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How And ,why And When Did You First Visit The Broads


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This may have be covered  before.Why not talk again about our live of the broads. 

I've said many times before.I first came mid sixties  twice on Martham boats. Then October  2021 we moved to Martham. From then went back in 1974 then another long gap a day on the boat with Alan and Dave.That convinced  Marina  that boating was lovely. 

Let's hear your story. 


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Hired a safari 25 from richos back in 2000 (yep I'm a newbie to this) for a week, had a look around on local river the week after to see what dayboat hire was costing and what was available, went into the wrong marina that didn't do boat hire but had a sale line, BAD MOVE!!!!!

Put in a cheeky offer on a Norman 20 that had sat there for ages and it was accepted, so started the learning curve, after discovering just how dear outboards and canopies are to replace I put it back up for sale about 6 weeks later and sold it in a week and came away £100 up and looked for something a bit more turnkey, wound up with a Norman 18 for a couple of years then moved up to a Norman 25 (all still on great ouse and nene).

2006 we went to see some boaty forum friends for a weekend out on their old RLM31 on the medway, weather turned and we ended up having to abandon it at queenborough all tide landing as the RNLI would not let the trot boat take anyone else back to boats as they were having too many shouts, later at the turn of the tide (pitch black by then) and a lull in the wind the rescue was done with 2 lunatics in a dinghy to get the boat back to cuxton as the weather was due to get worse the next day, I was the getaway driver for this bit.

Friends apologised for putting us off boating for life but it had given us the bug for some coastal cruising for some strange reason, a month later and we had bought their boat and had it moved back to great ouse and did many sea miles going out of denver sluice.

2010 we arranged a 3 month mooring in loddon (thanks Bill) and cruised round to the broads via wells for the summer, during main holiday hopped our way down the coast as far as maldon and most stops in between and back to the great ouse for winter.

2011 we planned for the other way and did wells/hull/york/torksey/lincoln/boston and back as our main trip.

2012 we came round to the broads again with a long term mooring sorted and now you just can't get rid of us.

Changed boat to the present plague ship in 2015 for better seakeeping and done most stops between wells and dover except going into the thames.

Been poorer since the end of the first paragraph........

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1981 ish, our first holiday after getting married in '78. We hired Conquest from Stalham Yacht Services and were hooked for life. Many holidays hiring and eventually retired to the Norfolk coast for a home near the beach and our own boat on the Broads.

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1977, I was 11, my dad hired Golden Arrow from Pearson Marine, Reedham. My mum wore her lifejacket all week (even when we were sitting down for a meal onboard). I'm sure she wore it in bed.

We came back every year until I was 21, with Brister Craft, Aston Boats & Harvey Eastwood VIP.  I then relocated to Norwich and my fiance became friends with a work colleague at Norwich Union whose family owned a boat building concern at Brundall. We spent many fine weekends afloat until I left UK for a period working in the Middle East.

I had abreak from the Broads until about 2016 when I brought my family for a holiday and we returned, and returned...

Fast forward to earlier this year when we purchased our first boat, a Colvic Sunquest 34 (not ideally suited to the Broads but a lovely boat nevertheless) which we keep at Cove Marina and use most weekends. We love the peace and tranquility, and we are making memories...



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1965 as an 11yo. Family holiday. Our family were crew as the boat was hired by my uncle.

Those aboard were Uncle, Aunt, Cousin and his friend, both 14. Mum, Dad, Sister (15) and me.

My Uncle ran a Thames lighterate business and had been a boatman most of his life. He taught mum dad and me, though my sister was more interested in my cousins friend.

We came back the following year and every year after til my father's death in 2007. I bought my first boat on the Broads in 1994.

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Oh, just as an aside, I would rather like to have a chat with the owners of a boat called


That was the 25' Seamaster I brought onto the Norfolk Broads back in about 95. It was called St Christopher back then. I've seen it only a couple of times but never when I've had a chance to speak to them.

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Norfolk Broads 1980s and more recently

Our maiden visit to the Norfolk Broads was in April 1981 at the time of our first wedding anniversary.

After a long perusal through the Hoseasons brochure we selected Alphacraft and the cruiser Bleriot. We noted that the Alphacraft fleet seemed all to have aircraft related names.

We spent a very enjoyable week on the Southern Broads, covering the whole area from Norwich to Geldeston but as cautious beginners we didn’t venture through Breydon Water to the north.

Our only real mishap was on our first night when we cruised into Norwich and moored at the Yacht Station. We woke in the morning to find that our cruiser was slowly drifting down the river with the mooring ropes trailing in the water. At first, we thought that we had not secured the ropes properly but, when we looked behind two other boats were drifting along behind us. We had all been cast adrift during the night!

When I tried to retrieve our mooring ropes using the boathook the hook fell off and sank leaving me with a bare pole. Fortunately, a kind passer-by came to our aid and pulled us into the bank when I threw him a damp rope.

Soon we were all re-moored with no damage to any of the boats or equipment apart from our lost boathook. We called in to Alpha Craft on the way down river where the late Langford Jillings replaced the boathook and told us that it was unheard of for moorings to be untied at Norwich – though it was apparently a problem at Great Yarmouth. I note that these days the staff at the Norwich Yacht Station recommend that those mooring overnight secure their mooring ropes back onto their boat.

We practised our mooring techniques regularly over the first few days first making errors such as mooring in the direction of the tide but later in the week we received our first and only accolade when we arrived at Geldeston Locks, berthed between two other boats, and moored up fore and aft like clockwork. The skipper from the adjacent cruiser looked over, nodded to his family and remarked ‘That’s the way to do it’.

We returned to Brundall on the Saturday morning after spending a couple of hours cleaning the interior of the boat the decks and the hull to find a veritable army of cleaners waiting to clean and prepare the boat for the next hirers.

Having travelled through the Southern Broads and Rivers on our first visit we were keen to return and explore the Northern Broads and possibly hire from Wroxham or Stalham but the offer of a 10% discount card from Langford Jillings for returning customers persuaded us as canny Scots to use Alphacraft again.

We made our second visit the following September, this time accompanied by my mother and our six month-old daughter Cara. We also hired a rowing dinghy. On this occasion we had Concorde, a two-cabin cruiser to give us extra space.

This visit, though enjoyable, was not quite so successful as our first visit since my mother was not very comfortable on boats and anything smaller than the Arran Ferry was not her scene. However, we did manage a fair bit of travelling and ventured to the North for a few days reaching as far as Coltishall before returning south and cruising to Beccles and Geldeston. Unlike our first visit which had been during the close season for fishing we found that there were fishermen all over the Broads and we didn’t like to ask them to move to allow us to moor up in some places. I can never understand the fascination with course fishing though I do see the point in catching trout or salmon to cook and eat. Anyway, we decided that on any future visit we would book to come in the fishing close season.

While at Geldeston Locks I took the rowing dinghy along the Waveney in the direction of Bungay and had my first and only encounter with a Coypu that dived into the river as I was passing. I understand that Coypu are no more on the Broads river system. It is a pity that other introduced species such as mink are much more difficult to eradicate. I understand that the Broads are now home to an expanding population of otters though it was not until our latest visit in 2023 that I saw them in the area. The only other water mammal I have seen in the Broads in recent years is a water vole that I found swimming in our flooded rowing dinghy one stormy night at Berney Arms.

At the end of our week we called into the Waveney River Centre to fill our water tank before heading back to Brundall. The water tank seemed to be taking a long time to fill and eventually we realised that something was loose and we must have been filling the bilges. A phone call was made to Alphacraft from the Waveney Hotel (the days before mobile phones) and we were asked to bring the boat back and berth in the yard for our last evening.

Once we were dressed, breakfasted and ready to leave on the Saturday morning Langford Jillings and his staff wasted no time in dismantling the interior to find the source of the problem. We were sorry that our last cruise was interrupted, apart from my mother who was happy to be berthed in the yard, but Langford placated us with the offer of a 15% discount on a further visit.

Our third, and last visit to Alphacraft was the following April, chosen to avoid the fishing season. This time we were there as a couple with our now, year-old daughter left in the tender care of her two Grandmothers. At the time Hoseasons were offering reduced cost rail travel and we took an overnight sleeper train from Kilmarnock to London with a connection to Norwich and Brundall the following morning.

This time we hired the single berth Bleriot again and had a good week with decent spring weather. We covered most of the Northern Broads area that we wished to see with the exception of the parts beyond Potter Heigham Bridge. The tides were wrong to allow us through despite the low air draft of the boat. Some things never change, and it seems more difficult than ever to pass under the bridge. We also had another visit to Geldeston Locks on our return south where we met and had a chat with Walter Coe who was landlord at the time.

We had no major mishaps on this occasion though we nearly had a collision at Wroxham Bridge when we were carefully going back downriver and had to reverse smartly when a cruiser came upstream towards the bridge at full speed. I think that we had right of way but there was no point in colliding to argue the point.

When we returned to Brundall on the Saturday Langford Jillings was again there to meet us and gave me a card to offer 15% off for a future cruise. He must have forgotten that he had handed it to me because I received another one as we left the boatyard to walk up to the station.

We had thought about further trips in later years but with two young children at the time decided against it. However, we did keep the Alphacraft discount cards just in case!

It was only in 2016, with the value of sterling falling against the euro, that we decided to look at the possibility of having a week in the Norfolk Broads while we were still fit enough to handle a boat.

Sadly, Alphacraft was no more so our discount vouchers were of no use, but we liked the look of the Silverline cruisers in the Hoseasons brochure and chose the newly built Silver Coral for a week in April/May 2017.

Since that time, we have hired the Silver Coral from Silverline in 2018, 2019 with a Covid enforced break in 2020 and 2021. We did hire again in 2022 but were sad to learn of the departure of the Silverline fleet to Richardson’s in November last year. After consideration we decided to have a week on the Silver Coral on the Northern Broads this spring, but that’s another story.

Sorry if this post is too long. I may have been more appropriate in the holiday tales section.

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Apparently my mum was 6 months pregnant with me on my first trip - I don't remember much about it!!!

My uncle and Aunt made our family's first trip in, I think, 1948.  By 1951 they were all coming with 8 or 9 squeezing onto one boat.  Although my parents started taking their own holidays in the 60's the total family holiday continued until the mid 90's.

My first actual trip was Easter 1973 aged 9 months or so on a boat called Beaune from South Walsham.  Apparently it snowed !!

First trip without parents was at 18 around 1990 with a few friends from Horning Pleasurecraft, don't remember much about that one either but for different reasons! 

Had a few gaps but often popped up for a few days when my parents stayed somewhere for their annual 2 weeks.

Not sure when I first introduced my wife and kids but we had a few shore based visits followed by a last minute week on Emerald Light 2 while it slowly disintegrated around us.  Next year we hired from NBD which was much, much better and then entered the world of Syndicate boats, 1st with Moonlight Shadow and then with Lightening.

In early 2022 after my divorce I was faced with either renting or spending what I had left on a crumbling 2 up, 2 down in a not so nice area. 

So I thought **** it, I'm going to live on a boat and here I am.  After a full year on board I don't regret 1 second.



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We are very much Broads newbies, our first trip wasn't until July 2015. We hired Wood Violet from Hunter's Yard and completely fell in love with the Broads. Our eldest son Harry was with us for that trip, and our elderly dog Marvin. 

March 2016 we had our first experience on a motor cruiser: Turquoise Emblem from Ferry Marina. Just a short mid-week break. That was our final holiday with Marvin as he had been diagnosed with an oral cancer, so we have a bittersweet memory of that trip.

July 2016 we persuaded both sons to join us and we hired two Hunter's boats: Hustler and Hustler 3. This trip was briefly captured on a YouTube video 'The Norfolk Broads, The Quiet Side ' 3:17 minutes into the video.

April-May 2017 we persuaded my cousins to join us and hired Royale Emblem from Ferry Marina, so that was five adults and a dog on that trip. Notable for being our collie dog Seren's first trip.

July 2017 we hired the four-berth 'Lullaby' from Hunter's Yard, with eldest son Harry and collie Seren. This one was notable as it was the week after my mother's funeral. Just the peace and quiet that we needed to heal after a difficult time. 

September 2017 Graham and I hired Fair Regent 3 from NBD. Just Seren along this time for the ride. 

March 2018 Another trip on Fair Regent. This time Fair Regent 1. We loved the layout of this boat. 

October 2018 we were on Bronze Emblem with Harry and Seren. 

July 2019 was another Hunter's boat trip on Lustre with Harry and Seren. 

August 2019 was out first trip on Moonlight Shadow, having bought a share in the boat the previous month. 

We managed to squeeze in our second trip on Moonlight Shadow February 2020, just before lockdown started.

The first day that lockdown lifted (4th July 2020) we had a week on Hunter's Yard's Lucent with Harry and Seren. We also managed to get a couple of long weekends on Water Rail at the end of July and end of August, courtesy of Dave's generosity. We also had an extended 12 day trip on Water Rail last September. 

We are planning our 14th trip on Moonlight Shadow from day after tomorrow.

Anyone agree with me that we've maybe made up for it as late-comers to the Broads?







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Our first visit to the Broads was in 2003. (Newbies I know!!)

We hired Breakaway from Barnes Brinkcraft for a week. We thoroughly enjoyed it despite the weather being dire and the boat being completely unsuitable for a weeks hire. 

Here we were, I would say moored but it was grounded, outside the Reedham Ferry. We moored in very silted up cut out and of course the tide went out and left us high and dry.


Our next visit was in 2004 when we hired Joy, again from Barnes. In 2006 we hired Joy again but were in the process of buying our own boat at this time. Trying to transfer money for the deposit over the phone and arrange surveys was interesting with patchy phone coverage.

We had a bit of a break from the broads then. It was 2011 before we took our own boat for the first time. The trip there and back by sea being as much part of the holiday as being on the Broads.

We again took our own boat to the Broads in 2014, 2016 and 2018. In 2018 we took the boat by trailer which gave us more time on the Broads. The decision to do this was made due to having recently acquired a dog and it wasn't fair for his first sea trip to be 5 hours down the East coast.

He enjoyed his time on the Broads.


In 2017 we hired Viscount from Richardsons and had a lovely late autumn break.

Our last visit was in 2019 when short on time to take our own boat we hired Swan Ranger from Richardsons. We loved this boat and when we do hire again it will most likely be this boat again.

It doesn't seem like it was so long ago that we were last on the Broads. Our next visit starts on Friday night, but not by water this time. We sold our beloved boat in 2020 and bought a motorhome for a change of adventure. We will be travelling around the Broads (and a little of Suffolk) in little Milo for nine nights.

We have a varied mixture of stop overs lined up and will be visiting places we have been before but also places new to us as well. We very much hope we enjoy it as much by road as we always did by boat. I'm sure there will be some day boat hire thrown in somewhere throughout the break.

This is little Milo. If you see us around give us a shout.




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The company my dad worked for had bases in NW London and Woking.  We’d often sit at Chertsey, watching boats cruise past on The Thames when travelling between the two on a Sunday during the summer.  I think I was in my second year of secondary school and there was a school trip planned to visit Holland.  I really wanted to go, but it was quite expensive and my parents couldn’t afford to send me.  In stepped my grandparents, who said ‘where would you like to go instead?’  ‘I’d like a holiday on a boat like those we see at Chertsey’ I replied.

And so it was.  A week on a Caribbean Cruiser from F B Wilds in May 1969, aged 13 (just).  My Nan hated water and was petrified before we went, but loved it so much, she made my dad call into Hoseasons office in Lowestoft on our way home to book for the following year, where we met Jimmy Hoseason.

Sadly, my Nan died just a couple of months later, but we went the following years (1970 - 73) with family friends.  I went without my parents for the first time in 1974, aged 18 and again with my then girlfriend and parents the following year.

Circumstances got in the way until 1987, when I took my wife for her first boating experience on The Broads for a week on a Connoisseur 2 berth.  We returned later that year (the day after the hurricane, that wasn’t) for another week.  We went again the following year with my parents and aunt on a 42ft Connoisseur, when the wife was 7 months pregnant!

Another break, whilst our son grew a little and we hired Tramontana from Gale Cruisers in Chedgrave in ‘93 and again in ‘94.  We had two weeks with my parents on a C45 Connoisseur in ‘95 and were back again in ‘96 on Royall Sceptre.  In fact, we spent at least one week a year afloat every year until 2008, apart from 2002, when our holiday dates clashed with us moving into a new build house.

A break again then until we hired Royal Commander in 2014, with our son and his girlfriend.  They came with us for the following three years on Grande Girl 1.  In 2018, we saw a share in Moonlight Shadow advertised at a very attractive price and bought it, although we already had a week booked on Gainsborough Girl a month later.

It had always been an ambition to own a boat ever since my first Broads holiday and the opportunity finally arose in 2019.  Due to the wife’s diligence, we had sufficient funds to buy Norfolk Lady and achieve something that I never thought would be possible.  Four years on, and she still brings great joy when we’re aboard, despite the headaches experienced over the years (not to mention expense).  

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My grandfather used to own a warehouse that people would store their boats in through winter, he'd do repair work for them, black them, replenish wooden hulls etc.
The only thing I remember about that warehouse it that he'd built a train track that ran all around the warehouse walls, and fabricated a little steam train that ran around the track.
He also had a cruiser on the broads and day boat that he liked to take out to sea.

I can't have been much older than 4/5 years old when I spent my first holiday on the broads, one of the memories I have is my father (who was a big bloke) would grab the back of my shorts, and rest my throat in his palms, he'd swing me in the air and launch me with all his force into the air, for those few seconds of going up I'd pretend to be superman.
And then splash, again, again.

My boys are a little too big to be lifted up I'd need a trebuchet fitting to the bow, but I'd like to give them some of the childhood memories I have of boating.


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1982 for us, a boat called Morning Star from R & D Smith at Brundall. Although we had some trauma with the boat nearly sinking due to a shaft problem, it didn’t put us off. We hired every year after that, sometimes twice, until 2005/2006 when I had to have both hips replaced. Decided to see in 2007 if boating was going to be a possibility again and luckily found it was. So much so that we bought our own boat in 2009 and haven’t looked back. 

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What an absolutely delightful thread, thank you Ian

I love reading how people began their love affair with our beautiful Broads. Just over thirty years ago now as a little girl on my first ever boat with my parents, a Gold Gem from Richardson's. A bright orange bath tub, not very posh but she was a floating palace to me, I fell in love with all things boats and Broads.

The memories of having so much fun messing about in boats will stay with me forever. I've had a hen party boat, boats hired with other couples before taking my own children who now love it just as much as me.

I've loved every single boat I've hired from old tubs to posher craft

The hen boat was just a blast, pub crawls, captains hats and pirate flags :default_biggrin: Frowned upon by some I know but we were well behaved, kind of :default_biggrin: x


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It's a funny thing that it is almost hereditary as if ones parents loved The Broads and boats you did.  A bit different for me my mum took me when I was about twelve, last year or was it the year before anyway no matter. Golden Girl from Summercraft a wooden jobby with  hand  clutch and a Morris 1100 engine petrol. On board for our trial run and the guy said I had better tell your boy most of it as my poor Mum was floundering. I could already drive off road and had done a fair bit of tractor work. Fergy20 and David Brown 988. Dad never holidayed then so a very brave mother took me.

After that hired a few trailed with our family and we are now lucky enough to have a cruiser though it might be a project to enjoy.

Trailing was good family 4 and 4+2. In fact the whole family have and still enjoy boats and boating so I am sorry NBN and everyone on The Broads you are stuck with us for a while yet.

Kindest Regards Marge and Parge 

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We too are relative newbies , our first holiday afloat was a very last minute choice , I was in the licensed trade then and up till two weeks before I booked I wasn’t sure I’d be able to have a holiday at all , that was in 1995.

So I managed to book literally the last cruiser available from Hoseasons that was large enough for myself , Katie and three children aged 2,4 and 9 . We managed to get Golden Girl II from Summercraft , after that week we were hooked.

The next five years we hired Muscadet   (Now Hi Light on HW) from Russell Craft until they ceased hiring , then we went with Kingfisher Craft , Alphacraft , Broom, , Summercraft , Broom again and finally NBD on various boats until we purchased Cerise Lady which we had for four years before we bought Pipedreams .


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My first visit to the broads was probably in the naughties.  We had a berth on Ely marina and a friend there decided to relocate to the Broads. He invited us to spend a day with him on his boat. So we drove to Acle and met him there. We went to Horning,moored up on Percie's island  for lunch and spent the rest of the day cruising the area, returning to The Bridge for dinner. We enjoyed it so much that when our marina in Ely was taken over by a  less than desirable new owner we had no hesitation in relocating there and  have never regretted it.


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Dear CC

I think that both boats were Golden Girl but they were different craft as the one we had was an aft cockpit I remember a hand cluth then select gear basically direction release the clutch a fairly substantial lever then rev up with a hand throttle an manoeuvre. 

( or F.O. depending on who was watching :default_icon_clap:)

Perhaps Vaughan will remember the boat. 

Looking forward to meeting up soon, maybe have a beer.

Kindest Regards Marge and Parge 

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Dad had been on boating holidays since the 40s I believe with his parents. In 1969 when I was three months old I was plonked on board and apparently bathed in the sink. Dad hired Bermudas and Caribbeans while I was a tot before eventually hiring Connoisseurs.  It was the annual holiday with my parents and brother until my brother and I left home when I was in my early 20s.

 Quite a few years went by then my ex and I hired a Connoisseur when the kids were about 8 and 11 years old in the mid 2000’s.  Another long gap and then in 2017 I had been watching the Captains Blogs which got me all enthusiastic about the Broads and said to Graham we should get a boat. The most spontaneous decision I’ve ever had.  We ended up getting the wrong boat to start off with, bought a different one, still wrong and finally got Luna and became founding members of the Three Boats in a Year Club.   Best thing we ever did.

 The photo must be from 1970, little me and mum. My favourite place was the ‘beach’ at Salhouse.  I was only thinking the other day and got very nostalgic really missing the family holidays. Sadly mum and dad are just not able enough to even join us on a hire boat and we do all the work. 


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for me it was a trip, organised by the wife (now ex wife) aboard Pearl Horizon in 2010, we had our trial run, set off and moored up at South Walsham, when we woke in the morning I got out of bed and stepped onto we carpet, a call to the boatyard and we headed back to the yard, where it became apparent the connection had come off the water tank which had filled the bilges, two men came aboard, one to fix the leak, the other took all the carpets and wet vacced them off, then hung them to dry behind the boat, meanwhile the other man set to and repalaced the water pump and fixed the leak, then proceeded to refill the water tank.

at the end of our week aboard, it turned out I loved it and she hated it.

I had always been interested in the broads after reading Arthur Ransome, so a couple of years later when I was invited for a trip aboard Broad Ambition, I leapt at the chance.

later i took to hiring a boat from Marthams, culminating in taking the new Janet 2 to the wooden boat show.

It was after this that I was offered a share in Water Rail, which I gladly took up, and despite all of the adventure she has presented, love that boat- by this time the wife had become the ex wife, and I was free to take my holidays wherever  wished, so far they have all been on the broads, and I havent ever grown tired of that.

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What a lovely thread to start......thank you Ian!

In 1981, my then girlfriend Jacqui.......(I know.....far posher than with a 'cky') persuaded me that we should have a summer holiday together. Jacqui was used to 2 weeks package hols in the sun with her family.....starting to become very popular in the mid to late seventies......me.....well, I preferred to spend my hard earnt on beer and cigs.....with my mates!

I had no interest in going abroad. I still haven't! We started some difficult discussions about where to go.....and so, me having frowned on the many, frankly perfectly sensible suggestions offered, and dithered for far too long when told to suggest somewhere myself, I was given the ultimatum......."book something or I will"!

It must have been early in the year that I was sat watching telly after Sunday dinner when the classic Hoseasons ad came on......and having never been on anything bigger than a canoe.....I knew this must be for me.

I was due to see Jacqui in the pub that evening and proudly announced my proposal.......the Norfolk broads, on a boat.....(I had never been boating, or to Norfolk)

I am pleased to say that she agreed!......"2 weeks on a boat it is then" she said.....mmmmm....2 weeks I thought is going to cost some beer and fag money!.....no, no just one......to see if you like it I said....but she wasn't having any......so 2 weeks it was.

So we got a brochure.....bloody hell it was expensive.....they never mentioned that on the advert!

I chose a sporty looking little boat called Caribou. From Ludham Marine (I think that's what the boatyard was called),  at Womack....where the little boatyard is now.

I didn't keep the brochure, I wish I had!.... but many years later I visited the museum at Stalham and they very kindly showed me a brochure from either 1980 or 82 and there she was....Caribou....I think the museum man said it was an Eastwood 24 but I might be wrong....he kindly gave me a black and white photocopy, which I lost!

She was tiny, An aft cockpit, I think it was a petrol engine but again I might be wrong, a manual pump loo (Jacqui was not impressed with that)!....a shower I couldn't fit in and move my arms, a dinette double and v berths up front, all with plastic covered cushions that prevented any chance of meaningful sleep....many of you will remember sticking to them.....and we did a week up north....including my only ever time through Potter.....and a week on the dark side.

The week up north was hot and sunny.....Jacqui was happy getting a tan all week, leaving the boating to me....we did the lot, Coltishall, Sutton, Horsey, Hickling.....fabulous, I loved it and I took such pride in helming that little boat.....still one of the best I have ever driven.

The second week, August bank holiday week, was dull and damp, and we went down south. No sunbathing for Jacqui....not happy.....very little comfortable sleep.....even less so!

I remember crossing Breydon in the fog....passing coasters along the Yare....passing the Colemans factory in Norwich.....and hitting the quay heading quite hard when I misjudged the current/tide at the little riverside supermarket at Brundall....I was really embarrassed!

My love affair had began!....boating and the Broads that is!

Unfortunately, there was only me that felt that way!.....we never boated together again!

I remember clearly Jacqui telling our mates back home "he loved that bloody boat more than he loves me.......".....

Anyway, nearly 20 years after me and Jacqui parted, (I was devastated for nearly 2 weeks)...I took my 3 young daughters to the Broads. For a week on Spring Horizon......fabulous......and I have been going each year except 2020, sometimes twice, and I have introduced my mates to the magic of the Broads into the bargain.

Last year we were lucky enough to buy a share in Blue Mist. A fabulous cruiser and a great group of fellow owners......no more manual loos, tiny little shower or sticking to back plastic mattress covers.......do you know.....I think even our Jacqui would approve!.........mmm.....I wonder where she is...........






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