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Springer’s Retreat On The Rivers


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4 hours ago, YnysMon said:

Ooo…is that the tiny Staithe that Robin (Captain’s Blogs) discovered in one of his later vlogs, off Barton Broad? How much room is there? 

from the sound of it, just enough for Water Rail :default_biggrin:

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Easy for Water Rail, you could spin her round in one move. Springer’s Retreat is 35ft and fits end to end. I’ve already turned her so I know it’s possible. 
Secluded, lots of birdsong, water lilies, excellent walk onto that Catfield Fen nature reserve, catches morning and evening sun, would be shadier during day I think, midgy, not much view, about sums it up. 

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A 2.5 hour, 5 mile walk to Catfield Dyke, circular back through some different lanes, but not really recommended as quite a lot of road walking, even if mostly quiet lanes both ways. But a lovely permissive path down Catfield Dyke from the moorings. There is a BA 24 hr mooring there, the bit from the shed to the ladder on the photo and maybe down to where I was standing. 

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The path probably goes just over halfway down the dyke (I was hoping maybe to get out to Hickling Broad but it turned before that)

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before turning at a little bench saying ‘enjoy kingfisher corner’ or something similar and making its way back along a shady track to the lane.
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Recommend a visit if you in the car sometime. 

I revisited Catfield Fen on the way back to the boat to see more swallowtail butterflies. I did spot a few but far too fast for my phone camera. I did manage 4 horsefly bites though -grrrh!

Washed the Saharan sand back off the boat and moseyed on ti How Hill as the mooring spot I wanted on the river was taken. We’re going to take a walk down to Ludham Bridge when it cools down a bit, but gif now Finlay is having a snooze on the sofa. 
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you can eaily get to catfield staithe by water (if you can get under Potter heigham bridge) i have done it, but be aware the dyke is quite shallow, when I went down there was a depth gauge that showed the water depth as around 2 foot. and i did experience the prop catching in the mud and walking the boat sideways.

about half way down the dyke from hickling there is a gated off area of water, so that is probably what stopped you getting further along the dyke.

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That dog doesn't realise how lucky he is. Your blogs are making me very envious. I'm going to look at a boat on Saturday morning before we go to HW to pick up Evening Light. Can't wait to get back on the broads. 

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3 hours ago, grendel said:

you can eaily get to catfield staithe by water

I managed to go under PH bridge in March and went past the entrance to the dyke but didn’t dare go down there. As you say, narrow and shallow. There were plenty of smaller boats at the moorings at the end.

1 hour ago, Troyboy said:

That dog doesn't realise how lucky he is

I’ll tell him! Anything to keep him fit over the summer is good. He’s had two good swims today and I’ve done nearly 9 miles so he’s done at least double, probably 3 times that. He had a good bit of fuss from the lads at Ludham Bridge Boatyard when I called in to say hello on my walk.

Fed and watered now, checked for ticks and de-stickybudded, now asleep again. What a life!

Just keep a map with you and explore. Norfolk is absolutely riddled with footpaths, just like the Sussex of my childhood. Now in Sussex you walk the footpaths from one housing estate to the next!

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the problem is that good conditions to get under Potter heigham bridge are bad conditions to get down Catfield Dyke, give it a try next time, though, at 35 foot turning will be tight at the end, but its a lovely spot

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4 hours ago, grendel said:

the problem is that good conditions to get under Potter heigham bridge are bad conditions to get down Catfield Dyke, give it a try next time, though, at 35 foot turning will be tight at the end, but its a lovely spot

That’s a shame. We have been down Catfield Dyke in a day boat and I was thinking that maybe we could take Water Rail down there if we manage to get under ‘the bridge’. Maybe not though. 

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there was about 2 foot when I last went down (in Marthams Janet) and I believe its been dredged since then, so if you get up there its well worth a try, Water rail has quite a shallow draught at least comparable to the Martham boats, the depth gauge is about half way along the dyke on the left as you go in.

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Give it a go Helen, says me who was too scared to do so!

Last day for me on the rivers, home in the morning. So a slow start at How Hill, although I had been roused from my slumber by an engine running from 7am. I expect the occupants didn’t realise how much noise the engine made as it was out the back and it was a long HW boat. To be honest, it didn’t wake me but it did disturb the peace and quiet of a few minutes in bed watching the river. The boat didn’t actually leave till 9.30. 
Being in no hurry whatsoever and determined to enjoy my last journey, I ambled up the Ant for a pump out at Richardsons. And a jolly good job they did too. Highly recommended. 
I had been assured that one of the lads at the yard would get me the fault code for the non-functioning diesel heater. Code said no fuel getting to the heater, which I had sort of suspected without knowing the reason why, as when it was turned in it got as far in the operation as ‘ignites flame’ and then switched itself back off again. It turned out to be a split in the pipe between the pump and the heater, where it had been installed with a right angle turn. Duly fixed with a proper elbow joint put in and away it went, pumping copious amounts of heat into the already hot cabin. I am so very grateful to the yard for helping out and I’m sure the bill will be affordable too as I’ve always found Richardsons to be very fair. I’m not sure whether they take on private work to be honest, but being an ex Richardsons hire boat, there is a wealth of experience to ask. 
Very happy and very hot, as I’d been told to give it a good 20 mins or so, I made a sandwich before setting off for diesel at Sutton Staithe. Again, very helpful and friendly, even if it had gone up another 15p a litre since last there only a week or so ago. Now £1.87.
Back to my mooring for the usual clean up. I had thought I was the next one on the boat again, so wasn’t going to do such a thorough job, but my daughter and husband (that takes some getting used to, they only got married in April) are here next, as of a plan they hatched last night, so a full clean needed. At least then, I should expect the same from them!

So if you see Springers Retreat out and about in early July, with a spaniel that seems to have changed colour, from black and white to liver and white, it’s those two with Finlay’s older brother Charlie. 
My next trip is with my 90 year old mum later in July. 

Home tomorrow to see if Tony has fed himself properly and to catch up on the allotments. 
 

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Lovely!

Thanks for the encouragement about Catfield Dyke. If we can under Potter we’ll certainly try it.

When are you on board in July? We are next on MS from the 15th July. Mind you, we have plans to disappear down south away from what I’m anticipating will be busy rivers up north. 

 

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Brilliant tale, thank you for posting. Its been so interesting. Im always curious about different walks but I have to admit, Desmond and I are quite lazy and dont do long walks.   Also making me seriously think about going to that little staithe off Barton Broad.  If a boat was already there, is there still enough room to turn or would you have to reverse back out? 
 

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10 minutes ago, Lulu said:

If a boat was already there, is there still enough room to turn or would you have to reverse back out? 

I haven’t been there, but from what I recall of Robin’s blog I think there is room to turn. 

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Yes, you could turn with a bit of toing and froing. There's some private moorings there too, which I don't think are ever really used so space enough.

Helen, Im picking mum up from the railway station on eleventh, and she's here a week. I'll be down a couple of days before to check things are ready for her. So we might well see you on your way down south. 

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