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Our week started as usual at 04.30 on Friday 21st June, with the radio coming on, and we`re soon awake (only just) and up and about. With all the packing done throughout the week, we`ve only really got to pack up what`s in the fridge, and put everything in the car. After a simple breakfast of tea and toast, we`re all packed in the car and mobile by our usual getaway time of 06.00, and have a trouble free journey up the A31, M27, M3, M25, M11/A11 all the way to Norwich. It`s amazing how short the 250+ mile journey is in the early morning, but later in the day, it always seems so much longer. Our usual trip would see us going up the A12, and stopping off at Beccles for a weeks shopping in Tescos, but this time we decide to take the M11, as i want to go to "Clickers archery" in the middle of a housing estate in Thorpe. I`ve already written down the directions in a form even i could follow, as well as the directions to the nearest Tescos, as we`ll not be going through Beccles, and to my delight, we went straight to both places with no problems whatsoever. Who needs a sat nav when you`ve got google satelite view, and me as navigator?.


After our short diversion, it`s time to head for Loddon, and we decide to go directly to the yard, and walk round to Rosie Lea`s for lunch. We arrive at Maffett Cruisers yard at 11.45 and find Linda doing the final bit of preperation inside Kingfisher, and she tells us we`re the first people to take her out. After a short while, we walk round to Rosie Leas, where we`re greeted in the same friendly way by Caroline, and have a larger than expected lunch. We left Carolines, and i needed to go to the post office to get a new fishing license, Then it`s back to the yard where Kingfisher is waiting ready, and we get the car unloaded, which, as a result of me packing for every weather condition to quite a while, but we`re in no hurry, as there`s plenty of daylight left.


John shows us all over Kingfisher showing us all the work that`s been done since they took her over during the winter months.  She`d had a fully reconditioned engine and box fitted, new propshaft/tube and stern gear, including thrust bearings etc, New electrics, Gas sytem etc etc etc, but they said there`s still work to do, but they wanted to get her out to be seen on the rivers, but all the essentials were replaced, and the rest was spotlessly clean anyway.


We stay and chat with John and Linda for an hour or so, and finally get away around 16.30-17.00 and have a really pleasant cruise down the Chet encountering only two other boats coming upriver. It`s good the river is empty, as it gives me plenty of space to get used to handling a different boat, and as it turns out, Kingfisher is`nt as responsive to the helm as Swallow is, something more noticeable at slow speed, and so i`ve recommended John fits a bigger rudder over this winter, but apart from that, at normal river speeds, she handles well enough.


We come to the mouth of the Chet, and i ask Karen if she`d prefer Reedham, or Langley Dyke for our first night, and she opted for Langley, as we loved it there when we moored overnight last October. We arrive at Langley hoping there`s a spot, but we should`nt have worried, as there was only one other boat there, so we pull in at the end of the first row of 24hr moorings, to give plenty of space for anybody else.


As a result of having a larger than expected lunch, we both agree we don`t want any dinner, so a light tea was had. I take the opportunity to set up one of my fishing rods, and test the water, but alas, the fish were very conspicuous by their absence,  so i gave up and sat down watching tele with Karen.


We then hear the sound of engines, and i take a look out of the window and see a boat slowly coming up the dyke, and it looked rather familiar. It turned out to be "Jasperoo" with Richard and Amanda (aka "the Reevos) aboard, so i give them a hand to moor, and invite them aboard for a cuppa. They joined us for a cuppa and a chat, and i show them round, and after an hour or so they head back to Jasperoo for the night. By this time it`s nearly 22.00, and we`re both feeling tired after a long day, so it`s time for bed.


Good night all.

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Saturday morning, and we`re awake about 07.30ish after a good nights sleep, and after such a long day, i was glad of it. We never lay in on holiday, so i make Karen a cuppa, and we have tea in bed. Come 8, and we`re both up and about, and seeing as Kingfisher has 2 ensuite loos, we`re both able to have a wash or shower at the same time, oh what luxury. We`re up and about, with breakfast on the go, and i look to see if the Reevo`s are still there, which i`d guessed they were, as we did`nt hear any engines go by earlier, and yes, Jasperoo was still tied up tight.  After breakfast, the regular morning tasks of doing engine checks, taking down the tv ariel etc are done, and we`re ready to get underway.



We start the engine, and wait a short while for it to warm up, as we don`t want to do any harm to Kingfishers new engine, by running her cold, and while we`re waiting, Jasperoo comes gently past, and they`re on their way. When they`re clear, we get untied, and start to move off. It`s very clear that Kingfishers close quarter manouvering ability IS`NT as good as Swallow, so it`s something we`ll have to adapt to. We move slowly down Langley dyke, and into the Yare, heading upstream with the tide, and watch our neighbours for the night steaming away, but we have to take it relatively easy with the new engine, so we have a gentle cruise upriver, contemplating where to go, and where to moor for the night, and plan our day around it.


Our trip up river was gentle and peaceful, passing the pubs etc, and cruising through Surlingham broad. We decide to head for Thorpe for Lunch and hopefully top up with water, and then head back down river to Rockland staithe for the night, but when we reached Thorpe, we could`nt get in at Freedoms for water, so we turned back, and headed down river, and decided to stop for lunch at The Waters edge, and would take the opportunity to visit the store of forumite "Snuggtopz". We arrived at what i thought was slack water, but found when mooring that the tide had actually already turned, so when Karen stepped ashore, holding the bow line on a post, the stern started to swing out, so i decided to let her swing round, which would make casting off easier into the tide.


We wandered up to the store, and met Richard, and took the opportunity to buy a couple of tea towels as gifts, etc, and started to walk back to the boat. As we were walking back, we felt a  few spits of rain, but that`s all it turned out to be, and the cloud soon disappeared. We get back on Kingfisher, and with the sun out, i decide to open the roof and take some photo`s. At last, we`ve been able to eat al fresco, which we`ve not been able to do for some years, and we remember how ejoyable it is. With lunch out of the way we look up river and see the ice cream boat coming down, so we decide to "stop her and buy one", another first for us on a broads holiday.  We set off, and head back down river with the tide, which means we`re soon at Brundall, so i decide to take on water at Brooms, rather than have to detour up the dyke to one of the other yards. While we were there, Martin kindly allowed us to look over one of their new hire fleet boats which is very impressive, with some novel features and touches. Back on Kingfisher, and we`re back off down river en route to Rockland for the night. The weather has been pretty reasonable, apart from a real downpour coming out of Thorpe, but by now, the heavy clouds have disappeared, leaving blue sky, and broken patchy cloud, so as we turn and head up Rockland dyke, and across the Broad, i contemplate an evenings fishing. Also, if we can get moored on the roadside staithe, we can use the elctricity pylon, so when we arrive that`s what we do, only to find out the pylonis broken. Never mind, Kingfisher is equipped with a 240v system, with the hairdryer being supplied by the yard, and suitable for the system, as are Karens hair straighteners, so that`s the important things sorted. We set the tv ariel, and i set up my fishing rod and settle down for an evenings fishing, and Karen gets dinner. Unfortunately, the rain did`nt hold off, and we get intermitent spitting rain, so i put away the rod and took the opportunity to take some photos in between light showers. The fish were`nt biting anyway.


With pictures taken, an evening with the tv is the order of the night, and even if there`s nothing much on, we`ve brought along plenty of DVDs for such an evening, so once again it`s a quiet night in on the good ship Kingfisher.


As is usual when we`re on the broads, around 10pm every night, we`re starting to yawn, it must be all the fresh air and relaxation we`re getting, so it`s tv of, time for bed.


Goo night all.

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Sunday morning arrives, and we`re up and about by 08.00, We look out to broken cloudand a bit of a breeze. Once again, all the usual nessecary chores are done, Engine checks, tv ariel down, and make sure everything is tucked away, as after breakfast, we`ll be heading down river to lunch at Reedham, then leave just on slack water which will mean we`re taking the first part of the ebb across Breydon, which would mean punching the tide on the bottom of the Bure, but after an hour, we`ll be overtaking the tide, and eventually be on pretty much slack water. Well, that WAS the plan, but the best laid plans of mice and men and all that?.


We finally get underway, and head ou across the Rockland Broad with the wind behind us, and as we venture out into the Yare, we`re punching the back half of the tide. When we get down to Cantley, we`re heading down the stretch approaching the sugar factory, and it`s clear with the strong winds, and the incoming tide, anybody who`s venturing up this way is having a splashing time. We see a Hampton Safari coming up on the tide, with spray breaking over her decks, not exactly the sort of sea conditions you expect to see on an inland river.


As we come down past Hardley dyke, we can see a large number of sails going to and fro over the marshes, and as we near the mouth of the Chet, there`s obviously some sort of sailing club regatta going on, and i count 8 yachts in all, so it`s going to need a fair bit of concentration picking our through them all. A short while later, and we`re through safe and sound, and rounding the bend to the ferry. We arrive at Reedham quay, and the Ranger assists in our mooring, which in the windy conditions was a great help. I know i`ve given the BA a bit of a bashing in the past, but the staff who man the launches and quay stations are worth their weight in gold.


We go ashore to the quayside store/post office, and pick up a few basics which we`d forgotten on friday, and notice a lot of classic bikes on the quayside. It turned out to be a "Rudge owners club run", which looked like was soon to be ruined by the impending black clouds. After our visit to the shop, it was back aboard for lunch, and then off up north, or at least we thought so. We had lunch and got everything squared away ready to get going, and started to fill up with water, as we did`nt know where we would get moored for the night, and if there was a water hose there, so i started to fill up with water. After a short while, i noticed what i thought was dirty water coming from the overflow, and thought maybe us being the first people to take her out, she must have stirred up a bit of sludge in the tank, so i let it run a bit longer ....................Untill i could smell something strange, so i put my fingers in what i thought was dirty water, which immediatelky felt very slimy,   ..................... Yes, i`d actually started to fill the DEISEL tank with water. THANK GO I DID SO WITH THE ENGINE NOT RUNNING.. Then i had to make the embarrasing call to the yard, and explain what i`d done. When Linda answered the phone, i said " i`ve got some bad news, we have`nt crashed or sunk it, but i`ve just filled the deisel tank with water" "oh dear" came the reply. I heard her tell John what i`d done, and his first question was "did i have the engine running?" I told them i had`nt, and he said that`s an easy fix, we`ll come and suck the water out of the tank. So we waited for a couple of hours, when John and Brother in law mick arrived. I`m not sure what was more red, the settee cushions or my face. I told him what exactly i`d done, and they set about with a hastily built syphon pump and started to syphon out all the water. After several cans of clear water later, we started to get a deisel/water mix, so we did another couple of cans untill it was neat deisel coming through, and that was it, problem solved. I got away very lightly. During this ordeal, Poor Karen offered us tea or coffee, which she made, and when we cam aboard, i noticed her limping, and found out she`d slipped and twisted her ankle while stepping down into the boat, something that roubled her for some weeks afterwards, After we had tea, John and Mick returned to the yard by road, and we decided to go back to the yard to run the engine in the safer confines of the Chet, in case of any other issue relating to it, bu we arrived safely, and John checked the fuel strainer which had no water in it at all. John re-filled the deisel tank, of which he was`nt going to charge us for, bu i insisted i pay, as they`d already let us be the first to take her out, and at a discount bein a regular, as they though it would be safer in OUR hands, and i felt rather guilty by repaying their kindness and generosity by doing something stupid. Ah well, all turned out well in the end.


While we were in the yard, John took the opportunity to adjust a couple of things, as we`d decide to moor for the night in the yard, and head off over Brydon the next day, safe in the knowledge that all was fine. By now, time was ticking on, and we got settled in for the night, with dinner and television. I tried my hand at another fishing session, but yet again, the fish were not biting, well not MY hook anyway.


Around 10.30ish, and we`re starting to get tired. It`s certainly has been an eventful day, and it made me realise that even after 40+ years of boating on the Broads, and elswhere for that matter, you`re NEVER too old or wise to make a stupid mistake. This time i was very lucky, and got away very lightly, but every time i filled up with water after that, i made sure  i read the filler cap.


Good night all.

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yes, she`s fine now thanks Fred, though it did play up for a couple of months. Yet again, it shows how easy simple accidents, can happen, and ultimately, could lead to disaster. Without doubt, a couple of events which now makes me think i`ve begun to grow a little complacent about things. As i said before, we got away with things very lightly, even when Karen slipped on the steps down from the fwd deck, if she was`nt holding on to the boat, she could quite easily have slipped BACKWARDS, and gone overboard. Some valuable lessons learned this time.



Regards to all ........................ Neil.

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