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SwanR

From The Quayside

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As many of you know, we own a static caravan at Lowestoft and whilst still hiring the occasional boat as well, this allows us to visit the area much more frequently than we would otherwise do. Many summer weekends are spent in the area and when I can get some time off work, then we can have a longer break without having to book accommodation or worry about arrival or departure times, and knowing exactly what we will find ... because it's ours. We live just under two hours' drive away and it is a very stress-free thing to do. It suits us.

Last week we were able to spend Sunday to Friday at the van. Yes, it was deliberately planned this way to be sandwiched between the first two Saturdays of the football season!! I know my place! ;)

We had a really good journey up on the Sunday morning. Arrived, unpacked, had coffee and then headed to Tesco's for some shopping. We upgraded our caravan at the end of last year and had a new deck built around it. This was our first chance to make use of the extended outside space so the rest of a lovely sunny day was spent sat outside. Hmmm ... that leaves me with no photos to share from day one so instead here's a few pictures from a visit to Bungay a while ago now. Whilst not accessible as part of the Broads we had seen it on someone else's YouTube channel and were interested to visit. It had a similar feel to Beccles and we enjoyed a couple of hours mooching around.

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Back in the early 90's we had two horse drawn caravan holidays, in Norfolk and we visited Bungay.I agree has the same feel as Beccles 

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Day two brought a lovely lazy Monday morning, I didn't miss that post weekend back to work feeling and slept in a little. However I am a morning person so breakfast wasn't too late and the conversation soon turned to what we wanted to do for the day. "Can we go to Potter Heigham please?" I asked. 

Now I know that in some ways there's not a lot to recommend PH and not necessarily that much to do when you get there if you're not heading out on the river, but I love it. It's quite a nice drive once you get past Great Yarmouth, taking us up the A149. It always reminds me of family holidays at Seashore and Caister, and then it's very scenic as you go past Ormesby and Rollesby Broads. It's an area we think we might want to look at if we ever get as far as seriously considering that house move!

First stop is always Bridge Stones for coffee, accompanied on this occasion by a cheese scone. Delicious! Then we had the obligatory walk around Latham's. We were actually looking for something we couldn't find and resisted buying all those other novelties we don't need ... including those early boxes of December 25th cards!! We crossed the road and went into Latham's angling store as hubby wanted to buy a new reel. He was impressed with their knowledge and service, and with his purchase made, along with a chat about Leyton Orient with the lad on the till, we finally headed for the quay to look at the boats for sale.

Whilst you can't see it from this picture, this boat is called Jay ... hmmm ... wonder who ought to buy that then?!  :default_norty:

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The sun came out while we were wandering around

P1030761.thumb.jpeg.6fcfa8628050435bcf68226eadf567ca.jpegand I have to admit, that whilst I don't always see the attraction of some of the old wooden boats :default_hiding: there was a fine looking example moored up here ... and there's Jay moored behind it.

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Here's a link to some info about this boat on the HW website. 

https://www.herbertwoods.co.uk/blog/history-of-spark-of-light/

So now that we were fed and watered, shopping done and boats perused, we headed for the obligatory seat by the bridge to watch what was going on. There was quite a breeze blowing and we watched a couple of boats really struggle getting in and out of the public moorings. One was a large Ferry Marina boat that was being blown sideways back to the quay before they could turn round so eventually came forward almost up to the bridge, gave it plenty of revs and managed to turn round. The other was an old Richardson's boat which ended up at 90 degrees to the bank until a chap from the Phoenix office assisted with the ropes. I didn't catch these on film as I don't like to show anything where someone might be identifiable ... we all seem to be fair game these days but I try not to be intrusive with what I share publicly.

Back to the caravan we had another quiet afternoon needing plenty of sun cream to avoid getting burnt! Oh ... obligatory shot of the bridge coming up ...

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Hi SwanR,

Jay brings back happy memories for us, we hired her from Maffett Cruisers for a weekend to attend an NBN Autumn meet at the Coldham hall about 7-8 years back. She`s a lovely boat, but the windscreen is very heavy (because of its sheer size) to lower and raise for bridges. She has an excellent layout for a mixed family for 3-5 people. Go and have a look, and take her for a triel run .......... you know you want to.

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The clearance under the bridge looks a lot less than it was early July.

I can see the attraction of the caravan Jean. I have enjoyed holidays abroad in the past, but the journey home is always so stressful that I felt I could do with another holiday to get over it. That’s partly why I love the Broads so much. Just two hours journey home, but another world.

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2 minutes ago, YnysMon said:

  but the journey home is always so stressful that I felt I could do with another holiday to get over it.  

4 ours of motorway driving, some on the M25 makes me feel that way, so being stuck in airports with delayed flights and lost luggage would likely lead to me being suicidal :default_laugh:

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1 hour ago, SwanR said:

Whilst you can't see it from this picture, this boat is called Jay ... hmmm ... wonder who ought to buy that then?!  :default_norty:

My Grace? :default_smiley-angelic002:

1 hour ago, SwanR said:

We were actually looking for something we couldn't find and resisted buying all those other novelties we don't need ... including those early boxes of December 25th cards!!

You mean Christmas cards Mrs SwanR :default_xmas2: :default_xmas3: :default_xmas4: :default_xmas5: :default_xmas6: :default_xmas5: :default_xmas4: :default_xmas3: :default_xmas2:

:default_icon_music: :594c04f570582_default_happyparty: :default_icon_music:

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Lol Jay, you are a one ... I thought somebody was bound to mention the C word ... Mods, please note it wasn't me!  :default_smiley-angelic002:

Maybe someone will gift you your boat Jay if you've been a good boy all year ... I'm sure that Grace will be along to vouch for your behaviour. :default_norty:

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1 hour ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Hi SwanR,

Jay brings back happy memories for us, we hired her from Maffett Cruisers for a weekend to attend an NBN Autumn meet at the Coldham hall about 7-8 years back. She`s a lovely boat, but the windscreen is very heavy (because of its sheer size) to lower and raise for bridges. She has an excellent layout for a mixed family for 3-5 people. Go and have a look, and take her for a triel run .......... you know you want to.

Thanks for this info. I have taken a look at the sales details online and she does look like a good boat, well cared for and with everything we would want apart. There's every chance that if we manage to move in the next five years or so, then we might consider a boat instead of the caravan, maybe a share in a syndicate when I'm eventually retired as well. I try not to put off living my dreams but sometimes a reality check proves one has to be patient a while longer.

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58 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

4 ours of motorway driving, some on the M25 makes me feel that way, so being stuck in airports with delayed flights and lost luggage would likely lead to me being suicidal :default_laugh:

This is also why we go north to Suffolk and Norfolk rather than south to Kent or Sussex. Much as I love East Sussex, it would mean going over the Dartford Crossing to get there on a Friday evening if we had bought a caravan down there. The A12 has its moments but the M25 is not on my list of things I must do!!

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1 hour ago, YnysMon said:

The clearance under the bridge looks a lot less than it was early July.

I can see the attraction of the caravan Jean. I have enjoyed holidays abroad in the past, but the journey home is always so stressful that I felt I could do with another holiday to get over it. That’s partly why I love the Broads so much. Just two hours journey home, but another world.

That is exactly it Helen. We've thought about going somewhere else but neither of us has much inclination for travelling far these days. And we've both let our passports expire!!

As for the bridge clearance, I think it was around 6 foot but not sure what the state of the tide was.

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Tuesday I was brought through by Marthams in Jayne 2 at 5'9" with some room to spare, as she has just had acomplete new top put on I suspect Martham are starting to future proof their fleet ensuring they can get through the bridge.

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So onto day three ... Tuesday! 

It wasn't long before the inevitable conversation around where to go. In many ways this is exactly the same as our holidays on the boats ... a few ideas of what we might want to do but planning happens on the day subject to the weather and what we feel like doing. We do like places with somewhere to get coffee mid-morning so the news that the Post Office now also has a tea room had put Reedham onto our list. 

We probably hadn't been there since our last holiday on the southern Broads which I think was 2015. An interesting journey took us along the A47, turning off before Acle and heading cross-country through Halvergate and Freethorpe. Plenty of free parking along the quayside. We had a lovely walk from one end to the other watching the boats and the bridge swinging, before we stopped for coffee. The ladies in the tea room were very chatty and friendly, service was good, coffee and cake was very good and I would highly recommend supporting this business. I am sure that we will go back.

After sitting outside in the sunshine we moved across to one of the seats on the quay near Sandersons. Watched the swing bridge which was interesting. We thought it wasn't going to close at one point, and as it turned out this was the day before they had problems and closed the bridge to river traffic. An indication of what was to come ... maybe. 

Hubby did the decent thing and helped a large Norfolk Broads Direct boat to moor. The father was at the outside helm on top and one of his children and his wife were waiting at the stern with ropes. But with tricky conditions we could see that he couldn't get close enough to the quay for them to get off so hubby went over and helped them out.

It was busy there that morning and we thoroughly enjoyed watching the comings and goings. I could have stayed there longer but it was getting on for lunchtime so we headed back to the caravan for the rest of the day. You can probably spot the pattern here ... go out in the morning, get any shopping we need on the way back then stay around the site for the afternoon and evening. More of that on tomorrow's write-up. For now ... here's Reedham.

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Those Sandersons boats look **** and span Jean. Is it just your photography or have they been tarting them up now they're not part of Hoseasons?

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Thanks for the report on the Reedham Tea Room Jean. I’ve had my eye on that one as initial reviews have been pretty good. 

Have you (or anyone else reading this) ever been to the tea room at the garden centre near Wayford Bridge? I think it’s called Vera’s...the tea room, not the Garden Centre.

I like your way of doing things...out and about in the morning and the rest of the day to relax.:default_biggrin:

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3 minutes ago, DAVIDH said:

Those Sandersons boats look **** and span Jean. Is it just your photography or have they been tarting them up now they're not part of Hoseasons?

Admittedly I had selected a different setting on my camera when I took that photo, whereas most of the time it's left on automatic. But sometimes when things are looking a bit grey I turn on the creative option that brightens the colours. Or in the evening I might select a scenic sunset option, just to see how different the images look ... or not.

However, even without this, I did think that the two boats that I could see did look as if they had been cleaned up. Whether that's true I have no idea. Here's another shot without the added colour.

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15 minutes ago, DAVIDH said:

Those Sandersons boats look **** and span Jean. Is it just your photography or have they been tarting them up now they're not part of Hoseasons?

It could be because they are up for sale.

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1 hour ago, SwanR said:

Thanks for this info. I have taken a look at the sales details online and she does look like a good boat, well cared for and with everything we would want apart. There's every chance that if we manage to move in the next five years or so, then we might consider a boat instead of the caravan, maybe a share in a syndicate when I'm eventually retired as well. I try not to put off living my dreams but sometimes a reality check proves one has to be patient a while longer.

I know what you mean. 

If you`re in your caravan from the 14th September, we`ll be on Lightning for a week, if you see us, come and say hello, and we`ll show you around and give you some insight into syndicate ownership. We might even be able to treat you to a cruise, though you would have to get a taxi back to your car.

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2 hours ago, SwanR said:

Admittedly I had selected a different setting on my camera when I took that photo, whereas most of the time it's left on automatic. But sometimes when things are looking a bit grey I turn on the creative option that brightens the colours. Or in the evening I might select a scenic sunset option, just to see how different the images look ... or not.

Well it certainly adds a sparkle to the images. It would be interesting to see what the same subject looked like, with and without the "creative option" turned on. 

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2 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

If you`re in your caravan from the 14th September, we`ll be on Lightning for a week, if you see us, come and say hello, and we`ll show you around and give you some insight into syndicate ownership. We might even be able to treat you to a cruise, though you would have to get a taxi back to your car.

Many thanks for the offer Speedtriple. I'll have to make a note of that and keep my eyes open for you. There's every chance that we will be at the caravan over the weekend ... football fixtures depending. We negotiate between matches and caravan weekends during the season! :facepalm:

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5 minutes ago, DAVIDH said:

Well it certainly adds a sparkle to the images. It would be interesting to see what the same subject looked like, with and without the "creative option" turned on. 

Thanks David, the photo I added in my reply above, which wasn't zoomed in so much, was without the extra colour.

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3 hours ago, SwanR said:

Lol Jay, you are a one ... I thought somebody was bound to mention the C word ... Mods, please note it wasn't me!  :default_smiley-angelic002:

Oh Mrs SwanR :facepalm:

"It wasn't me Mods, it wasn't me", come join the bad lads at the back of the class :default_biggrin:

3 hours ago, SwanR said:

Maybe someone will gift you your boat Jay if you've been a good boy all year ... I'm sure that Grace will be along to vouch for your behaviour. :default_norty:

I'd love to be gifted my boat Mrs SR, but it doesn't look like I'll be getting one this year if good behaviour is necessary, and I wouldn't go expecting Grace to get anything either, not if you knew what we've been up to :default_biggrin:

:default_hiding:

Sorry Mrs Jean, I'm taking a thread off topic as always. Lovely photos and write up of your time away :default_smile:

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Day four ... and the week was whizzing by. I can't quite remember now what we thought that we might do but whatever it was, we changed our minds. We didn't want to go out too early so sat on our deck in the sunshine with a cup of coffee ... and decided that the day was so splendid that we might as well stay put and relax. Not unusual for us to do this on a middle day of any holiday. The caravan needed a clean through at some point so we decided we would do that later, but for now we would sit and chat and watch some of the other people who were around.

The site is in theory all owners, open from March to mid-January, no facilities which keeps the site fees down to a more reasonable level than you would pay on a more typical holiday site. One can hire out one's caravan if one chooses but we don't. However this does mean that we get a few interesting people to watch as there are three or four vans near us that are rented out.

There was a very entertaining domestic that took place in public ... the conversation is not one that I can repeat here but had us laughing about it for days!! :default_rofl:

We're right by the sea wall so we have a flat walk within two minutes of our door, along towards Lowestoft in one direction or back towards Gunton the other way. And there's a popular park, cafe and restaurant opposite.

Today's photos, then, are a taste of what we have away from the Broads. And it's not the bit of Lowestoft that you would typically see if you visit when moored at Oulton Broad.

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Day five was Thursday, our last full day as we needed to drive home on Friday morning. So where to go?

Well we have often thought about going to Burgh Castle, a National Heritage site and ... close by Breydon Water. As it happened the tide times were right for boats to be crossing Breydon mid-morning so we decided that this was to be our plan.

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/burgh-castle/

It was a relatively short drive to get there and ... more free parking. We hadn't paid to park anywhere this week ... result!

There were lots of people walking their dogs across the fields and the site is quite close to a number of holiday parks. We soon found the footpath across to a place meant for watching wildlife ... but I was far too excited watching the number of boats going across Breydon in both directions. Plus from this spot you can see the Waveney and the Yare so it was very interesting.

We walked a bit further along a boardwalk that is part of the Angles Way and ended up right by the river a short distance from Goodchilds.

It had turned warm and sunny again while we were out. We had a wonderful time ... I just got so excited to see and hear all the boats going past. Definitely a place to go back to, perhaps closer to sunrise or sunset when the light would be better for photography. Here's a few photos anyway.

 

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