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Droning On About Goosander Again


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The tale of my recent trip aboard Goosander for a week.

Saturday 6th July

After a rather painless journey down from Leeds, I arrived at Goosander’s door around midday. I unloaded the car and relayed the contents to their new home for the next seven days. So suitcase, groceries, cool bag, drone, computer, kitchen sink – sorry not kitchen sink, left that in the car as Goosander already has one. The plan for the rest of the day was to fly the drone over Wroxham once the Faircraft boatyard had closed down (so around 6pm) and then go for a meal in the Kings Head. Just over a year ago, I tried the same thing but the drone stopped working and I had to abort the “flypast”. So around 4pm I drove back in to Wroxham and parked outside this little store called Roys. I had a walk around town, visited some of the boatyards whilst at the same time keeping an eye open for suitable launch sites.

One of the recent forum subjects has been on the whereabouts of the new Barnes Brinkcraft apartments – The River Views on the opposite bank to the boatyard. With time to waste, I decided to look for them. Whilst doing so I realised the nearby car park would be an excellent launch site. So I walked back to the car to pick up the drone and returned hoping that there would not be lots of people about, as I prefer to be undisturbed. And lets face it, a drone coming down in the river won’t do much for my street cred. Anyway, I duly launched the aircraft (fed up of writing drone) and did a circle around Wroxham. The results follow. Towards the end of the flight, I was joined by a chap who had been watching and wanted to know costs etc. So I carefully returned the drone to base without mishap and then chatted for a while before retiring to the Kings Head for a celebratory meal. The Wroxham flight was a big deal for me as it had taken a year to get the right conditions again (long days so I could fly in good light after 6pm) so I was pleased to tick it off my list. I chose the Chicken and Mushroom Pie at the Kings Head, having had the same last October, and it was just as good.

I left Wroxham around 8pm and decided to call in at the New Inn in Horning before returning to Goosander. The New inn had live music on, a trio called… Trio so I thought it would be interesting to see what they were like. They consisted of two chaps and a female lead singer. I had intended to take in just the first set, around an hour, but stayed on for more as they were really quite good. It was mostly middle of the road stuff, 70s to 90s, and not too loud. So I left around 10pm to return to the mooring. I should add that it had been raining for most of the day, only stopping around 5pm, so I was hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Goosander is a syndicate boat, for those who don't know.


This is the old Brister Boatyard site in Wroxham. We hired from them many times - they were always the  preferred choice, until they closed around 15 years ago I think. It's amazing that nothing has been done with the site, save for tearing down the sheds. I guess it must be connected to planning permission, as this is prime apartment land! 


The drone shots of Wroxham







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Yes, Barnes really have a lot of property in Wroxham now. Apart from their boatyard, the old Royalls boatyard and the new properties on the other side of the river, they own these holiday lodges. That's quite a balanced portfolio of businesses.



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Sunday 7th July

I awoke to the sound of rainfall on the cabin top – not a good beginning, yet no sooner had I drawn the curtains, it stopped and as it turned out, that was the last I would see of it for a few days. Blue skies were approaching, or to be more precise, grey clouds were departing. My plan for today was to overnight at Sutton Staithe, with a lunchtime stop at Ludham Bridge. This  was the closest to the school summer holiday I had ever been on the Broads so I was not sure what to expect in terms of mooring availability, but I guessed it would be busier than usual. As such, I departed my home mooring at 9.30am and slowly nosed out of the dyke and into the Bure. Nothing was coming either way, and for this part of the cruise, Goosander was mostly unaccompanied. The sun was out and the top was rolled back.

I reached Ludham Bridge around 11am, and peaked through to see free moorings on the shop side, and as luck would have it, the tide was flowing out. So the first mooring manoeuvre of the holiday went without a hitch. The moorings opposite, reserved for yachts seem to attract boats like wasps to a jar of jam. In the two hours or so I watched, a number of craft came alongside, sometimes struggling to battle the offshore wind, only to realise that the yellow and white topped mooring posts meant something other than “here’s my ideal mooring”. There is a large sign proclaiming that only yachts should stake a claim, and in some cases, active moorers were stood right in-front of it but to no avail. After a salad lunch, I considered it would be a good idea to set off for Sutton sooner rather than later, bearing in mind it was a Sunday, and the staithe would likely get busy with “last night of holiday” Richardsons craft. So around 1.30pm, I cast off and made my way past the numerous boats now looking for a sardine tin to occupy for a few hours. How Hill was well stacked with boats and Irstead? – don’t even ask! Barton Broad was quite windy, which I guess suited the numerous sailing dinghies which were darting across the channels designated for my more sedate diesel chugger. Out the other end of Barton, I made my way towards Sutton Broad (not broad at all). Approaching the staithe always presents a dilemma in that the best part to moor is by the green, outside the hotel. However, you may well be passing a space in the dyke to get there, and if someone following nabs it, you may be left “homeless”, if you discover the green is full. On this occasion, to my delight, I noted that no craft were following me so I could turn my nose up to a dyke mooring,  and cruise on down to the green with impunity should I need to retrace my steps in the event my first choice was occupied. It wasn’t. So I nosed into a fairly tight space, used throttle to kick the stern in and my first mate the bow thrusters, to guide the pointy end gently alongside.

The sun was out and it was a pleasantly warm afternoon so I decided to walk into Stalham via the main road. When I last came here in April, I was glad I had booked a table as the Sutton Staithe Hotel which was very busy, so en-route I called in and made a reservation for 6.30pm.  I was outside Richardsons yard around 25 minutes later and thought it would be interesting to see how many boats remained for hire. So I walked all the quays and would guess around two thirds of their fleet had set sail. Is a third remaining unusual for this time of the year? Not sure. Certainly, the boats that remained unattached, were the older, cheaper models - not the swish “instagram image” models. After a visit to the Tesco Supermarket, I turned around and made my way back to Goosander, arriving back around 4pm., which gave me time to kick my shoes off and relax for a couple of hours. I noticed that the two boats moored infront of me had now departed leaving two good spaces for any Richardsons latecomers.

It was soon time for my evening meal so I got ready and stepped ashore. As I approached the Hotel I noticed two Richardsons Commander type cruisers come down the dyke and moor just in-front of Goosander. I looked at these gleaming white thoroughbreds and thought, wow there must be some money tied up there, and not just the boats themselves! My meal in the Hotel was lovely. I opted for the Steak and Ale Pie. If I say that this meal was every bit as good as that which used to be served up at the Ship Inn in Reedham, once the home of the finest steak and ale pie on the Broads, you will get an inkling as to its quality! Cheesecake (of course) followed, and by 8pm I was making my way across the green towards Goosander. The occupants of the two Commanders were outside barbequing to the strains of some very loud music, interspersed with shrieks of laughter (that or they were sacrificing a pig). The evening became cooler which was probably their signal to move indoors, sparing the rest of us any more verses of Agadoo and Dancing Queen. In fairness, I heard nothing more of them after that. I watched a little TV, then settled down for the night.

Ludham Bridge



Wonder if the RAC will warn of this busy junction when the school holidays are in full swing?


This little fellow came for a ride with me to Sutton, then just flew off without a thank you!


I always think my heart would sink if this was the only boat left to hire. It has all the attributes of it's dual steer sister ships, (Forth Bridge 1 & 2 for example) but does not have the alternative helm position. Can't see the point of building it like that!


Saw this in Richardsons yard. Not sure if it's their new build sedan, or perhaps some sort of sea going craft


Sutton Staithe Hotel


He got very close to the boat. This was through the front window.


Finally could not resist this. Perhaps just the thing when you are being assaulted by "noisy neighbors. Just joking - it's not mine!


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So pleased we were no where near the two  boats whose inconsiderate occupants were having the BBQ with loud music.   Yes have a BBQ but why the loud music.   Have they not realised that they are on the Norfolk Broads where we respect each other and do not play loud music.  Everyone knows that someone can sneeze 3 miles away and you can hear it , so I can imagine the 'din' you had to endure.



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9 hours ago, Jayfire said:

Very enjoyable tale David and some great pics as always, I'm still debating that drone

Ah but which drone Jay - mine or the "crowd buster". I can think of a great business if we could get it sanctioned by the BA. "Don't put up with noisy neighbours - we'll stop it quick with our light sabers!


37 minutes ago, Hylander said:

Have they not realised that they are on the Norfolk Broads where we respect each other and do not play loud music.  Everyone knows that someone can sneeze 3 miles away and you can hear it , so I can imagine the 'din' you had to endure

The thing that surprised me the most was that they were families - not all male or female - and I had somehow in my head equated posh, top of the range boats, with perhaps a more reserved clientele. I wondered if they had behaved that way on all of their previous night stops, and if so was glad I had not come across them before. However, to re-iterate - the noise did stop around 10pm so it could have been worse.

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2 minutes ago, DAVIDH said:

Ah but which drone Jay - mine or the "crowd buster". I can think of a great business if we could get it sanctioned by the BA. "Don't put up with noisy neighbours - we'll stop it quick with our light sabers!


The thing that surprised me the most was that they were families - not all male or female - and I had somehow in my head equated posh, top of the range boats, with perhaps a more reserved clientele. I wondered if they had behaved that way on all of their previous night stops, and if so was glad I had not come across them before. However, to re-iterate - the noise did stop around 10pm so it could have been worse.

Do you think the bar closed then???    Or may one of them had to go to bed as it was family.   Family can range from 0 - 100 these days in ages.

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Monday 8th July     
I could feel the warmth of the day as soon as I opened the curtains. The sun was already high and though there will still some clouds around, the sun was arm wrestling them out of the way. It was too warm for a cooked breakfast (a scenario repeated for the rest of the holiday) so I opted for Mornflake Tropical Granola. Seemed appropriate given the weather. My itinerary for today was to visit Dilham at lunchtime, where I hoped to launch the drone, then to spend the night back at Ludham Bridge. The two Commander hullabaloo boats, which had been making a hellabaloo yesterday, were on their way around 8.30am, I guess on their way back to Richardsons.

I left the moorings around 9.15am, guessing that I would have more chance of bagging one of the limited spaces at Dilham if I arrived before lunch. I had not been that way for years, but remember that the dyke leading from Wayford Bridge becomes very narrow and that the North Walsham Canal leads off to the right. So I checked the bridge headroom, which at 7ft, allowed Goosander to squeeze under, and proceeded on, keeping to the left at the junction with the North Walsham Canal. Eventually, I came across another fork in the dyke, which I have to say I did not remember. A sign pointing to Dilham was facing me, but was quite overgrown so you could not actually see which way it was directing me. I sort of remembered that I must keep left and cruised down this ever narrowing waterway which was covered in weed and dead leaves. Well I had my doubts that this backwater led to Dilham and my suspicions were confirmed when I reached a dead end, with a few small boats moored at one side and someone’s garden at the other. I managed to turn Goosander round and high-tailed it back to the junction. Clearly I should have gone right, and once I took that turning, I did indeed start to recognise the route to Dilham. I arrived at the moorings to find no other boats in sight, so I turned around and moored in the first spot, just before the adjoining garden. Once tied up, I broke out the drone and flew a circuit just as another boat was making its way into the moorings. The drone was safely back down and I now have a routine of taking the SD card  from the drone following a flight and replacing it with another so that should disaster happen and the drone either flies off or crashes to the ground (both possible), I’ll still have the footage I’ve  just taken. I then transfer it to my laptop to safely store.

By the time I was ready to depart, the moorings were full – mainly because a group of canoers had moored side on individually, taking up the room of two fair sized cruisers. At least one boat had to turn around and head back out. So around 1.30pm I was on my way again, heading for Ludham Bridge. There were very few boats about, and Barton was a shadow of its former self. Approaching Ludham Bridge, I could see that there was space in almost the same location as the previous day (a bit like having the same aircraft seat number out and back”), so I headed for that and tied up for the rest of the day. I had arrived around 3pm, before the Richardsons floodgates had opened, but after a while the usual congestion at the bridge ensued, provided my afternoon entertainment. Around 6.45pm, I wandered down the road to The Dog, which was already well patronised. Looking through the menu, I opted for the Liver, Bacon and Onions, with mash and veg. It made a change from everything with chips, the usual motto of Broads hostelries. It was delicious! I had thought about the steak cooked on hot stones, which I had experienced and loved in Gran Canaria a few years ago, but looking at the size of the steak (huge) and accompanying ensemble, I considered I had made the right choice. I stayed reading my paper until around 9pm, then returned to the boat in time to watch the sun go down on another lovely day.

The wrong turning I was high-tailing out of at Dilham


Proper Dilham


Proper Ludham Bridge


Room for one more on top!


All Dilham from the drone



I think this is Tonnage Bridge?





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That is not Tonnage David, Tonnage is on  the canal. That bridge leadsonly about 100 yd please see OS and follow canal from Wayford. You were in Tylers Cut.


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Tuesday 9th July

It surprised me how early some boats were casting off for the day. I suppose, if you are only out for in effect, three full days (Monday to Friday), you need to get a move on. After breakfast, I walked to the shop for a paper, then made ready to cast off for today’s destination, Yarmouth Yacht Station. The sky was overcast and there was a cool breeze, but as previous days had brightened up in the afternoon, I would not miss much by cruising the 17 odd miles to Yarmouth in one go. So I departed around 9.30am, and was soon onto the River Bure. Low water was timed for 09.45hrs at Yarmouth, so I would have most of the ebbing tide en-route, and helpfully, the tide would be against me when arriving at the Yacht Station. Just after passing the observation tower at the old Yarmouth Marina, I telephoned the Yacht Station, asking for assistance in mooring as a lone sailor (something I do each time I visit). I must have done it a few times as the Quay Ranger (still not sure if that’s the correct term) knew what Goosander looked like and even recognised my voice! So I approached my allotted mooring, just outside their offices, and came alongside with the rangers ready to take the ropes. I didn’t make a drama out of a crisis!

After paying my £13 overnight mooring fees (worth every penny for the way they tie the boat up to take account of the rising and falling tides) I strolled into Great Yarmouth. It was still miserably grey and as I got closer to the sea, the breeze was keener and cooler. So it was not one of my best visits to the town, though I still carried out my ritual of having chips from one of the salons in the market area, followed by a de-greasing coffee at McDonalds. A further walk to the promenade to see the sea,  was enough for me so I made my way back to Goosander, arriving around 4pm. The Yacht Station moorings were fuller than I have ever seen them outside the school holidays, stretching right around the bend. There was no need for double mooring though I was assured by the rangers that this would happen in a few weeks time.

I settled back on the boat for a while, planning to go out for an evening meal around 7pm. Not long before, I noticed a large Richardsons cruiser punching it’s way through the now ebbing current, having just crossed Breydon. It went past and the noise from the engine slowly dissipated. However a few minutes later, I saw the same boat drifting back down sideways, with its captain shouting over to the rangers office that he needed help. His engine kept cutting out. Plainly it would start up but then stall again. Me and probably the majority of the crews watching, were panic stricken as to what would happen to these poor unfortunates drifting slowly out to sea. The rangers strolled down to the end of the moorings and waited for the cruiser to come by before instructing the captain to throw a rope over. It was caught and the boat was lashed to an adjacent Commander style Richardsons boat for company. A bit like speed-dating I suppose. You never know what’s going to sit down next to you. I remember thinking well there must be one of the most expensive boats in Herbert Woods fleet, “making friends” with one of Richardsons' cheapest. It appears that the boat’s engine had been overheating and that’s why it kept stalling. So drama over, I cast myself off and made my way to the Kings Arms, which is on the road which runs adjacent to the Yacht Station road. The food is always good at the Kings Arms and remembering how I enjoyed the rump steak in a baguette with chips and salad last time I was there, it was an easy decision to choose the same again. This was followed by white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake and washed down with a pint of Fosters. The total cost of all this was just £12.05 – Bargain! I stayed until 9 ish then returned to Goosander for the rest of the evening.


Now here's something you don't see often at Yarmouth Yacht Station



The Haven Lift Bridge never gets photographed on here!


Busy Yacht Station


The errant Richardsons' cruiser


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10 hours ago, YnysMon said:

We’ve never had the bottle to go below Acle on a Hunters Boat

I would never even consider it (quite apart from the fact that I never been on a sail boat in my life) You need to time the tides at Yarmouth perfectly - last of the ebb from Breydon, then slack water I guess through the Yacht Station. I have been told by the YS staff that the current does funny things around change-over time, like the surface can still be ebbing out whilst the under current is flowing in. I guess that's why the levels go back up about a foot or so between low water and slack water. 

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Wednesday 10th July

Check-out time at the Yacht Station, is 10am so the fact that the tide would be still ebbing out for another couple of hours and was therefore going to really eat into my diesel usage crossing  Breydon, was something I had no control over. So after another healthy granola breakfast, I removed two of the securing ropes, at which point one of the rangers joined me to assist my departure. Whilst waiting for a clear run, he told me he would prefer everyone to ask for help if needed and related how a few days earlier, a large cruiser departed into the ebb, hit the boat in front, frantically applied reverse not realising that one of the ropes was just waiting to wrap around the propeller… which it did. No doubt the rangers just strolled to the end of the moorings, waited for the boat to pass, then requested that they be thrown a rope. Anyway, I got on board and when the time was right (I was already facing the bridges) the ranger released the aft rope, which swung Goosander’s rear into the river. The signal was then given to reverse out and off I went, quite fast at that point. Pretty soon I was upon the yellow marker post and could feel the strength of the current hitting me broadside from Breydon. So a fast traverse down the last of the Bure became a passage through what seemed like treacle, up the Yare.  Having seen how the Richardsons boat had overheated the previous evening, I was a little apprehensive to push the throttle too much, watching the temperature gauge as I slowly passed each marker post. Finally I reached the other end of Breydon and made my way past Berney Arms Mill. I had not varied the throttle at all, which was giving me around 4.5mph, so it was illuminating to see it slowly pick up as I got further away from Yarmouth.

My destination for lunchtime was Loddon, another location where I hoped to launch the drone. Reedham Quay came and went on my starboard side, where I noted that there were still a number of spaces available to moor. I would need one later, as I planned to come back out from Loddon and overnight there. I entered the Chet, which is very narrow and winding at the start, doing the prescribed 4mph, which was certainly fast enough in those confines. Around one of the bends came a bathtub of some sort, careering towards me at speed. I worked out that if he was going to hit anything, it would be the outside of the bend so I just stayed as close to the nearside as I could until he passed by. I am not exaggerating, it really was as hairy as it sounds. I continued on down hoping to be able to moor in the basin, as I had spied a good launch site on Google Maps. Upon approaching the Pyes Mill moorings, I was shocked to see every space taken and thought that was not a good omen for my chosen location. I looked behind to see if anyone was following and was surprised to see I was the first of three boats which were hoping to find a place at the basin. Well it was too narrow to pass me so I resolved to just take my time and hopefully being first, would have more of a chance of a mooring. In fact there were exactly three spaces left. I masochistically chose a space just wide enough for one boat and to my amazement, (and with a little help from the bow thrusters), managed to reverse Goosander in with a minimum of fuss.

I decided to check out the drone launch site straight away. I did not want to fly it from the car park as too many people were around. Google Maps showed a footpath leading down past the rear of the adjacent marina, and through into an open scrubby field, which led down to the river. It was ideal! I went back to the boat to collect the drone and I think I got some good shots of the area. Returning to the Goosander, a shower started so I had just carried out the “operation” in time as it is not recommended to fly in the rain, which can damage the motors. Pleased with myself, I had lunch onboard, before taking a walk up into the village. Ever concerned about the availability of moorings, I opted to set off for Reedham at 2.30pm. An hour’s cruise would get me there before most people gave up for the night. As the quay came into view, I could see a choice of mooring spots and chose a spot closer to the Ship Inn end. The tide was flowing in so the task of coming alongside was that much easier. I was soon tied up and just sat there, with the top back watching the comings and goings for a while. It had become noticeably warm and humid so most people were sitting atop their boats. I walked up the ever descriptive “Middle Hill” so I could purchase a newspaper to read that evening, then returned to Goosander planning to visit the Ship Inn for an evening meal later.

Come 7pm, I was on my way to the Ship. It was so warm, I decided to order the meal and to consume it sat in the gardens overlooking the river (as did lots of other people). This time I had the Hunters Chicken. I have only ever ordered this a few times, but this meal was the best I have tasted and I would thoroughly recommend it. Today’s cheesecake was a sort of cookie dough texture with ice cream and that too was delicious. It became a little cooler around 9pm, which is when I decided to head for home.

The "narrow" approach to Loddon, where the bathtub came bouncing off the sides.


Loddon Mill


Loddon basin


A Triffid at Reedham. I had to be careful it didn't bite my ankle.


Reedham Swing Bridge


All the rest are Loddon from the air.










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Great photos from the drone, so interesting. It certainly presents a problem if boats turn up late and all the moorings down there are full. We were at Pyes Mill one year when two boats did exactly that, hire boats with dusk upon them. They pretty much pushed themselves in no matter what.

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Thursday 11th July

I had planned to overnight at Yarmouth again following the two hour cruise from Reedham, but I felt I had seen enough on the way down so if I cruised on through, I could make Acle by early afternoon. Low water at Yarmouth was due around midday and chastened by the treacle experience yesterday, I cast off at 10.15am so as to cruise with the current down the Yare and hopefully hit the Bure just as it stopped ebbing out. So though I was tempted to open up a little over Breydon, I kept the max speed to 6mph. The current was still flowing out by the time I got onto the Bure, but it had slowed considerably. Passing the Yacht Station, I could see there were very few spaces, so I considered I had made the right decision. As I approached Stokesby, a Connoisseur cruiser pulled out into the stream in front of me and continued on at a slow pace. I wondered if I should overtake him as the limit was more like 6mph, but decided not to and to take the slow chug up to Acle in the sun. The Bridge Inn came into sight, and though it sported a couple of tight spaces, I prefer the free ones just past the bridge. Of course, the Connoisseur which I had been patiently following, decided he too was going to moor there. I wondered if my patience was going to be my undoing, but fortunately, there was room at the inn for two. It was another very warm humid day, and it was a pleasure to just watch the comings and goings again for the rest of the afternoon. By 6pm, all moorings on both sides of the river were taken.

I had booked a table at the Bridge Inn as the place is always busy, and went over for 7pm. This time I had the Rack of Ribs. I asked for more napkins as it can be a messy job eating ribs. In the end I didn’t need them as the meat really did just fall from the bone. No fingers touched the ribs! I looked at the dessert menu and plumped for the Oreo Cheesecake, which comes with cream, ice cream or (urgh) custard. Yes some people actually have cheesecake with custard. Not me, mine came with ice cream and it was truly scrumptious. Don’t bother trying to find it in the shops – this cheesecake was made in heaven!

Reedham Quay



Just before Berney Arms



Oh dear!


Through and out of Yarmouth




Saw lots of these luxury level boats out.





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Friday 12th July

I had a lot planned for my last day aboard Goosander. Being further up the Bure than I had expected to be, I decided I would first go for a lunchtime stop at Potter Heigham, followed by a cruise up to Cockshoot Dyke via another quick stop at Thurne to launch the drone. After that I would deposit Goosander back in her home mooring then take my car up to Coltishall for a second drone outing of the day. So at 9.30am on another warm sunny morning, I cast off in a fairly slack tide and continued my way up the Bure to the junction with the Thurne. I estimated I would get to Potter around 11am, which hopefully would see me bag a riverside mooring. I certainly had no plans to pay £20 to moor in Herbert Woods yard! Potter came into view and actually, mooring space was plentiful. So arriving mid morning or mid afternoon before boats stop cruising, really does help, even when it’s busy. I turned Goosander around and came alongside opposite the HW entrance. A passing chap kindly took one of my ropes while I got the other. We both pulled Goosander closer to the boat in front to give others a chance of mooring. This was not the first time I had experienced this behaviour on this trip, so hopefully the message is starting to get out there.

It was too early for lunch so I walked to Lathams and had a wander around. Amazingly, I managed to come out without buying anything other than a newspaper. I reflected for a moment as to whether I had become too discerning to need any of the stuff they sell, or if perhaps it just meant my house was already full of it! Bridgestones was next on the itinerary – well you can’t pass the door without going in for a coffee and a piece of decadent cake can you? Well that put paid to the healthy salad I had planned for lunch. I had a walk around the HW yard and noticed they were building another of the Broom Captain type boats in one of the sheds. Sorry I forget what HW call them.

It got to about 1pm ( by which time the moorings were full), so I decided to make my way down to Thurne. I wasn’t going to be staying long so was hoping to avoid going down into the dyke to moor. On approaching, I could see the very first space on the outside green part of the moorings, was available. This would be ideal as its right next to the mill. I pulled alongside and noticed there were no posts to tie up to. A passing chap pointed out a mooring ring at one end, which I tied up to. The breeze was blowing down the Thurne so I was fortunate that Goosander’s bow was kept next to the side, while I looked for somewhere else to tie up to. A rhond anchor would have been useful but as a sole sailor, there is no time to get back onboard, find it and then use it. In the end I tied up to the base of the signpost on the green. It wasn’t going to be for long and it seemed quite stable.

The breeze was touching 15mph, which is the recommended limit for my drone, so I was a little worried it could all end in disaster. In fairness, I always am. It has happened to me. A while ago I launched it and as the joke goes, it flew back home to China. I never saw it again and it cost around £100 to replace the aircraft. It was my own fault, I had become distracted, and had not set it up properly to fly. Now you know why I prefer to use it in secluded areas.  Anyway, I did not push my luck, I got the images and in five minutes, the drone was back on the ground. In 15 minutes, I was casting off and making my way to Cockshoot Dyke. The sun was beating down so I was looking forward to walking the path at Cockshoot. I visited it this time last year, and remember how calming and soothing it was to be in the middle of this place, teeming with dragonflies, butterflies, waterfowl etc. As I rounded the bend, I could see a good mooring spot, on the far side of the dyke, and made for that. It’s an excellent spot, as the sun is behind you, showering the bend in the river with bright light, making just watching the passing boats, a delight. I grabbed my camera and walked down the trail. I passed nobody, and felt I was the only human sharing this special place with its inhabitants. Back on Goosander, I had a little more to eat as the Bridgestones cake was not as much in evidence now. Around 3.30pm (I think) I set off again heading for Goosander’s pad. Cockshoot and Goosander’s pad are relative neighbours so 15 minutes later I was alongside securing the ropes.

Back in the car, I drove to Coltishall in around 15 minutes (1hr 15mins by boat) and parked alongside Coltishall Common, I think it’s called. Friday afternoon – sun is out – so were most of the people sitting on their boats. I walked the green trying to find a launch spot not so close to inquisitive eyes, but I had to accept that if I was going to get the images, I would have to do it amongst the “throngs”. I sat on a bench near the road and started flying the drone. Hoping nobody would  notice it. Anyway, I did a circuit and managed to get it down again and flying towards me on the bench. Being a little too clever, I tried to manoeuvre it to my feet, which propellers probably eat for breakfast, and I ended up jumping out of the way while it came to rest under the bench. Not a good look, but hopefully nobody was watching. I packed up and made my way back to Wroxham in the car to buy a couple of gifts I had seen at Roys earlier. I had planned to eat at the Ferry Inn in Horning this evening, but passing the fish and chip shops, the aroma was beaconing me in. So instead I had fish and chips whilst sat on the benches at the Pilot pick up site.

Back at the boat, I unloaded and got changed for the evening. I was aware that the Ferry had entertainment on so I walked around and sat listening to someone called Fiona Harbor sing for a little while. She was shall we say, OK. I preferred to be sat outside so I occupied a table close enough to listen but not actually be assaulted by the sound, for the rest of the evening.

Note: As I have so many photographs from today, I have left the drone flight images over Coltishall until tomorrow’s, last day commentary.

Potter Heigham



Thurne Mill


Very flash





Cockshoot Dyke


Water ON a ducks back



Thurne Dyke









Looking down towards the junction with the River Bure


Looking up towards Potter Heigham





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Amazing photos. Cockshoot Dyke is a lovely mooring place often feeling less frequented than other spots. The walk to the Broad is well worth it. We love the peace and quiet for our overnight moorings rather than being anywhere near a pub!

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Saturday 13th July.

I always moan about the amount of cleaning I have to do when preparing to leave Goosander for the next owner… and this will be no exception. I had already cleaned the windows internally and hoovered around the previous day so I still had to pack and move everything to the car, and wipe the surfaces before starting on the outside. I have to say it was a little easier because with very little rain, the decks were mud free and actually needed just a sweep down. Boulters was now open so I reversed into the “service area” and had the boat pumped out and refilled with diesel. Then came a wipe over with a wet cloth (the boat that is) – much less mess than using the mop. Finally, the windows were restored to the high standard I found them in a week ago. I was finished by 10.30am, well before the flit time of 11am! It’s a hard task when you’re on your own. I planned to visit the Yare at Brundall for my farewell meal and as I was too early for that, I parked up in Wroxham for a while before making my way to my lunch stop. At the Yare, I chose my favourite there, the 8oz Classic Burger with salad and chips. The right choice! So suitable stuffed, I climbed into the car and made my way home.


The weather makes it. I really enjoyed this trip and I am sure that was in no small part due to the lovely weather I had. I actually like the humid nights where you can sit out until late so this suited me.

Once more, you could not help but notice how many super swish hire boats were on the rivers. I would say nearly as many luxury boats were out and about as the older classic ones. In some ways it’s good for the industry because the yards will see they can get a return on their investment if they keep building them. And of course, this year’s new boats will eventually be classic old boats.

The rivers were a little busier than I had expected, even for early July, though as you have read, I had no problem with moorings, using the start earlier/finish earlier technique.

I managed to fly the drone in 5 locations (6 included my home mooring at Boulters) and still had it to take home with me! It was quite a breezy week so it could have been easier, but I was happy with the images I got in the end. I’m next out on Goosander in November, so I am planning to get to places which would otherwise be difficult to “fly” in during the holiday season, like Womack Wate, Irstead and if the weather is OK, Burgh Castle.


That’s all folks

Cockshoot Dyke



One of Richardsons finest - they seem to have a lot of them now


Wroxham from the bridge






This (the one on the right) is Sunnybank. I think it's Cottages.com's (same group as Hoseasons) most expensive property on the Broads. £4,100 for a week in August, but is does sleep 10.







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