.  I’d considered Cockshoot Dyke as an overnight stop, but although there was plenty of room, I wanted to get to St Benets moorings.

It was later than I was comfortable with to get a mooring, but as we approached it was clear that there were plenty of spaces.  We moored towards the end furthest from the Abbey.  The river was getting quieter as folks moored for the night, although one or two speed freaks passed us sending Norfolk Lady bobbing about.

As the sun started to set, I took a drone and a camera along to the ruins to grab a few photos.  It was getting chilly and my fingers were getting quite numb by the time the sun had gone down, leaving a clear, moonlit night.

I was pleased to be back onboard, where the heating had warmed the boat through nicely.  We had dinner and watched England’s dismal performance in the World Cup qualifiers, before having a hot drink and heading for bed.  It was a very chilly night outside and I had a feeling I knew who’d have to get up in the morning to turn the heating on, a task I wasn’t looking forward to!

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7 minutes ago, Mouldy said:

and a replacement warm white led bulb for the lamp in the heads, the bright white one fitted proving too bright for my night time visits.

On my last boat the bog (sorry can't bring myself to call it the heads) light was a regular 21w 12v bulb and yes it was way too bright in the middle of the night so I changed the bulb holder for a stop/tail type fitting and put a 5w/21w bulb in and swapped the toggle switch for an on-off-on type, during lighter hours it was still bright enough for a shower and in the pitch black just switch it the other way and have a much tamer light.

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Wednesday 13th October 

I went to bed hopeful of a clear sky in the morning and a good sunrise, aside from dreading the thought of how cold it might be.  Sure enough, it was chilly when I woke and I forced myself out of my pit to turn the heating on.  Spurred on by the cold, I dressed hastily and went out with a drone and my camera.

It was certainly very chilly and the river surface as mirror like as I think I’ve ever seen it.  I crunched along the cinder path to the entrance to the Abbey site.  I hastily set up the drone and launched it, sending it buzzing around, taking a few photos.  The sunrise wasn’t as spectacular as it might have been, but I came away with with a couple of good shots before wandering back to the boat.

We had a leisurely breakfast of toast and marmalade, before setting off.  We intended to go up the River Ant, our favourite of the northern rivers, but as we approached advance height marker, it was clear that we would struggle to get under the bridge.  Even allowing for the known discrepancy, it would have been too close to risk, especially as there seems little evidence of the levels dropping over the past few days, which may prevent our return.

I turned Norfolk Lady and headed back the way we’d just come, turning right towards Horning.  I hadn’t been too bothered about visiting Ranworth this trip, but now with a couple of days to fill, it seemed worth trying.

We turned left into Ranworth Dam and there were a few craft coming in the opposite direction, so it was either already full or there were spaces available.  The view across the broad opened and it was clear that there were several spaces.

We moored at the opposite end of the side moorings to CC’s favoured cab rank, with a view across the broad.  There was £1.32 credit on an available electric point, so plugged in.  It had clouded over since the start of the day, but there were some good, long sunny spells, during which it was actually quite warm.  We sat and enjoyed the goings on, had lunch and went for a walk to the church, where I thought I might get a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, only to be disappointed because they don’t take card payments.  Ever since the start of the pandemic, when cash was largely unwanted and cards payments preferred, cash is one thing that I seem to have forgotten to carry!!

Generally, I’m not a fan of overnighting at Ranworth, but it was getting too late to move and reading Grendel’s post regarding no available moorings at Fleet Dyke, I’m glad we stayed.  Cloud cover had moved in and although the sun set, we couldn’t see it sadly.

We had dinner of sausage casserole with cauliflower and potatoes before relaxing in front of the TV. I can’t remember what was on, to be honest, but I went to bed halfway through a repeat of Death In Paradise, having first had to ask the crew of the neighbouring boat to switch off its engine that had been running since 20:20 and was still on at 21:10.  I didn’t hear the wife when she eventually retired after the denouement.  I was apparently snoring!!

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If you plan to keep Norfolk Lady for any length of time I would thoroughly recommend looking into getting remote controls for your heating.

We never had it for the boat but having now got it on the motorhome I wouldn't be without it.

The one we have is bluetooth activated if we are on the van but works via text message if we are out of bluetooth range. Just have to remember to put my phone within reach of the bed at night so I can switch the heating on without getting up in the morning. You can set it on a timer as well but we have not bothered with that yet. Might do now it's getting to being colder mornings though.

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2 hours ago, Cal said:

If you plan to keep Norfolk Lady for any length of time I would thoroughly recommend looking into getting remote controls for your heating.

We never had it for the boat but having now got it on the motorhome I wouldn't be without it.

The one we have is bluetooth activated if we are on the van but works via text message if we are out of bluetooth range. Just have to remember to put my phone within reach of the bed at night so I can switch the heating on without getting up in the morning. You can set it on a timer as well but we have not bothered with that yet. Might do now it's getting to being colder mornings though.

I’m fairly certain that the ageing Eberspächer heater in our boat would also need to be replaced, which is an expense that I’ll try to avoid at present, although remote control would be a good idea.  If and when it does need replacing, it would be a toss up between a Planar (now Autoterm) of one of the Chinese made ones, either of which could be remotely operated as the price of Webasto and Eberspacher is prohibitive.

We’ll see what happens in the future.

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An external timer or remote only needs to power up one wire on an eberspacher for it to power up and run at the preset level and also do a proper cool down cycle when it shuts down, it's the yellow one between controller and heater unit, the remote box I use worked fine on my old boat too with an ancient D2L eber.

Mine was from this lot http://www.waferstar.com/en/GSM-RELAY.html

I have an old vodafone payg sim in and have to request a signal strength every few months to keep it active.

Will have to replace at some time when 2g gives up for a newer version.

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Thursday 14th October

We woke to the same grey leaden skies that had been present on Wednesday evening.  It wasn’t raining, though, so it could have been worse.  The wife took Harley for her morning walk and I took a few photos around the moorings.  I was amazed to see that the cab rank was still vacant at 07:15, especially when it had been vacated the previous afternoon.

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I returned to the boat and a few minutes later, the wife came back with the dog and told me that a boat had just moored in the vacant spot.  I asked what it was called and it came no surprise to hear a familiar name.  Those regulars will recognise the boat from the photos.

We had breakfast, showered and dressed, making full use of the money on the electric post with the immersion heater, before topping topped up with water.  By this time, there was much coming and going, with far more boats arriving than leaving.  For a few minutes the cloud broke and the sun shone.  Not wanting to miss an opportunity, I flew my smaller drone and took a few photos.  Once done, we cast off, heading for Horning, where I’d booked to get fuel and a pump out at Boulters.

It had become quite breezy and I wasn’t looking forward to trying to manoeuvre into their yard, but as we arrived there was a boat already on the refuelling point.  We were directed to wait in the entrance and pulled into position when the other boat left.

We’d pondered what to do with the extra day we’d acquired through not going up The Ant and decided to recross Breydon a day earlier than planned and maybe go to Oulton, so headed back the way we’d come, passing Ranworth Dam and turning left up The Thurne.  We needed some more provisions to last to the end of our stay and moored on Womack Dyke.  That meant Friday’s plan would be a short cruise to Potter and back for dinner at The Lion, leaving the Breydon crossing to Saturday.

After lunch, we wandered into Ludham, visiting the butchers and Throwers before returning to the boat.  We were pleased to see that the little craft bakery that was closed when we visited earlier in the week , was open so we bought a crusty cob and some Portuguese tarts.  Once on board, we sat quietly, me reading and Deb knitting, enjoying our surroundings.

The brief spell of sunshine had long gone.  It was cloudy with a stiff breeze and quite chilly, too.  I prepared dinner of chicken chasseur with rice, accompanied by a cheeky bottle of Merlot, which we both enjoyed.  With the washing up done, as usual, we relaxed in front of the TV.  There was something on at 21:00 that I wanted to watch, but dozed off about 10 minutes into it!!

I was woken as it finished in time for my hot drink, before retiring for the night.

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Friday 15th October

Cloud cover was very much in evidence when I woke.  No great hurry to rush out to photograph the sunrise.  I made a cuppa and as the wife went out with the dog I noticed that there were some breaks in the cloud.  I sent a drone up to catch what there was of the sunrise, but it didn’t amount to much.  About half an hour later though, there was a glorious orange glow that only lasted for a couple of minutes, so captured the moment on my phone.

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We had breakfast and set off, destination Potter Heigham.  As we started to pass the chalets, the high water levels were clearly evident as although the river was falling, in places it was only a couple of inches below the quay heading.  We moored at the quiet moorings closest to the bridge and had to deploy the spare fenders between the hull and quay.  It’s not often we have to step down from our bathing platform onto the bank!

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We wandered up to the bridge, noticing that the chippy was still displaying a notice on the window proclaiming them to be closed until 6th October.  I wondered if has closed down completely.  It’s been a familiar sight (and smell) in Potter for so long, it’d be a shame if it has, but to be fair, the quality of the food has been questionable at times.

Over the bridge, I dropped a bag of boat rubbish into Woods bins before going to Lathams.  It was sunny, but cool in the stiff breeze and I was surprised when the wife offered to sit outside with the dog whilst I explored the mountains of tat to find what we needed.  Being the thoughtful sort, I bought her a tea and piece of millionaire’s shortcake before I went in.

I managed to resist any temptation to buy Christmas decorations.  Threat of shortage or not, it’s much too early, but found the odd bits we needed and paid, before the almost obligatory visit to the bakery.  Sticky goodies purchased, it was time to go back to the boat, after first collecting the wife from the cafe’s outside seating area.

Having been disappointed earlier in the year by not being able to moor on at Thurne Dyke, we weren’t making the same error this time and we’re soon chugging back down the river to stake a claim on a mooring.

When we arrived, there were only about three other craft there, so picked a spot on the opposite side to the mill, not far from the entrance, turning first to make my exit in the morning easier.  I flew the drone, taking advantage of a sunny spell and popped down to the pub to make a booking for later.  We whiled away the afternoon watching the comings and goings.

As the sun began to set, the drone went up again for a few photos, before I went out with the camera to get a few more.  I was forced to return to the boat and cut my picture taking short as a novice (I thought) crew entered the dyke and was attempting moor, in reverse, using Norfolk Lady as a guide.

I helped them secure their boat without damage to ours.  The ropes had been knotted round the handrails, which made the task more difficult and the stern rope had more knots in than you’d find at a scouts convention.  Given that they’d only just left the hire yard at Potter, in my opinion it was something that should have been checked and changed before handover.

The crew asked me to show them how to tie knots for mooring and were looking at a handbook comparing mine to their instructions, but I discovered whilst talking to them that this was their second boating holiday.  I dread to think how they got on last year!!

We went to the pub for dinner, but much to our disappointment, they’d sold out of pork belly!  Disaster!!  Never mind, the wife’s supreme of chicken and my chicken ham and leek pie were excellent substitutes.  The service was friendly and unhurried, so it was quite late by the time we left, probably around 21:30.  At least three boats had engines ticking over as we walked back to our boat, none near us thankfully.

It was a cold, clear, starlit night, so the heating went on whilst we had a hot drink before retiring for the night.  We had a long cruise back over Breydon planned for the following day, to somewhere as yet undecided, so I was hopeful of a good nights sleep.

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Lovely photos as always.

Curious as to whether such short cruising days ever concern you, especially when not on shore hookup. We try to always do at least three hours cruising a day so end up travelling miles in one direction sometimes only to travel those same miles back the other way the next day, rather than two days moored in places that aren't far from each other.

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8 hours ago, SwanR said:

Curious as to whether such short cruising days ever concern you, especially when not on shore hookup. We try to always do at least three hours cruising a day so end up travelling miles in one direction sometimes only to travel those same miles back the other way the next day, rather than two days moored in places that aren't far from each other.

To be honest, Jean, not really.  Our domestic and inverter batteries have all been replaced over the past two years, when back at base, we are plugged into the mains via a good quality charger and if we don’t cruise far, we run the engine for an hour (at a reasonable time and never after 20:00) to heat water and boost the batteries.

6 hours ago, YnysMon said:

You do seem to have been lucky with the weather.

For the time of year, we certainly have, but there have been a couple really cold nights when we’ve not been on shore power!!

8 hours ago, CeePee1952 said:

Glad you finally got into Thurne Dyke, it certainly looks more peaceful than when we were there!

So we’re we!  Food was as good as anticipated (even though they’d sold out of pork belly).  Aside from the three boats running their engines at 21:30, it possibly was

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On 16/10/2021 at 11:52, Mouldy said:

Given that they’d only just left the hire yard at Potter, in my opinion it was something that should have been checked and changed before handover.

when we asked to have the knotted ropes replaced on the jewels we were informed that they did not have any spares. time was spent removing knots that in some cases needed vice grips a screwdriver and a hammer.

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Last time we were out I saw a young girl very nearly dragged off the back of a HW boat at reedham by the knotted ropes she was standing on as the boat pulled off, I was leaping for the quay expecting to have to throw a lifering pretty sharpish, they are a serious hazard and should not be anywhere near a boat in that condition.

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Hard to believe a company with as many boats as Herbert Woods wouldn’t have any spare ropes !

I will drop some off for them as I must have collected / bought 4 sets over the years stored in the rear well deck.

John

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