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A Morning Cruise (PART 2)

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It’s just over 25 miles from Brundall to Beccles and I do like to take the tide if at all possible. That means getting to Reedham about an hour after Low Water when the tide has just begun to turn from Ebb to Flood.


On this last Tuesday night I could see that apart from delaying our start until early afternoon I would have to leave not long after mid-night… a non-starter! So I opted for a compromise (we didn’t want to arrive at Beccles at tea-time) and decided to leave at 05.00 which should have, at least, given me the remains of the Flood from Reedham to Beccles.


I can usually self-wake at a pre-thought time and so put 04.30 into my head… wrong! I should have set the alarm! (From my days as an airline pilot I can still be ready to go within 30 minutes of waking, including ablutions and a cuppa). At 05.20 I woke and Friday Girl was moving by 05.40.



As we passed Coldham Hall we counted three boats moored there… it was just ten to six and not a sound nor movement from any of them! With the Flood against us I increased to 1600 rpm and saw 5mph appear on the GPS. (This was to stay the same until we entered the New Cut). So we had a tide of about 1mph against us; not too bad as it is about Neap tide time.


It was an almost ethereal morning, sun not yet risen, still and calm with patches of mist drifting across the River Yare as we made our way slowly out of Brundall. It is mornings like this when the magic of The Broads reminds us of why we so love it here.




We continued as the sun began to rise and remembered why we thought a darkened upper band of the front windscreen would be useful!




The Beauchamp Arms was deserted, not a visiting boat in sight.




An hour and a quarter after leaving Bells marina we passed the Reedcutter at Cantley; here there were a few hardy peeps about and twelve boats tied up. They must be doing something right here!





Then, tied up outside the sugar beet factory was the SB Seaguard. Any ideas just what she does?




There was a solitary Sealine T50 tied up at Langley Mill and five others at Hardley Cross.






It was by now 07.35 and Reedham Chain Ferry was busy with some six boats over-nighting there.




Reedham village was busy! The Ranger had obviously been working very hard yesterday and he had them packed in nicely. Sixteen boats, including Ranworth Breeze rafted up to another. Also two more and a day-boat were moored outside The Ship, immediately before the bridge.






As we entered the New Cut I was able to pull back the revs to 1450 to maintain 5mph and initially thought I’d got away with my late departure. More to follow shortly!


About halfway along the New Cut a heron sailed majestically along the rail track side of the river coming towards us; it was absolutely unabashed by the train which roared past it! Unfortunately my photographic skills aren’t up to good enough standards yet and the heron was just out of picture….




It was 08.15 by the time we entered the River Waveney and back up to 1600rpm to barely maintain 5mph…. my plan had failed!


Somerleyton Staithe had eleven boats spaced out along its length and unfortunately the pic I took here was directly into sun on the windscreen. (Note to self: Must try harder and polish the windscreen after removing the morning dew!).


Just before 09.00 I saw “John Fox”, BA, coming towards us. She was very low in the water with her exhaust just about under the bow wave and steaming quite badly. I opened the side window to shout about the steaming but the skipper didn’t turn my way. I wondered where he’d come from and where he was taking his load to.




The Waveney River Centre looked very busy as we passed by and shortly afterwards I had the answer to where John Fox had come from.  I really do wonder where they empty them nowadays.




Later “Mar-Tel” sailed serenely by; I love the lines of those classic boats!




As we prepared to enter the Staithe the Wherry Albion was being poled out by its crew. And so it was ten to eleven, some 5 hours and 10 minutes since we’d slipped our moorings in Brundall when we finally moored. Twenty five and a half river miles and a glorious start to our week’s holiday!

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Hi John,


Great pictures, I am just trying to place where Ranworth Breeze (you will note she is flying the bungee) was double moored?




Err... "Reedham village was busy! The Ranger had obviously been working very hard yesterday and he had them packed in nicely. Sixteen boats, including Ranworth Breeze rafted up to another."

Just outside the Lord Nelson, Alan

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There is something magical in being first up and first off when nobody else is around John ,river like a millpond a touch of morning mist breaking the early rays of sun .....on top of a cup of coffee and a fag ........it really doesn't get much better



opps ....did I mention about leaving the wife in bed :shocked




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Our return journey to Brundall started at 06.00 last Wednesday morning. I wanted to make Low Water slack at Reedham at 08.00 and gave myself about 15 minutes spare in case I stopped off for pics or a cuppa.


As we departed Oulton I looked back to see a rather pretty sunrise:




It was beautifully tranquil heading down Oulton Dyke:




And the reflections on the mirror surface were lovely to see:




A bit further on, just before Somerleyton, one of my earlier questions was answered.. here's what "John Fox" was doing with the dredgings!




Somerleyton Bridge looked its horrible self (Take note, please, Railtrack!):




While the moorings looked as though a few more might have squeezed in:




Friday Girl will keep a pretty constant course when it's as calm as it was at 7am that morning and I was able to go back and stand on the stern to take these two pics near the Herringfleet Mill:






A little later we disturbed this flock!




And met the first boat we'd seen travelling on the water towards us:




Reedham was pretty full and there was smoke coming from The Nelson's chimney. All the curtains were drawn as well, so is it open again?




Finally, just past The Ferry, a pic for the yotties, (the bigger one is for sale), myself included:




And so back to Bells marina, mooring up at 09.40, after another beautiful morning's cruise! (And yes, Pollyfin, to put the kettle on to wake Mary-Jane with a cuppa!)  :wave

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