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Norfolk Lady Tales


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19 hours ago, YnysMon said:

 . . . . . Sorry to hear you had been poorly. Hope it didn’t affect the rest of your time on Norfolk Lady. . . . .

Thanks both.  No, it didn’t fortunately.  I had to be careful about what I ate, but thankfully the worst of it was over by the time we went away.

2 hours ago, YnysMon said:

 . . . . . . Where’s the photo of the ducks on what looks like a river taken from?

It’s actually the duck pond in the park adjacent to the Yacht Station at Oulton Broad.

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Monday 18th November

It had been cold overnight, but we were greeted by a bright, sunny morning when we woke.  The wife took Harley for her morning walk and I made a slice of toast for my breakfast, still conscious of what I was eating and slightly fearful of a recurrence of the symptoms I’d been suffering from previously, washed down with a black tea.  When Debbie returned, she had her breakfast whilst I got ready.

We went into town at about 09:00.  Apparently, the wife needed more wool for another knitting project and a visit to the wool shop was required.  I cooled my heels outside, with the dog, whilst necessary selections were made, before we wandered round to the butchers and Greggs.

Shopping completed, we returned to the boat.  I called into the Harbourmaster’s office to pay for our mooring and asked what the process was going to be to get electric cards when the office was closed.  Apparently, a machine is going to be installed at some point in the future, to dispense cards pre loaded with £1 value, but the cards will be reloadable in the office with whatever amount one wishes to put on them. 

I returned to Norfolk Lady, where Debbie pointed to a cormorant that had settled on the roof of the Elysian moored next to us.  I collected my camera and managed to get a few shots of the bird as it preened itself in the sunshine.  

We were in no great hurry to get away, but I was aware of the high river levels and that the tide was rising, which may make negotiating Somerleyton bridge impossible so we cast off and headed for The Waveney River Centre for fuel and water.  I’m still not sure of the capacity of the fuel tank and as we wanted to cross Breydon the following day, needed to know we had a full tank.

It didn’t take long to get to WRC, but the weather had turned and it started to rain as we topped up with fuel.  I left Debbie filling with water, whilst I walked up to the office to pay and with tanks filled, we set off again, destination Somerleyton.

We were heading into the incoming tide, which blunted our progress somewhat and it seemed to take a long time before the bridge loomed into view.  It was tight, but we made it through.  It had been my intention to stay there for the night, so we moored next to an electric post, plugged in and had a light lunch.

I had to cut out some old silicone sealant in the toilet compartment and replace it with new, which took me most of the afternoon.  It isn’t one of my favourite tasks, but once done, it looked much better and I was satisfied with a job well done.

We watched tv for a while, the wife did some knitting and I read before we had dinner of baked gammon, potatoes, carrots and white sauce.  It was good and I really enjoyed it.  Tuesday morning was going to be an early start.  We needed to be on the move at about 07:00, to make slack water through Yarmouth.  Although we had been on the northern rivers many times before, I was looking forward to taking our boat across Breydon for the first time since we’d collected her from the brokers back in June, so once again, it was an early night for us all.






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Great cormorant photo. Liked the one of the rainbow too. 👌

Well, I should have admitted that I liked all your photos (as always).


Looking forward to hearing more. I’ve already mentioned to Graham about Beccles electric not being available after 1pm in the winter. Just as well we weren’t able to get under Somerlayton Bridge a few weeks back. One of the things that I love about NBN Holiday Tales is the tips you can pick up. I’ve learnt a lot the past few years.

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Tuesday 19th November

We woke early on Tuesday.  It had been a cold night and there had been a ground frost. I hastily pulled on some clothes to fend off the chill until the heating warmed the boat up and peered out of the window to see the sky was clear, but with a veil of mist hanging over the river.  The heating, immersion and kettle were all switched on whilst Debbie got ready to take Harley for a walk.  It was going to be quite a long cruise and we needed to know that the dog had had the opportunity to do what dogs do before we cast off.  

I had a cuppa and waited for the wife and pooch to return.  They arrived back a few minutes before 07:00, so I disconnected the electric and started the engine.  We were the only boat there, so there was no one to disturb with the engine running, whilst we prepared to cast off and eventually left the moorings a few minutes after 07:00.

Dawn was breaking as we headed along the Waveney, towards St Olaves and it looked as if it would be a nice day.  The river was calm and we were being helped along by the ebbing current.  The wife went for a shower just after we had safely negotiated St Olaves bridge and I was enjoying the scenery as we cruised along.

Breydon was flat calm as we entered it and I almost felt guilty about disturbing the water’s surface.  Debbie took the helm as I went to shower and I emerged refreshed and dressed a couple of hundred yards before we went under the lift bridge.  The wife commented that she’d only seen one other boat heading in the opposite direction, which I believe may have been Jeff (Coolcat) on Lady Emma.

We were slightly early as we turned onto the Bure and immediately slowed as we started to punch the ebbing current.  There was plenty of clearance under the bridges and we navigated past the Yacht Station, where they appear to be doing some work, with diggers and other equipment there.

It was turning into a beautiful day – chilly, but compensated for by an almost clear blue sky, with just light veiled clouds - the type of day made for cruising on the Broads.  The effect of the outgoing current soon diminished and we chugged steadily along and eventually past Stracey Mill.  We decided to stop for a while at Stokesby, to allow the dog off for a leg stretch (and anything else she needed).  The BA moorings were empty, so I turned Norfolk Lady and moored.  Debbie put the kettle on and I wandered about, camera in hand, taking a few photos, before wandering back to the boat.  I was standing at the helm with a cup of tea when a boat came past, heading towards Acle, which I found out later definitely was Jeff in Lady Emma, returning from trying out his newly reconditioned turbo on Breydon.  We exchanged friendly waves as he passed.

Shortly after, we headed off again, destination Potter Heigham for Lathams and some supplies.  I noted Lady Emma moored outside the Bridge Inn.  Tempting as it was to stop, we carried on, under Acle Bridge and along the Bure.  We were following one of several Herbert Woods boats that we were to see on the Northern rivers, all the way to the junction with the Thurne, where he turned right and I carried straight on.  As the junction with Womack Dyke loomed into view, I decided that it would be quicker and easier to go into Ludham for our shopping requirements, rather than Potter, so turned left towards Womack Water.

There was a boat moored at the BA moorings along the dyke called Boudica.  The name was familiar to me for some reason.  The couple on board waved and we waved back as we passed.  We moored at Womack, walked into the village and got what we needed from the butchers and Throwers before heading back to the boat.  A couple more of Wood’s fleet were there too, one taking on water.  I wondered if they’d been before and knew how slow the fill would be.

Time was getting on and I wanted to go to Ranworth, so we cast off and headed back towards the Thurne.  Boudica was heading towards us and we exchanged friendly waves and a shouted greeting as we passed.  It was only later when I received a message from Gina at The Sewing Ark, that I remembered that Boudica is her boat and she had made our burgee.

We arrived at Ranworth a little later, just as darkness was beginning to fall.  There were a couple of boats already moored, so reversed gently to the quay, by the water point nearest to the dinghy dyke (handy for topping up the following day) and tied up.  One more boat came in shortly after (another Woods) and moored the other side of the dinghy dyke.  

Darkness fell and that was our day.  It had been great, helped obviously by the weather.  We settled down to watch the tv, the wife knitted and I did a couple of crosswords.  We had a beef stir-fry for dinner (I was careful not to have any onions in with the vegetables) with rice.

Once again, we went to bed quite early, we'd been up early and it wasn’t long before I fell into a contented sleep, hoping for similar weather on Wednesday.











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Wednesday 20th November      

I woke at about 06:00 on Wednesday, got up, switched on the heating and immersion before returning to bed.  It was chilly -  nowhere near as cold as the previous morning, but cloudy  The boat soon warmed up, so I dragged myself out of bed and put the kettle on.  As usual, the wife pulled some clothes on and took Harley for a walk.

When the water was hot enough, I showered and dressed before going outside to hose the boat down.  It was dusty and a large bird with a similar problem to the one I has endured had left a deposit across the roof of the fore cabin, which needed a good scrub to remove.  I made up a bucket of boat shampoo and cleaned all of the topsides down, followed by a rinse from the nearby hose.  By the time I’d finished, the wife had also showered and dressed, so the water tank was topped up and I even put an extra pound in the box for the water I’d used!!

We had breakfast of toast and marmalade before casting off and heading out of Ranworth.  There wasn’t a lot planned for the day – we hoped to get moored in Horning for a look round and call into NYA to see Chris, who sold us the boat, so we headed slowly out of the broad and along the river.  To my surprise, there were a few hire boats out, mainly from Herbert Woods, but one or two from Ferry as well.  I noticed that Cockshoot Dyke was empty as we passed and thought that it might be an idea to stop there later for a walk along to the Broad, something we haven’t done for many years.  

We soon arrived at the public moorings in Horning, only to find that they were full!  In November!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  We haven’t been able to moor there for years and thought that it would be an ideal opportunity as they couldn’t all be occupied in November . . . . . . . . .but they were.  I turned and headed back towards Ferry Marina, found a spot to moor and went to see if Chris was there.  He had been quite helpful when we bought Norfolk Lady and I was keen for him to have a look and see what he thought of the improvements we’d made thus far, but he was out.  I had a chat to one of the other sales staff there, before we turned and headed back out.  It was clearly not my morning, but undeterred, we cruised the short distance to Cockshoot Dyke and moored up. 

Before we went for a walk, we had a coffee before donning our jackets and going for a walk.  The river levels were still high and we found that some of the boardwalk was submerged by an inch or so of water but we both had waterproof walking boots, so it wasn’t a concern.  It wasn’t long before we arrived at the hide overlooking the broad, but there wasn’t much sign of life with just one swan swimming on the far side.  We found another part of the boardwalk that headed off to the right, so followed it and found that much of the vegetation had been cut back, presumably to make way for new growth.  It eventually rejoined the main part and we were soon back at the boat, so we continued past Norfolk Lady and wandered around to the car park opposite the TFI.  The pathway appears to have been let go somewhat, the boardwalk rotting away in places and very overgrown.  

It was lunchtime, so we made our way back to the boat.  The weather had brightened up, although not as good as the previous day, but it was still a bit of a bonus.  We had some lunch and decided to go back to Ranworth for the night.  There was electric and water there and being off season, wasn’t too busy.  Not only that, but as I was feeling better, we decided to go to the pub for dinner that night.  

Decision made, we cast off and headed back the way we’d come earlier, but were surprised to see that there were already four boats moored there, one side-on, on the other side of the dinghy dyke and another side-on where we were the previous night.  Cambridge Cabby’s favoured cab rank was also taken and one more was moored on the front overlooking Malthouse Broad.  I chose the spot at the end facing the broad, handy for both electric and water and moored.  We plugged in the 240v and decided to go for a walk to the church as the weather was pleasant.

Once again, we donned warm coats and walked to the church.  I went inside briefly (it’s something that I have to do when I’m there, it just doesn’t seem right to not go in), before rejoining the wife who’d been waiting outside with Harley.  We walked back along Broad Road, but didn’t venture around the nature trail as dogs aren’t permitted.

Back at the boat, the wife got her knitting out and I read for a while.  We watched as more boats arrived and eventually there were nine moored overnight.  I had to get my camera out when literally hundreds of gulls congregated on the broad.  I’ve honestly never seen so many in the air at one time and I wasn’t the only one taking photos from the quayside.  Unfortunately, it was quite dark, so the results are far from perfect, but will give some idea of the numbers.

At about 18:30, we headed a cross to the pub.  Despite the number of boats moored, it was really quiet with only about half a dozen customers there.  We sat near the fire and chose from the menu.  I had mushroom soup to start and the wife had some spicy mini kebabs with a dipping sauce and we both chose a beef casserole for mains.  As appetising as the desserts looked, neither of us had room, so with the bill paid, we returned to the boat, watched tv for a while before going to bed.

We knew that we needed to be at Stokesby on Thursday night in time to make the crossing back across Breydon on Friday and I fell asleep working out a plan for the following day.












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Thursday 21st November           

It was another chilly morning when I got up on Thursday and a quick look outside revealed that it was a pretty grey day.  As ever, the heating, immersion and kettle went on and the morning followed the usual pattern.  Debbie took the dog for her walk and I had a cuppa and some toast.  Being a kind soul, I made the wife tea and toast when she returned, too.

When the water was hot enough, I went to shower and dress.  When we’d both finished getting ready, I topped up the water from the nearby hose and had a chat with one of the people on a Herbert Woods boat moored nearby.  They had been down for two weeks and were only about half way through their break. 

It was probably about 10:30 when we cast off and set off across Malthouse Broad.  We wanted to go to Lathams, after all there had to be some tat that we didn’t know we wanted or needed until we saw it and I fancied a cake.  We were in no great hurry, so I guess it must have been about 11:30 – 11:45 before we arrived and moored.  I decided that it was too cold to wait outside the shops whilst the wife had a mooch round, so she went off to do the shopping and I stayed on the boat, washed up our coffee mugs, vacuumed the carpet and did a couple more chores before she returned.  

Fortunately, not much had caught her eye, so she hadn’t bought anything to speak of, but she had remembered my cake.  She also mentioned that the chippy was open, which sounded tempting, so she wandered back to get fish and chips for us both for lunch.  I buttered a couple of slices of bread and got the condiments out of the cupboard, ready.  Although they were cooked fresh, it wasn’t long before she returned, so we tucked in before they got cold.  They weren’t the best I’ve had, but they were far from the worst, but we enjoyed them all the same.

We washed up before casting off and heading for Stokesby.  Once again, there were a few hire boats out, predominantly from Herbert Woods as we headed down the Thurne and turning left onto the Bure.  

The weather had remained cloudy, but there was a real edge in the breeze which made it feel cold and cheerless.  I noticed just three boats in the Broads Boating Company’s basin as we passed, which contrasted with the sizeable fleet moored at Bridgecraft.

It wasn’t long before we arrived at Stokesby and moored in the same place as we had on Tuesday morning, when we were heading north.  How the week had flown by.  With the electric hooked up and the heating on, we settled down for the evening.  Deb was knitting, anxious to finish a jumper for our grandson for Christmas and I had a go at a couple of crosswords.  

Dinner time was approaching and we had some pork chops to cook.  I started to get the food ready, the chops were in the oven and the potatoes were cooking nicely when we had a disaster.  The gas ran out, so I went to change the bottle over, only to find that the other bottle was empty too.  What a mistake to make?  As it turned out, the chops were cooked and the spuds were done.  There was enough hot water in the kettle to make some gravy, so it could have been worse, but the prospect of no tea the following morning was harrowing.  

With the food eaten and the washing up done, we watched tv for a while and went to bed.  As there was no way to heat water for a hot nightcap, we settled for a cheeky gin and tonic instead!!

By about 21:30 I was tired, so headed for bed.  I was aware that we would have to arrive before slack water at Yarmouth the following day, to allow enough time to get back to Brundall before nightfall, so fell asleep working out when to leave Stokesby.










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Friday 22nd November

I woke early on Friday morning and felt needed to go to the loo and discovered to my dismay that (without going into too much detail) I apparently hadn’t fully recovered from the stomach bug that had affected me before we went away.  I went back to bed and woke again at about 06:30.  We both got up and Debbie got ready to take the dog for her walk.  I turned on the immersion and heating and watched the morning news whilst the water heated, before taking a shower.

Before we bought into Moonlight Shadow, I hadn’t realised that there were such things as immersion heaters on boats and it was one of the things we looked for when we searched for a boat to buy.  It’s a real benefit to be able to heat water without running the engine when hooked up to the mains.

I was in the shower when the wife and Harley returned.  They’d walked along the river bank to the Stracey Arms and back.  I decided that it would be best not to eat, in view of what happened earlier, so Debbie made a sandwich for breakfast – not what one would normally have, but no gas meant no toast.

We set off for Yarmouth at about 10:00.  There was no real rush as I knew we would be early for slack water, but I was also aware that we would have about three hours of cruising when we had crossed Breydon to get to Brundall.  We were helped along by the ebbing current and with the engine set at little more than tickover, we were maintaining a steady 4.5 – 5 mph.  

The cloud was initially patchy, with beams of sunlight spearing through the breaks in the cloud, which quickly thickened before the rain started.  A spectacular rainbow appeared to our port side, at one point creating the full arc.  

No boats passed us coming from Yarmouth, but we were passed by one of Silverline’s Alpha 35 flybridge craft, who was tied to the side of a new mould of a similar craft.  Although we were keeping to the correct side of the river, they actually brushed the side of our boat with the new moulding as they passed.  Fortunately the fenders did their job and no damage was caused, but the helmsman didn’t seem to notice or care as they rushed past and disappeared around the next bend.  A small aft cockpit cruiser also overtook us as we approached Yarmouth, but this time, kept well clear of the side of our boat.

We cruised through Yarmouth, easily went under the bridges, which were showing close to eleven feet clearance and turned right by the yellow post onto Breydon . . . . . . . .and stopped.  The outgoing current was strong and we had to increase the engine revs considerably to make any decent progress.  

Punching the tide, it seemed to take forever to cross the expanse of Breydon, but cross it we did and turned right to follow the Yare towards Reedham.

I was becoming concerned that we may run out of light before we reached Brundall.  When we bought Norfolk Lady, we had LED nav lights fitted which were comparatively inexpensive, but during the week  one of them had failed, so I really didn’t want to be cruising at night without the necessary lighting working.  I had also decided that I would be asking Paul to fit some conventional nav lights, too.  

We chugged on, noting each waypoint as we went – the mouth of the Chet, Cantley, Langley Dyke, The Beauchamp Arms (how uninviting can a pub look?), Short Dyke and Fleet Dyke.  Eventually, we could see the building at the end of the dyke leading to our moorings and breathed a sigh of relief.  It was about 15:30, ten minutes before sunset.  The wife managed to boil the kettle, filling it with hot water and completely draining the last of the gas, just as we arrived at the yard and moored.  

I had already called Paul, who had left two new gas bottles by our mooring, so they were quickly installed and the wife began to prepare dinner.  I wasn’t sure I was ready for sausage casserole as I was still feeling slightly fragile, but I was hungry having not eaten all day, so a little later prepared myself some scrambled egg on toast, after which I began to feel a bit more human.  I had just finished my food when Debbie took the casserole out of the oven.  It smelt delicious, so I gave into temptation and had a couple of sausages and hoped that there would be no implications the following day.

We settled down for the evening, with the tv and heating on.  It had been a good week – there had been one or two issues and an extended time on the boat had revealed a couple of things that still needed attention, however Norfolk Lady had provided a comfortable home for our holiday and we were both pleased to say she is ours.

There was to be a boat jumble at Broom the following day and I wanted to have a look round, not that I would know about much that would be on sale, but there may be something recognisable and useful that I could buy.  There was something on tv that the wife wanted to see, so I went to bed, hoping that I wouldn’t have a disturbed sleep as I had the previous night and drifted off to sleep.







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Saturday 23rd November

I felt much better when I woke on Saturday and the sausages that I couldn’t resist hadn’t caused any reactions overnight.  To say I was relieved was an understatement.  Deb took Harley for a walk, I made a cup of black tea with honey and had a light breakfast of scrambled egg on toast while I waited for the immersion to heat the water. 

Debbie returned with Harley, so I made her some tea and toast before going for a shower and to get ready.  It was about 09:30 when I left to go to Broom for a snoop round.  It had been raining overnight and it was still raining as I walked the short distance to their yard.  I bought a couple of chrome light switches and a chrome aerial socket to replace some of the plastic ones still fitted on Norfolk Lady.  There were a few other bits that caught my eye, but I resisted temptation, not knowing whether they’d be suitable.

The wife hadn’t accompanied me as we weren’t sure whether we could take dogs in, but there were a few people there with their pooches, so I rang her and she wandered round too.  We were approached by someone who said ’Are you Malcolm?’  It turned out it was Old Berkshire Boy and he’d recognised our dog from my Forum avatar and thought it might be me, so we had a chat.  We were met by the owner of our marina who was also there looking round for anything useful.

Fat chewed, we went our separate ways, the wife heading for the boat with Harley and I went to Brian Ward.  I’d managed to avoid temptation for a couple of visits, but this time wanted to have a look for a new steering wheel.  One thing that had become apparent during the week was that a stainless steel wheel in cold weather gets very cold, so I wanted to have a look at one with a soft rim that would be easier on the hands.  Yeah, I know, but I’m getting old and beginning to feel the cold!!  They had one that was very suitable, so selection made and paid for, I returned to Norfolk Lady.  

One job I particularly hate, is applying silicone sealant.  Whether at home or on the boat, I know that I will get in a mess and try to avoid it at all costs.  However, the sealant in places in around the wash basin and shower, was beginning to look shabby, so I started to strip it out, clean all of the joints, and prepare them for the application of new sealant.  It took quite a long time before I was satisfied that it was done, so having wiped the areas down with some isopropyl alcohol, I had some lunch before applying the new silicone.  As it turned out, it wasn’t too bad, looks a lot better than it did and I didn’t get covered in the stuff for a change.  

We had thought about staying for an extra night, but the weather forecast for Sunday was poor, so we decided to go home that evening.  We packed up our things, changed the bed linen, ready for our next visit, loaded the car, turned off the gas, heating, water pump and set up our newly acquired dehumidifier before leaving for home at about 17:00.

The journey home was uneventful and we arrived back at Northampton at about 19:20.

On the whole, it had been a good week.  A couple of things had gone wrong, we’d run out of gas (valuable lesson there), but we’d learnt much about the boat and identified some things still to do to get her how we want her.  We’d had some rain, but we’d had a couple of gloriously sunny days, too, possibly more than we could have expected for the time of year.  What was perhaps most important was that despite a few problems we’d experienced since buying Norfolk Lady and the additional costs that we incurred as a result, we are still happy and proud to say she is ours.  

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Hi  Malcolm,

The one major improvement I have made to Zimbi (according to the boss) is fit an electric heated towel rail in the bathroom.

Mind getting a wash and using a nice warm towel early/late season is quite a luxury.

Also to my cost she has found it really useful for drying tea towels and the odd garment and if I am not alert leaving it on for those 

night time visits!

It only draws 80 watts so not really expensive to run.


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4 hours ago, VetChugger said:

 . . . . . . . What struck me when you mentioned the emersion heater from shore power etc, have you not got an electric kettle on board??

To be honest, we haven't.  Worktop space in the galley is limited, so we just use a conventional kettle on the cooker, which has reminded me that we do have an electric travel kettle somewhere that we'd completely forgotten about,  that could be utilised in an emergency.  Good point, thanks for the reminder. 👍

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We have two gas canisters on board and have a ‘tag’ on the one that is in use. When you have to change that tag to the second canister, you know it’s time to get a replacement. Having an electric kettle on board to use when on shore power does preserve gas use. I have now got into the habit of filling a large vacuum flask with hot water in the mornings (again when on shore power) to use during the day - further gas preservation! Only being two of us, we get 2/3 mugs of tea or coffee each. You usually tend to boil more water than is needed anyway. We usually get around 50 days from one gas canister and I cook every day.

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2 hours ago, SwanR said:

 . . . . . . . . A real insight into these early days of owning your own boat. You sound very contented and happy with your decision. How wonderful to know it's there whenever you get the chance to head back.

We are, Jean.  It has been a long held ambition and I still can't quite believe that it eventually became reality.  As you say, it is a wonderful feeling to know that we can visit whenever we have the opportunity. 

45 minutes ago, YnysMon said:

 . . . . . . . Glad to hear you got over your tummy bug.

Thanks Helen.  

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13 hours ago, vanessan said:

We have two gas canisters on board and have a ‘tag’ on the one that is in use. . . . . . . .

We haven't had to change either bottle since we bought Norfolk Lady,  but now I know we have two full bottles, keeping track of what we've used will be easy.  Whever we finish one bottle and switch to the second one, I will get the depleted one replaced.

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Saturday 7th December 

Quiet day on the rivers yesterday.   We had to go into Norwich on the way to Brundall so didn't arrive at the boat until about 11:30.  The car was unloaded and we had a cuppa before eventually casting off at at about 13:00 heading for Bramerton.

We saw Warren (Tempest) and Julie casting off for their first cruise since buying into the Moonlight Shadow syndicate as we passed through Brundall and exchanged friendly greetings.

There was plenty of time and about 45 minutes later we were mooring up to have a light lunch.  It had been our 39th wedding anniversary on Friday so had booked a mooring and table at The Ferry House,  Surlingham for a celebratory meal.  

Allowing about 20 minutes to cruise back to the pub, we set off again just after 15:00 to head back the way we'd come earlier and moored.  With the electric hooked up and heating on, the wife did some knitting and I did a couple of crosswords to while away the time until dinner.  

Our table was booked for 19:00 but by 18:30, we were both feeling hungry, so headed to the pub and found our table.  The food had been pre ordered from the Christmas menu, asparagus wrapped in Parma ham with cheese sauce for me, home made pate with toast for the wife and traditional Norfolk turkey Christmas dinners for both of us.  

Needless to say, the food didn't disappoint, fantastic and plentiful.  The service was friendly and the pub, warm and welcoming.  There was no room for dessert, sadly so we had a glass of port each to finish the meal and returned to the boat for a cheeky gin and tonic.

We chilled out for a while, watching tv, before retiring at the end of another day on our boat.






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15 minutes ago, SwanR said:

  . . . . . . I'm not sure if I've ever stopped at the Ferry House but if I have it was a few years back. It seems to get nothing but rave reviews now so must try it next summer.

Thanks Jean.  The Ferry House is our favourite watering hole on the southern broads which is fortunate as it is only a short cruise from where both Norfolk Lady and Moonlight Shadow are based.  If you go in the summer, it does get very busy, especially if the weather is good, so it is always advisable to book a table and be hungry, as the portions are generous.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So we returned from our last weekend in 2019 on Norfolk Lady yesterday evening.   I need to be at home next weekend to take down the Christmas decorations that have adorned our front garden throughout December, so we elected to have an extra weekend on board.  We arrived on Friday night at about 20:30 to find (thankfully) the river levels had subsided considerably since when we let on 22nd December.  

Following a walk to the Co-Op on Saturday morning for some essential supplies, we set off for Loddon at around midday on Saturday.  The rivers were quiet, as expected, although we did pass a couple of craft along the Yare.  The weather was chilly and the sky leaden and grey, but we were happy to be afloat once again.  Lunch was had on the move – cheese on toast, a welcome change from the excesses of the festive period.  

We turned right, down the Chet and didn’t see another moving boat all the way to Loddon.  Although we generally prefer to moor at Pyes Mill, we moored in the basin (finding a gap between the fishermen) and hooked up to the electric before locking the boat and going for a walk, passing The Angel, a butchers and another chippy that we hadn’t previously seen, before retracing our steps to the Co-Op to get some chocolate for the wife and returning to the boat.  

We settled down with the heating and TV on with a cheeky gin and tonic, enjoying the peace after a hectic week.  Dinner was the last of the Christmas leftovers (turkey, gammon and braised red cabbage), that we’d taken with us from home, with creamed potatoes, washed down with some fermented grape juice.  

By about 21:30 my eyelids were feeling heavy – it must be the Norfolk air, so it was a relatively early night for us both.

I woke up early, as usual on Sunday morning, so climbed out of bed to turn on the heating and returned to bed for a while to allow the boat to warm up.  It was probably about 06:30 when I eventually got out of bed and put the kettle and immersion on.  I peered out of the windows to see several men fishing around the basin. I can think of better things to do at that time on a Sunday morning!!

The wife stirred and pulled on some clothes, ready to take Harley or a walk.  While she was out, I showered and dressed  so was ready by the time she returned.  She went for a shower shortly after and we sat and contemplated the day over another cup of tea.

I’d been watching the fishing activities for a few minutes and they all seemed to be getting lots of bites, the one nearest the boat literally catching them one after another.  This was being observed by a heron, patiently waiting at the side of the basin and clearly not being as lucky.  I grabbed a camera and wandered out, expecting the bird to fly off as I approached, but he (or she) seemed absolutely unfussed by my presence, whilst I took several pictures.  

I returned to the boat and prepared to set off, unplugging the electric, before starting the engine and casting off.  We’d decided to head for Langley Dyke before having brunch and chugged away from Loddon about 09:30.  The weather was cool and grey, but as we turned onto the Yare, there were a few signs that the sun might make an appearance.  For a change, we were going with the rising tide and made reasonable progress past the sugar refinery before arriving at Langley, where we passed another boat going in the opposite direction!

The moorings were empty, so we picked a spot.  With the boat secured,  I cooked bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms and sautéed tomatoes.  I’m getting quite skilled at this now and soon we were tucking into a tasty, satisfying meal. 

With the washing up done, I headed out with a camera to take a few photos and the wife did some knitting.  The sun was out, but there was a stiff, chilly breeze, but for late December, it was still very pleasant. 

We set off again at about 13:15, heading back for Brundall and our moorings, arriving there about 45 minutes later.  We set about packing up necessary bits and pieces, tidied, vacuumed and packed the car before setting up the dehumidifier and turning off everything else.  I was just locking up and noticed that the sun was starting to set, so quickly took a few photos with my phone before joining the wife and Harley, who were already waiting for me in the car and setting off for home.

The journey was easy, with light traffic and no delays.  The setting sun providing us with a wonderful lightshow until it finally fell below the horizon as we neared Cambridge.

It had been a good weekend, over far too quickly, but we’d been able to spend another couple of days on our boat.  Over six months after we bought her, I sometimes still struggle to come to realise that she is ours.  We’ve had some unexpected expenses, some frustrations but some wonderful times, too.  This time last year, I could only but dream of being in the situation we are now in, for which I continue to be very grateful.













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