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Carried Away By A Moonlight Shadow...


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We are off to Brundall tomorrow morning for our first week on Moonlight Shadow. I’m just so hyped up! 

I haven’t got any mobile WiFi to take with me this time, so you might not hear much from me for a week.

Hope to see some fellow forumites during our travels.


p.s. The spell corrector thingy tried to correct ‘Moonlight Shadow ‘ to ‘Moderators Shadow’. Oh, er, I’d better watch out!


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Have a safe journey and a lovely time. Did you make your decision about whether to head north and when? Need to keep a watch on all the various webcams ... and remember which "Shadow" you're on! We might be out and about on Sunday but no idea where yet. :default_icon_wave:

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Hi Mark, where were you? I’m not very good at spotting people, but I noticed a convivial party of people sitting on Bramerton Common who were all waving madly at us. :default_biggrin: Or maybe you were one of the sailors who shouted over a Welsh greeting?

It was lovely to (briefly) meet Malcolm (Mouldy) and his wife as they passed us at Pye’s Mill. 

Anyhow, we are back after a wonderful week. Moonlight Shadow was all that we had hoped, and we can’t wait until our next turn on her. The weather was certainly kind to us. We managed to go to Loddon, Beccles, up north and generally pootle gently around the Yare and all for £58 in fuel...which was a lot less than I’d expected.

Highlight of the week? Difficult to say...maybe it was the slowest Breydon crossing on record (more on that anon...).

I’ll try to get going with a proper tale tomorrow, though the allotment beckons.

Mentally, I’m still on the Broads...chilled.

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6 minutes ago, YnysMon said:

l our next turn on her. The weather was certainly kind to us. We managed to go to Loddon, Beccles, up north and generally pootle gently around the Yare and all for £58 in fuel...which was a lot less than I’d expected.

That's pretty much half of what we used in two weeks.

Most days we didn't go very far, but towards the end we did rather up the pace.

8 minutes ago, YnysMon said:

Mentally, I’m still on the Broads...chilled.

I've discovered that just looking at a nice picture of a boat on the Broads is quite relaxing...

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2 hours ago, YnysMon said:

Hi Mark, where were you? I’m not very good at spotting people, but I noticed a convivial party of people sitting on Bramerton Common who were all waving madly at us. :default_biggrin: Or maybe you were one of the sailors who shouted over a Welsh greeting?

Hi Helen, i was cleaning the back of the boat (Whitey) at brundall gardens last weekend and in the Broom scorpio speedboat yesterday evening as you were chilling out on your mooring. You looked very relaxed both times :default_beerchug:

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13 hours ago, YnysMon said:

Hi Mark,

Yes, I remember you waving from Whitey.  One of the things I love about Moonlight Shadow is its mooring. It’s lovely to sit on the stern and just watch the river and other boats go by. Bliss!

That'why when we had to vacate Lightnings mooring beside the fuel Quay, the members opted for the outside of the spit immediately below the fuel Quay. Yes the view is nice, but the downside is our current mooring has a high quay heading meaning it's very difficult to get on and off Lightning at low water, even worse on low water springs (and VERY painful for me last November), so we are keeping an eye out for a more convenient mooring, still at Brooms. Unfortunately, any more convenient mooring will not have such a nice outlook. 

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Right...here goes with the holiday tale. Sorry...I've indulged myself, so forgive the amount of detail!

Moonlight Shadow – Trip 1

Saturday 24th August

We got away from home just after 8am, on a beautiful sunny morning, with the weather forecasters promising a record-breaking hot bank holiday weekend. Can't believe our luck, especially as we also had a really sunny and warm week on Lustre in July.

Rather than our usual Costa’s coffee stop, we thought it might be good to have a mid-morning brunch in the East Hills Café in Brundall instead. However, by the time we turned off the A14 onto the A11 we were feeling very hungry and, spotting a sign to La Hogue Farm Shop and Café, took a spur of the moment decision to stop there instead. Very glad we did too, and it looks likely to become a regular stopping off point. The breakfasts that we ordered arrived surprisingly quickly, especially considering they were reasonably busy, and were really good. I had their ‘healthy breakfast’: lean bacon, roast cherry tomatoes, poached egg, land cress (it’s similar to watercress) and granary toast. Graham had their normal breakfast. He said the sausages were particularly good. I also took the opportunity to pick up some extra veg in the well-stocked farm shop.

The traffic was pretty heavy for the rest of the journey, with long tail backs leading up to the Barton Mills roundabout and the Norwich bypass. It was getting on for 11.30am by the time we got to Brundall, just about right really, as the cleaners hadn’t quite finished cleaning the boat. Our handover had been scheduled for 12, but the BCBM Norfolk agent had called me the previous evening to say that he would be there from 11.


The handover didn’t take that long. However, as we were transferring our stuff from the car to boat, I realised I’d left my lip sun-block at home. This is an essential for me in sunny weather as I find that the sun tends to trigger cold-sores, so Graham popped in the car to Brundall Co-op to get some. I started unpacking but had to pause frequently to stop Seren barking at swans. That gave me a really good excuse to sit on the riverside bench to watch river traffic go by. Encouragingly, it wasn’t as busy on the river as I’d expected.


It must have been about 1.30 by the time we got on our way. I only wanted to have a gentle pootle around this afternoon, to get used to handling the boat, so we went along with the tide upriver with no particular plan in mind.

Seren loved it. Graham had thought ahead about where Seren was likely to position herself to see out of the boat, as she loves to keep a sharp look-out, spying out other boats and wildfowl. He had brought a mat to put on the dash behind the windscreen, so that she wouldn't slip and, more importantly, wouldn't scratch the dash surface. 


Most of the moorings that we passed were full, though there wasn’t that much traffic actually on the river. Views of the very 'busy' river...fore and aft...



We turned around just beyond Whitlingham BA moorings and went back to the Commissioners’ Cut where there was one space right at the head of the Cut (the moorings on the left going-in were taped off). We took Seren for a walk around Thorpe Marshes and back along the river-bank.




It was still only around 4pm by the time we’d had our walk, so we decided to go back to our home mooring for the night. I was slightly worried about reversing out of the cut, but it went perfectly. I just took it nice and slow. Bow thrusters were a great help.

We had a bit of excitement around the next turning as we spotted another craft in difficulty. Initially I thought they’d got their stern stuck aground, though they weren’t that near the back, but it turned out that they couldn’t lower their outboard. We had been told by the agent that our insurance doesn’t cover towing, but we managed to get help to them as the Freedom Cruiser’s yard was in sight. The guy from the yard came out in a boat to tow them in.

It was a lovely quiet chug back to Brooms. We took our time.

I found it a bit tricky getting into our mooring as the tide was pushing me off as I was going in, but we got in safely on the second attempt after I’d aborted the first try.

After unpacking and making the beds we had a pleasant peaceful evening, thought there’s a fair bit of train noise given the train track is in sight of the mooring. Not something that bothers me, as I grew up in hearing distance of a busy ’ish train station.

We had the bonus of a lovely sunset.




Lovely comfortable beds too, so we had a good first-night's sleep.


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Sunday 25th August

I woke quite early this morning. Since Graham and the dog were still slumbering, I just stayed in bed and did a jigsaw on my iPad for a while. It got well past 7.30am and there was still no sign of anyone waking, so I got up and took the blinds down/pushed back the curtains to let in the early morning sun and warm up the lounge a bit. It was soon toasty.

I sat for a while writing up an account of yesterday. It was so peaceful, with just a few rowers on the river.


Around 8 I made tea and checked whether Graham was awake. He was…just about, so I made him a cuppa.

The first few boats started to go past and Seren started to woof quietly to tell us ‘I’m awake’, so Graham got up and took her for a short walk. It’s not surprising that she slept quite late this morning as she had a very active hyped-up afternoon yesterday.

It was after 9am by the time we got on our way. We weren’t in a hurry anyway as we were planning to only go as far as Loddon. Some shots taken on the way...





When we got to Pye’s Mill I had to ask a fisherman if he would mind moving as there appeared to be only one space left. He didn’t look very happy about it (naturally), but he did move along without complaint. Once moored up we went to say thankyou and offered him a cold beer (which he turned down but I think appreciated the gesture).


It was really very hot by now. I should have been sensible and just made a sandwich, but instead put some potatoes in the oven to bake. Meanwhile we sat on a nearby bench. It was so hot, we got out an umbrella to give us some shade, at least until the sun moved to behind the trees. Despite the heat, it was an idyllic, peaceful afternoon. Pye’s Mill is certainly a lovely spot.


The river was quite busy, with lots of craft of different sorts going to and fro. We loved this one, though it was a bit noisy and didn't look that sea-worthy. What fun though!


Mid-afternoon an elderly chap who had been walking his dog stopped to chat with Graham. He said that he lived in a cottage near Pye’s Mill and was telling Graham how there had been sewage works nearby when he bought the cottage. His friends had thought him daft because of the smell from the sewage works, but be explained that he hadn’t minded as he used to work with cattle. Not sure what his wife thought though! Anyway, within a few years of moving there the sewage works was shut, so he had certainly made a smart move. He also reminisced about his time during National Service and how it had given him the opportunity to see different parts of the world, having previously not been further than Norwich.

Late afternoon I walked into Loddon past the church to the Co-op. It was blissfully chilly in there, I felt like staying there for the rest of the day. On the way back I found the path that goes behind a boatyard and along the riverbank. However, there were cows with calves in the riverside field, so we wouldn’t risk walking that way with Seren. We waited a while for it to cool down a little in the evening before taking Seren for a walk along the road and then the path to the church.

Once back on the boat we both felt it was still too hot to eat much, so just had sandwiches. The evening was mostly quiet and peaceful.


However, we were really puzzled at the number of times the boat in front of us ran their engine. When they did it early afternoon I thought ‘microwave?’, and early evening I thought ‘showers?’, but another couple of times over the evening…? When it got dark, we were also treated to some fireworks (well the sound of them nearby), which Seren wasn’t at all happy about. At least someone was having a good time though!

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