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Mystic Horizon 1 & The Rascal


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Day One:




I had remembered that I need to change trains at Norwich for the Great Yarmouth branch to get to Acle, and not the Sheringham branch for Hoveton & Wroxham as is more usual.  However, I had not taken on board the number of stops before Acle came up neither did I really take much notice of the stations as we came in and departed – all of a sudden I thought ‘This is it’ and got up took my suitcase and only found that I was in fact at Lingwood (one stop before Acle) as the train departed.


What a start to the trip!  Fortunately the station information board had the number of a local taxi firm and within 10 minutes I was on my way by road to Acle – via Budgens to get the basics.  Upon arriving at Horizon Craft, a warm welcome awaited – much like coming back to old friends, good banter, and laughter all round.  I was shown to my boat Mystic Horizon 1 and very nice she was too.


After a quick show around of the various things to be found on the boat I was allowed out and off heading up the Bure.  The Corsican and Magellan were about and I had tried to call Simon with regard to where they may be, having got voice mail I thought they must be in either Horning or Salhouse – two famous ‘not spots’ for phone signal on the Broads.  As it turned out they were at neither but more on this in the following days tale.


So it was I stopped on initially at St. Benet’s where I unpacked my case and made the boat ship shape and had a coffee.  My plan then was to carry on up the Bure taking a looksie in at Malthouse, Horning and Salhouse to see if The Corsican and Magellan were about – they were not, so I made the decision at Salhouse to carry on into Wroxham where I would find a mooring hopefully in Barnes Brinkcraft’s yard over night and be able to head on in to Wroxham for Fish & Chips for supper. 


As I came past the riverside gardens of the Barton House Railway, I noticed they were lighting the oil lamps and preparing things – gosh that was a rare thing, I mean it is something like the third weekend before hell freezes over they run trains here and this was to be a night time running event to boot.  I arrived at Barnes Brinkcraft and found just how easy to handle the Broom 29 is – while high sided with no wind one can really get into tight spots and turn in her length.


All secure it was time to head on in to Wroxham, whereupon I decided to go to the ‘Chinese Fish & Chip shop’ and very nice it was too – freshly cooked and back on the boat it was lovely to sit hearing the steam train whistle, bell in the signal box and hoot of the less emotive diesel loco on he narrow gauge railway. I could not see proceedings, but hearing them was nice – albeit marred by Trinidad (from Richardson’s Stalham yard) who had turned up at dusk and now at 8:45pm had been running their engine all the time.  This actually went on until almost 10pm my only conclusion being that they needed to do this to get power for their television/heating.


I had an early night and found the bed to be very comfortable, large and the forward cabin on this boat also very spacious.  Indeed for a 29ft x 10ft 9” boat she was well laid out, the only gripe being the canvas ‘curtain’ one has to use to give privacy and spate the living accommodation from the raised cockpit.  Having guess this would make the saloon area dark and not very airy I bought the cheapest flat sheet I could find before going away and put this up a the glass doors at the rear of the cockpit, thus no one could see in and the saloon felt a lot more open and airy.


First days are never full of things to report, take over the boat head to your mooring and only the next day do things really get going as it were, but I have tried to capture a lot this time around from places I have been, my opinions and chatting to the camera together with some pretty scenes and some new and unusual camera views for the Blog.  I hope you will enjoy as the tale unfolds. 




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Day Two:




Day Two:

Now I should point out to those following along watching the Blog that accompanies this that things are going to get better – think of it as a slow build up to a special crescendo.

So I was awoken in Barnes Brinkcraft’s yard by an odd sound that seemed to be getting louder shortly followed by the boat jolting.  Up like a short, I found Trinidad who had moored over the way from me in the basin was making an early start and using me and some of Barnes Brinkcrafts boats as a sort of floating guide to bounce off of and make for the river.  No visible damage done thankfully and since I was now up thought I would get ready and have a coffee.

I had intended to go to Roys to get the rest of the weeks provisions but being Sunday and since that meant not opening till 10:30am I thought I could make do and instead would make my way to Ludham Bridge – thus I could see for myself the sign erected on the River Ant ‘The Corsican Was Here’ and see if The Corsican had indeed passed by and seen said sign.

It was a nice cruise down the Bure, taking in Wroxham Broad on the way – what had surprised me though was despite the schools being back, there was a good number of boats out and about still and this increased the more the morning wore on.  I found myself talking away to the ‘Blog Camera’ and despite editing it down for the video of the day I apologise for the waffle – soon enough it was time to turn on to the Ant and there it was – the sign still there and looking good.

Next task was to pass under Ludham Bridge - 8ft 6” was the height of the boat I came in ever so slowly, head out the sunshine roof and must have been about 3” from the top of the grab rail on roof to the bridge – having got through I did not want to stay too long the other side of the bridge in case the incoming tide kept me the ‘wrong side’ when I wanted to head south tomorrow.  My plan therefore changed to drop into Ludham Bridge Boatyard and have a chat with Jason, then head to Tesco at Stalham.  

This was the first time I had actually taken time to talk to Jason, and see around the place and I can say that he (and his staff) are some of the most sincere, friendly and hard working (when not chatting having cups of tea with visitors like me) chaps you can meet. It is clear too they certainly know their stuff!  So after spending a good time there it was back over the bridge back on the boat and heading up the Ant once more – not to Tesco now, just to take in the lovely river since I was here and no more than a couple of bends had passed than I saw Magellan and The Corsican coming towards me.

I turned the boat and now was heading back down the Ant – called Jason  to inform him they were on their way – he having now finally also been able to make telephonic contact with Simon on The Corsican and I found out they had been hiding out at Gays Staithe (and by the sounds of things getting rather good friends with various wines the night before) so that is why no phone signal!  

So it was that the trio passed under the bridge and now in radio communication making sure The Corsican was keeping their eyes peal on the port bank for something. Simon of course was blissfully unaware of what awaited him and kept talking about the Wherry Albion and how that had gone into the bank at some stage, but it was not long before I could hear the laughter first from Magellan then from The Corsican drifting back having seen the sign.  Once out on the Bure I confessed all and how I had played my part in the whole scheme.

It was then off to Malthouse Broad – the staithe at Ranworth was full, so it was decided to head to Ranworth Island and stretch our legs and let the dogs have a some shore time too.  Well you know how it goes, talking turned to sitting and the promise of soft drinks turned to wine and beer in the summer like sunshine.  It was lovely.

A Topliner on hire from Barnes Brinkcraft was valiantly trying to stern on moor – I suspect the first attempt they had made of such – and good for them were taking it slow, not giving up I think they were on attempt number 2 when a WAFI (and I do mean in the strongest possible terms drawing attention to the F and I of the abbreviation) decided despite the extent of Malthouse Broad to actually tack round the stern of the Topliner (as the boat was reversing) and in so doing almost take out the chaps fishing on the bow of an already moored boat – having just missed this, the next obstacle was the bow of The Corsican – quite how they missed hitting it I have no idea – what did they say ‘power gives way to sail’.  Unbelievable.

So the couple on the Topliner moored successfully and before long a day boat arrived – complete with dinghy which was almost as long as the day boat and now the Island had several crews all enjoying the sun, talking and as ever on the Broads help was given with how to moor, tie a knot and even the dogs made new friends.  

It was about 3pm by now and time to head off, while Magellan and The Corsican had to return to their home berths – I was off to Acle with a travelling time of about 2 hours as my distance charge informed me – I made good time and when arrived at Acle decided to top up with water and since it was such a nice evening and not much after 5pm, decided to continue south and moor overnight at Stracey Arms.  This I did and for anyone who wishes to a £3.00 mooring fee is charged (pay at the Mill Shop).

Despite the fact the A47 is just over the way, the traffic noise was not so bad – the Mill Shop was lovely and you could even hire DVDs for £1 for the night – great idea that.  The Tapas Resultant however is missing a thing or two – prime location, large carpark on a busy A road and with moorings on a popular river – sure there are signs but you would not know when it was open, and there was no menu on show unless you walked to the door (as I did) I think to have this displaced riverside and perhaps offer a ‘takeaway to boats’ service would help the business no end.  A lovely sunset came, the moon rose and looked magnificent and only thing that was spilt the night was two ‘dinghies’ with large outboards left the moorings after 9pm – no navigation lights and shot off towards Stokesby causing a horrendous amount of wash that had me and all the other boats moored there to rock and crash into the quay heading.

Why these people had to have such little respect I have no idea – its one thing to break rules, travel at night without lights, break speed limits but to do all that past moored craft there is no excuse and they should be ashamed of this because you certainly don’t expect to have everything thrown about at that time of night when quietly moored.

Tomorrow will be an early rise at 6am and the real adventure begins as we head from Stracey Arms all the way to Norwich – I can’t wait!


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Day Three:
Feature length episode.



I had noticed in the night that my throat had got rather sore and my nose was rather stuffed up - not a good combination and only mean one thing that a Cold I had tried to avoid getting prior to coming away I had indeed got after all.
It was an early start up at 6:00am and waiting not for sun to rise but now for the fog to clear enough to make safe passage to Yarmouth.  By 6:30am it was a lot better and by 6:45am had cleared enough to depart Stracey Arms and head south for Yarmouth.  I was surprised how many of the boats moored the previous night had left already and clearly when the fog was at its thickest.  It worked out well for me though as there was still a good ebbing current under me and a glorious light show with the sun rising in the sky and the mist working together to form a very warm comforting light spectacle.
It was not too long down the Bure when I caught up with the some of the boats who had left earlier, it all slowed down to just over tick over and sometimes having to come to a stop as boats ahead did so in the thicker mist that was seeming to come and go - not long before Marina Keys boats began passing heading north appearing out of the mist suddenly which kept my eyes peeled and wits about me.  As if by magic though as the line of boats approached Yarmouth Yacht Station the mist vanished, it was bright and sunny with blue sky and a slight warmth in the air.  My worries about the Broads Authority closing Breydon Water to hire craft due to the fog were not to come to anything.
I check the approaching bridge height gauge and had plenty of room to fit under  - but I had not counted on the fact I had put the Blog Camera on the roof on a suction mount tripod which itself was getting on for a foot tall.  Quite how the camera made it through Vauxhall Bridge I have no idea as you will no doubt see in the accompanying video blog to this tale.
And so it was that a group of boats all heading south rounded the yellow post and straight in a strong head wind causing the camera to shake and my trust in the power of the suction mount put to the test - no need to worry in the end it held well.  Under the road bridge that spans the start of Breydon Water as you head south and the sun was behind us, the water looking almost blue and it felt like the start of a real adventure was underway.   I even had perked up and was feeling a lot better than when I had slipped the moorings a couple of hours earlier.
The boats in front of me were taking things rather sedately but it is not every day you get to 'put your foot down' on the Broads so for a time I thought to hell with fuel economy and was surprised how steady the boat was, but equally surprised at how a small increase in speed resulted n a large increase in wash .  The boat seemed to create a large stern wave while the bow was not actually causing too much wash, still this was Breydon Water so not to worry.
The crossing was going along just fine until just about three quarters of the way over I hit a fog bank the temperature soon dropped, and visible went down more and more until one could make out just one post ahead.  I feared that I may be in for a long slog and how long might this fog go on for - but shortly before Berney Arms it once again lifted, but it still was bleak looking an cooler - the sun now nowhere to be seen.
The journey from Berney Arms to Reedham seemed to pass rather quickly and once under the swing bridge at Reedham it was not long before I was passing the car ferry and then looming in the distance the sugar factory at Cantley.  For those who think the southern rivers are boring, reed lined and featureless stick with things if you are on the Yare because once you pass Cantley things really improve - indeed the closer one gets to Brundall the moor beautiful the landscape gets with rolling hills, trees and the you realise just how different each river on the Broads is, and how along a rivers length so much can change.
So through Brundall I continued looking at the map seeing how far it was to Bremerton Common - for this was the furthest I had been on the Yare previously.  Once I passed the moorings at Bramerton I felt eager to take in and look out for all that was around - this was unchartered ground for me.  It was beautiful!  Not too long and under Postwick Viaduct I went, then on the right hand bank Freedom Cruisers new base came into view - their boats  lined up many freshly painted and looking very good.  I began taking notes on speed, RPM, and distance between points as a guide because I had no other idea of how long cruising times would be on the return to moorings I had noticed.  This served useful later as I was able to confidently predict how long it would take from Norwich back to places and thus how long to stay in Norwich for.
Trowse railway bridge was the next feature having passed Thorpe (the bridges to this pretty cut far too low for my boat to pass under) but it looked pretty and quiet none the less.  It was quite a shock how the moment one passes under Trowse bridge the scene before you changes.  I loved the fact there are still factories here, the industrial feel of things and the fact you can look up and take in so much - the area has so much history, and you can see it layered along with the future being built. 
I must say I don't much like these new 'blocks' of apartments that seem to be a must along any river in a city these days, and much prefer the older buildings - some of which may not be used and be derelict but remind us of the past and what used to go on with the loading and unloading of vassals along this stretch of river. It seemed each bridge you came to meant a change in architecture awaited the other side, the river changed as did the buildings - I absolutely recommend you must go to Norwich on a boat and experience the arrival into the city by boat. 
All too soon I was at the Yacht Station - here you will find water, rubbish disposal, toilets and showers along with pump out facilities for boats.  £5.00 for the day, £12.00 over night with showers costing £1.00.  A very helpful Broads Authority ranger came on his bicycle, helped with the ropes and issued me with a receipt  - I had until 6pm if I wanted for the £5.00 I had paid.  I tidied the boat and then headed off a short distance past the railway station to Morrison's  Bloody hell this store was huge!  So much choice and tempting things out on display from cakes and pastries to hot pies and meats.   With a bit too much bought it was time to walk back to the Yacht Station and had lunch on the boat.
One may question coming so far and spending so many hours at the wheel to then depart Norwich and head back towards Bramerton, but I wanted to come to Norwich to see what it was like to on a boat and get some provisions -  and when it is yourself you have to look after you can make these kind of decisions willy nilly.  So it was that I left the city and headed for the moorings at Bramerton Common for my overnight stop.  These moorings are just perfect, you have the peace of the river and very little traffic on the small road that runs by the river, coupled with the large green with its lush grass (and 'Super Moles' who make some pretty large Mole hills).  There are benches, and along the moorings closer to the Waters Edge 'Gastro Pub' you will find electric posts should you need the use of shore power.  I sat in the after well with a can of Beer watching the Swans and before too long I was feeling sleepy so time for a nap.
I was woken by the sound of an engine revving and much talking - then a nudge to the boat, gosh I thought not again!  But in fact it was so slight and found a couple on Sweet Freedom trying to moor  - first time boaters and doing the same attempt over and over with the same result - the tide would take the bow out while the wife got off the boat only with the stern rope and much talking about how to get the front of the boat in, get back on the boat - attempt again - same result.
Not sure what they thought when I bounded along the boat bare feet, jogging bottoms and a t-shirt on looking half asleep lol - but couple of words of advice, coming in against the outgoing current, bow in and was tied up in a jiffy.  It is nice when you can help out.  I think it is human nature not to want to appear somehow silly but if you have never done something before it takes practice to get it right - how long had it taken me to figure out the fast way to tie a clove hitch knot after all (and then I could pass this on to the new hirers too).
It was so quiet here, still and watching the sun go down made a perfect end to a long day but I am realising how pretty some of the places like this are, and compared to the northern rivers how much quieter they are.  My advice is head south and explore you will love it

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hi robin, lovely blog, we're on our way home sad.gif , we had a really great hols on distant horizon, but i know what you mean about that back bedroom, ive nicknamed it the coffin lol, & it really needs some sort of horn on top steering, the reeds were long goung uo loddon, but you could't warn anybody that you were coming, am feeling really low now, i felt like turning around & going back. lori

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Hi robin, good stuff I do like these boats I remember one passing us on our way out off Stallham last year. We were on suncharm ( our second home lol ) and siesta seemed to tower above us... Paul Richo face booked me a picture of the saloon on the boat with the bed set up... !!! do you know if they have all had the upholstery changed ?? I do like that red colour...

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Hi Robin-just a tip if you visit Norwich again by boat , after Carrow bridge & before the next new bridge there are free 2 hour moorings on the right as you go into the city.If you moor there you can walk to Morrisons which is only a few hundred yards away and far less distance to carry your shopping. Great Blog please keep it coming.



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Most enjoyable. I think you'd be surprised how many people have taken the plunge and had their first Broads Holiday as a result of your blogs.

We had a very enjoyable week in July with the kids and felt much more comfortable about where to go and what to do thanks to you.

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Day Four:



Having had about 2 hours of unrestful actual sleep due to feeling so unwell with my cold, by the time morning came at Bramerton I was all up for staying in bed and leaving the day to come and pass without me doing very much at all.  However, two things got me up and ready:
1. I wanted to explore more of the places I have not been to before on the Southern Broads - Surlingham Broad, Rockjland Broad, Langley Dyke and the River Chet to Loddon .
2. I had a Blog to film.
So it was that I took my time getting ready and after some toast and coffee I was feeling somewhat with it - truth be known I did a piece to camera but sounded and looked so awful It never made it past the edit - and so around 9:00am I left the moorings and headed towards Brundall.
Unlike the Northern Broads these rivers - in this case the Yare - despite their width and length seem so peaceful, such little actual moving traffic it was a lovely morning and after another coffee I was feeling a lot better and more perky. 
Before long Surlingham Broad (Bargate) was sign posted.  You enter through a very narrow dyke, but my goodness what a delight awaits as you enter the Broad.  It is large, still and has a very tucked away feel about it as if one has entered a private waterway and lake belonging to a large country house.  This surly would make for a very special peaceful mooring be it for a few hours in the afternoon or overnight.  I could not stop and was heading out of the second entrance back to the main river.  I'm not quite sure how I feel about Brundall as a whole, in a sense it is a bit like a wider stretch of river that you get when you come into Potter Heigham, the homes are larger, posher and cost more and the boats on the moorings are large Brooms and the like - not small Freemans.  There is so much money tied up (literally) in the marinas here and yet I am pretty sure the majority of people who own such boats and moor here use them as floating entertainment places for friends and family to come to - rather than to actually take them out on the river (or to sea) what a shame.
It is as if the small community that make up Brundall 'by the river' is the Riverside Estate and is not really 'real' it exists only because the boats are there and if the boats were to go so would the community - that is at least as I feel, since the main town of Brundall is some distance back from the river and on the other side of the railways tacks.  The vistor to this stretch of water is not sure where to go should they wish to stop - Of course Alphacraft, Broom and Silverline would let you moor in their basin if they were quite and not a changeover day, but it none the less feels to me a place you just admire from the river and keep on going.

Just a quickly as the riverside homes spring up they are gone and it is open countryside again - Rockland Broad awaits.  A very shallow Broad but and one you must keep to the designated channel in, but as I entered Fleet Dyke which leads to the Broad I had no idea what would greet me.  It was as if this was a forgotten natural world - different birds were basking in  he morning sunshine on the channel makers, Swans foraged in the rich waters whose vegetation was abundant.  I had the camera rolling as I entered the Broad planning to do some narration - but I was silenced.
I just stopped the boat and came out to the aft well for a moment to take in the beauty, I was moved - it was like all this was going on - nature - and I was in the middle of it and watching it all unfold as if they did not know I was there.  I then thought why not use the boat to pan and move the camera around the landscape than me move the camera itself.  A little risky since it was low water on an already shallow Broad but I delicately engaged gear for a moment forward or reverse and had a little ballet with the boat drifting, moving so gracefully and smoothly.
I had to guess what the camera's field of view would be since it was outside the boat on a suction mount but the video that I captured was amazingly beautiful and the music I had heard only the previous night while listening to Classic FM - I knew it would match it perfectly and it did, I hope you will enjoy the scene too and be moved by its visual and musical mix.
So it was time to leave beautiful Rockland Broad and head down Short Dyke back to the main river.  It was from here on the damn Wasps began to come one and the other and once in the Cockpit despite the roof, windows and doors being open - would they go? Not on your nelly - so out with the fly killer (sorry nature and all but I don't want to be stung thank you very much) and so they were building up a couple on the dash, 1 on the floor...Time to look out for Langley Dyke.
I have heard many good things of this place, and I was not sure if I had actually found it - but in fact I had a narrow dyke lined with moored boats, all small mostly sailing but the odd motorboat too but no sooner had I turned in than two sailing boats tethered to each other side by side were coming down the dyke - one was under power. Of all the times to meet them it had to be here!  But I was waved forward and the distance between them, me and the moored boats certainly got the contraction levels up - phew we passed each other without incident and I carried on up to the small staithe at the top of the dyke where you find some tranquil 24 hour free Broads Authority moorings.
The Yare is not always so placid and I can well imagine how these moorings can be a real restful quiet place off the main river with all its current and chop on the hull.  Once more though it was a flying visit and soon I was turned and heading back to the main river our nest destination being Loddon via the River Chet.  Now let me tell you, if you think the River Ant is narrow and twisty, you've not seen anything!  The River Chet is a very narrow, very twisting river and it is indeed very pretty, but contrary to many people's views I did not find it as restful and beautiful as the River Ant (my favourite river) maybe it was the brown peat tinged waters, the reed lined banks in the main or the fact that it just was twist and curve after twist and curve making me paranoid as to what would happen if I met a boat coming the other way.  I met two, fortunately at locations where I could pass with ease.
Upon arriving at the Chedgrove moorings, I knew it was a matter of a couple of bends and Loddon would soon be upon me and what a truly wonderful place this is .  The moorings were busy in the basin but not full and I slowly came in to moor between two boats and after a quick tidy up was off the boat to head into the village and get some bits and bobs and get something to eat from Rosie Lee's tearooms.  It was only as I walked back from where the public toilets are a long time follower of my Blogs and his family were moored and called me over.  Because of what I do despite cruising the rivers alone much of the time I am seemingly never far from meeting new people having a chat and putting faces to names.  I then popped into Rosie Lee's Tea Rooms.  I have read a lot of reviews about this small café and when I arrived it was full of people so I went along to the shop down the way for a few bits and came back as much of the party of Aussies were leaving - they could of been Kiwis' actually I am not very good with accent placement.  Once inside an old lady sat finishing her lunch, hello she said visiting on a boat?  Well then I was as if a local sat chatting while my sausages were being cooked (what a change to ones just kept warm)  and taking in the soul of the place.  It is special and popular with the locals as with visitors and I recommend you visit if you want good old fashion cooking and a warm welcome.
Back to the boat and back off down the Chet - still paranoid about where I may meet another boat and still trying to figure out why the river did not give me the same emotive feelings as other waterways. I thought of going somewhere else other than Reedham, but decided against that and so it was not a long trip from the mouth of the Chet to Reedham.  Upon arriving the Broads Authority ranger who is stationed here helped correct my mistaken attempt at my newly learnt quick way to tie a clove hitch knot - perhaps I will stick to the slightly longer way of doing them in future - once the boat was secure I took my rubbish to the bins and had a wander around up to the chip shop - never open when I am here - then a look at the Ship - very nice looking it was too, but I could not justify the prices for the food tonight.  I'll save my money until I get to Acle and go into the Bridge Inn there.
When I came back to the boat I pondered the idea of having a fee to moor here over night and personally thought that if they do decide to charge such as long as under a fiver I would be happy to pay - you have a sort of reassurance of the Ranger being there to offer advice about when the cross Breydon  to telling you where you can take your rubbish.  There is water and electric here too and very quite it is - other than when the trains go over the bridge, but I like that noise.
Finally, it was not too late - 8:30pm - 9:00pm I am not sure but I had a shower and could not for the life of me work out why the door kept opening, and why I did not feel I was quite - well - level anymore.  Sure I had a couple of beers with my dinner but I was not squify so what the hell was going on.  After some time I walked into the rear well and as I opened the door it too swung straight back in my face.  Right something is up with the boat it is on the lean - it did not take too much more time to dawn on me what had happened.  I was 'hung up' on the quay heading.
Now in my defence this was caused by two things. 1. The Ranger asked me to move the boat back when I had arrived and tie my stern line to a large green post and my other one to the rung of the ladder - this meant that my stern had been kept too close to the quay. and the quay at this point was concrete topped and sided not concrete and timber sided  - 2. the design of this boat means there is a slight 'overhang' with the top of the rubbing strake at the stern compared to the bow.  It mattered not so much what, or how it happened it had happened and it was terrible news because I had to leave on the low tide in morning and the river still had some way to fall. 
Well this is one of the good things of being a 'big strong boy' as my mother tells me, and having a lighter smaller boat for while it took a lot effort I pushed the boat off the quay and with a splash the stern was now in t e water and the boat was level.  I then readjusted all my lines, set my fenders including taking one from starboard side to prevent the rubbing strake being able to touch (and be hung by) the quay - see the photo - and all was well and I could sleep easy.  Over all a wonderful day in which I had seen so many new things and really had enjoyed the time exploring.




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Hello Robin,

A great post as always, you have discribed and traveled on what I think are some of the best locations on the Broads, well on the ones I can get to anyway.

I love the brute force & ingnorance aproach to being caught up on the moorings. It was a good job you saw it the levels can vary quite a bit at Reedham, when we moor at Reedham Ferry I always set fenders at different hights after our first time mooring there, the fenders were laying on top of the walkway boards.

Keep up with the story.



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Couple of questions that puzzle me after watching day 4 of Robin's blog. The dykes leading to Surlingham and Rockland broads are really overgrown with reeds, do they ever get cut back to keep the waterways clear and is Rockland kept shallow to benefit the wildlife or was it once more navigable across most of it. I recall in my younger days(50 years ago) being on a day boat with my parents and we were on Rockland but not as limited as it is today. 

Great blog today as usual, that heron in Loddon must sit there hours then fly a little way down river screeching his head off, lets you get really close to photograph him.

That's the fastest anyone's been up the Chet, the wash must have been terrific. LOL



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Hi Jim,

I assume that the reeds must be cut back from time to time, of course the passage of boats helps. I only found the staithe at Rockland St Mary early last year, we managed to get there but it was fairly shallow.

Did you ever see the Heron that used to walk around the tables at the Ferry Inn at Horning, it would eat most things dropped but prefered fish paste sandwiches.



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Day Five:




So it was an early rise around 6:00am at Reedham and I witnessed something rather special.  It had been a worry that I was directly behind a lovely kept Princess 45 boat at Reedham - thinking when I come to depart in the morning with the tide running I would have to be very on the ball not to drift into her stern.


As it happened just as the dawn began to break she started one of her engines - but you certainly knew all about it a deep throaty growl and with navigation and deck lights on certainly looked something.  You know someone is serious about boating when they have two revolving radar antenna on the 'radar arch'.  Once out into the main river she held station and within a few minutes the swing bridge had began to swing and off into the murky morning light she slipped. 


That was good to see I thought and now I had bags of room when it came to leaving the mooring too.  It was just before 7:00am I slipped the moorings and would be non-stop to Acle where I would stop for a water fill up and stretch of the legs.


I was pleased the tide was ebbing so strongly because at little over tick over I was doing 5 MPH over the ground and by the time I was on Breydon Water itself was making very good time - perhaps a little too good because I knew only too well if you are being helped so much in one direction the moment you turn the yellow post and come through the bridges at Yarmouth the tide is going to be against you.  I put that thought out of my mind and enjoyed the 'crossing'. 


Ok so Breydon Water is not that large, it does not take that long to cross from one end to the other but in Norfolk terms it is pretty special and with flat calm mirror like water it was beautiful and as I came under Breydon Bridge I realised how lucky I was to be here and enjoying the moment as the rush hour traffic above crossed.  As I turned at the yellow post the tide was indeed against me,  but not too much and I was in no rush so eased back the revs and made for a steady 4 MPH up the Bure towards Acle.


After taking in the rivers of the Southern Broads the Bure felt more closed in and you could see right away the difference e in the Landscape.  I think I past just 2 boats heading down river  and it did not seem quite the drag I had feared the sun was out, it was now getting very warm and by the time I reached Acle it felt a lot more alive with things going on and other boats about etc. Quick mooring and a fill of water (now happy too I had mastered 'my way' of doing a Clove Hitch knot) it was time to depart.


Not long after passing Upon Dyke I did an about turn thinking I have not been down here, and why not since this was 'a Broads explorer' Blog go down the dyke and film.  Blimey, people talk about it being a tight basin but it ain't half narrow!  With boats moored all along the one bank I thought what might you do if met another boat coming the other way.  Once I reached the basin it was mostly full with yachts from Hunters Yard at Ludham (at least I believe this was where they were from) for here is the yard of Eastwood Whelpton and a short walk from the moorings is the community owned White Horse pub.  It was a fleeting visit so I turned the boat under power though I could tell onlookers were putting on a calm way about their actions but ready to leap into action almost should this 'wayward' hirer come too close to a lovely woody.  being only 29ft long it was not complicated but had been longer would certainly advise stopping and turning the boat on the ropes.

Just as I was about to leave and had gone a few feet down the dyke I spotted another boat coming down from the main river a 38ft x 12ft centre cockpit.  Good luck to turning that I thought, and patiently waited for it to arrive having reversed back.  I hoped there would be nothing else coming and fortunately there was not. 


Back on the main river it was time to head to the River Thurne and on to Potter Heigham where I could pop into Lathams and have a look at the boats for sale at Waterside Marine Sales.  The moorings on the river were full so into Herbert Woods it was - I could see several free moorings and then found a 44ft centre cockpit boat  'Serenade' stern on and 'blocking' my path to the free moorings.  I could have squeeze between her bow and the other boats opposite but went for the mooring in a 'cut in'.  Little bit of fuss to get in as the shape of the quay heading and tight space made things tricky but once alongside took time to tidy the boat and the off with the rubbish to bins in the boatyard and on to Lathams.


Bits got in Lathams it was time to see the boats for sale at Waterside Marine Sales, some nice and some looking like needing at least the price they were for sale to bring up to scratch.  I am puzzled why some people seem to paint the decks of their boats with something clearly not up to the job that then peels off in large chunks. Time to go back to the boat.  I had not had anything to eat yet and was feeling rather tired having been on the go so many hours.  I did not want to stay in the boatyard so opted to leave for Womack Dyke where I can have a nice 'wild mooring' get some food and then have a nap.


I could have left the mooring far easier than I ended up doing but we all get things wrong at times and this was a classic where a bow thrusters would have been handy and I went about the most cockeyed approach to departing - forward, back, forward, back finally facing the right way could leave.    Once on the main river I perked up a little and thought of a question posed to me some time ago 'can you film how you moor when it's  a wild mooring' - hmm why not give it a go I thought.


So life jacket on, Rhonde Anchors at the ready I came in and did the process of mooring talking through how I do it - compared to some  where a cross wind is pushing the boat away from the bank it went well with no problems, apart from me almost tripping up over a rope once I was moored talking to the camera.   So it was I could 'put my feet up' have lunch, feed the ducks, crack open a couple of cans and sit in the aft well doing nothing watching the odd boat pass by and being surprised how within about half an hour two other boats had come taking moorings just around the bend.  For me this was the end of the day, and tomorrow would be the last day since I was needing to take the boat back a day early as on the Saturday I was going to be in Hampshire.  I had no idea what I would do or where I would go but now back on the more compact Northern Broads I could take my time.

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Day Six:





Today was the last full day of the trip and after several days of getting up early, it was nice for a change to take my time.  The evening had been cooler but the heating on Mystic Horizon was very good and kept things snug.  In fact because of the boats layout and height the living accommodation does not feel as small as boats of similar lengths, but at the same time the fact she is not a large boat means things like the heating do a better job and there are no drafts to annoy you.


I had a very painful right ring finger where I had thought the nail had begun to grow in.  It was only back in London on the Friday night things really got bad and I realised it was a serious infect that was spreading.  I called 111 (formally NHS Direct) and actually got a very helpful man who said I should go to A&E.  To cut a long story short being in a hospital on a Firday night is not the nicest place but suffice to say after having antibiotics administered via injection I was sent on my way with an oral course of the next 7 days.  The infection cleared up in a week and all is back to normal.

Back to the tale...So I decided to leave Womack Dyke and head along the Thurne to the Bure, turn right and head for the River Ant.  Having done this I eased back and let the boats ahead of me bunch up as I did not want to be caught out at Ludham Bridge.  Upon reaching the Bridge I held back and was stationary waiting for a Le Boat Emperor to come through the bridge.  This he did, only rather than then pass along my port side as you would expect he just came directly at me it took a few seconds to cotton on if I did not move he would not stop so I moved to the left and he pasted on my right.  Lined back up for the bridge and went through to be met by another boat - Sensation - almost straddled across the width of river going back then forward then back...Clearly trying to moor but I think as one may parallel park a car and finding out you can't do that in a boat.


What was worrying was as the chap on the bow got up to walk to the stern with the bow line, he almost tripped and had it been a slightly bigger stumble would have ended up in the water as the boat was trying to manoeuvre.  He did not have a life jacket on, and it goes to show how something bad could have happened in literally an instant.  I moored along the way and popped into the stores by the bridge for an Ice Cream and dropped some rubbish off - then pondered if I should use the water tap here - then had a great idea.  Go to Barton Turf there is a water point there and it is a beautiful location.

So I took a slow trip up the Ant, the sunshine was lovely, and it had become a very warm day - upon reaching Barton Broad I just turned off the engine and sat gently being turned 180 degrees by the wind.  It was one of those moments where you just feel yourself completely relax.  I'd also realised I have never mud weighted over night on a Broad - something I shall have to do if the wind is not too strong some other time.

Engine on and back onward to Barton Turf where a very nicely kept Freeman was moored opposite the water point, I moored up and then found the hose would not reach (it does seem a very short hose here) so moved the boat around on the ropes and this time being able to get the hose in. Once all that was done it was lovely and peaceful so went for a walk and took some photos.  Back on the boat time to leave the moorings and once one has enough flow over the rudder this type of boat does steer (well more arc) left or right in reverse and the steering being so smooth makes such a breeze.  Now the right way around, I passed the Broads Authority moorings did a right turn and headed back for Barton Broad.


Not much to report on my return trip down the River Ant, my destination now was Acle - I palled to overnight in the boatyard, get there in the late afternoon and pack all my things away early then head to the Bridge Inn for dinner and drinks.


As it happened I stopped at St. Benet's Abbey and had a look around again, this is such a tranquil place I feel very comfortable here and I am aware some do not, or have had spooky things happen - but for me I don't feel anything like that, but this time I went for a walk along where the river bank is and the line of fisherman all sat with a tremendous amount of gear.  Spaced evenly, alone doing their thing.  Fishermen - a bread of person who certainly has the patience of a saint.  Back to the boat and the final part of the cruise to Acle which passed rather quickly and upon arriving found Horizon Craft was full - so under the bridge and a single mooring as if waiting for me, so turn around come in to moor and before long I was in clean up mode packing away, tidying up and making the ship shape.


I had a lovely time and fitted a decent amount of places in - many I have not seen previously.  The boat was easy to handle, and lovely fitted inside and very keenly priced, I notice the 2014 price is rising by £24.00 but the fuel deposit is falling.  Talking of fuel, despite all the cruising and roughly 33 hours engine run time I used £96.00 of fuel so had 54.00 returned to me out of my deposit.


So thanks for coming along for the ride, I hope you enjoyed the watching the Captain's Blog and thanks to the Richardson's and their staff at Acle for another lovely boat and time away.







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Great blogs Robin. A&E on a Friday night sounds like a nightmare. Never really liked the layout of the Broom 29 but as Silverline have one I have thought about it for an out of season holiday. However you really do confirm my feelings about the saloon / galley area being a little claustrophobic. Silverline's version is fully refurbished and has a bow thruster but is priced much higher than Horizon Craft. Sorry you did not seem too keen on the Chet. I suppose it is a bit of a shock after the Yare but now that your fore warned give it another go. 



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