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A few days on Friday Girl

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Well, a bit more than that but there are such interesting blogs on at the moment that I'm going to keep this one short!


We spent Easter weekend at Oulton Broad, then a couple of days in Beccles before venturing 'oop North' last Thursday. The trip up from Beccles was quite long; 33 miles to the Acle Bridge for a late afternoon arrival, with the slack water at GH predicted just before 13.30hrs.


As usual, we were into quite a strong flood just before the Bure mouth but the ebb was still running strongly out of the Bure! I considered venturing down the harbour for a while but memories of the last time, when numerous well-intentioned peeps offered rather rude advice as to why hire boats shouldn't be going sea-side rather spoiled it. Mary-jane had suggested that I pointed out our RAF ensign and that we are insured for 90 days coastal passages... unfortunately, with my sense of humour, I actually asked some of them:

"Is this the way to Norwich, please?"


Anyway, we did have a lovely meal at The Bridge! But Friday morning up river to Ranworth was really horrible! Fog and quite heavy rain really didn't do a lot for us...

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After coming across Breydon I usually punch against the tide and moor at the top end of the old Marina and wait for the tide to turn.

Also when coming North to South I wait there for the tide.

I know it says "shallow water" but with a Bathtub it's been ok so far, famous last words.

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We left Ranworth at 09.00 heading for Wroxham but 35 minutes later we found Horning Staithe virtually empty. This was too good an opportunity to miss and I squeezed into the space between the only two boats there, hoping that the front one would eventually leave. It did and I was able to pull Friday Girl up to The Swan’s hedge; our favourite spot!


At lunchtime I tried the door to the Bure Valley Fish Restaurant but it was locked. I called their number and could hear the ‘phone ringing when the owner appeared from the back and saw me. (We have been there once a year for the past three years).


“Hello Mr Redford” he said!   :bow  :bow  :bow 


To say I was surprised is an understatement! He fitted us in for a meal in the early evening where we yet again enjoyed the fabulous selection he has on offer. He is Matron D’ and his wife is the Chef and together with three young ladies they put on a pretty good act!


Yesterday (Sunday) morning dawned bright an early and we left Horning at 09.00 (again). Passing by Salhouse Broad we saw only four cruisers tied up; let’s hope the weather is as good in a fortnight’s time! 




We arrived at Wroxham Staithe and were able to tie up right next to the posts; about the only space available! It was turning into a beautiful day and soon Liona tied up nearby on the river bank. She is a lovely looking old girl and kept in immaculate condition. She takes a total of 8 and costs £7 per adult and £17 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) for a 50 minute cruise.




Here’s a pic I took at Ranworth to give an idea of the window stickers coming your way soon!




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littlesprite.  Yes us too!  Leaving Beccles Thursday afternoon, staying at Waveney River Centre Thurday night and then cruising up to Salhouse on Friday-can't wait!

Regards Alan and Eve  cheers  cheersbar

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Grace and all, Hi.


The problem at the moment is finding wifi here in Potter Heigham!



On Monday we took a slow meander up to the Head of Navigation on the Bure. Sure enough, as Mark Bird said last year, the sign prohibiting hire boats from carrying on has disappeared… I guess it’s down to individual yards to decide if they want their boats to go any further than the Rising Sun.               


The stretch of river beyond the Rising Sun is very pretty and very quiet! We had been advised by the Ranger at Wroxham to go very slowly and stick to the centre of the river. This we did and were rewarded with yet another part of the Broads we haven’t visited before. A pair of swans had built a fine straw nest and the cobb was not at all pleased to see us approach!




On return we stopped off at the ‘Sun for a pint… £3.80 for an average Speckled Hen!    :shocked  :shocked  :shocked

Needless to say I only had the one!




The Rising Sun from upstream.


Coming back down to Wroxham we were fortunate enough to see a solitary Kingfisher, both in flight and then perched on a branch. We also saw two old classics, one was “Broadland Lapwing” moored at Belaugh (pronounced by my Norfolk wife as ‘Bee-la’).






Tuesday saw us moored at Ludham Bridge, after a stop-off at Boulters for fuel and water. Diesel at £1.18/L and fame free too! 


We were met by an old chum, Dave, and his Saluki, Ollie-Dog. Dave lives in a motor-home and we see him at home quite frequently when he moors at a nearby caravan park. So off we all walked to The Dog for a few jars and a mardle. That whiled a couple of hours away nicely before we returned aboard.


I had belled the Potter Pilot on Sunday and he asked us to be there by 08.00 Wednesday… a very early start tomorrow! (The reason we topped up with fuel and water to reduce our air height).


Wednesday morning at 05.45 and I was having a cuppa when a beautiful Kingfisher decided to rest on our pulpit and preen itself for about 5 minutes. Life is good!  :love  :love  :love


I slipped our mooring at 06.30 and cruised gently away on the ebb towards Potter. Not another boat was moving on the three rivers and I tied up at the Potter Pilots’ mooring at 07.50.


The Pilot arrived to bring two boats back through but his gauge in the hut showed just below 6’6” and he doubted that he’d get us back under tomorrow. “The best laid plans of mice and men….”   :cry :cry


Anyway, here we are now, moored opposite Herbert Woods Bridge and ready for a walk to the Falgate at lunchtime. We’ve not been there for over 30 years, so one way or another it will surely be a surprise!

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This is a smashing read and must admit to feeling a little envious. Always wanted to moor past the pubs at Coltishall, it's so beautiful there. I am on a health kick at the moment so please don't tell us what you had for lunch  Lol



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"Anyway, here we are now, moored opposite Herbert Woods Bridge and ready for a walk to the Falgate at lunchtime. We’ve not been there for over 30 years, so one way or another it will surely be a surprise!"


And it was. It’s like a time-warp!


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Only two ales and the GK IPA was off. The pint of Wherry I had was probably the first of the day and was average.  The food looked OK and there were a few customers eating. (There’s no wifi).


Back on board to enjoy a really wonderful, hot afternoon complete with (what else!) a G&T!




In the late afternoon a lovely old cruiser passed by to moor. She was “Pour Toi”, A659, built in 1958 by Graham Bunn in Wroxham. (What do you know about her, Dan?). She has always been a private boat, according to her owners, who have had her for two years. I had a long mardle with them and hope to see them soon, here on the NBN, to tell us more about her.


post-146-0-33452500-1398968407_thumb.jpg     post-146-0-93245500-1398968108_thumb.jpg


I went over to the Broadshaven, next to Lathams. The Phoenix boat-man had been pretty disparaging about it:

I didn’t find it too bad, at all. An ‘Oldie Worlde’ Broads’ pub it will never be but the welcome was warm enough and both the GK IPA and Wherry were on. In fact the Wherry was in fine fettle and I had to stop for another!


The place is family run and there’s an extensive menu at reasonable prices. They don’t have wifi yet but if you’re a BT customer you can use their BT Openworld or Fon.


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This is a smashing read and must admit to feeling a little envious. Always wanted to moor past the pubs at Coltishall, it's so beautiful there. I am on a health kick at the moment so please don't tell us what you had for lunch  Lol



Thanks, Grace, I'll keep it up for as long as I can get wifi!


We don't eat lunch and Mary-Jane is also on the kick; she has two days a week on less than 500 Cals.


However, for tea tonight we had two gorgeous rib-eye steaks at 14oz and 10oz each. I bought them in Beccles last week and had him vacuum pack them for me.   :kiss

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If you are calling at Beccles by car , you can park in the old Coop Car park and just walk through to Seppings..   It is a huge car park and does not get full.     I do  think they are closed on Mondays.     Best to check.

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No you are not wrong,  the old Coop is now Roys.   Not a long walk from the centre of town.     Roys has loos at the back of the shop.  (I say that as quite a treck from Beccles Yacht Station).   I do think if you shop in Roys you get a certain amount of free parking.    You could nip round to the butchers quickly as well as pop in Roys.

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We arrived at Womack Water and the Staithe on Friday morning at 10.00… it’s a favourite place of ours and we intended to stay there over the weekend.


I cycled into the village a bit later on, to see what delights the Butcher had on offer. Garlic sausages looked too tempting to avoid! So that’s the tea tonight sorted! I asked them to vacuum pack some Chinese spare ribs for the Meet, which they were happy to do. (I did also look into the Kings Arms to see if they still sold real ales… that’s my excuse). Fortunately Mary-Jane likes garlic as much as I do, because they were garlicky!


I later took my laptop back to the pub but it just didn’t want to connect with them too successfully, especially on the Forum. Fortunately, I did meet up with Mike and Jan (boat name Serenity) who are coming by car to the Meet. They introduced me to Tom and Kate who I offerd the NBN card to and spent some time chatting with. They have their own boat there (at Womack) and are hopefully coming to the Meet.


Kate was helping run the Craft Fair at the Ludham Church over the weekend and asked me to invite Mary-Jane over. Tom invited me to accompany him to the Horning Boat Show… the joys of pubs and meeting peeps!  ice slice


Saturday morning and we set off into the village just before midday; I left Mary-Jane at the Church gates and walked the 50 yards to Tom and Kate’s house. After a welcome cuppa we set off for the short drive to Horning. Tom used local knowledge to arrive at the other end of Lower Street (from the Swan end) via School Road and we were very lucky to find a space not far before the New Inn.


After a quick refreshment at The Swan we separated to meet up back at the Swan in ‘a couple of hours’.


I was looking for a couple of batteries and the first stand I came to was Multicell’s. I explained that our batteries were coming to the end of their life and that we needed a 110Ah 720 CA Starting/Bow-thruster battery and also a 110Ah Domestic one. The salesman was very knowledgeable and quickly steered me to the two he thought best at a tad over £100 each. I then passed Boulters stand and was surprised that Sonny was selling the same batteries… at about £75 each!!!   :kiss


I then met Clive in person for the first time and while chatting I was offered a glass of fizzy! Clive is a really friendly guy and we are lucky to have his input here on the Forum.


Then onto see Matthew Thwaites to ask about our Max Power thrusters. I had heard that they had gone to the wall but Matthew assured me that they were up and running again.  


“Have you got one of their Remotes?” he asked me.


So, having promised Mary-Jane that I wouldn’t buy a new boat here I am with a rather large shopping list!


After another excellent pint of Woodfordes “Flagondry” in The Swan, Tom dropped me off at Friday Girl’s mooring. There I found a contented Mary-Jane who had enjoyed her time at the Craft Fair and a visit to the Alfresco Tea Rooms. She says they are well worth a visit and the cakes are wonderful! :love :love


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Sorry I've been slow over the last week but wifi spots up the Ant aren't so plentiful.


As we cruised up the river last Bank Holiday Monday i couldn't but think that it's probably the most interesting river on The Broads. And so I took a few pics as we went along.








There were three boats on this wild mooring; the kids were having a great time!








Oh for some weather like that this weekend!

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Yesterday we cruised back here to Wroxham and called in at Boulters in Horning. I think I mentioned fuel at £1.18/L and a pump-out at £10. Then two batteries (Starting/Bow-Thruster and General Purpose) at £75 each. List price £103 and that was what I was quoted at the Boat Show last weekend.


Well Done, Sonny!   :clap :clap :clap


Just a mention on the vastly different prices in the pubs we visited... Ghost Ship from £3.40 in one to £3.80 in another really isn't on!   :cry :cry :cry

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The meet will be well covered soon but our saga from Salhouse to Burgh casatle follows.


We set off from wet and windy Salhouse at 10.30 on Sunday morning to make a very slow cruise to be passing Gt Yarmouth at 15.00. That would be 20 mins before slack water and should let us cross Breydon without the flood tide against the forecast strong westerly wind.


As we passed by St Bennets I wodered why, oh why, do the BA get us so confused?

Speed in MPH, bridge heights in FEET and distances in MILES........... so WHY isn't "500 YDS" OK???




Not long before GH we came across two boats moored to a post:




A while later we were about a mile into Breydon when a ferocious line squall passed us by. The wind qickly increase to about a F6 on the nose and the waves were breaking over not only the bow but over the top of the boat...




We slowly caught up a (bloody brave) hirer who had sensibly slowed right down and closed up to within 20-30 ft to get some protection.


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Hi John


Ghost Ship is fairly strong but even so £3.80 a pint is somewhat taking the preverbial. I must admit these days I am tending to concentrate on the pubs that don't rip you off and don't close early either! Having said that my heart goes out to anyone in the clutches of Punch or Enterprise. :cry

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