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A W/E Away


Springsong

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Friday the 13th not a great day to travel but with a W/E on the river and I could care less. It's my daughters' 30th Birthday and she and some friends have hired Brinks Emperor 1 for the week end and for some reason have asked me to join them, well I could hardly refuse could I.First off Bec (daughter) arrives they stayed last night at The Sutton Staithe Hotel having shopped at Tesco on the way,another friend tips up, I am squeezed into one of the cars and it is off to Sutton to meet the next contingent. We are to leave their car here as they will be departing Sunday am. Now here we are at a public house during opening hours, well it would be rude not to. Hot beef baps some pints for non drivers a chat with Paul (NCL) in the sunshine until it's time to make tracks for Wroxham.

On arrival we are shown to the boat and almost imediately are allowed to load up. Mathew pops his head in to say hello which was nice of him,in what seems no time at all we are shown the workings all very simple no shore power no inverters just switch on and go.

We are facing up river so first job is to turn her around, these 40 plus foot boat are pig to turn but I am not driving so not my problem. The boat is clean and tidy and equipped with all the basic needs,the only problem and we all felt it, even the doubles, the bunks are to narrow, the singles especially.

The only gripe dealt with it's off to Ranworth for the night.A leisurely trip down river and we are oon mooring stern on to the staithe along with the four other boats. First night on board and as you do we partied, perhaps a little too hard but hey ho. Ranworth I have never seen it so quiet even though it is early season, the loos only open week ends no pub!!!! but at least the church was open and the bird sanctuary.

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So Saturday morning, a few sore heads around but soon cured by an ascent of St.Helens’ church tower or a visit to the bird sanctuary, myself I made a coffee and chilled on the boat.

We reconvened at around 10.00am for departure to Sutton Staithe where the party was to take place on the boat and we were to be joined by two more sisters one husband and the leader of the opposition making 13 in all.

We left Ranworth at around 11.00amfor the largely uneventful journey up the Ant. Although I was expecting it I found the lower Ant below the bridge very stark an unappealing, of course I understand that it will grow very quickly, I can’t help feeling that in a good blow on 3RR day there could be a few bows up on the mud down that stretch. We take the screen down as well as the canopy for the bridge, I didn’t know the air draught and better safe than sorry, of course there was stacks of room. Plain sailing (motoring) up past How Hill no dredging on the W/E. Through Irstead where all the cameras came out, we had two particularly keen photographers with us, and onto Barton; although nice enough to have the cockpit open there was a stiff breeze on the Broad which we assume is where the nice shiny brand new never been used mop went over the side never to be seen again. A quick divert around the lovely Barton Turf and on up to Sutton. A party despatched to Tescos’ for various things to include one mop, meanwhile as has to be done on these occasions with a large screen in fact two and the six nations cup we repaired to the pub.

Only two of us on the green to look at the sunset.

The first photo is actually in Wroxham and is the mast off The Lord Roberts.

2nd The beautiful Sutton Broad

3rd Lovely morning at Sutton Staithe

4th sunet at Sutton Staithe

5th The very stark lower Ant.

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The six nations cup. I over two pints of Bulmers watched Wales get beaten and wanting to be back on board before the guests did not stay for the following Scotland match. The other three returned I think another six pints later, one of them floating as if on air, another a trifle sheepish after a conversation with his beloved.

Anne my long suffering wife had made a really splendid buffet at home and brought it to the boat, pink roast beef gammon, boiled in cider then roasted with marmalade, smoked salmon, prawns, pasta salad, potatoe salad, French bread, garlic bread, just everything one could possibly want, oh and pavlova and chocolate fudge Birthday cake. Much beer, wine, vodka and the like were consumed and all had a good time. At least judging by the state of the saloon.

Sunday morning finishing the bacon with some scrambled eggs, just nothing like it.

We are going to have lunch in Horning at the Swan, at least that was the plan., I had of course advised my daughter to book a mooring and probably lunch as well there being 9 of us. She was told there was no need to book either, so being a virtual stranger to these things she left it at that. Our arrival at Horning to find of course no room on the Swan front and no room on the staithe (no dinghy) so back to the New Inn, we squeezed in with the only other boat there and went ashore. We ate at the New Inn , two in the party had roasts both of whom said it was shall we say disappointing the rest were happy enough. I for one felt as if I was getting in the way, wouldn’t this be a lovely pub if we didn’t have customers attitude. It must be me I have always felt this at this place, I know many of you swear by it but I yet again felt a little let down.

The rugby again rears its head and we watch England comprehensively thrash France, we watch this on board on a tiny tele with a very good picture. This over we depart for Salhouse Broad where we intend to spend the last night on the mud weight.

We spent a very comfortable last night surrounded by wild life including an Irish contingent having a caily (don’t know the spelling) on the cabin roof late and early. We awoke to the best day of the week end and had a very pleasant cruise back to Wroxham

A very enjoyable week end in good company, THAT’S the good life

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Many thanks for sharing your holiday tale with us Barry, glad you had a good time. That looks some craft. I managed to make a pigs ear of mooring a 28 footer at Ranworth last month, never mind a 48 feet Emperor!!! Like the sound of your buffet, making me hungry!!

Bet you can’t wait for you boat to be finished!

cheersbar

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