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JawsOrca

The Adventures of Orca

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No worries Mark you did seem hard at work there ;)  hope you get it all sorted and back out enjoying it :)cheers

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Spent that weekend polishing and cleaning in Norfolk, next weekend sanding and preparing the top half of the Medway boat ready to paint later in the month. The joy of boat ownership.

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No worries Mark you did seem hard at work there ;)  hope you get it all sorted and back out enjoying it :)cheers

Tut, tut, young Alan, :norty:  you should have stopped and offered to give a wee hand to Mark, if only to keep your hand in now that Orca is completed! :naughty:

 

 

cheers Iain.

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Lol Mark was very busy Iain.. Next time if recognised we will stop and inspect his work at lease ;)cheers

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Sunday 24th May.[/bpto

There’s a very cool footpath into Lowestoft which leads right by down lake lothing, behind boatyards and the highlight for me the international boat building college, which one day I will go to! Sadly it was closed today and the gates firmly shut so I couldn’t even peak. I will build up the courage to ask to at least have a walk around.. It’s a shame the courses are so much money but as I say.. one day. Disappointed we marched into Lowestoft it only took about an hour. We headed straight for the fish and chip restaurant on the pier (not sure pier is the best word.. breakwater maybe but still). Sadly it was a bit noisy even in the pub section but the food was yummy and I had a glass of adnams. We had a quick walk around Lowestoft, sadly it’s ever deteriorating but still it’s a nice walk and nice to see the sea and at least grab some fish and chips .[/quote

Shame it was closed Alan you could have popped in and checked on my half decker for me.

Doug.

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Perfect Doug.. I have an excuse now.. "My Mate Doug sent me down here to check out his half decker.. I demand to be shown around" lol not quite sure how they get me out though?!!

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Alan,

It's a fascinating place steeped in history. Some great boats of all types and very friendly staff (particularly if you take biscuits) well worth a look.

Doug.

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"Grandma's First Weekend"

 

6th June 2015.

 

Leaving home early we made the drive into London to pick up Dave’s mum (who will be called Grandma from here on – Yup she likes being called grandma!).

Living in London grandma loves getting up to Norfolk and we do try to take her up quite a bit. Grandma thrown in the car we got the hell out of London. Arriving in the boat yard just before lunch as usual.  It was clear it was lovely day but a bit windy which meant Orca wasn’t behaving herself. The plan was either Beccles or Loddon but looking at the tides it was clear it was Loddon! Slipping the moorings and right out the boat yard, I quickly gave grandma the helm! She did really well all the way down to the new cut. I had to briefly take over where Haddiscoe bridge makes the cut narrow up as a large cruiser was coming through so we had to throttle back and try and sit there in the wind.. Thankfully they quickly came through. Grandma took the helm and did a very good job at steering through the new cut.

 

We quickly arrived at the Reedham junction and thankfully the tide was flowing in meaning we had a nice flow behind us. I retook the helm and reduced the throttle pretty much to idle whilst the boat still raced through, although just as we approached the bridge I saw a gym palace trying its luck, although with the current behind me (and thus the right of way) I sounded a long blast on the air horn, thankfully the gym palace realised it was Orca or death, so he eased back and gave us the way (Yup he really had little choice!), the usual wave and smiles were exchanged. Quickly passing Reedham whilst Grandma recollected the times we spent there. Reedham ferry was quickly upon us and thankfully the Ferry was docked.

 

We continued on the Yare up to Cantley where it was wind on tide and some good sized waves which I’ve not seen before. The boats on the moorings where being thrown around  and I struggled to come alongside, after a few attempts found a sheltered spot behind a gym palace and did a crafty parallel reverse to slot in behind. Thankfully it was sheltered and Orca sat there comfortably. Into the Reedcutters for lunch, thankfully the lunch menu isn’t too huge but a good lunch was had and as usual friends were made with the dogs enjoying the pub and the several locals.

 

The wind and current was pretty much equal when we left so it meant leaving the mooring was easy. As it was still early we said to Grandma we would stop of at Hadley windmill (pump- mill mentioned from here on for ease of understanding) which was gracefully turning in the brisk wind. It took a bit of effort to moor up as the wind was beam which basically meant it was pushing the boat away from the mooring but eventually I had to steer directly towards the mooring and hope for the best.. Thankfully a kind chap already moored up grabbed the lines and like a pro and quickly got us secured before Orca’s second mate could assist.

 

Hadley mill is amazing. Like many we have stopped at Horsey mill, Thurne Mill and Stacey, although all amazing and real broadland landmarks, Hadley is the best and to see it running is truly amazing. We had been before but it was still a really interesting time being guided around the mill by an enthused and knowledgeable volunteer from the charity running the mill. A few pictures taken and a healthy donation left we departed.. The wind helping us leave the mooring with little input from the helm :).

 

The Loddon turn off was soon with us and the current was thankfully now behind us (yup I’m getting the most of these tides!). The gopro was on and the video below will show the windy trip down the Chet. Sadly I had to put a bit more power on to get safely around the bends. But it was a nice trip up the chet as usual.  Sadly there was no talkative boaties at the staithe (I do miss chatting to people) so it was a walk around and dinner in the White horse as usual.  We had a good old natter to Grandma before falling asleep.

 

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Sunday 7th May

 

Sunday morning and I had to remember that Grandma was asleep in the dinette so there was no getting up early and going into there but thankfully she woke up early and was ready to get up and put the dinette back together.  She was quick to say that she slept well and the bed was very comfortable and she liked the large double bed size.

It was a lovely morning and the low tide which caused a few problems for ropes and water depth last night (In the end we had only 2 feet below us) wasn’t so low this morning.

Looking at the tides we had to get to reedham early to get the low tide at reedham so we wasn’t beating any tide today. So it was a quick wake up, engine checks, engine on and away. Although everyone else had the same idea but thankfully they quickly run off and we was left to the river all to ourselves.

 

Dave took the helm and me and Grandma sat on the aft bench seat and had a natter whilst enjoying the morning swallows doing their morning acrobatics, once again I don’t normally get to come off the helm and natter but it was a nice change and I really enjoyed it.

 

Before we knew it was passing reedham ferry which was still fast asleep and indeed it was reassuring to see the river was slack. Grandma took the helm once again at the new cut and Dave volunteered to cook cheese on toast for breakfast. I was surprising comfortable with Grandma at the helm (even considering it was low tide) but she has a far bit of experience in helming boats and Orca steers really well. So me and Dave sat in the dinette and enjoyed Breakfast.

 

At the end of the new cut there was a bit of a flood coming out the Waveney but Orca only needed a bit of revs and coped fine. We had a very relaxing cruise up the Waveney and up onto Oulton Broad.

 

I retook the helm at oulton as the broad was full of those pesky rag and stick boats, which despite me employing my sailing boat experience and doing all I can keep out the way I swear some of these, considering the size of oulton broad (and n visibility of race markers) made the point of tacking right infront of me.. Stable course held we moored (eventually!) stern on at the YS.

 

Grandma didn’t recognise oulton broad although we may never had stopped there with her before so we decided to have a walk around the path. She was enjoying so much we decided to stop off at the pub/restaurant beside the broadland holiday village (which is now certainly tingdene). It was nice.. sadly no wherry ale but they have adnams bitter. We all went for a Southern fried chicken baguette which was nice. Back to the boat after a couple of hours I went to pay the short stay fees and the harbour master already recognised Orca so it was a quick “Thanks, c ya soon! “.

 

Dave wanted to get back to home but I wasn’t quite ready so we decided to stop off at the WRC, I remembered that we need to get something to the neighbour who was looking after the cat and remembered the little shop there. The WRC was jammed but lots of side moored day boats and the only spot was by the entrance and right behind a BA launch. I struggled to get a tight enough aim as the large berthed boats moored there were sticking out quite bit but after a couple of tries we made it. Off to the shops , Grandma didn’t quite recognise it although remembers where the old shop used to be. We found some gifts and Grandma treated us all to an ice-cream which we enjoyed on the boat. Sadly the BA launch wasn’t in the mood for talking or even acknowledging so I didn’t bother (If anyone things they are superior these are the guys (Sorry but I’ve never spoken to normal friendly ranger)). Thankfully they left given me plenty of space to spin around (annoyingly easier now?!) and we was quickly back in the marina.

 

Car loaded, the end of relaxing little break. Grandma agreed that it’s a strange feeling; it felt like we was away for 4 days not two and like us she really enjoyed the weekend. Thankfully the boat really did work with the four of us and it didn’t feel cramped at all so Grandma will be back soon.

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Am loving your posts - really captures what's just so lovely about being out on the river either by engine or sail! Will keep an eye out for you & more adventures please!

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Nice to know you are enjoying poggymale. Don't worry I will keep these going :) and there will be plenty more pictures and videos :) 

 

If you do see us about certainly give us a good wave or come over and have a chat I love nattering lol 

 

cheers

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Good at waving JawsOrca - get told off for it! Bound to see you over the season! Enjoy the weekend

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"The Commodores Trip"

 

Friday 12th June.

 

This weekend the commodore of our yacht club (Those new to the tale; we had a sailing boat here in Kent so we was part of a yacht club as it's erm a cheap way to own a boat.. Although we still are proud members as it's close to home and discounted drinks!  :dance) was visiting the area and wanted to come and visit what proper boating is like :hardhat: . The plan was they visit us on the saturday so we decided to run up to the boat after work.  It was the first time we came up on the friday and despite driving through one mega thunderstorm the journey was quick and largely traffic free!  We arrived just as it got dark, unpacked and fell asleep.

 

 

Saturday 13th June.

 

I was texting Sir Commodore (P.s he's just a normal bloke and "got the job" as no one else put their hands up lol!) and we arranged that we would aim for Beccles and meet up down there.. We wanted to put hours on the engine anyway as we are still running the engine in.  Another reason we wanted to come up yesterday was that thumper (Orca's engine) was still leaking fuel ( :dog: ) and the chief engineer wanted to fix it.. he spent a couple of hours in the engine bay and after a few test fires reported that "it's good captain".. (In honesty, he probably didn't call me captain.. and he probably used lots of descriptive words but I'm sure you readers don't need to know these.. you can guess..!).

 

Engine finally on.. Ropes unties between the drizzle we slipped away from a quiet marina. It was probably rather early in the morning so I tried to be quiet. The pesky bridge was closed and the gauge board there really does need a clean as even up close it was hard to read.. But yup with the tide behind me and reading it at 8 feet (Orca being somewhere between 8 and 11 feet.. I.e I still don't have a clue!!)  I gave her a bit of reverse and span her around and retreated like a dog with it's tail between it's legs.. Typically we couldn't find the VHF radio either but the bridge suddenly opened as if the bridge operator was watching and thought best to open the bridge before Orca tries to knock it down. A tot on the horn as usual (Not sure if it does anything but nice to think it may) we went through and gently navigated this now familiar river.

 

Beccles YC was once again healthily busy and knowing thumper is suffering from asthma at the moment and has a serious attack (i.e stalls) if its asked to go into neutral, I aimed for the closest spot.. To my surprise, Thumpers earlier operation appeared successful and it went into neutral without stalling out.. Nice! :shocked: She moored up without too much of a struggle despite a 2mph crosswind (which is normally enough to make her move at 20mph sideways... She really should be a sailing boat..!).

 

We had a wonder around Beccles. A text from Lady Commodore "Dick had left late he chose to ignore SWMBO (The satnav) thus lost and ended up in a traffic jam!!" So they probably wont make it today! :( But we still did some shopping and replied back with "We will head to Oulton Broad.. Catch us there if you find out where to go!.. Tell Dick to listen to the women!". We also started our first Geocache adventure. I knew there was one in Beccles so we had a wonder and Dave found it before I did! Log signed we returned to the boat..

 

The chief engineer said we need some more dinosaur juice and googling pointed us towards Hippersons in Beccles.. So a good test for Asthmatic Thumper and my helming (patience) skills as it's a tight marina with a cross wind.. First go we noticed a boat taking up the service pontoon.. so gently spun her around.. The best thing is Orca really does turn on her own axis and I know  (if she's playing nicely) I can get reverse and reverse out of problems.. Having a leg really does have it's good points.. Thankfully the other boat noticed us and made some space. second time in.. thankfully thumper was behaving really well.. I was getting 1.5mph (whereas before I couldn't get less than erm 4mph! without stalling) and we professionally moored up beside the service pontoon. A slightly sneaky Darren Hippersons (everyone's called Darren in the boatyards remember) said it's £1.35pl.. Although pointing out that I emailed Darrens boss in the week and he advised that it was £1.25.. Darren (Sorry actually his name wasn't Darren and he was a very helpful chap!) said that's if you got diesel heating.. "Yup we got heating and it's freezing at the moment" (Wiping forehead).  (So be a bit careful there). Orca was quickly fueled up (25 litres) a nice chat to the chap as usual and a pat of the cat sitting on the reception desk, we left (although drooling at the proper boats in the wet shed there ... yummy :) ) (Seriously top marks to Hippersons, first time here.. Professional Yard. they do day boats and were brilliant with the day boaters.. we will be back there).

 

The trip back to Oulton was sadly marred by rain (and disturbingly we had a phone call that Daves mum (and last weeks crew member "Grandma") was taken into hospital overnight although was sent home.. no worries.

 

We stopped off just outside Oulton broad to look for our second Geocache (I'm not going to give too much away). We easily found it and surprised they really are right under your nose! Walking back to the boat, we was surprised when another boater said "Did you find what you were looking for?" Lol whoops.. part of the game is to be stealthy so we failed there.. "Was we that obvious" was my reply .. it was a nice chat though and we got a few pointers.

 

We arrived into Oulton broad and once again slipped in the first mooring although it was nice and easy knowing that Thumper is behaving well. It was already getting late so still energised we went hunting for more geocaches..

 

One of the main problems I find with the boats is that it's easy not to wonder much and somewhat sadly we have seen most of the broads more than once .. so this is a nice little thing to get out and about exploring and having a reason to. (Instead of just aiming for the pubs). The third cache (the name for hidden thing) was rather sneaky.. it was a nano.. (I.e bloody tiny!) we didn't spot this one so wondered off to the next one.. sadly we didn't spot that one either although it was a nice walk... Back to the third, I had worked out that the phone app has a compass (!) and the GPS setting was quite precise so eventually we found it.. Right beside something we had passed many times.. It really was tiny and the bit of paper inside it which you need to sign was minute! 

 

We then walked around the park sadly no geocaches here although now hooked we was on the look out for our own spots! (hmm couple potential spots identified!).. Hungry with all this walking it was off to the wherry hotel for grub.. Pleasantly surprised with grub and thankfully they had Wherry on! We returned to the boat just after Dark.

 

Sunday 14th June

 

Sadly we was awoken to the pesky phone.. Ringing away. Dave's brother had called and sadly Grandma wasn't well had been taken back into hospital. Naturally I told Dave to do the engine checks whilst I went over and paid the overnight fee. Engine on and we slipped the mooring to return back to the boat yard. I texted our friends who where due up to advise.  

 

On the way back to the yard we managed to get more information and talk to Daves mum and learnt that the docs kinda knew what had happened and it's not as serious as first suspected and there's little need/point to go straight there, she also told us not to rush back.. Discussing quickly between ourselves we decided to head for the WRC.. to at least cook some breakfast and get more information which we did.  Eventually more information did come through and we was assured that all is well and indeed there is no point on visiting today (Basically it seems like a medicine problem and she has been omitted to a ward for monitoring). Deciding that the best use of the day is still put some more hours on the engine we headed just upstream back to beccles for an hour or so. Once again noticing that there is some more geocaches locally we would get off the boat.. and have another walk to calm down a bit and look for the caches.  Back on the boat it was just after lunch so we decided to return back to the marina.

 

Thankfully it was low tide so were easily under the bridge and into the Marina.. the last time we was in the marina Thumper stalled out and we had to drift in her berth just missing the other boats (not sure how we made that!).. but this time with tons more control I came in dead slow (1mph!!) and noticing the neighboring boat had it's crew aboard, without touching anything backed Orca in very professionally! :party: .. it's so reassuring to know that I now have all this control.. Well done to chief engineer and promoted second mate (back to First mate) for fixing it!

 

We had a nice chat to the neighboring boat reassuring him that I always moor up that well  :liar we left for home.  Thankfully we did get lots of hours on and we are now 6 hours away from the first service and the ability to get full gear range and thus go through Breydon water!!

 

I did a couple of pictures and will upload a bit later.

 

 

Update on Grandma: We visited her yesterday (Monday) and she seems so much brighter than the weekend before. She's up and about and even made everyone a tea and coffee!?  I suspect she wasn't well the weekend before and hid it from us (bad girl). They are doing more tests and looks like they will adjust her meds which should fix the problem. Hopefully she will be home soon. Although she's worrying already about being on the boat and being away from everyone so sadly her time as crew on Orca may now be limited, certainly in the short term.  

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Enjoying the tales Alan.

Might have a look into geocaching for when we come down in September.

Best wishes to Grandma

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Couple of pics attached. Sadly these are with my mobile so aren't brilliant quality.  (I also think my sensor on my DSLR needs a clean and I keep putting it off). I've smudged the geocaching ones as they may give away the secret but it gives you some idea of how hard some are! The little one was behind a sign!! (If you do guess it please keep it to yourself).

 

Thanks too chaps for the thoughts on Grandma.. she's still doing well and is apparently walking around the ward like nothings happened!  

 

David.. certainly look at doing geocaching.. you can make a start at home too as there will be plenty were you live there. 

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Hi Alan,

 

As you are growing older by the day, and noticing a foot stool on the bathing platform, perhaps cutting a door section to the stern may be advantageous old boy  :naughty:

 

 

cheers Iain.

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Lol... good spot Iain! The distance from the step and the bank is just too much with the swim deck even with that step it's still a bit of a mission!  I forgot to put on the earlier tale that we left the WRC and half way down the river noticed the stole was missing.. It was also missing from the swimdeck.. back tracking we found it floating down the waverney! It was a bit fun trying to fish it out with the boat hook and dodging the on coming boats. :)  There is no way an aft door is going in though lol cheers

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"Working Weekend"

 

26th June 2015

 

Sadly I couldn't work from home today.. I work the other side of the world (or at least it feels it) and typically the M26 was pretty much closed so it me a couple of hours to get home for work. Quick pack back in the car and the traffic was still heavy so we didn't arrive into the marina until about 10pm. Arriving at the yards we spotted what looked to be some outboard motor thieves... all dressed in black.. hmm dodgy.. Steve (ladypatricia) said hello and what time did we call this lol.. (Apparently he had been there since 2pm.. working hard but Debs he looked very comfortable talking and drinking).. Steve jumped on board and we had a chat and a tin of some danish export for an hour or so. 

 

27th June 2015

 

Despite saying to Steve I won't be awake until lunchtime I was up and about at 7am! It was a warm morning. Dave made a quick start on the boat. We had done 45 hours on the engine and at 50 hours the engine needs a big service, Dave was happy that we was close enough considering the guy before us had probably ran for a few hours and the engine was starting to get warm anyway.  The service included loosening and re-torquing the cylinder head, which alone required the rocker gear to be removed and refitted and valve clearance to be adjusted.. Plus the usual fluid change.. So knowing I was just going to get in the way I thought I'd go and watch Steve do his jobs on Lady P.. 

Firstly we both scratched our heads trying to work out how to get the watertrap down the non-exsitant gaps beside the engine. Steve worked out we may get it behind the engine and pull forward... yup thankfully that worked! Next he cut the exhaust pipe.. fingers were crossed it was in the right spot.. He then connected that up to the waterlock and said something really stupid "That was easy"... Yup that was easy.. The outlet didn't want to work..us both covered in bilge slime trying and steve's hands dripping in blood..  so he cut a bit off the exhaust off.. at the same time the hose from the engine seacock feel off "Steve keep bit safe", I said.. "the seacocks off aint it?" "yeah... the exhaust pipe is going to go on if it killlls me". Eventually it went on and Steve said "Where's all this water come from"... "Don't say that Steve, where's that pipe?" "It's down here". "Erm Steve, is the seacock off?" "No?" " :huh: lol.. "... Thankfully Steve has portable bilge pump and after 15 mins the bilge was dry again lol.. Engine on Lady P sounded like a normal boat again! Yay.. Dave appeared Orca was all fixed (Yup so in the time me and Steve had played around and almost sunk LadyP he had half stripped and rebuilt the engine!).

 

Last task for lady P was the enhaust pipe, she has a downward pipe and we suggested cutting it so it's straight out as so you can properly see the water pumping. Steve had talked about using an angle grinder but we suggested bringing a recip saw (although it's not the easiest thing to use), but Dave quickly cut it off and yup the water pump can now be seen running.

 

Waving good bye to Steve leaving him to simply finish the radio wiring ;) we wanted to give Orca a test run to make sure the head won't blow!! :huh:

 

Orca immediately felt different a lot more meatier and more responsive.. So he clearly did something.. He mentioned that it's likely the head may have been on its way (hence tightening) and I guess the valve clearances helped.  Upstream out the marina we headed up towards oulton.. without admitting too much online.! The engine was tested lol.. the head didn't blow.. she's not as fast as we hoped but more than capable for the broads. 

 

Oulton YS was busy but we slotted in just beside the Albion wherry who's on her southern tour. We wondered into Lowestoft for some shopping. Back to oulton I noticed there was no geocaches nearby so found a spot I hid my first cache in norfolk (find it here: http://coord.info/GC5Y9WR)then it was off to the wherry hotel for our first woodfordes ale trail stamp and some grub!  Back to the boat to watch a lovely sun set over the broad and the end of a very warm day :)

 

28th June 2015

 

Awoken by the un-forecast patter of rain it was immediately evident that it was a much cooler day.  Thankfully the rain quickly vanished and we was soon under way and heading back to the marina. The run back to the marina was all good but it was noticeable how the southern broads are, which is good to see, certainly for southern businesses! 

 

I told Dave to practice a mooring as he's not done any and the strong current just outside the yard makes it much easier.. he didn't do too bad.. tad fast but no damage done, I will make him practice more. I took the boat quickly into her berth and with the engine now performing well we got her tied up without any problem.   

 

Sorry not many pictures this weekend as it was really a working weekend but I took one on my tablet and played around with the formatting and it came out well. 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Alan,

 

Its amazing what you can do with these Vitamin A B C and D Tablets :naughty:

 

 

cheers Iain.

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"A Comedy of errors", lol, As I was reading it I had visions in my head of a slapstick comedy, brilliant guys  :clap and the photo Alan, just stunning, more of you and Dave would also be good  :naughty:  ;)

 

Grace

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"A Comedy of errors", lol, As I was reading it I had visions in my head of a slapstick comedy, brilliant guys  :clap and the photo Alan, just stunning, more of you and Dave would also be good  :naughty:  ;)

 

Grace

Grace,

 

We are trying to encourage new members!!! Not lose any :norty:  :naughty: Plus I have it on very good authority young Alan is VERY Camera shy! :River Police

 

 

 

cheers Iain.

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Lol yup pictures of me.. no chance!!

 

We was doing OK.. well kinda .. but yup the finest moment wasn't when Steve said "Where's all this water come from" :huh: 

 

:) 

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