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Springer’s Retreat On The Rivers


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First post, following Ynys Mon’s appeal for new tales, not that I think my jaunts will be particularly exciting -they are for me, but I’m not the world’s most creative author. 
A bit of history - I got the boat in spring 2021, following Richardson’s having sold Silver Gem 7 on to someone who unfortunately had to move her on during the covid restrictions. If that person is on this forum and reads this, many thanks and I’m looking after her!
An orange bathtub, a Horizon 35 and I moor her at Richardson’s. 
I’ve managed some cosmetic diy over the year so she now feels like mine inside, the exterior needs some work when money and time allow. 
Often it’s just me and the dog, a springer of course, but friends and family come as often as possible, including my dog’s brother. Hubby has managed one trip, but no so besotted with boating as me and not totally fit and well at the moment. He’ll be coming for ‘mechanic-ing’ trips in future. 
I used her for 19 weeks last year and fully intend to carry on in a similar fashion. I really enjoyed the NBN meet last month, thanks to all for making us so welcome, even if Tony did hide inside, on the pretext of doing jobs, most of the time.

So now this first logged trip. Arrived yesterday, making excellent time as the Sutton bridge roadworks had been cleared, no doubt temporarily for the long holiday weekend. First job, to fill the water and give the tank its annual treatment. Draining it now while I write this - what a waste of water, I really feel ashamed of that!!

Cleared the leaves accumulated on the table as somehow dust and leaves get in through the sunroof but rain doesn’t. Not quite sure how that happens! Everything else as I left it. Had used 9p per day on the electric, running dehumidifier and battery charger, I can cope with that outgoing to keep the boat dry and fresh. 
 

I had a quick trip to Lathams to get a cheap airbed as I have 3 single guests later this month and no-one fancies sharing a small double bed. The boat has 3 double berths, I would have liked one with one bed that splits into 2 singles, but think I would have needed a bounty 37 for that. I had annoyingly forgotten to bring an airbed from home for me. Better to realise now than when they get here I suppose. No luck at Lathams, so had to go to Norwich camping down at Blofield. Also thought I’d treat the boat to a new blanket for the sofa where the dog sleeps, but again, couldn’t really find what I wanted. Must be a record for Lathams to not have stuff! Plenty of what I didn’t want though. 
Then a dog walk. Down the track that runs east from the far end of Lathams carpark, along to Candle Dyke, down to the Martham junction and back along the river at the back of the chalets. Can’t have been more than 2 1/2 miles, took 1 hour15 so allow that or a bit longer for an amble if you are wanting a walk from P.H.moorings. Not a puddle of mud in sight!
Spoke to the bridge pilot to assess chance of going through bridge on Tuesday, answer was ‘Doubt it as rain forecast etc and nothing over 6’7” has been through lately”. I need approx 6’9”, although that has reminded me to see if I can measure it for myself today. 

Photos of the walk, on the wild and woolly side of the bridge. Lulu, P.H.awaits your presence. Good luck. 

So shopping done, back to boat to make beds up in readiness for an old friend from young farmers club days arriving Monday morning for an 8 night holiday. She’s my oldest boating buddy, we’ve explored just about everywhere apart from above Potter and Wroxham bridges. So it’ll be Coltishall direction on Tuesday I think. 
 

One improvement we have made since having the boat is to put an extra heater vent in the back bathroom (is that called the aft heads?). So now, if I shut the other vent outlets down, and blast the whole heat in there with the door shut, I have a convenient drying room for wet dog towels etc. Works a treat! 
 

So that’s it till the start of my travels tomorrow. We had plenty of rain last night, but doubt that’s the last of it. This time last year on a hire boat (booking leftover from the year before’s lockdown), it was 24C and wall to wall sunshine. Oh well. 84D00F36-9DFD-42AD-844C-FB6591BA476C.thumb.jpeg.57a09450923993c6e044ab047753e917.jpegBC4313D3-F60F-457C-B517-E458B0644327.thumb.jpeg.6d958a35807ab8a4dd10e023dfe9446d.jpeg2C966453-88B0-4A42-B9FA-544E67E2AAC2.thumb.jpeg.6ee4e538755f7190f0af834d921237cb.jpeg7AA909AF-601B-43F0-AE6A-00156BBC9249.thumb.jpeg.1d80718a53ebf9e70cf486114532887e.jpeg

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Wonderful start Kate, and really looking forward to reading about your travels. Lovely to see your photos too.

It certainly is cloudy and chilly and has been raining today with more in the forecast. Facebook likes to constantly remind me whether I made any posts on this day in the past ... and they are usually sunny days on a boat or at the caravan ... just hope this summer warms up soon. :)

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Looking forward to the rest of your tale. We are out and about until Tuesday so may pass you on the Ant tomorrow. Currently at. Currently at a deserted Fleet Dyke 

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A great start to you tale. Thanks for posting.

I must try that walk to Candle Dyke sometime. We sailed along it, but I do like to walk along the rivers as you get a different perspective. 

Hope the weather improves for you and your friends. 

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Nice to read Kate. We spoke to you on St Benets moorings last month (Scarborough and fellow beater). 19 weeks is a great use of the boat. Lovely dog as well. Keep enjoying the broads as you do.

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Seems to be a bit deserted everywhere. Only 2 boats at Hoveton viaduct moorings and no boats on the water. Hardly anyone around on the roads or in the shops. Went to wroxham Barns where car park was about 1/3 full. Got some very tasty cheese there. 

Candle Dyke and up to Hickling and Horsey was my most magical trip yet, in early April. Hope to replicate it sometime, but looks like not this week. 

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The viaduct moorings don't seem to get many boats moored until the summer season gets going while the St John's moorings are often fairly well used. I think people like to be closer to the pub and the shops! Of course it has just been half term so should be quieter this coming week with families restricted to school holidays mostly. And with the forecast rain perhaps folk are cautious of being the wrong side of the bridge.

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We left Fleet Dyke earlier where there were only two other boats and a few on the corner  , St Benets, two boats, not that many at How Hill or Ludham. Now moored up on our own at Irstead. Feels very like winter cruising! 

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I do feel like the hire boat industry has priced them selves out of the water ( pardon the pun) with the lovely British weather people are going to try to go abroad. 

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10 hours ago, Lulu said:

We left Fleet Dyke earlier where there were only two other boats and a few on the corner  , St Benets, two boats, not that many at How Hill or Ludham. Now moored up on our own at Irstead. Feels very like winter cruising! 

And then I came along and shattered your peace and quiet Lulu, hope I didn't frighten you with the sound that emits from my very feeble horn!!!

I better update my log then, seeing as I've started one - woke early to the sound of rain. In fact I'd heard it a few times in the night too, persisting down as they say. Judith was due to arrive at about midday so after a soggy dog walk round the yard, I had a few jobs to see to. Just as I was off out in the car, she arrived, 2 hours earlier than I expected so a real bonus. She'd set off at 4.30 am from the Welsh borders to miss any traffic issues getting into Norfolk. 

So after a joint visit to Tesco, and some dinner, we set off down the Ant before the hireboats were let out to play, with the sky clearing nicely - well, no rain at least. We both commented on how quiet the river was, passing just a couple of boats before Barton Broad. Then on towards Ludham Bridge, we came across Lulu with Luna Aurora moored in one of her favourite spots at Irstead. A good blast on the horn to say hello, (after practicing on Saturday with the toot at 12 thing), unfortunately a woodie passed me just at the same time so I hope they didn't think I was tooting at them in a bad mood!!

On to How Hill where I was daydreaming a bit as I missed GarryN until he tooted at me, sorry Garry for ignoring you. And we landed at that lovely wild morning above Neaves Drainage Mill before Ludham Bridge. If it's free, I can't resist mooring there. The rain was still holding off so we decided on a walk to Horning. In all the years that Judith has been coming hire boating with me, we've never once managed to moor in Horning, so I thought she'd enjoy getting acquainted with the village. A nice stop off for a glass of cider at the Swan halfway round our walk was well appreciated. Back to the boat, cup of tea, spinach curry for tea and a rather chilly evening. 

I must have courted bad luck when I asked a couple of weeks ago about the likely whereabouts on my boat of my diesel heater. Tonight I switched it on and although it starts up, does it's clicking etc, after a few minutes it stops again. The control dial seems to be able to turned round and round, rather than stopping at max or min, so I wonder if it's got its knickers in a twist and doesn't know what temperatureI want. Either that, or its a lot warmer than it feels and it is telling me I don't need any heat!!!! So at sometime tomorrow I'm going to have to actually locate the heater (I think the consensus was behind the panel behind the sofa) and see if I can see anything untoward, not that I know what I'm looking for. I think it's probably something up with the control, but it's an old one with no fault reader on it.  Maybe another case of opening my wallet sometime in the future.

After a very peaceful evening, with the water completely still, but no lovely sunset, it's time to retire to bed. I can hear the birds settling down for the night. Wonder what tomorrow will bring, hopefully a trip to Coltishall. 

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A lot of hire yards left the thermostat on full and then disconnected them, not entirely sure why.  Try starting the heating with the engine running, if it starts it could be the batteries are a little low and need checking.  There are a few other things but this is the most common.

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Heaters can be tricky. We’ve had a few problems in the past on Moonlight Shadow. Bit of a problem if there’s no fault reader though.

To be honest, Graham and I rarely use the boat’s Webasto heater, having had issues with it on previous trips. We also find it rather noisy. During the winter months we have mostly hooked up to electric posts and used our dimplex heaters to heat the boat. When it’s particularly cold we also use a fan heater, though that does use up the credit on the post a lot more. 

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So many lovely replies, thanks very much. 
im not very good at doing the quote thing so I’ll just answer in turn. 
Troyboy - nice to hear from you. You might like the photo of Finlay below, retrieving dummy from across on the opposite bank. 


NeilB - the heater is the same with or without engine running. The voltmeter hasn’t dropped below 12.3 all trip so far, since Monday off the electric, and using cool box on 12v as well as fridge, so I think batteries are ok. Anyway, I won’t worry about it tonight as it’s warm!!!

Helen - I too use an electric heater when on electric, might as well get my £1 worth! I have a 500w fan heater that really blasts out heat. I don’t like using it for long on the inverter though but would do if I really couldn’t bear to get out of bed in a morning. But I really prefer wild moorings. So I will have to investigate the heater eventually. 
 

Jean- well we made it through!

Right, our day. Started (not particularly early, I really envy those of you who have the motivation to get up ag dawn to experience the Broads at their best) with a walk down to Ludham Bridge. On our return and a cooked breakfast inside us, we set off for Wroxham, in no hurry. We thought about stopping at Cockshoot for a visit to the bird hide but time was getting on and I didn’t want to be too late for low tide, which was round about 1.15pm. 
On arrival at the bridge, an HW boat was on the pilot mooring so I scrabbled about for the pilots phone number while trying to keep in one place. It took 2 attempts to get an answer as I got cut off the first time, so that was quite a long time that I’d have been in view of the webcam Jean, drifting about in the middle of the river!

The pilot asked us to moor up in NBD yard while he cleared the backlog of boats and had his lunch, we moored by the day boats at first but a lady called across to us that we were in the wrong place, so we slotted into a spot in the back basin and made our dinner while we waited. I must say, all in all a very friendly and helpful bunch in there. The pilot took us through about an hour later, showing me the ropes. I won’t dare to do it myself yet Helen, but eventually will pluck up the courage. I’ll pick a really low water level week and give it a go!

We carried straight on to Coltishall very gently. The river was so still and it looked like winter as there was so much willow seed on the surface. I’m going to have to do some housework in the boat to remove all that blew in. 
 

So now up at the lock on our own. What an absolutely wonderful place, I’ve completely fallen in love with this mooring. 
We had a good dog walk along the lane, turning left out of the mill, turning left again at a track leading to a farm (public footpath but the signpost is broken). Follow the track along to a footpath sign bearing right, follow it along past a delightful bluebell wood. It comes out by some houses and eventually you get back to the lane. Turn right and you’re back to where you turned off down the farm track, and retrace your steps to the mill. A lovely walk, probably about 2.5 miles. 
Finlay then did some training in the water, having a good wash in the process in the beautiful clear water up here. A swimmer came along later and we’d also watched some paddle boarders having fun at the mill, catching the ‘waves’ coming out of the weir. 
Finlay then accompanied us to the Recruiting Sargeant for tea where he fell asleep under the table. What a fabulous meal. I was amazed how busy the pub was for a Tuesday night. Highly recommended. 
Hoping for the weather to be better than the forecast for tomorrow, but after being so spoilt by the lovely experiences today, it won’t much matter if we get wet tomorrow. Anyone else out on the rivers, enjoy yourselves. 
Look how quiet Ludham Bridge 5C30A503-6133-4CEC-9A9E-3D2914AC4486.thumb.jpeg.50b8a8fefc62008bc7cd37eb27263764.jpeg5A10BC3F-62DE-44FF-9ACB-62A57EDEA90F.thumb.jpeg.f7aefc95348c384bbd46d4155d34b61c.jpeg057ECF9C-DE02-4801-9A58-5799DC48DE0C.thumb.jpeg.540e462b23924d9d9798a44e9e5d51ef.jpeg21B1488F-2675-4554-89D7-B6EE91AAA8D2.thumb.jpeg.128daec2ea2b2e201a0cb79103c46498.jpeg442A3EFA-A39B-454A-9AC9-EFA92B9F8F7B.thumb.jpeg.2dc5356a3d90b7b7a1d0d5ea228927ea.jpegA9B63AFD-7F89-4EA8-9430-A2E9A2949768.thumb.jpeg.8fda24611c275ed2fade2d3da1d521c5.jpegwas mid morning. 
Look how quiet Ludham Bridge was this morningPs, not sure why the ludham bridge photo has gone to the back of the queue! Sorry. 

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Sounds like you had a wonderful day. We must search out that walk you did from Coltishall Locks.

We’ve always found the NBD staff and the pilot very helpful, having hired from them a couple of times. Great customer service.

It was also nice to have a view of your boat. That’s such a practical design for the Broads…no worries for you if it’s hissing down when you want to get back under the bridge. (Though we do love Moonlight Shadow.)

We’ll try to keep an eye out and wave when we are back on the Broads. Hope to meet up for another chat too.

Thanks for posting.

:default_biggrin:

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So it was still quiet at Ludham. Has everyone gone south or something? 

I have wondered where you go if theres a queue waiting for the bridge pilot. Another thing that’s put us off trying but we really must have a go. I really want to get up to the Belaugh mooring as well as Coltishall. 

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32 minutes ago, Lulu said:

queue waiting for the bridge pilot

I think you only go in there if you’ve already contacted him and he’s told you to. He was a bit surprised when he arrived round there to find us, to find he had 3 more boats to take, as well as the ones he knew about.

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I’ve decided that if I’m doing this blog thing, I’ll describe the routes I take on walks. One or two folk might find it useful. I’ll try to remember photos, and to note mileages and time. 
So I forgot to describe the route from the river Ant to Horning, a lovely circular walk. 
 

From the wild mooring above Neaves Mill, follow the path ‘upstream’. It skirts the reedbed, turn right at a little junction, alongside a bit of carr woodland. Keep following round through a proper wood, turning left at a junction as you near a pasture field in front of you. cross the stile and keep to the fence line all round the field (often cows in, so do as asked and keep dogs on leads), to a gate and into the farmyard. Turn left to join the lane which you follow past the RAF radar museum. A bit past there, you can then either take the footpath diagonal across an arable field, or turn left at the crossroads. It comes out at the junction leading down into Horning, where the nice ironwork Horning sign is. After enjoying the facilities of Horning, follow Lower Street all the way along past the back of the boatyards, up past the school. Don’t take the fork down to the church when you get to the school, but carry straight on. Although if you decide to go down to the church the road does continue round to meet up with the crossroads. After a few minutes, you get to a little crossroads and there’s a path across another arable field that goes off at about a diagonal from the crossroads towards the row of houses. Cross the road (leads to Ludham Bridge), follow the track, you’ll spot your boat by this time, until you reach the first junction you turned at on your way to Horning. Turn right there to retrace your steps to the boat. 
If usually takes me about 40 mins or so to get to Horning and about half hour to get back going that way round. I do it that way as there’s more offlead for the dog in the outward leg to wear him out. 

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Lovely posts Kate. You’re very good at this “blog thing”. :)

 I haven’t done the stretch to Coltishall. We always seem to have high water levels when we’re out or wrong tide times for getting through the bridge. The whole business of getting the pilot with little space to wait has also tended to put me off. Maybe one year …

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On 06/06/2022 at 21:50, kpnut said:

 I think it's probably something up with the control, but it's an old one with no fault reader on it.  Maybe another case of opening my wallet sometime in the future.

Ouch!!  Open wallet surgery for another case of B.O.A.T!  It would probably be worth getting your heater and controls checked.  New ones cost a fortune, unless you go down the Chinese route.  I know a couple of folk who’ve had them, one without issues and the other who did.  Planar (Autoterm) is another manufacturer of mid priced heaters, but as they’re made in Russia, spares availability may become problematic in view of the situation in Ukraine.  There’s also MV (Mikuni) to consider, also cheaper than Webasto or Eberspacher.

Hopefully, yours is repairable, but if it’s not, you may need an anaesthetic prior to opening your handbag!!

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5 hours ago, kpnut said:

route from the river Ant to Horning, a lovely circular walk.

Thanks, I love the descriptions of walks. We've never moored near Neaves Mill as I didn't think you could go anywhere from that bank. We'll certainly try it out some time. 

I agree with Jean, I think your blogs are brilliant. 

:default_icon_clap:

 

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Well, you are all very kind and tolerant!

Lulu - we are now at Belaugh, about to go and see what we can find. It catches the afternoon sun nicely. 
Will update with today’s explorations later. 

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12 hours ago, Mouldy said:

Hopefully, yours is repairable, but if it’s not, you may need an anaesthetic prior to opening your handbag!!

Mouldy, I’ll be getting my son in law on the case when he next comes to the boat. He has one in his camper van. I’m fearing the worst and hoping for the best. 
 

13 hours ago, SwanR said:

I haven’t done the stretch to Coltishall

Well, you need to Jean. We have had the most wonderful time. 
 

Our day, Wednesday 8th June. Woke to driving rain at about 6am, but had dwindled to a drizzle by the time I had to let the dog out at 7.30. Following a breakfast of bacon, sausage, egg but also overindulging in Greek yoghurt, cucumber, sultanas and walnuts all mixed up with paprika (try it, it’s extremely tasty) we felt another good walk coming on. This time up the Bure past the navigation limit. Again, I forgot to log it but I think about 3.5 miles and 2 hours or so. E268D6B7-983A-4D1E-AF53-7FF150964EF7.thumb.jpeg.ce281df6ac43d3f5569b63610bf2471d.jpeg
From the lock moorings head over the lock, up through the wood to the main road. 
Over the road by the bridge and follow the path alongside the river. It starts off through woodland where we saw a school group doing archery at Hautbois activity centre, and another canoeing. They looked like they were having real fun. Both of us have been involved big time in the past with outdoor activities in school, so it was so good to see the kids out and about again.
Into some water meadows up to where the path comes out onto the road. Before that, there are some footbridges and before that is a footbridge over the river where you can shorten the walk back down the other riverbank. The footbridge is not that obvious so if thinking about that, keep searching from the end of the wooded section for the ‘exit’ to the bridge. 
At the road we had the option of left and over the river and back down the river or right and up the lane, past a hall with enormous chimneys until reaching a junction with the Bure Valley Railway. Turn right and a few yards along there is a set of steps down onto a path running alongside the line(fenced off so safe for dogs to run free). 66278054-5696-4B0D-968E-0044484FA844.thumb.jpeg.ef6ce657710a2ffbda3b04e741504453.jpeg 

We were treated to the train trundling along on its way to Aylsham. At the next set of steps we left the railway to descend to a large village pond, is this the true Coltishall Common area, rather than what many refer to as the common where the moorings are by the pubs? Two ‘hedge veg’ stalls outside garden gates would get you jams, potatoes and eggs today, enticing but we have all three of those on board already. Turn left down the road and there is a pavement all the way into Coltishall where you cross the road by the bridge and retrace your steps. A very varied walk which can be shortened, or extended by following the railway a bit further to coltishshall station. DF02C2C6-A13B-4FDE-8D6C-49D629946322.thumb.jpeg.68b7c2bcec6fe637f13908fb3bcde977.jpeg

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