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South & North with Brinks Royale


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Day One:


Day One Captain's Blog


Having got a slightly later train than usual, I arrived in Wroxham on what had been the hottest day of the year so far.  There was not a cloud in the sky and I walked from the station to the Broads Information Centre and got myself the official time table that the Broads Authority produce for £1.00 - it comes in a rather garish neon orange this year.

Then off to Barnes Brinkcraft where I suspected because almost all their fleet would be being prepared for going out today and tomorrow my boat would not yet be ready, and so it was the case.  I left my luggage in reception and went off to Roy's DIY centre to pick up some micro fibre cloths and the usual £1.99 windscreen wiper (which came in very handy as is often the case with hire boats).  Then up to Norfolk Marine to look at everything from fridge's, toilets and helm seats mentally making notes and seeing how things looked in reality compared to images one sees online and yet remaining puzzled at the cost of such items.

Leaving there, it was off to the pub for a pint - Green King IPA and it went down very nicely, but then the real shopping had to be done and using my phone found a very nice Jewellers where I had a new watch battery put in which had failed on me just this morning (£6.50 fitted). I then had a call from the boatyard to say the boat was ready, so time to get the provisions in the supermarket part of Roy's and then carry an alarming amount of bags back to the boatyard.

The welcome was warm, the hand over efficient but it certainly was busy with a mixture of first timers and returning customers - there was a real sense of anticipation in the air.  I put the hilled items in the fridge and left everything else down below and was off once again on a new adventure aboard yet another design of boat.  The first thing that struck me was it was a boat which was not powered by an engine with a gearbox and propeller shaft but the increasingly popular (with boatyards) engine driving a hydraulic drive. Not only did one had the sound of the engine just behind the helm, you also had the unmistakable whine of the hydraulic pump and motor - it also required a fair few more RPM to achieve the speed limits than the boat I had hired just a couple of weeks earlier and which was the same size - Brinks Jazz - I thought then it may guzzle fuel, little did I know just how much over the week it would use (116 litres actually).

My destination was to be the quite dyke that leads off the River Thurne to Womack Water - since I was later than I usually am in getting away from the boatyard I worried moorings may well be in short supply, and consiering how much of Barnes Brinkcraft's fleet was booked felt sure it would be 'silly busy' out on the rivers.  It was busy, but not silly.  Sure there were the day boats - they seemed to be everywhere between Wroxham and Horning, but as for private and hire boats things did not seem as bad, and indeed upon passing various moorings was pleased to see them free - the likes of St. Benet's as an example had ample space to moor yet last year in May they were all taken at this time of day.

First days are not the most relaxed at least as far as I am concerned it is about getting to your preferred place to moor, then unpacking and putting all the bits away so the interior is smart and not cluttered.  I got to Womack Dyke and annoyingly the mooring (a wild one) on the left bank was taken, with the wind blowing me to the left I turned about and came back one nearer the mouth of the dyke where there is a handy single post one can tie up to.  I could take my time mooring and any mistakes made would be out of sight - as it happened it went very well, but the getting off the boat was tricky and I knew I would need to remove the table in aft cockpit area to aid getting out of the boat at future mooring's where I may not be blessed with calm water and a light breeze.

I got to work packing things away and found the first thing - very few places to put things, just two shallow drawers one almost full height hanging space and that was that - apart from the galley and its arrangement of cupboards.  Making the bed also was interesting, since the same is about 6 inches above the floor level and Barnes Brinkcraft had supplied me with 8 pillows and 2 duvets and 2 bed sheets.  Fortunately I found another space behind the seating where I could put the extra bedding.

Once everything was put away I was pleased with spacious interior space and the outside seating would seat 6 in comfort.  I sat as the sun set drinking a cool beer knowing tomorrow would be a very different day, it was forecast to be cool and rain - so I decided on a bit of a plan leaving the mooring the next morning at around 6:30am and heading for Beccles in one hit without stopping - crazy to some, but right up my street and with that in mind t was time for an early night.


Edited by LondonRascal
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10B - so precise but you imply there was something wrong with my mooring on the 8th July?

I have gone through the video and my notes so that would be day 5, and that would be outside Horning Ferry Marina.

I don't think there was a problem mooring however.

I came along looking for a mooring past the Ferry Inn in the direction of the Swan. 

I then turned outside Horning Sailing Club and made my way back down river when I spied the mooring I wanted to go into by an electric post next Harry the Heron's sculpture outside Horning Ferry Boatyard.

I could not however turn at that point so I slowed and pulled over to the right and stopped.

A faircraft Loynes centre cockpit boat then passed me. I then waited for a day boat coming up river to pass.

I was now too far down river to execute a turn and come in stern on (turning to my right as I made my approach - the side I am always more comfortable with) so I then reversed back up river in the direction of the Ferry Inn for a few feet.

Now I could execute a hard port turn  - line up with the mooring I wanted ahead of me, and then make a hard starboard turn   (as said above I always prefer a right hand turn before going astern to a stern on mooring).

Having done all of this I then came into the mooring very slowly and executed a controlled stern on mooring gently kissing the quay heading as I did - got off the boat and pulled the boat along snug with the quay on the right hand of the boat where the electric post can be found.

Some faffing then followed taking a fender off the port side of the boat to place at the stern to stop the boat rubbing against the quay heading and causing a terrible 'creaking' noise inside the boat.  I then got on with cleaning windows, polishing and mopping the decks before putting the rubbish out and heading off to the Pub :)

Fortunately the ever watchful new roof camera which is running whenever the boat is underway provides us with the raw footage as below.


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Day Two:


Day Two Captain's Blog


I had thought about heading to the Southern Broads since I was up for a week before I had taken the boat over, but the previous evening I had made firm plans checking the tide times for Yarmouth and had decided a good place to go would be Beccles. 

As those regular boaters will know Womack To Beccles is not a short cruise by any means, and it would mean an early start - and so it was that today began at 5:45am.  It had rained a lot through the night and the usually quiet dyke leading to Womack Water  had been stirred up a bit by the wind meaning the planning hull of Royale caught the small wavelets and meant a noisy night of 'bow slap' come morning I was not as well rested as I would have liked and the dull cooler conditions were so completely different to that of when I picked the boat up the previous day.

Perhaps it was this sudden change in weather from blazing sunshine and hot to cool and wet, or perhaps just a reaction with some kind of plant or Norfolk itself but I was feeling rather stuffy and puffy eyed.  Good job I had brought with me some anti histamine tablets which soon got me feeling more myself and after a strong coffee and some Corn Flakes I was ready to face the world - which by now had decided to turn very wet as the rain began once again.

It was 6:40am as I left, with low water at Yarmouth of 9:26am.  It takes roughly 3 hours to get from the mouth of the Thurne to Yarmouth Yacht Station according to my time calculation sheet - being helped by the ebbing tide should mean lower revs and better fuel consumption, but to begin I still needed quite a few RPM to do 4 MPH and only half way in to the journey could I ease up and maintain a steady 5 MPH.

On the lower Bure I came across one of Barnes Brinkcraft large centre cockpit boats aground, with a large Faircraft Loynes Alpha 44 trying to give assistance - at first I thought they were far from the port bank, but found they seem to have strayed the wrong side of one of the navigation posts on this stretch of river after all - they were certainly stuck fast however.

It had rained pretty much all the way and my windscreen wiper began to play up, the arm of the wiper assembly retracting in and thus the actual wiper wiping less window area - I slowed only to be caught up by another boat who proceeded to stay behind me.  I then had to turn into the outgoing tide near to where there is a water outflow and made up mooring/quay heading (currently a small sailing yacht is moored there) and he was still floating so came to a stop with the wind and tide working together pinning me nicely on the quay heading.  I then could get safely round to the side deck and replace the wiper and make good the arm to stay in position - this is why it pays to bring a spare wiper with you.  I left the impromptu mooring back with the outgoing tide and soon was coming into the outskirts of Yarmouth.

I had timed it well with over 9ft clearance under the bridges I could sale on through - though the boat really was a pig to handle when the current was going under it and the wind would gust from the left or right and I would suddenly find myself almost going sideways this way or that - this would not be the first time I wished I had a displacement hull under me.  Soon the yellow post came into view and would have preferred to have been a little more to the left as I past it, but  all was well and I turned on to Breydon Water and opened up the Throttle.

Royale 1 responded well and soon we were at around 2,700 RPM - however one could only maintain this rate of speed for about 5 minutes before the temperature climbed alarming fast and past 90 degrees Celsius - this meant the actual top cruising RPM without getting above 85 degrees Celsius was 2,200 RPM. It did not take long before Fair President the imposing 46 foot long bling machine effortlessly overtook me and I could only following in her wake.  I decided there and then that I would not worry about getting anywhere 'on time' and instead would settle in for a long haul and so eased back and went into fuel saving mode.  From then on until Beccles I don't think I went above 1,700 RPM and averaged 4 MPH.

With Breydon Water behind me I was now on the Waveney and St. Olaves was the next land mark, but not far past Good Child's Marine I thought I was witnessing a major incident, there appeared maybe 15 or more personnel in high visibility jackets, a Rangers Launch together with Spirit of Breydon with blue lights flashing and another boat with an orange light flashing - people on t e bank in blankets - however it turned out to be a full on drill to be as real as possible. 

Upon approaching St. Olaves bridge I checked, then checked again the height and I was confident of not having any issue in getting under, however pretty close to the bridge it dawned on me I had two cameras outside on tripods that were about 6 inches higher than the top of the boat. There for the boat effectively had an air draft of 9 feet.  Too late to try and get the cameras off the roof as I risked not being in control of the boat so I could only slow down and hope for the best - the resultant footage on the Captain's Blog shows how close the cameras  got to getting destroyed.   Safely through the bridge next was Somerleyton Bridge.

Somerleyton Bridge was easy to get through, it was swung in t e open position which was handy and I really felt I was making progress now .  It had already been many hours at the helm, but I enjoyed it - from listening to the radio to having my music streamed to my phone via Spotify - I was even able to show my girlfriend where I was in real time over a 'Face Time' call (a video call) as she had a break from working,.  All this technology and communication was made possible by my onboard WiFi thanks to Three's excellent coverage and my mobile dongle unit.

By the time I passed the Waveney River Centre I knew the journey was in its later stages, I was pleased too the fuel gauge had moved such a small amount from full and despite taking things easy and not getting up to the speed limit on much of these rivers of 6 MPH I felt like I had been doing well with the time.   This part of the Waveney is so beautiful and a very different feeling river to the Yare and well worth the time it had taken to come to.

Finally I arrived at Beccles Yacht Station, the 'Harbour Master' telling me t moor on the other side - which to where the toilets are etc - and despite the crosswind it is surprising how handy bow thrusters can be, and how one adapts to their use with such ease too being able to reverse and turn and control with a few presses of a button and slight use of the throttle - yet one feels a 'cheat' when performing such manoeuvres otherwise not possible without their use and making things look so easy.

The rain had stopped too and when the sun made an appearance its heat was intense and sudden - I got to taking in cameras, and making the boat all tidy and again, I planned to head into Beccles for a bit to eat and a few drinks in the Weatherspoon - and very nice it is too, good selection of drinks, good prices and unlike many the food actually was cooked properly.  However I needed to call Barnes Brinkcraft as I was concerned at just how quickly the engine had got so hot and the weed filter on this particular boat was a type where one required tools to remove it and see if it was blocked or not - not to mention the shower pump did not work and the alternator belt was slipping at times.   Back to the boat to meet the engineer, Ben - a y9oung chap who got stuck into the job.

Let me tell you, some things can go wrong - I know this but the fact he had come so far, and after over an hour had installed a new shower pump, found the drain pipe to be blocked in three places  (don't wash dogs in boat showers people it causes problems with fur) had the entire floor up, the seating in the saloon and various panels to get to parts and left very much more dirty and smelling of bilges deserved a medal.  Well done Barnes Brinkcraft for your service. The alternator belt was tightened too and I could get on with the rest of my late afternoon .

I had maiantianed an average speed of 4MPH and had been moving on the water for a total of 8 hours and 19 minutes, so while a long day at the helm I was now in another beautiful part of the Norfolk Broads and tomorrow I could take a leisurely cruise to Loddon.  For now however it was time to have a nice evening walk around Beccles and probably end up in the pub for refreshments again.

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Hi Robin, yes quite a treck!  We did similar from the Forum meet at

Salhouse Broad this year.  Left on the Sunday at about 10.00am to 

catch GY at the right time and back to Beccles non stop (apart for

Somerleyton Bridge which we had to wait 20 minutes to open), only

difference really was that I had hid with me so did'nt have to stop in

the reeds to go to the heads!  :naughty:  Regards Alan.  cheersbar  :wave

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Day Three:


Day Three Captain's Blog


This day may as well be known as 'the rainy one' for it began rather warmly and humid, but there was little in the way of sunshine.  The rain had come and gone, but it was never very heavy when it fell, the odd spot here and there.

I had not woken as early as I might usually because the previous evening my sleep had been disturbed by this constant beeping noise.  Anything that beeps on a boat is not a good sign but initially I could not discover where it was coming from - you see it would only last about a minute and then go silent for about 10 minutes before it would come back.  The reason I could not tell initially its source was perhaps because it was so close to where the bed was - the LCD Battery Monitors were on the bulkhead to the left of the berth, and sure enough the 24v bank was showing just over 21v - every time the fridge's compressor tried to start so the voltage would sink, the inverter cut out and the low battery warning beeping begin.

I could not find a way to shut the damn thing up though, turning the fridge off at the switch marked 'fridge' did not actually do anything, but turning the 'ring main' off at the fuse panel did turn the fridge off and thus this circle of trying to run, low battery and beeping to come to an end.  I could not of course start the engine at gone midnight and was not on the side of the yacht station in Beccles where there was electric posts to hook up to - so I hoped the fridge contents would be ok overnight in the mild temperatures we had been having.

Come morning I started the engine and got things back charging I then waited to what I thought a good compromise time to call Barnes Brinkcraft not too early and not too late - Ben answered the phone yes, that same engineer who had got covered in muck from the shower pump fiasco yesterday.  But he was bright and perky for a Sunday morning and went through a through diagnostics over the phone - how was it that after over 8hrs running yesterday, not using much power the previous night would the voltage drop so low?  It was agreed there had to be a problem wither in the charging circuit or the batteries themselves and why not call him later and he would come to my destination I was heading for that evening to sort matters out.  I said I would be heading for Loddon - and so shortly after ending the call I was underway.

It was actually a very pleasant morning as I left Beccles between the fine rain showers and I kept things on tick over wanting to take it easy and conserve fuel.  Indeed it was not until I was past Cove Staithe did I increase the revs to past 1,000 RPM.  You could hear the birdsong and even other boats I had past were not doing the allowed 6 MPH along the river but preferring to take things nice and slow and soak up the beautiful sights along the Waveney.   Sadly though the rain became more constant and by the time I was approaching the Waveney River Centre it was getting heavier too.

I felt so closed in with all the canopy up at the back and the warmth of the engine and me and the cooler temperature outside was making the windows mist up, so I took the canopy side off and used them to cover the seating in the cockpit, which although water proof would mean less drying up later.   I popped into The Waveney River Centre  (WRC) to finish this procedure off having started it temporarily moored to a bit of qauy heading but having left this mooring I noticed I needed to do a bit of a better job so the WRC - much to the surprise of those there to see me come in, moor stow the canopy and then depart right away.  No sooner had I done this, and turned left on to the ain river again did the heavens open - they decided to stay open right until the end of the day and when I turned on to the river Chet later.

Sadly, this rain meant there was very little I could film - I could not just slide a roof back or open a window and reach out with a camera - even if it had a waterproof casing, because then I would get soaked in the process, and so I am sorry that this entire day's video is so - well boring with just me talking for 40 minutes effectively.

My plans changed several times as I went along the river - at one stage thinking I would go to Reedham, moor up and call the engineer then in the afternoon depart and head to Surlingham Ferry - then that changed to going to Reedham and then back to Loddon as the destination.  Unfortunately  because of the weather many people on holiday had decided to stay put, which meant by the time I had reached Reedham - after a very wet and grey trudge the quay was full - though there was a brief bit of interest as two aft cockpit cruisers which were not hired, seemed to want to occupy the same area of water at the same time - from my vantage point it looked like they were playing Dodgems.

Without being able to stop at Reedham, it was time for plan B - Loddon.  Though not a great deal of distance between the two destinations, when your wet and the weather is poor it feels much further and I was pleased to see a break in the clouds and the rain stop by the time I reached the mouth of the river Chet.

Having visited the Norfolk Broads so often, I had not cruised on this small river - and yet now I was seeming to re-visit it time and again, it feels so much wider and more open now the Environment Agency have completed their bank works - alas would I get in at the staithe, well just as I was approaching it the phone went - it was Ben asking did I want him to go to the staithe, not yet I replied I have no idea if I can fit in - and as I came around the small bend my fears were confirmed - it was full.  I did a 350 degree turn and came back the way I had come, then as if the a beacon standing out I spied Pacific Cruisers - jut one boat and a day boat were moored and being a member of the Hire Boat Federation, I could moor here.  I called the engineer back, he had no idea though where Pacific was based exactly and it appears now he was on foot having left the van somewhere near the high street.

He found it, and got on the boat started the engine and the alternator belt screeched once again - he then went through one of the most comprehensive inspections I have seen of an engineer - not just a multi meter, but also a load tester for the batteries and inspected each cell  after using the onboard hair dryer to put a large load on the system it was found one of the batteries had gone belly up and sucking down the other good ones.  He walked back, got his van and arrived with the new batteries (Rolls branded - not cheap by any means).

Once they were fitted it was time to change the alternator belt not happy it was slipping after tightening well after one was changed the second proved much harder and a large crow bar was needed - it was a lot of work for the chap, but what impressed me was his knowledge of the boat and all the systems, from electrical to mechanical - he was probably only in his early twenties and thought how much might change in his career as new designs and systems come on boats in the future and what he may have to end up fixing.

With everything sorted he was off, and then Michael came and had a nosey as to what was going on - suffice to say he got told off by Fiona for chatting to me too much and his tea was waiting, but it was a pleasure to meet him and talk about different boatyards, boats, his fleet plans you name it and I got a sense of pride in his character of putting the customer first and doing the best he could with the budget he had.  He may not have bling and new, but he has kept the older designs ship shape and then added things like bow thrusters, newer engines and refreshed interiors to the fleet - well worth a look if you want to hire, I would hope to myself but getting to Loddon via public transport might not be as easy as I find things on the northern rivers.  www.pacificruisers.co.uk is their website.

So plugged in to their shore power the batteries were all coming up to full charge and I settled in for a nice evening onboard and as it happened an earlier night - tomorrow was going to be sunny and I wanted to make the most of it.

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Day Four:


Day Four Captain's Blog


Having spent the night at Pacific Cruisers boatyard (free for hire boats £5.00 for private craft) it was a very different day to that of yesterday, sunny, warm and a real feeling of summer.  It was lovely.  I had neglected to consult my tide tables the previous night and wished now I had since my destination for today would be Norwich and it did not take Einstein to figure out half way there the tide would begin to ebb and I’d be going against it – had I left earlier I would have arrived at slack water and left with the ebbing current.  Hindsight eh?

The Chet was beautiful – most of the boats at the Staithe had already left which meant by the time I was heading down river I had it to myself.  While some charm has been lost with the recent bank works I welcome the wider more open feel to the river so you feel more confident should you meet a boat coming the other way.  It is only a short river and before too long the mouth was approaching the tell tale metal ‘navigation’ posts came into view and soon it would be time to turn onto the mighty Yare.

I welcomed the wider river that the Yare is, but was surprised it too was devoid of boats – just blue skies and wide open water it is times like this that makes boating special and the feeling of escapism from the daily chores of life all the more rewarding.

The reason I had decided upon Norwich as the destination was the fact I needed some provisions and while a little way to go I felt like ‘stretching my legs’ after yesterday’s battle with the rain all day and niggles with the boat.  I planned to moor before the Yacht Station at moorings where alleged ‘fake’ Police notices have been placed with respect to mooring and how long one can stay for.  True or false if you can moor here Morrison’s is but a short walk and no fee to pay compared to the Yacht Station.

It was just past the Cantley sugar factory that I pondered going to Rockland Broad – to the Staithe and walking into Rockland St. Mary, you see on my map it indicated ‘Post Office and Stores’ in the village. However with so many Post Office’s around the country going did it still exist?  This is where the analogue map and digital services can come together perfectly.  I looked up the village on Google Maps and found out how long the walk would be, then I used Street View to find out if the shop was there still – it was and that sealed the deal, Norwich was off and Rockland St. Mary was on.

This would be my third visit to Rockland Broad and each time I have gone the scene seems to change.  Last October it was calm, serene and peaceful with the tide out – then in April this year it was windy and small wavelets came over the water, while fluffy clouds peppered the blue sky.  Today the Water Lilly’s were out in such an abundance it was remarkable, the sunshine was powerful the sky blue with a few clouds and air was still – once again I had the place to myself and as I came up the narrow waterway to the Staithe I was surprised to find only two private boats moored.  New posts were going in too and a large old work boat which had surly seen a lot of action on the Broads was moored next to a platform with a ‘whacker’ slamming the posts into the mud.

The pub was not open when I arrived and it had a notice that food was not being served until that evening due to staff absence.  A shame, as I would rather have liked lunch there.  The day had got incredibly hot, I left the canopy sides off the boat and locked the doors and headed off – turning left at the New Inn.  While the road is often quiet, when a car does come along they are travelling at some speed so it is wise to have your wits about you.

It was not until I came into Claxton that I realised I had in fact gone completely wrong.  Further my phone had no data connection so I could not load maps (wished I had put my MiFi unit in my pocket with me to provide my phone with a connection – even better if O2 just made Norfolk not such a black spot with 3G connections).  Walking back I did consider just going back to the boat, but I had come to get to the shops so I would carry on.  Back outside the New Inn I consulted the sign which showed the various walks one can do, I had indeed gone very wrong – you should turn right.

If it was a Spring day, or perhaps in the Autumn it would have been a lovely walk – but under the sun with about 28 degrees Celsius it was not the most comfortable of walks, however the shop – a Londis, was excellent, it has everything you could need and was air conditioned which was a boon!  Having got the things I needed it was straight back out and heading towards the Staithe – the walk back seemed to go faster than going there, but I was pleased to get back on the boat and have a cold drink and a some food.

So it was a lovely day, some more boats had arrived now Quartet from Barnes Brinkcraft, they had the canopy back and lunch was being produced with a very Mediterranean  feel to it, but it was time for me to go – there was no need to go to Norwich but I do like to cruise and explore than moor and stay put during the day – so I would head to Bargate which would be nice and quiet and be able to give some underwater filming a go.

When I arrived at Bargate (maps can show this broad to be called Surlingham Broad) there were already some boats on their mudweight’s – but the place was tranquil, silent other than bird song.  I opted to use the cheaper of my two recently purchased ‘action cameras’ for if all else failed and water got in the waterproof enclosure I would not have lost as much money compared to the other.  My concern was using string should the camera get tangled on a weed at the bottom of the Broad the string may snap as I pulled it up – so I used the mooring rope from the boat, but I feared this would float.  I used tape, cable ties and string to mount the camera secure but facing the right way and put it into the water – then I heard some beeping, loud enough to be heard through the enclosure.  I feared this was some kind of alarm that water had got in, but no it was low battery – all of the work and 10 seconds later it was dead.

I charged the camera a little and went for take two.  It was predictably murky, but I was pleased to capture some underwater plant life and I think it would be good to try at other locations to see what one might capture.  All in all very good and no water did get into the case, well that was until I took the camera out and some ran into it but the camera was dry.

I was going to stay here overnight and if I had, it would have been the first time in my life (even as a kid) to have mud weighted on a Broad overnight.  However I did then consult the tides and it would mean another very early departure since tomorrow I was heading back to the northern rivers to catch the tide at Yarmouth and then cruise all the way to somewhere on the Ant – or I could moor at Reedham and wake up later and have less distance to cover, Reedham therefore was on the cards.

I left Bargate for another time and headed along through Brundall and out on the more exposed reaches of the Yare, it was glorious – the heat had given way to a cooler fresher late afternoon but still with the sunshine and a fresh breeze perfect boating weather.  I can’t say there was too much of interest to recall over the cruise to Reedham but by the time I had got past Reedham Ferry I would be pleased to moor and relax.  As Reedham Quay came into the view I looked through my binoculars and spied things were pretty full, but there was space for two boats pretty much outside the ‘Rangers Hut’ so I prepared for a slow controlled arrival against the now flooding tide.

When you have two cameras recording your approach and a Ranger waiting at the quay looking at your ever move it does tend to make the heart beat that bit faster, but for a slight change of wind at the last moment I was happy with the mooring – even the Ranger said it was good and remembered me from last year – a nice chap to talk to I find but a stickler for anyone who might be going a touch too fast and soon he was off to give help to another crew mooring.

So here I was – the end of the day and the last evening of being on the far more tidal southern rivers, it would be nice to be back up north and not needing to worry as much about slack in the lines and rise and fall of the tide.  Tonight, it was time try another pub – The Ship.  Now from the outside with the boards up about the food on offer and such I thought it was going to be more a ‘gastro pub’ but upon walking in I soon found it was more a drinkers pub, a game of Darts was in full swing and I made the mistake of getting in the way of some spectators, then I made a mistake about enquiring for a table for 1 – ‘take whatever one you want’ was the answer.

I opted for the Steak, the menu was not that long and it was the most expensive item on it but sometimes you need to ‘push the boat out’ and I took a seat facing the swing bridge and was pleased to catch a train made up of two class 47 locomotives go over, I think doing surveys of the track bed but they sure made a good growl and rubble as they passed over the bridge.  Problem was my food had not arrived – 20 minutes now since ordering.  Almost half an hour later the food arrived. What a disappointment! 

The Steak was certainly not cooked medium, the chips well they were some cheap flat ‘steak chips’ but probably from the bottom of the bag since the portion was made up of many small chips and ‘broken’ pieces.  Two onion rings – but they were the type where it is not actually a ring of an onion covered in batter but a mush of onion covered in batter – you get the idea, and some very cheap catering sauces for the ketchup.  If you are to pay such a price it would be nice to have proper chips, branded sauces (or at least something with some richness to it) proper onion rings etc.  It filled a hole but was not worth the wait nor price in my opinion, but if you want a drink by the river a game of Pool or Darts then this is a pub your enjoy.

Back to the boat and I sat out at the back feeding the ducks and watching the sun set over the river – all in all it had been a lovely day and I was looking forward to tomorrow.

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Robin, have you not tried the Co-op at Loddon? Its quite well stocked. It would have saved you a treck. Working out tides for the South Broads can be good fun. But years ago both Blakes and Hoseasons had that chart you were talking about on the vid. Sign of the times all take, no give by the agents sadly. Surprised though your skippers manual did not have similar. Enjoyed the blog. Great so see when the weather had improved. 


cheers Iain.

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Iain going into Loddon would have been far too easy for shopping  lol - leaving me with no 'quest' for the day.  You may have seen I tend to avoid staying moored as little as possible and keeping moving as much as possible.


As for the tides I have various sources as per the video from www.shorebase.co.uk - to the ones provided in the booklet the Broads Authority produce each year for £1.00 - I just did not bother to consult any which was a schoolboy error on my part, indeed the whole time I was on the southern broads I seemed to have royally messed up with my tides compared to only a few months back in April when I got most of them pretty bang on.


I'm just pleased the video finally got completed! It is version 5! Because everyone I put up would face all the audio being muted because of a track I used - so remove then re-edit upload and try again...and again.  Finally today it all was ok with You Tube and I can get on with day 5 now.


10B I thought it was just me being stupid and not reading the sign correctly, I should have ignored it and gone with what Googel Maps had said I should do - still least we got to have a bit of a walk in the countryside - there will be more long walks as the series continues.

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Robin, I can see where you are coming from, when you think about it, you being a city laddie getting out into the open air must be bliss. As I know the many times I have been in London, I am always knackered with the poor air quality there lol


Keep the videos coming, with underwater filming now, Jacques Coustaeu eat yer heart out!


cheers Iain.

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