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The New Year Freeze Part 2


Happy Jax 3

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Part 2

Woke up early on Tuesday morning, so up out of bed to walk the dogs. To my surprise the whole of Malthouse Broad was covered in ice. At first I didn’t take much notice, but later it proved to be a big problem. Had breakfast and decided to play with a new lens I just purchased for my Digital SLR, a 70-300mm zoom. Got some good shoots of Geese standing on the Ice in the middle of the broad. Just getting into this digital SLR photography, so I must get on one of the forum photographic walks to gain some experience off of Paul, Bruce, Simon and co.

It got to about midday and the plan was to get down onto Horning Staithe in the afternoon to meet up with some friends Terry & Sheila who were also joining us for New Year celebrations in the Swan Inn. Anyway, checked out the ice on the broad and it was a lot thicker than first thought and it was showing no signs of melting, if anything it was getting thicker as the day went on. If one boat went out it would make a channel for the others to follow, but no one would take the lead. Time went on and a decision had to be made, Go for it I thought, having a large stainless mud weight I lowered it down so it acted as a pre ice breaker. I fine chap on another boat Cloud Nine lent us his boat hook so then both Lou & Jay could break the ice as we pushed through. Just then we noticed two day boats coming down the channel into the broad, great we all thought let the make a channel for us, just as they entered the open broad the started to hit the ice. The noise was horrendous, cracking ice, it sounding like someone was continually dropping crockery. At about 100 meters into the broad the day boats came to a stop, we was all shouting willing them on, but rightly so, they turned and left the broad.

Oh well, I had to go for it, If we left it another night there was a good chance the ice would be twice as thick and we would be stranded on the staithe, with no electric cards, and no pub, as the Maltsters is now closed, I fired up Happy Jax II. With Lou & Jay cracking ice at the front with boat hooks and the mud weight doing it’s job we set off. As slow as possible we moved off. The noise of cracking ice was awful. Everything was going through my mind, an ice shard going through the hull, my anti foul chipping off etc. As we proceeded to the middle of the broad the ice was getting thicker, I see sheets of ice 12mm thick moving down the side of the boat. We were now beyond the point of no return and both Lou & Jay were doing a fine job punching the boat hooks into the ice to break it. I could see they were getting tired and they were both complaining of blisters on there hands, but we had to continue. After and hour we broke free of the ice and on our way to Horning. I looked back to see a convoy of 5 boats following the channel we had just made. They were all cheering and waving to us in relief.

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I fine chap on another boat Cloud Nine lent us his boat hook so then both Lou & Jay could break the ice as we pushed through

I belive that would be Pete Saunders, used to post a lot on the other side, havn't heard from him for a while, if you see him again try and get him to join us over here. cheers

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