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Carried Away By A Moonlight Shadow...

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11 minutes ago, psychicsurveyor said:

I saw Ranworth Breeze go past yesterday, always looks pristine.

Hello Mark, met two of our new owners who should have started their allocation yester an in a fortnights time sadly we all went back home yesterday. During the training I mentioned that although the speed limit was 6 mph near your mooring that I believe that the Broads Authority should reduce this down to 5 mph because of the boats moored ion the riverside. I suggest to all our owners that they should go at the lower speed.

When I left the boat in the late afternoon, I mothballed the boat, put extra electric on the meter and turned off all the breakers other than the fridge and the battery charger and turned off the gas.

I have cancelled the AGM in late November, paid all local traders, I have lost my November allocation and the last allocation in the first week in December will be dependant if the lockdown is lifted, the same can be said regarding the AGM.

Stay safe out there.



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Monday 26th August I didn’t wake until after 6 this morning, so that was an improvement on yesterday. There was a light mist on the river, with the sun glowing through the haze. We didn

Thursday 1st October We had a relaxing morning, getting up at leisure and having breakfast before setting out for a walk with Seren. As we skirted the Yacht Station, aiming for the path up t

Harry on board and helming on our way to Norwich. Seren is keeping a sharp eye out for rowers.

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I saw the BA advice about holidays has changed slightly, wasn’t sure if you would have seen it. 

“If you were already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical and comply with the ‘stay at home’ requirements in your holiday accommodation in the meantime.”

Not sure whether that means you can keep cruising or not. 

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6 minutes ago, SwanR said:

I saw the BA advice about holidays has changed slightly, wasn’t sure if you would have seen it. 

“If you were already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical and comply with the ‘stay at home’ requirements in your holiday accommodation in the meantime.”

Not sure whether that means you can keep cruising or not. 

Hello Jean,

The way I see it is that it refers to holidays and from the Broads Authorities view point this must mean holidays from hire companies. With regards to private boats and syndicate boats in my view we come into the second home rulings hence my cancelling this week and three other owners allocations including mine. Norfolk & Suffolk are low risk areas and we should accept the latest rulings and stay away until we are told likewise.



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Well, we are home.

Having read yesterday evening that the advice to people on holiday had changed we decided we should come home today and not stop on board until tomorrow.

Hopefully I’ll be able to post some more detail about our stay and some photos tomorrow.

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Well here goes with the write-up.

Saturday 31st October

This morning we woke up to the news that Boris was likely to announce another lockdown. Was there any worth in going to MS? Would we get there, only to have to return the following day? We were pretty much packed already, so we decided to take the chance and go. We didn’t hurry off though. Graham didn’t want to pack the car until he had taken Harry to IKEA for a mid-morning shift, plus taking Harry’s bicycle in the back of the car, so it was just after 11 by the time we got on our way. It started raining as we set off and continued most of the journey.

Given the way that Covid cases were reported to be rising, we had decided not to go into any pubs or cafes this time. We needed some lunch though, so did a drive-through Maccy D’s. We realised that it’s the first McDonald’s we’ve had since lockdown and have definitely not missed it!

Got to outskirts of Norwich by 1.30 and went to Sainsbury’s for our shop before going to the boat. As we’d been advised that our pick-up time would be half an hour later than normal (the cleaners that had been booked to valet the boat were exceptionally busy apparently) we took our time and had a look around the clothing section. We both bought Christmas t-shirts.


So it was just after 2.30pm by the time we got to the boat. Luckily the rain had (mostly) stopped, so we were able to transfer our stuff to MS without getting soaked. Then I took the car to meet up with another forum member, OldBerkshireBoy, who had kindly agreed to take the Dyson vacuum cleaner that the syndicate want to dispose of and advertise it on the local neighbourhood website. He told me that a government announcement was due at 4pm, so I hurried back to the boat. As I drove I passed the slightly bizarre sight of someone driving a mobility scooter wearing a ‘plague Dr’ mask (those full masks with a pointy nose) and black hat. (I suppose in readiness for Halloween celebrations?)

When I got back Graham set up the aerial so we could watch the TV for news. As you all know, we had to wait until after 6.30pm before we got the news that the lockdown wouldn’t be until Thursday. That was a relief, as we had thought it might be earlier in the week. In the meantime, the sky brightened up before sunset.




Dinner this evening was an easy ‘bung-in-the oven’ duck breasts with orange sauce with baked potatoes and green beans.

Having discovered the ‘in-fill’ cushion to convert one of the forward cabin berths to a small double, for this trip Graham had brought along linen for a double duvet, as well as for a single for me. He commented before we dropped off that he was a lot more comfortable.

We’re not sure what to do tomorrow. As I mentioned, Graham wanted to go to Caister-on-Sea. I was hoping the wind wouldn’t be too strong, so we could at least cruise somewhere.

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Sunday 1st Nov

We had thought to go to Whitlingham and back today, and walk around Whitlingham Broad. However, as Graham started to remove the first set of lines (we were on spring lines) the stern of the boat got pushed out so quickly to the extent of the second, looser line, that I had second thoughts. I had visions of one end of the boat drifting across the dyke whilst Graham undid the final line. I’m sure we could have managed, but I would have been worried about mooring up again later in the day, and the wind pushing us off the mooring. If it wasn’t for the doubly strong wind forecast for the following day we would have moored elsewhere on a BA mooring with electric, but we wanted to be back on our home mooring so that we could go somewhere by car on Monday.

So, we had breakfast (which we had been planning to have underway) and then went to Winterton-on-Sea. I had visited the church there a few years ago, but we hadn’t been to the beach and dunes. Unlike Caister, you had to pay for parking (£1.50 an hour or £7 all day) but on the plus side there are public loos and the Dunes Café. The Café was open, with signs saying max. of four people inside. Lots of people sitting eating at their outside tables.

Graham has concluded that he prefers Winterton to Caister, despite having to pay for the car park (Caister car park is free from October through to early Spring). I like both.

The beach and the dunes were very busy with walkers, but both beach and dunes are so extensive that wasn't a problem.


View of the church tower from the dunes. I recommend a visit to the church. There are some interesting memorials inside, and plaques recording the missions that the Winterton lifeboat had taken part in.


We found these concrete ruins in the dunes. Does anyone know what they were?



This holly bush was clinging on to the edge of the dunes.



We were very tempted to go to The Lion, Thurne or The Acle Bridge Inn for lunch, but I had ingredients for a brunch in the fridge. Before returning to the boat we popped to Sainsbury’s again to pick up some fresh bread and a few other bits and bobs.

I was really slow cooking our brunch, so it was getting for mid-afternoon by the time we had that. Whilst I was preparing it, Graham walked around to the fuel station to check when they would be closing on Wednesday. The guy manning the pumps hadn’t been updated, but said they had a couple of boats out, plus a couple of others on shorter breaks.

Seren was tired out.


We whiled away the rest of the afternoon and evening reading and watching some telly. Due to the late brunch, we just had a small portion of pasta with pesto for our evening meal, before having an early night.


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Monday 2nd November

The wind got stronger as expected last night, but we were sheltered from the worst of it and spent quite a peaceful night. Still very strong this morning, so we didn’t consider cruising.

When I opened the curtains this morning, I spied a heron on decking nearby.


Graham took his time getting up and having breakfast, so it was after 10 by the time we were ready to go anywhere. Just as we were about to set out the heavens opened, so that delayed us a while.

We went in the direction of Lowestoft to start, but then decided to go to Southwold. We had visited the place for an afternoon in our 20s with school friends who lived in Suffolk, but that’s a long time ago and we didn’t have much memory of it.

We parked in the pay-and-display car park near the pier and went past the beach huts onto the prom. No chance of getting on the beach due to the high tide, but it was fascinating watching the waves and the spray.



This sign appealed to Graham as he's a coffee addict.


After a while we put Seren back in the car and went for a wander, past the pier and along the path above the beach.





We liked the look of Southwold. It had lots of character.


We went almost as far as the southern end of town and found an Adnams pub, the Red Lion, that had some tables in the sun. Inside, they had set up a table to take orders near the door so you didn’t need to go up to the bar to order drinks. They said someone would come out with menus. You could only visit the loos if you had the track and trace app on your mobile (luckily, I did). We had a couple of Ghostships (Graham’s the low alcohol version). Graham had fish and chips (as usual) and I had whitebait with chips and side salad. All very enjoyable, and it was really warm sitting in the sunshine. Probably the last day this year that sitting in the sun was a pleasure.

The Red Lion.


We had only paid for a couple of hours parking, so didn’t have time to explore the town. That could wait until another time, as we both fancy revisiting Southwold again sometime.

We walked back along the lower prom, past lots of beach huts...


all with individual names and some with lovely art-work too. We liked this one...



and this one.


We took Seren out for another short walk and then drove to Hen Reedbeds Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Southwold, to give her a slightly longer walk. It was one of those nature reserves where you can’t let your dog off the lead though, so she didn’t get much exercise. We got back in the car and thought of going to Beccles and parking by the Yacht Station to take her for a walk along the river, but when we got there the road that runs behind the Yacht Station was closed, so we gave up on that idea.

As we set off from Beccles, we took a spur of the moment decision to go back to Brundall via the Reedham Ferry, as we’ve never used the ferry before. That was fun!


After morning showers, it had turned out to be a beautiful day. We really enjoyed it, despite a few minor things that didn’t quite work out.

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Tuesday 3rd November

At last! The wind had dropped, so we were able to go cruising today. We were intending to set off around 10am, but another very heavy shower came over, so we didn’t get off our mooring until almost 11. It didn’t really matter as we weren’t in a hurry, planning to only go as far as Loddon. We had received a notification from our management agency that government advice was that people who were on holiday could travel home at the end of their stay, so we thought we would stay on until Friday.

As we got on our way, we rain dried up and we had a pleasant cruise. Seren loved being on the river again, though there wasn't really enough river traffic to hold her attention.





There weren’t many boats out on the Yare and the Chet seemed deserted apart from us. As we approached Loddon Staithe we got a bit worried, as three boats were moored side-on. However, there was room for one boat in the corner, furthest away from the road. The owners of two of the boats turned their boats on their ropes to stern moor shortly after we arrived. It seemed to me that they just didn’t expect anyone else to turn up that day, but were happy to make room for those who did.


I popped to Co-op before making us a meal. As it was after 2.30pm by the time I was cooking ‘lunch’, I prepared the ginger and chilli marinaded salmon fillets that I’d planned to cook in the evening. We had those with new potatoes and broccoli.

After our meal, we took Seren out for a run, making our way to the field between the back of the High Street and Pye’s Mill moorings. I was glad I’d worn my wellies as it was pretty waterlogged in places.


Is this a boat graveyard? How sad.


This evening we just had a light snack instead of a full meal, and settled down to watch Bake Off. Quite amusing watching the bakers contend with making ice-cream cakes on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year.

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Wednesday 4th November

We woke to a beautiful blue, cloudless sky. I must say there are advantages to being moored in the far corner of Loddon Staithe, as we heard very little road noise. We set off fairly early, around 8am to make the most of the day.


Lots of wildlife. I've not seen so many dabchicks before.




We had toyed with the idea of going to Somerlayton or Oulton Broad this morning, but by the time we got to Chet Mouth we decided to go to Polkey’s Mill for a while before making our way back to Brundall. That way, we would be well placed to cruise up river as far as Whitlingham on Thursday. It’s just as well we did that, as by the time we checked email and the forum that evening we found that the advice on completing one’s holiday had changed.

Meanwhile, in blissful ignorance of the changed advice we had a really enjoyable day. The cruise down river to Polkey’s Mill was lovely.

Reedham Ferry.


We only passed one boat on the way, emerging from the New Cut. Seeing the dredging equipment in the Cut made me glad we’d decided not to go that way, as it looked like there wasn’t that much room between that and the posts opposite.


View from Polkey's Mill.


From Polkey’s Mill we walked to a point just beyond Berney Arms, where we could see the start of Breydon Water.





We were surprised to see a Herbert Woods boat just approaching Berney Arms moorings from Breydon Water. Slack water had been about half an hour before sunrise and river levels seemed pretty high, so we weren’t expecting to see any ‘northern’ cruisers.


View over Breydon Water.


I hope that we’ll be able to moor at Polkey’s Mill overnight sometime, when the weather is warmer and we don’t need shore power. It seems a really peaceful mooring, and great for walks.


After our walk it was getting on for 12, but we thought we would start our journey back, rather than have lunch at Polkey's Mill. Seren was a bit pongy, having explored some of the overflow water courses. Graham cleaned her up with dry shampoo, which she doesn't like one bit.



We passed through Reedham just before high tide, with 9’ clearance under the bridge (we need 8’ with the roof up). This one is of Graham trying to see in advance what the bridge clearance marker was showing.


We moored up at Hardley Drainage Mill pontoon for a while.


I made us a brunch of sweetcorn pancakes and bacon and then we set off again on our way back to Brundall. There were a lot more boats around in the afternoon, having a last cruise before lockdown, I guess.


Approaching Brundall.


This evening we watched a very interesting programme on BBC East. It was one of a series of programmes about coastal villages, and this one was about Walberswick, which is on the opposite side of the river Blythe from Southwold. The village has certainly had its ups and downs over the years. Initially its access to the sea was down the coast at Dunwich, before natural coastal changes occurred. Next time we have a day out by car from Brundall we’ll probably go there.

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Thursday 5th November

We had planned to go to Whitlingham today, then return to Brundall overnight and leave the boat on Friday. It was tempting to stick to that plan, even though we had learned that the advice on completing holidays had changed. However, we thought it best to return home today.

The first priority was to take Seren for a decent length walk, as she would be cooped up in the car for quite a long time whilst we cleared and cleaned the boat and then drove home, so it was late morning by the time we’d done that, had a quick bite to eat and started packing and cleaning. We had to wait quite a while for the Brooms fuel kiosk to become free too, so it was late afternoon by the time we left the boat. Our management agency helpfully gave us advice on what to do before leaving the boat (turn the gas off at the cannister, turn the water pump off and leave taps open, lift upholstery where possible).

Final photo from MS before leaving.


We had a good journey home, the quickest we’ve done yet, though the traffic was much heavier than I thought it would be. You wouldn’t have thought we were in lockdown by the traffic.

Beautiful post sunset sky accompanied half the journey.


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Yes, it was a bit odd. I started out feeling quite tense about it. We went to Norfolk not knowing if we’d have to return almost immediately. After seeing the announcement from Boris though we decided to just take each day as a plus and not worry. After all, it wasn’t one of our allocated weeks, so each day felt like a bonus anyway. We might have felt differently if it had been our allocated week cut short.

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p.s. I was a bit dim yesterday on our journey home. As darkness fell I commented to Graham that there was an unusual amount of burning going on, judging by the smell on the air.

Yes, he did remind me what the date was!



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Hi Simon, we have very much appreciated each day as we knew other people were in lockdown. It’s been really tough on you. I’ve been keeping in touch with my cousin in North Wales who has been in lockdown this past fortnight, nothing like the extended restrictions you’ve had put up with in Cardiff though. 

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Thanks for this thread Helen, it gives me something to look forward to shoud I ever get the Denham Owl away from her mooring! :default_dry:

My guess was that the concrete structures at Winterton were WW2 but it seems they are a lot more recent than that. They are the remains of a Royal Observer Corps post which was only used from 1963 to 1968 during the "cold war" period. It seems there is an underground structure too but it's been blocked up for obvious reasons.

There were concrete tank traps and other defences during WW2 and the area was used for practice trenches for WW1. Who would of thought there was so much history in a bit of sand! 

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  • 2 months later...

Grump. Should have been on Moonlight Shadow this week

On the other hand, we have so far stayed safe and well through this Covid epidemic, so have a lot to be thankful for.

We are being encouraged by our employers to take our planned leave regardless. My plans for this week are switching to sewing. Goodness knows how that will go! 

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The business I work for has just been sold so I start under a new employer today. But I’ve seen the same messaging around having to take a certain amount of leave before a certain date. I’m undecided about what I will do but I’ll probably take my week off in March regardless. 

Hope the sewing goes well. Shame the stained glass making had to stop, I always enjoyed seeing what you and Graham had done. 

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8 hours ago, YnysMon said:

Grump. Should have been on Moonlight Shadow this week

Know the feeling.  We should have been on MS for a week last April which didn’t happen due to lockdown and our week later this month is obviously not going to happen.  
In total through 2020, we didn’t get away on four planned breaks, one week in Cornwall and three weeks on The Broads.  Maybe this year will improve as the vaccination programme continues to gather pace.

I live in hope.

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41 minutes ago, Mouldy said:

Know the feeling.  We should have been on MS for a week last April which didn’t happen due to lockdown and our week later this month is obviously not going to happen.  
In total through 2020, we didn’t get away on four planned breaks, one week in Cornwall and three weeks on The Broads.  Maybe this year will improve as the vaccination programme continues to gather pace.

I live in hope.

We are due on MS 13th March for a week........................I am not banking on it though!

Seems so long ago since we were last out on her

Hopefully though after the winter maintenance this year she will be looking good when we eventually get down

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