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A Week On board Carousel 3


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Hello, we are currently onboard Carousel 3 and I type this as we sit at Salhouse Broad.


Day One - Saturday 19th October 2013


Up early this morning as we received a letter from Richardson's informing us that Carousel 3 would be ready for 1pm. So 5AM the alarm was set and on the first buzz I was awake. It had finally arrived after waiting for just about a year since we had booked up. I couldn't get the car packed fast enough I was that excited to get away. My wife Helen has just handed in her Dissertation finishing 5 years of University (and full time work at the same time), I have just won two awards at work and we both really need a rest and the Norfolk Broads is just the ticket.


Uneventful journey really apart from a slight oil leak that developed when nearing Norwich. Something the car has not done until now, it was a little worrying as it was the turbo oil feed pipe that seemed to be weeping, well all I could think was I just need to get to Stalham and all will be fine cos then we can go on our holiday, problem is I need to think about what to do when I get back, Maybe if Clive is reading this he will let me borrow a couple of tools so I can sort it out next Saturday before driving back to Newcastle. :-)


So we made it to Stalham and first thing was to check in. We were a little early so we went to Tesco to get some cash out and on our return went to get some life jackets as we were advised to do. Upon walking down to check in for the testdrive etc we saw Carousel 3 sitting waiting for us. After we signed in we went to have a look on Board. We couldn't believe  how amazing she looked in the flesh, and on board the interior is as luxurious as the photo's suggest. Super excited I went to get the car and parked up next to Carousel 3's mooring and we  unloaded the contents and started to tidy it all away. 


Having parked the car in the long term carparking area we started to wander about the boat looking at the nice little touches that weren't mentioned on the brochure or in the build threads, little cupboards hiding everywhere so storage is great, the toilets are plenty spacious and all rooms are very spacious with loads of room. The boat seems big, infact very big but I think its the same if you have been away from the broads for over a year each time you come back you realise how big the boats are. Carousel is long and pretty wide but thats great as it just means a more comfortable stay. 


It wasn't long before the guy from Richardson's (sorry can't remember his name) came over to show us what is what. Following the walk around outside it was straight inside and going through the new features. Two heating modules to control different areas of the boat, TV inverter and the Sat TV, Microwave etc. The fancy little cubby hole for the ground anchors, the toilets which are far more hi-tech than any boat I have been on we don't even have to hold a button to pump the water out for the shower! So to the helm and the controls were explained along with the bow/stern thrusters, which by the way have a great control switcher making it so easy, the rear view camera and the GPS speedometer. "Put her in Neutral and add a little revs, turn the key and she is a direct heat engine so no holding the key anymore, and start". She bursts into life in an instant (you can tell she is brand new!). After a little play with the thrusters control we cast off and went out for the test. All went well, the boat handles very nicely and I picked it up pretty much straight away thanks to previous visits. The Speedo is a great addition I must add. Back to the yard and a stern mooring, with the thrusters this was simple! just hit reverse and then use the thrusters to correct.


"just sign here and we are done" said the guy happy with how we got on, "where do I get the dinghy from?" I asked nearly forgetting in all the excitement "follow me".

At the bottom of the basin was a load of dinghy's and I was told to just grab one and take it down. "enjoy your holiday". So I climbed over all the dinghies to get to the end one, I had to look around as I thought I was being filmed I was surely going to fall in and it would be a perfect YBF video moment. Fall avoided I rowed the boat down the basin towards Carousel 3, of course this is the moment another three boats come back from their test drives! so I quickly and poorly tried to get out of the way before being squashed. Finding Carousel next to one of Broadsman and Broadlander I pushed myself along and tied the dinghy to the back of the boat.


"Right lets get out of this mayhem" I announced as boats were coming and going left right and centre. So engine on, into slow reverse and Cast off. Great we got away with no damage done. We carried on down towards Barton Broad and straight onto the Ant. We stopped at one of my favourite moorings at Irstead and had a coffee and a sort out on board. As we carried on down the Ant I decided I'd try for Womack Staithe as I had heard it was nice down there. ( I have only ever stayed on Womack water moorings). With a little rain we didn't put the Canopy down (which by the way is electric), Lovely relaxed journey down towards Ludham Bridge. As we approached the bridge we decided to take advantage of the electric canopy and not stop, see if we could simply put it down go through the bridge and not have to moor up to do so. Everything was fine apart from the fact that Carousel comes with a newly fitted safety device. You see the side windows all have curtains which is great but as the electric canopy now has a safety stopping switch on it so that childrens hands won't get crushed if in the way (amazing idea by the way) it means that if the curtains bunch up (and they do if you don't sort them out) it will stop. So eventually we learnt that this is a requirement to sort the curtains out before lowering. Anyway we still managed to get under the bridge then carried on with the canopy still down as it just stopped raining. 

Thats when the sun came out! as we headed for the river Thurne the weather was amazing, giving us a beautiful start to our holiday. 

Turning onto Womack Water and heading down to the Staithe at about 5:20pm so perfect. We got the last space at the Staithe and moored up once again very easily thanks to my new favourite addition the thrusters.


Food was had and a quick pint at the pub before an early night as it had been a long first day.


By the way another surprise as we left the boat for the pub, we turned on the rear lights so we could make out the boat on our return, and they have installed some pretty fancy Blue LED lights along the back end, they look great and there is no mistaking the RC45 boats in the dark :-).


Although it is now Sunday night and I could write another part of the tale now I am pretty knackered and need to get a cuppa before an early night (want to make the most of daylight tomorrow), but do tune in as we managed quite alot today including a very embarrassing moment where due to some wind and trying to avoid loads of sail boats! I managed to get the dinghy stuck on a post as we were going along past St Benet's Abbey, ooops! and yes we did have to turn around and get it.


cheers for reading

Paul and Helen 

Salhouse broad

Carousel 3

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Glad to hear you are getting on well, I saw you twice today, but I wont say where as it may spoil the holiday tale!

I was on the sailing boat with the number '3' on the sail, I am sure you will have a photo of me, I try and smile at everyone!

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Hi Fred,

Yeah Salhouse is lovely tonight, once the rain passed it has been really peaceful and the moon is out. So I have put a couple of pics up below.


Clive yes we did see you, I got a few pictures of you going past also put one up below. I didn't know it was you before you said :smile: Think I was just watching how far the wind was getting the boats over. Also we are looking at using some pics for the house! and sail boats are great for pictures around the house.




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Ah cool, yes we were in Wroxham this morning, I'll keep my eye out for you Robin! We plan to stay up north tomorrow then spend a couple of days in the south from Wednesday morning (think we should just about manage the crossing time by then) and return Friday morning for a final day in the north probably on the Ant somewhere.


Going to write my next instalment :-)

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So catch up time, I write this as we sit in Ranworth on Malthouse broad.


Day Two - Sunday 20th October 2013


I was up early this morning determined to start my holiday the way I mean to go on and get the most out of the days, plus we had such an early night the evening before I couldn't sleep anymore.


The front cabin must be well insulated as we couldn't hear a sound even the odd engine running in the morning! I got up and put the kettle on, I love this part of the morning, almost like a calm before the storm. Coffee at Helens side to help her wake up and mine in hand I went outside to see what kind of day we had, it was a glorious morning so we didn't hang around to get the curtains open and canopy down ready for the off. First of all the mud weight! (I make myself a little sign to put at the helm to remind myself, maybe there should be a little tag or something thats comes with boats that you can put at the helm to remind you) so as I worked my way down the 44ft length (its very noticeable how long the boat is when she is longer than alot of the broads boats) the guy next to me on a Herbert Woods boat was struggling to get his mud weight up and on trying for myself ours was also stuck. Helen came up and gave me a hand and in no time up it came with a load of crap with it :-0 so once lifted we soon had the mop on the go (well such a nice looking boat shouldn't be muddy!)

So Cast off and away we went down Womack water towards the Thurne. We turned left and on towards Potter Heigham as we wanted to pop into Lathams for some fudge for the family. Its an interesting stretch this with all the different houses, I always remember it as a child of about 8 years old looking at all the houses one late afternoon from the window whilst sitting on the bunkbed of Majesty 2. So as we aproached PH we saw a mooring directly opposite Herbert Woods yard entrance, Perfect! so in we went and this time no need for the thrusters as it was a simple side on mooring. It was at this point I decided to move the Dinghy to the nearside of the boat as it was swinging out into the path of boats, this way it stayed tucked in whilst we were moored up.


So Lathams, it was 9:50am so only just open. We decided to buy some slippers :-) lovely as the floor in Carousel is we just wanted the full comfort during the cooler evenings, feet included! then we saw the fresh pasties and scones! we could not resist and had to buy one of each for each of us, breakfast sorted then. Once back on board the canopy was down again as the sun was out. Casting off from the mooring and I forgot the tide was still coming in so only just missed the boat in front, and the dinghy was tight! still great use of the thrusters in such an instance. Back down the Thurne and the rain came down for a short period so once again the canopy was on the move but so easy at a flick of a switch. It was at this point I started to notice the fuel gauge had moved and I started trying to work out how much I would use if we carried on the same mileage over the week. Finally when we turned onto the Bure I decided not to worry and enjoy my holiday regardless of the fuel consumption. 


So St Benets ahead I was determined to stop and have a look so that was the plan. As we rounded the last corner there was suddenly loads of sailing boats coming our way. It certainly made it more interesting staying out of the way but for some reason I got close to the edge trying to give plenty room, now this was fine apart from the fact that I forgot I had tied the Dinghy onto the Starboard side and that it was being kicked out by my own small amount of wake. So as I passed the large green masts just before the moorings at St benets the dinghy swung out and wedged into the post and became un-attached. It was just because I happened to look in the rear view camera that I realised the boat was no longer there, then the tooting of the horn of a passing cruiser. With Helen telling me off and my pride damaged a little I started to turn around quickly and thinking I'd be able to get the boat back without being noticed it was that moment another forum member (norfolk broads.co.uk) came passed waving, not sure who and can't remember the boat name. So I spun around and using the thrusters kept control of the boat whilst Helen lasso'd the Dinghy at which point I moved away as if nothing had happened. Sorry Clive but I was taking so much care not to damage the boat whilst missing sailing boats and large green posts the dinghy was out of mind for a split second :-( .


So another great mooring at St Benets and we set off for a quick look around the ruins. Its so peaceful here and you really can't appreciate it unless you walk upto it and look inside. Back to the boat and we sat and watched the sail boats coming passed. We also decided to get some pictures of the boats as they came by so we could get some new photo's for use around the house. The first boat I took a picture of just so happened to be Clive :-) Ha how funny so theres me thinking he was admiring the boat when really he was thinking thats my baby hope they are looking after her!! It must be great to see so many of your own boats out when you yourself are out on the broads.


So next stop Malthouse Broad for a little paddle in the dinghy. Mud weight down on Carousel and soon we were out in the middle of the broad in the dinghy laughing our heads off as we must have looked like a pair of plonkers trying to row about (ok my poor rowing). We headed into a little cut and slow started to get stuck at which point I decided to turn around before getting totally stuck. I wanted to get a picture of Carousel in the middle of the Broad so tried to row around the Bow of the boat but the Dinghy was just getting pushed towards the boat all the time so I gave up after one ok ish photo. 

So Back onboard and we see a spare space on the Staithe and decide to get some water. Beating someone else to the easy space (sorry) and I was Stern moored with no issues, once again thanks to such a  great handling boat.


Following a relaxed pootle up the Bure towards Horning (whilst trying to manoeuvre around about 6 sail boats) we stopped opposite the green in Horning on the other side of the river. This was exactly why we got the dinghy, so once moored we swiftly jumped into the dinghy and Helen rowed us across to the little moorings next to the green. We popped into the shop to buy some crisps, chocolate and general bad food :-) and then back into the Dinghy and to the boat. 


I couldn't decide whether or not to carry on to Wroxham or not. As we went passed Salhouse it looked pretty much empty so turned around and headed for the moorings. After a little walk about picking Sloe berries the rain came down and we retreated to the boat for cover. Unfortunately the Sat TV was not picking up any channels so we must have been in a dead spot. So I decided to make the dinner whilst Helen had a lie down.


During the evening I noticed the moon got out and it cleared up completely, it was amazing and so peaceful, so I got the camera and tripod out and decided to have a play. One of the photo's I uploaded above is the kind of thing I was getting. Happy with a couple of photo competition entries for my £50 voucher from Richardsons (wink wink) I headed back in ready for bed.


So a great day, the weather really held out today proving that October can be a great time to visit! ok there is the odd patch of rain and maybe odd day of rain but when it gets up to 17 degrees in the sun you can't complain :-)


So hang around for day three! coming soon.

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May as well catch up with the days!


Day Three - 21st October 2013


So this morning I was awake at 8am, up and kettle on (yes this is always the priority) and engine started to get the heating going as it was alittle nippy this morning plus we needed to clear the windows as we planned to head into Wroxham asap. With the engine already running we didn't hang around and headed off towards Wroxham and the wonders of Roys.


I decided to check the web camera to see if there was space at Barnes Brinkcraft and there was! result...or so I thought. As we came into Wroxham and rounded the corner (with the webcam live on my ipad I might add) the space was gone. after admiring ourselves on the webcam I tried to moor up at BB but was told I couldn't. It was pretty full there so must not be busy at the minute? either that or they don't have space for all their own boats. So we turned around and headed back out then I decided to look again and found a spot infront of the Wroxham hotel. 


As I lined the boat up for mooring Helen jumped onto the board walk but the boards were so slippy unfortunately she fell, badly! all of a sudden I couldn't see her and just heard her screaming. Dread filled and I just ran to the back to find she had fell and got her leg stuck between the boat and the side of the mooring. Thank goodness for the rubber fenders as essentially they stopped her leg from getting crushed. Still she was hurt and shaken up. Thankyou to the two guys who helped moor up whilst I checked on Helen (true spirit of the Broads). So you have been warned even though Helen was wearing some very grippy boots and knew it would be abit slippy we had no idea it would be so lethal, I think chicken wire is a must on such surfaces!

So after a shower (which I must add are amazing, pretty much no different to a house shower hooked up to a central heating system!) and some breakfast we headed into Wroxham and to roys for a few bits.


Today was to be a slow day and a pootle up to Hoveton Little Broad after a recommendation from Robin for a look about. Spotting a Kingfisher and an Otter (running across a fence) we were happy with the nature fix for now and stopped for the second time in Horning for lunch. This time there was plenty space outside the village green moorings, this is where Helen performed her first mooring as pilot and perfect it was too!. This afternoon we headed back towards Ranworth and got a space at the Staithe as we decided to go for a walk and a wander upto the church. I haven't been up the tower since I was about 6 or something and I can't remember it being so steep but the views are just amazing and well worth the climb, but if you don't like heights I wouldn't recommend it.

We decided to go for a pub meal at the Maltsers this evening for our first meal out of the holiday.


Food was great and I am now sitting writing this watching Mr and Mrs Smith whilst enjoying a JD and Coke. 

Anyone out on the Broads shout up and I'll keep and eye open for you.


Not as long a tale today but we weren't up to much today.


Will try update tomorrow.

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Hi Paul,

you did well to notice the rowing boat I the rear view camera!

I a little tip for not hurting yourself whilst getting the mud weight out is to tie it tight and move the boat a little,


We started sailing 20 mins after the starters and had overtaken them by the time we got to Cockshoot Broad,  which was a bonus,


Best of luck with the photo comp!

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I'm about till Saturday and over nighted on Womack Dyke.  It's 10:08am as I write this (yes lazy start in Broads terms) and off to Wroxham today. 


I know only too well how bad the Hotel Wroxham's quay is, why on earth they do not put down 'chicken mesh' on top to help or an annual jet wash to ge rid of the slime I have no idea.  I hope Helen is ok now.


I know you are off south soon so enjoy :)

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Day 4 - 22nd October 2013

Woke up relatively early but lay in bed enjoying not being up for work for a moment. Once up and about the kettle went on and I decided to get some water as I knew we were running low.

Water flowing and coffee in hand I just stood on the Staithe taking in the atmosphere. Not sure if anyone else does this but I will spend a lot of my holiday just trying to take it in and remember as much as I can. That's why I like to take lots of photos as I know that even if at that moment it seems like a pointless photo at least when I look back at them in the weeks to follow I can be right back at that moment. I already have about 500 photos! So just taking in the surroundings and watching the dogs run around and people generally getting ready to cast off.

It wasn't long before we were ready to cast off ourselves to move onto our first mooring for breakfast and showers (just needed to get the water hot enough). So of we went to see where we would end up. St Benets mooring was not too busy so here would do, canopy down we sat and enjoyed some bacon sarnies and got showered etc. we were in no rush so just chilled out here for a little while watching boats go by including Robin aka londonrascal in Mystic Horizon.

It wasn't long before we were off towards South Waltham broad for a look about, actually we were searching for Sloe berries! But couldn't see any. So back up towards the Bure and once motoring along we were really battling against tide and wind engine was really having to work. For lunch I decided we would stop at Thurne dyke. It's wasn't long before we were moored up using the limited mooring rings. Loads of ducks around so Helen was out feeding the off the back of the boat. Before long we headed down to the lion inn for a lunchtime pint of cider.

Helen decided she would like to pop into Lathams again for a some bits, it was 2:20pm and we needed to get to the Stracey arms mill for mooring tonight....oh go on then let's go. On the way back to the boat it became obvious that Thurne dyke wasn't 44ft wide or at least it didn't look it and I didn't fancy getting Carousel stuck! So a pretty decent reverse down the dyke later and we were on our way to potter heigham.

So there is always at least one comical mooring during a Norfolk broads holiday and this was it for me. I have watch many videos of ppl getting it wrong and Potter Heigham is one of those places I didn't want to mess it up in due to the tide and the bridge. So as I didn't want to turn the boat past Herbert woods I tried to moor in a gap available but with the tide! Oops so as you can imagine it all went wrong hence the reason they say moor against the tide. I put the Bow in the the Stern just followed around but the wrong way (obviously). Stern thrusters are no match for the tide and by the time I worked that out I was being taken forward so before I hit other boats I decided to perform a turn. I just let the tide take the boat around then came in against the tide and moored up perfectly. Helen is back to getting the boat tied up. So we had 30 minutes to run into Lathams and back out to get down the river.

It was now it decided to chuck it down! Luckily we had a brolly but we still may as well have swam over to Lathams we got that soaked. Never mind back to the boat engine on, heating on and cast off. It was really cosy eating our fresh pasties from Lathams with a cuppa whilst navigating down the river Thurne. Again the wind was making a job of trying to keep Carousel straight but I was managing fine. At this moment I noticed our water was low....oops forgot! Maybe we will have time for a flying visit at horizon craft if the water point is free.

Down onto the Bure and passed the windmills that look like darlics! And the mooring at Horizon craft was free so quick stop to get some water and off we went again to try get to Stracey arms mill. It was fast approaching 5pm so dark was well on its way. Passing the ferry in there was plenty space but I decided its only around the corner to Stracey Arms so carried on. The sun was setting behind us and looking amazing! So camera out again got plenty lovely shots, More photos for the house!

So at Stracey arms mill just in time and messy mooring two! Well not so bad but was rushing it alittle to just get stopped in daylight. The guy up ahead signalled to remind us about the fall and rise of the tide which we were aware of but kind of him to remind us. So plenty slack and so spring lines later we were moored up.

I am now just typing this up about the check the moorings before going to bed. We are going to try get across Braydon tomorrow morning early to spend two days in the south. Will see how that goes.

Will report back tomorrow.

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Day 5 - 23rd October 2013

So first of all we made it! We are in the southern Broads.

Anyway up at 7am to cast off. I was having a right stress this morning about all sorts. The wind had picked up it was raining and it looked like we were the only ones trying to get down to Yarmouth from the north. With the bad stories playing in my head, all the warnings in the book and pictures of boats running aground I was stressed. Just as I was thinking should we just stay north? Helen got up out of bed so I thought sod it lets just get going. So Helen got her life jacket on and untied the moorings. I performed a nice little turn letting the tide bring the boat about and we were off with a boat infront and behind us, so I wasn't the only one! Which put my mind at ease. I don't know if its the same for others during their first crossing of Braydon water? But I really had nothing to worry about especially as Carousel has a 6'9" air draft! I thought I had timed it ok, I knew low water was early so slack was likely to be just too early but I would get there not so long afterwards.

Several cups of coffee later we were rounding the corner in Great Yarmouth and the heavens opened just in time for the bridges! But luckily there was nearly 10ft of clearance showing which meant that the canopy only came down a small amount as I chickened it but really had nothing to worry about. So onto Braydon and it was a little choppy and the tide was still coming out! So a hard slog across.

By the time we were over and down the river yare a little we needed some breakfast. So we moored up at polkeys drainage mill. First thing I notice is how much harder it is to moor up! With the strong tide and windy conditions. Still moored up with my recently learnt spring lines etc we had some breakfast and Helen jumped in the shower. The time was now 10am.

Moving on we approached Reedham for the first time! So decided to stop for a little while here. Again turning the boat about as the tide was coming in we moored up at Reedham quay with the generous help of the broads authority guy, he gave us some welcome advice about boating the tide etc.

We popped the post cards in the post and bought some cakes from the cupcake shop. After filling the water and getting a shower myself we had a spot of lunch. Once suitably watered and fed we decided to move on. So tide still coming in but not much Helen untied the Bow and pushed off then thw stern and I thought the Bow would keep coming around but it wasn't to be. I kind of sat stuck side on for a little while until I gave in and just used the bow thrusters. The south is proving to be more difficult to manouvre the boat but the wind blow against the tide is not helping!

Anyway along we went and I was taking in the scenery, not sure I like the south as much yet but will give it time, through Cantley and along towards rockland broad. Now having watched robins video I wanted to check both rockland and surlingham broads out. We went in the opposite side from robin so wasn't prepared for the very narrow waterway in rockland broad. Infact we went in and I thought the water way marked was so close to the edge and so tight it couldn't possibly be right, then noticed I had gone passed the green bouy and not around the yellow marker, bugger! I'm on the wrong side. Quick reverse and we came out the same way we came in! Lesson learnt.

So onwards to Surlingham and maybe more luck there. The entrance dyke was narrow infact at the very entrance it was tight getting carousel around but I managed and was glad we were the only ones there. So mud weight down once in the broad and we sat enjoying the peace for a good hour. This place is lovely, anyone not been before and if your south come here its beautiful. I had a paddle about in the dinghy and took some photos of Carousel in the broad :-) whilst Helen chilled out back on board. Following a cuppa we lifted the mud weight and off we went heading for our over night moorings. The sub was low and I couldn't see the opening for the exit! Ah there it is. Then again the dyke just splits but the sign that points you in the correct direction was covered with reeds! So I nearly ended up in the shallow water bit. Once again thrusters to the rescue!

Back out on the Yare and we made for Bramerton common for over night as I noted it looked nice again whilst watching one of Robins video blogs.

And here we are! Just about to go for food at the woods end. I'm not sure about the south yet. It's very quiet but I enjoy the buzz of the northern broads so miss that a little, unfortunately won't have time to explore the rest of the southern broads this time and I bet we missed the best bits? We plan to maybe visit Norwich in the morning and head back towards the Berney arms ready to get back north on Friday morning. See what happens.

Paul and Helen.

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Just back in from waters edge at woods end in Bramerton. The food here was lovely, we very much enjoyed it and made it worth the little extra we paid over normal pub food. I'd recommend anyone to check it out!

So slight change of plan for tomorrow and although we still plan to go into Norwich in the morning I think from there we are going to try the long slog back north from mid morning to afternoon, it means that although we will hit the Thurne with the tide still coming out at least we should be able to ride with the tide on most of the Yare and over Braydon it also means we will be crossing before low water but it should be low enough for us by the time we get through. Then it's the quick slog upto Stracey of ferry inn. Will see how it goes but we both want a chilled out last day up north on Friday.

Well I'll let you know how it goes.

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Hello Paul,

Glad you enjoyed the Waters Edge, a number of people have said the food there is very good, we like it and my son a chef, thought when we called in earlier in the season it was the best meal he had of that type of meal on offer.

We have called in since whilst training some of our new owners and still found it very good with excellent service.

Rather than going to Norwich I would have gone to Loddon up the Chet, but each to their own.



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Apologies yes the Bure! :-) I do often get muddled up and also my iPhone tends to correct words to incorrect words not that I'm blaming my phone for that mistake :-).

So onto day 6 - 23rd of October 2013

Wow what a day!

Woke up with the sound of ducks, I love this, so peaceful and way nicer than an alarm clock. So up at 8 to get going ASAP as we wanted to pop into Norwich. I have to admit I thought I'd hate this and it being so far from the Norfolk broads feel, although we needed a pump out and also some bits for lunch etc.

So apparently it was about 30 mins but in actual fact about an hour from Bramerton common. Coming into Norwich I could smell the mint sauce from Coleman's. The scenery change was odd especially from a boat and a change from the new "norm". So into Norwich and we moored up at the yacht station where we paid for the pump out. Once showered and ready we went for a quick wander into Norwich. It was nice but too close to reality! Although we found same amazing cakes. Back to the boat and I actually likes the yacht station, something about being chilled and relaxed sitting on the boat with the busy road next to us.

So onwards and we have a mission to get back to Great Yarmouth this afternoon. We want as much time relaxing tomorrow in the northern broads so want to get as far as possible. So we moved on. Unfortunately it was now 11:30 and the tide was turning and looked likely we were going to be against it most of the way. I predicted id have to keep going non stop to get there in time. Helen made lunch on the move and we enjoyed having the canopy down and loving the warm sun as we went back along towards Braydon. We were against the tide until Reedham where it started to let up. At times I was at full throttle just trying to keep to 6 mph! It was more about keeping to time than wanting to keep the speed up. So I had to accept that it may hurt my wallet a little in fuel but nowt I can so about that plus it meant we can spend more relaxing time tomorrow.

Lunch had on the move we went through Reedham and I realised we were a little ahead. I was starting to think do we just stay at Berney Arms? Or get over to Great Yarmouth. The problem was we were in track to pass the Berney Arms at 3:30! Which was about 3 hours before low water at gt Yarmouth.

We got to the Berney Arms in good time, well for coming from Norwich not so good with tide times. I decided to go on and see what the bridge height was at, the board confirmed over 8ft was already showing. Carousel at 6'9" would be fine. So into Brydon and the tide was with me and I got going. Made good time but was a little worried about the current at the mouth, well it was interests but as I was ready for it all was fine. As I rounded the yellow post I could clearly see the strong current which could send you into the wall but power on and some counter steer and we got through fine. I have truly gotten rid of my fears of Braydon and going through Great Yarmouth! Bridges delt with and the yacht station ahead, but hold on its not even 4:30 maybe we could make it to Stracey Arms mill! :-) even more chilling time for tomorrow. Se we didn't stop and carried on. As we did the tide started to get stronger against us as predicted on the Bure.

1 hour later and the sub was setting and I was getting a little nervous. Stracey arms was not too far but light was fading fast. As we rounded the corner and the pump was in sight we both decided to try for the Ferry inn, I know mental! It was funny as we passed the moorings ppl looked at us as if to say where are you going its nearly dark!

Rounding the last corner I could see the Ferry inn ahead and no one moored outside! Result. It really was just about dark now but we made it and moored up.

We have just got in from enjoying a lovely meal in the Ferry Inn and now enjoying a sit infront of the tv.

Although tomorrow should now be a more comfortable relaxing day due to getting so far up the river I kind of paid for it with fuel today. We used 1/4 of a tank just today! Oops. Still a lovely day.

Tomorrow I'll do a review of the boat. Its obviously a good one with a couple of little bits to note.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring, will just see how we get on I guess.

Paul and Helen

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Paul, great tale of your trip so far.


But I do feel that I must say that I hope that inexperienced skippers don't try to copy your latest antics.


I mistimed my passage north through Yarmouth myself once and got to the Bure an hour before slack water,

due to underestimating the effect the ebb down the Yare was having on my speed over the ground. :oops:


I did it with an older hired (and tired) bathtub which struggled to make any headway even at full power once I got into the Bure and, once past the bridges, I then moored up at Marina Quays for an hour hour to let the engine cool down and the ebb to slacken before carrying on north.


You must have been going through the Bure bridges at nearly 3 hours before slack or even earlier if as you say the ebb was getting stronger once you got through.

(Carousel must have a good reserve of power!)


Once through Yarmouth heading up the Bure there is nowhere to moor before Stracey Arms, and then Stokesby and that trip takes a few hours, especially if pushing against the tide.


After passing Stracey Arms at near sunset, what was your alternative plan if you couldn't get in at Stokesby?  

(I have never managed to find a mooring there on my trips, but I do tend to go in high season!)

Ok you could have turned back to Stracey or tried to push on further, but would you have been able to see enough?


Basically all I am trying to get over is that I regard a trip that will entail passing through Yarmouth twice

(as any hirer will have to do) as something that needs a lot of prior planning. 


In fact if I do want to do such a trip then the dates that I book for are arranged around there being suitable tide times for me to get through at near to slack water and enough daylight still reach a suitable mooring on the days when I intend to do both passages.


I will say though that if you are thinking of going through at any other time other than slack then it is definitely best to do so against the current as that give you more control when shooting the bridges.


Coming down to Yarmouth with a full ebb under you is not to be undertaken lightly, as you need speed through the water to keep steerage way, and those bridges come at you very fast under those circumstances!


Coming up with the flood under you would also make it difficult to abort if you realise that you got the height calculations wrong.

One of Ricko's Challengers did that a couple of years ago, hit the bridge and then got squeezed into it as the tide continued to come in.



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Wise words. I remember a trip we did from north to south back in May of 1985. There were nine of us on one of Herbert Woods wooden centre cockpit cruisers. It was a mixed group and my mother had come along as well. It was the first time that my father had not come boating with us (Ex RN). It was also the first time we had hired a boat on the broads although we had had a house boat a couple of times.

Looking back we gave no thought to the crossing and I cannot recall anything being briefed regarding bridges, tides or Breydon water crossing. One of the girls was at the helm going through GY (not a sexist comment just a fact). I was in the cockpit lying down reading a book and minding my own business. My mother came up from the galley with a cup of coffee in her hand and the first I knew of the impending problem was a very loud shout from mum "BRIDGE".

We were heading towards the bridge at GY with the roof up and not enough height to make it. Quick mad panic. Rushed up and slammed it into reverse, but we were going with quite a flow behind us. Rushed to the back of the cockpit to wind down the roof as my girl friend (soon to become command module) undid the locks. There followed some frantic winding with severe heart pounding as I wound frantically watching us heading towards the bridge (helmsmans in tears at this stage)

We managed to get the roof down just in time and I took over the helm and off we went across Breydon. My blood pressure must have hit its highest point ever and I lost several years.

We had a lovely time on the south side, but we were extremely lucky. We put it in reverse, which gave us time to get the roof down. The really lucky thing was that we did not try to turn, if so we would have been breeched being dragged under the bridge by the strong flow of water.

Sara and got married later that year and it was not until many years later that we returned. We now come almost every year and have for several times. I take great care to plan the routes and times so that I can do it when it is safe and I can optimise the tides to save fuel.

We often look back on that experience with laughter and fear at the same time. We were very lucky. Some of us on the boat had no clue what they were doing and those that did were not paying attention.

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