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JawsOrca

The Adventures of Orca

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Another great trip and write up Alan.

I must try to get an out of season trip one of these years, although our April week is always reasonably quiet.

Roll on the next one cheersbar

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Another great write up showing how out of season boating can reap rewards - choice of moorings and I've found things tend to be more natural generally, the wildlife is doing its thing not getting all excited about the droves of boats and 'tit bits' on offer from them, the lack of leaves on trees gives views you would not usually see and that lovely smell of wet wood and autumn decay - a pint and a real fire are the perfect accompaniment

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Thanks Chaps.. Spot on there Robin.. it really allows us to visit the places we avoid during the season.. I can't explain how much I enjoyed our stay in Wroxham. Obviously we normally stay rural so be in what to us feels like a town was pretty cool! Will certainly look to repeat again sometime soon.. the broads are amazing all year round!

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Love it Jaws, thank you for the smashing write up and photos once again, loved the night nav ones and have to say the one of you in your cap, very nice indeed :naughty: :love  Ok I know, behave Gracie lol

Grace :kiss

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What brilliant write up. Have really enjoyed you adventures. Look forward to hearing more in the future. Well done.

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Thanks again to you both. Hoping to be back out in the next couple of weeks :)

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Well it's been some time since I've done this.. sorry all things got in the way! but all moving forward so get comfortable and get the popcorn out!

 

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"Wake me up when September ends!"

Day 1 - Monday

After a day at work yesterday, Dave had already pretty much packed by the time I woke and the cat was already moaning, obviously knowing he will have to keep himself amused for the week.  I squeezed 15 changes of clothing into my weekend bag and we dragged everything into the car. 

An easy drive up, Dave wanted to go shopping in the camping shop so we stopped in there first, thankfully being on a lower pay than my previous job meant I didn't spend anything and neither did he!  Next stop Stalham, we planned to have a BBQ so off to the butchers, sadly being a monday afternoon they had nothing tasty looking so oh well Tesco's we went. Two weeks worth of ships stores suitably purchased we headed off to the marina.  

Orca didn't look too bad, she's got accents of green and the blue canopy is nicely exhibiting what looks to be a moss garden.. one thing to do this week noted. Anyway, we couldn't be bothered with the unloading trips with so decided to take the boat to the car! Car unloaded directly into the boat and off into the sunset we went!

I'd been learnt that the oldies were up our way so thought best to go and say hello, considering they was at Sutton! so surprised them and turned up, thankfully there was a mooring one back from them just big enough for Orca so there she was put! 

We quickly unpacked, i.e threw everything onto the spare bunk and headed off the pub with the oldies. It's been some time since we all sat down and had the usual moaning about anything and everything. The old man still won't move to Narfolk.. god only knows why but anyway huge 3 course meal later and some lemonade tops for me (Sadly I can't drink these days) we waved good bye to them.   

I don't see the point of mooring by the land there so nav lights on and we headed for our spot on the broad for overnight!

Not a bad day!

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Oh Jaws my lovely, just brilliant, been waiting for this for so long, next instalment had better be pretty damn quick, how can you complain about the oldies? One of em's a chef for goodness sake :default_norty:

Grace :default_icon_kiss:

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No idea Grace.. Don't forget as always events may be dramatised!

Day 2 - Tuesday

I was awoken early (about 10ish) by the sound of an unsilenced hireboat bearing down on us moored hopelessly on the broad, follwed quickly by the reassuring sound of "IIIIIAAAANNNN - YOUR GONNA CRASH", Dave sitting out in the wheelhouse stated the obvious, "you better get up your folks are here". 

Eventually Dad got Sweet kingfisher close enough to pass over yesterdays BBQ supplies which we deposited in their fridge as Orca's skip acquired fridge has now given up the ghost.. RIP FridgeyMcBloodyFridge. Dave stored in the bilge section which has now became our lukewarm cold stores.. yup it's on the list..buy more carpet people..teakcarpet.co.uk 

A quick wake up moment later dave untied and slumped myself in the helms seat headed off south.

The rivers are still busy from the remnants of the mad season but thankfully everyone was playing nicely and the lightships all moving at the sensible speed nature demands. Over Barton, through my future homestead of Irstead (Mines the last/first corner one), past How hill. Even the infamous devils bridge "ludham bridge" was navigated with no hassle. Onto the main rivers we turned left, Orca's poor little engine struggling to even turn over at the 4mph speed limit was engaged now and quietened down to a much happier speed. A bit busier down here but a strong wind with current was confusing the lightship crews and keeping them well below the speed limits, that allows for some swift overtaken by Orca.. Watch out the shark hunters about :P

Eventually the shanty town of potter and reaps approached, Orca was slowed to a "noisy" speed, it's been some time since we've been up here.. but strange though it always feels like the first time.. All looking lovely, not quite sure I could live like that though too vulnerable to flooding and no escape by road.

A gap was spotted close to bridge, tide behind (wind god only knows where), Orca did a handbrake turn and drifted at ease into a tight mooring, to the disappointment of the skipper of the boat in front who was clearly itching for a moan or rope assistance.

Over that pesky bridge, Why is it still a road and not a footbridge now? Off to the fishing shop first, I got even more of the pretty plastic looking fish, despite Dave telling me I wont catch anything on them, "But they look so pretty", also mumbling to myself "Well you caught jack on your proper stuff". A fortune later we ran out the store, gulp.. Lathams baby here we come, the blue and white neon sign drawing us in.. all the deals the bargains we will buy... "Lathams, Lathams, Lathams". 

Once inside and stuck behind the slow moving clientele, walk faster I need bargains. No shorts for Dave, no DVD's we brought 10 last time, no how to fishing book for me/Dave. No decent grub.. we checked out with 20quids worth of junk food and drink.. Oh well maybe next time. 

Back to boat, we waved good bye to the bridge and headed back the way we came.. We did spot a possible omen, what with deadly hurricanes, an insane dictator president, is the end neigh? The light was off...

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Oh look a kingfisher..  We/I decided to head to womack and make way for our corner mooring. On approach to the turning about 20 boats turned in and then turned down the little turning too so thinking we would be out of luck but I carried on to take the other turning. A lightship was coming out and looked a bit flustered I waved (only to be ignored as usual) and took Orca into the berth which is the perfect size for us.  The other lightship moored opposite on a makeshift spot and Dave said they was trying to get in here, although going to wrong way?.. oh well you need to not dither to get a mooring certainly when the shark hunter is out. 

A evening of shark fishing for Dave (Lol no luck for him despite the other boat reeling in tonights dinner like there's no tomorrow), I tried fishing using my real shark bait but quickly got bored. BBQ on, nothing overly special, Quick movie as another day closes.

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I may try and get this going again mainly as a bit of a momentum as time just flies too quickly! 

Also being back in a IT job means we will get to use the boat a bit more and should be able to enjoy a little more.

Anyways here goes at least and see where we end up!

Good olde Friday

Time indeed does seem to wizz by, despite having the odd depressing maintenance trip upto Orca over the winter and seeing in a state of depression it was over 6 months since we had an overnight trip on her.  Admittedly this was due to a number of reasons, work being one of them, but we've both had constant cold/flu since christmas!  However given the amazing weather forcast I was looking forward to jumping aboard for 3 days afloat! Indeed unlike me I was up, packed and ready at 9am on good friday.  Kinda expecting a bit of traffic we both kinda wanted to get on the roads as soon as posible. In the car for just gone 9 google maps was suggesting all looked well with a 2.5 hour drive, not bad at all! Dartford tunnel was indeed "Empty" (well as near to empty as you can get!). Dave was driving and I must admit I was in and out of consciousness for most of the trip but 4 hours later we arrived in Stalham! That has to be a record, it seemed like half of the south east was heading to the broads!

We needed to restock the boat so first stop was the neat little factory store in Stalham for some new bedding and pillows which didn't make the winter as they was left aboard, and some other random little bits!  Next to the butchers, thankfully they have plenty of supply of rations suitable for BBQing, £25 of kebabs, sausages, beer cured bacon, steak burgers and fresh warm sausage rolls for lunch meant we should be sorted for the weekend! Last stop was Tesco just for the little bits and junk food! 

It was already starting to feel pretty warm when we arrived at a fully rammed car park in the marina but we quickly unloaded. Thankfully Orca was dry (salt bowls highly recommended!). Orca started straight away, since installing solar panels last year the batteries are always powered ready to go.  Orca is now on a stern on mooring and it's not overly easy and yeah I messed up a little but she backed out and span around easily enough and we was soon on a quiet River Ant, and straight away I could feel the stresses sooth away start to relax.. It's easy to forget the influence and effect just being on the Rivers can have. 

A little downstream we came across a huddle of day boats all drifting together and amongst them was what looked like an huge ice cream. Orca now has an anchor winch is opperated from the helm buy clicking a button, I signalled over and dropped the anchor just out of the way and over wizzed the ice cream boat! We had spotted this some years ago but haven't seen it for years, I also remember that she is good friends with some other friends located up here, whom we brought Orca from, We had a long chat, but it was a little upsetting as she mentioned that a rumour I had heard was that our friend was seriously sick and we must go and see him, we promised we would shortly but for now to please pass on our best regards. We waved quickly just as she was set upon by more boats :).. Oh Strawberry ice cream was eaten in seconds... so nice and perfect in this "Summer" weather.

I've started to trust Dave with helming the boat a little more over the last few years, we repropped her last year and shes a little more responsive and predictable and I've started doing something which I really enjoy when it's warm which is go and sit up on the pointy end.. Up here it's far enough from thumper so all you truly hear is the sound of the water on the bow and the bird song etc.  

I just jumped back on the helm to get through Ludham bridge as if it gets messy we have to drop the mudweight or raft against another boat but thankfully it was pretty quiet and we was quickly through. If you've not sat on the bow heading through Horning it's really something to do! I wanted to head to Salhouse for overnight, thinking there would plenty of moorings..

On arrival at salhouse we spotted only a couple of Stern on moorings. I really fancied mooring here and having a bit of a stroll around as its been some months since we was last here, I didn't tell Dave but I also fancied the Idea of hiring a Canoe for an hour or so.   Unfortunately though the only mooring available was next to a boat which had it's engine up and running and not on idle either and it was just a bit noisy, we paid the mooring fees though (Now a tenner, although we always pay this even if we go and mudweight as I see it as a conservation fee), but on the way in we spotted the moorings on the main river were pretty much empty and we've not moored here before so we swapped and headed over there.  Thankfully they was empty and we moored just beside one of the channels into the Broad.

It was already feeling late so Dave got the Cobb BBQ on straight away, once all warmed it was chicken kebabs followed 40 mins later by sausages, we forgot the cheese for the burgers so they would have to wait for tomorrow! 

As the sun set though it quickly reminded us that it wasn't August Bank holiday as it felt, but indeed easter and the temperature quickly dropped. So we retreated back aboard, Dave put Orca's canopy back on and put the DVD player on. Sherlock holmes movie.. which was pretty good. 

All in all an excellent day back on Orca and back on the Broads, and 6 months away perhaps was needed to help rekindle the Broads...

I didn't take too many pictures but will try next time.. :)

More soon ;) 

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Lovely to get an update from you Alan. :)

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nice to have you back, all people go through a lull. just too our boat out after an all winter plus  break:default_biggrin:

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Thanks Guys :) 

Easter Eve 

I awoke pretty late at long gone 10am. Peering outside Dave had long taken the canopy off and the Rivers where already pretty busy with the day boat traffic but yup all of the overnight boats had long gone!  It was already feeling very warm, certainly a typical summers day. 

It was still early enough though so I fancied a quick run into Wroxham as the GPS tracks clearly show that we haven't really been into Wroxham that many times.  I can't actually remember when the last time we was in Wroxham with the boat. I jumped on the helm we was quickly away upstream. I like heading briefly into Wroxham broad again it's not a spot we've every really explorer dispite just going in and back out.. I guess it's because it's almost a bit unwelcoming with all the Private signs, I do wonder why the Yacht club doesn't kinda welcome visitors with a mooring.. maybe one day we will overnight on the broad there. 

Back out the broad a little further up we was going pretty slowly but there was a bathtub boat which was zigzagging left and right, crew sitting on the roof enjoying Wroxham slowly passing by, unfortunately we had to overtake as the boat was barely moving and we had a bit of a convoy behind us. It was a bit tough as upon overtaken there was a very young child on the helm kinda playing with the steering wheel, The boat wasn't really a hazard but I couldn't help thinking that a little more supervision probably would have wise certainly being here in Wroxham where there's lots of boats wizzing around! 

Wroxham was certainly very busy with boats being dropped off at Barnes and hireboats being collected, we didn't get too close to the bridge as it was just too busy, it was nice to see that there's stern on moorings beside the hotel though, so hopefully we may have some chance mooring here a little later in the year. 

Once back underway, I left Dave on the helm and went to sit up front again.. My new favourite spot.. Seeing wroxham slowly drifting pass on this warm morning was pretty relaxing.  I spotted a gap over at the nature reserve moorings and signalled to Dave to moor up for a walkies, he didn't fancy his luck as it was a small gap but easy enough for me, I just span around and drifted sideways with the help of the tide. Dave tied the bow and I did some loop things around a post at the stern (I still can't do a proper hitch but Dave always does it again anyway.

The attendant in the reserve advised that there was only one other party in the reserve so we should have a pleasent walk. We really do this walk each time we are here at salhouse, Its a nice walk and we've spotted some cool wildlife here, including grass snakes and frogs/toads so it's never a walk to miss.  This season it was clear that there was new information boards were being installed which certainly interesting to read through. I've no idea how long we spend but we was overtaken by another group so yeah it probably wasn't much of an energetic walk and we didn't really spot any wildlife but still relaxing anyway. 

Back to Orca, a Hunters fleet boat was struggling beating into the wind and against the outbound tide but was still moving forward, she certainly looked a postcard the crew certainly agreed with me that thankfully they wasn't in a rush! For a few years I've really wanted to hire one of these at least for a couple of days.. Every time I see one it only makes me want to more.. so maybe sometime soon we will hire one. 

Back on the boat, I got Orca out of a tight berth, people really knock stern drives but they are pretty amazing at manevouring, kinda as good as the other boat with it's twin engines and thrusters.  It was far too nice to be sitting at the helm so over to Dave, I went forward again and again really enjoyed staying up front pretty much all the way to the mouth of the Ant. Annoying the wind was starting to pick up just as we approached ludham bridge, Despite what I say about stern drives, Orca hates the wind and is easily affected at the bridge here if it's a side wind, its one reason why I wanted the Anchor winch, so I hoped for the best, dropped 5 meters of mudweight chain so the mudweight is ready to take the ground if needed and hold us whilst we wait to navigate the bridge but thankfully no other boats were about so we quickly run through the bridge. 

We needed some bits for BBQ tonight which meant stopping here and heading to the shop.. there was only a couple of spots and two day boats was mooring up and trying to take up a fair chunk of the berths left, Orca wanted to turn around to moor up so I quickly span around (Yup she can do in her own length which is pretty amazing when needed!) and she sat happily in the wind waiting to slot in just infront of the day boats.. I'm not sure they was overly impressed with me kinda asking for some space but yeah Orca's not a fan of the wind and current her so it's typically a bit of a crash landing. 

Anyway sorting through the tourist trinkets in the shop and ignoring the prices we grabbed the bits needed, Dave wouldn't let me get a pirate sword and we didnt need any tea towels apparently :(

I took the helm as Dave had been driving for most of the day, we wanted a wild mooring for a BBQ and the last night of this short trip. After a few potential spots but most of our favourite spots already taken we spotted a gap just downstream of Barton broad. I wasn't overly happy as there was lots of roots visible and through the clear water you could see some sticking out below the water. Once moored though I grabbed the boat hook and did a sweep on the hull and everything felt good (One of the good bits about being on the non tidal bit of the broads!).  

The ice cream boat was spotted and flag down, she mentioned that she saw our friends overnight and they would love to see us, we had a long and promised to head up tomorrow.. Of course two more strawberry ice creams were consumed! She wanted to start heading home but a couple of passing day boats couldnt resist not helped by my sales pitch, I got a scowled look from the ice-cream lady as she drifted back to work :) 

Dave dug the Cobb and BBQ out and got it going.. More yummy Kebabs and proper cheese burgers consumed.  Just before dark we spotted what looked like a couple of Dogs struggling in the water but looking closer it looked to be 3 otters fishing or playing. I grabbed my phone and took a quick movie.. Personally I love seeing otters, certainly reminding me of seeing otters in the sanctuary in Bungay many years ago, thankfully we seem to spot them every time we are on the Ant and even in the Marina.

Once the sunset again it quickly cooled down so we retreated back to the wheelhouse to finish off the movie from last night whilst catching the sight of the bats going mad outside the boat clearly having a huge feast.

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Good to hear from you again Alan, and thanks for posting the account of your weekend.  Sounds like you made the most of the wonderful Easter weather.

Helen

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Easter Sunday

I was awake early and decided to peer through canopy to see what a mooring in Norfolk is really like.. It's not a view I normally get as yeah I like my lay ins!

I was a very atmospheric morning and I took a few pictures.. Perhaps I do need to try and get up a bit earlier this year and grab some more pictures soon...

Of course I dosed of again but back up for 10am. My parents had plans to drop by and exchange some easter treats. I had kinda hoped that they was up early but a text message was waiting and we should expect them for lunch time.  However it did mean that we should have time to run and see our friends. 

Sadly as we approached our friends boat we could see coast guards on the bank and paramedics and ambulances just by the bank.  A little closer the Ice cream lady appeared from the boat and we had a quick word... He's OK but yeah not good sadly.. I'm going to stop there and likely not mention on this blog anymore but wanted to as he was on our minds all weekends but we exchanged contact details and thankfully at time of writing all is stable.

Back on the river, we decided to head back to the yard as my Parents had just left Brundall so should be at the yard as we arrive.  Orca was all moored up safely, Dave unloaded the boat whilst I sat and compiled a shopping list.  Annoyingly despite lots of work being done on Orca last summer there was still a few niggles which just need to be ironed out and completed, all simple things like sorting the burgees, sorting burgees, I had hoped to get the upholstery sorted whilst working with some trimming company but that didn't happen so we will need to do these (albeit slowly), neither air horn was working and the new fridge needs some more vents. 

Also sadly the dinghy "Jaws" had a bit of an accident last year so needs replacing!

My Parents arrived goodies exchanged and we was all soon on the way home. 

We are back on the boat though the next coming bank holiday and despite the health issues with our friend we both had a brilliant weekend and it was really nice to be back aboard, I guess the amazing weather helped a lot!

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Early Bank Holiday 2019

Saturday 4th May.

All threw the week I was really hoping on getting up to Norfolk on the Friday after work but in complete comparison than the Easter bank holiday the weather sadly was looking to be typical bank holiday weekend weather, so we abandoned that idea and planned to get up for Saturday instead.

The weather as we left home looked perfect with lovely blue sky but fluffy white clouds, the temperature had also taken a kicking and it was below 10dc with that strong and even colder north wind. As we entered east anglia though the heavens did indeed open and the hail let rip, it was a bit random with hail one moment then blue sky effectively all the way up the A11.  59697486_10155886113606504_2248981254282149888_n.jpg.cd887ab4c196a166fb62ca5578207a38.jpg

Thankfully as we arrived at the boat the rain has stopped but the wind was strong and we decided it was a little too strong to really get away from the berth whilst its that windy, I noticed the forecast hinted that it was due to slowly reduce into the evening so we decided to do a few things on the boat and head into Norwich for some dinner. 

Dave got straight on and repaired the port airhorn, easy fix a blown fuse! The starboard truck actual air horn, the motor had died, I had brought a new one up but it was too much work to replace being an electric replacement so that's for another day! I'd grabbed a transom fender for the swimdeck so Dave sorted that out.  I found some little flags for our new masthead including a little Norfolk county to proudly fly and also a Kent county as Orca is registered here in Rochester. Also after some time of not having a NBN burgee I put that on.  We also got a new action camera (like a gopro) so I scratched to work out where to mount that, kinda settled on the masthead just below the anchor light.  Dave quickly installed some new mooring rings on the pontoon and a cool big soft fluffy corner fender for the pontoon which I wanted so I can look forward to that when we get back to the berth.

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All sorted needed food. We wasn't sure what to do, I had an old mate Greg (Dave, John, Bob, whatever his name is ;) )on speed dial who is a tractor loving local and I'd hope can offer some recommendations, he started with the Fur and feather but no thats a "boat pub" (only visited when we are on the boat), next was a Mexican in Norwich which sounded funky, then finally he mentioned a quirky fish and chip restaurant in a pub but you get to sit in the vaults below.. That ticked the boxes, we aimed for there. 

It was already late afternoon when Dave crashed the car into the tiny bays in St giles carpark, bang in the central of Norwich but around the corner from FSH at the Grosvenor, we ordered two cod and chips at the bar and ventured down a dark set of steps into the vaults of the pub, the food was fab and the place very quirky indeed, top marks to Greg for the tip!

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We had a quick wander around, sadly most places were shutting up for the evening but we headed to a little shop which is my favourite, it's just infront of the forum and is a shop selling all movie and game memorabilia, very quirky again and we grabbed a Fallout Nukacola cup for Orca ;) 

It felt like the wind had started to calm down so we waved good bye to Norwich. For some unknown reason Dave wanted to check out the Horsey beach and have a quick walk, I must admit it was bitterly cold and sounded like a stupid idea to me but I could do with some fresh air. Entering the Car park there was no other souls about, the car door almost blew off the car when I opened it and the sound of an unhappy north sea was deafening, We've really not heard it that loud before Dave went up onto the cliffs and I went down and yeah the waves were huge and breaking pretty much right onto the dunes, it was pretty scary to watch the power of the sea but thankfully the wind made for a short stay. 

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Back to the boat at last, the wind had indeed dropped right off here and allowed for us to leave the berth without too much fear. Engine on and indeed no contact made at all we was soon on the River heading south. I wasn't sure what to do but it was gone 8pm and kinda fancied heading down a bit as to make the most of the weekend. 

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As we crossed Barton broad the sun was starting to dip below the horizon and the fluffy storm clouds now pestering further south just looked pretty cool.

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Irstead had a Gap but didn't quite fancy spending the night there, I had How hill in my head and then we could have an early morning stroll in the morning.   Indeed I spotted a gap right at the end just beside the windmill and with the last bit of sun just setting behind it left for some neat pictures with Orca all lit up. 

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A busy but productive first day but a better day than expected with the pesky bank holiday weather.

 

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Just a little final update to this thread.

Sadly I clearly don't have the time and energy to follow the forum and keep this thread going, I guess that's self evident. Sadly the NBN's facebook group (and others) seems to be inundated by how to say, the "Less desirables", thus there's no point in carrying on over there too which was were I did post a little more.

I've kinda created a hidden page on facebook which is more pictures than a write up, search on Facebook for "Adventures of Orca" and hopefully you will find it. Please only look if you want to follow though as its really just pictures and little videos nothing special and it will be a place for friends to follow. 

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