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Carried Away By A Moonlight Shadow...


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Friday 30th August

Last day. (Sob!)

We got on our way before 8am this morning, making our way from Hardley Mill on the incoming tide to Bargate where we mud-weighted. I think we only passed one other boat on the way there, and there was only one other boat mud-weighted on Bargate when we got there (plus the boat moored in one corner that has been mentioned on other threads). A bit different to earlier in the week!


I made a cooked breakfast (oven baked sausage, mushrooms and tomato plus lightly fried potatoes and black pudding). After breakfast I had a shower, before we headed off again upriver without much clue where we were heading for, except that we wanted to stop off somewhere for Seren to have a run around. Just as we were preparing to leave Bargate a flotilla of little boats came along, like little ducklings all in a row. Hope the kids had a lovely time learning to sail.



We ended up going all the way up to Norwich, getting there around about high tide (more by luck than good management), and under Trowse Railway Bridge with about a foot to spare with canopy up. We didn’t want to moor there, just to check out where the moorings outside the Yacht Station railed area were exactly (as mentioned in someone else’s out-of-season holiday blog). We might consider mooring there during one day in February. Probably not overnight though, as I think we’d feel a bit vulnerable being the only ones moored there.

We turned around and headed back down river, thinking that we would stop at Bramerton Common. On the way we had a sandwich lunch. Unfortunately, Bramerton moorings had filled up whilst we’d been up to Norwich and back, so we continued on past Surlingham Ferry and Brundall to Short Dyke (leading to Rockland Broad). Moored there and went for a walk down the dyke and along the bank of the Yare whilst Seren had a manic run up-and-down. I say manic, because she got all hyped up every time a motor boat went past on the river. She also likes to try to pick up 'sticks' that are far too large for her.


Short Dyke.


It was getting on for 4.30pm by the time we returned to the boat and we headed back to our home mooring in Brundall, passing through Rockland Broad on the way.



Back in Brundall.


We had pasta carbonara for dinner (not out of a jar this time) and started to pack our stuff ready for vacating the boat in the morning. Watched a bit of telly before turning in for the night. Alarm set for 7am.

What a lovely week it has been.

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Indeed Alan, though February seems a long way away!

Saturday 31st August

Although we got up plenty early enough and got our stuff off the boat before 8.30, we had to wait around for ages to get a re-fuel and pump-out. I guess we should have realised that Brooms would prioritise their hire fleet over us. Oh well. They did a thorough job of the pump-out, and I was pleased that we only had to pay just over £58 for fuel.

So, it was just after 10 when we left (we were supposed to be off the boat by 9.30).

We had considered going to East Hills Bistro again, but weren't that hungry and, in any case, we fancied returning to the La Hogue Farm Shop and Café that we'd stopped at on the way for lunch, so we headed for the A47. Before turning off to the A11 though, we had a bit of a detour to Caister St Edmund, which is just off the A47. It was the site of a Roman town and the Caister St Edmund Church is located within the walls of the town. There isn't much to see, but it was a pleasant walk around the perimeter and there were some interesting information boards scattered around. The church was pleasant too. Shame we weren't there the following day, as they were putting on cream-teas Sunday afternoon.



We were disappointed not to be able to turn off to La Hogue Farm going westward along the A11, so our lunch plans were scuppered. Ended up stopping off at Caxton Gibbet McDonalds, so that was a bit of a let-down. 

Got home mid-afternoon. Just as we drove up to the house it started to rain. Good timing eh! 

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Hi Vanessan,

Not sure about the comparison with other Farm Shops to be honest, as they aren’t places I go to very often. They do tend to be a bit expensive and, at heart, I tend to be a bit of a Scrooge. I must say that it looked good though. Good selection of veg, and a lovely looking meat counter. I did fancy their home-cured bacon. Also, lots of baked goods, preserves and gifts. 

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Hi Helen,

We`ve often stopped at Le Hogue and had lunch there, and on the way back down the A11. You have to take the turn off immediately AFTER the A11/14 split, then back over the road and back UP the A11. It sounds a long way, but is in fact only a mile or so. 

Many thanks for the write up, absolutely enjoyable, and with some stunning pics. 

We`re back on Lightning in March next year, so will not be bumping into you, so we hope you have a really enjoyable week.

As for us, we should have been on Lightning from this Saturday, but Karens niece arranged her daughters Christening for this Sunday, so we swapped weeks for the following week. At least it`s less than 2 weeks away.

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3 hours ago, YnysMon said:

The galley, though compact, was really well stocked

Not with bottles of San Miguel hopefully - from a previous occupant......:default_norty:


3 hours ago, YnysMon said:

I had popped in to the Humpty Dumpty Brewery shop

My favourite!! I'm not jealous of course.....spent some happy hours there on open days!! :default_beerchug:

Cracking photos again Helen, many thanks for sharing  

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19 minutes ago, SwanR said:

I’m sure your future trips will therefore feel even more relaxed. 

Hi Jean,

Yes, that’s something that I hadn’t anticipated as I thought we had been pretty much ‘chilled’ and relaxed when we had hired. Somehow, being on Moonlight Shadow felt different. I hadn’t ever felt pressurised to get anywhere previously, but somehow it felt that we had all the time in the world. We spent a lot of time travelling very slowly and, as a result, taking more in somehow. It’s a bit difficult to explain.




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  • 2 months later...

Whoopie, doopie, doopie (sorry, getting slightly carried away there...).

We have managed to get an ‘extra’ week on Moonlight Shadow next week (thanks Malcolm! :default_arms:). It gets even better...got an email earlier today from the couple who are on the boat this week. They have to leave tomorrow, so have very kindly arranged for the usual weekly engineer’s check to be done Friday morning instead of Saturday, so we can pick the boat up a whole day earlier than planned. How good is that!

Need to start packing!



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3 minutes ago, NorfolkNog said:

Watch out for the San Miguel bottles :default_norty:

There'll only be empties, nobody could be stupid enough to leave any remaining amber nectar lying around :default_beerchug:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got back from Moonlight Shadow yesterday evening and have been sorting out my photos from the week.

This will be a fairly boring blog, as we didn't do very much last week. We very much enjoyed the week though and relaxed so much we are almost comatose. Moonlight Shadow is starting to feel very much like 'home', it feels like we have 'got to know her' somehow. 

Friday 8th Nov

We set off in good time, around 8.15. It had kept dry whilst Graham loaded the car but started to rain shortly after, and we had pretty much persistent rain for the rest of the journey. Stopped at La Hogue Farm Café for a late breakfast. Graham had a sausage and egg roll, and I had the child’s breakfast. Good quality sausage and bacon, egg, beans and toast.

It was still raining when we got to Brundall, just before 12. Although we had brought with us enough food for the first day, we popped in to Co-op for a few extra bits and pieces before going to the boat. Once on board, we sat around for a while hoping the rain would ease so that we could unpack the car without getting our stuff wet. 

This one is taken from inside MS. She is on such a lovely mooring, right beside the river. However, the grandstand view of the river does tend to bring out the meercat in me whenever I hear something going past.


There was less rain forecast for the afternoon, so we decided to go by car to Wroxham for a while. We had a look around Roys and did the food shop for the next few days that I’d originally planned to do on Saturday.

By the time we got back to the boat there was a gleam of sunshine, though the dark clouds looming in the west suggested more showers and we had sight of a rainbow for a short while.


Still, we managed to get everything on board before the next shower and following that the dark clouds passed over.


We had discussed the option of not going anywhere today, just to unpack and relax. However, by the time we got on board I was itching to get on the river, so we thought we would just go as far as Rockland Broad and back.


Initially I was able to stick my head out of the roof hatch, but shortly before we got to Fleet Dyke (leading to the Broad) there was a heavy shower. I couldn’t see that well, especially as the windscreen wiper gave up the ghost, so decided not to go down the dyke, but return to the mooring.

The sun was out again by the time we got to Brundall and we were treated to another rainbow.


By this time it was only half an hour or so before sunset anyway, so we moored up for the night, unpacked and relaxed.

We had pork steaks from Roys with mashed celeriac, potatoes and pears with roasted sprouts for dinner. As in August we aren't planning to eat out much.

More to follow...

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Saturday 9th Nov

A beautiful dawn this morning, heralding a beautifully sunny day.


We had difficulty deciding what to do this morning. One option was to make our way through the New Cut to either Somerlayton or Oulton Broad. In the end we just set off toward Norwich, thinking to take the dog for a walk at Whitlingham. It took quite a while to get there, not that we were in any rush, due to the number of rowers on the river. The first lot we came across was a coxed eight with accompanying training boat at Bramerton, turning around slowly to go back upriver. Once they had turned and got going they were faster than me, but obviously in training mode as they had come to a standstill around the next bend. There were lots of other rowers too, fours, pairs and singles. At least they kept Seren’s attention. She didn’t bark, but whined in such a way that it sounded like she was trying to tell us all about it.




The autumn shades on the trees alongside the river were beautiful. It’s really lovely to be able to be on the river in the different seasons.



We were considering taking the same route tomorrow, but all the way to Norwich, and for Graham to stay with the boat whilst I went into Norwich Cathedral, so before mooring up at Whitlingham we thought we’d check the clearance under the Trowse bridge, as it was now around high tide. There was more than a foot to spare, so we continued on to the closed Yacht Station to check whether we’d be able to use the electric posts tomorrow. No chance. They were covered over with steel boxes.




I popped to Morrison’s with my list of items that we had forgotten during our shop at Roys yesterday, so that I wouldn’t have to go shopping later in the day, then we went to Whitlingham.

One of the electric posts in Whitlingham was out of action, and the other one was taken.


After a sandwich lunch we had a lovely walk as far as the bend of the river just beyond the Commissioner’s Cut and back. There were still some rowers around.



The Commissioner's Cut from the opposite bank.


We didn’t continue around the Broad as I wanted to get back to our home mooring before sunset.

By the time we set off back downriver most of the rowers had packed in for the day, so we got back quite quickly, just after 3pm.


We had a quiet evening again watching Strictly after a meal of vegetarian haggis, leftover mash from yesterday, swede and more roasted sprouts. The vegetarian haggis had been in our freezer at home for a while, after Graham had bought too much of it to cater for my vegetarian cousins, so we thought it was time we used it up. Actually, I think I prefer it to ‘real’ haggis. It’s easier to digest.

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Sunday 10th Nov

It dawned fair and bright again this morning.


We had some visitors: swans and geese, but only had bread to give them. Must get some swan food.




I had put my alarm on this morning, as I had intended to have an early morning shower before taking the train into Norwich. However, it was such a beautiful morning that we decided instead to go somewhere by car so that Seren could have some exercise.

During our previous trip we had been unaware that there was a toilet block for berth-holders use, with a key code for entry. Our thanks to Jay for letting us know about it. Graham had searched these out yesterday and found they were much better than the toilets and showers provided for hirers, and kept nicely heated, so I enjoyed my shower.

We are finding that the heating on Moonlight Shadow is really good, so we have been toasty warm all week. During the nights we have switched off the boat’s heating system and used the small dimplex radiator that we brought with us, keeping the door between the forward cabin and living area open with the radiator on the threshold so that we don’t get too cold if we get up to go to the loo, so we’ve been pretty cosy the whole time. The decks were slightly icy this morning.

After a bacon roll breakfast, we set on our way, intending to go to Caister-on-the-Sea. By this time some dark clouds had built up and as we passed through Acle we had a heavy shower. There were still blue patches in the sky though, so we guessed it would pass over, but it did prompt us to have a detour to Potter H for a visit to Lathams. What is it about Lathams that draws one in? We didn’t want much, mainly some refill stuff for the lighter sticks for lighting the gas cooker, but inevitably we came away with some other stuff we hadn’t intended to buy including a Christmas toy for Seren, a keenly priced fleece top for me, swan food etc.

As we anticipated, the rain had passed over, but we thought we’d have some elevenses in Bridgestones of Potter before moving on. It was literally eleven too, as the two-minute silence started just after we walked in (Remembrance Sunday). Bridgestones is lovely, I just wish their cakes weren’t quite so massive. I don’t know how Graham managed to finish the massive millionaire’s shortbread that he had. I couldn’t quite finish my vegan mincemeat slice, which wasn’t half as sweet. (I’m not vegan, it’s just easier to have something labelled vegan if you are trying to avoid dairy than go through the palaver of asking if they have any dairy-free cakes.)

The river looked quite high.


So, loaded with sugar, we continued on to Caister. We saw a sign and layby for the roman fort as we entered Caister, so stopped to have a look at that before continuing to the beach. We had been expecting to pay for parking, but found that it’s free during winter months.

As we walked across the dunes to the beach we could see both the Caister lifeboats were coming back into shore, and the trailers that move them in and out of the water were poised to pick them up, so we spent some time watching that. I don't think I would like to swim at Caister. We could see the current taking the smaller boat northward at quite a rate as it held station waiting for its trailer. 






Seren them had a bit of a run-abound before the next rain shower caught up with us.


We drove back to the boat via Great Yarmouth and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I found a small book that syndicate members use to record their week (where they got to, whether they experienced any problems), so that made interesting reading. We had got ticked off by another couple at the AGM for not having written in it in August, so we will make sure to write up an entry at the end of this week.

We had meant to watch some telly this evening, but were both happy reading. Had steaks, baked potatoes and broccoli for dinner, which was served later than I’d intended. I hadn’t put my reading glasses on when putting the oven on, so it was at too low a setting to bake the potatoes. Doh! Good thing I checked the potatoes before cooking the steaks. An early night tonight again.

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Monday 11th Nov

Another early morning for me, though not as early as other mornings. I woke at 6.30 and it was already pretty light. Graham got up at 8. We had thought of going to Loddon this morning, but first wanted to have a word with one of Brooms engineers to see if they could fix the windscreen wiper that had conked out on Friday. In the meantime, I popped in to Thorpe St Andrew to find the Sainsbury’s store as I wanted a few bits and pieces that wouldn’t be available in either of Brundall’s Co-ops. I do find it odd that a village can have two Co-ops, but notice they are branded differently, one presumably being an East England Co-op and the other the national (?) variety. The Sainsbury’s store was easy to find and only about a 10-minute drive from Brundall.

Shortly after I got back mid-morning the engineer arrived, had a look at the wiper and decided we needed a new one, as there was a problem with the motor as we had suspected (it whirred but didn’t do anything). He went away to see if they had a replacement in stock and returned about an hour later to install it. Before he left we had a pleasant chat about dogs. He was obviously a ‘doggie person’ and Seren had taken a real shine to him.

By this time it was lunch time and the wind had really picked up. Instead of getting on our way to Loddon we decided to have lunch on board and then go somewhere by car instead.

If you had told me during our hiring days that we would be happy just sitting on a mooring, I’d have said ‘you’re mad’. However, that’s what we seem to be doing mostly this holiday, and we are perfectly happy and relaxed.

We tried going to Hemsby this afternoon, but when we got there we weren’t impressed. Having driven past loads of amusement arcades, tattoo places etc we got to an almost empty car park with a parking meter out of action but with a prominent note saying ‘This car park is not free. Pay at…’. We turned around and went down the road to Caister instead. Yesterday’s walk along Caister beach had been curtailed by showers, so today we enjoyed a much longer walk. There was a stronger and much colder wind today. Despite the sun it felt very wintery. The beach was a lot less busy than it had been at the weekend.








Graham tried napping some flint from the stones on the beach. He kept the most likely looking flint and successfully used it to cut paper when he got home.

Another quiet evening.



I made a sort of non-cheesy macaroni cheese – pasta with a soya milk béchamel sauce flavoured with a touch of marmite and Dijon mustard with roasted pumpkin and broccoli mixed in with the pasta. It was a bit of an experiment, but Graham liked it so much he had seconds.

I must admit I was ready for bed before 9 this evening. It’s all the early mornings and the walking.

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