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Broad Ambition - Underway on the H2O

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Propellers? :?  You've got me there Stumpy




We sailed for Potter Heigham.  Surprised to see a rag-n-stick in full sail coming up the bure, the raggy looked magnifician in the bright crisp air, the crew dressed accordingly for the occasion.  A fair few hire craft out too from the Fiarcraft yard.


On arrival at P.H - Plenty of moorings available as one would expect at this time of year.  There was less than 6ft airdraft available under 'That' bridge so no chance of a cruise up to Hickling today.


We paid the obligatory visit to La'tharms.  of course it is known as 'Lathams' to 'Non' members of said outlet.  to be a fully piad up member which entitles one to refer to it as 'La-tharms' one has to visit, and purchase something for 99p or less that you didn't know you wanted - which has happened to me on many occasions.  This time it was an item for £2:99 - some non-slip roll mat for the dash on my Jeep as it happened.


The refuse collection point  close to the pilots office was again noticed by its absence - this will cause all sorts of problems coming the silly season.


The decision was then made to sail fo somewhere up the Bure, nowhere in particular, just because we could :party:


Just why Robin took a photo of 'B.A's helm - I have 'A one eyed stag' (No I-deer')







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  • 4 months later...

Sat 16th May - on our way to Horning, has just overtaken a HW hire boat that was meandering all over the river (No surprise there then) when Mrs G calls my attention to same hire boat that is now bow into the reeds and listing over good and proper.  She saw them trying to climb the bank.


Well it took me about half an hour to get them off, stern pulls, Bow pulls, side pulls etc.  The wind was the hardest factor but on what I told myself was my last attempt I got the angle just right and off she came with ease.  Checked water discharge from engine exhaust and that bilge pumps were not active and sent them on their way. Rang HW's to inform them that all was fine, they were well pleased and that's another one they owe me


Sun 17th May - at Thurne Dyke late afternoon, myself and Robin were giving the fwd and aft coach house roofs some serious attention when the local air ambulance came down over the dyke at low level then did a splt **** turn and landed in the field next to the Lion Pub somewhat impressivly followed by two ambulances, one paramedic and two police cars.


Cutting a long story short - an overweight lady in her late fifties had suffered a huge heart attack whilst ordering her sunday dinner!


It was later on whilst we were enjoying out main course that she was removed in a body bag.  The emergency services certainly pulled out all the stops for her but to no avail




Edited by BroadScot
Wrong month I think! Will change back if I am wrong!
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  • 1 month later...

Well what a proper rubbish weekend I've just had afloat.


I know the saying that a bad day afloat is better than a good day in the office - well this one wasn't.


It was spoilt by three events, they say bad luck comes in three's - we got them and I hope that's the end of it.


1)  Driving down from Donny, nearly had TWO accidents the second one was very dangerous with a life threatening situation - See separate thread


2)  After arriving onboard was proper shocked then mega angry (Still am)  to discover 'B.A' has had a scumbag uninvited visitor whilst alongside in the wet-shed, the loss so far stands at £700 plus a 70 year old antique plate I cannot put a value on - See separate thread


3) To cap the weekend of nicely 'B.A' whilst alongside today at LBBy for the pump-out got sideswiped by a Richo's bathtub - 5 points of damage one of which is more than cosmetic - See separate thread


Other than the above it was of course good to be afloat, Robin (Londonrascal0 was my crew member so I could proper relax with him on the helm, we visited LBBy Saturday forenoon, then to Potter Heigham for a mandatory visit to 'La-tharms' then from there to the lock at Coltishall and a walk to the Recruiting Sergeant (Dog Friendly) first visit for me in years there and very good it was too.


Sunday stop at Wroxham at lunchtime, then onto Fleet Dyke for overnight with 'River Song' and 'Bollysnigh'


Monday back to Wet-shed and home.


We are due afloat this weekend coming from Thursday through to Monday afternoon.  Hopefully with no incidents or nasty surprises




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Sorry to hear you've had a visit from the scumbags, I hope they haven't done any damage whilst on-board.


My thoughts regarding the motoring incident rather reflect your own. First one "poor driving", second one criminal behaviour. Whilst it might well be your word against his, I wonder if he's been reported for it before. That would put a very different slant on it from the police's perspective.


Finally, also sorry to hear BA damaged by a bathtub. obviously more than just taps.


I take it that the separate threads are on their way.

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I'm going to slip this snippit of news into this ere thread under the radar so to speak as I'm in 'Can't Wait' mode


Our Robin (Londonrascal) kindly came aboard last weekend to assist crewing 'B.A' (For a party that never happened two guns )

Not earth shattering news, Robin has been onboard a few times now over the years


What is special / different is that there is now a new 'Captains Blog'  forthcoming anytime soon featuring 'B.A' and a 'B.A' 'Review' something he has not done before.

I kept mysen out of the way whilst he was doing the majority of his filming so it will be as much of a surprise to me as the rest of us




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I have been doing some tinkering with the Captain’s Blog, Cruise Deluxe seems to have gone down well and so I have a plan to produce a ‘second album’ in due course – but as you know the Boat Review has developed into something more than a quick walk through to be more detailed and rich and like marmite this is either loved or hated in their length.


I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend on board Broad Ambition, and have therefore got another ‘first’ in the bag - a full review of the boat right down to the engine and electrical systems so you can see even a classic woodie can be right up to date under the boards – what makes it even more unique is of course it was all planned, fitted and wired by a group of chaps fettling away in Yorkshire over the years not a boatyard.


But it is not just a boat review I was able to capture some other lovely scenes along the river Bure upstream of Wroxham Bridge – even some underwater footage, it won’t be the longest of Blogs by any means but will be available come July so just a little something for those not able to get boating right now to look forward to :)



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Just a thought here guys........ 

In view of the recent incident regarding BA, is it wise

to show the world what is on the inside of her?

I don't think I'de be doing it after that.

Probably would need some very careful editing!

Just MHO of course.

Showing her cruising down/up the rivers or gliding

past etc. would be ok.

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Well that was a much better weekend afloat. home last night safe and sound.  No issues driving there or back, no nasty surprises on arrival onboard and no bathtubs sideswiping 'B.A' either


On the sideswiping point a big thanks to Richo's for doing a fast and perfect cosmetic repair job during last week


Visited LBBy, Wroxham, Horning,Salhouse, went all the way up to Dilham only to find the moorings proper full (There was a Jewel of Light up there and she is 46") so stayed opposite Wayford Hotel for the evening, Paddy's Lane and Sutton was the last stop yesterday.


The wx was kind, so was the company and fellow river users.


Beccles beckons this coming weekend and the River Cavalcade, Just need to sort out some sort of crew for the trip




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This is v. Short notice but better late than never.


‘B.A’ is tasked with attending the Annual Beccles carnival and river cavalcade this coming weekend. (It’s their first go at this as far as I'm aware)


It is a Saturday / Sunday event.


Crewing up onboard Friday 03rd pm, then sailing night nav for Stokesbey

Saturday morning slipping at nlt than 0500 bound for Beccles (Tides etc)


Eta Beccles Saturday forenoon.


Sat / Sun – ‘B.A’ open to visitors river flotilla etc.


Monday early am sail for Stalham then on completion depart for home.


One or possibly two further crew members onboard for the weekend would be ideal.

Myself and Robin confirmed


Cost? - getting yersen to 'B.A' and home, plus your food/drink/spends as you see fit


Names to me asap if interested via PM / E-mail / Txt etc






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This is what happens if one is caught transgressing whilst afloat out and about on the rivers.  :River Police  It wasn't me Guv, she'll only do 5mph at best with a tail wind downhill!


One is 'Arrested' then displayed for all and sundry to see, has to tow the Fuzz's craft all the way from Richo's to Barton Broad just so they can save on fuel and not having to helm,  then one has to release them on their merry way!  :liar




Actually they were being proper professional / friendly and doing a follow up on our recent pond-life visitor, it caused a few turned heads of other river users all the same, The PC called out to a few passing craft that we were 'Not In trouble' I followed that one up with - 'Correct -  they are' !! :naughty:







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Friday 3rd July:


Our crew who are known to this forum Barry [Star Premier] Paul [Morning Swan] myself and Charlie Griffin are preparing for departure from Stalham – our destination being Stracey Arms.


By the time everyone was present, the boat watered up, bags stowed and safety briefing made it was Midnight before we departed. I had been a little concerned that after a hot day and now moist night that the mist would rise off the land and rivers to form a very thick fog – thankfully as it turned out it was very low level just a few feet off the surface of the water.  I had earlier in the day been looking at proper red interior lights for night navigation and seeing just how much such could cost – so I went to Poundland and bought two LED cycle lights to give them a whirl.


They are just the right deep red and not too bright nor dim and show virtually no light leakage outside the wheelhouse or glare within it, yet provide enough light to see where you are stepping and importantly where your drink is to pick it up. Simple, cheap idea that worked very well.




It was a mild night with not much of a breeze but once we were underway and on Barton Broad you could feel there was a lot of moisture in the air and those not as well padded as me, soon had donned their fleeces. I sat at the bow of Broad Ambition with high power LED torch giving Charlie the ability to see where the posts were on Barton Broad.  I have come to the conclusion there is no need for these expensive, power hungry boat ‘spot lamps’ that tend to bounce light back of any shiny surface rendering your night vision useless. After this, I used a lower powered 5w pocket LED torch that clipped in the fairlead on the port side of the boats bow.  This gave a nice crisp light but was not overly powerful and enabled us to all keep our night vision while making out the port bank.


We past a boat wild moored just downstream of Irstead having a party – actually rather laid back quiet one though not sure about the bonfire on the bank clearly made from wood taken from nearby trees and a shame they shone their torch at us as we passed but hey ho they are not to know what doing so does to one’s eyes in the dark night.  Nothing much to report other than the amount of boats with their cabin lights on, more parties being held near Ludham Bridge with the crews dancing the night away yet managing to keep the sound volumes low enough not to be heard down the river which just goes to show these large groups are certainly not bad for the area.


Through Ludham Bridge and we begin to see flashes in the distance, lightening it was but no sound – eerie as well as beautiful.


Turning right on the Bure now past St. Benet’s and now making good way the lightening was getting more intense, appearing as if from two sources coming together – despite the hour, and the distance we had to travel it was jovial in the wheelhouse with much banter and a few drinks.


By Acle we could hear for the first time the sound of thunder and now the lightening we could see was forks coming down but still not a breath of wind or rain – the conversation in the wheelhouse peppered with ‘wow look at that’ and ‘did you see that one’ which sooner changed to us hoping we reached Stracey Arms before the inevitable downpour arrived.  We arrived at Stracey Arms at sometime after 3:00am, secured Broad Ambition and no sooner had we done so that the first spots of rain fell – moments later as if God’s own power shower had been unleashed upon us. It was absolutely hammering down not just cats and dogs, but the whole kennel – and the electrical storm was frankly amazing, huge thick forks of lightening and despite the hour and our cruise, in the wheelhouse it was Vodka and Orange, beer and Rum that was the order of the day. 



Saturday 4th July: 


While this was Independence Day in America, our crew could not have given less of a damn for by 06:10 and Broad Ambition was underway away again – Beccles bound. 


This is serious boating with a timescale and destination not a lazy cruise here or there and to be part of such makes your bits fizz (much the same as certain cars make James May’s bits fizz).  We needed to be at Yarmouth to catch the flood tide which would aid our progress up the Waveney, and we got it pretty much bang on – over Breydon with just a few others we made good time, and kept this up all the way to the Yacht Station in Beccles, arriving sometimes after 10:00.


It felt hot, and it just kept getting hotter – my App told me it was 28 degrees, feeling as if 33 degrees but with little in the way of breeze and our collective lack of sleep after walking into Beccles for provisions our crew slowly succumb to the oppressive heat falling asleep be it in cabins, or under the shade of the nearby tree in folding chairs. 


We were disappointed that nobody had come to welcome our arrival – for we had come this far as part of the weekend’s events, but alas we found we were a day early – the main event taking place on the Sunday. That said various forum members and passersby did come on board, stop for a chat or otherwise made enquiry about Broad Ambition – even the local sea cadets being told ‘and this boat went all the way down the coast to the Thames Pageant for the Queen’ which is always nice to know such things are being passed down to the next generation.


Tonight Charlie provided the entertainment, (now now people) he had bought a DVD ‘The Equalizer’ and while a slow start, proved to be very good right to the end.



Sunday 5th July:


Cooler, thank God for that I thought and a nice breeze too – but the sky did not seem as kind and before long the rain arrived and it stayed, hour after hour.


Very few people were about and many of the stalls that had set up behind our mooring packed up and departed several locals asked what was going on, for it appears the organisers of the weekend really could have done better in information people what was what, when things were taking place and where they were – the first we knew of the ‘river cavalcade’ was a boat going past with bag pipes and drums being lead by Betsy Jane.


The rain eased and by the time the Formula 1 began had stopped almost completely, so we settled in to watch the race – by late afternoon the rain had passed, the sun was out and it was lovely again – we ordered from the local Chinese, and all the crew said the same that the food was excellent but the prices could have been a little more keen – for those who like to eat a little more than the average (fellow fat bast*rds) the chips are proper fat boy chips none of this French fry silliness most takeaways provide.


We then departed later than we had planned since Charlie and I began installing our new monitored alarm system onboard – we departed for somewhere, a pub for food but being Sunday and late a Google of those we could make for proved they had stopped serving food.  We therefore made for Sommerleyton whereupon we met with River Song and as ever Sonia simply would not allow us to go without food despite having cooker their own supper provided sausage sandwiches with ketchup or brown sauce, what  star she is!







Monday 6th July:


We could have a longer lay in bed today since we did not need to depart until later to catch the tide at Yarmouth – and what began as a very normal cruise to Breydon soon had allsorts going on!


Firstly I turned to port at the yellow post and the boat in front slowed then stopped - of all places that is not where you want a boat to stop in forint of you, especially as we had the flood tide gently coming in behind us.  The reason became apparent, a Hunters yacht was going under Vauxhall Bridge - without power, 'tacking' using the quant pole then hitting the bow of a Herbert Woods cruiser who was now stationary being able to hold station very easily since the current was going against it - for me this was all the more tricky, not to get too close to either banks knowing only too well how shallow the water was whilst also giving space to the boat ahead to sort itself out.


Having past this it was then onwards up the Bure, being helped along by the ever more powerful flood tide.  It was then that a bathtub from Richardson's was skimming so close to the bank at Marina Quays I thought he was honesty going to moor!  We only had 4ft under the keel mid river so I throttled up and passed them, giving Paul the helm I got to the aft well  and used my new and now proven loud hailer telling them the danger they were oblivious to - this did not result in much of a course change so Charlie took over and including telling them their bow rope was was in the water - they seem to take more notice of an ex Navy man shouting at them.


I am unsure precisely of where, but a part of the Bure where on your left there is concrete 'squares' that form a covering over the bank  - a short way ahead and still with the navigation posts marking the shallows on this stretch of river we spied a small Bayliner sports cruiser doing odd things and seemingly trying to moor.  I slowed and we enquired if they needed assistance - yes, they had no power.  Now I have to admit with a flood current, shelving banks and navigation posts to contend with I am pleased having turned Broad Ambition it was not me who took to coming alongside the Bayliner named 'Miami Vice' but I was now at the stern needing to get the stricken craft secure first go - and we did, the four blade proper that Broad Ambition has gripped the water and gave us additional and much needed torque to then get ourselves and the additional weight strapped to our side turned round and back under way.  Apart from being slower to respond Broad Ambition took the additional weight to port in her stride and the Beta engine was happy at 1,700 doing over 5 MPH up the river.




Lee was the owner of Miami Vice and soon got to taking apart the carburettor - then trying the engine, it spluttered and died, he tried again and this time got the engine on a rough idle.  We continued to Acle Bridge where he felt confident enough to go it alone and so cast off just before the bridge - we coming in to pop into the shop by the bridge opposite Horizon Craft.


We left Acle and could not see Miaimi Vice ahead of us, so presumed all had been well, however upon nearing the former moorings for Thurne Mouth once again she was without drive but this time had been able to moor. 




I brought Broad Ambition in and once secure, Paul and I then moved the Bayliner to our port side by hand and secured her - rescue number  was in progress, towing commenced this time to her home berth in Horning.


We were looked at, photographed and even filmed on our passed upstream.  A classic wooden boat towing a modern sports cruiser, got to say it is not the first time a woody has rescued a Tupperware boat.


Once in Horning we cast her off the engine now able to idle and in tick over they got to their mooring - time for us to turn and head for Ludham Bridge Boatyard for a pump out before ourselves making for Stalham to put Broad Ambition away until her next venture out.


It had been a weekend of long distances, late nights and early mornings but with good company and so much to see and do it passed by far too fast and now it was time to pack up and head for home, until the next time though, more as it happens.

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Well that was some weekend afloat -  bit hectic what with the distances times involved.


Great wx (Apart from around 7 x Hrs on Saturday)


Proper top class crew that volunteered and stepped up to the helm - thanks to all for the good company / banter and laughs along the way.

'B.A' had four crew onboard that are all well versed in helmsmanship, deck gear / ropes / fenders, which meant I could relax whilst underway in a way I'm

not normally afforded the opportunity to


What is also good news is that it is no longer just me doing the write-ups of 'B.A's adventures underway, there is now another skipper with even more input than I to bore the fender socks off everyone :clap





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