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Where The Fancy Takes Me...


LondonRascal

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I am enjoying doing very little and going where the fancy takes me - no 'video blogs' this time, however I thought I would none the less draw to peoples attention here what going on and what gems of moorings and places that I come across.  

So let us begin:

Saturday 19th October:

I was up early having moored over night at Horizon Craft's boatyard (my 'home' yard) after the previous week spend with 'Lads Week' - I wanted to get a pump out, fulled up so I knew where I was with money (77 litres used in week 1 - £107.80 for those who like figures) and get some new linen and tea towels.

All the above was done in about 15 minutes - now that is service!  The guys at Horizon Craft are just so down to earth and helpful, my only issue with the yard is Richardson's have not blessed them with enough choice of boats with which to hire lol.

I left the yard full with water and fuel and headed off towards Potter Heigham, however this changed when I reached the Thurne Mouth and instead heading left and continued along the Bure - new destination River Ant and Stalham.  I would see if I could get in at Stalham Staithe.  It was a pleasurable journey, the rivers very much quieter with everyone who was out the week before now returned their boats.  I knew when I got to Ludham Bridge what I could get under at - despite the high water levels she still has space to spare so with 8ft on the gauge squeezed under the bridge and up the beautiful Ant.

I arrived at Stalham Staithe to find it empty - it is certainly a shorter walk from here to Stalham town centre than mooring in Richardson's Stalham boatyard. Whats more, the boatyard would be busy with turning around boats so I was able to keep out of their way too.

I went into Stalham and got some fresh baked rolls from the Farmers Market held in the Village Hall - then had a look in the church where a craft fare was underway, then off to the end of the high street for a portion of chips from the chippie (okay but nothing to get excited about) before then heading off to Tesco for reinforcements of Boddingtons - I also spoilt myself with some port, grapes and cheese (I'd got used to this level of decadence on the previous week).

Back to the boat it was time to choose an overnight mooring - How Hill I thought to myself alas by the time I arrived so had a few new hirers who had taken over their boats earlier in the day and the rods were out and I felt like being all alone - so I went on a bit of  a trek to the river Thurne and moored on a wild mooring just at the mouth of Womack Dyke.  

It had been a longer day than had planned, but it meant I could have an early night and not be up too early tomorrow and be close to pop into Potter Heigham on Sunday.

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Sunday 20th October:

So I began the day later than I have of late and took a lazy start getting ready and making myself a nice breakfast that was most unhealthy - it even included a fried slice of bread! It was shortly after washing up that I was going to be just about as lucky as one can be with a boating mishap...

Engine was running and it was time to depart the mooring - I noticed two dead fish - pretty large species unknown to me floating past which was sad, but the wind was blowing the boat onto the bank so took my time and pulled the forward Rhode Anchor up - it was especially thick with mud and so I put my finger through the ring and dangled it in the river to clean it off - worked a treat.  I was then going to repeat this with the rear Rhonde Anchor but something happened, it was like my hand just stopped wanting to be controlled and as I dangled the heavy metal hook over the bank I just let it go 'splash' and it was gone.

It took me a moment to come to terms with what I had just done - and then thoughts of having to return to Acle, red faced and explain I lost a Rhonde Anchor and could I have another..But then I thought it would be worth a try to use the boat hook and fish it out.  It has been discussed what the point of boat hooks are - especially on hire boats - I have found out how valuable one can be, for I lowered it and could feel the bottom and slowly dragged it and 'clunk' felt the Rhonde Anchor on the river bed.  I did not try to lift it but instead came in for another go from a different angle and low and behold felt the boat hook get heavier - yes unbelievably I had hooked it and got it up.  The boat hook had hooked on the 'right angle' part of the Rhonde Anchor.  Amazing luck I should get a Lotto ticket now!

So knowing it would be better to have muddy Rhonde Anchors and have a pair than clean ones and risk only having one it was off to Potter Heigham.   I moored in Herbert Woods basin and headed off to look around at boats and once more ponder over a couple for sale at Waterside Marine Sales before going into Lathams for some more batteries for my torch and ending up getting a few other bits too.

Back to the boat and out on to the main river I decided to go back up the Ant destination Barton Turf. It was an uneventful cruise and I could not help once on Barton Broad playing with the waves the wind had got up so went up the top of the Broad, turned and came back down again enjoying the rocking and twisting they caused on the boat. It was then a short cruise to Barton Turf - well Paddy's Lane Moorings actually, and what lovely moorings these are!

I am at the very end (closet to Cox's Boatyard end) and with the wind blowing and rain falling hard have put a spring line on and the boat is moving very little.  Despite the wild start to the evening, it is quite only a Topliner in front of me for company. These moorings are another first for me and I arrived early, around 3:00pm today and spent time just feedings Swans, having a drink and enjoying the mild (and for a time earlier sunny) afternoon.

Very nice moorings these - I have no idea where I will go tomorrow may well be a case of randomly pointing at the map and picking a place.

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Monday 21st October:

Today began with more rain - though unlike yesterday, it was very fine and light which annoyed me as I like my rain to be proper and worth while or not at all. As it was I left my overnight mooring at Paddy's Lane and reversed to the Staithe at Barton Turf (just by Cox's Boatyard) and topped up with water.  It was during this that I thought the first destination would be Barton Broad where I would drop the mud weight and have breakfast.

I arrived to a deserted Barton Broad and while the wind had got up the rain had stopped.  I must have spent about an hour with just the sound of the breeze and water slapping at the hull and looking out over the water.  That certainly was a lovely way to have coffee and toast on a Monday morning!

Back underway and the rain returned because it was so fine it made what appeared thousands of tiny droplets all over the screens, thus making visibility very much reduced - Mystic Horizon 1 does have a windscreen wiper but unlike many other boats of this type it is not a pantograph one and does not have a centre wiper which would certainly improve things in the wet.

I had no plan where I would be going, and it as not once I had come through Ludham Bridge I decided to head towards Wroxham.  The rain would come and go but the wind seemed to get more blustery and strong as the morning wore on.  Once on the River Bure I thought I might as well stop off at Ranworth Staithe and after coming along Ranworth Dam could see there were only 3 or 4 boats at the staithe making mooring easy - it helped too that the wind would be coming 'down' the Broad towards the Staithe not across it so no pesky crosswinds to worry about.

Once moored I went for a walk, initially I was going to go to the Church - St Helen's, but then opted for taking the road around towards the Wildlife Centre run by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.  Funny, they once were called the Norfolk Naturalist Trust - I suspect they had to change the name so there was no confession to between naturists naturalists, though I suspect there are some who like to protect wildlife and be naked.

It was walking along Broad Road I stumbled across a property that was for rent a few months back - one bedroom studio apartment but more like a flat with the bedroom upstairs and a lounge and kitchen open plan on the ground floor.  All that with a view of the Broad and for less than the cost per month than a bedsit in London.  It was snapped up within days of being advertised. What a lovely location and just around the corner was the start of the 'Broad Walk'.

I've been on these before, such as the one at Cockshoot Broad - but this was spectacular!  Honestly if you can pop along out of the season on a damp day you are in for a treat.  I was alone and walking through the changing landscape from Carr Wood to Fen and then to the open Broad was amazing.  You could stop and hear nothing else but the rustle of the reeds, a distant duck quacking and feel like you were a world away from anything.  

The actual information centre and look out area was closed which seemed odd as people were inside - it may not be half term or in the season, but a shame it is not something open year round.  Still I captured some great photos and looked out over the Broad which of course is closed to boating.  

Back to the road now and a look at the time - 12:10pm - time for the pub.  Now the Maltsters has indeed been refurbished some time back and yes the open log fire and new decor make for comfortable surroundings, I knew the Wherry was good from a few days back but I had not tried the food and at over £8.00 for a burger thought I would try it and it might be very good.

I judge places food on their burgers - you see it is simple so should not be hard to get right, but you can also make the humble burger rather special with the type of meat used.  For £14.95 (Pint of Wherry and Bacon Cheese Burger with Onion Rings) I was hoping for more than a humble Burger...

It was nice but it was not special and the overall 'meal cost' was not worth £14.95.  For a start the Burger came with onion rings, it is a shame I was not told this or else would not have ordered the extra portion.  The onion rings were not freshly made like at the Bridge Inn at Acle, they were simple 'catering' type deep fried and very much all the same.  The chips were 'steak chips' which always reminds me of Beefeaters in the 90's and the Burger was juicy and nice in flavour but was let down by the salad which was on top mainly shredded carrot and a quarter of one slice of tomato with a few leaves. It was a shame too the sauces were not branded but again just generic catering pack stuff.

So my opinion is it is perfectly nice, but not what one might expect for the money or surroundings and if I was marking it would say 'could do better' and 'room for improvement'.

Back onboard the boat I left the Staithe once again without a destination in mind and on once on the main river again turned towards Wroxham. A short time later I spotted the most perfect 'wild mooring'.  I had often seen this taken with a boat usually private with people fishing from and yet today it was free.  About turn and thought I would moor up and have a nap for the food and drink had taken their toll and I was feeling rather sleepy.

So once I had come in to moor, placed the Rhonde Anchors (not lost one to the river this time) I was very happy.  I'd not 'wild moored' on the Bure for years, indeed perhaps the last time may have been with my parents.  I went for an 'explore' and round the corner hidden in the Reeds found the usual mess - black bin bag full of rotting rubbish all pulled about and spread by the local wild life.  I love how the cretins who dump this always try to hide it and out of sight is out of mind.  I have no idea why people feel the need to do this but there we go.  My real problem with the mooring was the noise on the boat.

You see the hull on this boat is one of those 'low wash' numbers with some 'creases' in the shape of the bow ideal to trap small wavelets and create a lot of bow slap going on inside (splashing sound).  Well I tried but I could not settle with this and thought it could well get worse later and how would I feel trying to sleep in the evening.  So engine started, back through the rigmarole of pulling muddy Rhonde Anchors up I was back underway.  Where could I go that would be quiet?  The wind had got up a lot more than it had been earlier so the Bure was out perhaps then the River Ant would do - no I opted for the Thurne and Womack Dyke.

So that is where I am now, moored at 'my favourite wild mooring'.  I was a challenge when I arrived since the very stiff breeze was blowing the boat off the bank and took about 10 minutes to get the boat secure.  The wind then got up even more and I was worried about how sensible this mooring may have been - would the Rhonde Anchors hold the boat?  Back on the bank and moved them to some firmer ground and made sure they are in deep and good, I've also taken the added precaution of lowing the mud weight.

It is a mild night, the wind has calmed a little but the boat will move every now and again when a stiff gust comes over the marshes.  The rain has gone and along the way to the front of me I can see a line of boats moored at the formal 24 hour moorings including a Broom Captain (new hire boat) ablaze with external lighting looking very swanky indeed.

Tomorrow I think will be much like today, only with more rain and I think Horning and Wroxham will be my destinations with perhaps Salhouse as a sheltered over night mooring.

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Sounds like you are having a good time Robin, despite the weather!

 

One tip for washing rhond anchors, leave them tied to the mooring line and then you can swing them in the water without fear of losing them! You were very lucky to retrieve that one with the boat hook! :clap

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Tuesday 22nd October:

The night proved a touch tense at times when the wind got up with me hoping all would be ok with regard to the Rhonde Anchors holding the boat in the stiff winds blowing it off the bank. Morning came and I was still where I was before I slept, furthermore the Rhonde Anchors were just as firm in the ground as they had been when I set them.

I took my time and it was not until after 10:00 I was underway, just the short journey to Womack Water where I topped up with water and got rid of some rubbish.  I noted the toilets had plumbers working on them, they certainly are well maintained facilities.

I had decided that I would go to Wroxham today and knew it would be a fair trip but the wind was making getting there interesting especially along the Thurne where it was 'beam on' and not until I was on the Bure did it stop trying to shift me off course and was coming head on. It seemed to take forever to get to the mouth of the Ant but once that was past the rest of the journey seemed to go without feeling dragging.

I arrived in Wroxham finding it full and Barnes Brinkcraft had so many boats in the yard and indeed over the way on previously occupied private moorings it looked for all the world they had closed for the season.  I opted to pop into the stern on mooring at MC Marine.  Water levels are still high but seem just a tad less than last week 6ft 7" was showing at Wroxham Bridge.

I had Fish & Chips for lunch and then the rain began to fall.  I thought it would not make much sense walking around getting wet and instead could get back on the boat and head on to...Somewhere.  I paid for the moorings and shortly after departing the rain really came down - it is fortunate this boat has a windscreen wiper even better now it has a new 15" wiper blade thanks to me on it. Wroxham Broad came and went then it was the turn of Salhouse and the rain got even harder.  It was not until past Horning (which was packed with boats at the Staithe but only one at the New Inn) did the rain begin to ease.

I took time out to pop into Le Boat at Horning, all the boats are in and tied up some bow in others stern on it has the feeling something is up even if you did not know this was the end of the site as far as a hire yard went.  I took a lot of photos and thought of the times I had moored here when it was 'in full swing' together with the times I had holidays begin when Horning Pleasurecraft.

Leaving Le Baot behind I thought about heading up to How Hill to overnight, but upon coming through Ludham Bridge found the moorings here mainly free so change of plan an it is here where I am writing from and shall be spending the night.

As I write Calypso has just arrived with the most spectacular way to mooring I have witnessed. Approach slowly and a lady gets off at the bow with the bow rope.  She then makes this fast around a post.  Next the chap then engages full astern and leaves the controls and comes to the stern - at which point the knot gives way and the boat now comes rapidly towards my bow.  She shouting 'its free its got free' and he rushed through and stops puts it in neutral.  She then pulls the bow back in and makes sure this is tied fast.  He then once again engaged full astern and comes to the stern leaps to the bank with the rope and they both heave the boat in!  After making sure the boat is not going anywhere he gets on the boat and turns off the engine.

Excitement over it is a wonderful end to the day, the sun gently setting over the marshes and everything seems just right in the world - a glass of red just adds to this (Boddingtons on hold for the time being)...

 

 

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Ah we passed you on Saturday night on the way into Womack Staithe and I even mentioned to Helen that I only ever knew one person to moor at the mouth of Womack water. How funny.

Also saw you again today when we were moored up having a late breakfast at st Benets.

Hope the rest of your week is enjoyable.

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hi robin great blog as usual, you do like your wild moorings don't you ? lol, but £107 fuel ouch, we only used £70 worth of fuel on distant horizon for the week, & we went right across breydon & up to norwich & back, i'm hoping it'll be about the same with melody lol. lori smilie_girl_271.gif

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@Loribear: Previous week on Mystic Horizon was just over £96.00 then £107.80 for the week with 'Lads Week' of which a lot of our journeys were agaisnt the tide - indeed our crossing back north was made over 3 hours before low water which meant a long slog up the Bure and all this takes its tole.  I also prefer wild moorings so I am able to run the engine early in morning to heat water or for power and not distube anyone else. 

 

It is also why I go for the moorings at the very end of public ones, with my exhaust facing away from other boats such as now -  as I only run the laptop when it is being charged with engine running. 

 

As long as it comes in under the deposit, I am a happy bunny.  Since this is a two week break I've budgented though for an extra £100.00 over and above  just in case...

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Wednesday 23rd October:

I was pleased I had decided to moor at 'Horning Marshes' (Ludham Bridge moorings) last night.  Not only did it mean I could walk to the Dog Inn for a lovely meal and local Ale, it also meant when the strong winds arrived I was nice and secure at a formal mooring.

Today arrived and I had planned on doing some more 'firsts' but for the time being it would be a trip to Richardon's boatyard at Stalham to look in on the Launderette (very reasonable prices and spotlessly clean) alas all the dryers were in use and I did not really need to make use of the facility but thought it would save time when I got back home with washing.

Interesting the contrast of how many boats where out on hire - the gaps along Swan Quay compared to the likes of Barnes Brinkcraft whose yard looks pretty much full. Made some notes about what boats looked nice and which number in the class seemed the nicer for example Trinidad II has a new engine compared to Trinidad I. A top up of water and then it was time to depart.

I popped around to the Staithe but it was full so a quick turn around and noted a beautiful Ocean 30 'Alanta' goes to show what dedication and hard work can make a boat look so good.  On the River Ant now and it was not long before I was approaching Barton Broad where I spotted my first Kingfisher I had seen in the flesh.  I wanted to get a photo of it but it had fluttered away before I had the chance.

On Barton Broad which had a nice swell and headed for Gays Staithe.  Sadly I could not moor here since there where three boats all moored 'side on' and on the other side a private yacht and a fisherman had taken up the space.  So it was off to Nettishead.  The reason I had come here you see was I wanted to walk to and see the Broadwalk that takes you to a viewing platform over looking Barton Broad.

I am pleased I could not get in at Gays Staithe now since the walk from Nettishead is magical.  No really I mean it is (to me) the perfect Norfolk countryside the quite narrow road, the broad skies and land that stretches on even down to the house giving a way free apples and pears.  Sure it is a shorter walk from Gays Staithe but I cannot recommend enough that if you can moor at either location, walk to the road then turn left and keep going until you reach the entrance to the Broadwalk.

It is a real oasis of different sounds, plants and wildlife and I was alone and really took my time.  In fact I recon it is a good time to visit as the season begins to change into Autumn everything is winding down the leaves falling and a general moist earthy scent fills the air.  Before long you reach the viewing platform, it looks out roughly from Turkey Broad over the expanse of Barton Broad.  A long distance from the main boat channels means you can see them slowly moving over the water but you cannot hear them.  Swans and Geese do their thing as well as Cormorants drying their winds in the sunshine looking a touch menacing in so doing.

The silence and moment was soon broken when a party of people arrived and so I departed.  On the walk back to the boat I stopped from some apples and pears and then back at boat some followers of my Blogs introduced themselves - it makes me smile to think all this way from anywhere and often exploring alone I am never far from meeting people who know me and have a good chat.  

It was time to depart and think of an over night destination.  I've got plenty of provisions on the boat but I am getting a touch used to spoiling myself and letting someone else do the cooking and washing up so, where could I go where I could get a nice meal tonight...? Well Horning (I am currently moored outside the Ferry Inn) but am undecided whether to eat here or move on down to the Swan. Choices!

It has been a lovely day again and because I have had this extended break you really do find yourself taking time out away from the boat and exploring things and places you otherwise might not.  Goodness knows where tomorrow will take me for now its time to decide on what to eat.
 

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...Catching up from Wednesday evening...

Having moored outside the Ferry Inn in Horning I popped in for a pint but decided not to stay for a meal - instead walk into Horning and go to The Swan. Upon arriving I met a gentleman at the bar who after introducing himself said I had been on his boat...and had a drink..I have not been on too many peoples boats for drinks but for the life of me I had no idea what boat and where said drink was had.  Then it came to me, at Southwold when I had visited as a guest on Broad Ambition. It was nice to talk boats and I after we had said out goodbyes I settled in the restaurant and order a Chicken Liver Paté on walnut toast for a starter and a Rump Steak for the main.  Perfectly cooked, wonderful atmosphere and I maintain this is some of the highest quality food and presentation I've yet to find in a pub on the Broads.

So it was a long walk back in the dark to the boat and then I remembered why it is not a great place to over night.  First just after midnight I was woken with a lot of shouting and singing - well if that is what one could call it, then again after 2:00am with more raised voices and cars going.  It seemed after the pub closed there was some kind of party upstairs.

Thursday 24th October:

I was up early and once demisted windows was away.  I left Horning and without another boat about the water was mirror like and one sees what a good time of the day this is to be cruising along.  I was making for Ludham Bridge because slowly over the last 10 days the steering has been leaking hydraulic fluid and it was now doing it rather a lot more than it had been previously and so planned that once I had got to Ludham the water would be piping hot, I could get ready and then the boatyard could get to me with ease to top up the level and see if a fix could be made.

To cut a long story short I called explained the situation and 'engineer Bob' was duly on his way.  Now let me tell you this chap is a real old school Broadsman.  He used t pilot boats through Potter Heigham and what he does not know about boats is not worth knowing. He is an asset to the company and the sort of the person you could sit and listen to tales of holidays makers and incidents on boats all day. The cause of the leak is the gasket and bushes on the steering head have gone, but it seems one has to buy a whole new head unit not just the bushes.  So all that can be done is keep topping up the fluid and wiping the leak with a rag.  I also learnt the super smooth ball bearing track for the roof was something Horizon Craft fitted and this alone was over £400.00 - small things in the marine world cost a lot.

My confidence restored in steering it was off over the Bridge and into the the Café that stands next to Ludham Bridge Stores.  It was okay, shame the sausages were pre-cooked then heated in the microwave and the beans were a little over 'stewed' but it fitted the bill and was a good start to the day - and what a day it was set to be, clear blue skies and warm!

I suddenly had a feeling of today being the penultimate day of the holiday, and then followed by wondering 'where to go now'.  Wayford was my answer and so a slow amble up the River Ant until Barton Broad where I dropped the mud weight made a coffee and had a sit down swinging left and right as the breeze changed in the bright morning sunshine.  Then I got carried away and cleaned all the windows and decks and the last residues of mud from all the wet rainy weather of last week was gone. Time to pull 'anchor' and continue on my journey.

First stop was Barton Turf for water, but a privateer in a Hampton beat me to it and I did not want to risk trying to squeeze in for if anything went wrong my bow would hit his stern.  Water could wait anyway.  Now as you know the River Ant is beautiful, but the point where it flows up to Wayford is truly lovely. It almost has a different 'feel' to the rest of the river and just taking things slowly at tick over taking in the scenes as they unfolded before me felt special - certainly made all the better for the sunshine and warmth.

Of course Mystic Horizon won't pass under Wayford Bridge so this was the end of the line for me and so turned around and came back the way I had come.  By now it was just after 2:00pm and I wanted to moor someone 'wild' but where I could get to a pub.  Womack Water fitted the bill and the Kings Arms.  After working my way down the Ant, under Ludham Bridge where the tide was clearly in as even less headroom but made it none the less, then the Bure and past St. Benet's and left onto the Thurne.

I then encountered craft after craft some with young children some with teens on all from Herbert Woods turning down towards Womack Water - I think there must be 7 or 8 boats! All diligently wearing their life jackets and hopefully the adventure they have had will prove they will be back to the Broads when they older.  I have moored however at what I am calling 'watch your stern bend'.  Annoyingly the Broads Authority have tapped on a lot of the formal moorings on the dyke, and the staithe is full with the kids boats my usual wild mooring is taken (and anyway is on wrong side of the river to get to the pub) so it leaves the rather exposed mooring on the left bank shortly after you turn into the dyke off the Thurne.

The ground here is very soft and while I was putting in the Rhonde Anchors one worth loose so I have had to try and find firmer ground (and deployed the trusty Mud Weight as security). All done I then sat watching boat after boat turn too soon and sharply missing me by inches.  Not a good mooring this but I was out of other options...Still, no one can come ad moor behind or in front of me, can they?

Well I'm back from the pub where I had the steak, more expensive than the Swan in Horning, not quite cooked as well (as a tad over done) but tasty, juicy and fresh proper chips, a good side salad and home made onion rings went down well - so did the Wherry. The walk back seemed twice as long as walking there, and to my amazement someone has moored in front of me.  They could not be closer to my bow if they tried and frankly I am surprised they did not use my Rhone Anchor lol.  There is also a privateer opposite us - this making the already narrow dyke even more narrow and people returning boats to Herbert Woods tomorrow will be in for a treat.  I feel I will need to be up early because I really don't want to be in bed and get clouted.

Well that's it for another day - tomorrow is my last full day and I will be spending tomorrow evening in the yard at Horizon Craft or close by, and taking it easy - but its been a great adventure and I have learnt something different?: If you can go away for more than a week, do so because the added time makes a world of difference to see lots of things or go over the same ground and notice something you missed the first time around.
 

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Great tale Robin, its odd as we have missed crossing paths so many times this week. I too can't help but think that tomorrow is the last full day and makes me feel sad, however we made it as far as the ferry inn pub this evening, long day! Im sure you'll read in my blog once I've written it. So we are just going to chill in the north tomorrow.

Have a great last day. Will wave if we see you on our way up towards the Ant.

Paul

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Friday 25th October:

So the last day, and it began dull, cool and wet.  I opted therefore to go back to bed and hope for sunshine later, upon getting up again around 9:00am the sun was not out but the rain had gone and it felt a lot more mild.  The boat who had been moored in front of me had departed and in so doing dislodged some over the wooden bank which was now semi-attached and floating at my bow.  Off the boat with the boat hook and pulled it back in but it is all rotting along this section and it won't be long before the yellow stakes go in I am sure.

It was a struggle to leave the mooring because the wind had got up some and was blowing the boat away from the bank, this meant one had to be quick with pulling up the Rhonde Anchors, sorting the ropes and getting on the boat.  Because I had to do this in stages and keep pulling the boat back into the bank it took some time but safely onboard I departed with Ranworth Staithe my destination.

Just as I turned onto the Thurne there was a terrible noise, a shudder and the engine tone changed for a moment.  I went straight into neutral thinking the gear box or engine or both had suffered some kind of issue - but as I looked behind me the cause of the issue was now seen floating in several bits.  A rather horrible sight but one of the larger dead fish that have been a sight along the banks of the Thurne had clearly just began to sink below the surface and I had 'run over it' the propeller doing the rest. 

By the time I was on the Bure, despite the dullness it was not at all chilly and could have the sunroof open.  I arrived at Ranwoth Staithe, not too many boats but all moored with a couple of feet between them so took up most of the space - there was a slot but then a boat began to depart so about turn and took the much more spacious slot he had left. I've got such a feel for this boat now having been on it for an extended time it makes all the difference with confidence and knowing what to do and how the boat will react. It also means when you do a 180 turn and come in perfectly stern on in front of others you feel a nice glow (but act as if it was nothing and head off for the water hose).

It was here that I met Paul and Helen who are themsevles sharing their adventure and will be taking Carousel 3 back to Stalham tomorrow.  With water topped up and rubbish deposed of it was time to depart, direction of Horning to see if I could moor at the mooring for the Church (whose name escapes me) but suffice to say I was the only boat there and had a nice chilled time having something to eat - by now the sun was out and the temperature was getting ever higher. Lovely.

Then a boat arrived and squeezed on the mooring - hmm this would mean my departure would be more tricky than I had hoped and when I came to leave kicking the stern out and then reversing away was the order of the day.  I am surprised how surprised many people are when you leave a mooring backwards - but often (and especially when I am single handed) it takes any risk of the stern catching the boat in front away and is easier since I cannot of course 'fend off' ad maneuver the boat.

My next point of call was St. Benets - here I could give away my last slices of bread to the Swans and found Sea Gulls like Bacon. I then went for a walk passing something rather amazing, an aerial that had long been lost over the side of a boat had been pulled up and once could see how it had been colonized by muscles.  The ruins were deserted and I took some time taking some photos and enjoying the peace of the place.  By now I thought it would be a good idea to head to Acle where I could pack my things up and then head on over to the Bridge Inn for dinner. 

I arrived back at the boatyard around 3:45pm and was able to be fueled up and paper work done - also not needing to get off the boat first thing is going to be handy since it is not booked for next week.  So after a chat with the staff at Horizon Craft time to pack up - not too bad going actually considering all the stuff that has been put and put in drawers etc.  Through clean of the boat and time to head to the Bridge Inn - around 5:30pm.

It was busy already but not packed and I thought I might as well be bad (far too much red meat in a week by they) and order the steak - well it was good, but the Swan in Horning still beats it and the Kings Arms on the steak, however I happened to be served by perhaps the most beautiful waitress in all of Norfolk - who perhaps because of my charm (who am I fooling - because I was alone and she took pitty on me) made sure I was well looked after, chatty  and even going as far as giving me two sets of cutlery.  It made the the slightly over cooked steak matter not.

A couple or three Wherry's later and I now back on the boat - the wind has risen since I moored and I have figured out the banging noise is life ring moving about. It feels strange to think I began this adventure almost a fortnight ago - that 7 nights were spent with the company of others exploring the northern and southern rivers and pubs - then the last week to which I have shared with you all has been the complete opposite - far more sedate and for a change I have spent more time away from the boat walking to places and spending time moored up taking it easy.

The figures are in as far as fuel:

Week 1: 77 Litres £107.80
Week 2: 69 Litres £96.60

Total: 146 litres of fuel £204.40 in 14 nights.

Now I have figured something out hearing three people return to the yard today and be fueled - they all used less than me in a week, but it seems most people usually will do short legs each day and example might be Wroxham to Ludham Bridge or Stalham to Ranworth and once they arrive moor up and that is that.  Myself however might go Stalham Staithe to Wroxham, Wroxham to Womack Water then moor wild and a couple of times run the engine to power my laptop and/or heating - me being more paranoid about running batteries too low than anything. This all results in the situation where some will say 'ouch' that was a lot of fuel used, but then others may not see it like that.

The time has been amazing and I know for sure to leave this quiet area and arrive back in London with all the rush and noise will be quite a shock - however it will be nice to have a proper mattress to sleep on. Until next time, thanks for following the adventure with me.

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