Topic: Malanka 1953 - present


garryn    -- Jul-4-2011 @ 7:29 PM
  Malanka started off as Manka (names get shortened over the years but this one got longer) in 1953. I was told the name was changed because Manka looked too much like another name Evil Grin  I can,t be 100% sure that this first picture is Manka but I am 99% It is when all 3 boats were just built and are awaiting final completions.

Garry


goodfortune    -- Jul-4-2011 @ 8:02 PM
  Aren't they lovely?  Malanka/Manka in front?

Lisa, aka Scarlett, Dolly Daydream, Miss Mudweight, Honorary Malankan
Coastguard petition 11296

Unbelieving Girly Swot 08/04/2011, Friday the 13th/05/2011

"Zero Club" on the quiz 12/09/10, 07/01/2011 11/02/2011 - sob

BITTERN CODE 15A


fidear45    -- Jul-4-2011 @ 8:04 PM
  Thanks Garry what a great picture....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Lynsey1983    -- Jul-5-2011 @ 8:15 AM
  It must be lovely to have people post really old pics of your boat, seeing them through the decades and their hire boat carrier.

Lynsey

Membership Secretary of the Cider Lovers United! Smile
Forum Girly Swat 18/12/2009


fidear45    -- Jul-5-2011 @ 8:53 AM
  It is. Garry's grandfather owned our boat for 15 years, which is fantastic. He tells us she was never in the hire fleet. One person has owned her three times on different ocasions.

It really is a huge bonus for us to know Garry and the others. We met at Wroxham earlier in the season had a great afternoon....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Lynsey1983    -- Jul-5-2011 @ 8:58 AM
  I bet a few beers were involved????????????? lol  Playful

Lynsey

Membership Secretary of the Cider Lovers United! Smile
Forum Girly Swat 18/12/2009


fidear45    -- Jul-5-2011 @ 9:33 AM
  Inevitably.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Lynsey1983    -- Jul-5-2011 @ 9:40 AM
  Hahahahahaha  Playful

Lynsey

Membership Secretary of the Cider Lovers United! Smile
Forum Girly Swat 18/12/2009


garryn    -- Jul-5-2011 @ 5:17 PM
  That afternoon in
Wroxham was
great for us too,
been onboard
again after 30
years, although I
did have a quick
look over her in
1998. I can trace
her history back
to 1957 and know
of 9 different
owners in that
time, presuming
there was one
owner from 1953-
1957. I dont think
that mast would
have survived all
these years if it
had been a
hireboat although
it did survive my
teenage years. Smile

Garry

This message was edited by garryn on Jul-6-11 @ 2:43 PM


garryn    -- Jul-5-2011 @ 8:43 PM
  These next couple of pictures are from when my grandad first owned her in 1966 I'm afraid my mam and dad took most of the early pictures and there's not many with manka fully in them.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-5-2011 @ 8:50 PM
  That contraption on the bow was used for lifting the mudweight but can never recall it been used.
  I was a good boy with my lifejacket on and I did love my baseball boots.

Garry


fidear45    -- Jul-6-2011 @ 7:21 AM
  The newer contraption she now carries is used by me all the time. It's great, makes pulling the plug very easy..

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Jul-6-2011 @ 6:48 PM
  These next ones are from 1969-1971

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-6-2011 @ 6:49 PM
  1970

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-6-2011 @ 6:54 PM
  Heres Grandad with his pride and joy in about 1971.This is were Manka was moored for 15 years. Can anybody guess where it is.

Garry


fidear45    -- Jul-6-2011 @ 8:41 PM
  Lovely photos and I'm sure lovely memories for you Garry.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


tonyr    -- Jul-7-2011 @ 9:49 AM
  I'll take a guess the mooring is at Sutton boatyard


garryn    -- Jul-7-2011 @ 7:05 PM
  Looking at these photos does bring back some great memories for me Martin.
Manka's moorings were not at Sutton tonyr.
Here,s a couple more there in 1972 and 1973.


Garry


garryn    -- Jul-7-2011 @ 7:16 PM
  There were 3 more wooden brooms boats in the boatyard around this time, Princess Zena, Magnolia and Zephyr which was owned by my Grandads business partner
Here's Zephyr

Garry

This message was edited by garryn on Jul-7-11 @ 8:26 PM


garryn    -- Jul-7-2011 @ 7:17 PM
  Magnolia

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-10-2011 @ 5:54 PM
  These next few photos were taken between 1975 and 1981. Heres one on the move.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-10-2011 @ 5:57 PM
  Another

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-10-2011 @ 6:02 PM
  And another

Garry


fidear45    -- Jul-10-2011 @ 7:22 PM
  Great Garry love them...M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Craig    -- Jul-10-2011 @ 9:25 PM
  I don't know if this still exists - it's not a photo of Manka, but a beautiful scale model


Craig
http://www.horning.org.uk
http://boats.horning.org.uk
http://broadlandarchive.horning.org.uk
http://www.ThreeRiversRace.org.uk


fidear45    -- Jul-11-2011 @ 7:44 AM
  Hi Craig

That was made by Garry's son, we talked to him (Garry)about it when we met in Wroxham a few weeks ago. He has done a narrow boat as well. Obviously hugely talented model maker...  Good luck to him when he finishes University.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


springsong    -- Jul-11-2011 @ 7:52 AM
  Was the Mooring at Turners Boatyard in Horning by any chance ?

Barry

" A well balanced man has a drink in each hand "   Billy Connolly
Save the Coastguard 11172


fidear45    -- Jul-11-2011 @ 11:32 AM
  we have an oil painting of Malanka now(See attached)  ,but the model is
lovely ....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Jul-11-2011 @ 6:14 PM
  Great painting that Martin.

I hope to bring my son and model Manka down to the Broads this summer to meet her big sister (Malanka). That should be a good photo oportunity.

Hi Springsong you've got the boatyard wrong but it is in Horning. This should help with the trees cut down.

Garry


Lynsey1983    -- Jul-11-2011 @ 8:38 PM
  I have to say I am loving seeing all these old pictures of Malanka, your so luck Martin having all this history of her  Smile

Lynsey

Membership Secretary of the Cider Lovers United! Smile
Forum Girly Swat 18/12/2009


garryn    -- Jul-11-2011 @ 9:07 PM
  We always seemed to manage to moor outside the pub. Smile

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-11-2011 @ 9:11 PM
  And again

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-11-2011 @ 9:15 PM
  Malanka often finds her way here nowadays.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-12-2011 @ 7:03 PM
  I can only find 2 internal pictures.

This one


Garry


garryn    -- Jul-12-2011 @ 7:06 PM
  And Grandad in his PJ's

Garry


springsong    -- Jul-13-2011 @ 8:03 AM
  Hi Garry
I only said Turners in Horning because in the eighties I was fairly sure that is where Magnolia lived. She was looked after by Dennis George who owned Turners.
So put me out of my misery I still don't recognize it, unless that is the back of the Ferry PH.


Barry

" A well balanced man has a drink in each hand "   Billy Connolly
Save the Coastguard 11172


garryn    -- Jul-13-2011 @ 8:45 AM
  Hi Barry
That is the back of the Ferry Inn and the
moorings were in the Ferry boatyard.
Magnolia was there until at least the mid
seventies.

Garry


springsong    -- Jul-13-2011 @ 1:53 PM
  That's that explained. Thanks

Barry

" A well balanced man has a drink in each hand "   Billy Connolly
Save the Coastguard 11172


w-album    -- Jul-13-2011 @ 3:44 PM
  The picture with the trees down looks like behind the Ferry?  Somewhere near the old Ferry Boatyard otherwise ???
Liz

SG12 most the time but sometimes in NR12!
Winner of the first quiz of 2011 and again on 11.03.11 - more by luck than skill?


garryn    -- Jul-13-2011 @ 6:52 PM
  Your a bit late Liz but yes it is in the Ferry Boatyard. Another bigger basin was dug out around this time, between this one and the Ferry Inn. Over the years more bits have been dug out to get more moorings.  Theres not a lot of grass left now.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-13-2011 @ 9:27 PM
  This is one of my favourite pictures, going under Wroxham bridge.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-13-2011 @ 9:29 PM
  And comming out the other side

Garry


springsong    -- Jul-14-2011 @ 8:30 AM
  I guess the new basin is somewhere around where this photo was taken in 1950. You may recolonize the old thatched ferry boathouse in the background.

Barry

" A well balanced man has a drink in each hand "   Billy Connolly
Save the Coastguard 11172


garryn    -- Jul-14-2011 @ 7:30 PM
  The basin I am referring to is the one next to the swimming pool were NYA is now. When it was first done there was a outside swimming pool next to it.

Garry


fidear45    -- Jul-14-2011 @ 7:37 PM
  Simply have to love that hair Garry.. have to ask what happened...LOL


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Jul-14-2011 @ 7:55 PM
  It was fashionable in the late seventies. Smile

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-14-2011 @ 9:24 PM
  My Grandad sold Manka in October 1981 and that was the last I saw or heard of her until one day in about 1996 when I was at work in Grimsby in my job as a plumber. I was getting some bits out of my van when a man walked by with his dog. He stopped and asked me if I could look at a leaking tank in his false roof. I arranged to have a look when I had finished the job I was on.
When I looked we decided it needed a new tank and arranged to do it a few days later
While I was doing the job the man told me he would now be a lot happier to leave the house when he was away on his boat. I asked him were his boat was and he told me it was in Norfolk. I told him that my Grandad used to have a boat on the Broads.
A bit later on he told me he had made me a cup of tea and to come downstairs to drink it.
While I was drinking my tea he passed me a photograph saying this was his boat. To my amazement it was my Grandads boat now called Malanka. Where he lived was only a stones throw from were my Grandad lived. These were the third owners since my Grandad sold her and they owned her for about 15 years.
He very kindly let me keep the photo.

Garry


BroadAmbition    -- Jul-15-2011 @ 5:48 AM
 
What a happy coincidence meeting him whilst at work, amazing really.

This is a great thread btw, a living history, M&F are proper lucky to have you on here with all these wonderful photo's and the write up of course.


Griff

'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


fidear45    -- Jul-15-2011 @ 8:14 AM
  It's even better than that Griff, we met Garry and family in Wroxham a while back and had a great afternoon in the sun talking about something we both love. Seeing the old pictures is just pure joy for me and knowing now how few owners she has had explains how she has arrived in 2011 in the condition she is. Garry is of course an honorary Malankan now too, he even has the cap to prove it.
We hope to meet up with him again sometime too, he has so many memories its good just to sit and listen to him..  

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Jul-15-2011 @ 6:58 PM
  It was great for me last year when Martin and Fiona bought Malanka and started talking and posting  pictures about her on here.
It was even better when I met them in May and then to become a Honary Malankan with that much sought after cap. Cheers

Garry

This message was edited by garryn on Jul-15-11 @ 8:00 PM


garryn    -- Jul-17-2011 @ 4:23 PM
  When Manka was sold in 1981 she had a fair bit of work done on her. The petrol engine was changed for a diesal one. The petrol one was very quiet but was expensive to run.
The 2 sliding windows in the bow were changed for one larger one.
She would of had some new planking and a full repaint.
Her name was also changed to Malanka.

Here she is on her home moorings at South Walsham in 2001.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-18-2011 @ 7:28 PM
  Malanka was sold again in the early 2000's and its new home was a bottom of the garden mooring in Neatishead. I've got some photos somewhere but can't find them at the moment.
She was then moved in 2006 to Broadsedge at Stalham on the river moorings. It was good to see her when starting and finishing a holiday from Richardsons.

Garry

This message was edited by garryn on Jul-18-11 @ 10:37 PM


garryn    -- Jul-18-2011 @ 7:30 PM
  Easter in the sunshine.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-18-2011 @ 9:43 PM
  In her winter moorings 2007

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-19-2011 @ 8:04 PM
  For the next few years Malanka was moved inside of Broadsedge were she remains today. Ownership was changed towards the end of 2010 to Martin and Fiona. This was great for me hearing about and seeing pictures of her on this forum.
Here she is at easter 2011 at Moonfleet getting some work done for the new season. One of the jobs was having a shower fitted.  The first time in all those years that she had one. I dont know how we managed when Grandad owned her, I couldn't manage without one today. Smile

Garry


BroadAmbition    -- Jul-19-2011 @ 11:24 PM
 
Fantastic, great storyline. Loved it big time  Cheers

And long may the history tales of Malanka continue.

She has been a very lucky boat imho, lots of caring owners right from the start. Her latest custodians look very much like continuing in the same vein too.


Griff

'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


garryn    -- Jul-20-2011 @ 6:23 PM
  Thanks Griff, pleased you enjoyed it.
We are now getting to the present time. In may I  finally saw Malanka moving for the first time in 30 years. Here she is at Hotel Wroxham as we are on our way to meet Martin, Fiona and family.

Garry

This message was edited by garryn on Jul-20-11 @ 7:29 PM


garryn    -- Jul-20-2011 @ 6:29 PM
  Thanks Griff, pleased you enjoyed it.
We are now getting to the present time. In may I  finally saw Malanka moving for the first time in 30 years. Here she is at Hotel Wroxham as we are on our way to meet Martin, Fiona and family.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-20-2011 @ 6:42 PM
  We had a wonderful afternoon, me telling about past times and having a good look around Malanka.
I think she looks as good now as shes ever looked in the past.
Here she is leaving Hotel Wroxham the next morning.


Garry


garryn    -- Jul-20-2011 @ 6:47 PM
  We caught up with chef Martin doing the bacon butties at Salhouse Smile

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-20-2011 @ 6:53 PM
  They came past at a busy Horning.

Garry


garryn    -- Jul-20-2011 @ 7:03 PM
  Finally next day she is ready to go to Ludham Bridge to watch the 3 rivers race

Garry


Gordon    -- Jul-24-2011 @ 9:27 PM
  What a magnificent boat, beautifully maintained. Just read this thread with interest having spent a few hours admiring her whilst moored overnight next to her at Womack last week.

Gordon

"There is nothing - absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" Ratty in Wind in the Willows


fidear45    -- Jul-24-2011 @ 9:41 PM
  Thanks for the pictures Garry, it was rather busy in Horning when we passed you as I recall. You looked very content sitting there watching the world go by.

We hid Malanka at LBBY for the duration of the 3RR. Managed to get ourselves off to the Dog later only to see the last boat pass us at the boatyard at 01:20 or so.
Malanka was out again this last week and she will be out again next saturday morning for a southern cruise.
We had a two up with Antigua and our Romanian friends, we had a blast and enjoyed every minute as we always do when with Malanka.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


xt3litre    -- Oct-9-2011 @ 1:20 AM
  Lovely to see so much continuous history of such a lovely boat. You are very lucky!
We had a tantalisingly close brush with Perrapin's past (1968 Commander, and Broom's last ever wooden boat) earlier this year. Awaiting our turn into Romney lock on the Thames, we were hailed by a woman from the stern of a vessel leaving the lock, "We holidayed on Perrapin in the summer of 1969 . . . . "
Madam, if you happen to spot this post, we'd be delighted to show you aboard, for old times sake!

Best Wishes - Peter


garryn    -- Oct-10-2011 @ 6:55 PM
  You are very brave taking an old boat like that through locks. Smile

Garry


xt3litre    -- Mar-15-2012 @ 2:28 PM
  One of these days we plan to take her to Bristol and Avonmouth by way of the Kennet and Avon Canal! If I've done my homework correctly I believe she will fit under any bridge and the 12'6" locks will accomodate her with a bit to spare! Should take a few weeks  Smile   . . one of these days.

Best Wishes - Peter


SteveO    -- Mar-15-2012 @ 4:31 PM
  What a beautiful boat. Was she originally named after Manka the wild goose in BB's (D. Watkins-Pitchford)"Manka the Sky Gypsy"?

Cheers



Steve

Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?


fidear45    -- Mar-15-2012 @ 6:47 PM
  That's a very good point I will ask Garryn..His grandfather owned her at that time.

We like Malanka now which actually is a Ukranian new year celebration.

M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Mar-16-2012 @ 7:16 PM
  I was always led to believe  the name was taken from letters of the original owners names. Afraid I don't know the original owners name but she was owned by Gerard Deacon from 1957 until 1965 when she was owned by Donald Wright and then my Grandad Richard Cooper from 1966 until 1981.

Garry


tonstep    -- Apr-15-2012 @ 2:00 PM
  we see the boat on Saturday at Salhouse what a wonderful boat to see on the broads


fidear45    -- Apr-16-2012 @ 10:02 AM
  Thank you, We had a lovely week out and will be contributing a holiday tale in due course.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


SteveO    -- Apr-16-2012 @ 12:44 PM
  We saw you at Salhouse the Saturday before last and very fine Malanka looked. Would have stopped to say hello but we had one of my daughters with us and she wanted to squeeze in a walk round the Hoveton Great Broad nature trail before it closed. When we got there,we found it doesn't open on Saturdays anyway Frown

Cheers

Steve

Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?


fidear45    -- Apr-16-2012 @ 3:35 PM
  I have been trying to get Fiona to do the nature trail for the past six years. Obviously not good at persuading.

Malanka has had all her Chrome bits re-done so she shines nicely now in a bling kind of way.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


ncsl    -- Apr-16-2012 @ 4:14 PM
  She looked good when you passed me on Saturday PM.


Lord Paul of Sealand
SKYPE


Wildlife
Video


fidear45    -- Apr-17-2012 @ 9:42 AM
  Seeing you hanging half out of a canoe on what was arguably the coldest day all week was enough to take my breath away. Made me shiver just watching..



Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Apr-17-2012 @ 6:46 PM
  I think Malanka has got some competition in the beauty stakes. Good to see you again Martin and Fiona and that crome does shine, especially that dash.
Also good to meet Simon and Sonia and have a tour of Corsica. She is looking a treat.
I saw you both leaving Salhouse on the Sunday morning with your roofs and masts down heading for Coltishal only for you to pass at Horning later. I presume the water was to high.

Garry


garryn    -- Apr-17-2012 @ 6:49 PM
  forgot the picture

Garry


garryn    -- Apr-17-2012 @ 6:54 PM
  Close up

Garry


garryn    -- Apr-17-2012 @ 6:56 PM
  The paintwork does shine in the sunshine.

Garry


fidear45    -- Apr-18-2012 @ 11:04 AM
  Hi Garry
It was great to meet Ashley and the lovely model of Manka. She is beautifully made and he should be proud.
I hope he can put his skills to good use in his chosen profession.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


springsong    -- Apr-18-2012 @ 4:13 PM
  Doesn't she look great without the dark stain. Beautiful job.

Barry

" A well balanced man has a
drink in each hand "   Billy
Connolly
Save the Coastguard 11172


fidear45    -- Apr-18-2012 @ 4:22 PM
  Hi Barry thank you for that. Removal of the dark stain is going to be an ongoing project for the next few winters, not completed yet by a long way but she does look much nicer now the rubbing strakes and stuff have been done and the first go at the cabin sides has been finished.
Next time pop in and have a look at the new dash it really does dazzle, I am very pleased with it. I had to wear my sunglasses....

Pleased to see you posting again after damaging the concrete at Martham. Always welcome my friend, we will be back the weekend of the 27th (April).  

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Apr-19-2012 @ 7:48 PM
  The cabin sides were first darkened whilst under the ownership of the other owners from Grimsby. They arranged with a boatyard to have the varnishing redone and were horrified when the boatyard took it on themselves to make it dark.

Garry


fidear45    -- May-14-2012 @ 1:19 PM
  Dear All,

This thread is here in Holiday tales to collect all the memories of Malanka in one thread. Here goes the latest one:

Wot no Frey bentos?
My anticipation level was at fever pitch, our Easter cruise had been some-what  chilly and our first such foray into early season cruising. This trip was to include our first ever overnight guest of an official sort. Ducks, Geese and other assorted wildfowl didn’t count, it was also our 19th wedding anniversary and a celebration at the Bridge Inn Acle had been planned with reserved mooring for two boats (thank you Vanessa)and a lovely meal with friends was eagerly anticipated. The forecast was for wet and windy but the view from my office window was of rabbits doing what rabbits do in April in the pleasant afternoon sunshine. My last meeting was behind me and I was sitting waiting for the minutes to pass, my mind was not at all on business stuff, more on what will our guest think of our  accommodation  and would she be able to survive the weekend without bottled water and the seemingly ubiquitous frey bentos pies? All would be revealed.
Charlie the well-known Aston appreciator in chief was to be our guest, we had met up over the Easter cruise and as Blue dolphin was to be out of the water having a new paint job we offered her the chance to a have a weekend afloat she was not expecting. We had arranged to meet up at Moonfleet and we were going to text when we passed the A12 slip road on our way to Stalham. We were also going to break a duck for Charlie and take her out for an Indian meal. We thought we could do Brussels to Stalham after work and still make it in time for the Oasis. As the minutes ticked by I decided I couldn’t resist and packed away my stuff headed off to  wait by the security gate.
Sitting outside in the lovely afternoon sunshine I thought the weekend was off to a lovely start, what could possibly go wrong. Well apart from the traffic in Lille, the wind and the rain, not much as it turned out.  
Fiona arrived with Justin, the older two were staying home to start working for their summer exams, and so we set off. I will pass over the traffic in Lille only mentioning that a journey that normally takes two hours this time took over three hours. Unless the M25 was kind to us we would not make our Curry date with Charlie. We left Calais to bright sunshine and arrived in Folkestone to wind, rain, hail and dark skies teeming with rain. Oh joy!!!!
We decided to use the M11 and A11 as this seemed to offer us the best opportunity to make up some time, as we cruised along at a steady 112.4 kph, I watched the ETA tick down to the point where the curry date and a first for Charlie was back on the cards. You see the reason the anxiety was that Charlie was going to break her duck she had never before had an Indian meal….We swapped texts as we drove along (well Charlie and Fiona did) and we settled on 10pm arrival and straight to the Oasis. The weather improved as we drove along in that it stopped raining, but it was a cold wet miserable start to the weekend.
As we pulled into Moonfleet and started to unload Charlie pulled into the car park behind us, she claimed to have been driving round to see where Tesco was but we suspected she had been lurking round the Staithe as we were later than we wanted. Greetings out of the way we headed in high spirits (it had stopped raining) to the Oasis.

We sat down and started the usual menu perusal, this time of course it had added meaning as Charlie was doing this for the first time. Justin kept suggesting items from the menu that seemed to focus on spicy chilli pepper sauces, which Charlie was resisting very well.
Anyway to cut a long story short and actually get to the boating part, the meal was great the service was great and Griff popped in to say hi too.
We returned in high spirits to Malanka, turned on the heating, turned on the new immersion heater for some lovely hot water and settled down to unpack and sort out stuff for the weekend. Beds made without creases, duvets plumped and a glass of champagne or two later we called it a night and went to bed.
Next morning bright and early having washed in lovely HOT water (one of those full washes Lisa talks about) the day could not have been better, so OK it could have been sunny but apart from that it was a good day. Plans for the Tesco run and the high street butchers run were made and executed, final preparations with Phil and Diane for Sunday and we were off down the river for a run about.
We hadn’t decided where to go so we just pootled down the Ant and hoped the decidedly high looking water, you know all that drought causing stuff, was not going to be too high to go through Ludham with the screens up, the weather had turned decidedly nasty with some very sharp cross winds and a heavy drizzle. We reached Barton and the scene was windy with waves and a little light rain, Charlie was at the helm as I fancied a break and was tucking into drinks and snacks as provided by Fiona. Turning to port into the river there was a yacht going very slowly down the river and at our steady 3.5mph we were going to reach her transom in short order. Our guest was approaching the stern of the yacht and then announced “I hope you don’t think I am going to pass that yacht”. To which I replied, “no don’t worry I will pass the yacht and then the bridge is all yours”. The accompanying shrieks of hysterical noise made me smirk a bit as I really didn’t have any intention of asking Charlie to helm through the bridge on her first day, she could do it on the way back.
The very obliging skipper of the yacht moved over a little and we chugged serenely past and continued on our merry way. I should I suppose point out that helming Malanka is a positive experience as there is no drift in the wheel at all, you move the wheel, the boat responds it is as simple as that. Add to that a significant power availability and she is a delight to helm, although not for the uninitiated I think.
The view from the wheelhouse was filled with grey skies, rain and even the ducks were walking, but who cares we were afloat. Of slightly more concern was the erratic path being taken by the boat in front, a Tobago out of Richos, they seemed to be narrowly avoiding one back only to head inevitably for the opposite one, Charlie gave me a name for this phenomenon that I had not heard before, she called it “pin-balling” which given the erratic nature of the course being followed and the liberal use of the reeds and river bank as bumper bars was an apt description. In all fairness the cross winds that day were horrendous and Malanka has visited the reeds on that stretch of river once herself although I don’t like to talk about that too much.   Suffice it to say the cross winds were very strong that day and we can all get it wrong. As I was later to learn last years’ visit to the reeds was not going to be my only mistake to make an appearance in this tale.
I think the lack of steerage was the reason the Tobago was having such difficulties and so I knew we would suffer the same fate if we used the same speed and so we nipped past at the earliest opportunity. Looking behind the banks were again bumping the boat back to the centre of the river and I hoped the skipper had no plans to try the bridge in these conditions.
With the bridge looming in the windscreen view ably protected by liberal application of rain-ease I ventured outside to lower the masthead for the bridge attempt. Malanka has an air-draft of roughly 8”2’ with the wheelhouse up and the first height marker was showing just a tad over 8”….Hmm, I returned to the wheelhouse soaked and windswept to discuss with the ladies the quickly approaching bridge. Skippers conflab finished the decision was to go for it….. slowly………………
The wind approaching the bridge was directly across the  entrance, the flow of water was downstream  and the combination was pushing us to the starboard bank, a quick glance at the bridge gauge showed 8”2’ and I knew we would make it quite easily, the fact of which I did not of course reveal to Charlie, a quick squirt of power, left hand down and we were lined up with the bridge. I edged slowly forwards and as the wooden board on the up-steam side of the bridge got closer we all inevitably all shrank down and ducked our heads, much to the astonishment of  our guest, safely through the bridge with the addition of a quick squirt of power and we were through all tidy and nice like. I turned grinning like a Cheshire cat to our guest who at this point realised she had been had. “Beast” she exclaimed, much to the amusement of Fiona and Myself.
Where to go now with the awful conditions we now had and Ranworth it was to pick up some pirate flags for a themed scout camp trip for 300 scouts next weekend. This was a decision I would regret just 90 minutes later.. More to follow.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-14-2012 @ 6:41 PM
  Am a little nervous about this holiday tale ...

Dinner was certainly very yummy and I'm really glad I didn't take Justin's advice.

I think 'Beast' may be the clean version of what I said to you.  Its alright though because I know what happened next and why you now have a few extra grey hairs!

And FYI I was not loitering on the staithe, I was exploring! Maybe I stretched the legs of the car a bit too much and got there early.  

Looking forward to the next instalment.  I might let you read my version sometime.  Evil Grin

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- May-15-2012 @ 10:33 AM
  You must mean the hen party girls in their very revealing outfits... honestly I just had to help them....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-15-2012 @ 2:56 PM
  Ok then so where are we… Oh yes gently pootling in the general direction of Ranworth, the weather is wet, and windy, on a scale of hat, coat and or gloves it was a scarf day as well.
As we neared the turn into Malthouse no other boats were in sight and we were gently pootling along quite enjoying the gentle buffeting of the wheelhouse canvas sides, we did the usual “do you think there is space” conversation as we approached the staithe. I was watching the ripples on the water as we approached and noticed that the right hand side of the moorings only had two boats and the ripples were flat calm and seemingly peaceful. So in we went!!

Almost immediately I noticed that the wind strength had not dropped and the flat calm was caused by the direction rather than speed of the wind,  oops this might have been a mistake, Malanka weighs almost nine tons but has high sides and a lot of it, as a consequence I am turning to port in my usual way and nothing and I mean nothing is happening other than we head straight, oh bother dash I thought this is going to be difficult. As you may imagine I was not wrong.

I applied some reverse and stopped the forward momentum only to be confronted with no abatement of the lateral movement even with full left rudder and the application of some power. My simple choice was to collide as gently as possible with the already moored craft, so we had something of a slow motion collision with me trying really hard to get the bows into the wind so at least I could generate some steerage, Fiona and Charlie were deployed with feet and the rather large fenders did their work. We “kissed” the bow of the moored craft which thankfully had deployed the mudweight and this allowed me to engage reverse and aim the stern at the gap in front of the moored boat, we are now parallel to the staithe the wind is blowing a hooley and I am about to make the second mistake of the last five minutes.
I spun the boat reversed in and Charlie and Fiona went ashore and we moored stern on, oh dear big mistake I realised almost immediately, “how on earth am I going to get out of here with the wind so strong and virtually at 75 degrees to my bow”. Please feel free to insert as many perjorative adjectives, adverbs and verbs as you wish, I know I did.
Anyway we were moored rather precariously at 20 degrees or so, mudweight is down, twin stern lines and a centre cleat line deployed (more on that later). Fiona dashed off to the store to gather the pirate supplies and Charlie and I stood and scratched our respective heads and wondered how to get out with such a gale blowing.  Whilst we were ruminating a rather gorgeous group of twenty something young ladies returned to their day boat, this is not normally worthy of comment however on this occasion the blurted OMG from Charlie alerted me to something interesting and my man radar kicked in immediately.

My main reaction was wow that’s a lot of fake tan but equal with that was wow that’s a lot of fake tan coloured flesh almost covered by the girly sailor suites, thigh high stockings (hold ups), pelmets (they could not be called skirts) and very very short shorts. Man radar working furiously I pondered “I wonder how they are going to get out of here”.
Attempts three and four were no more successful than one and two and the screeching coming from inside the day boat  indicated that someone was not a happy camper and that skipper duty was not the popular thing it had been when they arrived and left for the pub. Enough I thought I can’t leave these fair young ladies to struggle any longer I will go and offer assistance.
I was of course not motivated one iota by the acres of faintly blue fake tan coloured flesh on display, so off I went to help the struggling damsels. The wind was so strong I had to yell loudly to get their attention and then two bodies in barely there costumes emerged to say hi. Using my enormous deductive reasoning powers from years of being in business and the wedding paraphernalia all over the boat I enquired who was the lucky lady about to take the plunge. Having established that the vision of loveliness in front of me was in fact the bride to be and also having stopped drooling and shut my open mouth I asked for the stern lines for the boat. My intention was to pull on both lines until the boat was perpendicular to the staithe and pointed into the offending gale then offer them the advice to hit the throttle and go for it, oh and please miss the big white thing on your right on your way past.
I waited for a lull in the wind, hauled, tensed and then let them go with a cheery wave and off they went with much arm waving and shrieks of delight to be once again on their way. Then of course it was our turn...

Up next Malanka gets away from Ranworth staithe…..


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-21-2012 @ 2:23 PM
  Ok so after the girlies had departed and I had waved them off my mind was somewhat elsewhere for a brief moment of reflection. It did however eventually return to the issue of how was I going to get the lovely wooden old lady away from the staithe. The hoolie was still blowing, the crew had returned from the shop, unfortunately without the aforementioned pirate regalia and I am standing on the staithe looking at the tension on the middle cleat spring line I had out in addition to the two main stern lines, all of which were straining and I was standing scratching my head! Charlie offered the ever helpful “how are you going to do this then” in the usual way of those wishing to help. “Err dunno” was my equally inane response. Oh bother dash it why did I pull in here was running through my mind, I hauled on the spring to get a “feel” for the weight on the line, to my astonishment the boat did not move at all. I heaved and leaned into the pull with all my weight and strength, nothing nada, nichts, rien, nowt ,we didn’t move one centimetre. Oh dash it, or words to that effect, I was pretty certain we couldn’t stay and equally certain moving would be “difficult”. “You want to stay here or move on my darling ?” I asked Fiona, “er why” was the response that I barely heard as the wind whipped the voice out of her mouth and cast it towards the boat rubbish skip.  “Because we could be b*ggered if we stay and b*uggered if we try and go.” “Oh alright then let’s get out of here and go back to Stalham it was quiet there”, this was true but no longer so and more on that later.
Ok having made the first decision, which was leave, the second one which was how was now in front of me. Charlie was holding the stern lines still attached to the posts, the engine was running as I had never in fact stopped it, and the wind looked like it would pull the middle cleat spring line post out of the ground. Suddenly the engine noise increased, and the temperature of my right cheek increased, for a few seconds the wind dropped. “Ok Charlie” I said, “get ready on those lines, the next time that happens get on cast off and we will take our chances”. My main concern was that I was standing three metres from the stern lines at the next post along, as Charlie let the lines go the stern would move and although the spring would hold, Malanka would be out of my reach! With that thought still racing round the grey matter the wind dropped again, I quickly heaved on the spring line, released the tension and undid the mooring, Charlie released the two stern lines and thankfully  Malanka was still moving towards me, we stepped aboard with as much aplomb as we could muster and made like that was the plan all along.  
Once more in free water, helm in hand I felt in control of the situation for the first time in 90 minutes. Not a pleasant experience but I learned a great deal that day.  “ Time for a wine I think” said Fiona, so drink in hand we decided to extend the cruise and go visit Wroxham on our way back to Stalham. Suffice it to say we met up with the girlies with next to nothing on outside the New Inn, waved and cruised on past heading through Horning. In what seemed like a few moments but was I’m sure much longer we reached the bridge and headed back at a steady plod to the Ant mouth Ludham and then the our eventual resting place for the night, Moonfleet.  
More to come as the howling gale continues to batter us through the night.    


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-21-2012 @ 5:54 PM
  The wine was for medicinal purposes, wasn't it?

Although whether it was to steady your nerves caused by leaving the mooring or slow your heart caused by the acres of fake tanned flesh I'm not overly sure!
Playful Wink

And if anyone gets stuck mooring to the wonky post - sorry we didn't mean to!

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


BroadAmbition    -- May-21-2012 @ 11:59 PM
 
OY!!

M (&F)  Never mind the write up, (excellent as it is) where's the photo's then? eh? eh? eh?

Purely for educational purposes you understand  Evil Grin


Griff

'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do
come true' - Afloat at last
06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


fidear45    -- May-22-2012 @ 6:51 AM
  I will see what Fiona took I was too busy cacking myself to take any...
I don't think she took any of the hen party though... shame really....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- May-22-2012 @ 7:07 AM
 
Sigh,

No sense of priorities some folk  Frown


Griff

'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do
come true' - Afloat at last
06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


goodfortune    -- May-23-2012 @ 6:11 PM
  This is brilliant Martin!  Very, very amusing!  Please carry on - I had to search and search to catch up on your holiday tale, serves me right for having a week cruising!

BTW, you are the first man I have ever known use the phrase "hold ups" in this sense, lol.

xxx to all,

Lisa, aka Scarlett, "Official"
Dolly Daydream, Miss Mudweight
(and I have a certificate to
prove it), Honorary Malankan


BITTERN CODE 15A


w-album    -- May-23-2012 @ 6:19 PM
  Keep the tales coming!
Liz

SG12 most the time but sometimes in NR12!


Charlie    -- May-23-2012 @ 7:17 PM
  See Martin, I told you we weren't the only ones reading the thread!  The numbers are going up pretty quickly.

I want to hear what happens next and I was there!!

Smile

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- May-23-2012 @ 7:33 PM
  Hold ups, what else would you call them...??? They were stockings without any straps or belts or anything..

Steady on Griff........

The sight a little north of the hold ups was something to see I can tell you .....

M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:04 PM
  We were plodding up the Bure /Ant and enjoying the relatively sheltered stretches of the river wondering what it would be like a bit higher up. The bridge was approaching and Justin (male child number two)had taken down the masthead thingymajig and we were set. I was waiting for the first height marker knowing that it had been recently replaced and was of uncertain provenance regarding accuracy. The board was showing 8"2' and that's about our limit so the old sphincters were starting to open and close a bit. OK there is nothing else to do (apart of course from taking down the top) than see what the real height is and go for it. To facilitate this I decided to deploy the secret bridge weapon.... THE WIFE!!! Fiona has a good eye and I was certain that deploying her on the rear cabin roof with a watching brief would get us through, ok it was raining and ok it was windy and ok it was cold but this was serious stuff. So she was deployed...

We approached the bridge and Fiona was displaying no signs of any doubt whatsoever.. Yes  Yes , Yes you've plenty of room , so hearing this I went for it... Very slowly you understand I have not been married for nearly twenty years for nowt... We approached the bridge Charlie shifted in her seat a little, I look ed, looked again and without any negative noises from the roof behind entered the zone of no return. Clearing the bridge was easy or so I thought... Fiona re-entered the wheelhouse and uttered the immortal phrase "gosh that was close you had about half an inch" Fiona had apparently been talking me though the bridge the whole time but the wind made it impossible to hear... OOOPs lesson number one make sure you can hear the good advice, the fact I ignored her made her bold and that was, not a good plan.

Anyway we were through Ludham and heading for Stalham. I did sort of notice the white caps on the river, and gave the helm to Charlie and Fiona to cross Barton as they both like the wave action (steady boys). We were getting closer to Moonfleet and the river was getting more violent by the minute. Needless to say when we arrived at Stalham we were greeted by whitecaps only 50 yards from the staithe which was a first for me.
We decided to batten down and make dinner which was a lasagne that had been made in Belgium and was slowly warming in the oven as we progressed up the Ant.

Suffice it to say dinner was good ( Charlie pls feel free to comment) and the garlic bread and all the stuff was lovely, Fiona did us proud and not a hint of Frey Bentos all evening.

We drank some Birthday Champagne left over from March and decided to call it a night. The wind was blowing a hoolie and it was persisting down but Malanka was not leaking. We were cosy with the heating on, connected to the electrickery and all was well, so a good nights sleep was guaranteed.

I think we know better than that eh !!!!              

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:09 PM
 

Great stuff M&F

  Cheers


Griff

'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do
come true' - Afloat at last
06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


Charlie    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:18 PM
  I have to say, hand on heart, that dinner was A-Maz-Ing!  The best lasagne I have had and possibly one of the nicest dinners ever!!! (Well to be honest, am still having it really as there is still some of it in the freezer) Fellow forumites if you can ever convince these guys to cook for you then you are in for a treat.  

All credit goes to Fiona for this section of the story, not only did she go out in the howling wind and be brave enough to talk Martin through the bridge, but she also put up with his backseat driving, without so much as a murmur!   Wink

Oh and the waves were great fun!

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:20 PM
  I must admit Griff we did think of you in the shed as the wind got stronger and stronger and the rain heavier and heavier, we did sleep for a while but then at 04:30 that noise started.....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:31 PM
  Hmmm not sure I would call it back seat driving if I have hold of the wheel but hey ho... Needless to say Charlie slept through the next bit involving me going outside and sorting out the mooring lines as the noise I heard was the ropes chafing on the posts... grrr that is so annoying, and you know you are going to get wet, and you know it's cold, and you know your jammies will not help (much)....
Anyway lines sorted, ropes sorted, I crept back to bed and snuggled down listening to the sound of the storm, thinking how lucky I was to be here listening and being warm and cosy ... it was bliss.  

Tomorrow would dawn cool and with drizzel but it would turn out to be a fantastic day... Phil, Diane and Charlie and the Corsicans we had a fine time...

More later bed time here......  

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:36 PM
  I was awake, I heard you go out, I just make an informed choice not to join you!
Playful



Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:40 PM
  I also notice you are still alive after drinking tank water for two weekends now... Maybe bottled water isn't everything it's cracked up to be eh!!!

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:43 PM
  Absolutely - fully admit that life without bottled water and Fray Bentos is totally do-able!

You have taught me well, Yoda!

x

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


garryn    -- May-23-2012 @ 8:51 PM
  You can manage without bottled water but but not Fray Bentos. That used to be staple diet along with bananas and custard for me onboard Malanka.
Great tale Martin. Keep it up Smile

Garry


goodfortune    -- May-24-2012 @ 11:49 AM
  If I ever had a conversation with SternMoor in which the immortal phrase "hold ups" was mentioned, K would assume I was discussing the unlawful activities of Bonny and Clyde...

And I agree garryn, got to have one Fray Bentos during the week.  Thai Green Curry is also good though...

I wonder how you managed getting back through the bridge?

Keep it coming...

Lisa, aka Scarlett, "Official"
Dolly Daydream, Miss Mudweight
(and I have a certificate to
prove it), Honorary Malankan


BITTERN CODE 15A


fidear45    -- May-24-2012 @ 1:31 PM
  Do keep up Dolly,

We are now outside moonfleet its 04:00 in the morning and I am soaking wet cold and annoyed I had to get up to fix the mooring lines.

Next day is Sunday which was our 19th Wedding anniversary and the whole point of the trip...

More to come later

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-24-2012 @ 5:55 PM
  Now I love a Fray Bentos, Lisa and Garry, but I have to admit that the food which Martin and Fiona cook isn't even in the same league.  It is blooming lovely!


Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


SteveO    -- May-24-2012 @ 8:08 PM
  Where would we be without Fray Bentos and the griping indigestion that follows. I find that you can get almost the same effect from Tesco ready made shepherd's pie. Smile

Seriously, your antics are causing great amusement here. Keep it going!

Cheers  

Steve

Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?


fidear45    -- May-25-2012 @ 9:18 AM
  Ok I am going to bring this tale to a close as tonight we venture forth again for a weekend afloat.

We awoke Sunday 29th to dull skies and a little casual drizzle. We were at Moonfleet to pick up Diane and Phil for as part of our anniversary celebrations we had offered to take them both out for a leisurely trip down the river. They work very hard and hardly ever get to actually just float about and enjoy what is on their doorstep. So we get up and start to do all those things that you do first thing in the morning on a boat… Yup absolutely nothing more than make the tea…Start the sausages and bacon sizzling and just sit, listen, sip and enjoy the lovely aromas emanating from the galley area.
After a lovely breakfast courtesy of the high street butcher in Stalham (they are very good) we sat back to await the arrival of our guests for the day. This being Norfolk this of course could take a long time. As we sat sipping yet more tea the skies rapidly darkened and the temperature dropped a huge amount in a  very short time. Ok what are we going to get now I thought.
We didn’t have to wait long as the sound of hissing that was coming down the river towards us sort of gave it away. Wave after wave of hail assaulted us from the direction of the staithe, the skies lightened but the inundation with hail did not abate one little bit. In what seemed just a few moments the deck and coach house roof of Malanka were covered in at least and inch and a half of icy slush. Then as the light improved and amazingly the sun appeared and the whole lot started to gently steam! So camera to the front fiona recorded the event for posterity (it will be posted later griff).

Immediately the moment was recorded of course normal service was resumed and the lazy drizzle was with us once more. Diane and Phil arrived and after brief greeting with our other guest and resident Aston expert, we set off on our trip to nowhere in particular. Actually we were going to Acle bridge and some pre- booked mooring thanks to Vanessa at the pub…   We decided to take all day to get there and so set off at a very leisurely pace.
The trip down river was fun for me as I got to sit back and let the guests do the driving, of course sitting back also included benefitting from some particularly fine Grand Cru  that was the product of my birthday visit to Reihms with Fiona. The snacks to accompany the Grand Cru were produced locally and came in the form of the most lovely warmed pork and Onion Jam, and pork and chilli jam pies from the butcher. We thought that was a very British touch. Vintage French Champagne and pork pies… Yummmm  
After the usual amusement of watching Phils face as we went through Ludham bridge with the top up we turned left and headed towards Acle. The rain was lashing by this point and the pub with the reserved places would be available from 3pm onwards so we headed there through dark skies, misted up windows, and heavy rain. We didn’t care, we had pies, we had champagne, we had good company, so what more could we wish for. Well actually we had some members of our merry band missing and so a brief excursion into fleet dyke was required to rendezvous (sounds so much better than meet or pick up!!) with the Corsicans and their recently repainted / re-worked and much modified pride and joy.   The rain slackened as we approached Corsica just in time to see Sonia return from a walk with Dillon the Dawg  and then Simons head appeared out of the cockpit window, greetings exchanged, Sonia cast off and  we set off ! Destination Acle  in line astern with Corsica in the lead.    
With skies brightening although there was still some rain blowing in the wind the prospect of a typical Norfolk resurrection of a horrible morning into a beautiful afternoon was tantalizingly close. OK it had stopped raining but I am an optimist.
With Corsica in the lead Phil took the helm of Malanka and I sat back to watch the fun. Fiona was snapping picture after picture of Corscia, the new paint job is really superb and she looked absolutely magnificent. We decided on some bow shots with the bow-wave in evidence so Phil moved to overtake.. He did seem to be enjoying this bit as we surged past a slow moving Corsica, you can’t ask an old lady like Corsica to lift up her skirts and run when she is looking beautiful and being photographed, so she was dawdling along. We pulled in front and Simon increased speed to keep up. The overall effect was magnificent, with wind against us the bow wave was streaming with foam flecked water surging past, it was a beautiful moment and we didn’t break the speed limit to do it either.
After much position changing and some fun on the 6mph sections we were approaching Acle in patchy sunshine with the very real prospect of a glorious Norfolk evening very firmly in our minds.
We had spoken with Vanessa and we knew she had made a special case for us and reserved the moorings near the pub. As we approached under the bridge we could see the signs indicating reservations for both Malanka and Corsica and there sitting across both of them were two small bathtubs of the gem variety. With Phil at the helm he executed some very fancy reversing and got us alongside long enough to moor temporarily whilst I went forward to ask the occupants to “relocate themselves to an alternative mooring spot”. After an initial misunderstanding the guys moved off in very skillfull fashion and relocated nearer the bridge, and we moved Malanka and Corsica with ropes to their home for the night.
Dinner was booked for 19:30 and so we settled down to some serious chat in the Malankan wheelhouse, more champagne and this time glorious  sunshine with not a cloud in sight. Ah the promised classic Norfolk evening had arrived.
We had decided to dress for dinner. i.e. smart(ish) slacks for the guys (giving my age away there) and skirts for the ladies. This would be a first for me as I had prior to this moment only ever seen Charlie wearing jeans and despite protestations to the contrary did not believe she actually possessed a skirt. Needless to say I was wrong and all the ladies, Fiona, Charlie, Diane and Sonia, looked magnificent. I was very proud to walk behind them into the restaurant..
Suffice it so say the meal was fantastic, the service was excellent as usual, and the company superb. Thank you to everyone the Acle Bridge pub  for the best wedding anniversary of our 19 years!
The evening was drawing to a close, we fired up the Ebber and decided to call it a night. Charlie was to be leaving us at silly oclock the next morning to return to the day job and we, Fiona, me and Justin would be heading up to Womack for a lazy day in the sun. Which is precisely what we did.
On Monday 30th the sun shone all day, Corsica departed back to the wet-shed and the Malankans had a leisurely breakfast. It was windy but the sun was out and after a brief pootle up the river from Acle we sat in Womack Water and did nothing all day! It was glorious, a lovely end to a lovely weekend. We stayed at Womack over- night then had a very reluctant return to Stalham and the wet- shed on Tuesday morning. A bit of an anti-climax but nothing can take away the memories we have of that weekend.

THANK YOU ALL……….


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on May-25-12 @ 2:06 PM


garryn    -- May-25-2012 @ 11:59 AM
  Excellent tale and the sun even shined in the end.
Its going to be different this weekend with plenty of sunshine. You might even get the roof down.

Garry


goodfortune    -- May-25-2012 @ 12:23 PM
  A lovely tale fidear, I really enjoyed it!

Presumably Grand Crut is the Belgian spelling of Grand Cru?????  (When you read it outloud, Grand Crut - to rhyme with rut - conjurs up something not quite so pleasant as the reality!) Evil Grin   I would only ever tease you for your spelling Martin!

And I note you were walking BEHIND the ladies Martin!  I imagine it was a smashing view, with them beautifully dolled up.

Have a wonderful weekend this weekend and ta for the birthday text!



Lisa, aka Scarlett, "Official"
Dolly Daydream, Miss Mudweight
(and I have a certificate to
prove it), Honorary Malankan


BITTERN CODE 15A


fidear45    -- May-25-2012 @ 12:40 PM
  Grrrr there are times when I hate autospell check. I am on my work PC and its the standard fit for word from where I copied and pasted it. Oh well never mind think of it as nice tasty stuff with or without the t.

Walking behind them into the pub means I was holding the door open...Honestly........

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-25-2012 @ 12:54 PM
  Perhaps take the roof down? Errm will have to talk with Fiona about that. Normally it takes three of us!
We will probably take the sides in and leave roof overhead so as not to get burned.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-25-2012 @ 8:38 PM
  Well done for the write up and thank you all for a fab weekend.  Leaving you guys at 5.20 on the Monday morning was really hard, not just because it was ridiculously early.  


At least you now believe me that I do have a girly side!

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


This message was edited by Charlie on May-25-12 @ 9:43 PM


SuPine    -- May-28-2012 @ 1:05 PM
  I can't remember if I waved but sometimes don't if I have the camera pressed to my eye!!

Sue
_____________________________
http://www.flickr.com/photos/supine39/sets/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladylouise2/sets/
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.


fidear45    -- May-29-2012 @ 7:49 AM
  Thanks Sue, what a lovely picture, sun shining, sides down, top up to prevent us being frazzled,3.5mph and no wake.. That was a lovely day....

We returned home last night at ten pm after a lovely weekend.
One thing that did concern us though was the number of people we saw who were really badly sunburned. I think people forget just how long they are out in it when they are on a boat, the deliciously cool breeze lures people into a false sense of security.  

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


turnoar    -- May-29-2012 @ 9:51 PM
  A nice advert! Anka Keys?


fidear45    -- May-31-2012 @ 8:16 AM
  Hi Turnoar,You've lost me with the picture caption I'm afraid.

That's us in October 2010 5 minutes before a green Calypso from Richos tried to use us as bumper bars on their quest to moor in Horning. We had just had her painted so I was not best pleased. The write up is Malankas Shakedown cruise and is a bit of a tale of woe. Thats when all the electric systems fell over and prompted some major rennovation of the systems that are only now completed (thanks to Carl).

We had a lovely lunch outside the Swan shortly after the photo was taken then the next days were disaster after disaster.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Jun-1-12 @ 2:48 PM


fidear45    -- May-31-2012 @ 1:14 PM
  A “hot’” weekend in May.
We had planned this year to really make an effort to get out and enjoy the boat more than we managed last year. Unfortunately so far the enjoyment of our voyages with regard to the weather  had not really extended to more than observations of steaming hail and late night wild hoolie winds.
This weekend which for us started on the 26th May was going to be different. The forecast was for reasonable temperatures in the early twenties during the days and mid-teens at night, nothing unusual in this you might say except that these minimum night time temperatures were the maximum we had experienced only a few days before. So it was with high expectations that Fiona myself and the very lucky Boris set off on another drive to Calais. As usual we expected to arrive at the Chunnel terminal  roughly two hours after leaving, however,  also as usual this was a tad over optimistic. Queueing through the traffic, Boris was enjoying his freedom of three complete seats to himself and was enjoying sticking his head out of the window to sniff the passing countryside smells.

We arrived in Calais and proceeded to the pet control point, with Boris bouncing along beside us Fiona and I entered the office and waited our turn. After a brief review of the documents and discovery that the expiry dates for the inoculations Boris had received had not been entered into the passport! Fiona and I looked at each other filled with a sense of trepidation as we have in the past encountered jobs-worths in this very office who held us up for at least an hour because she couldn’t understand that Scooby, our other Airedale, was born in Germany and now lived in Belgium so all the vaccination data was in the German doggy passport and not the Belgian one

Our trepidation was misplaced as the very kind gentleman just asked us to make sure they were added for next time. Relief all round we headed to the check in area. We checked into our planned departure and the adventure really became real for us as we were waived directly into the queue for the train.
A mild delay of 20 or so minutes did not dampen our spirits, and in no time at all we were crossing under  the Thames via the Dartford Tunnel.

The navigation lady whom we call Patricia for no particular reason was today advising that the M11 was heavy and the A12 would be the preferred option. No stresses or strains we entered Norfolk and headed as quickly as I could for Long Stratton, the reason being there is a very good chippy there called the Chip Inn, and it closes at 22:00 on a Friday. Complying with the relevant speed limits in their entirety we arrived in Long Stratton at 21:54 and Fiona jumped out and placed our order just in time to get locked in with some rather unsavoury looking types swearing like troopers about this or that perceived defect in the respective management at their individual places of employment.

Boris was busily hoovering up the various chips and other edible items scattered about outside the chippy and normally this would have warranted a reprimand from me as bad behaviour, however, the chips looked fresh, I was starving and wouldn’t have said no to eating them myself I was that desperate, so I let him carry on and clean up the chip spillage.
Two bags full of pie and chips later, much fatter and very contented we headed off to Blue Boar lane 24hr tesco for some late night shopping.
The temperature was chilly but promised much for tomorrow, so I played the game of how many ladies will talk to me if I stand outside the tesco with a good looking furry dog as companion? As usually happens this was any number you like more than if I had been hanging around outside by myself when I would more than likely been arrested.

Fiona eventually returned, this was a long(ish) time as Fiona never, ever rushes shopping, even tesco at 23:25 at night. We all got in the car and headed to Moonfleet to see if our new cooker we had briefly discussed with Phil had indeed been fitted. To our immense surprise and relief this was yes, it looked nice….Sorry folks it’s a cooker and I can’t get all worked up about it.
For an even greater surprise there was a note pinned to the chopping board from Toby our guardian angel from our first cruise with Malanka. “I have fitted the cooker tonight for you and put some Milk for some tea in the fridge and turned it (the fridge) on for you.” "Wow this was going that extra mile or what” we remarked, then we noticed the little extra bit underneath. Toby wrote ”if I had just driven for 8 hours I would want something more than tea after that long journey so I put two cold beers in the fridge for you as well.” Well we were stunned, just wow is all we could say….WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

We quickly unpacked, made up the bed and headed for the land of nod at rapid speed.
The morning dawned very early with ducks and geese making their usual racket and that blasted sun which was turning Malanka’s wheelhouse into a greenhouse.  Not wishing to resemble a tomato so early in the weekend I immediately opened the canvas sides and pinned them back. This was to remain the case for the entire long weekend.
After a quick chat with Toby and Phil to say thanks, and a visit to the high street butcher for some delicious pork and chilli jam pies (try them they are scrummy), we headed downriver and an anticipated meet up with the Corsicans at St Bennets for a doggy play with Dylan the dawg.
The river we noticed was very low, the barometer was reading fair which translates to hot most days and there were few other boats out (Sat26th) so early on. Approaching one third of the way across Barton  I noticed a rather fetching barge with two folks sitting out the back with mugs of tea and newspapers deployed. This was Mal (16E) and Grebe, much waving ensued and we tried to outdo each other with the vigorousness of the waving. Too quickly Grebe was behind us and we entered the lower Ant, approaching Ludham the level guage was saying over 9 feet of clearance which I had not seen for a long time so we pootled on through with no drama, no intakes of breath and only a few surprised looks from spectators expecting a disaster as we approached the bridge with the canopy up.

Soon Bennets was in sight and there was Sonia on the rear of Corsica polishing the windows. A brief mooring manoeuvre completed in a quite tricky breeze(well done Fiona and Simon) the doggies met, sniffed then galloped up and down until it was time to leave for South Walsham broad, our intended destination for a picnic lunch under the trees.
  
We entered the broad and headed to the right to get a little shade and also be out of the wind, on the left just before the entrance to the shallow section there is a little stand of trees that provided perfect conditions of wind and shade. I dropped the plug and Simon glided alongside in Corsica did the same and then we made fast the two boats with lines both fore and aft.
We had a lovely lunch of pies, salad, ham, coleslaw and some delicious Olive bread all washed down with generous glasses of Pinot Gringot……Dolly I know that’s not how you spell it. That’s how we say it ……

We stayed there for what seemed like only  a short time but was in fact several hours then decided to un-plug and head for Salhouse for a barbeque and a play on the beach with the woofers.
The Bure was sparkling as we made our way to Salhouse, Horning looked lovely in the sunshine and we briefly toyed with the idea of a pub meal at the New Inn. Idea quickly rejected we wanted a barbeque with all the lovely stuff we had bought that morning in Stalham. As it turned out that wasn’t necessary as Sonia had made the most delicious barbeque flavour  belly pork and so that was washed down later with more Pinot.
We had a lovely early evening walk with the dogs and a chat with many new people including some famous broads personalities out sampling the lovely weather for a rare day off.
The evening lead inevitably to night, Sonia went for a lie down and we knew we had lost her for the rest of the evening. Simon stayed with us to chat a while in the wheelhouse but the drive and the end of the week had caught up with us all and Sonia had the right idea and she was soon joined in the land of nod by the rest of us.

Sunday dawned very brightly and very early and the new cooker boils the kettle in 3 minutes now so it was shower first and tea later. Sonia provided a delicious breakfast of sausages in rolls with butter and brown sauce…. Mmmm what more can you ask than that?
Simon and Sonia had to get back home to finish off some work and so Fiona and I decided to pootle over to Womack later via a leisurely trip to Wroxham. The idea being to arrive in Womack and then sit out the day in the sun and enjoy the sunset. We decided to wave maniacally at the webcams as we passed just in case anyone was watching. It seems they were and few texts informed us we had been spotted being a bit loony like …

On leaving Wroxham we were approached rapidly from astern by two Richos boats with all male crews who all seemed pretty chilled, all that is except the helm of one of the boats who was addicted to ramming speed followed by slow, slow followed by ramming speed again. This wasn’t giving me any cause for concern until we passed the first entrance to Salhouse on our return journey and a privateer was emerging from the broad with Mr ramming speed very close to our transom and another hire boat passing us in the opposite direction. I couldn’t stop suddenly or Mr ramming speed would be enjoying a close view of our newly fitted cooker in the galley, I couldn’t go left as the other hire boat was there, I couldn’t go right as there was the ice cream boat serving a customer and the privateer was slowly emerging and had not yet seen us. I was left with little choice other than to accelerate out of the way of Mr ramming speed and get clear just in case the emerging boat did not see us. Fortunately for us he did see and did stop but by then we were flashing past his bows with bow wave splashing in all our glory. His face was a picture as he saw us pass but I did wave if only to say “yes I know it’s too fast but it was an emergency”.
  
A little way down the river Mr ramming speed surged past us in the 5mph zone just before Horning and I politely pointed out that “if you are passing me you are speeding.”    He didn’t slow and eventually pulled onto the Island just opposite the Swan Inn.
Fiona and I were enjoying the cruise through Horning and onto cockshoot when we spotted the ranger boat lurking with speed gun in hand. I decided to ask how quickly we were in fact travelling at the 800 revs we were using as we cruised past. “A little over 4mph” was the answer which considering that was with tide but against the wind was a reasonable speed. I hoped Mr ramming speed would get a different answer.

A short distance further down the river we saw Corsica on her way back to the shed at a lazy crawl. She looked magnificent in her new paint job and Simon and Sonia were taking their time getting back to the shed. Who can blame them the day was perfect.

Arriving in Womack, we had our choice of mooring spots and chose well to be not too near the water point, or too near the end near the car park. All settled in we sat on the coach house roof drinking Pinot, chatting with the neighbours and thinking what to do for a late lunch. After a brief discussion the Kings Arms it was, so we set off for the pub with Boris in tow too.  
Lunch was about three pm so more of an early dinner perhaps but hey we didn’t care. Boris had a packet of plain crisps, I had a delicious Normandy Chicken and Fiona had the biggest chicken burger with salad I have ever seen. Having fed the hungry beast, had a pint of Wherry and a nice walk into and back from the village, we settled back onto the coach house roof to wile-away the remainder of the day in a stunning setting with stunning weather and some very nice neighbours.

Before the sun disappeared for the night we decided to cook the remaining barbeque food and eat some now and some on the journey home tomorrow. Mr Weber was employed and soon the aromas of cooking food were wafting over from the grass under the trees where I had set up the barbeque. Does anyone else remember when cars did not drive down past the rear of the boats near the mooring rings? This seems to me a silly thing to allow them to do as 1. There is a road they can use. And 2. It makes it quite difficult to sit out at the back of the boat with cars creeping past air conditioning blazing away. Kind of breaks the tranquillity a little bit.
It doesn’t matter I suppose as we moved to the top of the boat after dinner but it is off putting to have cars so close when you are sitting on a chair.
Eventually the sun set on the end of another beautiful day and Fiona and I remarked that we had forgotten how lovely days like this can be after so many recent days with rain and cloudy skies.

Tomorrow we would pack up and return to the wet shed to leave Malanka for a few weeks before returning for some longer breaks and some sailing with Minimal….
The journey back was slow and uneventful only remarkable as we were so sad to be leaving on such a glorious day. We stopped by the reception at Richos and said hello and paid the invoice for the shed. Then off to Belgium it was.

I was going to add here how Eurotunnel cocked up the train loading and bumped us from the front of the queue to miss the train altogether due to their complete and utter incompetence. But I wont….

                     THE END…..


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on May-31-12 @ 2:47 PM


16E    -- May-31-2012 @ 2:01 PM
  Nice one Martin.  Thanks for the previous reference to the damage on yourshake-down trip. I had remembered the electrical failures but forgotten the collision incident.

Barge, Barge what's a Barge.  Narrowboat please.  I might even accept floating corridor.



Mal
16E

I am always amazed at the theraputic properties of chocolate digestives.


fidear45    -- May-31-2012 @ 2:30 PM
  I did say rather fetching barge.. I had completely forgotten they are called narrowboats too.. And me a Rochdale lad....Shame of it..

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


gramarg    -- May-31-2012 @ 2:54 PM
  Nice one mate glad you had good weather,the hound sounds as though he had a good time especially at the chippy, hope to meet up sometime take care for now.

Graham

YO30
Member of cider lovers united
Forum quiz winner x 3


16E    -- May-31-2012 @ 3:20 PM
  Hi Martin,

I suspected you were a Lancs lad when the word barge appeared, it's because you lived around the Rochdale Canal or Leeds Liverpool Canal where the boats are usually referred to as barges.  Leeds and Bradford folk also use barge a lot.  You only get a narrow canal from Ashton via Staleybridge Uppermill and Diggle to Huddersfield but to us old uns those places are Cheshire and Yorkshire in old county terms.

Mal
16E

I am always amazed at the theraputic properties of chocolate digestives.


fidear45    -- May-31-2012 @ 4:35 PM
  Hi Mal,

Dad was a Lancashire lad who married a Yorkie (Billingham and Harrogate don't you know). I remember the Rochdale canal when it was the resting place for bikes and shopping trolleys and before they had raised all the bridges back up so the boats could then use it again.I even helped clear one section in 1975 when I was 13...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


turnoar    -- May-31-2012 @ 9:50 PM
  http://www.arnoldskeys.co.uk/about-us/

Aboat ur Fidear45; unmastakable. Buoying or sailing? At AK they have a propellor to suit you sir!


fidear45    -- Jun-1-2012 @ 7:27 AM
  Sorry turnoar,

I didn't pass or even take the civil service exams that's way too cryptic for me.

Now who owns the zebra???



Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Maffman100    -- Jun-1-2012 @ 9:13 PM
  Martin,

Allow me-I am a Civil Servant.

When you click on the link provided you get taken to said website. Sometimes said website has the picture of Malanka at Horning Staithe as posted above as it's "banner" picture on its homepage.

Matt


fidear45    -- Jun-2-2012 @ 1:21 PM
  Thanks Matt its on the HOME section...I hope they realise that the young lady stood next to the boat was in fact a minor at the time.

Curious as to why they would want to use the picture when I don't know them from adam.

As for civil service exams I would have failed miserably.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Oct-12-2012 @ 11:39 AM
  Jollymoon Thursday 27th September.

A day we will never forget.

Travelling to Norfolk from Belgium with the children still at school is somewhat problematical for us as there are three of them and they have to travel the 7km to school and back every day. Deciding to travel Thursday after school was easy but Friday meant Fiona had to negotiate to use the School bus pick up service. Brief explanations were all that was required and they were accepted onto the pick-up for Friday morning so we could travel to the wedding celebrations knowing the children would get to and from school with little or no fuss.

My boss is a very nice lady and had no objection to me leaving a few minutes early to get ready for the off whilst Fiona picked up the merry band from school Thursday afternoon. I arrived home changed into travelling clothes and packed the car with everything we would need for the short trip on Malanka. This included a Fiona special of almost cooked Caribbean Chicken which we intended to finish in the oven and have as our celebration dinner aboard Malanka on Friday with Charlie and Phil and Diane from Moonfleet.

Car packed and water topped up, the big black bus was eager for the off, last minute toilet performed and Martin was eager for the off. Cold cokes added to the car and I was still ready for the off. Slight problem was the absence of the Fiona plus children..10 minutes, twenty minutes, then thirty minutes and still no sign of the school crew. Even the dogs were sitting by the front door waiting! This isn’t that unusual as when they see bags with clothes in they all go and congregate by the door in some form of doggy beauty contest all with tails wagging in doggy versions of pick me! pick me! No doggies were going on this trip and for that we would be very grateful just a few hours later, but more on that to come as Fiona had arrived.

Biting back the witty rejoinder along the lines of “where the hell have you been” and replacing it with a bald, “we had better get a move on or we will be late for the train” we got into the bus and set off. It is not that thirty minutes overall would make a huge difference one way or another it was just that thirty minutes at this time of day and at the start of our journey could have many unintended consequences for the remainder of the trip.

Sadly my fears we in fact spot on and after only 10km we were at the back of a very long line of cars on the famous Brussels ring road designated the R0. Fortunately I have sat-nav and some local knowledge so came off the R0 and headed down the off ramp in vaguely the direction we wanted, hoping that Patricia (the sat nav lady) would guide me to where we wanted to go, unfortunately Pat kept pointing me back at the now fully gridlocked R0. Having already lost 40 or so minutes and now watching the expected arrival time slip past the last check in time for our train I was now hopelessly lost and a little embarrassed as I had just added just as much time as the tardy school run.  

To cap it all it had now started to pour with rain in that soak you to the skin in ten seconds kind of way and that just made the whole day perfect what more could happen.
Well a little piece of luck as Patricia regained her senses or got updated about the R0 and was now urging us to go in a different direction and the arrival time was coming back to do-able from you must be mad.

Missing the queue on the R0 we knew we would have another one of the A19 but there was nothing to do but wait. Nearly three hours later having covered the 210km and we made it to Calais with minutes to spare. We weren’t concerned about food as we planned to go to the chip Inn at Long Stratton and so we boarded the train.

Arriving in Folkestone we headed towards the M25 and the QEII bridge noting in passing that the charges for the bridge will be 2.00 from 1st October. As the bridge was fully paid for over ten years ago I couldn’t quite understand the need to increase the charge for using it.  

Quick squirt round the M25 and we headed up the A12 and a rendezvous with some lovely fish and chips. Or rather we would have if horrible weather, and every agricultural machine in Norfolk hadn’t been waiting for us at the end of the A12. Oh well we would miss the chips but could stop at Blue Boar lane 24hr Tesco and get something there to warm up and eat on the boat. New plan in place and shopping completed we arrived at Moonfleet where Phil had brought Malanka round for us after finishing off some necessary engine modifications the day before. Initial difficulties with the locked gate were overcome by me turning the  numerical padlock the other way up and we were unloading and anticipating a nice Indian with some Champagne to wind down after the multiple stresses of the stop start journey and last minute change of plans.  Unpacking completed, Chicken Korma and Chicken Jalfrezi meal for two gently heating in the oven, wine chilling in the fridge just the two of us on board and thoughts turning to a peaceful night together. How wrong was that to turn out to be!


My glass needed refilling (as often happens) so I decided to check out the dinner and see if it was ready, a quick check in the new oven (with real numbers that actually mean something) told me that it would be about ten more minutes so I refilled my glass and headed back to the saloon and the relaxing Fiona.
“What’s that smell” exclaimed Fiona. I paused and sniffed the air, “perhaps I moved the chicken too close to the flames in the oven I’ll go check”, I said.
A quick peak into the oven revealed no displaced plastic trays of Chicken Korma or Chicken Jalfrezi. However Fiona had by then recognized the source of the smell. Coming out of the heater vent from the engine compartment was a thin wisp of light grey smoke, the ebber was on and chugging away and suspecting this may be the cause immediately turned the unit off and headed to the wheel house to investigate.
I lifted one small inspection hatch in the floor of the wheelhouse and what had been a thin wisp of pale grey smoke became a solid column of dark grey acrid smoke that burned the back of my throat and immediately started me in a hard barking rasp of a cough as I tried and failed to catch my breath.

I must confess at this point in the tale that I have received fire training from Berkshire fire service and was now very grateful for the training.

I turned and in no uncertain terms politely requested Fiona to get the F*** out now and do it quickly. I knew I had to get some air as my ears were beginning to ring and I know what comes next, all this was going on in my mind as I heard Fiona unzipping the wheelhouse canopy on the other side of the boat and I felt the boat rock as she stepped down, the boat was continuing to fill with smoke as I unzipped my side panel and stuck my head out to gulp down some fresh air. Two quick breaths and I ducked back inside to lift the larger inspection hatch that would give me access to the now very obvious source of the smoke. Fiona called on me to get out and so knowing that was the sensible thing to do I climbed out of the boat and continued to open the canopy up from the outside to disperse the smoke. Both sides open and the smoke was less thick and appeared to be lessening in intensity. The reason for that became all too obvious as Fiona pointed to the engine bay where the smoke had been replaced with 20cm dancing yellow flames in the bay on the surface of the battery isolation unit.

I knew I had to do something, I couldn’t stand by and watch Malanka go up in smoke so I held my breath, dashed back inside and retrieved one of Malankas three powder fire extinguishers from the saloon. She also has two fire blankets as well. I pulled the tab, then pulled out the pin, aimed at the source of the fire and pulled the trigger. Powder, smoke and all sorts of stuff burst up out of the engine bay but the flames did not go out so I leaned in nearer and gave the source of the fire a good two second burst. Believe me that was a very long two seconds and then it was out.

Fiona and I stared at the wheel house floor and the now powder covered engine bay and looked at each other and just spontaneously hugged each other for a good three minutes.

The time was now quarter to eleven and we wondered what to do? We called Phil and asked if he could come and help us. Well, Phil came within ten minutes and he really did help us. He made safe the battery isolator, removed the offending items and then set about checking the safety of the boat for us. He had already made certain we had somewhere to stay by checking the availability of Lound Cottage for us.

Long story short over the next two hours he made the boat safe for us to stay on board and we even had lighting. Fiona and I opened up every window and door to remove the stench of burning insulation and liberally applied fabreeze to all the soft furnishings. It would not be until the mooring that we would be able to fully assess the damage caused by the smoke. Abruptly we were both very tired and so with every window open we fell into the sleep of the very fortunate. Thank You Phil…………    

More to come……


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


TerryTibbs    -- Oct-12-2012 @ 11:53 AM
  Sounds like you had a lucky escape, good job you didn't go straight to bed. Hope the damage wasn't too bad.

Dave

if it is to be it is up to me!


fidear45    -- Oct-12-2012 @ 12:02 PM
  Thank you Dave
Fiona and I were very lucky indeed. Phil was superb and the damage was limited to cushions and soft stuff. Structurally she is fine, some charred bits in the engine bay but we didn't care about that to be honest we just felt we had such a lucky escape. we could have been asleeep and I don't even like to think about it.
She now has both smoke and CO detectors. When I fitted the CO one the next day it went off straight away.    

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Lysandra    -- Oct-12-2012 @ 12:12 PM
  Dear Both so very glad you are both safe and sound and the fire training worked so well.  Phil is indeed a top guy.  Take care and hope Malanka recovers soon.

Best wishes

Dean & Carol

If God had meant us to build fibre-glass boats He would have grown fibre-glass trees
IP8 NR12


16E    -- Oct-12-2012 @ 3:23 PM
  Well done both. Scary things those electrical fires.

As a railway employee I used to get a serious dose of practical fire training every year and electrical ones were always tricky until you could cut off the electrical supply.

I once had an electrical fire on a container on the back of a lorry in the middle of Buxton - no isolator switch, no spanners and no time to wait for the cavalry.  I found a loop in the battery cable and kicked and kicked till it ripped off and the fire could be put out.  The boss almost tried to tell me off for damaging the wiring and socket.

We also found a Broom at Ant mouth with smoke coming out of the wheelhouse and a very scared couple on board.  We made sure the engine was off, batteries isolated and charring out before we towed them to S Walsham and he had to tell his dad the news.

Mal
16E

I am always amazed at the theraputic properties of chocolate digestives.


garryn    -- Oct-14-2012 @ 8:39 AM
  This all sounds very scarey. Your quick thinking saved the day.
We never had this problem on our time on Malanka as the only elecrics on board were the lights and the electrics to the engine. In later years we did have a tv installed.


Garry


fidear45    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 12:28 PM
  Saturday. The Jollymoon…

It was a lovely, slow start to the day.  The sun was shining brightly and behind the canvas the wheelhouse was toasty and warm.  After filling up with water and diesel and transferring the magnificent wedding cake from Charlie’s car to the boat we set off from Moonfleet sometime between 9.30 – 10am.  It was a pleasant but quiet trip down the Ant, the trees and bushes just changing into their vibrant autumn colours and the river quite still and sparkling in the early morning sunshine.  There were a couple of slow Richo’s boats, who were obviously only just getting the hang of things and a few other boats still on wild moorings.  We spied Gary (ZTD) just leaving one such wild mooring (our favorite one) on Delilah and they followed us downriver.  

Charlie was at the wheel on the approach to Ludham Bridge, the usual banter about whether she was brave enough to take her through was of course forthcoming but soon died when we realised just how close it was going to be and I took over near the bridge.  Fiona was dispatched to eye the gap and Gary was asked via wavy hand signals to hang back a bit and let the loony in charge have a go.

I inched forward and then Fiona indicated that it was doable and we went for it, when half under the bridge we discovered there was only about an inch to spare. Gary has photos of the loony with the canopy up (that would be us!) We shared a wave with LBBY and tooted ‘Happy Birthday’ to George before heading off for St Benet’s Abbey and the rendezvous.
  
On final approach to the moorings I made the decision that I would turn in order to go against the wind as it was significantly stronger than the tide, gap selected and crew (Fiona and Charlie) dispatched out on deck and quickly grasping something to hang on to when they realised just how blowy it was.  Someone helpfully took ropes for us but unfortunately a combination of the wind catching Malanka, a gentle pull on the ropes and the high tide meaning that the fenders were useless meant that we made an unanticipated hard contact with the quay much heavier than any of us would have liked.  I winced and I knew some paintwork was lost and maybe a displaced plank or some other disaster may have just happened. What more could go wrong on this such a lovely weekend?

Spare sausage fenders were deployed and ropes were just being settled when I noticed Fiona struggling to hold the boat against the wind and leaped off the boat to help. Arriving next to her the rope was slack and as she pulled it my foot slipped on the wooden quay heading and I knew it, I was going in!  In seconds the shout went up that I was in the water.  I had leaped for the pulpit rail and just caught it in my right hand my left was on the support rail, unfortunately the bow rope was across me and as Fiona pulled the rope it tightened and I knew my grip was going to fail, with a last gasp I turned and in I went with a great splash and an expletive frozen on my lips. Charlie and Fiona immediately ran to the edge and I swam as hard as I could for the side, with what I was wearing, including shoes, it was not easy. With the high water I easily hauled myself out and the ladies were there just in time to see me climbing out, dripping and not in the best of humours.  Now it was time to be grateful for such a high tide as getting out otherwise may have been more of a challenge.  As it was I was only in for a few seconds and only a few feet out from the quay. Despite arguing that it wasn’t that cold the two ladies and everyone else (thank you all especially Phil from Rondonay) sent me inside to strip off the wet things and change.  On reflection how I managed to swim to the side in the fleece I was wearing I will never know, probably a mix of annoyance at falling in and adrenaline from the leap and subsequent fall, who knows. My fleece was still on the bank where I had dropped it after climbing out and Fiona had wrung some of the water out of it and Charlie could still barely lift it, it really was that heavy once full of water.  
OK stress over and  changed, hugs and reassurances were exchanged and I managed to force a cup of hot sweet tea down.
  
We had a walk about, meeting up with all the forum members who were gradually turning up and telling tales of fires and fallings in and general hellos and haven’t seen you for a while kind of thing.  BA and Corsica soon arrived and Loreen was hard at work with balloons and ribbons. Charlie went to take the cards for Lynsey and Mark and also deliver ‘Thank You’ cards for the CinC to Paul, Griff, Simon and, myself on behalf of everyone who had enjoyed our last gathering.

On returning to boat I spotted a large yacht under full sail storming up river and heading straight for us, luckily they managed to veer off a little missing Malanka’s paintwork by a matter of inches.  Unfortunately the yacht didn’t manage to veer quite enough for poor Rondonay which was moored in front of us.  There was heavy contact which lifted Rondonay virtually out of the water and onto the quay heading, undid her bow rope and knocked off a couple of fenders.  The yacht continued with sails flapping, hitting the quay hard before bouncing back out into the river, however, I was pleased to see that the sail was dropped and they were attempting to turn to head back.  
Pauline and Phil were called back to the boat, thank goodness they weren’t aboard at the time, to check the damage.  It seemed that although the hull seemed fine, the masts have been briefly tangling and their backstay snapped.  All that was holding the mast up and stopping it from falling was the bunting, the weekend had to get better soon!

Ad hoc repairs were made and details exchanged all very cordially and the shaken up crew of the large yacht left under power, they had underestimated the strength of the wind.  
Wandering up and down the windswept quay and fretting about how I was going to get off in this wind Lisa, Leigh and Keith were spotted and a hearty greeting exchanged.  Lynsey and Mark were reported to be en-route and we all gathered around Broad Ambition in anticipation of seeing the happy couple.  Griff cranked up the wedding march and a slightly tearful looking Lynsey brought Swan Ranger alongside BA with consummate skill.  Cheers, claps and congrats were called out.  The instructions for the day explained to the Bride and Groom, who had been virtually in the dark, and cameras went off all around.  Disappointedly we waved Lisa off and headed back to the boat.

My earlier apprehension was well founded and there was a little bit of hassle getting off the mooring due to everyone leaving at the same time and the wind causing havoc but with a little judicious use of the ever sensitive throttle we were soon in our place in the convoy.  
Charlie was given the honour of helming Malanka in convoy whilst I took my glass of wine for a walk to the foredeck to survey the truly impressive scene unfolding around us, and of course exchange the usual insults and banter with Simon, who was in front of us.    The cruising in company part of the day was over all too soon, next up rafting!  On arrival at Salhouse Broad we hung back to allow BA to take up station and then slide neatly in beside Corsica, it didn’t take long for all the boats to be rafted and everyone was summoned to their foredecks for photo opportunities.  It was a neat departure and as the ranger had been sent in to clear the reserved section of the quay!! Mooring was far less stressful than earlier in the day.  
Barbecues were set up and Charlie did a great line in fetching and carrying keeping Fiona and I supplied with bits and pieces and the ever present glass of wine.  Fiona ‘rustled up’ some fantastic burgers, Mike had brought some “yummy” pork and Sonia produced a whole duck! I did some barbecuing stuff and the food seemed to go down well with everyone.

Lynsey and Mark were presented with the cake which Charlie had brought (made by Michelle R at her work) and more tears were forthcoming from bride groom and quite a few others.

Much chatting, mingling and drinking followed, including the announcement of  Mike and Pat’s engagement.  As a stunning full moon began to rise and the light disappear everything began to get a little chilly so things were packed away and barbecues became bonfires to keep everyone warm.  A game of Mr and Mrs had been planned for those who wished to take part which was in fact a fun end to our evening. Charlie had disappeared or as she puts it “retreated to the boat” but had used the time to play galley slave by doing the washing up!
  
Fiona and I returned to the boat after the Mr and Mrs absolutely freezing and shivering. Nothing else for it, so Champagne was cracked open and attempts to warm up were made by consuming it.  We all had a lovely chat, only stopping when we moved briefly to watch a beautifully lit up trip boat go through the broad blasting out the slightly less classy, S club 7. Too quickly the champagne bottle was empty and the kettle put on for “the best drink of the day!”. Everyone went to their own cabins to put on thick jammies and we continued to chat while we had tea then suddenly with no warning it was midnight and time for some sleep after a most exciting and unexpected weekend.  Somewhere along the moorings, someone more hardcore than us was still outside and having great fun and we drifted off to sleep to the happy sounds of laughter and fun. What a good day!!!    


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


oldbroadsbird    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 1:07 PM
  Fidear - excellent account - and I'm so sorry for your troubles. The positives might be that the fire and the dousing were tests that you and your crew were equal to. (I've added to my list/Jason's that is!,) the relevant detectors, and a lesson on how to isolate the electric's.
You take care and I look forward to your next 'trouble free' account.

broadsbird


fidear45    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 3:37 PM
  Thanks Hopefully (he says)

That will be after the half term holiday when we are floating for a week provided the weather co-opertates.

This is of course the second anniversary of the first Malanka shakedown cruise which had us with a whole sequence of mishaps from no hot water to blocked fuel filters and culminating in no elctricity at all and staying at the Old Rectory in Crostwich by wednesday night...This lead to the complete re-wiring of the boat in 2011.

Even with all that we wouldn't change anything, apart from the fire which was just to close for comfort)

Malanka is a family member now..The nicest thing is the smiling faces wherever we go, everyone smiles at us. Its lovely.

Will wave in your general direction next time we go past Barnes...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


readyabout    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 3:41 PM
 
quote:"......Lynsey and Mark were reported to be en-route and we all gathered around Broad Ambition in anticipation of seeing the happy couple. Griff cranked up the wedding march and a slightly tearful looking Lynsey brought Swan Ranger alongside BA with consummate skill........"

So I noticed from the video; looks like he's certainly made a good choice of partner there!

An exciting report - though I'm sure that in this particular instance you could have done with a little less action and a little more conversation....

Regards,

Paul
______________________________________________________
'readyabout' - the first meaningful adult phrase of my childhood....


fidear45    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 3:47 PM
  Hi Paul,

Elvis has in fact left the building...

This was one set of experiences where dramatic pauses and florid descriptions were to be avoided. Still gives me pause for thought.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Oct-22-12 @ 4:48 PM


Charlie    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 5:27 PM
  Great recount of the day Martin!

Evil Grin

Gonna confess????

In all seriousness I had a fab time (as always), well, apart from the text on Friday morning to tell me about the fire and then you falling in on Saturday that is!

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


This message was edited by Charlie on Oct-22-12 @ 6:45 PM


fidear45    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 6:15 PM
  I am happy to say that some of todays post was provided by Charlie. She sent us a diary of her visits on Malanka and I used some of her third person commentary in todays post.
So thank you Charlie, your literary support is greatly appreciated...

M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Lynsey1983    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 6:29 PM
  I am so so sorry to hear about all your problems that weekend M&F, glad the weekend turned out ok in the end, with nobody hurt and Malanka wasn't badly damaged. Thanks for your compliments re my helming skills but trust me, even in farely high winds, them swan boats with their thrusters make it easier, plus I didn't come along side that well, I did need a bit of a push off with a couple of feet so I didn't do too much damage to Broad Ambition, ooooops  Blush

Lynsey

Membership Secretary of the Cider Lovers United! Smile
Forum Girly Swot 18/12/2009
Jollymoon 21/09/12 - 05/10/12
Jollymoon Party 29/09/12


fidear45    -- Oct-22-2012 @ 6:46 PM
  Ssshhhhh it looked great!!!

And you are too modest. That was one tricky day for mooring.

The look on your face was worth everything to be there to see it.

M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Oct-23-2012 @ 11:27 AM
  OK for those of you still awake here is the last bit.

Sunday. Time to go home…

We awoke to the sounds of hushed voices, boiling kettles and footsteps on the gravel on the quay. We lay there in bed luxuriating in the cosy warmth of the duvet debating internally which one of us would flick the heater on and put the kettle on to make the morning T / coffee. Needless to say the debate was short and I emerged to flick the heating to full sauna and put on the whistling wonder that is the kettle.

Quickly diving back under the duvet to warm the parts that had turned blue in the few seconds of exposure to the remarkably chilly Sunday morning was a joy. Unfortunately, there was not time to be wasted this morning we had a train to catch and a boat to put to bed for 5 weeks until her next outing.

We had arranged to have breakfast with the Cosicans as Simon and Sonia had a new piece of tech (cheese toasty bags) and we were going to try them out for breakfast. They were great and two cheese and ham toasties later I was dispatched to gather bits and pieces of stuff that were distributed on other boats, knives, glasses bowls and oven dishes. I didn’t know we used so much stuff but it all came back washed up and dry too. I must try this technique again it seemed to work- Leave stuff on other folks boats and they wash it up….Note to self…

We signed the circulating engagement card, said our goodbyes and set off for the Ant and the wet shed, as we wanted to fully charge the batteries we set off first in the direction of Wroxham for a little pootle and a mooch about. Charlie was at the helm and I was clutching my mug of tea to maintain finger circulation as we enjoyed the early morning on the trip to Wroxham.

Just after passing Barnes, Charlie executed a fairly decent (ok very good) turn in the river and we were finally heading home. The trip to Ant mouth was uneventful, I was now helming and the ladies were packing bags and bringing them to the wheelhouse for later unloading.
Turning up the Ant I noticed the river level was significantly higher than it had been on Saturday morning and I was therefore unlikely to be able to navigate the bridge with the canopy up. Sure enough with just under 8ft showing on the bridge height marker I was not going to risk it. The canopy would have to come down.

With a mooring spot below the bridge selected and no boats coming the other way I eased across the river and the ladies made ready to tie up. There was a fairly strong breeze blowing across us and I knew we would not have long before the wind would want us to leave the bank so the two ladies each with rope in hand were primed to make fast pretty pronto (please) or words to that effect.

A gentle kiss against the bank and Charlie is ashore rope in hand, Fiona was a little uncertain and not wishing to jump down she unfortunately sat down on the deck, it was at this point that the wind caught us and the bow started to drift out. Malanka is quite high out of the water and with the water so high the bank was a long way down and so she didn’t move. I politely enquired why she wasn’t moving and to “get off the boat”. Seeing no movement and us moving out I made a little boo boo myself, I left the helm and jumped down rope in hand to tie up to the mooring post. Unfortunately whether may hand caught it or I didn’t take it out of gear I don’t know but somehow we were still in gear albeit at tick-over and moving slowly forwards. This was brought to my attention very calmly by Charlie, who casually mentioned with no panic or emotional inflection in her voice that  “we are still in gear”.

I threw a quick half hitch round the post ran back to the wheelhouse side and leaped aboard the boat, less like a swash-buckling pirate and more like a beached Walrus if I am honest about it.  Erol Flyn be damned I was safely on, and that’s all that mattered. Quickly out of gear and crisis was over. Thinking about it I must have caught the throttle with my arm when jumping down as we were barely moving at all, but it makes for a good story, although this trip could have done with a few less dramas and near catastrophes.

Long story short we dropped the canopy and screens and prepared to move off. Charlie did note that the wheelhouse canopy (roof as it's made of marine ply) is actually quite heavy. Those aren’t the words she used at the time, but it conveys the same meaning.

As if by order, the sun burst out from behind the clouds and made standing in the wheelhouse a very warming and pleasant experience. The ladies cast us off and once aboard again, in significantly more elegant fashion than I had managed, we headed towards the bridge. Corsica was moored at LBBY and we tooted and waved merrily as we went through.

The sun was still out and would remain out for the whole trip to Stalham and so we decided to leave the top down and just return the screen to its upright position. In this configuration Malanka is a remarkably quiet craft for one so old and with such a significant lump of metal under the floor boards.

We had a lovely cruise up the river, Barton looked magnificent with white topped waves and sailing craft dotted across the sparkling surface. Quite a few craft were using slings and the crews, wet-suited, were hanging everything over the side. Quite a spectacular sight and a real pleasure to see. Further across Barton, we encountered a familiar face. I had forgotten Liz (Water Rail) was going to be on Barton all weekend and here she was alongside us sails booming and looking quite the part in her warm sailing gear and PBD.  

Greetings exchanged and recommendation to stay out of the way over to the far side of the broad ringing in our ears we parted company and reluctantly headed up the river. It would have been lovely to drop the weight and sit and watch some really spectacular sailing but we had a train to catch so we pressed on a bit glumly if I am being very honest.
We approached the entrance to the shed which hasn’t yet ceased to amaze me as to how narrow the opening actually is, located our berth and without fanfare or fuss reversed in and tied up. The space for turning is only actually about 5ft longer than Malanka is, but we have become so used to the way of things and it’s just routine now.

I was tasked with unloading the boat, isolating everything and locking up as the ladies walked to Moonfleet to pick up the cars. We connected the old lady to her electrical hook up which unfortunately was really necessary as the impact at St Bennets had indeed loosened some seals and she had been taking on a  little more water than normal. Not quite every two hours as she had been doing in February (thanks for letting me know Mal) but three times a day is three times more than she had been doing prior to the bump.  I am quite sure she will settle down again soon but best to give her every chance and connect her to the power.

Canopy erected, cars loaded, gas and leccy isolated, it was time to say goodbye and farewell to our cetacean guest who had been a real help and quiet guest crew member. But before we left there was one more thing that had to be done.
Charlie has been a guest and or helping crew member quite a few times this year. Her trips have meant I could attend the meet and Fiona and I could have a lovely wedding anniversary cruise. She is great company and a real help with everything boaty, so it was only fitting that we gave her a much coveted Malanka cap for being such a sport and a real help.
So along with Garry and Lisa (Dolly Day dream / good fortune), she is now an honorary Malankan.

We can’t actually create any more honorary Malankans now as we have run out of caps.   But I hope we are forgiven for taking a picture of Blue Dolphin (Aston something) with a Broom Flag mounted on a tatty old wooden broom (for sweeping) looking magnificent on the stern of her pride and joy Aston. Even if it was a lot of fun to do it.

Note to self.. I either have to get smaller caps or Charlie and Lisa need to get bigger heads.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


readyabout    -- Oct-23-2012 @ 12:18 PM
 
quote:"......Elvis has in fact left the building...
......."

Are you sure.... are you absolutely sure about that?  tounge-in-cheek

Regards,

Paul
______________________________________________________
'readyabout' - the first meaningful adult phrase of my childhood....


Charlie    -- Oct-23-2012 @ 6:04 PM
  I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of my time onboard Malanka with you this year and am very honoured to have my Malanka cap.

I'm well trained now, I know my place.  I do the washing up, I always ensure the ropes are cheesed before going in, the captain MUST have a full wine glass or cup of tea and I'm not allowed to beat him in board games!  Evil Grin

Although confident with my own boat, I must admit that initially I was a little scared of the old girl but now we have a good working relationship and if it hadn't been so tight I would have even taken her through Ludham Bridge as long as you were standing beside me. If only to stop you winding me up about it.

I will forgive you for the Broom flag incident when you allow me to fly as Aston flag from Malanka's silly mast thing.  

And for the record that roof is bl**dy heavy, even I was impressed with my turning skills and yes I was calm but in hindsight probably shouldn't have been.

And a massive, heartfelt THANK YOU for allowing me to stowaway!!  I would not have been able to do the meet or Jollymoon without your hospitality.

Long live the Aston-Broom teamwork!!
Smile

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- Oct-23-2012 @ 6:14 PM
  You're welcome. Both you and Charlies Dad...

We had a ball and made many new friends this year. We think this is what its all about. We had fun and look forward to next week. See you Saturday... No idea of arrival time yet....Who cares anyway......

When you going to write up the Girlie weekend.......

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Oct-24-2012 @ 9:56 AM
  I will forgive you for the Broom flag incident when you allow me to fly as Aston flag from Malanka's silly mast thing

Not sure how you're going to achieve that, not even sure it could take your now tiny frame..

Maybe get a strong enough breeze crossing Breydon at full speed..It would be spectacular to say the least..
Very brave of you too. Wouldn't it be cold being painted as an Aston flag? Defo calendar opportunity if ever there was one....  
Why would you want to do that?? Takes all sorts..



Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- Oct-24-2012 @ 11:46 AM
  OK so a little typo there!

I will get THE flag on the mast somehow!

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- Apr-22-2013 @ 11:43 AM
  Here is the next instalment of THE Malanka tales..

Warning this tale has graphic descriptions of the application of.... wait for it..... SUN SCREEN.... eeeek run a mile, the sun came out..... YIPPEEEEEE...

  Friday 19th April

At last the day had arrived and Malanka was again back in the water and eagerly anticipating our arrival. Malanka has been primped and primed for her 60th Birthday season by the lovely chaps at Moonfleet. She was back in the wet stuff as of Thursday 18th and tonight Fiona and I will be heading to see her again and see all the new shiny bits and pieces the guys have added during her extended maintenance this winter.
Arrangements had been made with different folks to make sure the kids got home from school after their university fair and info session. I had been dropped outside my office at silly o’clock this morning and now I am counting down the hours in eager anticipation of the off. The only down side is that the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating in any meaningful fashion. Every day this week I have been gazing out of my office window looking at the blue sky without a cloud in it and hoping for it to last until the weekend. No such luck as Mr, Mrs, and even auntie Murphy are all in it together and it is persisting down, it’s cold and grey and horrible. Not the start I wanted.

Fiona had arranged to pick me up a little early from work so I am finishing everything off as best I can and making sure I don’t leave anyone in the lurch. The sky is still dark grey and it’s raining even more heavily now. When I had left this morning it was of course sunny and I did not have a coat and so the prospect of walking to the main entrance in the rain wasn’t filling me with joy and happiness.

A few words to the man upstairs along the lines of “sort out the Murphy’s will you” and lo and behold a small patch of blue appears, it quickly spreads and suddenly everything is steaming and the temperature reaches a fairly balmy (this is Belgium remember) 17 degrees. An opportunity not to be missed and so I turn off the computer, close the door, run outside and head to the main gate to wait for the love of my life for the past twenty years to come get me. Our Anniversary trip can start.

OK so we had agreed on half past the hour and it was now just gone twenty to the hour, but twenty years teaches one to be accepting of the occasional tardy arrival, ok then so it’s now quarter to and no sign of the big black bus. At a tad before 5 minutes to the hour,  the big black bus arrives and the happy smiling face of Mrs Fidear looks at me as I gather my things and head for the drivers door.

I decide not to mention the twenty five minute wait, which was alright as I had never imagined that Fiona would in fact be on time and had instead come to reception at twenty to the hour, so I couldn’t really complain about her being even later than I anticipated now could I?
Fiona saved me the trouble and explained that things just got on top of her and next time she would start earlier, what a champion…

Seat height, seat belt, wheel height and distance from the pedals adjusted we set off with Patricia telling us what to do in that fairly posh accent all sat-nav ladies have.

We will have to be careful this trip as the lovely men from the Belgian traffic agency have recently (last week) installed average speed check cameras on all the bridges on our proposed route and 16000 motorists had found out in the first seven days of operation. One loon spectacularly so with an average speed of 205 kph. Which for the imperially minded is 127.39mph. So with cruise control set at a modest 120kph (the limit) we pass the time to the French border in peaceful contemplation of the weekend to come.

We make our way to the Eurotunnel terminal without fuss or bother and the next thing we know we are in Kent and it’s just after 5pm. We select the M11 route (forgetting about the Elveden road-works) and off we go. Fiona is surprised to find out the QEII bridge toll is now 2 pounds but apart from that surprise nothing else of interest happens until we get to Elveden and we queued for about ten minutes or so and then we started to move, so we eventually get to Stalham at 8:15 pm.  

A quick call to our weekend guest who is up to his arms in well-deck varnishing and the arrangements are made to meet up at Moonfleet where the object of our affection lies in wait for us.
Fiona and I unload the car with all the start of season essential items, clean towels, rugs mats and everything we didn’t seal in vacuum bags and load up the old lady.

The first thing we notice are the new canvases for the well-deck and the cockpit, mainly because they are clean and the old ones were somewhat weather stained.  The next revelation is the deck which is now a lovely pale chocolate brown whereas before it was white. Walking on the new decking is a revelation as there is no bouncing up and down or creaking or booming sounds as I move about. Good job guys great result.
Boat loaded Fiona and I hear Charlie and Laureen approaching and jump off to eagerly greet our guests for the weekend with appropriate hugs, kisses, handshakes and back slaps.

Griff and Laureen being who they are they insist on helping us put up curtains, fill duvets and make up beds so in very short order it’s time to open a beer and decide on next steps.  Two seconds later we are on our way to the Oasis.

After a lovely meal where we shared all the mains so a nice taste of everything was the order of the day, we were escorted out of the establishment at 23:45. The lovely guys there had stayed open while we finished our meal and didn’t hassle us once to  hurry up. What a nice bunch they are.
After that it was quickly to bed in eager anticipation of tomorrows cruising and meeting up with the Corsicans for a brunch in Salhouse, before ending up in Ranworth to try out the revamped Maltsters.
Sleep took us quickly as the feeling of floating transported us away to dreamland with consummate ease.

Saturday morning intruded very early into our cosy world of duvet snuggling as the sun was up, bright, and the rejuvenating effect of its work was streaming in through the windows and telling me to “GET UP NOW!!!!”  

After tea and coffee we decided to miss out the breakfast as we were still full of last nights lovely curry and as we were meeting with Sonia and Simon for brunch we anticipated a lovely meal in Salhouse, we were of course not to be disappointed.

The weather was glorious and we immediately took the top down and decided to travel alfresco for the day. Griff had some things to pop into Wroxham to buy and so I walked through the maintenance that the guys had done with Phil whilst we waited for him to return. When Griff returned we went to retrieve MiniMal from her storage location and Griff decided she couldn’t go out looking like that and so proceeded to remove six months of accumulated Goose and duck appreciation for a good perching spot from the hull.   Faecal detritus removed we were ready to head off down to Ludham where Griff and Laureen needed to stop for a few minutes to help support the local businesses by paying the bill.

On a lovely sunny spring morning with the sun shining and the water sparkling we gently edged away from the quay heading and slowly set off for Barton, the gentle hissing of the water setting the tone for a very cathartic, gentle and uneventful passage down river, the slowly emerging from winter buds and wildlife screaming “look at me, look at me” as we glided gently past.

More to follow…..With pictures courtesy of Charlie Griffin….
    

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Apr-22-13 @ 12:57 PM


SternMoor    -- Apr-22-2013 @ 2:51 PM
  Hi Martin & Fiona, belated best wishes for your anniversary and happy birthday Malanka.  Hope to see you sometime this year.  Smile

Keith - PR4 & NR13 (11185)

"We're comin' in hot."  

"Truth is the Daughter of Time."

Captain 'arfpoint, Forum Quiz 12Apr13


16E    -- Apr-22-2013 @ 4:42 PM
  Thanks for the update Martin.

We've been in Stalham all week and were wondering when Malanka would put in an appearance.  We noted Corsica was out on Friday evening and now we know why.

Keep it coming.

Mal
16E

There are two rules for sucess in life:

1, Never tell anyone everything you know.


fidear45    -- Apr-23-2013 @ 11:59 AM
  Next bit. Saturday 20th April.


As we gently floated down the Ant, we came across a few boats here and there all enjoying the absolutely clear blue skies and vivid sunshine splashing over us all as we made our way to Ludham Bridge.

Charlie took Malanka through the bridge without any worries as the bridge height fantasy board (I say this as it so very rarely refers to any actual clearance height figure) was saying over 9ft 6 inches, well above the 8ft top up we require. I had of course taken down the masthead or as Charlie (Charlotte) calls it the silly mast thing, before we got to the bridge.
The plan was to stop briefly whilst Charlie (Griff) paid a bill, so once through the bridge we pulled over moored up (with some help from the LBBY crew) and had a sit. I must admit it was nice to see George / Jason and the crew all busy as little bees, sanding this polishing that and generally looking like a boatyard engaged in good, healthy and hopefully profitable business.    
Of course once we had stopped it then became time for cake and wine, it would have been tea and cake but the cake was still there looking at me and the tea had been consumed so wine it was. The aforementioned cake was a delicious fruit cake made by Laureen and it was simply superb…..No more words are needed the lady is a genius cake maker…So we sat and watched the world go by whilst eating cake and sipping wine in the glorious and, out of the stiff cool breeze, warm sunshine.

We stayed perhaps a tad longer than we anticipated as we had arranged to meet the Corsicans for a brunch in Salhouse (See Mal we knew where they were all the time). Unfortunately the sun the wine and saying hi to everyone took a long-long-long time.

Not to disappoint me Jason of course asked me if I would like to look at the engine in Braveheart, a particularly fine looking boat with, funnily enough, a Bata 60HP engine fitted. This debate is an ongoing funny between Jason, myself and the currently fitted and perfectly working BMC 3.8L diesel power unit. Its heavy, a bit clunky, very powerful, ok not as quiet as the Beta, but it works and its ours. In fact if you listen to the first few minutes of the MTB 102 CinC video from Lord Paul you can hear what a proper broads boat engine sounds like …

After spending an hour or so doing not much in the lovely sunshine, at 12:45 we decided we had better set off for Salhouse and the brunch with Simon and Sonia that was waiting for us.  
So as luck would have it brunch turned into lunch and the journey from LBBY to Salhouse was beautiful, smooth, and uneventful. There were more boats out in Horning and some pyjama dangler things taking advantage of the rather pleasant if a little chilly breeze.
We arrived in Salhouse, moored up and said hello to the Corsicans, who had patiently waited well past an acceptable brunch time for us to arrive. But as we all know this is Norfolk and Norfolk time is what we use, so 2:15 became 11:30 and off we went.
Sonia had prepared a lovely Pastrami (sorry Griff) and Chicken Salad, with coleslaw,  tomatoes with mozzarella cheese and a pesto with pine nuts dressing.

All of course washed down with some more Pinot. Currently the French side of the Eurotunnel is offering 6 bottles for 16 Euro which is very reasonable. I am not sure the French have got Mr Cameron’s message on wine pricing.

So we sat about, ate the lovely spread prepared by Sonia, of particular note was the date and walnut bread which was superb. Then we packed up had some more pinot and headed off to our destination for the evening which was to be the Malsters for us to investigate the pub post the renovations.

A completely uneventful trip through Horning later we arrived at Ranworth and headed for the Staithe. We were not particularly concerned regarding mooring as we had Mini with us so mudweighting in the Broad was always an option for us. We didn’t need to bother as there was one mooring space left on the RHS which Simon slipped into with ease (ok he did use the thrusters as I heard him…..Grrr). We just slipped alongside and moored onto Corsica with the help of several forum types who had of course seen us coming and welcomed us with the jovial banter that is the benefit of being a forum member.  I would like to point out that no thrusters were used in the mooring of Malanka, basically this would be because we don’t have any.
Joking aside the help from everyone on the staithe was very welcome thank you!~

All that was left to do was to sit back, sip some more pinot and soak up the gorgeous sunshine beating down on the decks of Corsica and Malanka. It was a perfect late afternoon and of course we greeted every departure and subsequent arrival with the customary banter regarding the use of thrusters. We even provided applause when one very talented helm reversed all the way in without using them once . Well done that man.
Bollysnighe arrived to a chorus of greetings, some of which we can print, but completely let the side down with considerable use of thrusters, for which of course they were roundly ribbed. There followed two hours or so of complete merriment, chit chat, catch up and the usual haven’t seen you in a while type chats that Ranworth is famous for.
Then it was time for the pub, a brief get changed involving new shirts for the boys and complete make overs for the ladies followed and we were ready to eat.

I have to say the new décor in the Maltsters with lots of little private spaces and eye pleasing colour scheme, is very easy on the eye and altogether an huge improvement on the old interior. I would highly recommend it.

The food was equally impressive, as was the service and the entire experience is one we will repeat anytime we are in the area, a good night was had by all.

We had a good meal then retired to Corsica to celebrate our anniversary in style with a chilled Magnum of Martel Champagne. We put the entire universe to rights, sorted all the worlds problems and for good measure ensured world peace for decades to come and then decided we had better go to bed.  

All in all a great night…

More to come….


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Apr-23-2013 @ 6:24 PM
  Hi M & F
Malanka's looking good there. Good to see the roof down.
I read your out again this weekend. I will be about on Tobago Light from Herbert Woods with the eldest son so hope to bump into you somewhere.
Looking forward to the rest of the tale and more pictures.

Garry


fidear45    -- Apr-23-2013 @ 6:56 PM
  It's just me and a friend but would love to see you. How did his exams go and presuming success which hospital is lucky enough to have his services.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Apr-23-2013 @ 7:11 PM
  All exams passed so now a junior doctor in Liverpool for the next 2 years

Garry


fidear45    -- Apr-23-2013 @ 7:34 PM
  Wow that's good. Please pass on my very best wishes for his future.

I am only about Saturday and Sunday, do you know where you are going to be?
I haven't decided where we are going to go we really intend to go with the flow.

M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Apr-23-2013 @ 8:13 PM
  Will leave Potter Heigham Friday pm and back there early Monday and between that as you say we will go with the flow.

Garry


fidear45    -- Apr-24-2013 @ 8:24 AM
  Last bit..
Sunday 21st April

It was a rather pleasant morning to wake to, there was the sun, streaming in through the curtains, the boat was gently warming up, there was the sound of ducks quacking and some other wildlife doing wild things. And the most important difference for me was that no-one had their engine running, it was well after 8 am and there was not the slightest hint of engine noise from the entirely filled staithe. Everyone was just enjoying the moment without feeling the need to start their engines, what a complete and totally pleasant surprise.

Fiona was laying snuggled under the duvet blowing breath rings in the air and I was trying to keep as much of me as possible under the duvet. Whilst the boat was warming up, it was still perishingly cold. We engage briefly in the who is going to get up and put the kettle on discussion before Fiona wriggled into her lovely pink onesie and bravely sallied forth to do battle with the kettle. Fortunately for us Laureen had brought some rather stupendous looking venison sausages and I was looking forward to discovering if the taste matched the look. (it did but more on that later).

This was far too nice a day to waste on lying in bed so I quickly dressed and emerged from the cabin into the by now fairly warm cockpit. Griff had already emerged and opened the flaps to remove the condensation that had formed over- night. The cockpit roof has been completely replaced over the winter and this one is totally new, much lighter and subject to a lot less condensation than the old one. The new canvases were also looking good as well. I stepped out and greeted all the members of the forum who were doing forum like things, you know the one, standing about with cups of tea chatting that kind of thing.  A brief request for sauce requirements to go with the sausages revealed that we didn’t have any brown sauce, whilst Fiona and I were discussing this potential disaster and deciding to go get some from the shop, a hand clutching a bottle of the said sauce emerged from the cockpit window of Corsica and offered the sauce up for use with the almost ready sausages. Simon himself did not emerge you understand, just the arm and the sauce….Along with “I heard your discussion please use ours”.

I returned to the galley armed with the sauce and started to gently toast the whole meal bread that was to accompany the sausages. I find that toasting one side gives a nice little crunch and prevents the sandwich from going too soggy.

Five minutes later, sauces applied, hot drinks re-filled, we sat down in the cockpit to enjoy the breakfast feast provided by Laureen.

Griff had been to the shop and provided the Sunday papers so between mouths full of delicious sausage, we exchanged sounds of disbelief over the articles in the papers. Our original plan had been to venture to Womack for lunch in the Kings Arms before returning to Stalham for 3pm and our appointment with the train later that afternoon. But, the sausages were too good to turn down and so we had a change of plan.    
No worries this is Norfolk who cares if we have to change plan. With that in mind we took the canopy down, finished our tea, visited the shore-side facilities and prepared to pootle to Wroxham to enjoy our final day of cruising in the lovely sunshine.

I started the engine, we said our goodbyes and we set off slowly in the direction of Wroxham.   Charlie was securely ensconced on the saloon roof with a sun lounger chair thingy that fiona uses for sunbathing, a cigarette and some coffee. All was well with the world.
If anyone saw the webcams at Barnes and the Wroxham hotel on Sunday morning, they would have seen a very happy sight. Four grinning faces as we made our way up the river in the lovely sunny spring morning. Griff was transported back to his childhood, being on a Broom sitting on the roof and reading the paper. Does it get any better than that? I don’t think it does.

We arrived outside the Wroxham hotel and I did a little show off thing and spun Malanka on the spot to effect the turn round. It’s fun to do and always surprises the folks who have not seen it before. The bit of showing off complete we headed back in the direction of the Ant mouth knowing this was the beginning of the end to a lovely weekend afloat. The cruise through Horning was smooth, we paid our homage to Water Rail on the way past as it is a significant  Birthday for her too this year.

With Griff sitting proudly atop Malanka quite a few people performed the classic double take as we slid serenely past, as soon as the realization struck as to which boat and which person was sitting on the top of it, greetings were exchanged and order was restored to the world. Seeing the dawn of comprehension on the confused faces of the people we saw was quite fun and we intend to repeat the event later in the summer on B.A. Something that Fiona and I are really looking forward to. All too soon the Ant mouth was reached and the ladies started the clean-up and pack in earnest, with mast head down and screen up we sailed through the bridge and on up the Ant, Stalham getting inexorably closer and the end to our weekend drawing nearer and nearer with every passing minute.
This was one of those weekends that we simply didn’t want to end, the weather had been fantastic the company was, simply put, the best! Everything about this weekend had turned out just right. One can’t ask for more than that.

The inevitable happened and Moonfleet was just ahead. A simple mooring manouvre later we were all sorted, tied up turned off and about to be sealed up for Monday when Phils boys were going to do some more work on the old lady.

Bags were moved to the cars, kisses and hugs exchanged (you really must stop doing that with me Griff, folks will talk) and it was time to leave. Griff and Laureen were heading to the wet-shed to finish some varnishing, and Fiona and I were heading to Tesco to stock up with items our merry band of scouts might need for next weekends district camp.

The journey home was tiresome but made easier to cope with in the knowledge that we had had a wonderful weekend and start to the season.

We made it back and through our front door at 12:15 am and headed off to the land of Nodd quite quickly after that. Christian had stayed up to see we made it home ok, he helped unload the car and calm the doggies down who were going potty at the return of the wanderers.

Many thanks to Simon and Sonia and special thanks to Griff and Laureen for making our first trip out this year, and our 20th wedding anniversary such a memorable one. THANK YOU!!      


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Apr-24-13 @ 9:31 AM


fidear45    -- Apr-24-2013 @ 8:37 AM
  One final thing.

Thank you to Phil and the boys and girls at Moonfleet who made the boat ready for us after her winter storage and winter work.

She looks great. We love the new decks and the fact they are so non-slippy.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- Apr-24-2013 @ 11:48 PM
 

You're thanking us?  Confused

I would venture the thanks should be coming the t'other way my friend, and it is too in spadefuls.

For us (Myself and MrsG) it was a perfect weekend afloat.  Top class company and hosts.

For me personally I was somewhat overawed at being afloat on a Broom, a proper Broom of the non-tupperware variety at that.  I was instantly transported back to the late sixties/early seventies as a young lad afloat with Mum,Dad and Bro'  It was surreal. Ok in those days it was predominantly Admirals but the design / build / finishing methods are just the same onboard Malanka

There is no wonder there are plenty of woody Brooms still gracing these gentle waters.  The build methods have to be seen to be believed and Malanka although a few feet shorter and narrower than 'B.A' is around 3 ton heavier, I'm not surprised.  Everything is just so over-engineered in the build size, everything is just so big/solid and HUGE.  For example the deck-head support beams would hold up a boat shed never mind a coach house roof, they must be 3 x times the size of those onboard 'B.A'  She is so well laid out with what seems acres of space.  Proverbial tardis springs to mind.

M&F will have a different weekend experience when we return the complement onboard 'B.A' that's for sure.

So Thanks from me and MrsG to M&F for a truly memorable weekend and I'm proper grateful.

Thanks too to The Corsicans for their company and that fabulous brunch at Salhouse.


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


Mirage    -- Apr-25-2013 @ 9:49 AM
  We had a blast Smile

Great company, great weather and the finest location in the world IMHO.

What more could anyone want!  Cheers to M&F, Griff and Mrs G, let the good times roll

LOL

Simon

The Corsicans
Simon & Sonia + Dylan the
Dorg.
"There's a whole new day
tomorrow that hasn't started
yet"


Charlie    -- Apr-25-2013 @ 10:15 AM
  Hear you are, clearly having waaaayyy too much fun in the sun!

Charlie

7 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- Apr-25-2013 @ 10:41 AM
  And I get to have some more this weekend too.....boys trip so no you can't come along....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-3-2013 @ 12:31 PM
  Boys weekend afloat

Friday 26th April

Another short weekend break, this time with a colleague from work who has never been on a boat before but fancied the idea of a weekend afloat. In other words an ideal opportunity for another Broads convert.

We had a meeting planned to discuss some work related stuff in my office, and so when Lance arrived for the meeting he had brought over is “pull along” carry-on bag.

As he trundled along the corridor outside my office I must admit to a quick sideways glance at his preferred bag for a weekend afloat. Oh dear I thought, and followed with a wry shake of the head as in my brain the words, “it’s a boat mate, not an hotel” wafted through the empty regions of the space between my ears. My fault entirely of course I should have mentioned that soft bags pack down much more conveniently than even the tiniest of carry on suitcases.

With an ever so small smirk on my face we got down to the details of discussing statistical models, binomial distribution, confidence intervals and AQL testing. After 60 minutes of discussion it had by then dawned on me that we could very well be holding this meeting whilst sitting in my car heading down the E40, as opposed to sitting in my office sipping tea and watching the clock tick by to the quitting bell time.

Ok, we made an executive decision (we are good at those) let’s go!  We packed up, said our goodbyes to the remainder of the office folks and headed on out to the car park to climb aboard the big black bus for one of its very last outings. Yes folks I am sorry to announce that the big black tardis bus is about to be replaced with a much smaller although somewhat newer car.

By leaving when we did the traffic was non-existent  and so we made really good progress and didn’t trouble the speed cameras dotted along our route one little bit. We arrived in Calais and jumped an earlier than scheduled train, this meant that arrival in Stalham was guaranteed by 21:30 bar flood, act of god or random agricultural vehicles.  

Due to the A11 improvement work, we decided to use the A12 and this meant Long Stratton and the “chip Inn” would be on our route. Needless to say we arrived at Long Stratton about 8pm and sauntered into the ship shop and waited our turn in the queue.
The queue was rather large as the chip shop was filling a gigantic order for a quiz night and so bread basket after bread basket was loaded with fish and chips of various stripes and kept warm under the IR lamps.  

Now Lance is a nice guy and being from Liverpool he does possess something of a detectable regional accent, despite living and working in the USA and various locations throughout the UK he still has the twang of scouse about him. It therefore came as a bit of a surprise when after some banter back and forth between the ladies packing up the huge fish and chips order he leaned in close to my ear and said, “what did she say?” “I can’t understand a bleedin word”.

I did manage to stop the dribbles emerging from my nose from making a mess of my shirt as I tried desperately to contain my amusement, however with an almost straight face I enquired if he was “having me on”.

“Naa mate it’s greek to me”. Welcome to Norfolk I said and placed our order with the very nice lady standing behind the counter with a bemused smile on her face.  

Our order filled we returned to the bus and scoffed (sorry no other word fits) our chips and pies down with unseemly haste. In fact I made sure to count Lances fingers when he had finished to make sure they were all still there, such was the enthusiasm for chips cooked in dripping, covered in salt and vinegar and piping hot from the fryer.

Our hunger sated we set off for the last 50K or so to Stalham and the waiting Malanka.
Arrival at Moonfleet was routine and unloading the car was a simple matter of carrying one bag so we were soon standing in the car park and looking at the quay heading. As we walked along the quay heading towards Malanka, the Buzz thump, buzz thump, buzz thump, of the carry-on bag containing Lance’s weekend clothes bumping along brought a tiny mirth driven tear to the corner of my eye, which I immediately wiped away and blamed on the fresh breeze blowing across the boatyard.

As we finally reached Malanka Lance just stopped and stared, “its huge” he said, “no she’s 38ft” I said. “But close up she’s huge, very high and the picture in your office doesn’t do her justice” added Lance, as he surveyed the glistening white paint on the side of Malanka facing him. Lance had immediately grasped the thing that was to be an immense source of Fidear and Lance amusement for the rest of the weekend.

As I already mentioned Lance had never been on a boat before, what I didn’t mention was that he is not the most mobile of people and coordinated movement, even without the added support of fermented alcoholic grape beverages was not easy for the poor lad. Well minor details like a lack of movement was not going to stop this son of the pool from enjoying himself and so with a heave ho Lance mounted Malanka’s side and stood proudly on her newly installed trackmark covered deck.  “That’s great mate” I said, “but you’re facing the flat bit at the back, the way in is towards the sharp pointy bit at the front, so you will have to turn round and move up a bit”. With a bit of pushing, shoving and so much laughing we were actually weeping, we finally made it into the cockpit and started to settle ourselves in.  

The Proseco  was chilled to perfection (thank you Phil and Toby) and so after we had settled in with a wine, the kettle was employed and we sat back and started to enjoy that “Ah we have arrived, and it’s lovely feeling”.

More to come over the weekend, including such quotes as “don’t you think taking the rope with you would be good”, “where’s the mooring posts”, “what’s that knot again”, and the classic “RHS of the river pls! No the other RHS…”

Stay tuned…    


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-7-2013 @ 1:51 PM
  Saturday morning...

I awoke on Saturday morning to the sound of torrential rain, I quickly glanced at the clock it read 04:30, so I turned over and snuggled back under the covers in the hope that the rain would stop, the sun would emerge and we would have a stunning weekend of sunny weather.
After some more snoozing and clock glancing I finally decided that enough was enough and I would in fact get up. The time now was 07:30, the barometer was showing fair and the sun was streaming in through the windows and the pattern of the waves on the Ant were dancing across the ceiling of Malanka in a quiet gentle rhythm. Obviously the man upstairs had been listening this morning and I had been good as my prayers had been answered.

A brief struggle to start the heating was soon over, the kettle was on and I could hear Lance in the forward bathroom fighting with the toilet flush. The plan was to miss breakfast, go to the butchers and stock up with pork products and then the rest of the necessary comestibles at Tesco on the way back to the boatyard.

The trip was quick and easy with the lovely aroma of freshly cooked sausages and bacon wafting gently down Stahlam high street. We decided to purchase a delicious pork and chili-jam pie, resist the bacon baps on offer and head to tesco.

We marched through tesco like men on a mission, which of course was true after a fashion. There are those that like to peruse every aisle, even when only entering the premises to buy loo roll.   Not today,  armed with Lances offer to pay for the weekend food we hit the salad section!  OK let me set the scene for you, two guys bantering back and forth in tesco about which salad items to buy??? Picture the scene if you will. Two blokes in tesco discussing salad at 8:30 am!
We didn’t care, we bought pre chopped lettuce, some salad onions, coleslaw, some radishes and then headed for the bread section where we added some whole-meal bread to the trolley. A quick dash down the cheese aisle and we had added Philadelphia light with garlic and chives, a very brief diversion to the cold meat section and honey roast ham added to the trolley, then  turn left at the end and pass the soft drink section and some coke zero was added. A brief check on the items for our brunch sitting in the bottom of our trolley and we headed for the checkout. Job done 5 minutes total time… Result!!!!!! We may have remarked that the contents of our trolley waaaay to closely resembled a healthy eating option but that was quickly over-ridden by the thought of how much we could fill the sandwich with, and wouldn’t the coleslaw and light Philadelphia be sticky enough to retain the sliced radishes, salad onions and lettuce and five slices of ham each…Our manly credentials restored we headed back.

A quick return to the boatyard and I left Lance to stock the fridge with our weekend food items whilst I headed off to retrieve minimal and give her a good bailing. The early morning downpour had added huge volumes of water to her scuppers.

Mini bailed out and it was time to say our goodbyes and head off to the world outside Moonfleet and Lance’s first experience on a moving boat.

I asked Lance to undo the stern line and I would take care of the bow and push us off and away. From my vantage point of the bow, I glanced over to Lance to observe him and there he was standing stock still as the stern of Malanka drifted slowly away from the quay heading. Rope on board and without a care in the world.

“Don’t you think it would be a good idea to be on the boat Lance” I said,  Oh yes silly me he replied in thick scouse. “Errm, how do I do that then?” “It’s too far!”

Well several choice phrases passed through my mind but the inevitable one did not surface and with a muted “oh my Lord, this is going to be a fun trip,” gently passing my lips I hauled the boat back to the quayside and asked Lance to get on board and sit in the cockpit and we would sort out what to do with mooring and un-mooring later on.
Further tribulations were avoided and we were at last moving off down the river at tick-over speed. As this was Lances first trip and so I thought to entertain him by pointing out the various points on the Ant at which we had observed different varieties of wildlife whilst we had had Malanka.  So we sat in the wheelhouse mugs of steaming tea in hand making a merry procession downriver accompanied by what sounded and certainly felt to me like a David Attenborough documentary on local wildlife habits and habitats. I always knew my Biological Diversity, Behavior and Physiology modules would come in handy as I explained the mating dance of the Great Crested Grebe to a doctoral level Organic Chemist. We had decided to go topless today even though the temperature was not that high, but the sunshine and the windscreen made for a delightful mix of cool breeze, blinding reflections crossing Barton and pink noses by the time How Hill appeared ahead of us.

We were feeling pretty peckish by this time and so decided to pop into Ranworth and see if the Corsicans would be there. Lo and behold there they were chatting to Mercator, little did we know this was over the way too early crossing of the rainbow bridge by their much loved and now sorely missed doggy companion.

Brief greetings exchanged we decided to head off to Cockshoot as the sun angle would by now be perfect for a short brunch break. The pork and Chili-jam pie we had purchased earlier was warming in the oven and the aroma was driving us both bonkers with anticipation.
Cockshoot arrived, an excellent mooring followed with Lance holding onto the rope and wrapping it round the post with joyous abandon. I reminded myself to discuss again the topic of half-hitches and just re-tied the line.

After establishing our manly credentials after our shopping in tesco, the image was somewhat reduced as Lance and I sat in the wheelhouse clutching delicate glasses of an excellently chilled pinot and looking at our rather healthy brunch.

More later…  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-7-2013 @ 2:31 PM
  The brunch was delicious and so substantial I felt a little sick. The pie was a stunning success for Lance as he had never had the experience before and so it was keep the fingers away from the mouth time again as the thing was practically vacuumed off the plate.
After brunch we sat where we were and bobbed for a long while, then it was again time to go and we headed for a rendezvous with the Swan Inn for Dinner later that day. The trip to Horning was uneventful and in fact very pleasant, the sun was high in the sky and everything was lovely. My tummy still felt a little delicate after all the healthy eating and so we decided that a few glasses of white Zinfandel (that is in fact pink) would help the situation. We arrived in Horning to a full staithe and an empty island. We had minimal with us for just this eventuality and so we declined the option of double mooring and instead headed for the island and a very enjoyable evening waiting for time to go eat dinner. After mooring and again demonstrating the correct left and right hand loops to create a half hitch to a rather bemused Lance, I thought I would have one more go with the spring I was adding to the centre cleat, the wind had picked up and we  were bobbing about quite a bit with the passing boats. Lance watched with enthusiasm as I again showed the correct sequence loop, invert, drop, pull and so on. When it was his turn to try he dropped the rope in the wrong hand rather than the loop over the post, “drop the loop in your right hand I said,” whereupon Lance dropped the rope in his left hand, “no your other right hand” I added whilst giggling uncontrollably.  
I must admit neither of us was embarrassed by this pantomime performance as the pinot and zinfandel had dulled our senses just a bit and the evening sun was warm and the wheelhouse so inviting, I tied the rope myself and then sat back down and we  laughed together for at least ten minutes.  

We thought it would be a good idea to book a table and so a little later I rowed across, tied up mini and headed to the pub to reserve a table. Reservation made for 8:30 I headed back and quite enjoyed the row across the river. As we bobbed on our mooring we noticed some boats come very, very, close to us at quite some velocity. This of course set us to bobbing again and again. One particularly close and particularly speedy boat was one of the new craft from NBD which rushed past us at no more than 2feet away at considerably greater than 4 mph. The resulting bobbing spilled wine glasses, upset the washing up in the galley and bounced us back and forth in a very violent way. The helm of this boat therefore receives my Darwin award winner and oxygen thief of the week award for terminal stupidity and inconsiderate behavior. If you are reading this entry and I suspect you are, and you heard someone yelling at you to slow down, you should be ashamed of yourself!

Anyway, we were determined not to let anything spoil such a lovely evening and so we settled back to wait for our table to be ready.  After about half an hour of sitting doing nothing and really enjoying it, we saw a craft approach and attempt to moor with the wind and the tide. Although not ideal circumstances the helm made a valiant effort and so I decided to help him and left the wheelhouse and walked down the island to take a rope. In helping the crew (lady crew member) moor up, the couple asked if there was a ferry to the pub, we pointed out that no there wasn’t but you may be able to moor outside the pub as there is space now. This is when the fact that the recent mooring attempt was only the second ever was revealed and my admiration grew as it was not a bad effort at all. However the helm did not fancy another go quite so soon and so he called out that beans on toast was therefore the order of the evening.

Now we had the dinghy and we were going to row across anyway so I volunteered to row the couple across when we went for dinner, and then row them back again after dinner if they wanted to eat at the pub. They quickly agreed and so I rowed them across to make the reservation and rowed them back to wait just as we were waiting.

Lance and I changed for dinner and then waited for 19:45 to arrive. At the appointed hour we knocked on the top of the Brinks Topliner and invited our new friends to join us for the row across the river. I asked them to don their life jackets as you can’t be too careful and off we went. The grateful couple bought us a round of drinks for the ferry ride and we went to our respective tables to enjoy our evening at the swan.  

The food was excellent, the service was excellent, in fact the whole day had been excellent. The return journey in the dark was fun for me but I’m not so certain our new friends enjoyed it quite so much. Their first ever broads holiday together and there they were in the middle of the river Bure in the pitch black being rowed back across the river by someone they had just met. The smiles were a little fixed but there were no mishaps, mis-steps or anything untoward at all. We deposited our new friends back on the island, said our good-nights and at the immensely late hour of 10:15 decided to turn in. All that fresh air had taken its toll and we were dog tired.

Tomorrow was another day and our last for the weekend. We had decided to breakfast in Salhouse on the mudweight and so early next morning before most were up and about we pushed off and gently headed to salhouse, waking as few people as we could.

Pork and Apple sausage with oak smoked bacon awaited us with steaming mugs of hot tea, whole meal bread sandwiches  and the incredible Salhouse view in the morning. I love having a boat, I really do.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-8-2013 @ 8:31 AM
  Sunday 28th
As we were pulling up the mudweight after our delicious breakfast, Garyn appeared next to us and said hello. We cruised around him for a few minutes to try and clean the weight of all the newly added mud in Salhouse. From my angle it looked pretty clean but as Garyn pointed out, there was a huge lump of mud stuck to the bottom that I couldn’t see.  Oh well some heaves and drops later, the weight was cleaned and stowed back on deck with rope nicely cheesed around it.
We had a place to go (Folkestone) and a time to get there (8pm) therefore  we had all day to return to Stalham and enjoy our journey, the sky was clear blue although the wind was a little stronger than Saturday.

We decided to head into Wroxham and tie up at the hotel and have a wander about a bit. The journey there was uneventful as that early in the morning there were few boats about. We approached the mooring outside the hotel and Lance brought the bow and stern lines back to the wheelhouse just in case. We slipped gently into the mooring and Lance stepped off the boat (more like crash landed but he didn’t get wet). This time he was holding the rope and looking at it in a rather bemused way. “Where is the mooring post” he asked, “use the rings” I offered…. “The what” he said, “they are at your feet, pass the line through and then tie it off on the boat cleat”.
I must admit to smiling again at the look of confusion on Lances face. One result of this confusion was that yesterday’s quiet practice with the half hitches was completely forgotten and the rear cleat resembled a Tom and Jerry Bee hive of blue rope.
I finished tying off the bow line and went to investigate the ever growing bee hive of blue rope at the stern. Two early morning hotel guests sitting at the tables suggested to Lance that it was fairly obvious that he didn’t have a clue what he was doing (in a very pleasant way I have to add and no offense was taken) and that equally the other crew member did. I took that to be a compliment and Lance smiled and said, “thank god at least one of us does”. What a nice man..

We wandered into the hotel and announced our presence to the reception lady, then left to wander about the town for a few minutes. We didn’t stay long and so in a very few minutes we were off again and headed this time for home and the train and the journey back. We took as long as we could to return to Stalham but arrived shortly after 3pm which meant we had an age to catch our train.

We packed up, isolated the leccy, turned off the gas and disconnected it from the bottle and headed slowly for the way home. We said goodbye to Malanka who had been a good boat all weekend, she is definitely enjoying the new decks and Trackmark and looks really rather splendid at the moment.  

The return journey was boring and I eventually made it home at 11:15 or so, after dropping Lance back at the Chateau he lives in (ok it’s the gate house but it is spectacular none the less)

Dogs went wild when I got in and lots of nose nibbling and licking followed, I did ask Fiona to not do that but she had missed me.

I hope you have enjoyed this tale. The next one will be from this coming trip for the four day ascension break, the first with Children this year.

See you afloat…  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Dylly    -- May-8-2013 @ 10:35 AM
  Excellent tale of daring do! I was just wondering what the wine to diesel consumption ratio is?

He's fallen in the water!
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fidear45    -- May-8-2013 @ 10:50 AM
  To be honest we only drank three bottles the whole weekend. But I suppose when I say it like that its a lot.

We had way more tea than wine. Real booze cruisers we weren't.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- May-8-2013 @ 5:18 PM
 
Another great write up.

Very enjoyable,


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


Mirage    -- May-8-2013 @ 5:55 PM
  A Great tale Martin, sorry you weren't able to come along side in Ranworth for a natter.

See you on the river soon
Simon


The Corsicans
Simon & Sonia + Dylan the
Dorg.
"There's a whole new day
tomorrow that hasn't started
yet"


This message was edited by Mirage on May-9-13 @ 12:50 PM


daviddownunder    -- May-9-2013 @ 4:49 AM
  G'Day Martin

Nice write up

Hopefully we will see Malanka out and about when we are back over in early July

Regards
Dave Downunder


fidear45    -- May-13-2013 @ 10:33 AM
  Hi Dave,

Hope so too, post your details when you have them and we'll see if we can match up.

Ok coming up in the next episode, the missing boat, the creepy wet shed, night nav down the Ant and mayhem in Horning. All I have to do is write it all down. Just returned last night at 10:45pm, we had a super time, kids came too, but no Boris..

First up the missing boat...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-13-2013 @ 1:19 PM
  Wednesday 8th May “The Missing Boat”

Being based in Belgium has some distinct advantages, notwithstanding the weather which as a Brit I can honestly say is truly beastly. One such advantage is the month of May, not only do we get paid twice in May but we also have three bank holidays and an enforced bridging day. This means that Norfolk is our second home in the month of May and HMRC starts to get a bit twitchy for the number of days in country in only the second month of the tax year.
Ascension day is a holiday all over Europe and so Wednesday after work was going to be mayhem on the roads, I was not to be disappointed but the traffic was nothing we hadn’t planned for or could cope with by having flexible plans. Add in the bridge day on Friday, Saturday then Sunday and a glorious four day break was set up beautifully. The forecast for Lowestoft was poor but we set off full of hope that this weekend would confound the Met Office as much as every other one seems to these days. (I was tempted to leave my auto-corrected version of “Met Orrifice” in there as it more closely sums up their current standing and performance, but I digress)

Journey to Calais was boring, the car knows its own way there by now. We arrived with time to spare and so decided to avail ourselves of the offer on the wine that I mentioned from a few weeks ago. It’s still 6 bottles for 16 Euros and so fully stocked with chocolate, wine and other essential food groups we set off for England.

Our preferred method of travel torture that is the UK major road system was to be the A12 this time. Those of you familiar with these tails will of course realize this heralds a stop at the Chip Inn Long Stratton (it even has its own website). The choices had been the Oasis (Stalham), the Chinese take away (Stalham), Tesco warm them up yourself meals from Blue Boar lane 24hr establishment (Chinese or Indian), or the marvelous “we cook in beef dripping”, Chip inn (Long Stratton).  

With our train times the only difficulty I foresaw is that on Wednesdays the place closes its doors at 21:30hrs. Patricia (the navigation lady with the sexy voice) informed me that it would be a tight squeeze but if we could average 80kph (50mph) we should make it with time to spare.

Well I didn’t want to deprive the kids of their chips and so with Patricia’s help we pressed on in the hope of some crisp golden chips with real malt vinegar and a very unhealthy splash with the salt dispenser.

I have described the chips before, so needless to say we made it and I just had to force down a steak and kidney pie to go with the crisp sizzling golden brown chips.

Food break over we headed for Stalham and the waiting old lady. We had arranged (or so we thought) for Phil to leave Malanka at Moonfleet after they had finished with the latest bit of work to the windscreen and wheelhouse roof.
For whatever reason and it really doesn’t matter as we had a fine time anyway we thought we had one arrangement and Phil thought he had another, namely that we were arriving on Friday. Needless to say we arrived, negotiated the locked gate and parked ready to transfer all our weekend stuff to the boat. I must admit to actually walking the full length of the quay heading twice before the obvious began to sink in, the boats not here!
Ah bother dash, its 10:15 and this means Malanka is in the wet  shed. Anyone remember the gate combination lock number by any chance? After we had all shaken our heads a few times we realized we could be sleeping in the car unless we could ask someone we knew the code, who knew us, would still be awake on a work day night  and would tell us the code to let us in.  

Fiona texted Griff who didn’t answer for a while then replied Who RU? Before she could answer that and while Griff was formulating his text Fiona had called our friends the Corsicans, who saved our bodies from an uncomfortable night in the car by telling us the code. Whilst we were unloading the car Fiona was speculating how many Fionas Griff had to have on the go at once as there was obviously more than just her!!
A few amusing minutes followed until we twigged that Griff was being an upright citizen and not just giving out the lock code to any Tom, Dick or Fiona. So whilst we continued to chuckle to ourselves about that one, we settled into the spooky mausoleum that is the wet shed at night. I went down into the saloon and was met by several glum faces, hunched shoulders and one hopeful face. “do we have to stay here, its creepy”? Said Helena. Er, well no we don’t I thought, we could go down to Barton or somewhere and get out of the creepy place.
Just a few minor issues, or as I like to call them, opportunities! Its dark, I have never taken Malanka out of her new Bay in the shed (she was moved a few weeks ago) and her new neighbor is a big old beautiful woody that goes by the name of Broad Ambition.
So decision made we were leaving the set of the incredible Dr Phibes (Hammer house of horror) that is the wet shed at night and we were heading into the darkness and a night navigation down the Ant (another first), destination Barton Turf.
Some minor maneuvering and we slipped out of the shed with just the navigation lights and instruments illuminated. The light reflecting from the green starboard light was sufficient for me to see the bank as the night was cloudy and almost moonless. The biggest aid to navigation was in fact the light pollution reflecting from Norwich on the underside of the cloud filled sky.  Using the orange glow I was able to pick out all the expected twists and turns quite easily and soon began to enjoy myself in a slightly tense kind of way.
All too soon or maybe soon enough for my equilibrium the entrance to Barton Turf was on the starboard side and we entered the last part of our evenings adventure, mooring in the dark.

The first and last time I had done a night navigation we had moored in Ranworth on the staithe, right next to a boat with more LEDs inside than Blackpool on a Friday night during the illuminations. Barton Turf I thought was going to be different. As is not uncommon I was totally wrong and the bright floodlight in the boatyard illuminated everything very well, the only problem was that if we couldn’t moor up and had to go somewhere else my night vision was now totally gone.
As these things have a way of working out , so it was on this occasion, a free spot just big enough for us was available on the end by the pathway. I didn’t want to moor too near anyone else as this was by now 23:15 and very late, and I didn’t want to disturb the sleeping as no lights were showing in the boats moored there when we arrived. Externally Malanka is very quiet (yes she is Jason) with just the little bark of the exhaust to record our passage. So slowly, and without any loud noises we moored at Barton Turf and immediately shut down the engine and relaxed. The two boys were magnificent and did their jobs in total silence. The boat behind us briefly twitched the rear door curtains, but no complaints received and an apology the next morning to the lady from the boat behind revealed she didn’t hear us very much. Job done.

More to come…      


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- May-13-2013 @ 5:23 PM
  Night nav-ing the Ant - Well done, now you can do it times many (Assuming it's not foggy - I've done it at night in the fog and it's proper hard work)

The phone txting thing, I'm with 'EE' (used to be Orange) if my mobile is downstairs it doesn't get a signal unless I'm in t back garden or the path next to the front road, neither venue is often exercised at that time of night I have to say.

It does get a signal if I'm upstairs in our 'new office' (Redundant bedroom).  By chance, late on that evening I had taken the mobile up to said new office and then rxv'd Fiona's txt.  Only cause numpty rowlocks here has not put yours or Fiona's numbers in my phone all I got was a request for the code.

That's why I asked 'U R'? still not convinced when the reply 'Fiona' came back as I do know a few 'Fiona's' and it could have been any Tom, Dick or Fiona chancing it as you correctly stated.  My mobile number is out there on various websites, advertising mediums, van etc etc.

Once I realised (Via another txt to a third party) the request was cosher I felt a bit of a heel to be honest. Anyroadup it won't happen again as both numbers now in phone with names too, which is a bonus!

As for the wet-shed being creepy - Not for moi, I've spent dozens of nights in there, often on my tod and I kinda like the near-silence, both the resident otter and kingfishers have scared the hell out of me as much as I've scared them on occasions I have to admit.

Anyway - on with the tale please,


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


This message was edited by BroadAmbition on May-13-13 @ 6:25 PM


fidear45    -- May-14-2013 @ 11:56 AM
  We awoke to bright sunshine and the prospect of a lovely day. We returned to Moonfleet for a top up with stinky fuel and a chit chat with Phil about the ongoing work the lads are doing. The crew sauntered off to Tesco and the high street butcher where an appointment with two pork and chili jam pies was on the cards. I asked the guys in the yard to help me put Mini back in the water then rowed her round to the stern of Malanka opposite the day boat shed. I emptied out all the leaves and other wind-blown detritus and proceeded with much joy and glee to wipe off a weeks-worth of accumulated goose and duck poop.

Before too long the crew returned with the booty from their shopping trip and we decided to pootle off and enjoy the day. Before we left we decided to drop the top and head down river topless. In the past this has proven to be an event worthy of Olympic status in the class of the middle-weight  weight lifting variety. However since the replacement of the top with a new one by the guys at the yard the top is now significantly lighter and whilst not a joy to handle it is now merely slightly inconvenient rather than a pain in the posterior. However by now the wind was picking up and we decided that not dropping the top would be the wisest choice. So with top up, food stowed away and a cup of steaming rosey in my hand, we head of down- river with the intention of eventually making it to the Wroxham hotel where we have reserved a mooring for the evening. With the reserved mooring in the bag we didn’t mind how long it took or what happened to delay us on the way we were just enjoying the trip.

The clouds were rushing by and the wind was picking up in intensity as we made it to the entrance to Barton Broad, there were white caps on the broad and crossing in the face of a very stiff breeze directly on the bow led to an interesting few minutes. The waves were crashing against Malanka’s bow and the spray was leaping out to the sides of the boat in a great plume of white frothiness. Occasionally there was a bigger wave and a cooperative gust of the by now howling gale and the white frothiness would splash spectacularly against the windscreen and run down in tiny droplets as the spray met the rain-ex coated screen in a primeval battle of nature versus technology. As the droplets dried in the gale I remarked to the crew that the water seemed to be quite sandy and a muddy colour when dried onto the screen. I made a mental note to wash the screen before attempting to remove the droplets lest I scratch the newly fitted panes of crystal clear unmarked glass. By How Hill the wind had abated somewhat although our experiences so far this season indicated that the wind would return in full measure in the lower reaches of the Ant. Mast thingy dropped and Ludham bridge dealt with we tooted a joyful greeting to the hard at work and very talented eager beavers that is the crew at LBBY.  

As predicted the gale returned in full measure and we entered the Bure with a veritable hooley blowing. Our previous experiences with a gale of this strength and this direction indicated that the proposed stop in Ranworth for a liquid lunch was not going to be the option of choice today and that a gentle cruise to our intended destination would be just fine.
Fiona and I had an appointment to keep in Wroxham and so we just kept going and without any incidents or accidents we arrived in Wroxham at just after three pm. There seemed to have been a slight miscommunication as the name on the chalk board was correct and the date was correct although the length of the boat at 30ft was a tad short. Normally this would not have worried me, but with the hooley blowing and a Monster 48ft Brinks Emperor (beautifully moored by forum member Boat Mad, the man in the pink shirt) in the remaining space on the hotel mooring this was going to be tight. I need not have worried as Boat Mad seeing our arrival, had kindly come out to offer assistance and move his mooring line to another ring to help us squeeze in and get settled. With Malanka’s transom exactly level with the end of the mooring and the day boats able to get in and out we had to find a home for Mini.

We moored Mini alongside Malanka on the port side and attached two bow lines and a stern line to prevent her swinging about and getting in the way. With extra fendage deployed we registered our presence with the nice lady in reception and decided to use the electric hook up and settle in for the evening. Fiona and I headed off for our appointment and left Malanka in the care of the younger crew members whose focus for the moment was on ipads, computers and nintendo this and that. One consequence of this focus on modern technology was that the Trip boat close encounter recorded via the webcam in another thread on the forum was completely missed by the resident and obviously not paying attention crew. Our attention was drawn to the close encounter by Charlie the Mod who sent us a text message asking if we had seen it.
We hadn’t seen it but a quick look at the fendage and Mini was all it took to see that there had been no contact and what looked really spectacular on the webcam had been good helm skill by the trip boat skipper. That moment of excitement over we settled down to enjoy some Blossom Hill rose and watch the world go by.
Our food choices in Wroxham were of course very extensive, although the selected establishment (the Thai place behind the hotel) turned out to be currently closed for renovations, and so the Chinese across the road and the new fried chicken place next door were selected to provide the sustenance for the evening.

We collected menus from both places and settled down in the wheelhouse to make our selections and plan the feast in true Malanka style. Selections made and transferred to paper, three crew members were dispatched to go and fetch the evening’s culinary delights. Helena stayed behind to prepare the table and I decided to sit down and have another glass of wine. In a moment of sheer madness I put down my wine and went to see if we had retained the soy sauce from last season. Whilst rummaging around under the sink to find the aforementioned sauce in a plastic box at the back of the cupboard, made me realize Fiona’s idea of pull-out shelves with an automatic light was not such a  flight of unnecessary fancy as I had at first supposed.
Putting such thoughts aside for now, I warmly greeted the returning crew and the steaming piles of lovely aromatic food being opened and placed onto the table prepared by Helena. We had decided to use the table as a buffet bar and each help ourselves to whatever we fancied from the veritable cornucopia of delights in front of us. We then all retired to the wheelhouse to munch, slurp and enjoy the food.

I have to report that the Chinese food was superb, freshly cooked and not at all greasy, the fried chicken was superb and also very plentiful. All in all a good selection the whole crew enjoyed. After a change of wine from pink to white, the day was drawing to a close and the fresh air and relaxation of being afloat in Norfolk was weaving its magic . We were tired, satisfied, and not a little sleepy and so not much after ten pm we closed the curtains on the world and departed to the land of nod to see what tomorrow would bring.

Friday morning brought the sound of a power washer removing goose poo but more on that later.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-15-2013 @ 11:33 AM
  Friday 10th May

The sound of a pressure washer broke the mystery of a buzzing noise I was having in my morning dozy dream. I got up to put the kettle on and looked through the galley window and saw the Hotel patio being washed. I assume it was to remove the overnight bird poop, although this morning the entire patio was getting a wash, including the bits next to us. One consequence of the washing was that the atomized bits of dirt and poop were floating around the air and larger pieces flew through the air until they impacted a solid object. The solid object in question in front of the hotel patio would be the ex- pristine white painted flanks of Malanka.
After my mug of tea and having watched the cleaning of the patio I left the boat with Fiona  and headed out to Norfolk Marine to buy a new fire extinguisher and another one of those water boy “floaty thingies.” This one I have attached to the windlass handle just in case I drop it or it rolls of the decks into the water.

Having left the wheelhouse I glanced at the side of the boat to see what the impact of the power washing had been, and lo and behold the side of the boat was a mess of dirt, poo and soggy indescribable gunk, all stuck to the side of the boat. The bits not covered were obscured by the fenders, which were themselves covered in the same glop.
Oh well I muttered to myself as I approached the guy with the washer. “will you do me a favor mate”? I asked. “what’s that”? he replied. “Wash that stuff off the boat please”, I said as I pointed at the pebble dashed side of Malanka. “Oh, OK”, he said as he glanced up to see where I was pointing. The safety glasses he was wearing were covered in the same stuff and I don’t think he could actually see what the effect of the washing had been on the white side of Malanka until I pointed it out.

Anyway he was very good about it and did a fine job of patio gunk removal a few minutes later.
The plan was to head for Salhouse to have a mudweight breakfast, and so Fiona and I wandered round town for a while waiting for the shops to open, then nipped into the little supermarket behind the hotel to purchase some warm sausage rolls for the children to have as a biting on until we arrived at Salhouse where Christian was to provide breakfast. All the children were still soundly asleep and nothing short of a poke in the eye was going to wake them, especially not starting the engine, and moving off.  
We arrived in Salhouse to continuing glorious sunshine and dropped the weight and also the top of the boat to enjoy an alfresco brunch.
After food we topped up the water at the mooring and chatted to Holly (she’s the one who used to wear the hat all the time, and falls out of trees) who collects the fees and looks after the canoes. The plan was not to go anywhere specific today but to end up in Horning so I could treat Fiona and the children to dinner in the Swan. During our chat the sun ran away to be replaced with dark rainclouds that did what rain clouds do and deposited way too much precipitation for us to leave the top down so we heaved it back up again. Of course immediately we had done that the sun pulled its Norfolk trick and chased the clouds away again so it was now quite warm.

We decided we couldn’t be bothered with up down up down, so the top stayed up. One consequence of the tope being up and having canvas sides with clear panels is that the slightest sunlight and it heats up very quickly so our trip to Ranworth as an interim destination on the way back to Horning was just to have some fun and cruise up and down in the warm wheelhouse bathed in sunshine. Only when we opened the side to go through horning did the real temperature of the wind make its presence felt. It was freezing.  
We stopped in Ranworth for a couple of hours or so, and had a lovely drink and chat with the host in the newly renovated Maltsters. After drinks we bought some ice creams in the shop and decided to head back to Horning to enjoy a lazy afternoon not doing a great deal.

When we arrived in Horning there was a public mooring spot available and Fiona initially insisted we moor there as it would be easier to access the pub as she didn’t fancy rowing across in the dark. So we moored up and stood there whilst I scratched my head and muttered to myself that mooring here would be against my better judgment. The look on my face must have spoken volumes as Fiona then asked me if I wanted to stay here. “Er no not really” was my reply. It was going to get really busy later and I would rather not have the concern of being there. “I would rather be over there”, and I pointed to the island. Reluctantly Fiona agreed and we then moved again over to the island and immediately noticed the relative calm in which we now found ourselves, out of the way and out of the biting wind too.

After setting springs to avoid moving we settled down to an afternoon of chatting with the children and general family time which is one of the benefits of coming to Norfolk we really appreciate. A chance to sit down as a family and lark about, chat and generally be a family together and actually enjoy being a family.

After a while we all sort of drifted off to do our own thing and mine was to sit on the coach house roof with a cushion and sun bed thingy and sip wine and talk with Justin.   We were relatively wind free and the sun on us was very comforting and quite warm. It soon became apparent to both Justin and myself that moving was a very fortuitous thing to have done. The spot where we had been was now filled with a Herbert woods boat that had drawn the attention of a large cruiser full of young men who were seeking somewhere to moor for the evening. After several bow in attempts the purpose of which escaped both Justin and myself the skipper of the large cruiser then decided that stern mooring into the dinghy access quay would be a good plan. The poor herby woods boat thus was hit by the bow of the other cruiser several times, sufficient for it to move to the extent permitted by the mooring lines (about half a metre), then the skipper returned and attempted to more stern on in the same location with the same result for the moored boat, which now was straining at the mooring lines due to the pressure from the bigger craft.
I drew the attention of the boat to the fact that parallel mooring only was permitted and that they could double moor to any of the already moored craft. After again ramming the Herbert woods boat in the attempt to get out of the dinghy quay I asked them how they would feel if that moored boat was their car in a Tesco car park. Would they be happy that someone did to them what they had just done.   A sunglasses and beer bottle equipped oxygen thief then responded that they “stayed away from the boat and never came near it”. Such patent lies from one adult to another simply disgusts me and whoever it was should quite simply grow up.

I have no idea of the damage done but each whack was quite firm and audible to the entire community looking on. The crew left the area only to return half an hour later and moor quite responsibly alongside the pub next to the steam boat. They were accompanied in this by sister boat who double moored with them. There were no collisions or fuss and so I surmise that either the helm had changed or was taking this mooring lark a bit more seriously than thirty minutes beforehand.

More sitting in the sun followed and this eventually came to an end when the sun slipped below the trees and the temperature began to drop in preparation for the evening. Justin and I had earlier rowed across to the pub and booked a table for 20:15 so with hair brushed, clothes primped and aftershave applied we rowed across to the pub at 19:45 in preparation for our dinner. Unfortunately someone (me) had forgotten my reading glasses without which I cannot see my dinner, so while the rest of the family sat in the garden and ordered their drinks I rowed back and retrieved my glasses from the boat. I assume Fiona had ordered the drinks from a trainee as drinks arrived at the same time as I did when I returned with my glasses. The fact of which I found quite amusing.

Dinner in the pub is by reservation and is full table service. It is also very good, the service is excellent and so is the ambience and the food. We had a great time and the bill was not very large at all considering what we had and how much fun it was.

We rowed back across the river in the dark and sat in the cosy wheelhouse for a while and chatted about this and that, but too soon the eyelids began to droop and it was bedtime.

Tomorrow we planned to head back to Salhouse for breakfast then cruise up to Acle for dinner, but today had been a great day.

N.B Life jackets were worn for all rowing maneuvers….  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-16-2013 @ 12:49 PM
  Saturday 11th May

After a hearty breakfast in Salhouse with the now customary wheelhouse roof dance, we decided to leave roof up and cruise up to Acle and just enjoy the day. We set off from Salhouse and immediately picked up a BA river patrol in front of us. This was very welcome news to me as the previous day we had seen numerous day boats with huge wakes racing about here and there. So we settled in behind the patrol boat and quite contentedly pootled along at BA speed.  
It wasn’t long before the little red lollipop stick emerged from the patrol boat and was waved in front of a very crowded day boat with several bemused looking occupants obviously never expecting to be stopped by the rozzers so to speak. We cruised gently passed and alongside a single level design boat with effectively defective steering as it was wandering all over the place. The patrol boat had already had a word something along the lines of please steer a straight course and preferably on the right hand side of the river, however as soon as the BA patrol was behind them stopping and talking with the speeding day boat, the meandering started again.
It must have been something of a surprise for the gentleman helming the boat when the bow of Malanka appeared in his peripheral vision as the immediate response was to move violently over to the right hand side of the river where the rangers had asked him to be in the first place. At a steady 4mph we slowly passed the cruiser just before entering the 4mph section on the approach to Horning. The wind was still quite cool and so the sides were down and we were toasty warm in the wheelhouse. Just through Horning and past Cockshoot who should come steaming the other way but our friends the Corsicans, after executing a 180 degree turn and cruising alongside for a few moments we exchanged greetings and plans for the day and for made plans for Sunday morning sailing with Simon in Malthouse Broad. Another 180 degree turn and we were on our way again. Only a few minutes further down river and just before the turn into the Ant, we saw a rather dashing looking boat by the name of Brilliant with two occupants grinning from ear to ear obviously enjoying their lovely new shiny paint job and restoration miracle courtesy of the eager beavers at LBBY. Another 180 degree turn and poor Malanka was beginning to wonder where the heck we were taking her as we turned to catch up with Pauline and Phil for a quick chin wag and to say just how magnificent Brilliant looked on the water. Pauline decided that we needed to help with the Brilliant celebrations and so she passed two glasses (yes they were safe plastic ones) of Champagne over to Malanka as we ran alongside the gleaming Brilliant. The champagne was lovely and very quickly consumed, the glasses were passed back and after exchanging yet more oohs and aahs over the lovely Brilliant (she really does look good folks), we executed another 180 turn and once more set forth to Acle.
As you can see we weren’t actually making much progress towards Acle and lots of turning was actually quite fun. Anyway now we were on our way again and we would take our time and head steadily to Acle in anticipation of a lovely meal that evening.
We were just passing St Bennets when who did we see but Demerrara Born and his lovely lady wife accompanied of course by their not so fat Labrador (Jake). Ok so the gods were trying to tell us something by now as you can surmise. So another 180 and we decided to moor up and talk to our new old friends from a lovely afternoon in Womack Water. This time it turns out that they have friends over from New Zealand and so of course a tour of Malanka was called for. We had a lovely chit chat about not a lot and of course thoroughly enjoyed it. By this time we really had to be going and so with vague hopes of a meet up with Aubrey and friends this weekend on the cards we again performed another 180 and again headed towards Acle.

We arrived at Acle to find there was no room at the bridge and not very much room on the river bank mooring either. After a brief cruise down to Stokesby in the hope that someone would leave, we returned and still no room being available we decided to head for Womak Water as the weather was fast deteriorating and dark rain clouds were gathering above us. The boys on board wanted to watch the cup final and so too did dad, so we increased speed to the limit and headed back up the river. By the time we arrived in Womak the weather was once more blowing a hooley and so we wanted to moor in a relatively sheltered spot, luckily for us there were many mooring spots still available in the middle of Saturday afternoon.
Just after we had moored and secured Mini to the port side of us to prevent her floating about too much, two of the boats we had been hoping would leave Acle bridge appeared and wanted to moor next to each other in the space between us and the next boat to our port side. There were other options for mooring that would not have required me to don my storm coat and get soaked but having been asked nicely if I could move mini, who was I to be churlish and refuse, or offer alternative mooring options. So coat on I went outside to move mini to the bow position I really preferred not to use in such windy conditions. In the pouring rain I deployed extra fendage and hoped that she wouldn’t move too much in the gathering storm.

On our starboard side was a le boat cruiser which then moved closer to us, I presume to move out of the last thirty feet of the quay heading which in Womak that day was where the windy mooring spots were located. Having completed their move, this left a good 5 feet between them and us, the mooring rings defining where they could be. This then would be a good spot to slip mini back alongside and out of harm’s way.   So coat on again, out I went into the teeth of the howling gale to once more move mini. By now the rain was really coming down and my newly purchased extra grippy deck shoes were combining with the newly fitted trackmark to produce by far the best grip Malankas decks have seen the wet condition for many many years.  

After all this we then settled to watch the cup final in the vain hope that Wigan could turn over the big spenders of the premier league.

A few hours later and miracle achieved it was time for the pub. We had a fine meal in the Kings Arms as we knew we would have and retired early to bed in anticipation of a quiet Sunday morning cruise to Ranworth with the aim of meeting up with Simon to have a sail in Rondonnay.

Sunday dawned bright and not too breezy so a good day for sailing, we cruised to Ranworth and then pulled off an outrageous looking mooring maneuver to terminate stern on right up next to Simon after pulling a ridiculous 270 degree spin turn. This is Malankas party piece and I was so pleased to be able to show off just a little what and old woody can do.  

Simon and I had a delightful, if way too brief sail about Rondonnay. However time was not on our side and we had places to go and trains to catch and so we said goodbye (until next weekend) to Simon and Sonia and headed up the Ant to Stalham and home.
At Stalham we performed another first in putting Malanka into her new berth in the wet shed right next to BA, and so with this behind us, boat shut down, gas turned off and leccy connected we departed Stalham and headed home to Belgium. A brief stop off at Tesco to fill up with fuel and essential food supplies very expensive or not available in Belgium then off we went. It was 3pm.

We arrived back at our front door at 10:45pm tired but content in the memories of a fine weekend afloat.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- May-17-2013 @ 7:04 AM
 
but content in the memories of a fine weekend afloat.

Me too after reading your write up.

Thanks


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


Regulo    -- May-19-2013 @ 9:57 PM
  Martin,

Good to see you and crew on the river today (Sunday). Malanka looking grand, as usual. Impressed by your 180 degree, spin on the spot turns! I can do that, but only with the assistance of the bow-thruster.

Thanks for the warning about the yottie racers at Horning, we were on our way to Salhouse for lunch, but we stopped off at Cockshoot instead. Then we continued after, assuming (correctly) that the morning's racing would be over. Can do without that hassle!

Regards, Ray.

If it's neither here, nor there,
then where is it?


fidear45    -- May-21-2013 @ 9:33 AM
  Hi Ray,
It was good to see you too. We now enjoy the benefits of a perfectly balanced prop for the first time, so she stays on the straight and narrow now too.
Horning  was manic and quite a few inexperienced skippers were stopped mid river on the upstream approach to Horning wondering what to do. There were a goodly number of yachts out enjoying themselves and it was a magnificent sight. If a little (ok a lot) intimidating for the uninitiated.



Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-21-2013 @ 1:16 PM
  Friday 17th May

This weekend was going to be a little different to our previous weekends this season as only one junior crew member would be with us and Boris the magnificent would be coming long too. One additional change to the normal routine would be the presence of Charlie, a forum friend and all around jolly good laugh. The older two crew members were staying home to study for their exams in June.
We had arranged for Charlie to help us out and “do the shopping thing” for us so we didn’t have to worry about it. Charlie thought this would be a good idea as it would allow her to arrive early miss all the traffic and also give her some time alone on Malanka so she could do the homework she would normally spend the weekend doing. So all round a win-win for everyone.

Those of you familiar with Malanka tales will know that things don’t always go according to plan, well this trip was going to be no different. This all started a few weeks ago when the head of our school asked me to participate as a parent advisor in the schools review of its five year strategic plan. This was quite a surprise as I had not up to this point taken much of an interest in things financial and strategic at the school. Never the less I was honored to be asked and agreed to participate.
Our first meeting was on Thursday 16th May from 5pm until 9pm and the second meeting was from 9am Friday until 5pm Friday afternoon. The time on Friday was going to cause us a problem to get to Malanka before midnight, which would be one am for us on CET. I need not have worried as the moderator lady from the International schools governing council was super- efficient and very centered on finishing at 15:30. So plans made, I turned up on Friday morning and the meeting went very well and we all had a good time during the meeting. The slight hiccough that was introduced into the proceedings was my phone vibrating with a call I just had to take.
“Justin has been hit on the head by a football” said Fiona. Oh I thought, that’s not unusual he is a boy after all. It started to be a bit more ominous when Fiona told me the school nurse had called her, and that Justin was seeing how he was and they would ring later with an update.  At 1pm Fiona called me to tell me that she was going to School to pick up the “bash on the head boy” as the school thought he should come home and we should watch for any signs of a possible concussion.  
Just the thing to start a 7 hour journey.
The precaution shown by the school was to their credit but Justin was fine if a little dazed at receiving a football, full force, directly in the face from only a few feet away. This had of course precipitated a full, both barrels nose bleed of the kind that Justin is only too familiar with from his already frequent nose bleeds. Fiona and I knew he had one earlier in the week and I know from personally having the same issue at the same age that two big ones in three days is not ideal, coupled with a footy ball to the beak and his week was complete. Anyway the point of all this was that Fiona’s and Justins preparation’s for the weekend was somewhat disrupted but they both came through and were outside the meeting venue promptly at 15:45. The only downside which emerged later was that in all the kerfuffle Fiona had forgotten to pack my shorts. I was inside waiting to be able to leave, the weather was simply horrible with heavy rain and dark skies everywhere so the shorts wouldn’t matter one way or the other, wellies would be more useful.
We updated Charlie with regular texts as we made our way to Calais, dog check in, then the QEII bridge and past various other landmarks on our journey. The effect of these updates was heard as I walked along the quay heading towards Malanka and heard the kettle just starting to boil! How’s that for timing?

Our food for the evening was to be Lasagne that we had made the day before and almost cooked, so some minutes in the oven with some tear and share bread, accompanied with some fresh salad and some nice pinot and we would be sorted.

Charlie helped us with the unloading and unpacking then we settled down to play catch up as we hadn’t seen each other since January. After a fair few minutes the smell from the kitchen was driving us into a frenzy of salivating and so we tucked in to dinner like starving men.
We had not had chips from the chip inn quite deliberately in an attempt to reduce the inevitable weight gain from the trip to manageable proportions. We were fairly certain the wine consumption would make up for any shortfall in calorific intake deficiency driven by the absence of chips and pie on Friday night.

Fiona and I have come to the inevitable conclusion that in the wine stakes Charlie is a bit of an expert, not that she falls over at the sniff of the barmaids apron, but quite the opposite in fact. Wine does not seem to have any discernible effect on her. This of course is rather disconcerting, when the same cannot be said for Fiona and myself. Later that evening after dinner, and probably half way through some important discussion on propellers or knot tying, we both suffered from wine induced narcolepsy. Honest your honor.

Saturday morning dawned to the sights and sounds of Boris recognizing exactly where he was and him wanting to go out, play fetch, walk about and generally strut his stuff in Stalham.  This kicked off at roughly 05:15, which translated to CET is his normal wake up time. I resisted the inevitable until 06:50 then gave in. Equipped with tennis ball and doggie poo bags by the score, I headed for the parking field over the road from Moonfleet to watch a loony airhead chase a ball about for half an hour. He loved it.
After bagging and binning the inevitable effects of the exercise we walked up and down the staithe as Boris was obviously still full of beans and I fancied going back to my toasty warm bed for a few more Zzzzs.

Charlie had last night volunteered to walk Boris the magnificent. When I had left the boat she was still soundly in the land of nod as evidenced by the lumberjack sounds emanating from the front cabin.

Our return to the boat woke everyone up but Boris decided he would like to have more sleep too and he fell under the Norfolk spell once more and nodded off to the sound of ducks and geese on the still mist covered river. I returned my soggy cold feet to my toasty warm duvet and shortly thereafter joined Boris and the rest of Malankas crew in enjoying the early Saturday morning from the inside of my eyelids.

What seemed like a few moments, but from the clock going tick tock on the cabin wall, was approximately 90 minutes later, sounds of rising were emerging from the front cabin and Boris was doing his best to con Charlie that he desperately needed to go out for another walk, play with his ball, and any other doggie type stuff he had missed the first time. I was sure there were some ducks he had ignored on hist first walk, that simply wouldn’t do! It doesn’t matter if he succeeded in his deception or not, or if Charlie just wanted to take him, but out he went for his second walk in less than two hours. A dog could get to like this you know.  

Charlie returned an hour later having circumnavigated the entire yard at Richardsons, and explored every quay, nook and cranny for interesting doggie smells.
The rest of the crew were emerging as Charlie returned and after very little fuss but several mugs of tea we headed into Stalham to visit the butcher for assorted porcine meat products we would need for the coming days. Boris came along too and so in a little over three hours he had three walks- a dog was liking this very much.
I stood outside the shop whilst the ladies decided which of the excellent options available we would be trying today. Boris was very interested in the contents of the shop and his nose was twitching like Tabitha from bewitched in a frenzy of spell making. One of the butchers announced they had marrow bones that Boris may like, and went away returning with a huge bone that whilst we were sure Boris would appreciate, we were equally sure the furniture and fittings inside the boat would not.

Fiona suggested they cut it in half and so equipped with human and doggie treats we headed back to Moonfleet.  
After returning to the boat and consuming his breakfast like it was the first one he had ever eaten, Boris nibbled at his bone for a few minutes then promptly flopped down on his wheelhouse doggie bed and proceeded to fall fast asleep. A state in which he remained for the remainder of the morning and most of the afternoon. This travel lark really takes it out of a dog you know…  

We put the food away, fetched mini from her location at the yard and decided to head off for a late brunch on the go and just set off and enjoy getting where we were going as slowly as possible.  We had plans to head for Horning and the Swan for dinner, but we didn’t care this is Norfolk and we were floating.

More to come including; night nav to Salhouse, raucous party boat and first time mudweighting.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-21-2013 @ 5:11 PM
  Now hang on a minute...  Don't believe him please people there are a few small but significant inaccuracies here.

Firstly... I was not snoring! I was awake!

Secondly...My poor baby Boris clearly hadn't been walked properly.  This was obvious because he was soooo full of beans that it was completely necessary to check out the whole of Richardson's yard, count the boats being turned around, nosey in the back doors of those which were empty and visit the field twice.

And finally... The wine issue, I did drink less than them, I did manage to stay awake but ... I learnt from the best!   Playful Wink

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- May-21-2013 @ 5:39 PM
  Hmmmmmmm


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-22-2013 @ 2:27 PM
  Saturday 18th May

Setting off downriver with the Boris fast asleep on top of the engine compartment, a cup of tea in my hand and the lovely smell of breakfast emanating from the galley, along with suitable clanking and rattling noises reminded me of the gold blend adverts of years ago, you know the ones where they hid behind the curtains and make percolating noises. Fiona wasn’t making sizzling noises it was just a moment that passed through my mind as we glided softly down the river at a steady two donkey power, nothing at all in my head hence the gold blend moment.  

Today we were going to do something new for one of our crew members. In fact we were going to do three new things all in one day. We were going to have dinner in the Swan in Horning whilst mooring the boat on the Island, we were going to night navigate down to Salhouse after we had dinner, and we were going to drop the mudweight and stay mid-broad overnight (well slightly off to one side actually). All of these things would be firsts for Charlie, even after coming to the broads for the past 25 years and owning her own boat for the past ten years. Being based on the southern side means these opportunities are not always as easily achieved on the highly tidal and sometimes fast flowing regions of the southern broads.

So with these goals in mind and not really minding when we were going to arrive we just decided to head down and see what’s what when we got there. The weather was not stellar today, but a steady cool breeze with intermittent sunshine meant that the cruise down the Ant to Ludham and the cruise along the Bure to Horning was completely enjoyable, made even more so by the fact that I wasn’t at the helm. I was in fact sitting back with wine in hand totally enjoying the moment.
In fact the only time I did take the helm was on the approach to Ludham bridge as there were some rather uncertain maneuvers taking place in front of the bridge and three boats were queuing to go through. Justin had already dropped the mast thingy (silly mast thing in Charlie speak) and we were waiting our turn to go through the bridge, we watched the last in the queue of boats go through and just as they did I caught sight of a blue sea going vessel which was obviously over height approaching the bridge from the downstream side. We had our canopy up but as the gauge was reading over 9ft of clearance and we require 8 with the top up I was not concerned at all. The first boat to have gone through the bridge had moved to the right hand side of the river after transiting the bridge, just as one would expect. The second boat had followed suit on a slightly straighter trajectory and was moving very slowly but had completely cleared the bridge. By this time I could not see the blue sea going vessel at all. We sounded our merry toot and proceeded through the bridge, what we saw when we emerged on the other side was a scene of complete mayhem. Jason was just exiting his office with yellow jacket on and was attempting to direct the traffic and encourage  the second boat through the bridge to stop reversing back towards the bridge without looking what was behind,  which was us. The blue sea going vessel was on the far right hand side of the river and was nose to nose with the first boat to have gone through the bridge. They were not nose to nose for long as the blue vessel was in the process of turning after obviously deciding not to attempt to pass through. I could not believe anyone would attempt this maneuver so close to the bridge and right in front of vessels emerging through the bridge.  We were moving slowly but to avoid an impact with the concrete we had to clear the bridge and then immediately stop before we hit the stern of the still reversing vessel in front of us.

I took advantage of the space in front of Jason’s yard and stopped there as best I could.

The boat which had been nose to nose with the blue vessel was showing no signs of moving and came very close to hitting three or four moored boats on the farm moorings, the blue vessel itself had completed its turn and was now merrily heading away down river without it seemed the slightest recognition of the mayhem their late decision making had caused. The boat immediately in front was moving slowly but was cutting the corner and this was of course just where we needed to go. The large vessel first through, eventually sorted itself out and headed off, which left us and the second vessel to sort ourselves out . I was without options and simply pulled alongside the boat and indicated they should keep moving and not please cut the corner any more than they already had. Eventually things sorted themselves out and we simply held station whilst the second boat through moved very slowly down river. Apart from the reversing back under the bridge part the skipper did really well to not hit anyone and not to be hit by anyone, he didn’t hit any moored boats but obviously shaken by events he took it very slowly (and who could blame him) down the remainder of the river to the Ant mouth.

After these events we simply decided to head for Horning and moor up and enjoy the rest of the day sitting on top of the boat or in the wheelhouse for the crew members less game to experience the fresh breeze, and watch the world go by.

For some reason (I made a boo boo)I had to have two attempts to moor up in Horning but I thought it best to go back and start again than to try and improve on a poor initial position of the boat to moor against the wind onto the island moorings. The main difficulty was I was doing it in between two boats with Malanka and dinghy attached and I didn’t want to mess it up. Mooring completed we let Boris explore the island and sat back to enjoy the remaining afternoon and early evening chatting in the wheelhouse. The sun was out every now and then and the day definitely improved as it wore on toward evening time. Eventually we had to go inside and decide what time for dinner. Time decided was 20:15 and so Justin and I rowed across to the pub to make the reservation. Just after we had returned a yacht wished to moor into the space behind us and in front of the vessel behind us. For this to happen we had to move Malanka almost nose to nose with the very attractive private cruiser moored in front and move mini parallel to the transom. As mini is 12ft 6 this meant that she would stick out quite a bit and isn’t my preferred method at all.

In the spirit of the broads we moved Malanka and mini and all the while the helm of the yacht was patiently holding station waiting for the space to be big enough. This was a piece of great skill and made me feel much better about the whole situation. He slid the yacht to a dead stop in just the perfect position and we took his lines and tied him up. He even left sufficient gap that I didn’t have to leave mini sticking out. Well done sir, well done.

I knew the vessel now behind him was going to leave and I knew we were also planning on leaving later so overall everyone was a winner today.

Dinner in the Swan was of course superb, especially with the free drinks offer we collected last weekend and used this weekend (what a good idea that is). We all thought the meal was superb and soon it was time to leave and head off to Salhouse, so we walked slowly to the dinghy enjoying the ambience of Horning on a Saturday night and giggling to ourselves at the boats with their curtains open, as all of occupants were watching the political farce that is the Eurovision Song Contest.

With everyone on board, I let loose the lines and pushed out Malanka’s bow into the slight remaining breeze, I left the stern line attached just in case as the bow slowly moved away from the quay heading. At this point I fired up the engine let the stern line go and headed slowly out into the river. All at once there was a flurry of curtain twitching and head bobbing worthy of Mrs Bucket as everyone wanted to know what was going on. All our nav lights were on and correctly illuminated and the paddle boat had just returned so we were not providing any additional disturbance, but still folks wanted to see. So we waved goodbye to Horning, the twitching curtains and Eurovision and headed slowly off to Salhouse.

Charlie took the wheel for most of the short  trip to Salhouse, I only took over to locate the entrance to the broad and to drop the mudweight. We cruised slowly and very quietly into the broad and located our favourite spot, which was unoccupied. There was a Herbert woods boat within 40 metres or so but not close enough to cause any stress.

We drifted to a stop killed the engine and dropped the mudweight, then moved mini round to her overnight mudweight position (which is alongside) and settled down to some chilled white wine and a chat. The time was roughly 10:45.

We had been chatting for almost an hour when the peace and quiet of the broad was rudely shattered by shouting and screaming coming from a very large hire boat crossing the broad from the moorings reserved for tomorrows green boat festival. As the boat got nearer the zst zst zst of a heavily distorted and very loud stereo system reached us first. The boat proceeded to drop the mudweight on a very long length of rope, we speculated it was just attached not really pulled tight  as they moved a huge amount in the next 60 minutes as we listened to one bangin club tune after another.

At roughly half past midnight someone in the broad requested the noisy inconsiderate Barstewards to turn that F*****n Sh*te off and let us get some sleep. However this had precisely the opposite effect and they lowered the canopy and continued to party with running about the decks and more screaming and shouting. Eventually we felt that someone was going to fall into the broad and Fiona, Charlie and I were genuinely concerned for their safety. I was just considering going over to them in mini and suggesting that they close the canopy for safety if nothing else when quite abruptly, the music was turned down and although we could still hear screaming at least the bangin club tunes were less intrusive now.

The herby woods boat near us had just turned their lights off and gone to bed so we thought we would do the same. The party boat continued for a while but the stay up late, long meeting and long journey of Friday was catching up on us all, and so with Charlie’s three new things done in one day the land of nod consumed us easily.  

Coming up next. We need the sunscreen and did you pack me any shorts?


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Spider    -- May-22-2013 @ 6:02 PM
 
quote:"......
The herby woods boat near us had just turned their lights off and gone to bed
......."


You may have seen our lights go off but how on earth could you tell whether we had gone to bed........?


Charlie    -- May-22-2013 @ 8:34 PM
  Ooh, were you our neighbours Spider?


What Martin has not let on is that there was also a first for him on Saturday.  
Its seems typical that we never visit the places closest to us.  When at home I rarely visit the beach despite working within a couple miles of the seaside as the seagull flies, when on the boat I don’t visit Geldeston nearly often enough and it seems that being based in Stalham, Malanka and her crew don’t spend much time on the Upper Ant.  
I was surprised to find that the Malankans had never been up to Wayford, so we took a small detour enroute to Horning just so they could see how pretty that part of the Broads is.  There were several oohs and ahhs and ‘never knew this was here before’ comments.  And I think I may have convinced them that it is a good area to stop in the middle of nowhere and chill out.  
A kingfisher was spotted by Martin and I was excited to see a pair of cranes.  Having never been north of Potter Heigham (which I believe to be their normal stamping ground), I’ve never seen them before.  We did a quick and yes, ok ... it was impressive (but don’t tell him) spin just in front of the bridge and then bimbled back again to continue down the river.  


Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


daviddownunder    -- May-23-2013 @ 4:34 AM
  A most enjoyable read

Regards
Dave Downunder


fidear45    -- May-23-2013 @ 7:55 AM
  You are correct Charlie, I forgot to mention that. Probably due to you badgering me to write this up..

The kingfisher was impressive too. I saw another one on the way back on Monday afternoon too.

What exactly is bimbling btw??? Not sure I knnow how to bimble.....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Spider    -- May-23-2013 @ 10:40 AM
  Yes, Charlie, that was us. Not the most peaceful night I've ever spent on the Broads!


londonrascal    -- May-23-2013 @ 10:55 AM
  Bimble:  
     
To amble without real aim, yet in a friendly and harmless manner. You are not required achieve anything in so doing, and it is often a frequent side effect of Bimbling.

Bimbling can be made a little more business like with a slight hunch of the shoulders.

|  Robin  |

Norfolk Broads LIVE!
Captain's Blog Video Series



fidear45    -- May-23-2013 @ 11:54 AM
  Love it Robin...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-23-2013 @ 11:56 AM
  Spider,
Did you see them running about on the decks? at one point Charlie commented that she knew the music was too loud when she could sing along to it. Ok it was more like make more noise along with it rather than sing but you get the general idea.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Spider    -- May-23-2013 @ 12:11 PM
  The noise started long before you came in, when a boat moored on the spit, probably around 7pm. We retreated below to eat and listen to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue at a somewhat higher volume than usual! Didn't really notice anything until your nav lights loomed over us - with no night vision you gave the impression of being much bigger than you are. Turned off our lights until I could see you, worked out it was Malanka (we'd seen you moored at Horning earlier). Then went back to Rumpole of the Bailey and another bottle of Chateau Thames Embankment (sorry, in-joke) and did our best to ignore the rest of the world.

So the short answer is no, didn't see anything. I wonder whether it was the same boat from the spit?


fidear45    -- May-23-2013 @ 1:25 PM
  I spoke with Holly and she told me she had problems with a loud boat on the spit earlier in the day and that they refused to pay and told her they were leaving then returned much later and made noises on the spit after she had left, then went to the other moorings which I believe was much later still and the point at which we noticed them screaming and shouting in the dark. She took their number and was intending to report it to Herbert Woods, I am not sure if she did but she did tell me she had the boat registration. I assume it was the same boat that Holly described but I can't be sure as I couldn't see the registration in the dark and forgot to note it down the next morning.  

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


SternMoor    -- May-23-2013 @ 1:49 PM
  Uhmmm, bimbling, that's a new word to me as well, faskinating! Smile

Keith - PR4 & NR13 (11185)

"We're comin' in hot."  

"Truth is the Daughter of Time."

Captain 'arfpoint, Forum Quiz 12Apr13


fidear45    -- May-23-2013 @ 1:59 PM
  Ok slight change of tale, OK after seeing the Herby Woods boat turn off the light and witnessing the seething hot bed of Lurv, that is a night floating on Salhouse Broad  emanating  from somewhere to our starboard side we decided to leave the Grebes to it and went off to bed too.

Any better? Hands up all you naughty people who thought I was referring to something else!!

Sunday morning started quite early as the sun was streaming in through Malanka’s windows and painting pretty ripples on the ceiling of the cabin, the ducks, geese and the amorous Grebes from last night had been hard at the squawking and honking for two hours by this time. Now with the sun fully up and beaming away they had fallen silent and the smaller flying creatures had started their more genteel version of “get up and get outside”.  

We got up, went outside and immediately dropped the wheelhouse roof as the day was glorious and the wheelhouse was suitable for tomatoes, or any other hot house plant you care to mention.

Today the plan was to bimble over to Acle and enjoy a fine dinner in the restaurant. We intended also to pay a quick visit to the festival on the shore and see if Boris the magnificent wanted to have a swim as he hadn’t had one since his last visit in November.

After heaving the mudweight over the side last night and sitting still and then gently swinging on it for the next 10 hours or so the plug was well and truly deeply rooted in the gelatinous mud on the bottom of the broad. This called for the deployment of the windlass and so windlass lever in hand (now with added waterbouy just in case) I attached the rope to the capstan thingy and off I went jerking back and forth and having no effect whatsoever on the mudweight, which was still stuck fast into the gloop.
Instead of the plug it was the ten ton Malanka that moved and the rope got tighter and tighter, then wet rope started to appear and still no bubbles, after what seemed like hours but was probably less than 20 seconds (this I feel is a manifestation of the time dilation effect of being in Norfolk and helps explain Norfolk time to the skeptical science crowd back at work) bubbles began to appear and suddenly the rope was moving much more quickly and the absolutely huge gob of sticky brown goo on the end of the rope where the mudweight should be showed me that I was going to have to leave that in the water while we move over to the mooring and wash it off on the way over.

I started the engine and we moved over to the left hand side stern on mooring and moored up courtesy of a very neat step off by Charlie and a good rope fling by Fiona who was more reticent to step off than our guest.

I spent a few moments locating the Boris tennis ball and then made sure I had my shoes on and jacket fastened before going anywhere near his lead. Once Boris hears the jingle jangle of his lead that’s it, its constant, mewling, woofling, bum waggling and all round mayhem until he gets off the boat. I for-shortened the entire pantomime by the simple expedient of opening the rear doors and letting him jump off. This he did very smartly then sat there wagging his tail and encouraging me to hurry up with that soppy great black nose and intelligent “get a move on” doggy eyes.  
Boris and I moved off to the beach and we were followed a few moments later by Charlie and Fiona. Justin was still snoozing and enjoying a lie in.

I threw the ball into the water until my arm got sore and Boris enjoyed going further and further out and swimming to retrieve the ball. Eventually he just wouldn’t drop the ball for me anymore which is his usual sign that playtime is over. We then decided to go look at some of the exhibits and wander up and down and say hi to Toby and Holly.
Boris really enjoys this kind of thing and he regally accepted the pats, cuddles and approbation that he feels is his due.

I lost sight of the ladies and only met up with them after they had seen the Alpacas, I am not quite sure of the relevance to green boating but hey ho each to their own. They also returned with reports of a rather attractive BA ranger with whom they had found an excuse to chat for quite some time. Funny how normally this wouldn’t have been top priority but throw in a tall dark and handsome man and suddenly BA policy is all the rage with the ladies. There were dark conspiratorial whispers about “accidentally seeking assistance” and other such foolishness. We wouldn’t do that would we guys??? Naa of course we wouldn’t …

We made sure all crewmembers including the four legged variety were on board then slipped the lines and headed off for Acle. We intended to stop at Ranworth to get rid of some rubbish and buy a newspaper and some trashy magazines for the ladies to peruse at their leisure later on. As we left the broad the sun was blazing down on us and the two ladies began the process of applying the sun screen. In retrospect this was quite fun for me to watch for the simple reason that later that evening we were to be provided with ample evidence that the application of the sunscreen was not as thorough as it appeared to be at the time of application.

With sun screen applied to all crew members and radio 2 playing in the background we headed slowly downriver  accompanied by glorious sunshine to Ranworth. When we arrived there were a few spaces left and we inched into one of the spaces on the far left hand side and tied up, shut down and I took Boris for another little stroll round the village.
Unfortunately Ranworth being Ranworth Justin met me half way back across the green with the news that no-one wants to hear. “We just got whacked and Charlie and mum told the man the boat wouldn’t fit and he just ignored them and hit us very hard, come quickly”.
Long story short the oxygen thief helm of Tobago 1 had tried to fit 12ft6 into 10ft and had deposited considerable amounts of gelcoat/paint and other stuff onto us with the impact. Luckily for us he had actually struck the strongest part of the boat and hit the edge of the very heavy indeed stem of the boat. Had he hit us a foot or so further back it would have been a very different story. Fiona took photographs of the now rounded edges of the stem that five minutes before had been sharp right angles and I knew it was simple to fix but it had been too close to being a disaster for me to “let this one go”.
I stood on the bow of Malanka and watched with complete despair as the guy continued to get in the way of other boats leaving, some others trying to moor up. In short he was a complete disaster. Several boats were leaving and asked the guy to move out of their way, his response was to treat it like the car park at Tesco and move perhaps twenty feet, that’s it twenty feet. The horrible part of the whole thing is that he only avoided hitting us again when I shouted at him to go forwards and do it now when he was reversing into us again. He was undoubtedly flummoxed and intimidated and completely out of his depth, the sensible amongst us when confronted with issues like this move away, calm down and come again later. This person just sat there sawing at the wheel revving the engine and generally getting in everyone’s way to such a degree that the exodus of people due to his inept boat handling and disregard for property damage got him exactly what he wanted, which was space on the staithe.  
I remarked to the helm’s lady wife who was looking on in horror at the debacle unfolding in front of her that, “your husband doesn’t take instruction very well does he”? The look of resignation on her face said everything anyone needed to know, the observation was very obviously not news to her.

Heading back to the wheelhouse I started the engine, slipped the lines and left as quickly as possible before any more damage could be done, either to my peace of mind or to Malanka.

More to follow.

Including, dancing and singing in the wheelhouse, taxi search and early morning getaways..


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Spider    -- May-23-2013 @ 6:47 PM
 
quote:"......
Any better? Hands up all you naughty people who thought I was referring to something else!!
......."


Yes, and with good reason!


fidear45    -- May-23-2013 @ 8:10 PM
  I am so pleased the broads had their effect Spider.......

Now I know why the deck running was not noticed...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-24-2013 @ 1:42 PM
  The journey to Acle from Ranworth was glorious, the sun was shining and the wind was light and not too chilly. I apologise to anyone who saw me after the Ant mouth as I may have removed my T shirt for a minute or two to enjoy the sunshine on my back. Despite entreaties to do likewise neither of the ladies on board wished to follow suit, although after applying sunscreen to their exposed limbs they then proceeded to remove cardies and jumpers leaving strappy tops behind (see how in touch with my feminine side I am..) which resulted in a few pink areas later in the day. It was at this point with the sun beating down on my now overheated jean clad legs that the idea of wearing shorts came into my mind, my legs inside the jeans were roasting. The sun was lovely and I like wearing shorts when the sun is shining as it feels more natural.
Unfortunately for some reason Fiona had paid more attention than normal to the MO (Moron Office) oops Met Office weekend forecast, and that said clouds and rain…Well, we had no clouds and lots of sun so the MO was up to its recent very low standard of accuracy. This had the obvious impact on my wardrobe alternatives as it meant that Fiona had packed two pairs of jeans in addition to the Chinos I had been wearing on Friday, but no shorts.
If I was to get my legs out it would have to be with accompanying undergarments. I considered this for about three microseconds and then decided that with young ladies of a delicate disposition on board it was a no way jose moment. In reality the passing a few moments before this by the paddle steamer from Horning and being photographed by numerous members of the broads going public probably had a lot more to do with it than anything else.

After finishing laughing at my dilemma and chuckling to herself Fiona disappeared from the wheelhouse and returned with three mugs of T, OK it was 2 teas and one coffee but you knew what I meant.
For some reason I can’t yet fathom Charlie spent a considerable portion of the journey to Acle standing on the coach house roof and looking about, not quite sure why she did this but Fiona did manage to get photographic evidence of miss skinny standing there without a care in the world, other than how to get home now these bozos have kidnapped me.

We were not doing the wine just yet as we had only sort of kidnapped Charlie for the day. We were heading to Acle bridge to spend the night and her car was in Stalham,  and so some means of getting from A to B was required if she was to leave Malanka on Monday morning and get to work in Essex by 8 am.

After arriving at Acle and finding the mooring opposite the pub free we spun round to come in against the prevailing wind and tide and moored easily against the quay heading. I dropped extra fendage over the quay heading so that mini did not get bashed about by the metal pilings and we settled down to call a cab to get Charlie to Moonfleet to pick up her car and bring it back to Acle.
How difficult is it to get a taxi on a Sunday in Norfolk? Well to judge by the number of different cab companies that Charlie called, very difficult indeed!!! One after another they either didn’t come that far (firm in Wroxham) were out on a job (in Leicester) or not answering the phone. None of this was helping to calm Charlie down in the slightest and she was prowling about with a storm on her usually very calm face. My suggestion that she stop a passing car and hitch a lift to Stalham (the suggested method of car stopping being a common call from building sites to attractive young ladies) earned me a withering stare that would chill the blood of even the most determined of misogynists. After chastising me for my (in my view) entirely helpful suggestion, Charlie decided to give it one last go with the number given to her by the guy in Leicester. Bingo it worked, cab arranged, smile on face, mood immediately lighter, time to crack open the wine and begin the slow preparation for dinner. Charlie is not normally one for much slap (makeup) but tonight she and Fiona were going to put their faces on, some nice going out clothes and have a good time. Justin and I of course would have a shower and change our shirts. It’s much easier for blokes.  
Charlie disappeared to Moonfleet to get her car and so I made use of the free bathroom and had a shower. When she returned we all went into the garden to enjoy a beer and a sit in the sun. Boris met a rather feisty and fun Yorkshire terrier female that seemed to want to bark at his ankles , it would have been his face but she could not see that high up. The little terrier was a cute little yorkie that probably weighed in at 1/30 of his weight. Fiona and I gave her a cuddle and received some tiny tiny, licks by way of doggie greeting. Immediately Boris saw the little yorkie licking us he had to come over and make sure our faces were ok and this he did with his rather more substantial licking technique and of course some ninja paw action thrown in.

We had a lovely sit on the benches until it dawned on us that moving to the comfy chairs on the boat would be quite a bit nicer too. We sat and sipped for what seemed like an age then finished our beers took the glasses back to the pub and then sat some more and sipped some chilled white. By now the wind was a little bit keener than earlier so we put the top back up and continued our preparations for the evening, which included locating various less white areas like one spot on the shoulder or the V of the neckline where the sun had beaten the application of the sunscreen earlier in the day. Charlie was positively glowing in the gathering gloom.
Somehow we got round to the topic of parties and how we had all been invited to a birthday party where dancing into the night would be encouraged if not expected. Charlie would be coming with us to the party and she was adamant that “this girl don’t do no dancing”.

Fiona and I looked at each other and she was the first to react, “rubbish girl, what’s the problem”,  she cried, and leapt up and grabbed Charlie by the hands. Fiona then proceeded to wiggle and jiggle and do all those things ladies do at the zumba classes she has been going to. The mixed look of horror, terror, or just ordinary OMG was a sight to see. “I can’t do that” she said, backing away from the whirling dervish in front of her. “my hips definitely won’t do that”, she said pointing at Fiona’s quite amazing range of hip movement. I of course had a silly grin on my face as I wasn’t aware of that range of movement possibilities either. We hadn’t been dancing for ages and by the standards I remembered from the last time I looked, things were certainly looking up.
As Fiona explained “I have been going to zumba for months now and you should see some of the ladies there, this is nothing”. I made a mental note to file for future reference and just laughed at the continuing look of horror on Charlie’s face.
At this point a slower tune came on the radio so I took my chance and swept Charlie up into a more traditional dance pose more typical of a walz or other such style. “Just follow my lead”,  I said as I swept Charlie into a slow box step round the wheelhouse, accompanied by laughing and clapping from Fiona. Charlie seemed to be more comfortable with this and we danced round for a few moments giggling the whole time. A more earthy tune started on the radio and then the three loonies on Malanka all tried to zumba like Fiona for a few minutes, feet tapping, arms swinging and hips moving vaguely with the beat of ca plan pour moi by Plastic Bertrand.

It was a mad few minutes and as the music ended we all collapsed onto the seats to sip some wine and hope that no-one in the pub garden had seen the impromptu disco, Malanka style.  

Charlie was still not convinced but both Fiona and I were adamant that come the party, Charlie would be dancing.

As the adrenaline from the lunacy in the wheelhouse was fading it was time to get ready to go out. Dinner at the bridge was waiting for us.

The meal in the bridge was fantastic, I tried something I had seen from a distance but not sampled before, the sausage with onion gravy in a big Yorkshire pudding.

Needless to say it was superb, but the next time I will ask for two plates and Fiona and I would share it. Simply put, its massive and way more than I can comfortably consume. Fiona had the whale, Charlie had the garlic chicken, and Justin had the traditional steak and Ale pie, which is usually my personal preference. All cooked to perfection and served with a smile by the great staff at the bridge.

After dinner we decided to go play on the 2p machines and have a little fun. Whack a shark was first and a great laugh, I could barely hold the mallet I was laughing so much.
The biggest winner was of course the change machine which paid out all the time we were there, we rolled, dropped and flung two pence pieces in all directions until the change was used up then headed back to Malanka to chill out before bedtime.

Bedtime would be early tonight as Charlie was leaving very early in the morning, but we still wanted to wind down and enjoy the last night afloat. So we sat first in the wheelhouse and then later in the saloon and sipped a last glass of wine (Brandy in the case of the ladies). The conversation turned to Fiona's remarkable zumba classes and how supple she was these days, then planking came up (whatever that is) and the two ladies accompanied by fits of giggles then proceeded to show each other their exercise regimes!

This would make very interesting reading but the tale of two ladies in nice dinner clothes (including bare legs) planking in the saloon would not be suitable for our younger readers or others with high blood pressure.

We said goodnight to Charlie and wished her well with her class of primates …OOOps primary school children, and told her that we would be thinking of her as we cruised up the Ant tomorrow morning, bacon and sausage sandwiches accompanied by steaming mugs of tea all the way.

As Fiona and I retired for the evening we noticed that Boris the turncoat was nowhere to be seen. A little bit of investigation located him curled up next to Charlie snuggled in tight and looking very comfortable and toasty warm.

Charlie left quietly at 05:30 the next morning and headed off to work. Boris had wanted to go with her but, very reluctantly, she zipped him back in the wheelhouse and he settled down to sleep with a tired Hummph sound. It had been a super weekend.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-25-2013 @ 9:29 PM
  Hmmm I'm still not overly convinced on the dancing front but yes I did have a fantastic weekend. Fabulous company and the sun came out too.  I did indeed go home a little pinker than usual.  And considerably more tired too. It's not often that 'Miss' turns up to school having already driven home from Norfolk and I have to confess that the class possibly got away with a little more than they normally would. I hit 'the wall' at about 5pm when having been up for twelve hours the staff meeting I was in suddenly became slightly less than riveting.

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


fidear45    -- May-28-2013 @ 1:13 PM
  Sunday 19th May Cont’d…

Something I forgot to mention in the last installment of this tale was that whilst Charlie was out fetching her car, a vaguely familiar lady wandered up to Malanka and we had a bit of a chat. After about five minutes I sort of worked it out into my thick head that this lovely knowledgeable person was in fact  the Old Broads Bird popping over to say hello. What followed was thirty minutes of great conversation, memories and a good dollop of good old fashioned humour. Fiona and I had a lovely chat and we kind of remembered we had met before and quite a bit of time after she left it struck me that she had helped me moor up our hire boat when we first returned to the broads in 2006. (Broads Harmony) So you see some people are just kind of heart and true of soul and Old Broads Bird fits that category, a lovely lady welcome on Malanka any-time. Just make sure that next time you’re not driving so we can show you some true Belgian fermented grape juice style hospitality.  It was lovely to speak with you and I look forward to doing it again this summer, thank you for a lovely thirty minutes of your fascinating company.

Ok now onto Monday.

Monday was something of a let-down, after the mad excitement of late night planking, wheelhouse dancing and a little bit of fermented fruit beverage consumption, today I would have to drive home and so, tea and coke zero were my tipples for the day. The weather seemed to sense the anti-climax to the weekend and it was suitably dull when we finally woke up and decided to face the world.
I carefully donned my clothes in the hope that Boris would stay sleeping in the wheelhouse where he had lain since the departure of our weekend guest. I almost succeeded but the final giveaway was the shoes. Dogs must have some sort of doggie sense as to when the shoes go on, pants no problems, jeans no problems, socks no worries, sweatshirt slight stirring, shoes BAM, he’s there waggling his back end and searching for his lead with the front end.

I just gave in and let him out whereupon he just stood on the quayside and waited for me to finish putting on my shoes. I donned his lead in bandolero style and headed off down the row of boats encouraging Boris to run on ahead and dissipate some of that Airedale energy. Walking Boris is a new experience now as he is finally learning to cock his leg proper style rather than continue to do the puppy squat. He doesn’t do the leg cock every time but it’s funny to see all the same. What accompanies the leg in the air waving is of course the desire to sniff all the other nice doggie smelling places which he previously ignored and really couldn’t be bothered about. This means that I can get 30 or so metres ahead of him whilst he is sniffing out the competition and then the ground begins to shake as he rushes to catch up with daddy, tongue lolling, ears flapping and “spot the dog” style cantering along is the preferred method of locomotion chosen for this.   This all makes for another interesting phase of sharing our lives with Boris and brings a smile to my face every day.
We walked (well I walked Boris sniff cantered ) along the path all the way to the old pump house then turned round and ran back as fast as my old legs would carry me (not very fast is the answer). Out of breath and steaming we returned alongside Malanka and Boris waited patiently whilst I opened the canopy to let him in. Fiona was just in the process of putting his breakfast out into his bowl and so a low whimpering sound could be heard which fiona and I presume to mean “get a move on man I’m starving like a starving thing”. Canopy opened Boris charged on board and then sat waiting for the command that lets him eat his breakfast (or any other food for that matter). Fiona made him wait a few seconds then “good boy” was uttered and he proceeded to destroy his breakfast doggie food.

As the day was a little overcast we decided to pack up and just head back to Moonfleet to drop off Mini then take Malanka back to the shed so she could cuddle up to BA in her berth. By now I was feeling in need of some bacon and sausage sandwich therapy and so whilst I untied all the lines and made ready to depart, Fiona made breakfast and put the kettle on for the first of many mugs of the steaming elixir that is a well- made mug of tea..

There were not many boats about and apart from the usual mayhem that is Horning we had not seen many this trip. I am all for a quiet trip on the broads as there are not many finer ways to relax, but I do hope for everyone’s sake that the season picks up soon. We cruised slowly up the Bure and opened the throttle a bit in the six mph sections which Malanka seems to really enjoy. Eventually we turned into the Ant and slowed for the last portion of the journey back to reality and the six hour drive home waiting for me in Stalham. We met a few boats on the Ant although How Hill was practically deserted and only one other boat was visible to us as we crossed a rather choppy Barton Broad. We dropped Mini at Moonfleet and chatted with Phil about Fiona’s pet boat project, pull out drawers (on extending runners) under the sink in the galley. How I agreed to this extravagance I don’t know, but I must have because they are happening.  
We said our goodbyes and headed to the shed to moor up and unpack the boat. Justin and I unpacked the boat as Fiona walked back to Moonfleet to fetch the car. Very quickly now this has become a slick operation and external electrickery connected, gas off / disconnected and isolators activated we thanked Malanka for being such a good boat all weekend and headed home.

                   The End


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-29-2013 @ 9:20 PM
  Awwww you missed me and didn't have as much fun without me.
I'll remind you of this when you can't get rid of me.  Evil Grin
Worryingly, Boris would happily have come home with me. You could
have woken up to no dog walking responsibilities at all. I would have
loved it but as I went almost straight to school it probably would not
have gone down very well, although I suspect he may have been my
best behaved pupil for the day.

Charlie


8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston Anorak


This message was edited by Charlie on May-29-13 @ 10:32 PM


oldbroadsbird    -- May-30-2013 @ 7:11 PM
  Hi Malanka,
Thank you for your kind words - Yes, it could have been me in 2006 - I spent much of that Summer on the Broads.
Weather allowing, Little Goose and I will be round at Ranworth tomorrow.(Friday/Sat) My nephew has kindly offered to re introduce me to the delights of lashings of beer - and what nicer place to learn again those old and valued lessons!
Thank you for your hospitality and do give the lovely Boris a pat from me although I suspect a big bone would be rather more welcome.
Take Care,
Mary

broadsbird


fidear45    -- May-30-2013 @ 8:58 PM
  Thanks Mary

We had such a lovely chat and I really do look forward to seeing you on board Malanka again later this summer. Don't forget to sign up for the CinC.  We need folks to help organise the flotilla this year (as always) and I'm sure Tim would welcome the support.

M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Aug-2-2013 @ 2:16 PM
  OK its been a while since I wrote up a tale but this trip was such fun I wanted to share it with you all.

Malanka’s  Southern Cruise with Blue Dolphin.

Friday July 19th.
After the obligatory stop in Long Stratton (the Chip Inn) for a chip supper we arrived at Moonfleet just after ten pm. This wasn’t a bad effort as we left work at just after 4pm.
Only 5 minutes before arrival and after seven hours of driving one local loony decided to try and write us off by slamming the anchors on because he believed we had our lights on full beam and this was his way of asking me to extinguish them. Fortunately for him we avoided such irresponsible behavior and after I had illuminated the interior of his vehicle by actually employing said full beam I felt much better. The car has xenon headlights and they are very, very, bright. The car is also a 4x4 and so they are mounted quite high up as well. Oh well never mind we all hoped this would be the last piece of stupidity we would witness this holiday. Anyone guess where this is going then???
Saturday 20th July
My Saturday morning activity was all planned, retrieve Minimal’s sailing bits and pieces from lock up, clean both boats, fill up the water tanks and go off down river at a steady two donkey power. Fiona, Helena, and Justin headed into Stalham to assault the butchers for our usual pork and chilli Jam pies plus  other assorted excellent pork products aimed at feeding the starving minions of the Malanka crew.
We would need a hearty breaky today as we were going to meet up with Blue Dolphin later. She of course is based in Beccles and we are based in Stalham… We were going to make it easier by meeting at Somerleyton at some time after 16:30 hrs or so. GY slack calculated, I knew we had to be on our way by 10:30 or so as I didn’t want to zoom anywhere at the speed limit just to get to somewhere else. I was going to enjoy this trip at a reasonable hour with the top down and the wind in my hair. So when the shore party (food) didn’t return at the promised 10:00 hrs and the weather was beginning to look a little less like sunny go topless (or Baps out as this is referred to aboard) and much more like pee down drizzly get wet (or normal Malanka holiday weather as this is referred to aboard) a seven or eight hour journey in the rain was not filling me with the expected joy of the first day of our holiday.
Christian and I filled, retrieved, washed, scrubbed and did all the stuff we had planned then we sat and waited with Boris for the shore party to return. Heavy footfalls on the wooden quay heading announced the arrival of the wanderers. “Why is it” said Helena in a decidedly grumpy tone (she is a teenager) “that whenever we come on the boat we get dross weather”, she didn’t say this to anyone in particular more sort of a general offering to the gods of holiday weather and a heartfelt plea for a better  weather outlook that the forecast was giving us. “It’s not that bad” I added as I adjusted the wet and dripping hair from over my eyes.   Oh well the weather will do what the weather wants no matter what, so we just cracked on and made the most of unloading the bags, then loading up the fridge and then drink storing in the multitude of storage locations available, that normally precedes us setting off down river.
Half way through this process I realized the time was now 11:15 and we needed to get going if we were not to miss tides, bridge heights, and all that other stuff I don’t think about for weeks and then re-remember every time we are afloat. So I left Fiona to the unpacking and stores loading and assumed the captains prerogative of getting out of the way.
So, mug of tea in hand (it not yet being wine o’clock ) I fired up the trusty 3.8L BMC that is our motive power and briefed the crew on the departure procedure I wanted to use. We backed away from the quayside into mid river and slowly headed away from Moonfleet for the start of what was to be a very fun filled and exciting weeks cruising the Southern Broads. Destination Somerleyton…

Last night when we had arrived I had thought to rainex the screens but due to not wanting to be faffed I went to bed instead. Now with a steady drizzle falling that decision came home to roost. We have removed the wipers (not that they were brilliant in any case) from Malanka as part of last winter’s screen maintenance, this has two benefits.
1.     She looks much better without them
2.     We have lost two inches of air draft
The downside is that if it’s not raining hard the usual blurred vision squint develops to see past the raindrops. Oh I do wish I had rainexed the screen…
As we pootled we again commented, as on every other trip this year, that “it’s really quiet where is everyone” . As I was driving along Fiona mentioned that she had been asked in the shops why the kids weren’t in school? This happens from time to time so we just give the correct answer, their holiday started on the 26th of June and they don’t go to school in the UK. This usually leads to questions around how many weeks they do get in the summer and the answer is they get 9 weeks break so it’s a long old haul until the start of term in August.

We passed How Hill without seeing much river traffic and the drizzle continued to fall, although the temperature was slowly climbing to quite a respectable 23 degrees. The sky was dull and there was almost no wind at all. We passed under Ludham bridge with no drama, tooted a greeting to Jason and turned the corner to be greeted by the sight of multitudes of forum boats and firm friends all waving and shouting a greeting. Boris not to be out done started whining and wuffling as he caught sight of Dylan the dorg.  We slowed to a crawl and explained that we couldn’t stop as we had an appointment with the GY bridges and time and tide wait for no man. We said our farewells and see you on Fridays (for the CinC) and headed into the Bure. We were behind schedule but hopefully not too far that we couldn’t make up some time without exceeding the limits. Some time at 5mph and we were soon back on track and heading past Acle bridge with the tide under us. GY here we come!!
As we approached GY, Fiona took the helm as she had never done the journey and wanted to give it a try. I helped as much as possible by wiping the screens with the shower blade to keep it clear for her.
Needless to say she did a marvelous job and we fairly whizzed through GY at a very quick rate with the tide still flooding down the Bure. We were on tick-over to maintain steerage but still we whipped through Yarmouth in very quick time. We saw the enormous new yellow post and headed out to Breydon proper. As we passed under Breydon bridge we saw Spirit of Breydon heading our way at a very rapid speed, a huge bow wave crashing down and looking very spectacular. She saw us coming and slowed to reduce the wake which was a bit of a disappointment as I quite like wake surfing. Anyway thank you to the rangers they were being very considerate. As we passed them we opened up the BMC and let her have her head, she looks quite spectacular in this mode and the rangers opened the back door and took a picture, presumably for interest or to tell us off, we weren’t quite sure which.
With bow wave crashing and the front fenders being washed we kept up a steady 1250 revs, which isn’t flat out but is quite economical, and crossed the pond destination Somerleyton.  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


OldBill    -- Aug-2-2013 @ 7:18 PM
  I think maybe you exaggerate a little, regarding the poor holiday weather Malanka gets. The 3 times you passed us during the last week in June the weather was wonderful.  Smile
Incidentally, although I know other Forumites were out that week, I only spotted 1 other logo (at Salhouse) on a H.W. boat not on my list of those out & about


fidear45    -- Aug-2-2013 @ 9:34 PM
  Sssshhh don't spoil it. Helena spent the rest of the week hiding from the sun to avoid being crisped.....Christian got a tan and I spent the week slathered in factor 30......

You hit the nail on the head, her perception had no real connection to reality.....She is a teenager after all.....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Aug-6-2013 @ 11:51 AM
  On our way to meet Blue Dolphin.

The crossing was fun as Fiona was at the helm and Malanka is a far different vessel when she is doing 10mph than when she is pootling along at 4mph. At 10mph she changes from a placid old lady to a screaming teenager who just loves to run. Everything is crisper, more responsive and if you let go the wheel and let the teenager out, all sorts of things can happen.  All this wave surfing and speeding about is quite fun and the boat laps it up and bounds on from wave to wave, she quite seems to love the feeling of energy and spirit given by 10mph and some deep engine throbbing sounds. Funnily enough there is next to no vibration at this speed, just an increase in engine sound and a slightly throatier tone to the bark of the 3.8L Commander. Fiona was grinning like a Cheshire cat as we crossed Breydon in (for us) record speed. A text from Blue Dolphin informs us that Somerleyton moorings are full of boats with 20feet between them and so Charlie, our guide to this summer’s southern cruise adventure , will now meet us at Herringfleet further down the river.
Charlie texts us that she estimates the bridge height at St Olaves to be 8 ft 6. As we approach the bridge I gleefully text back that she was wrong and it was 8ft 5. We drop the masty thing and proceed under the bridge, there is little if any tide now and we are leaving little wake and making excellent time at a steady two donkey power, which translates to roughly 5mph. After the thrash across the pond Malanka’s engine is smoother and has settled into a lovely low noise low vibration thrum which is very pleasant on the ear.  
We exchange texts with regard to mooring availability with Charlie and swap ideas for what to do for this evenings dinner. Myself and the children favour the barbeque option and Fiona and Charlie favour the cook on option. Charlie lets us know that she has moored and that her neighbor has just left and the mooring space for us is there when we arrive. We came slowly round the bend toward Herringfleet and there is the mooring with BD at the near end with space for us just in front by the emergency steps.
There is a slight tide with very little wind and so it’s a straight in approach and as we glide to a dead stop engine running the mooring crew (Justin and Christian) step off and do a great job (as they usually do) of making us fast to the mooring posts. With the large drop here we decide to add some springs and deploy some extra fendage (love that word) in the form of sausage fenders attached to the grab rails.

Charlie demonstrates the “push test” and shows that everything is fine for the night and as it is now well past wine o’clock so we settle down to a well-deserved glass of wine and a natter.
By now the weather had improved and so we decide to go for the outdoor food option and we deploy the wind/rain/sun canopy from the side of the wheelhouse and settle in for a good old feed.
The weather continued to improve with a few sunny spells and the temperature picked up to a respectable 22 degrees, although the wind did increase a little and so we decided to make the most of it and get mini out for a sail. Charlie was the only taker for a trip in the skylark and that with huge trepidation written all over her face. Needless to say the sailing was fun and rowing back against the current when sailing and wind power proved fruitless was even more fun. Martin Nil, River 1.

We spent a few hours exchanging news and swapping boat stores from BD to Malanka that Charlie had bought for us. This was necessary as we no longer have the black tardis bus and now make do with a much smaller car. As we put up the chairs under the awning and settle in for a communal cookout there is a cry from behind me and an “oooops” sound as the chair that Fiona is sitting on disappears backwards into the bushes in a graceful descent to ground level. Not to worry everything is fine as fiona emerges from the bush having not spilled a drop.
The long journey yesterday, and the long drive today has taken its toll on all of us and we are snuggled up in bed for ten. Helena declaring that its always naff weather when we come on the boat, which whilst the weather today was not fantastic it was fine for a long drive. Tomorrow would be another day and by the end when we are in Geldeston will bring complaints of  “it’s too hot someone turn the blow lamp off”.
Coming up… Charlie goes swimming and blues music on the river, what a fine day.  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Aug-6-2013 @ 1:50 PM
  Coming up… Charlie goes swimming and blues music on the river, what a fine day.  

We were woken from our slumber by the bright reflections rippling across the ceiling, hinting at the beautiful day that was just beginning. The sun was up and hot by 06:00 and we were awake, top down and making breakfast for 07:45. It really was a glorious start to the week afloat and we knew that Geldeston was waiting for us later with the prospect of crystal clear water and some decent fishing. What more could anyone want than a lazy trip up the Waveney with clear blue skies and a lovely warming breeze.
Boris the magnificent wanted to go walkies, which is not a word to use onboard with the 100+lb Airedale in close attendance. He brought his need to my attention by bringing me a tennis ball and snuffling down his nose at me whilst at the same time simultaneously wagging his tail and wiggling his backside in a most peculiar motion. The search for the lead and dog poo bags took way too long for Boris and he jumped off, then on, then off, then on again in eager anticipation, all the while adding wuffling (he can’t bark with ball in mouth)  to his growing repertoire of activity demanding noises and motions.
Finally sorted I set off whilst Fiona sorted out the bed and raised the living dead (teenagers) from the still solid realms of dreamland. Bacon and sausage baps (more on those later) have remarkable properties for waking teenagers especially our boys.
Our morning constitutional completed and Boris covered in Burrs, seeds and all sorts of grassy gubbins it was time to check in with BD and see about our cruising orders for the day.
Simply put these were to take as long as we wanted to get to Geldeston bearing in mind when high water was for the Beccles old bridge. Calculations made and PMRs  exchanged we decided to set off and get the party started.
The sun was high in the sky and the river was sparkling, the journey to Somerleyton was just simply beautiful, we decided to keep going when we got to the WRC as it was just such a perfect cruising day. Side by side with Charlie and the water sparkling and the sun shining we did notice that she was turning a rather fetching shade of pink, particularly in the nose area. As we arrived in Beccles with less than 7 feet under the bridge we knew we had to wait and so we availed ourselves of the YS facilities, filled up with water and waited in the glorious early afternoon sunshine for the river to fall.
After less than an hour the water had dropped enough for us to passage the bridge and this we did with everything down and Charlie in the lead, mainly so we could see how much clearance she had which was loads and loads although it didn’t seem like that to Charlie. The slow drive up to Geldeston was only interrupted by finding a very young child on a raft without oars floating in the middle of the river opposite the small holiday cottages there. He was making no attempt to get out of the way as we approached and no-one on the bank seemed to be doing anything to help him apart from asking me to slow down with the usual hand gesture. The use of which was entirely necessary as of course I fully intended to commit mayhem upon the body of a small child with the ten tons on boat sitting under me.
With Malanka halted in the river the small child had by then moved slightly nearer the bank but was still not safe. With a few moments more he was out of our immediate path and we continued slowly up the river towards our destination. All the adults present except those on the bank shaking their heads in bewilderment.

As we approached Geldeston we could hear music from the Locks Inn and as we drew nearer we could see that a summer festival complete with packed staithe mooring was in full swing and a fine time was being had by all concerned. We were not affected by the full staithe at all as we already intended to moor in the field mooring as we had a surprise waiting for the skipper of BD. After mooring and once again marveling at the crystal clear water we sat down on the grass to listen to the music and enjoy the afternoon. After a couple of glasses of a particularly nice rose it was time to inflate our Geldeston surprise for Charlie.
The pump labored under the strain and I heaved and pushed but eventually we got the small fun inflatable dinghy up and equipped with oars and safety rope. “Tadaaaa”I cried in triumph. “What do you expect me to do with that” said Charlie in a somewhat condescending, you must be kidding me kind of voice.  
“we are going for a float aren’t we Justin” said I. “There’s no way you’re getting me in that thing said Charlie”, backing away, glass of rose still in hand. “It’s OK” said I removing the plastic boat glass from Charlie’s hand and smiling in what I hoped was a confident encouraging way. “I may have my swimming costume on (under my shorts and T shirt) but that’s taking the biscuit” replied Charlie as she backed even further away.
“Naa stop being a wuss and get in” I said, as I lowered the inflatable into the dinghy (Minimal) which was moored alongside to facilitate getting in and out of the inflatable.   A bit of pushing, shoving and cursing later I was in the inflatable floating next to mini, an expectant look on my face. Justin soon joined me and we both smiled in that encouraging way to Charlie who we could see was weakening. “Nope not happening, no, not going in no never” said Charlie, having now backed up half way to Beccles. So much for the encouraging smiles.
Justin tried one last thing. “I dare you to get in” he said. The look of incredulity on Charlie’s face and the fact that it was 28 degrees, boiling hot and the water looked so cool and inviting, and we knew she was toast. She got in!  
We splashed around in the dinghy for a while and went upstream of the footbridge for a short distance, then for some reason I kept catching my oars and the other occupants of the inflatable were completely soaked in very short order. Justin simply jumped out and started to swim in the clear crystal and lovely cooling water, I followed suit which left just Charlie in the by now half full of water inflatable. “Aren’t there fish in there” she said. “Ahem, of course there are but they don’t eat Charlies” I said, “OK then if you say so and with that Charlie lowered herself into the clear cool waters of the river Waveney for the first time in her entire life. The sun was high in the sky, the weather was superb and the water was clear and cool, a perfect summer day by the river in fact. We all swam around with the inflatable and watched the loonies jumping off the footbridge into the by now rapidly shallowing river and decided that the reeds were getting too close and it was time to get out. To help us in this Charlie had already put her stern ladder down and we all used it to climb out and sit in the sun to dry out.
After swimming, we showered off and had a most pleasant afternoon and evening listening to music, eating barbeque food and chilling by the river on a sunny Sunday afternoon. What bliss.  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- Aug-6-2013 @ 6:13 PM
 
What bliss.

And what a good write up


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


daviddownunder    -- Aug-7-2013 @ 4:17 AM
  G'day Martin
Quote
"The sun was up and hot by 06:00 and we were awake"

What 15c or 20c?

Martin, that statement did make me smile



Smile  Smile

Regards
Dave Downunder


readyabout    -- Aug-7-2013 @ 6:16 AM
 
quote:"......there is a cry from behind me and an “oooops” sound as the chair that Fiona is sitting on disappears backwards into the bushes in a graceful descent to ground level. Not to worry everything is fine as Fiona emerges from the bush having not spilled a drop......."

It's good to have a wife who can hold her drink....  Wink

Regards

Paul
________________________________________________________
'readyabout' - the first meaningful adult phrase from my childhood....


fidear45    -- Aug-19-2013 @ 2:13 PM
  Been afloat for twelve more glorious days so no apologies for not updating.....

Slow trip to Rockland St Mary. July 22nd 2013

After slipping our moorings on a delightful  Monday morning we headed downriver to Beccles where we intended to fill up with water, do some shopping, eat some ice cream and generally watch the world go slowly on its way. The plan then was to do the long, slow run up to Rockland St Mary and enjoy another barbeque and watch another lovely sun set in another location blessed with outstanding beauty. In short another day on the Norfolk Broads.

Charlie and BD were however, not co-operating in the festivities in the whole hearted fashion we have come to expect from the pairing of woman and boat. Almost immediately after turning and heading downstream BD started to heat up rather rapidly and it looked like quite a precipitous rise too. Following along in Malanka we did notice the chopped salad approach to handling reeds that BD seemed to be using. Malanka floats quite shallowly in the water and doesn’t tend to interfere too much with the foliage under the surface. BD on the other hand seems to want to create waldorf salad ala broadland reeds as a sideline. Charlie soon diagnosed the issue and some vigorous reversing was employed to rid BD of the chopped, sliced and diced salad items festooning her pretty bottom.

With this maneuvre completed, a huge bolus of surplus to requirements rabbit food floated serenely away as if nothing had happened. BDs temperature returned to its normal range and we floated downstream in no great hurry to get to Beccles.

After traversing beneath the famed “Beccles Old Bridge” with feet to spare, we moored up and the ladies (plus children of all sizes) prepared to assault the shopping mountain required to feed the huge appetites created by such glorious sunshine and holiday activity. Personally, I retired with Boris the magnificent to the coach-house roof with a glass of pink port and ice to pass the time. In fact the whole thing was so horrible I may even have fallen asleep in the sun and had a few Zzz’s…  This was one tough holiday for man and dog alike.

With the return of the shopping (and crew) and the resultant distribution of cold storage requiring items (ice cream, wine, wine, wine and of course some barbeque meat items) we headed off down the Waveney, destination, Rockland St Mary.

The journey itself was a joy, the sun was high in a cloudless sky,  the temperature was in the high twenties centigrade. Charlie entertained us by pointing out nice little dykes that we explored while she plodded on towards Rockland. Malanka has not spent many days in the south until very recently and we intended to learn of as many new places as we could, so whilst BD plodded along we scooted in and out of dykes and public moorgings, jotted down the place names for future reference then slowly caught back up with BD as she was doing a leisurely 3mph all the way to Rockland. She (BD) had stolen one crew member from Malanka every day of the trip and the whole thing was an exercise in how to have a great time doing not very much.

As we approached the turn into Rockland it struck me that I had not actually been there for well over eighteen years and to my senses the narrow nature of the turn at the end of the quay headed section looked very small indeed.

As we slipped easily into the dyke, there appeared something I haven’t seen before. There was an adder just swimming along at the side of the river, quite happy and contented to be doing so by the look of it. I have seen grass snakes swimming before but never an adder. Much conversation from the youngest member of the crew followed about venom, death and dogs and children and so on, typical horrible histories content I thought.

When we reached the turn down to the staithe my earlier view of it was confirmed. My, that is one narrow section! Really very pretty, especially tonight as the sun was still relatively high and there was no breeze at all. The evening sunshine was warming and welcoming as we glided effortlessly into the public staithe our destination for the night.

We arrived a few minutes before BD and the sight that greeted us was not at first glance very welcoming, there were six boats moored in the whole place. Not the most economical use of the available space (or similar more profane words may have escaped my lips but not gone further than the windscreen).   There was one spectacular woody which was moored on the far left and obviously could not move but elsewhere there was plenty of potential for movement and additional space.

I enquired of one of the occupants of the boats now all looking at the immobile Malanka obviously showing no signs of leaving! “Excuse me but would you mind moving up a little to make more room?” I asked, immediately one private owner started to get up from the obviously comfy spot on the bench where he had been reading the paper where the evening sun was making the place look like heaven. “Of course, just give me a few minutes”. He replied.

The boat that could help the most was occupied by a nice lady who clearly didn’t know how to raise the mud-weight or undo the lines but she quickly gathered her crew who set to, and in very short order two additional mooring spots had been made available. The broads spirit made real in the glorious evening sun. I spun Malanka and reversed into the spot next to the huge concrete filled iron posts and deployed extra fendage to accommodate the tight fit. Just after this BD arrived and gently squeezed between us and the other private boat (we lifted our big fenders and used smaller ones for the time being). It was a superb maneuver by Charlie and eventually when the boats had settled we were able to again deploy the bigger fenders and we were then tightly fitted in and everyone was content.

There followed another evening of barbeque, fun board games, laughter and enjoyment of simply being in a beautiful place. Does it get better than this.  

Yes it does but more of that later… Coming up next, Dropping BD at Bramerton and Malanka’s first trip to Norwich. (for many years)


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Aug-19-13 @ 3:21 PM


fidear45    -- Aug-20-2013 @ 12:54 PM
  Bramerton Common and Norwich July23rd 2013

We awoke to very bright sunshine and the prospect of another baps
out (sunny) day. Fiona and Charlie took Boris for his morning
constitutional whilst I made everything ready for the day. This
entailed sitting down to a nice cup of tea with the top down and the
sun on my back…
After this start to the day I knew we were going to have fun, we were
heading to Bramerton to drop BD there then heading off into Norwich
for a shopping trip and because we wanted to. We would then be
returning to Bramerton for some barbeque and staying there
overnight.

To set off, we removed the extra fendage, dropped the screens as it
was stupendously warm (note Helena was nowhere to be seen as
she decided it was too hot!!) and started the trusty BMC. BD edged
out ahead of us and we followed closely behind hoping that we would
not see another boat heading our way. We reached the turn into the
broad without seeing another boat and headed out upriver.

The day could not have been better, cloudless sky warm sun and two
boats in convoy bimbling up the river. It really doesn’t get any better
than this as the getting there is just as fun as the arriving.
Pootling along we were doing lazy S’s behind BD as Malanka’s
comfy cruising speed is about 0.4mph more than that of BD. Charlie
refers to this as mine laying and is a source of huge amusement for
her.

We had a simply gorgeous cruise through the southern system to
Brundal and today we took Malanka back to the place of her birth 60
years ago this year. The preparations for the Broom Anniversary
party were well under way and tomorrow morning we would return to
Brooms for a water fill up and a pump out for BD.
Before passing through Brundal we looked over at Coldham Hall and
decided that later this season we would stay there and sample their
hospitality. It may take me a while to getting round to writing up that
trip so just let me say that free mooring (with meal) and 5 pounds for
the electric hook up was good value and the meal we had there (for
six people) was very reasonably priced, superb in quality, and the
service was absolutely exemplary. The atmosphere for a Monday
evening was vibrant and the décor was tastefully modern, with solid
oak tables and two wood burners for those cool autumnal evenings.
This summer keeping cool was the issue and the interior was very
pleasant with the air outside being muggy. Inside the pub was cool
and quiet. Simply put it was the best meal / mooring/ ambience/
welcome we have had on the Broads for at least the past 5 years.    
Well done Coldham Hall.

Now back to this tale, we cruised through Brundal, saluted Malanka’s
birthplace on the way through and headed for Bramerton to drop BD.
We let BD go ahead and arrive to get herself moored up. We lagged
back and watched, then at a signal from Charlie we pulled alongside
BD and Charlie hopped aboard Malanka for the trip into Norwich.  

Arriving into Norwich by boat is an experience that could be
improved and the developments that are currently underway do
much to improve the overall view from the river. There is still work to
be done but the experience is pleasant and the nearer to the YS one
gets the better the view from the river. Passing the last bridge before
the YS we decide we will forgo the pleasure of passing under
Bishops bridge and moor just in from of the bridge and so let the
shoppers have easy access to their destination.

A quick spin on the spot and we are moored into the rising tide and
alongside. The shoppers depart and Boris and I settle down to an
afternoon of Steve Wright on BBCR2 and a very pleasant Rose on
the coach house roof. We did not intend to stay the night in Norwich
as Charlie wanted to return to BD and the shoppers had planned to
raid M&S food hall on the way back. We would later enjoy the most
amazing barbeque pulled pork, Chinese spare ribs and 1/4lb burgers
with cheese.

Those of you who have met Boris the magnificent will know that he is
a very placid dog (if a little large and intimidating in a huge cuddly
teddy bear kind of way) and he normally loves
people/dogs/cats/guinea pigs/ and yes, even rabbits. Although his
liking for Rabbits would be stretched a little while later back at
Bramerton Common.  So here we were sitting alongside in Norwich
YS and he is wagging his tail to everyone who passes, sniffing every
doggie and generally having a good time. No problems here I
thought and settled back to my kindle. I then caught sight of what I
can only describe as a “naer-do- well” type side stepping along the
path towards us with scruffy clothes, greasy hair and generally
unkempt look about him. The look he was giving Malanka, me and
Boris did not fill me with the joys of spring. I hadn’t spent my teenage
years avoiding trouble not to realize that this guy was potential
trouble and I was determined not to make eye contact and so
potentially provoke a confrontation of any sort. I need not have
worried, Boris looked up stared at the guy and did the most amazing
for him thing. He growled… just a short little growl, no barking, he
didn’t even move, he just growled for about two seconds. I was
stunned, he never growls. I checked out the rest of his body
language, straight out tail and steady head with his eyes staring at
the youth. The guy stopped dead in his tracks whilst at least thirty
feet away, he had obviously been paying us (particularly Boris)more
attention than I could at first see. He then did an about-face and
decided to take the path to the pavement outside the YS instead of
walk past us. As he went up the path I could see he had a smirk on
his face and thought to myself that staying the night at Bramerton
was a good idea. I had only ever seen similar behavior once before
outside Tesco when he was with Charlie and a group of men
approached her.  Boris wagged his tail and greeted three of them
with good humour and his usual enthusiasm, the three guys said
goodbye to her and left and another lone guy approached her. Boris
immediately stood up and interposed himself between Charlie and
the guy. He didn’t growl, he just ignored the guy and didn’t say hello,
wag his tail or acknowledge the guy at all, just stood between Charlie
and the lone guy. Seeing that he wasn’t going to get to talk with
Charlie without getting past Boris first, the guy walked away, to the
immense relief of Charlie.

Back to the tale. The shoppers returned and we made the boat ready
and departed for Bramerton, it was quite late but we didn’t have any
worries about mooring as we could always double moor with BD
should the mooring prove to be full when we arrived. As we were
passing the pub approaching the common, we saw all the new
decking that has been put up and it looks to be a very solid job too.
There was plenty of space on the common (we were at the opposite
end to the electric points)and so we did another spin and approached
into the falling tide and moored up behind BD. As it was well past
wine o’clock by this point, we assembled the barbeque gear and set
to with gusto in preparing a salad, some warm bread and the
aforementioned M&S fare for dinner.

Boris watched the whole thing with his usual disinterest and instead
focused on maintaining his two tennis balls in his mouth party piece
whilst half heartedly running down the odd rabbit brave enough to
emerge from the hedge. Quite what he intended to do with the
creature whilst still carrying two tennis balls in his mouth is anyone’s
guess. We have two pet rabbits at home and he likes to lick them
and cover them in dog slobber so I’m not entirely certain that all of
his hunting instincts are properly connected.
The evening outside drew to a natural conclusion with the
emergence of the small flying, bitey things that were present despite
the deployment of citronella buckets and “off” candles. Boris was not
concerned so maybe a fur coat is useful in summer too sometimes.
After completing a southern broads “push test” we decided we were
sprung enough and had enough slack for the rise and fall and we
retired to our beds  exhausted. Cruising with BD and Charlie at bed
time is a little like the last five minutes of an episode of the Waltons.
Nite Charlie, Nite Justin, Nite Charlie, Night Martin, nite Charlie, nite
Fiona and so on… It doesn’t read too well here, but it was funny at
the time.


Up next: On Wednesday, after a brief stop at Brooms we went to St
Olaves.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Aug-21-13 @ 9:34 AM


fidear45    -- Aug-22-2013 @ 1:26 PM
  Up next: On Wednesday 24th July, after a brief stop at Brooms we went to St Olaves.

We awoke on Wednesday morning to more bright sunshine and by 7:30 am the temperature in the wheelhouse had prompted me to consider one of two things. 1. Plant some tomatoes or 2. Get up and open the canopies.
Not having a grow bag to hand I chose to open the canopies and wander about a little outside and let Boris do doggie things on the common whilst I made some tea. Today was to be a lazy day and so with no particular rush we opted for toast and jam today and some more tea.

Breakfast finished we headed off to Brundal and Brooms to fill up with water and for BD to have a pump out. By now the temperature was soaring and the full sun exposure felt like it would strip paint like a heat gun. We liberally applied sunscreen again and donned caps and T shirts to avoid the inevitable pinking should the flesh remain exposed for the whole trip to St Olaves. As the day was so superb we briefly entertained the idea of arriving at St Olaves the long way round, just so we could spend longer getting there. We decided in the end just to use the new cut and make the journey short and arrive sit and watch the world float by. Arriving under St Olaves bridge there was a significant current running and therefore we decided to use the BA 24 hour moorings downstream of the bridge rather than attempt to moor outside the Pub in a very strong cross current. Taking a position on the far left of the river we spun the wheel, fought the sideslip for a few  moments then approached the mooring into the current and gently side slipped into the huge space available. We then quickly made fast and then ran to help Charlie who was doing this solo. She had a moment where BD did not want to turn but then smoothly side slipped directly behind Malanka, she kept BDs engine on to maintain the station as the crew made her fast to the mooring posts. All in all two very good and smooth mooring maneuvers and we were sorted for the night. We connected both boats to the electric post and settled down to watch a most glorious sunset in prospect.
Some of the crew went to the Bell to see if they could book tables and find a menu. We didn’t need to book the sun was still high in the sky and the temperature was still high also and so we decided to leave the boat tops down, just lock the doors and head off to the pub for a drink and some dinner.

We found a lovely table in the pub garden and enjoyed a lovely drink in the sun and ordered our meals. I was going for the sausages, onion gravy and crushed mash which was outstandingly good. Hot, filling and beautifully cooked. The kids opted for their meals to have wedges and or home cooked skin on chips and these were simply to die for, they were superb.

After dinner we went back to the boats and we all sat on the coach house roof of Malanka, chilled out,  chatted, drank some wine and watched the glorious sunset. We did see a few people attempt the mooring stern on outside the pub but we didn’t see anyone do it successfully. A few boats passed us from the crossing the other way and they generally enquired as to where they could moor up, we supplied the names of likely spots and settled back. Tonight would be an early night as tomorrow we had to cross Breydon on the early tide and Fiona would be accompanying Charlie on BD for the crossing.

With that in mind, by ten pm we were in bed reflecting on a super trip on the southern broads, such a different and in many ways much more challenging place than the relatively placid northern rivers. Tomorrows forecast was for the first rain of the week and due to the different speed potentials of the two boats BD would be leaving 40 minutes before us with the aim of meeting up before we arrived at GY YS.
Tomorrows weather predictions were to come true, it did rain but other factors would provide much more in the way of excitement than a few raindrops.

When we arrived for the GY bridges our top up clearance is 8ft, the first gauge said 8ft which is doable, the second said 7ft 6 which most certainly is not. More later..


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Aug-22-2013 @ 2:09 PM
  Thursday 25th July

We woke up early as we had to be gone for 07:00 (well BD did) to catch the tides just right. We planned to leave at 07:40 and catch up across Breydon. Malanka is not as badly affected with adverse tidal flows as much as BD is. Add in the hugely powerful engine and we didn’t foresee any issues . Fiona left us to join BD and there preparations complete they cast off and headed out downriver. At this point in the morning there was a again a very strong current flowing, add to that flow the outpouring from the pumping station next to the 24HR mooring and BD initially had some trouble turning downriver with the flow. The stern just refused to turn into the flow and BD headed straight across the river. Charlie quickly corrected and reversed back safely and then turned and BD was away and moving at considerable speed in the tidal flow. I decided to go solo this morning and let the kids have a lie in and I would let us go and head downriver solo to follow the ladies.
Before any of that of course I had to prepare my morning cuppa. Two mugs of tea later I felt refreshed enough to head off after the ladies who were giving me minute by minute updates as to where they were and what the skies were doing. This was essential as before leaving I had asked Fiona to help me lower the canopy as the sky was still blue and quite bright. This decision (rightly criticized by both Fiona and Charlie before they left)was to return to haunt me as I approached Breydon bridge some time later. But hindsight is great and they were both correct and I wasn’t.

So with regular updates as the two ladies passed all the familiar landmarks and me very slowly closing the time gap between us the day started well and would later end very well but the bit in the middle HHmmm now there’s some tale left to tell.

Passing Burgh Castle roughly 30 minutes after the ladies the height gauges had moved significantly (over 9 inches in fact) which is very fast. I didn’t have any doubts  we could do the trip so late and still make it under the bridges on a rising tide as we had the top down and it was still warm and cloudy with no rain clouds to be seen. What felt like moments later as I could see BD ahead of me on Breydon the heavens opened in a cataclysm of rain that swept in from the starboard side. I was really hoofing it across to catch the ladies before the tide turned and with waves, and wind, and spray and a huge bow wave I was having too much fun to keep an eye out on the sky.  I was getting soaked as we approached Breydon bridge and the kids who I had roughly summoned from their pits were battling with the wind to batten down the sides and keep out the deluge, their pyjamas already soaked through.

I was focused so much on seeing where I was going and telling the kids to hang on and stay inboard that I missed the height marker that showed 7ft 6. This was not good. Fiona and Charlie were asking themselves when he (me) was going to drop the top, soon now, sometime soon, drop the bl**dy top they may have said to the ether hoping the message would somehow get through to me.

Rounding the yellow post I saw the bridge and had the oh dear moment. There was another boat coming down and BD was behind me but I had no choice other than to hold station, let both boats pass and get the top down pronto like.  Suffice it to say BD made it under the bridge (just) we made it under the bridge (just) and we are both now aware that with 7ft on the marker post we can both make it through. There are better ways to find these things out than in a rainstorm punching the remaining outflow but at least we learned what not to do.

The rest of the journey up to Womak was entirely uneventful as the rain dried up, the boat steamed for twenty minutes and by the time we were at Stracey the top was back down and the T shirt was off and everyone had dried out enough to reflect with wry smiles that perhaps a more generous strategy would have been better.

Upon arrival at Womak we moored up, helped save a boat from drifting after the mooring ropes came free of the rings and the boat was then parallel not perpendicular to the staithe and had a glass of wine. We dressed the boat and awaited the arrival of the rest of the CinC flotilla and special guests.
Keith arrived and dropped a huge food donation for the barbeque and then spent a lazy afternoon with us and the crew of RT not doing much but chit chatting and enjoying being in such a lovely place.

Tonights dinner was steak on the barbe with some lovely sausages provided by MM and Keith. Fiona had bought some chipotle butter in Norwich and it was liberally applied to the hot steaks and it was a huge hit.  Quite a few fermented grape beverages later it was time for bed and after a quick clean-up we retired to await the next day and the 2013 NBF CinC. Roll on tomorrow.

A question for all of you reading the tale who moor regularly in Womak. Do you remember when the cars didn’t use the path behind the boats to move this way and that? To be perfectly honest with ten or twelve folks (at least) two tables, three dogs, four children, two barbeques and a whole lot of space taken up, one elderly person thought it would be good, when it was just getting dark, to exercise his undoubtedly inalienable right to drive past us so closely that I could feel the heat of the air conditioning. Whilst I have no doubt this is perfectly legal in the great scheme of things as I am sure the right of way exists. However there of course were alternatives such as the use of reverse gear, or the alternative of going out the way he came in which would suggest that  could, not should have been the thought in his so obviously empty head.  
Another person drove past us much later, but this one with good reason and considerably more care and consideration, especially as his doggie had gone walkabout and he was desperately searching for him.
I am pleased to report that doggie was later found and all worked out in the end.

Tomorrow the NBF CinC 2013… Fun and games in the sun…..And in the water too… Charlie has another swim……


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Maffman100    -- Aug-22-2013 @ 8:16 PM
  Super story Martin and it certainly was a super week weather wise wasn't it   Smile

Matt

http://flic.kr/g/fMF1K


fidear45    -- Aug-23-2013 @ 1:00 PM
  It certainly was Matt and here is the next instalment...

We awoke on Friday morning to beautiful sunshine, no wind and unusually for womak staithe, no-one was running their engines. There were ducks quacking and other natural noises and a few boaters speaking in hushed tones as they went about their business. It was quite remarkable, it was as if everyone didn’t want to be the first to break the magic.
It was very warm and very humid right from the start. One or two boats departed the staithe without fanfare or fuss and almost immediately the CinCers started to arrive. One of the first to arrive was our flagship for the day Betsie Jane, followed very shortly thereafter by Telscome. For those folks that couldn’t make this year’s CinC the site of these two beautiful gentlemens cruisers is quite something and quite a crowd had gathered on the staithe to see them. Personal greetings exchanged with people we had only previously exchanged emails with finally met in the flesh, the bantering back and forth led to the obvious conclusion that this was going to be a great day, and so it would prove to be.

The decision was taken by the CinC organizer (Tim) that 10:45 or 11:00 am would be the departure time and Paul (ncsl) had arrived with his flying machine to record the start. Paul had actually arrived the previous evening and had moored on the mudweight in the middle of Womak water. After dark, due to Paul’s selection of varicoloured L.E.D lights, some unkind few may have suggested that his vessel which normally resembles nothing more esoteric than a rather well used and well-loved cruiser, now resembled  something that deserved a place alongside madam fifi’s Parisian bordello and house of infinite passion. (Quite how Tim is associated with said establishment at this time remains unknown)

It didn’t matter as on CinC evening all who could do so, would be festooning their boats with a multitude of coloured lights in celebration of the CinC.

Half way through the morning we received word that The Corsican with Simon and Sonia had broken their steering cable and would have to catch us up at the Barbeque after the guys at Moonfleet had fixed their steering. Thanks to the herculean efforts of Toby / Phil and the team The Corsican eventually did make it in time for some home-made burgers, which was the third course of a four course barbeque (it was to be five courses with some delicious pork steaks provided by Jag as the piece de resistance but remarkably by then most of us were full to bursting point).

Malanka was nominated as tail end Charlie and so we would be last out of the area and everyone else would be in front. This gave us a really good view of all the boats as they left the mooring all dressed and generally looking rather splendid. Paul took some arial photography and this is well worth a view on his website.  Horns were honked and waves galore issued as we slowly edged out and we were on our way for phase 1 of this year’s CinC and a rendezvous in Ranworth for a raft up and a spot of lunch. This year we did something different and had a much more relaxed CinC with two stops one for lunch in Ranworth and one in Salhouse for the barbeque. In the opinion of many this was a lovely approach and provided a very relaxed atmosphere with absolutely no pressure to “be somewhere”, we just simply enjoyed the moment, it was glorious.

By 11:30 we were well on our way to Ranworth and had picked up some extra boats along the way as the general river traffic were very keen to join in the procession of boats. It is worth noting that many hire boats expressed a desire to join in but they had not known of the opportunity as they were not forum members. It didn’t matter and all were welcomed as we pootled to Ranworth under the by now, blazing hot sun!
As we entered the broad and passed Ranworth Island Paul again deployed his eye in the sky and took some memorable video and photographs of the boats arriving for the rafting. If you look carefully at Malanka in these shots you can discern the deck totty adorning the coach house roof of Malanka as the ladies on board took advantage of the glorious sunshine to top up their tans and display their bikini bodies (any chance of a leader writers job with the DM then??)

As the heaviest boat in this year’s flotilla, Malanka was designated as centre boat for the rafting, we didn’t need to use the horn as everyone seemed to know what they were doing and all the boats simply glided alongside, dropped their mudweights and settled in for what turned out to be a scorcher of an afternoon sitting doing nothing. With the boats all rafted up it was time to play explore and go see everyone else’s vessel and have a good old nosey the main proponents of this endeavor were the ships dogs who all managed to snaffle treats from at least three boats in a sort of doggie merry go round. By now the various salad/ pizza /sausage rolls and other comestibles consumed with a little encouragement by Mr Pinot and Mrs Grigot had settled in and with the sun now making walking barefoot on the decks a toe tingling experience usually accompanied by cries of Ohh hot, hot, ho,t hot, hot, and a reasonable rendition of the highland fling being performed to the accompaniment of the cries of hot, hot, hot, it was time for a swim!
Various members of the CinC community jumped, leaped or otherwise gained entry into the remarkably warm waters of the broad.  Some sported life rings some sported PBDs all were having a good old splash about and it was a very merry old lark about in the old fashioned sense of the word. We did it for fun and fun we had.
Too soon it was time to depart, and so mudweights raised in sequence and off we went, destination Salhouse.
Passing through Horning we waved, honked our horns and generally interacted with the river traffic all the way to Salhouse, it was a joy to participate and see everyone’s smiling faces as we processed past, all dressed and looking mighty fine. On arriving in Salhouse the pleasure wherry white Moth was cruising up and down and she looked magnificent with her sails fully deployed as she sailed back and forth. The beach resembled Margate more than Salhouse with tens of people frolicking in the warm water of Salhouse Broad.

We quickly identified the moorings reserved for us and moored up and as soon as we stopped moving the temperature rose inexorably higher and higher until there was nothing that could be done aboard Malanka other than to “deploy the inflatable dinghy” and prepare for water based mayhem.
Dinghy duly deployed and “plopped” onto the broad we (me, Justin and Charlie) boarded the dinghy and sat there bobbing slowly about. From an inflatable dinghy one gets a completely different perspective on the size of the boats and just how intimidating it would be to be in the water in the winter with the prospect of getting out and back on board. Anyway, with such thoughts banished until winter time for some reason I kept catching my oars and within a few moments both Charlie and Justin were soaked to the skin, at this point before retribution of the watery variety came my way, I flipped out the back of the dinghy and swam away accompanied by Dylly (Tim) who had joined us from RT. The water was lovely and with no reeds to contend with and no mud grabbing at my legs the whole thing was a super pleasant experience. Charlie and Justin decided to join us in the swim and they too left the dinghy and entered the warm water of the broad.
At this point Charlie discovered that swimming in T shirt, shorts and a bikini is harder than just a bikini and so she shrugged off the unnecessary clothing and carried on. I must admit that the necessary gyrations needed to accomplish this feat drew more than a little attention from some of the passing boaters.
We messed about for over an hour and swam back and forth, played with Boris the dog who was swimming for his ball thrown from the beach by Fiona, (she will not swim after seeing the snake earlier in the week at Rockland as she is incredible averse to our legless cousins and will go so far as to drop a magazine if she turns a page and sees a photograph of  one) until it was shower time and time for food and fun and games with Dylly and Jag, the quiz crew and some small scale consumption of fermented fruit beverages.  

More to come..

CinC Barbeque and fun and games...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Dylly    -- Aug-23-2013 @ 6:12 PM
  "Quite how Tim is associated with said establishment at this time remains unknown"

I was looking for a convent...simple mistake!  boat-power

He's fallen in the water!
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fidear45    -- Aug-27-2013 @ 1:01 PM
  After setting up the chairs and tables and the barbeque equipment a small flaw in the plan was revealed. As in years past we anticipated using two barbeques and volunteering to cook stuff for anyone who wanted, unfortunately due to The Corsican’s steering difficulties, Simon and Sonia had not yet arrived, they were en route but not about to arrive any time soon.
We need not have worried, Tim to the rescue and we set up Tim’s gas barbe next to ours and off we went.
To be quite honest the amount of food we had donated by various people was absolutely immense, as soon as I saw the huge mound of stuff in the cold bags a cunning plan formed. Instead of trying to cook everything to be ready at the same time, we could simply make it a four or five course barbe and everyone could have what they wanted, so if there was a special favorite like Johns sausages then they could wait for that bit or if anyone was like the rest of us they could just pig out on a bit of everything.

We had huge quantities of rolls with the choice from plain white poison to a meal in a roll whole meal with added bits stuck to the top. (just for added “texture” you understand)

We started with sausages of various types, low fat, chilli, Lincolnshire, you name it we had it. We then did chicken and home-made burgers which Fiona and Charlie had been furiously manufacturing in Malanka’s galley. Suffice it to say the wine flowed, the food was consumed (all of it every scrap)and eventually Simon and Sonia made it just in time for the burgers and some well distributed fermented grape juice beverages. The consumption of the marinated pork loins would have to wait for tomorrows breakfast (which they did) as everyone was too full and couldn’t face even a wafer thin mint.
After we had eaten but before too much wine was consumed we all had a rather enjoyable encounter with a rather pithy group of individuals (mid-twenties graduate/ student types) who were on a stag party. We had advised the guys earlier in the evening as to the location of the pub and we had seen them on their way and then settled down to our food. The fun started when they returned and drifted through our barbeque party in ones and twos. We exchanged greetings and engaged in some healthy banter regarding the broads and had they had a good time and so on. Almost universally they all said they would come back and go boating again with their significant others on another occasion. I must admit to some humor at these guys verbally fencing with Simon, MM, Keith et al.. they seemed to be of the opinion that they invented having a good time and were soundly thrashed in the exploration of that idea by John and Simon. They simply didn’t seem able to rise to the challenge of serious career professionals and retired soundly beaten, at least intellectually that is…


After dinner there was an excellent quiz by Mike, I’m afraid I can’t remember who won but it didn’t really matter I just knew it wasn’t the team of myself and Keith (sternmoor). Shortly after the quiz I made a quick dash inside for a blanket as Keith was still wearing his shorts and his fingers, lips and legs had turned a fine shade of blue with the cold. Safely ensconced under his blanket we continued to while away the hours until bedtime with stories, jokes and general mickey taking that is a CinC barbeque.  

Eventually everyone drifted off to their respective boats and prepared for bed. We tidied up as best we could and slipped back aboard Malanka for some well-earned rest and recuperation. It had been a long and very enjoyable day. In fact perfect in every way, good company, good fun and fantastic weather. I can’t wait for next years event. A big thank you to everyone who came along and made it such a perfect day.

The next day dawned brightly and after consuming the pork loins we didn’t cook last night each in its own roll I have to say that will become a firm favorite for breakfast, they were simply marvelous as a hang-over cure and general pick me up and get me going start to the day.
Today (Saturday)was to be a first as Simon was aiming to leave Salhouse to catch low water and post The Corsican under Wroxham bridge for the first time. RT, Malanka and Mike would be joining him in the exercise just because we could. With everything dropped we headed to Wroxham duly posted ourselves and all the other willing participants under the bridge. BD was waiting back at Salhouse for a guest to arrive and so we turned about and reposted ourselves back through the bridge and headed for Salhouse to see if Charlie’s guest had arrived. We had a short play in Wroxham broad and then cruised back to Salhouse and the waiting Blue Dolphin.

We didn’t intend to go far today just to Percies Island in Horning and then to sit and watch the world go by. We didn’t intend either to have another mini get together but as the day lengthened first Malanka moored at the island then RT turned up and finally BD turned up as well. In the end we had four boats moored there and still with some room to spare.

The day was again glorious and we sat, fished, chatted and generally spent some hard hours doing nothing except sit back sip some wine and watch.

The part of the tale concerning RT being struck by a mooring boat will not appear here until Tim has sorted out who is paying for what damage with the boatyard concerned.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Aug-27-2013 @ 1:13 PM
  Later that evening we rowed across to the Swan and had a lovely meal with Charlie and her guest, the service was not up to the usual standard but the place was jumping and very,  very busy. The food was excellent when it all finally arrived, the last dish twenty minutes after the first. In defence of the pub the waitress was the same one we had previously encountered and her service then was less than thrilling the first time. I imagine the next time we visit in October she will not be serving and if she is she will not be serving us.

After a good meal we retired early to bed and slept the sleep we missed last night. An alfresco breakfast the next morning served up from Malanka’s galley got everyone off to a good start. We had nowhere to go but home so we pootled into Wroxham and then filled up with diesel passing back through horning later in the morning. We briefly cruised with Charlie and passed across some red cross (Belgian Chocolate) parcels for their trip back down south and then we saw Tim examining his damage alongside in Horning. We hoped (in vain so it later transpired) that there wouldn’t be much. We waved our goodbyes and with the top down and sun shining on us we cruised at a leisurely pace back to Stalham and then home..
What a wonderful week that was.  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Grendel    -- Aug-27-2013 @ 8:51 PM
 
quote:"......
Quite how Tim is associated with said establishment at this time remains unknown" I was looking for a convent...simple mistake!
......."


but you found Nun?
Grendel

we do the impossible every day,
miracles take a little longer


Charlie    -- Aug-28-2013 @ 10:51 AM
  Now that the tale is over I will add my thoughts. Reading it all back has reminded me what a fantastic time we had. It makes me sad to think that it's over but I'm looking forward to repeating the experience sometime in the future. It was a really fabulous week. The weather smiled on us for a change and all our plans/itinerary worked out perfectly. I don't think I've laughed so much, consumed as much fermented grape juice, eaten as much lovely barbe food or played as many clearly fiddled board games before in my life!

But next time please don't leave it so late before putting the top down for GY. I think you took years off mine and Fiona's life expectancy!

For anyone considering solo cruising but a little daunted by the thought then I recommend that you arrange to meet up with someone else. It worked for me. Having the company of the malankans meant that I was able to have crew when I needed them but also got the solo experience too.

The CinC was enormous fun. Although numbers were down the atmosphere was great. The lunchtime stop just to chill out was an inspiration and one of my favourite parts of the day.

New things-  solo cruising, being the local expert for a change, teaching Martin new boaty phrases, (I thought he knew everything), wearing a bikini and swimming in the Broads.

Highlights of the week- everything in general, the CinC in particular, sitting on the top of the boat watching the sun go down whilst it was still roasting hot, communal boat sharing. (Having two bathrooms, two fridges and two ovens really helps and I think BD will be referred to as 'The Ensuite' for a while to come.) Boris' face and tail every morning when he realised that I was still there.

Downsides- going through GY with 7' on the height board when you think your boat is 7'3", bloody engine overheating STILL and watching Malanka's silly masty thing disappear out of sight up the Ant on Sunday.

Thank you to Martin, Fiona and all the junior Malankans (and of course my lovely little puppy dog, Boris) for a wonderful holiday!

Smile  

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- Aug-28-2013 @ 11:06 AM
  You tiny soppy thing you !!!You are very welcome...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Aug-29-2013 @ 7:48 PM
  Great tale as usual Martin
Spotted Malanka this afternoon heading towards the wetshed so her repairs should be completed.

Garry


fidear45    -- Aug-30-2013 @ 8:35 AM
  Thanks for that.
We now have a new starboard water tank, the old one was completely corroded and all the baffles were loose and flapping about. Last trip we emptied the tank every day due to leakage and seepage. Felt like I was back in the early days with tiny tanks and no shower....
Tiny issue with the fridge is now fixed too.

Thanks to Phil Toby and the boys. We will bring them some beers next time.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 10:55 AM
  OK Guys it's been a long time since my last confession so here it is. Its long (for the technically minded amongst you it's over 13687 words). But it was a fun week and we really enjoyed having Rose along for the ride....

Malanka’s Hard Core Autumnal, Storm Tossed Adventure
Friday October 25th.
This trip was to be different in many ways! Helena is working hard for her International Baccalaureate (I.B.) exams early next year, and Christian is just starting the road down which Helena has been travelling for the past 12 months. They are both becoming the dedicated students we always hoped they would be. With that in mind, they both decided to stay in Belgium with Nana, (my mum) Bootsie and Scoobie our other two canine crew members for the duration of the Autumn cruise.
The party we promised we would let them have and the ability to lie in bed until mid-day were both tiny insignificant factors in their respective decisions. We know this to be true because they told us it was so!
With the students daily work schedules clasped in Fiona’s hands and Justin and Boris ensconced in the back seat cuddling like brothers we set off for Norfolk at 16:30.
We decided that  rather than be ratty unwilling participants on a holiday they didn’t want to be on, or worried, “I haven’t done enough work for my exams which start in December” students ruining the last cruise of the year for everyone else, we let them stay at home and work their little cotton socks off. Or was that party their rotten *sses off? Time would tell which would be the case.
After the obligatory delay in Lille for the Friday evening rush home we made it to Calais in time for wine buying and a quick toilet break. 6 bottles of decent wine for 15 Euro is still the offer of choice and so it was with us.
Rose, “the maid” was to accompany us this week and so the texts flew back and forth between Fiona and the frustrated Charlie aka “Rose” whilst we counted down the km to our destination. Rose was frustrated because we had already set off and she was still doing school teacher type stuff and couldn’t get away. Released from purgatory, she was then frustrated by the A12 and the deficient driving skills of her Essex based compatriots. Having lived with two lane motorways all the way across Europe for the past ten years, the inability of the Essex based Brit to simply move over to the left  never ceases to annoy the bejesus out of both me and the road raging terror of the classroom that is Charlie the teacher on a mission.
The mascara flecked rear view mirrors of numerous KA’s and Micra’s and other suitably small toys (sorry town cars) all showed cheeks, ears, or even tops of heads to the driver behind, funnily enough never the driver in the fronts eyes. How odd!!
On this trip, as we were quite late, this usual game of spot the un-used (for driving purposes)rear view mirror would not trouble us today, but Charlie the teacher on a mission was getting it in full measure.
We had arranged for Charlie to pick up the keys for Malanka from Moonfleet, and this she did accompanied by a text requesting any last minute items of shopping we required from Tesco before we arrived.
Text sent, we settled in for the drive from Kent to Stalham and hoped that Charlie would make Malanka warm and cosy when we arrived. We knew it would be warm as Charlie was cooking Butter Chicken rice to accompany the one pot beef stew (made with a whole bottle of red wine) we had half cooked yesterday evening. Little did we know that when Charlie returned to Malanka from her Tesco’s experience that she would return and discover what her mission truly was to be.
The faint whiff of mould kind of gave the game away as clomping down the quay heading in her “school marm” black winter boots Charlie approached the old lady who was to be our home for the next 8 days.
I of course was not there but I surmise that the first words out of Charlie’s mouth were something like, “OMG what a stink”. Apparently, again as I was not there, the interior of Malanka was covered in mould, bedding was green, pillows were green, the ceiling was grey, the cooker and fridge were green. In short the Irish had won the world cup and celebrated on Malanka without letting on to anyone what they had done.  
Stoical as those of you who know her know that she is, the sight was enough to bring a tear to her eye.  Not to be beaten by a small thing like a bit of mycelium and some spores, she set to with bleach wipes, the boat heater and an iron will not to be bested.
Some few hours later the smell was gone, some bedding was irretrievable, and some pillows were kaput, but enough survived to get us to our first port of call (Wroxham Hotel) on Saturday night.
When we finally arrived in Stalham, Charlie had a smile on her face, rice was fully cooked and tasted delicious, boat was warm and cosy, and she didn’t say a word about the monumental cleaning task she had just done for us.

Justin was with us for this trip although in a hugely diminished fashion from his usual boisterous and always helpful self. Unfortunately, he had been diagnosed a few weeks earlier with “Servers Disease”, which has manifested itself in the heels of both his feet.  Justin plays for our middle school football team and had been having pain in his feet for a while. He didn’t exactly say for how long or just how painful his feet had become until a crunching slide tackle from an ISB defender cut him down on the touchline. I was there and the sound was horrendous, we took him home and the next day Fiona made an appointment to see our Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon. I say ours as, with Christian and myself in the house, we are frequent visitors to his surgery. In Belgium no referral is necessary and we just made the appointment and turned up.
On viewing the X-Rays it was clear he had fractures in both heels and the right one was much worse, (remember the slide tackle the previous day) than the left, sufficient for him to have Achilles tendon damage there too. The treatment prescribed was severe and not what Justin or we had been anticipating. He was cast in both legs up to just below the knee.
Justin was therefore with us and not feeling in the best of humours as we arrived and he “clomp, clomp clomped” down the quay heading toward Malanka.
Boris burst past his nominal family in search of the Charlie person he has adopted, and he leaped straight into the arms of Charlie and gave her a sound licking, with some paw kung-fu thrown in for good measure.
There followed a mellow evening of moderate fermented fruit beverage consumption and general catching up. Anyone who has spent time on Malanka will know we only drink in moderation and only on a Friday with a R in the month.
The next day would bring a trip to the butchers in Stalham high street and a lovely cruise to Wroxham, and the start of our autumn adventure.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Jan-16-14 @ 10:55 AM


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 11:01 AM
  Saturday dawned early for the Malankans with the pitter / patter of a steady rain falling onto the roof circa 5 am. It was something of a huge joy to lie in bed listening to it knowing I didn’t have to get up for hours yet and by then the rain would probably have ceased in any case.

With the storm warnings ringing in our ears from half way through last week we were in half a mind to abandon the trip and not turn up, but seeing as we only had half a mind we decided to brazen it out with the elements and get on with it despite the weather. So listening to the rain and noticing in my half dazed sleepy state that there wasn’t a huge gusty wind blowing, I was reassured that the Moron Office (MO)was as accurate as is normal for them, and that today would be a lovely day.

A little while later after some more ZZzzz’s, we heard Charlie leave the boat with Boris. We knew this was going to happen as we had heard the exclamation of sheer joy from Charlie as Boris discovered her in the front cabin and set to with a passion to persuade her to get up and take him walkies. Boris makes this request by holding something (he doesn’t care what, it’s usually a sock or something like that) in his mouth and jumping onto the bed to show you the said item in his mouth and he grunts, wuffles and shakes both ends in a kind of shimmy dance like snake impersonation, whilst walking up the bed over the occupant until he proudly presents the sock in your face. You at this point discover what it is that Boris is using as his get out of bed wiggle dance present. I believe in this case it was a tennis ball a plentiful supply of which we keep aboard to prevent the use of other less pleasant items (usually from the bin).

With Charlie gone, Fiona and I got up, made the bed and put on the kettle. We enjoyed a lovely steaming tea and coffee fuelled start to the day as by then the rain had stopped and the sun had come out to play, at least for a while.
  The sun even at this late stage of the year makes the cockpit of Malanka very warm and cosy, although we were using the fan heater to take the chill off a bit as well. Fiona and I made plans and then when Charlie returned we all nipped off to the high street to buy pillows, bedding and breakfast.

Shopping completed we returned to the boat . Walking back down the quay heading we noticed a huge whack had been delivered to Malankas port side rear quarter. The mark was easy to see in the daylight as it was right on the point of the corner above the rubbing- strake and down to bare wood. The accompanying black rubber streak would be easy to remove, but the deep gouge in the paint (down to bare wood) is not so easily dealt with and the damage will require, time, money and expertise to remediate(yes it was a significant crunch).

I will return to the topic of boat damage a little later in the tale and also introduce the helpful contribution of a boat owner, who, whilst I was explaining to our next impact driver why I was upset, helpfully interjected in passing that, “you moor here you expect to get hit” as if that somehow solved everything and completely absolved the moron I was talking to (actually it was Mrs Moron not the driver) from hitting us twice and almost doing so three more times in the space of three minutes. Apparently ” that’s what insurance is for dear” means its ok for them to go around hitting everything in sight. Breathless condescension and complete incompetence from the le Boat captain and crass insensitivity from the owner aside I will return to this topic later.

We made ready, said goodbye to the guys in the yard (after requesting the availability of their quay headed mooring if the storm proved too strong for us) and set off for Wroxham.
I had rainx’d the screen outside for rain and inside for mist and we were set for a pleasant trip down the river. We immediately noticed that no-one else seemed to have the same idea as us, as the river was deserted. Between Stalham and How Hill we only saw 5 other boats . This was to be a theme repeated throughout the next 8 days and even more so when we went down south.  We had a lovely cruise down the Ant and then up the Bure. The rain held off and the rivers were very quiet, which is an ideal opportunity to otter watch, bird spot and generally relax and enjoy.

The highlight of the trip was playing with the waves in Wroxham broad as by the time we arrived there the wind was blowing an absolute hoolie, and there were two feet tall waves on the broad. Charlie loves waves and so I handed over the helm and she had a play turning side on into wind and waves and crossing our own wake in a mad display of sheer delight. However the downside of  this early start to the expected storm was that maybe the MO had been right, after all even a broken clock is right twice a day, the weather had taken a turn for the worse and we needed to plan where to ride out the expected maelstrom.

Leaving Wroxham broad we headed towards our reserved mooring at the hotel and the ladies and Justin were busy searching for the appropriate menu from amongst or significant pile of take away and restaurant menus in fevered anticipation of a feast later that evening. Approaching the hotel Charlie appeared and started what was to become her routine for this trip, determine from me which side we would moor up on then gather the ropes back to the mid position to facilitate the mooring evolution. Malanka has a very high freeboard and with the river being high it was a long way down from the deck to the quay heading.
The new trackmark is very grippy and we were glad of it later in the week on our night navigation to Salhouse spit.

We did a bit of a show off maneuver for the observers in the hotel bar and spun in the river and slipped beautifully alongside with no fuss and a gentle kiss on the quay heading and Charlie stepped ashore and we tied up. Simples…
We had chosen the hotel mooring because we wanted to use their electric hookup to use the electric fan rather than the diesel heating alone as the boat was quite damp and the soft furnishings and the damp feel needed to be dried out with some warmth. After tying up I went inside to announce we had arrived and ask about the hookup.
The guys at the hotel are always very helpful and even though the electric point local to the mooring was not working they found another protected supply we could hook up to if our electric cable was long enough. Luckily it was and so we were finally sorted and we sat back and did what we always do in these circumstances. The ladies went shopping and I listened to music and watched the world go by and listened to the wind howling up the river and under the bridge. This was Saturday and the storm wasn’t due until tomorrow, but already the gusts were very powerful and walking on deck had to be done with great care. We operate the three points of contact rule in circumstances like this. At least three points of contact at all times, and move slowly. Having been dumped unceremoniously into the river last September and felt the river’s icy grip I did not want a repeat performance in late October.

I sat glass of wine in hand watching people come and go and observing the rather strange mooring practices of some of the more well- known boatyards being demonstrated by the respective hirers.

Someone seems to believe that bisecting by impacting the desired quay heading whilst mooring a bathtub type boat (Bermuda and the single level designs like her) is a desired mooring evolution option. It can’t be that every boat from the same yard made exactly the same maneuver by accident can it?

At one point during the afternoon there were four boats alongside the pilot mooring in Wroxham and one boat was completely across the bridge opening for over ten minutes whilst they attempted to defy the wind and the tide and at the same time avoid everyone else.
There were some superb helm skills on display that Saturday and some pretty poor ones too, although in the majority the bad helms didn’t cause too much actual damage to each other but there would definitely be some repair bills.

When the ladies returned we saw one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. We were all in the wheelhouse and it was getting towards the part of the day when everyone is thinking “I must get moored up it’s getting darker by the minute”. We were all just speculating why folks were leaving it so late in October  when a le Boat Admiral came slowly up the river (of course we heard it coming five minutes before we saw it), we assumed they would be turning as the screen and canopy were both still up and the cockpit lights were on, there was space by now on the pilots mooring so we thought they may decide to stop there and leave early in the morning. On they came, no sign of the canopy going down although it was now only three quarters up, but the screen was still fully up. By now people in the hotel bar had begun to notice and the smoking posse outside were looking, all had the same look on their faces which I am sure mirrored our own, mouth open eyes wide in complete and utter amazement as the Admiral proceeded to attempt Wroxham bridge in the half dark with the canopy and screen in the up position. Inevitably there was only going to be one winner in the sweepstakes we were all holding in our minds. Bridge 1: Le Boat Admiral 0. With a sickening crunch the forward momentum of the canopy was drawn to an abrupt stop, the boat however continued under the bridge for a few more moments until the frantic engagement of reverse brought that forward momentum to a halt also.  Looks of sheer incredulity were exchanged by everyone who witnessed the incident, what the motivation or reasoning behind the decision may have been we will never know but a few moments later they had reversed out from under the bridge and left the scene. Although we looked we did not see that boat again.

As it grew darker and darker the wind was getting stronger and stronger which is not normal for a Norfolk evening, this was the presage to the coming storm all right. At the point when all boats without Navigation lights and suitable insurance should be safely tucked up in bed, three more boats arrived and managed to moor outside the café with minimum fuss.
Shaking our heads at what we had just seen we made our decision on the food for the night. Fried chicken from the fried chicken shop next to the bridge was to be our fare for the evening. Our order was phoned in and the ladies went to retrieve it whilst I prepared the table for dinner. After a few moments of reflection I thought that a carpet picnic in the wheelhouse would be fun, we could eat with our fingers and dive into the delights of the fried chicken shop sitting around on the floor. So armed with various condiments I sat waiting with wine in hand and armed with four plastic plates and a kitchen roll.  
The food was simply amazing and incredibly plentiful, the chicken was not greasy and there was so much of it we knew we had lunch and or snacks ready for tomorrow already. The sound of a successful meal is silence as everyone tucks in and enjoys their food, there were the usual requests to pass this or pass that but on the whole the dinner was lovely. We shall go there again.

After dinner and mellowing with some pink wine, the crew got down to serious decision making. Where to spend the evening of the storm, where would be safe from falling trees and floating obstructions thrown into the river by the ravages of the storm to come? Charlie suggested fleet dyke public moorings, no trees nearby and we hoped that would put us almost bow onto the wind direction. So decision made we retired to bed and listened to the wind in the flags on Malanka’s silly masty thing, until the change in the hour, and our journey from Belgium caught up with us and we fell into a deep and restful sleep (at least I did) . Tomorrow would be an adventure and as long as we were safe I knew Malanka and her crew would cope with everything the coming storm would bring.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 11:05 AM
  Sunday
As we had been connected all night to the electricity from the hotel we didn’t need a long trip to charge up the batteries or warm up the water, and the immersion provides piping hot water and really is a boon whenever we can find an electric connection.

Next morning  we had a lazy start of Tea and bacon and sausage sandwiches, more tea and then a nice dog walk to settle it all down. We had planned to fill up with water in Horning, we tend to give Salhouse a miss now for water as many folks let the pipe fall into the broad or let it sit in the mud beneath the hose, and it also is now very slow to fill our two saddle tanks so drove straight past Salhouse and after we arrived in Horning we filled up with water and whilst that was going on spent a few minutes looking at the “Navigator” in the shed there, she looks so sad with her bottom hanging out and all her planks missing. We wish her well and hope she will be restored.
  
We didn’t really have a long way to go and we had all day in which to get there, so before heading for fleet dyke we thought it may be nice to head into Ranworth a do a tour of the broad and way up the possibility to moor on the staithe and get some pub time for lunch.   We didn’t need to have a pub lunch we had left overs everywhere and so the plan was somewhat fluid. Charlie was helming quite a bit today and I thought it may be a good plan to let her have a go at the mooring thing, so she could see the difference between mooring her boat and our boat, they behave very differently in the wind,  tide and so I thought that might be fun.

Malanka weighs somewhere in the region of ten tons and BD probably a third of that or maybe 40% or so and Malanka is narrower and quite a bit longer. What surprises most people when they helm her (Malanka) is just how maneuverable she is, especially in the left hand turn (with prop kick helping). Another thing is that when you stop her, she stops and doesn’t immediately start drifting here there and everywhere, so a quick stop and a quick flick of the stern is all it takes for a lovely side on slide in so to speak.

  We didn’t see many boats out and the news from the MO was that the storm would hit Sunday night / Monday morning, the local radio was becoming apoplectic and the usual doom merchants in the media were “bigging” the storm up to epic proportions and comparing it to the storm of 1987. Looking out of the window and using my own eyes it wasn’t that bad and the wind although very strong, wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before on the broads. However being a cautious type we still decided to avoid stopping in Ranworth and risking a windy mooring in quite a windy spot when we didn’t have to. So we circled the broad, noting in passing that the flags on the staithe were at full stretch, and headed at a fairly brisk pace towards fleet dyke. Somehow the wind strength between Ranworth and fleet dyke had multiplied several fold and the wind past St Benet’s Abbey was quite something to behold.
Although a well-known windy section used by the sheet danglers for a spot of entertainment the wind was exceptionally strong, and so it was with relief that we turned into fleet dyke and immediately the wind driven ripples on the river died down and peace descended for the several hundred metres until we turned the corner where once more the full ferocity of the wind was upon us again. There were supposed to be gusts in the wind but by the simple expedient of “sticking my head out of the window” I determined that the wind was very strong but quite steady with no great fluctuations or huge gusts.
  Once past the corner where the Otter lives we once again saw the wind was less in and about the area of the 24 hour moorings which confirmed, as if any was needed, that Charlie’s choice of storm shelter was a wise one.  Charlie was designated as the helm for the mooring evolution and I was standing by “just in case”.

Charlie’s approach was great, as we were mooring into the wind and between two previously moored boats (nothing like a challenge for your first mooring of a friends boat is there!!) her turn was just right, however the speed was just a tad quick for a ten ton beastie and the stop wasn’t what she intended, no harm done, a quick turn of the wheel and apply some thrust and we were there.
It wasn’t technique but knowledge of how to make the old girl dance that prevented Charlie’s text book mooring evolution from being perfect.  The howling gale, unusually high freeboard, canvas wheelhouse canopy and the by now heavy pouring rain were entirely innocent. Safely moored on the first two lines Charlie and I set about securing the boat for the fast approaching storm. The weather was terrible and the sky was darkening by the minute, we were definitely in for a very strong blow indeed.
I dropped the mud-weight as far off the starboard bow as I could “chuck it” and secured that. We took the starboard mooring lines and used them as port side stern and bow springs, in addition to the existing bow and stern lines, finally we used the centre cleat that Malanka has to provide a centre spring to two posts as well.

With the boat now secured and the river level high and getting higher we adjusted the fenders to provide maximum protection and dropped an extra three sausage fenders over the bankside to minimise the damage potential should any of the other fenders move or ride up.

The wind was 15 degrees or so off the starboard bow and so we were being pushed in and back by the by now quite considerably stronger and gustier conditions. As we settled into the cockpit with freshly brewed mugs of steaming hot tea hugged to our chests to warm our by now frozen fingers we noticed that the boat in front of us effectively only had one mooring line ashore and it was taking all the strain of the windy conditions. So donning my waterproof coat and fur lined wellies I set off to advise the occupants that they may wish to reconsider their mooring arrangements. The guys on the boat were very grateful and when we had finished they had four lines ashore and had deployed their mud-weight as an extra precaution.

I was by now quite excited, I am quite a fatalistic person and we were in a safe place, on a sound warm and cosy boat, with all precautionary measures taken and so I was actually quite looking forward to the dark and stormy night. The oven was on preparing a feast of steak and ale pie, onion gravy with beans and potato wedges. Fresh bread was there too for absorbing any left-over gravy. It was by now fully dark outside and the boat periodically shook as a fresh gust of wind ripped down the white capped river and smacked into us huddled against the bank. I had placed an expandable boat hook diagonally across the wheelhouse canvas directly in line with the wind to prevent the canvas stretching and possibly tearing free in the very strong wind. This solution worked remarkably well and also reduced the canopy flapping to almost nothing. One final check revealed that I had not dropped the silly masty thing and we had decided that to reduce the impact of the wind the mast and flags would have to come down, so once more I donned the waterproof coat, fur lined wellies and ventured out to lower the mast and secure it so nothing untoward would happen whatever the weather conditions.

Returning inside the wheelhouse I was surrounded by a welcoming blast of warm, delicious, aromatic air that dispelled any negative thoughts I may have had after venturing on deck into the teeth of the gale now blasting away outside.

We all settled down to await the culinary delight that was having the last finishing touches applied in the galley (little knob of butter into the onion gravy) and then it was time to tuck in and enjoy.
After dinner we listened to the radio as we had been doing periodically throughout the day to hear the latest stormy news.  After the initial quite alarming prognostications about likely storm trajectories and hurricane force winds, the actual event itself on Sunday night was quite an anti-climax. The simple reason being the latest forecast was for the very high winds of the trailing edge of the storm to cross us at between 9 and 11 am Monday morning.  The winds tonight were forecast to be in the 50-60mph bracket with severe gusts up to 75 or so, which was what we had been experiencing for the past two or three hours so I was confident we would be fine (which we were). With that in mind and a lovely full up feeling and everything being toasty warm we decided to turn in and ride out the storm in our beds.



Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 11:08 AM
  Monday (the storm)
I was woken by the wind at 7 am or so and immediately noticed the intensity was much higher than when I had dropped off to sleep. I was hoping for a few more Zzzs but someone who will remain nameless (Charlie, Charlie, Charlie and Charlie) was up and fussing about in the cockpit making a god awfully bad job of not making any noise. Reluctantly deciding to get up and face the day rather than snuggling back under my duvet, I may have been a little short with the noisy one for a moment or two and of course barely mentioned all day the fact that I would have been happier to remain in bed whilst the weather did its worst rather than sit in the cockpit watching the whitecaps chase each other down fleet dyke.

Sometime during the night a huge willow had fallen into the river 100m downstream of us just on the corner and was half blocking the river, but apart from that and the fact that Malanka was covered in grass, dirt and leaves there was little to show for the violence being perpetrated outside.

We listened to the local radio and awaited the trailing edge of the storm, the BA decided to close Breydon water to navigation which we thought was a prudent move, however their advice to avoid movement on the system was being ignored by at least one yard which was calling their customers and asking them to please return with their boats as expected. We received this last bit of news from the guys we helped yesterday who couldn’t quite believe they were being asked to venture out into the teeth of quite the worst weather of the past 24 hours, rather than just delay until the worst was over.  I helped them leave the mooring in the safest way I could (backwards into the wind) and helped them on their way. This was their first taste of broads boating and they were absolute beginners but they learned very quickly.

We decided to wait until the storm had passed then take a leisurely cruise up to Potter and have a wander about before heading down to Acle Bridge to moor for the night and catch the next afternoon slack water and cross Breydon and an evening in Loddon on Tuesday. So it was take the dog for a walk then prepare a slow and tasty breakfast of bacon, sausage, fried bread, French toast and fried eggs with steaming mugs of tea. Every now and then a poor hirer could be heard passing us in the river heading back to their respective yards. We were happy to stay put for a few more hours at least.

Eventually the skies cleared and we could think about moving!  Breydon was still closed and general river navigation discouraged but we were confident we could cope as by now there was just a steady very strong wind and the occasional gust, nothing as severe as yesterday or even Saturday afternoon for that matter. Considering the conditions we had experienced earlier we thought perhaps that the BA was advising today for the conditions of a few days ago. Perhaps it was worse at Thorpe Green, who knows.

The process of making ready to leave was of course a lengthy one as we were reversing the process of preparing for severe weather and many extra lines and springs had been deployed in addition to the use of the mud-weight. All this untying and heaving took over twenty minutes and in that time the clear skies were a beautiful sight to behold and walking about at Potter seemed like a very good idea from the relative safety of fleet dyke. The engine had been running the whole time as Malanka’s 3.8l Commander was purring like a cat (yes she was Simon/Jason/Griff and other Beta or Nanni fanatics). Malankas engine is her heart and the deep throbbing bark of her exhaust and the immense torque available from the engine gives one a huge feeling of available power and today we may just need them. In any event she feels great whatever the weather.
With dog walked, breakfast consumed, plans made we gingerly cast off into fleet dyke under crystal clear blue skies with a warm wheelhouse and mug of tea in hand. When we passed the fallen willow tree we could see just how big it had been and it was huge!  In fleet dyke the wind was not so strong now and as we emerged into the Bure we could see a couple of other boats had started to venture out under the clear skies and beautiful sunshine. We had decided to head up to Potter, moor in HW yard and have a wander about and see what’s what.  We had thought about spending the night there after Charlie’s report on the electric card system and the excellent shower facilities, so with that in mind as plan A we headed up the Thurne. The journey to Potter was uneventful apart from seeing the new Richos Pirate Boat occupied with a young family obviously enjoying themselves moored at the 24hr moorings by the pilot’s office. They looked to be having a ball with costumes for the kids and an obvious birthday party in full swing. We took days to decorate our dining room when Helena liked the idea of a pirate themed birthday party, this would be a much better idea.

When we arrived at Potter the wind was very strong and being the risk averse chap I am I decided it would be prudent to find an alternative place to spend the night. The yard at HW looked windswept to say the least. Maneuvering in their basin is not easy at the best of times with even a mild wind blowing. Trying it in today’s gale was a risk I didn’t want to accept and so plan B was formulated. We already had dinner all planned out and so we didn’t need the pub, but a nice drink in the bar by the log fire sounded too good to miss and so we headed to Acle Bridge and the moorings there. We thought they would be quite protected compared to the ones North of the bridge and so we headed there instead.

The journey was completely uneventful apart from one poor lady who had no idea she was being passed as she cruised serenely down the Bure towards Acle only to find us on her left hand side when she had obviously been miles away in the land of not concentrating on the job in hand. At least that’s my judgement based on the height out of her chair she achieved when she finally saw us out of the corner of her eye and leapt up in shock.   Boris was on the rear cabin roof and was completely indifferent to the smiles, stares and waves he received as we passed by several moored boats. Arriving at the bridge I dropped the silly masty thing and we prepared to moor, the river was running quite strongly out downstream and the wind was away from the quay heading so mooring was going to be quite straight forward. A quick spin in the river and hold station against the tidal flow, then just sideways counterbalanced by the wind and tide and we slid beautifully between the already moored boat and the emergency ladder right by the pub sign. Safely moored up we connected to the electricity supply and turned on the electric fan heater instead of the diesel heating and sat in the wheelhouse for a while before the call of the log fire was too great and we retired to the pub for a well-earned drink and a bag of crisps each for us, and bacon slice corn snacks for Boris. After the drink Charlie took Boris for a walk and returned with wet and muddy dog a while later.

Over the next several hours, there were quite a few arrivals and departures, some were good, some were indifferent and some were quite bad, the common theme here was that everyone was open, honest and generally pleased to be helped, the conditions were quite challenging for a beginner and would only get more so now the wind was upstream and so was the tide.  Add in a quite heavy downpour and the conditions were only going to get worse.

Enter then the man from Le Boat! The Le Boat Admiral is not an easy beast to helm, they are enormous, they wander, have indifferent handling and sluggish engine response. (IMO of course) We were in the wheelhouse facing forwards and for some reason the approaching Le Boat (hereafter referred to as the boat)was moving quite quickly (against the wind and tide) and was less than three feet away from us steaming rapidly downriver oblivious to the moored boats. As she passed I made the gesture indicating “slow down,” flat palm up and down not the other one! And after passing us which sent us bouncing violently up and down and against the metal quay heading, we heard rather than saw the engine note change as some revs were knocked off, too late for us but hopefully better for the guys further down the mooring.

Instead of continuing downstream, turning and returning for another go, the helm of the boat (hereafter referred to as Numpty) decided he knew better and was going to attempt to stop and moor up in behind us before hitting any boat moored further down the mooring. At a rough angle of approximately 30 degrees the boat crabbed down the mooring, hit the quay heading, bounced off, then turned to port accelerated and just cleared the next boat down, before escaping down the river obviously to try their luck at Stokesby. Unfortunately however the dinghy they were towing smashed full force into the boat moored there. I have no idea if they heard the impact or even felt it, the burst of acceleration to leave the scene doesn’t tell me anything.

We thought that would be the end of it as we sat back down to relax thanking our lucky stars they hadn’t tried to moor in front of us, where there was still space. After twenty or so minutes the unmistakable sound of the admiral returned, this time upstream and with the wind and the tidal flow. Heading for the same space they had abortively attempted to moor in earlier, again the 30 degree angle and huge bow wave and no speed reduction whatsoever resulted in the anticipated overshoot, instead of just easing back on the throttle and allowing the wind and the water to do its work, numpty accelerated turned to the right and it was only the intervention of Charlie who shouted at numpty to “watch his stern” which alerted him to the fact he was on collision course for us. Unfortunately she was too late and the stern of the boat impacted our rearmost side fender and she bounced off us, the dinghy hit the stern fender with full force as she had the other boat on numpties previous attempt in the opposite (correct) direction.  Numpty circled a few times as if weighing up the options and we prayed he would get bored or leave or anything but have another go. Unfortunately as you may have gathered from further up-tale, numpty decided he could do it and he would do it.

OK so now in the correct orientation (against wind and tide)and moving much more slowly this time as Charlie, Fiona and myself had shouted at him to slow down and take it easy he approached for attempt number three. He was way too close to us (less than three feet apart) and I knew what was going to happen, Malanka would become the “guide me in bumper board” that is much in fashion with incompetent numpty helms. My premonition proved correct and the last twenty feet of the admiral scraped its way down the side of Malanka before finally trying to rip off the last fender before slipping in behind us and giving numpty back some steerage. (Now you know why we have big fenders). To prevent any further miss-haps and without offering any advice or what may be deemed unwanted advice I offered to take the rope from Mrs Numpty who was standing on the bow looking completely lost and clueless. I had already pushed the boat out to avoid any more impact damage to the bow.

I asked to take the rope and remarked that “doing that more slowly and doing so without hitting other boats may have been a better idea”. Immediately Mrs numpty replied with a waspish “what”, I replied that “if things had been done more slowly and with less throttle and that had numpty listened to the advice that Charlie had been trying to give him had been used, none of the last ten minutes of crash bang would have happened”.  “Are you serious” she asked. “Perfectly serious” I replied. “He didn’t do it on purpose” screamed Mrs numpty, she was obviously not used to being questioned or confronted in any way shape or form. “Does that make a difference to the end result” I asked calmly. “I said he didn’t do it on purpose,” she repeated. “I heard you, and does that make any difference” I said, by now numpty was shouting from the wheel that “it’s ok I didn’t do it on purpose I’m just incompetent”. I repeated my question and mrs numpty replied, “give it a rest”, to whit I replied, “no I will not give it a rest, you just hit my boat numerous times and not a word of apology has been forthcoming, why would I do that?”.  “He said he didn’t do it on purpose” screamed mrs numpty. So I asked her, “if I crashed my shopping trolley into their lovingly restored vintage MG and scraped all down the side “by accident and not on purpose” would that be ok? Her answer to this was to say, “you really are a T*sser aren’t you”. I replied, “surely it is better to not do something in the first place, rather than say I didn’t do it on purpose after doing it”. This seemed at last to get the point I was trying to make across, a simple acknowledgement of culpability rather than hiding behind the mask of a lack of intent seemed to be getting through.

Just then a private boat owner who had been lurking on the bow of his boat after mooring up walked past and with a perfectly straight face and obviously not having heard anything I had been saying completely destroyed the moment of breakthrough with the throwaway remark that, “I have a private boat down there and you moor here you expect to get hit”.

What on earth is the world coming to when seemingly sensible individuals come out with such total and utter, missed the point glib rubbish? I was stunned for a moment. I was however broken out of my moment of incredulity by pressure being exerted on my arm by mrs numpty, accompanying this pressure were the words “that’s what insurance is for dear”, obviously being so near to understanding the point I was trying to make but being so far from actually comprehending it, she had fallen back on condescension and insult. Now anyone who knows me will appreciate that I do not permit unwanted and unwelcome physical contact in any context so my next words were entirely predictable. I simply asked her to “take your hand off me” the change in cadence and directness were sufficient and an apology was immediately forthcoming. ”It is a great pity you didn’t apologise ten minutes ago”, was my response as I walked back to Malanka.

Charlie by now had emerged from Malanka and was tying up the numpties boat, it was obvious to us both that embarrassment had expressed itself as anger and that further progress would not be made whilst emotion rather than logic was speaking.
Funnily enough the very small space I mentioned earlier, that lay in front of Malanka was at this very moment being approached by a boat from HW yard, the top steering position was in use and I could talk to the skipper, “do you want some advice to help you?” I asked. “Oh yes please, I am new to this game and will accept any advice you can give me,” he replied. Five minutes later he was moored up securely in a smaller space than the le boat, and didn’t come near to hitting anything, and he still apologised for not knowing anything. The contrast could not have been more clear.

With all the available mooring spots occupied it was obviously time to go to batten down the hatches and enjoy an evening cooking, laughing and playing silly card games.
Food tonight was to be cheese and chorizo sausage stuffed chicken breasts (x2) and some ordinary local sausage stuffed chicken breasts (x2) for those who didn’t like spicy chorizo sausage or cheese stuffed chicken breasts, all the breasts were of course wrapped in smoked streaky bacon. These were to be accompanied by spicy potato wedges and fresh green beans. All washed down with some lovely white zinfandel. (it’s actually pink).
We had a most pleasant evening, the boat was lovely and warm and the cooking and laughing just made it the perfect end to what had been a rather stressful two days. Tomorrow we were going to cross Breydon Water and head up into Loddon and a lovely meal in the pub. I was of course looking forward to the crossing as it’s a chance to “have a bit of a blow- out” for the duration of the crossing and Malanka really enjoys stretching her legs a bit after long stretches at 4 mph. I was also looking forward to watching Charlie’s face as she played in the waves we were both hoping to find waiting for us tomorrow. The crossing time was set to be 14:20 or thereabouts so we could have a leisurely morning and set off whenever we wanted.

    With thoughts of a nice day to come and the memories of a lovely evening we settled down to a well-earned and very deep, dreamless sleep.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 11:11 AM
  Tuesday dawned to the sound of Mr Numpty running the engine (pointed in our direction of course) at the ridiculously early hour of 7am, the noise those boats make is quite something to be woken by. The ordeal was thankfully cut short as twenty minutes later they had departed and peace and quiet was restored. Quite why they felt the need to get up and make such a noise quite so early I really can’t imagine.

Today’s breakfast was intended to last until we had made it all the way to Loddon, so with both pans on the go and the oven alight to keep everything warm it was time for sausages, eggs, bacon, French toast fried bread, and pots of steaming tea..  
A steaming pile of all that good stuff was duly deposited on the table and we all set to with a will and in very short order, bellies were full and contented mumblings filled the room. Boris was walked and windows cleaned inside and out after the dirt and debris from Sunday/Monday’s stormy weather.

We decided to set off early for Yarmouth and just take it really slowly down the Bure. Malanka has more than enough power to cope with the tide we expected to find on the Yare and so at a little after 11am we departed Acle and headed downriver, just barely keeping steerage in the fast flowing stream.

Fiona helmed for quite a while as we headed downriver, which is quite strange really as she doesn’t spend  much time at the helm of the boat, but recently has taken to helming through Great Yarmouth under the bridges  and generally taking the helm at some of the more challenging moments on our travels across the Broads.  
The wind today was still quite strong and was increasing in strength as we approached the muddy bank, twisty bit just before Yarmouth. There was the odd splash of rain and as we turned a corner, then suddenly, the heavens opened and a massive and prolonged deluge descended on us, just as suddenly it stopped and the sun broke through. We tracked another deluge, or rather the sickly purple/ black cloud that contained it as it crossed in front of us but this time held off depositing its cold autumn droplets on us. After the rain it was of course time to drop the silly masty thing in anticipation of Yarmouth Yacht station and the bridges. I ventured outside and was immediately shocked to discover that the outside temperature was considerably cooler (to put it mildly) than the weather station in the wheelhouse was telling me it was. Masty thing dropped it was time for the bridges and by this time Charlie was at the helm and she steered us quite effortlessly through without any fuss.

The river was running quite quickly at this point and of course we quite rattled through Yarmouth and turned right past the yellow post and headed for the bridge. Amazingly there were a couple of hire boats ahead of us and we all remarked that there would very probably be quite an abrupt and sudden halt to their forward momentum as soon as they got to Yarmouth Bridge. We hoped they knew what they were doing as we could quite easily see that the flow though there was very fierce indeed.

As we reached the bridge I reached past Charlie and added some throttle (well quite a bit actually) and Malanka leaped forward to meet the challenge of the rapidly outflowing water passing under the bridge on its quest to get to the North Sea. Malanka ploughed into the water with an huge bow wave, although we weren’t actually making that much headway, flat out she will do over 11mph and we were just making 4mph on the GPS as we past the huge concrete bridge supports, making sure not to get dragged too close and end up with a disastrous collision of our own making. The hire boats were not faring too well and were barely crawling along as we gave them a wide berth and headed across Breydon Water proper.  
Released from the artificial confines of the narrow portion of the river under the bridge Malanka picked up speed quite rapidly and soon we were flying along with a huge bow wave and spray passing the wheelhouse and splashing onto the windscreen. We were having a ball and it looked like we may get even more fun as we could see in the distance a white speck that represented fear for some but a huge opportunity to play for us. A big motor boat with outdrives! The bow wave we could see almost hiding the boat creating it, we hoped they would see our bow wave and head toward us for a bit of wake play but sadly this was not to be, after just one pass the big private craft slowed and headed back across from where she had come and the prospect of some wake fun went with her.

With the prospect of some wake play receding in front of us we slowed down and allowed Malanka to reduce her temperature back down to 85 degrees from the 90 she had been at for the few minutes of mad dashing against the current. The wind was still very strong and we knew that the river would be very fast flowing if we arrived at Reedham too early and so it was with a little sadness that we slowed right down and pootled our way across the rest of the way. Turning right into the outflow of the Yare was quite fun and we played short route up the river until we reached the New Cut. Easing back past the moored boats we could see the maelstrom through the bridge supports, we had lowered the masty thing but when we arrived we could see the bridge was open and we (well me actually) needn’t have ventured onto the foredeck to get nithered (Northern word meaning cold) in the brisk wind.

We had to throttle back up to go through the bridge as the water was really flowing and although we did search for the seal he was nowhere to be seen and so we past Reedham and the headed to the turn for the Chet and towards Loddon, our destination for the evening. Turning into the Chet, the river was quite low and still flowing out at a significant pace, when we passed the flood we could see the new locks, bridges and gates and it all looked very impressive. When we were passing Pyes Mill we noticed quite a few boats that had obviously been moored there for a considerable period of time, the evidence being the copious quantities of leaves, twigs and other detritus covering the winter covers. The open windows and raised foams inside other boats gave additional testament to the long term nature of the mooring. In fact, there were so many boats there that it would not have been possible for us to stop even had we wished to do so.

Just before arriving in Loddon the sun emerged and popped its glorious sunny head out from behind the clouds and suddenly the scenery was alive with rich autumnal colours and bright sparkling water. When we arrived there were quite a few spaces available and so an easy mooring was assured.

Once safely moored up I did manage to work out that mooring a few feet either side of where I eventually chose would have been a better option as the excess water from the hose was gathering at the back of the boat and turning the path into a muddy quagmire. Boris loved it, Fiona and I did not. We couldn’t be bothered to move and so we settled down to some southern fried chicken as a quick snack before various crew members headed off to the co-op, the pub and the butchers to gather essential supplies. Charlie and I set off to visit the pub and book a table, quite a simple task you might ask and I am sure under normal circumstances you would be correct, however, this being a Malanka tale there had to be a complication. They Blew up the kitchen….The repair man was just arriving as the landlady was explaining that there had been an incident in the kitchen.

Thoughts of customers keeling over from rampant food poisoning ran through our heads but it was in fact an explosion in the kitchen and they would be unable to provide food. The landlady made the very kind offer that if we wished to order a take away the pub would provide plates, knives and forks and everything we would need. Talk about going the extra mile.

We had set our mind on not cooking and if we were going to have a take away in any case we might as well have that on board in the our own cosy warm environment, so we only had to decide which take away this would be. Loddon has so many really good ones the choice would not be easy.
As it turned out the choice was easy as we had never tried the Indian in Loddon before and so that was the choice. I have to say the choice was an absolutely brilliant one. If you like authentic Indian cuisine, I highly recommend it.

Talking to a few of the folks in the marina and the tiger hazard tape everywhere, it was clear Loddon had not escaped the storm quite so well as we had in Fleet dyke.
Unfortunately some holidaymakers had been moored on the far right of the mooring and a very large willow tree had come crashing down onto their boat and severely damaged it. We heard that there were no injuries but still I would not have wanted to share that particular Norfolk Broads experience.
After dinner and some more silly card games we had to decide where we intended to spend Wednesday. The choice was made easy by the fact of not being able to eat in the pub tonight and that in the summer we had experienced the quality and service that is Coldham Hall on two occasions and we wanted to try for three out of three.
After such a long drive and such a lovely day we decided to retire early, so it was a quick walk to the green and back for Boris and then quickly under the covers for a well- earned sound contented sleep.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 11:12 AM
  Wednesday dawned to bright sunshine and so we quickly did all of our chores, filled up with water, walked the dog, bought more wine to replace that which washed down the excellent Indian food, and then slowly departed Loddon heading towards Brundal. We had all day to go not that far and so we took it very easy and just enjoyed the strong wind and a gorgeous autumnal sunny day.

Cantley was of course in full swing boiling and crystalising, so we could see the factory from miles away. At this time of year I like to think it closely resembles a hissing and steaming magical Disney chocolate factory. OK, so, well it does for us…
All the way to Brundal the weather stayed dry and breezy with magnificent sunshine. When we arrived there were two boats moored outside (the pub was closed for lunch) and I decided to slip in-between the bathtub and the gin palace, just because I could. The approach was great, Charlie gathered the ropes and we glided in, unfortunately just as we were about to slip the back end in the gin palace started her big diesels and the whoooosh (imagine the sound) of water out of the back end pushed our bow right into the quay heading. Charlie did her heroic best and with some help from the very nice boys on the bathtub we squeezed in and tied up. A few minutes later the big MOBO was gone and we were alone with the bathtub and some lovely sunshine to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Only one thing to do, crack open the wine and sun loungers and have a sun-bathe.

We managed about an hour before the sun finally, and quite slowly, dipped behind the thatched roof of the pub and the cold clammy grasp of late autumn on the river once more had us in its grip.

A quick round of hair washing and showering followed until as soon as the pub opened we would head into the pub for dinner.   Or rather we would have done if it wasn’t for the almighty downpour that had arrived whilst we were all in the shower using the hair drier / straightener, applying make-up or dancing about in the wheelhouse  to very loud sex pistols tracks like some demented seventies throwback. I will leave it up to you to decide who was doing which activity.
The rain eventually slackened or we grew too hungry to bear, it doesn’t really matter which was the pre-over-riding decision driver but we made a mad dash for the pub in any case. Squishing across the lawn and trying not to slip over was quite fun, in which of course the four legged crew member had an altogether unfair advantage.

This time we would eat in the pub rather than the restaurant as we would take Boris the magnificent with us. He had met the resident lady Bulldog when she was a tiny puppy in the summer, tonight he met her again, but she was considerably bigger, more vocal and the silly wimp (Boris) was not quite so sure of himself as he had been in the summer.  So wimpy was the big wussy that he spent the entire dinner under the table just in case that horrible dog came back. She is of course the cutest loveliest dog anyone has met in a while and we fussed over her for a long time. OK Harvey is cute but I’m afraid he gets second place in the cute stakes to the new queen of Coldham Hall.

Dinner was amazing, honey roast ham and eggs was superb, fillet steak was superb, and Fiona’s choice of liver and onions was superb as well. I was worried I would not be able to do justice to a pudding as the choice was excellent, in the summer I had managed lemon drizzle cake, however tonight the piece-de- resistance was the rice pudding that Charlie and I shared. Home-made jam, nutmeg and a slight drizzle of fresh cream just set the whole thing off. I must admit Charlie was hard pushed to get her spoon in the bowl as my spoon flashed in the firelight, quickly reducing the bowl to empty.
This was to be our last night on the Southern Broads this year, as tomorrow we would head back North and to Womack Dyke for the evening. Coldham Hall did us proud, it was superb.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 11:13 AM
  Next morning Charlie took Boris for a long walk while Fiona and I readied the ship for departure and we made breakfast for the crew. Boris being taken for a walk by Charlie has become a bit of thing that Boris sort of insists on as his right and proper allocation of walkies. He has completely adopted Charlie as his surrogate pack member and celebrates this fact every morning by jumping on her bed (and her, he is huge) every morning. He has now learned how to open the door to the front cabin, so all it takes is for us to open our cabin door, let him out and he does the rest. We don’t have to say a word or request the walkies, Boris does all that himself in his snake walk, teeth snap, smiley dance routine.

Walk completed, crew replenished and all breakable things stowed away we slipped the lines and headed all of 400 metres over to Brooms to fill up with water for the journey to Womak Dyke. The very nice man from Brooms came for a chat and we passed the time of day while filling the not inconsiderable volume of the two saddle tanks, Boris jumped about a bit and got some doggie treats from the nice man from Brooms and altogether it was a lovely water stop, we didn’t fill up with diesel this time as we intended to do that in Horning as is our usual custom these days. Water tanks topped off and overflowing from both sides we put the hose back replaced the cap and set off on the long journey to Womak Dyke. We weren’t particularly concerned about the tides, the time we had meant that it didn’t matter at all. The weather was sunny and reasonably warm, and we could drop the roof if we had to and in any case it was a lovely day for going somewhere really slowly.  As we were going with the river flow, the pace we were travelling at was in fact quite a fair clip, the interesting thing was seeing us whiz along with no discernible wake, a bit like a ghost ship.
Charlie had the GPS on and we monitored how quickly we were travelling and maintaining steerage in the by now quite quickly flowing river, suffice it to say it was a very interesting experience and one which we monitored all the way down the system. As those familiar with the Autumnal flow through Reedham will know we absolutely whipped through Reedham, again with no wake and headed down the river to Breydon.  The river was decreasing in width and increasing in flow all the way down and it was quite a ride that required concentration all the way to avoid floating flotsam and other detritus floating along in the river. Turning to port onto Breydon we gave her a little bit of an urge and Malanka leaped at the chance to play in the waves as we steadied onto course across a fairly choppy Breydon.
In fact when we turned to port we slipped into position immediately in front of Spirit of Breydon who was performing her patrol duty and right behind another cruiser crossing at the same time as us.

We pootled across as the tide had got us to Breydon quite a bit earlier than we anticipated, and we didn’t want to just throw money away fighting the anticipated heavy outflow from the river Bure. Given that this was our thought pattern for the day we were somewhat surprised to be passed by a hire boat going hell for leather across the estuary, bow wave plashing, driver grinning away, they were having a lovely time. Our only concern expressed by all three of us simultaneously was “if they arrive there (the mouth of the Bure) in the next twenty minutes they are going to struggle quite a bit methinks”, anyway we left them to it.
Needless to say we chuckled to ourselves and kept the same speed for the remainder of the crossing until Spirit of Breydon tooted at us and headed back across Breydon to continue her patrol in the opposite direction. We of course knew we would be seeing the other boat a little bit later on. Just before Breydon bridge I slipped past the boat in front of us and increased the revs to maintain our momentum in the river, I didn’t want to be messing about behind another boat on the delicate bit of crossing past the yellow post in a very strong outflow that was by now quite visible as a turbulent flow surging across our intended direction of travel.  I stayed to the right as long as I dared then hit the throttle and surged diagonally across the flow, mainly to avoid going sideways onto the flow which unfortunately was the fate that befell the boat we had just passed, they didn’t increase speed at all and just lazily turned across the river and they were immediately carried back in the direction they had just come from. It took them a few seconds to sort themselves out then they had another go with more power and they slowly made it into the rapid outflow that is the Bure at GY.

We had stayed on station at the mouth of the river just in case the other boat needed some help but seeing them safely enter the mouth of the river we added some power and started the long fight up the river. Being only 10ft 6 beam has its advantages and this is of course one of them, Malanka slips through the water very efficiently indeed and we made light work of the journey upriver and never once even came close to the speed limit. The look of astonishment on the faces of the skippers we passed that day was a sight to see. Some of them rammed the throttle almost through the dashboard in an attempt to follow us, but with a narrow beam, big engine and a huge outflow of water, hydrodynamic efficiency wins every time. They really knew what they were doing in the fifties you know!
The wind by now had turned bitter although the sun was still in the sky. We could see some storm clouds approaching and one particularly purple one looked very nasty indeed. Inevitably the rain storm arrived and boy was it a rainstorm, Fiona went down to the galley to provide some drinks and hot snacks (which turned out to be left over curry and more Cajun chicken) and we settled in and watched the scenery get washed by a very heavy downpour.
Approaching Acle Bridge the rain eased off and the sun once again popped its head out from behind some lighter hued clouds and bathed the storm ravaged landscape in its feeble autumnal sunshine. We turned right up the Thurne and headed for Womak dyke our journey almost over for the day. The evening sunshine and clouds made for the most spectacular sunset I have seen in many years, altogether a very fitting end to today’s lovely cruise. Arriving at the dyke we discovered (once again) that the water levels were very high. What this means is that Malanka’s fenders didn’t fend as they were too high. Nothing to worry about, a quick delve into the Narnia cupboard that is the forward compartment and three sausage fenders were deployed from the posts into the gap between boat and quay heading. Job done!
After watching the sun set over the marshes from the warm and cosy wheelhouse and a quick near darkness walk with Boris (me this time) it was time to settle in and enjoy dinner which was Boursin (fig and walnut) stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in smoked bacon rashers, accompanied by boiled green beans and some spicy potato wedges, the latter from a packet and not Fiona’s excellent home- made versions. All washed down with a crisp chilled Chardonnay. All in all it had been a super day and tomorrow was going to be filled with adventure, we were going to night navigate from St Bennets Abbey through to Salhouse and enjoy a meet up with The Corsican, and her merry band of crewmates.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 11:14 AM
  It is of course not very far from St Bennets to Womack dyke and thus we had the prospect of a long lie in to look forward to. With those thoughts foremost in our minds we stayed up late, played some more card games and retired to bed, happy, tired and contented.
Friday Morning dawned with light drizzle which soon abated and it was again Charlie’s choice to go for a hugely long walk with Boris the woofer. The two of them were gone for an enormous amount of time as Charlie walked Boris almost all the way to Potter Heigham, on his way back and after Charlie had been trying to keep Boris as clean as possible and he was completely exhausted he decided to enter the flood-defence dyke for a bit of a drink (he loves doing this and even prefers it to fresh bowl water). As Charlie tells it as soon as he entered the water he disturbed a goose which was having a bit of a late morning snooze, in the resulting kerfuffle the goose managed to get Boris’s interest and he leaped (something he doesn’t normally do) fully into the deeper part of the water, legs akimbo and in hot pursuit of his prey (early breakfast?), needless to say he failed miserably to get anywhere near the goose (PC version), OK he just missed grabbing its tail feathers as it scampered across the water (real version). After being told off by Charlie and giving up the pursuit of the goose Boris emerged from the water covered in sticky, black, icky mud half way up his body. Charlie was almost back to the boat by this time and as she approached she yelled that Boris was coming and he was wet and dirty and get a towel quickly. Boris had seen us and was pelting back hell for leather, ears flapping, tongue lolling, the complete package, he was also filthy dirty. I quickly threw some dog towels out of the wheelhouse just in time as both Boris and Charlie arrived at the boat both out of breath and panting. There followed the most hilarious scene you can imagine. Charlie cleaned off Boris one paw at a time, she then gave him a tummy rub with the towel to remove the worst of the mud. The sight of a huge 50Kg Airedale Dog standing there with one paw after another raised in a most un dignified pose, and then to be followed by a lifting strop style tummy rub with the only remaining clean (ish) dog towel was a sight to behold and one that will stay in my memory for a long time. What added to the humour of the situation was that Charlie is a mere 5Ft 2 and very slightly built and so she is not that much taller than Boris and is no taller at all when she is crouching down beside him holding the paw he gently offered up for cleaning. I won’t add to the embarrassment by mentioning that Boris weighs more than Charlie too.  Picture in your mind the vista and you can imagine the funny side of the whole thing.

Cleaning completed, boots removed and steaming hot tea in hand I left the ladies in the wheelhouse and went down to the Galley to prepare a huge breakfast of sausage, bacon, French toast, fried bread, fried eggs and a fresh pot of hot steaming tea. Having created breakfast and then enjoyed its consumption I then sat back and relaxed whilst the ladies washed up and put everything back in ship shape.
We planned to meet Simon and crew at St Bennets and so we pushed off (after retrieving the sausage fenders) and headed down river. Arriving at St Bennets we tied up let Boris off for a run about and settled in to wait the arrival of The Corsican. Lunch (the last of the left over curry) came and went and then as the sky started to get a little less bright The Corsican hove into view and Simon neatly moored up behind us. Lots of kisses and hugs were exchanged and Dylon and Boris ran back and forth like demented sheep dogs, cavorting as only true doggy friends can do. Simon and Sonia enjoyed a couple of glasses of the excellent Chardonnay from the previous evening and then it was time for the skippers briefing before our night journey to Salhouse would commence. We planned to use the PMR and so we loaded up new batteries and tried the system. All working fine and so comms were sorted, who would moor up first, sorted, where we would moor (2 options) sorted. All that was left to do was push off and set out for Salhouse.
We turned on the navigation lights and set off up the Bure towards Ranworth, the sky still had the last remnants of the daylight just falling beneath some dark clouds that were momentarily obscuring the very bright moon. A few minutes into the night cruise and the sky became very dark and it started to rain a very light drizzle. Simon was following us and he called us on the radio and asked us to see what we could do to tone down the stern light, eventually a solution was found and we  hung an orange dog towel over our new stern light as it was very bright and was ruining Simon’s night vision. We passed the entrance to Ranworth and headed towards the delights of an evening cruise through Horning. The navigation lights provide more than adequate illumination to determine where the river banks are and we cruised very quietly up the river towards Horning. Approaching the village the level of light obviously increased and as our two vessels slipped through the village past the moored boats, there was the usual, and completely anticipated, curtain twitching and window opening that inevitably accompanies such cruises.
Turning to port past the sailing club the inevitable blinding from the house floodlights along that stretch was alleviated by the simple expedient of closing one eye and holding my hand in front of the other to prevent night blindness from forming. Past the floodlights and it is only a few more twists in the river and Salhouse would be coming up. By now the light drizzle had stopped but it was now heavily overcast and very dark, Charlie had collected the mooring ropes to be in position near the wheelhouse so all I would have to do would be to pull alongside the quay heading and stop. As the night was so dark we had elected for the easier mooring option and instead of stern on in the broad we had decided to go side on to the spit on the river side. At the last minute Charlie had a hand torch just in case I could not locate the quay heading as under the trees it was almost impossible to see it, soon I could see the edge with the illumination of the port side navigation light and a quick squirt of power bought us to a gentle stop against the spit, engine in neutral and Charlie and I stepped off, pulled the boat the next post and made her fast. Simon was next in and using minimal bow thruster he slipped in slightly ahead of Malanka. Again we pulled him up to the best post available and made The Corsican fast.

Now it was time to congratulate each other on a great adventure and set about enjoying some good company, good food and some (not too much) good wine. I don’t recall what time it was that Simon and Sonia finally departed for their own luxurious apartments but it was well after midnight and a good time had most certainly been had by all.
The next day we planned to journey briefly into Wroxham, turn round and then cruise back to Stalham, only stopping for some diesel to top off the tanks before the winter.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 11:14 AM
  Saturday morning dawned and toast and jam were liberally distributed amongst the hungry crews of both Malanka and The Corsican. Several mugs of tea later we decided to push off and just go with the flow back to Stalham via Wroxham, and so we said our goodbyes to Simon and set off. The cruise was such a lovely one and even more poignant as it was also the last one of the season. The river was very high and we anticipated (rightly as it turned out) that we would have to drop the top to pass under Ludham Bridge. The sun was shining and it was a glorious day to end the season, the only down side was a very bitter and penetrating wind which cut through to the bone on any exposed skin.
Approaching Ludham it was obvious that the water level was very high and so we moored up, dropped the top and then headed up the river. We tooted out our normal greeting to the denizens of the LBBY and headed under the bridge. We decided to leave the top down after the bridge and enjoy the last of the autumnal sunshine, we all had our wind proof gear on and it was such a glorious day it seemed the right thing to do.
We hardly saw another boat on the whole trip up to Stalham, it was quiet, peaceful and a lovely end to what I can honestly say was our best year of cruising to date. We approached Moonfleet (who would winterize Malanka for us after this trip) with a little sadness, but also a determination that next year would be just as good.
Simon and Sonia arrived at Moonfleet later on and we shared a most delicious take- away with them. We had always intended to stay at Moonfleet on Saturday evening as doing so would make all the usual winter preparations much easier to get finished off before we packed the car and said goodbye to Malanka for another winter break.
               --------------------------------------------------------------------
The End


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Lynsey1983    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 2:48 PM
  Gosh this is an epic tale, loving it though, taking most of the day to catch up with you, I'm now two posts behind  Smile

Lynsey

Membership Secretary of the Cider Lovers United! Smile
Forum Girly Swot 18/12/2009
Jollymoon 21/09/12 - 05/10/12
Jollymoon Party 29/09/12


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 3:00 PM
  Thanks Lyns,
I had to write it to stop Fiona and Charlie from bullying me. Then I had to post it to prevent them bullying me even more.
It's long but I hope people get the feeling of the week, which was simply superb....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


readyabout    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 4:26 PM
 
quote:"......Its long (for the technically minded amongst you it's over 13687 words). ......."

Not very 'technically minded' - but know how much telly you must have missed....   Wink

edit: forgot to say, a really good read!

Regards

Paul
________________________________________________________
'readyabout' - the first meaningful adult phrase from my childhood....


This message was edited by readyabout on Jan-16-14 @ 4:34 PM


Maffman100    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 4:28 PM
  Well that was my most enjoyable hour of the working week so far Smile

Matt

Thunder syndicate-
http://flic.kr/g/fMF1K


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 6:30 PM
  Wow thanks Paul, I am very pleased to receive praise like that from you. I must admit to taking from November until now to remember it all and put it down in a way I was pleased with.

Matt, thanks mate see you soon and we can share a beverage... or two
  

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Regulo    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 7:08 PM
  Great read, Martin. Glad you enjoyed yourselves, despite the weather.

Regards, Ray.

If it's neither here nor there,
then where is it?


Charlie    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 7:14 PM
  Just for the record, I did not bully him!

I don't think he can be bullied and I'd be waaayyy too scared to even try!   Playful Wink

I had read the tale and felt selfish because not only had I had such a fantastic time experiencing the week but I'd had the chance to read it back too.  

It was a privilege that I felt should be shared and I might have mentioned that...... a couple of times.   Evil Grin

Martin has also been more than generous describing my mooring evolution, but it was entirely deliberate.  Means I have to practice more!  Wink
Roll on the Spring!

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 7:18 PM
  Hi Ray,

Sunbathing in October in Brundal takes some beating...Taken as an 8 day trip apart from the Sunday and Monday of the storm the weather wasn't actually that bad.
Not like last year where we had ice on the decks...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Maurice_Mynah    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 7:18 PM
  What disappoints me is that I was having a quick beer or three in the Maltsters on Sat 2nd Nov, and had no idea that Malanka was about! We must have missed each other by feet!

I think therefore I am.  René Descartes.
I sink therefore I was.  Maurice Mynah.


fidear45    -- Jan-16-2014 @ 7:55 PM
  Don't worry John,
I am sure we will spend many an hour over a few beverages and some barbe food (anyone for sausage?????) in the season to come.

M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- Jan-18-2014 @ 8:31 PM
 
Great write up there skipper.  Thanks for sharing

At last getting caught up as the forum has not been available to me until yesterday evening


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


jaguar    -- Jan-18-2014 @ 9:22 PM
 
quote:"......
and some barbe food (anyone for sausage?????) in the season to come.
......."


only if it's proper lincolnshire sausage


regards,Mike



chairman of cider lovers united

forum girly swot x 55


BroadAmbition    -- Jan-19-2014 @ 10:47 AM
 
Says he living in a Doncaster, S.Yorks post code

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


Maurice_Mynah    -- Jan-19-2014 @ 11:08 AM
  Never 'eard of 'Yorkshire Sausage' That's why!

I think therefore I am.  René Descartes.
I sink therefore I was.  Maurice Mynah.


Charlie    -- Jan-19-2014 @ 11:52 AM
  Really??  I thought everyone had heard of Griff's self christened nickname!

Evil Grin  


Sorry I couldn't resist!  I'll get back in my 'good girl' box now!


Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- Jan-19-2014 @ 12:27 PM
  Chipolata maybe..

Actually Mrs G provided us with some magnificent venison sausages when the Yorkies came a visitin and stayed with us, they were the dogs danglies...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Mar-5-2014 @ 11:52 AM
  For those members who saw the pictures of Malanka on the Richardsons Facebook page. A short update is that the wood for her restoration of the starboard side and bottom has now arrived and work will now start replacing the missing bits.

Easter cruise May still happen, good luck to Phil Toby and the boys.......

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Perfectlady9    -- Mar-5-2014 @ 12:22 PM
  Hi Martin,
What wood are you using to replank the hull, I have used Iroko but its a sod to work with.

Good luck for May..

Doug.

A Broom is not just for sweeping..


fidear45    -- Mar-5-2014 @ 9:20 PM
  Pm sent


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Mar-5-2014 @ 9:20 PM
  Pm sent


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Mar-6-2014 @ 12:26 PM
  Doug, she is being replanked with Larch. Her original planking was mahogany over an oak frame. She had new decks last year, the original planks were replaced in some areas quite a while ago so we replaced the lot ( yes all of them) with rediculously expensive marine ply boards.
What can't be seen on the photo is some of the bottom is also being replaced. A quick update is that the guys have fitted the new starboard chine and are starting to put in the new planks. The wood looks super in the photos we were sent.

More updates and perhaps some pictures soon.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Mar-6-2014 @ 12:36 PM
  Here are some photos courtesy of Charlie who went and visited Malanka for us. No weeping please we did that already.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Mar-6-2014 @ 12:37 PM
  One more.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


w-album    -- Mar-6-2014 @ 6:39 PM
  Give Malanka my love - she will be feeling better soon I hope
Liz Smile

Water Rail, 81 years old this year and still looking beautful!


Tricxy    -- Mar-6-2014 @ 9:13 PM
  And I thought Zena was being a naughty girl this winter!  We'll have to compare notes when the dust has settled Martin!

Chris


fidear45    -- Mar-7-2014 @ 8:24 AM
  Yup I agree. We have a similar photo but the planking being replaced went round the stern to the lower starboard side planking too.

None of it was wet rot though it was all inside out stuff, probably due to the years of cool damp provided by the leaky and rotting ( wet rot) decks above. The planking being replaced is all directly below the areas where the decks were worst last winter.

We should have some T shirts made. New Transoms Rule or something.....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Regulo    -- Mar-7-2014 @ 9:02 AM
  I've got some old fence panels, if they're any use to you?  Evil Grin .

Sorry, couldn't help myself. Seriously, what would we do without you dedicated woodies, and your bottomless pockets and enthusiasm? It's bad enough with "plastic" but when you have to practically rebuild the boat from scratch every so often . . .

Keep up the good work.

Regards, Ray.

It's the 21st century . . . so where's my nuclear-powered flying car, then?


springsong    -- Mar-7-2014 @ 9:06 AM
  I reckon I could join that club

Barry

" A well balanced man has a
drink in each hand "   Billy
Connolly


Charlie    -- Mar-7-2014 @ 11:17 AM
  Here is a photo of Malanka's bottom or lack of.  Have to say it was a bit disturbing to see so much of the old girl missing or exposed.  

Look's like I could start my own little business visiting the sick and elderly.... boats that is!

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- Mar-7-2014 @ 1:25 PM
  That's the one that made me weep....

Barry my friend what size T shirt do you require?????

Ray....once this is done she should be fine for a goodly long while.
The starboard side was always the worst one for degeneration due to where and how she used to be moored. Being in the shed with new sides and decks she should be much better off than before. My wallet and Helena's and Christians university fund certainly hope so.

I really can't wait to see her all painted up polished and varnished to perfection, better bring your sunnies or you will be dazzled.....

Remember the holiday tale and the guy hitting the starboard stern quarter , just how lucky were we then???

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


BroadAmbition    -- Mar-7-2014 @ 6:59 PM
 
Not to mention how lucky were his insurance company


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


paul&lorna    -- Mar-7-2014 @ 7:43 PM
  Charlie wrote
Here is a photo of Malanka's bottom or lack of.  Have to say it was a bit disturbing to see so much of the old girl missing or exposed.  

Look's like I could start my own little business visiting the sick and elderly.... boats that is!

You should visit Blue Dolphin, keel cooler's back in i helped Steve with that but now he's chopped the prop off so your not going anywhere soon Evil Grin

paul


Charlie    -- Mar-7-2014 @ 10:03 PM
  Actually I visited BD and said hello to PJ on the same I saw Malanka.
I felt quite smug at the time, at least mine was floating, didn't have bits missing and wasn't going to cost me vital body parts to put right.
Seems I spoke too soon!

Mind you, as long as she is going somewhere, a bit faster than she could last year, or the year before for that matter....by Easter I don't care!

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 4:40 PM
  OK Guys,

we have significant progress to report and by golly it looks good to see it. Well done to Roger and the other wood guys... fantastic... Now about that paint job...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 4:40 PM
  one more showing the bow this time.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 5:02 PM
  Good to see the pictures of her been stripped but even better to see her been put back together.
Hope to see her on the water at easter.

Garry


fidear45    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 5:20 PM
  Hi Garry, we will be afloat after the 4th for a week or so but Malanka will still be in the shed being sanded and painted and varnished.
You'll know its us as we will be towing minimal behind us....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 6:46 PM
  As long as your not all living on Minimal Smile

Garry


fidear45    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 7:05 PM
  Errr no. Something more modern and with all gizmos and high tech stuff.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 7:31 PM
  Be careful. The crew might decide they want to trade Malanka in for one of these new bling boats.

Garry


paul&lorna    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 7:35 PM
  Errr no. Something more modern and with all gizmos and high tech stuff.


Blue Dolphin?  Playful
Sorry....back in my box. Smile

paul


fidear45    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 9:07 PM
  Nope BD is prop less. Something big white and very bling. That goes round and round.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Maffman100    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 9:26 PM
  What, like a roundabout?.........

Matt

Thunder syndicate-
http://flic.kr/g/fMF1K


garryn    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 9:37 PM
  Sounds like Carousel

Garry


Maurice_Mynah    -- Mar-20-2014 @ 10:13 PM
  Garryn said...
As long as your not all living on Minimal

I wouldn't do that if they paid me... but that would be minimal wages.

Sorry... I'll go away now!

I think therefore I am.  René Descartes.
I sink therefore I was.  Maurice Mynah.


fidear45    -- Apr-24-2014 @ 5:39 PM
  Hi everyone its that time again. One week afloat and bullied into the tale already.

Five go mad on Moon Discovery
Saturday 5th April
Stalham to Wroxham Hotel – Fried chicken/Chinese for tea
Today started out differently to any other holiday we have had on the broads in that we were not at home, not in an hotel and there were only four Malankans including Boris the magnificent. The fifth member of the “five go mad crew” was Charlie whom we sometimes call Rose but always call our friend. The remaining Malankans were back in Belgium revising frantically for the IB and pre IB exams later in the year. (May / June)
What was even more unusual was that we were at Charlie’s house (Gaff or residence depending on accent), we were also sporting absolutely spiffing hangovers as we had indulged rather profoundly in some fermented grape juice after arriving and having a lovely “chippy” meal of fish and chips twice, pie and chips twice, and a portion of chips for the dog please, as we had forgotten his doggie food and the poor wretch was starving by half past eight.
All that aside we dragged ourselves out of our pits and gathered all that we would need for a week on an Hire Boat. Yes folks the Malankans were spending their Easter break on Moon Discovery, courtesy of the kind folks at Moonfleet. Charlie had organised a Tesco home delivery so we didn’t have to rush to the supermarket, Phil had arranged for us to take over the boat whenever we wanted on Saturday as she was not out immediately before we took her over. So we packed the car, locked up Charlie’s mansion and set forth to Stalham. The biggest difference was that the journey having been broken in Essex would now only be 90 minutes or so.
In preparation for the Saturday pick up Fiona had booked a mooring at the Wroxham Hotel for Saturday evening so we could take our time and “discover our” new charge for the week on the journey down the Ant.
Upon arrival in Stalham the crew set too with the task of transferring our bits and pieces to Moon Discovery (MD from now on). Having completed the transfer of food, bags, coats, hats, gloves, and so on, we wandered over to the shed to see how our old lady was looking. She still looked mightily miserable with her external starboard chine missing and some preliminary undercoat applied to the hull. The internal starboard chine was in pieces outside the back of the shed and it had a fairly close resemblance to Balsa. That fairly important structural element had been replaced with a brand new oak piece the cost of which I don’t yet know. Considering the amount of work she was having done the old girl didn’t look too bad and it was with a sad parting glance that we sought out Rob to give us the low down on MDs features and quirky bits.
Charlie and I had walked into Stalham with Boris to purchase some Chilli Jam pork pies only to discover the butcher didn’t have them anymore. After a few minutes of stunned silence and profound mourning, we decided that pork pies weren’t the be all and end all of everything and cracked on with getting back to the boatyard.  
Rob duly arrived and showed us how to lower canopy (electric), use the reversing camera (very cool that one), activate both bow and stern thrusters (very cool even if they are cheating), turn on gas, isolate gas, change cylinders, and not forgetting the automatic mud weight windlass. He also offered some advice about loo flushing as the system does tend to fill up if you use the pre fill option. Personally I have my own pre fill option and planned to use it throughout the week.  
Soon we were ready for the off and so we cast away the lines and pushed gently away from the quay heading taking full advantage of the bow and stern thrusters. To be very honest it was very cool to just slip sideways out into the river and I did in fact crack a smile. The canopy was down the sun was shining, the forecast was good and we were finally floating…. Bliss.
MD is a carousel class boat and is very well appointed inside with some very good features which I will write up separately. It took a few minutes to get comfortable on the Captain’s chair which both slides and rotates and so is a great perch in the evening for those with either very short legs (Charlie) or rather longer ones as well (anyone else).  
With the canopy down and screen up there is great wind protection and it wasn’t long before I had to apply some sun screen to my neck. The Thailand tan being sported by the Malankans was dealing quite well with the early spring sun (more later), Charlie on the other hand was rapidly developing a snazzy line in pink noses..
We all took a turn at the helm and bimbled our way downriver towards Ludham Bridge without actually seeing many boats. One boat we did see however prompted me to put my wicked head on. Coming the other way just after the bridge (upstream) were Simon/Sonia plus Dylan and The Corsican. She looked magnificent in the sunshine, top down and both Corsicans glowing after a day in the sun. My wicked streak took over. “Move that ugly fat monstrosity out of the way” I yelled loudly, whilst gesticulating wildly and pointing toward the bank. This monstrous behaviour was made even more effective as I had positioned MD right dead centre of the river and poor Simon had nowhere to go. (Carousels are big wide boats and contrary to popular belief they don’t handle very well, especially compared to a 1950s wooden cruiser with which I am quite familiar)
Meanwhile back on The Corsican poor Simons face was a study in barely suppressed rage and the most fun part was that Dylan already knew who we were and was whining and woofling to Boris who was replying in kind, but Simon was at that point so close to apoplexy he didn’t seem to care.
To put him out of his misery I stood up and immediately he cracked a huge smile and burst out laughing. We then drew both boats side by side using lots of thrusters and high tech stuff and exchanged our greetings in the more traditional manner. Simon had forgotten to read his PM where we had told him what we were doing and on which boat. Never mind the surprise was worth it.
Kisses blown and cheery waves delivered it was time to take the behemoth through the bridge. There was plenty of height but with over 12ft 6 of fat tail MD is no slim eel of a performer like Malanka.
Horn warning sounded we emerged through the bridge and were immediately hailed by Jason and his merry band, all of whom seemed to be messing about with or very near Braveheart (again), so once again we thrusted and stopped and had a little chat. At the rate we were going we would turn up at the hotel with very little daylight left.
We had so far averaged 2.8mph down the river and we saw no reason to increase our rate of speed, and so we made very slow progress and enjoyed the scenery which was just starting to bud into green shoots of life and it all looked magnificent in contrast to the stark brown wintery twigs and branches. We traversed Horning without incident or in fact seeing many folk we knew. Gus at the New Inn of course recognised us straight away and we called across to tell him we would be returning for some water later in the week.
By now the wind was dying on its feet and the sun was setting although still very strong and full in our faces. Fiona later informed us that early April sun strength is similar to late August and so we knew we would have more than Charlie’s pink nose later. I should say at this point that the ladies of the crew seemed to find the saloon bed seat thingy an ideal place from which to sunbathe and generally chill out and chat. Later in the week we left this up permanently and used it as a huge internal cooling breeze free sun pad.
For some reason as we passed the Salhouse nature trail a ranger waved his lollipop at us to “slow down” he did indicate this was only a wee bit (finger and thumb gesture) however both Garmin and boat speedo were indicating 4.0 mph so we smiled sweetly and slowed back down to our, what became customary, 3.6mph. At either of those speeds the wake generated by MD is indistinguishable and so we laughed and carried on through the remainder of the 5mph section not really understanding what he was on about.   There was a day boat behind us doing his best to catch and pass us so maybe he decided to believe we were racing, whatever the case he is the man with the stick.
In due course the day boat passed us as we entered the 4mph section leading to Wroxham and we slowed even further to a very sedate 2.8 mph. We approached the hotel mooring and used all the toys available to slip in and tie up, it was fun playing with the toys and as we stopped the engine (which at slow speed is very quiet) we began to relax properly into our week afloat.
The plan for dinner was to have chicken from the fried chicken shop and some Chinese (for me) from the take away but before then we had a wander about, walked the dog and generally chilled out.
When dinner time arrived there was quite a wait at the take away but it was worth it as the beef chow mien and sweet and sour chicken were both superb.  The 12 chicken balls per portion was way more than I was anticipating and they lasted for days.   Whilst we were waiting for the food the dying sun had finally dipped below the bridge but not before delivering a spectacular sunset worthy of a painting. We were all very tired as the fresh air had taken its toll, we laughed at our pink noses and headed off for a deep dreamless sleep.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Apr-24-14 @ 6:58 PM


riyadhcrew    -- Apr-25-2014 @ 5:03 AM
  Dear M&F,
Very nice tale and now thinking about 106 days ahead on Carousel, as that message when I log in keeps telling me. My face is still a bit sore from laughing at your story, especially the bit with the ranger and the lollipop. Looking forward to the next episode. Enjoy and stay safe.


best regards,
Eric


Charlie    -- Apr-25-2014 @ 12:05 PM
  Whilst Martin does his thing with the story telling (better than I ever could) Fiona and I will attempt to illustrate with photos.  

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


readyabout    -- Apr-27-2014 @ 8:04 AM
 
quote:"......the most fun part was that Dylan already knew who we were and was whining and woofling to Boris who was replying in kind......."

Nice touch!  Wink

Regards

Paul
________________________________________________________
'readyabout' - the first meaningful adult phrase from my childhood....


fidear45    -- Apr-29-2014 @ 2:59 PM
  OK folks here is the next day 5 going mad on Moon Discovery.
Sunday 6th April
Wroxham to Salhouse for doggy swim and then to Womack dyke – tea at the King’s Head
Sunday was going to be a bit of a lazy day as we wanted to pick up provisions at Roys, pootle about walking Boris the magnificent, go to the pet shop, and generally lark about doing not very much before ending up in Womack Dyke for the evening. We intended to stop over in Salhouse and say hello to Holly the Salhouse lady there. It is also a good opportunity for Boris the magnificent to swim and enjoy running about in the water without thousands of screaming zealots telling me he should be on a lead.  He loves a swim and it really helps with his elbow dysplasia.
Sunday dawned early aboard MD, two guys with VERY load voices were discussing putting the world to rights outside the hotel at roughly 6am. Just as I was about to enquire if they intended to wake everyone on the boat up with their loud prognostications they said farewell and disappeared. Fiona and I dozed fitfully after that and just lay there under the snuggly duvet wondering which one of us was going to go put the kettle on. We didn’t have to worry as some suppressed giggling coming from the saloon soon gave us a clue as to the origin of the first cup of the day. “Ssshh Boris, Stop it! Ow, HHmmpph” came ringing through the cabin. From the sequence of sounds and suppressed laughter we assumed (quite rightly as it turned out) that Boris had discovered that his dream of Charlie still being on the boat had come true and he was showing his gratitude by performing the now famous zig-zag snake dance all over Charlie’s supine form. We didn’t enquire what he was presenting in his mouth but from the snuffling and gruffling sounds he was making we assumed (again correctly) that is was his ball. His ball is a bit of misnomer really as any ball he finds immediately becomes his ball but you know what I mean.
Fiona and I lay there suppressing our own laughter as we heard Charlie attempting to get dressed without Boris standing on her, stealing her clothes or heaven forfend, putting his head and therefore very cold nose, where we were quite sure Charlie didn’t want it to be.
After a few minutes we gave in and announced that we were awake and as Charlie was going to take the Boris for his morning Texas walk (don’t ask) we would make the tea. This must have been some sort of “we” that I was not familiar with as the “we” very quickly turned into “are you going to put the kettle on then?” when I emerged from the very nice ensuite in the bow cabin of MD. The added “will you turn the heating on whilst you’re there” made for a few moments of stony silence as I contemplated the cold retort waiting on my tongue that was almost as cold as my feet and other diminished extremities.
Heating on, kettle on, jammies, slippers and fluffy thermal socks on, we slowly started to emerge from the hibernation state achieved overnight on a boat in early April. The good news was that there was hardly any condensation and no drips at all in complete contrast to other earlier hire boats we had used. Cold air contains a lot less moisture but hey, no drips at all! Marvellous stuff well-done Richos.
We heard the pitter-patter of clawed toes as Charlie returned with the dog, and then watched the daily ritual of wiping Boris dry which remained a source of unabashed amusement all week long. “Sit, Boris sit” says Charlie, who then proceeds to request one paw after another to be raised into the cleaning position so she can apply the doggie towel to remove grit, grime, or just excess wetness. This comical scene will be repeated many times during our holiday on board MD. It never fails to raise a smile.
On board MD we had various porcine breakfast products and so it was the full English for breakfast with lashings of hot tea.
The only issue I had with any of this was the location of the provisions. Unusually for a GRP cruiser there is no shortage of storage space on board MD, there is even a wine-rack too. So after forlornly opening cupboard after cupboard only to discover they did not contain the ketchup, salt, pepper etc. I turned to the man equivalent of the last resort and I asked the ladies. After washing up and clearing everything away from the excellently balanced and very stable dining table, which is situated in its own dining area. This is absolutely superb from a practicality point of view as the table can be moved out of the way to give play space dog lying space or just space.
Soon the day was beckoning and it was time for top down and off we go. This of course is another opportunity to use the multitude of techno toys on MD and I unashamedly made use of them all. The usual suspects in the bar and breakfast area of the hotel were there watching the whole performance. I am never quite certain if they are watching for a mistake or to genuinely watch boats manoeuvre, today it didn’t matter as the whole thing went flawlessly as we reversed away, spun on the spot (toys)and set off down the river with a cheery wave.  
The handling of MD is quite good when the toys are available but one issue we did find was that when the engine is cold the hydraulic nature of the bow and stern thrusters means that when in use the power available for the prop and whatever you are doing with that drops dramatically. The alternative is to slip her into neutral and increase the power available which stops the prop altogether. Hmm this aspect of the boat should be looked at IMO as in somewhere like Reedham for instance this could cause some issues with a fast flowing river. The Carousel is not a fast boat and in the fast flow there she would really struggle with a cold engine and pulling away from the quayside into a fast flow, especially if this was done going astern.  
We set off to Salhouse at a very slow pace and generally enjoyed the short cruise with the top down the sun out and everything fine with the world. During the journey we found some more doggy towels and prepared for what was to come. Arriving at Salhouse there was so much room we didn’t know where to stop, we would be taking on water at this stop and so we decided to moor near the longer hose and the boardwalk to the car park. Holly was there just setting up her canoes and other Salhouse goodies for the day and so we slipped in stern on with no fuss at all and immediately let Boris the magnificent out of the back door. He was sporting his harness and his new bright red bandana and of course he was carrying the ubiquitous tennis ball, but this time only the one.

Once the door was opened he hurdled the stern well and dashed towards the beach, ears flapping, his curly tail wagging and closely resembling nothing short of a 50kg black and gold whirlwind. His intended targets were of course the few geese that had not seen him coming. His technique of goose harassment has not improved since last year and for him everything is in the chase and he didn’t even attempt to grab a goose so to speak. Probably the reason for this would be that goose grabbing, although quite tasty if a trifle messy, would necessitate him dropping the ever present tennis ball nestled between his not inconsiderable jaws. So for Boris he contents himself, as always with some warning woofles scattering the flock which means he doesn’t lose too much face with the perennial failure to actually catch anything.  The geese long practiced at doggie avoidance simply waddled further out into the water, shook their tail feathers in his direction, regarded him with complete disdain and honked indignantly at the upstart dog. To the watching humans this was to be expected and we then got down to the more serious business of giving Boris an early morning swim.

We threw the ball in a few times and Boris, ran, then jumped, then swam after the ball to retrieve the blessed thing. After four or five repetitions of this and the swimming part getting longer and longer we noticed that Boris seemed to be lower in the water than we remembered from last summer’s outings. All that we could see was his head and half his ears were submerged. “It must be his fur” said Charlie, after Boris emerged from the water for the last time, which was indicated by his lying down and panting all the while retaining the ball. We did notice the enormous flow of water that was streaming off him and heading back to the broad. At that moment a small loony dog (Jack Russell) appeared and attempted to engage Boris in a “come and play with me” dance. Nope, Boris was having none of it and resolutely kept hold of his ball and ignored the little pipsqueak.

Whilst all this was going on and we were doing the “he is an Airedale Terrier and yes he is a big one speech”, a rather stern faced man with a springer spaniel on an extending lead turned the corner and looked in our direction, the look on his face and the directness of his gait spoke volumes as to what was to come. He headed toward us and tightened the lead on his obviously very excited spaniel, Boris on the other hand was completely unconcerned and he watched the approach of the two new friends with complete indifference. Just as the stern faced man was obviously intending to deliver his well- used lecture on how Boris should be on a lead and any other self-opinionated garbage he chose to deliver, Boris slumped down, hummphed his feeling of enormous contentment and closed his eyes.

We continued to speak with the owners of the Jack Russell who was busy chasing sticks in and out of the water. The stern faced man was crestfallen, the facial expression was a study in frustration, he was all set to deliver his righteous indignation on the topic of dogs and leads and Boris trumped him by ignoring his twisting and whining spaniel and simply laid-down and slept. Fiona and I smiled sweetly as the now even sterner faced man, robbed of his moment of triumph sloped off his metaphorical tail between his legs. Oh what a lovely day this was going to be.  Over the past 12 months Boris has become a very stable and steady animal with impeccable manners worthy of his German ancestry. Big dogs like him are required to pass a “good citizen test” to be allowed to live, he would pass with flying colours and we are very proud of him.

We walked Boris round to the Bluebell protected area in the company of an older lady and her two very well behaved dogs, with the aim of drying Boris off. We arrived back at the beach, talked to Holly and gave her a view round MD whilst we filled up with water, but soon it was time to depart, direction Womack. We had all day to go not very far so we decided that today we would get mini ready and have a brief sail on the way to Womack, the location chosen was South Walsham as it is close to Womack so we could stay sailing later into the afternoon, and also the broad there has some really nice crosswinds which make for interesting sailing.  With that goal in mind we hauled up the mud-weight, hauling sounds like we did it but alas no, it was the technology wot done it, and then headed to Horning. The day was simply magnificent; the sun was high in a clear blue sky and very strong and warming our faces as we made slow and steady progress to South Walsham. Arriving at the broad we did notice there was a significant breeze blowing and I briefly considered reefing the sail on Mini to help with the conditions. Instead of reefing the sail I asked if Charlie would be ballast for me. By inviting a young lady to provide ballast whilst one sails a dinghy is not widely regarded as ensuring a long and happy life in full possession of ones faculties. However the pink nosed one (the nose had now been re-energised by the trip from Wroxham) took it all in good spirit and gamely decided to come along. But only if I bailed out the water from the dinghy, dried the bottom and gave her a towel to sit on.  
OK so after bailing, drying and general faffing about I was finally ready to put up the rig which took just a few minutes and then we were ready for the off. Charlie sat in the bows and I was handling the tiller and sail. We had dropped the mud-weight into the broad roughly 80 metres or so from the small broad on the right hand side and that’s where we left MD as we shot away from the boat after engaging warp drive (letting the sail out). Mini was shooting across the water with an huge bow wave and it was all a whole lot of fun, as the breeze just seemed to get stronger and stronger the longer we stayed out. We tacked, reached and generally had a full and complete play into and with the by now very strong breeze. Charlie’s face had gone a fairly pasty white colour as mini zipped hither and thither across the water, the temperature was not great in the wind and the pasty white complexion was contrasted by the Rudolph-esque nose and the Pippy Longstocking like rosy cheeks caused by the still freshening breeze. We collectively decided to have one more circuit of the broad and then head back and off to Womack. After the most exciting circuit so far we called it a day and headed back to take the sail down and get ready to depart. As we arrived at the back of MD we noticed that she was not exactly where we had left her an hour beforehand. We could easily discern this to be the case by the simple expedient of looking at the proximity to the trees when they had been a good 50 metres away when we moored up, now it was more like 5. We quickly made everything fast on mini, boarded MD and started the engine. The two occupants of MD had been enjoying the sun and some snacks and hadn’t noticed the drag on the mud-weight. Potential embarrassment avoided, Fiona brought round the drinks and snacks which we nibbled on as we bimbled up the dyke and out towards Womack.

Turning up the Thurn mouth, the wind was still increasing and we passed comments back and forth about Malanka’s  storm tossed adventure back in October last year. Turning into the entrance to the river to Ludham the difference between the protected dyke and the open river could not have been starker.  The dyke was a haven of peace and tranquillity after the ravening beast of the windy river, we had our pick of the most attractive and convenient mooring spots and chose one 60 metres back from the turn by Hunters yard. During the tying up process Charlie noticed we needed to drop a fender or two as the water was very high, and this she did whilst Fiona and I messed about inside getting the tea on. After a lovely brew and a typical broads holiday moment as the sun was slowly setting we decided to walk Boris into the village to allow us to book a table at the Kings Head for later, and also to tire him out so he didn’t mind when we left him to go for dinner. We walked into the village and duly booked a table for 19:30, as we did so we couldn’t help but notice how popular the pub was for the Carvery on a Sunday afternoon.

We sauntered back to the boat enjoying the warm spring evening and then showered, washed, primped and generally made ourselves respectable before heading back to the village a couple of hours later for a very enjoyable dinner at the pub.  The food was excellent and Charlie enjoyed her first experience of the Kings Head. We had brought our very large torch to use on the way back to the dyke in the dark, and we all enjoyed a banter fuelled walk back to the boat. Before we left we had turned on the lovely blue mood lights which were now showing us where to step to avoid falling in the river. One of us would fall in this trip but it wasn’t me.   Boris was let out for one more Airedale run up and down the dyke with all of his people in close attendance before it was time for bed and sleepy anticipation of a new day tomorrow.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Apr-29-2014 @ 7:14 PM
  pic

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Apr-30-2014 @ 6:22 AM
  Boris fetching the ball in Salhouse

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- Apr-30-2014 @ 6:24 AM
  Wet dog alert!

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


fidear45    -- May-4-2014 @ 2:55 PM
  Monday 7th April
Womack to Neatishead – Roys sausage pie for tea.

Monday morning dawned fairly early for everyone as we awoke to the sound of rain steadily falling onto the roof a few inches above our heads. We considered albeit briefly, whether we should in fact get out of bed. However this idea was quickly dispatched into the box of silly ideas we all have from time to time. The sound was fairly constant and so it was that we were all soon fast asleep once more. Unfortunately for Charlie, this little extra sleepy session did not include woofters wanting a W.A.L.K. see I can’t even type it. So the morning was indeed early for Boris and therefore fairly early for Charlie, this is because the turncoat beast had adopted Charlie’s room as his bed location on day one and thus Charlie was the surrogate mum for him the whole week. I am sure Charlie tried and I’m equally sure that they were very valiant efforts however once more we were roused from the pitter patter rain induced slumber by the sound of the crazy zig-zag dance and Charlie’s feeble attempts to move the wriggling 50kg beast from lying on her holding various items of clothing in his mouth and trying to kiss her and lick her at the same time. We didn’t actually get to witness said contortions but the pink nosed one gave us a blow by blow account (literally) in real time. The rain was still coming down but Charlie, the brave soul, made up her mind to go outside and walk the dog regardless. As I am of course a gentleman, and from toasty warm confines of my lovely bed I of volunteered my Musto coat to provide the essential waterproofing that the mornings deluge required if Charlie was not to become a slightly soggy dog walker. (there I said it)
Fiona and I roused ourselves the moment Charlie was gone, the guilt already way too much for us to handle. Tea on and fully dressed we awaited the return of Boris and Charlie.
When both dog and Charlie returned there was something of a kerfuffle at the rear of the boat. Boris had stepped onto the low deck region and his front paws had slipped and his back end overtook the front end and into the river his back legs went. Charlie quickly dashed forward and grabbed Boris by the harness he was wearing for just that reason, and she hauled him out. Charlie may look like a little slip of nothing but behind that petite frame there is some real strength and she whipped him back on-board as quick as a flash. Luckily for Boris only his back half fell into the river and so once again we witnessed the leg by leg drying routine that was both comical and by now quite normal. The dip in the river didn’t seem to have made Boris any more soaking wet than he already was, but the harness had done its job. The Musto coat had also woven its magic and Charlie was bone dry even though there was still a steady rain falling. This morning was to be a lazy one as we wanted to wander into the village to buy some supplies for the epic meal we were to be having later. We cogitated for quite a while as my foot had been playing up since walking back and forth to the village twice in two hours yesterday. To be honest it has never been the same since the 7 month stretch on crutches a couple of years back. The ladies both suggested we move the boat to the staithe and have a shorter walk to the shops. I thought about this and decided “good plan” let’s cast off then.
Charlie started the engine and got ready with warps and all that kind of stuff whilst I lowered the canopy and got the kettle on. With massive use of bow and stern thrusters we slid gently into the middle of the river and proceeded to plod very slowly indeed towards Womack. After we had arrived Charlie shouted that this would be a great opportunity to use the reversing camera as it wasn’t too sunny and I could actually see the image on it on the dash. Too much bright sunlight and you can’t see the image so it’s a bit superfluous in the sun.  So while Charlie did the stern rope thing I did the reversing thing and tried to use as many gadgets as I could to moor up. The temptation to just do it the proper way and not use any of the fancy techno toys is immense, however I resisted and made as much noise as I could, thrusting here and there, both back and front varieties.
After we had moored up we let Boris out to run about for a few minutes whilst he met some nice retrievers and a couple of spaniels off the other boats and they all wagged and wagged it was quite a tail fest. We watched the doggie play time whilst sipping hot tea and making a list of potential shopping items to purchase later. We already had pie (sausage variety from Roys) and we had decided to do full on, proper style gravy, which would necessitate large numbers of onions, carrots and some apples (secret ingrediment for sausage gravy). We had stock cubes already stored somewhere in one of the numerous cupboards on MD.
List made, Fiona and I walked up to the village to purchase the provisions. Whilst we were wandering round the shop I noticed something in the refrigerated food (meat) section that particularly caught my eye. Earlier in the week we had eaten some pork and cracked black pepper sausages for breakfast and they had been delicious. What had caught my eye were fresh made local pork balls with cracked black pepper. They looked super and if the sausages were a guide then one or two of these balls, slowly and gently fried, then crumbled into the gravy, they would add something special to the depth of flavour of the gravy. With our purchases secure in their little plastic bag and a spring in our step we headed back down the soon to be leafy lane to Womack Water, the remaining crew members and Boris the magnificent were waiting and looked excitedly on as each of the items we had purchased was removed from the bag like little Christmas presents. Boris was very interested in the pork balls and he was quickly disillusioned and told that they we not for him. Over the course of the next half an hour whilst we let the slow water pipe fill us back up to full we enjoyed the post rain clear skies and the beautiful morning sunshine. We had the top down and we enjoyed some tea whilst we decided where we would go before we actually got to where we were going.  Diane was going to pay us a friendly visit this morning and so we waited for her to arrive and once again got the tea on.
After Diane’s visit we decided to head straight for Neatishead although we were by now pushing 1pm we intended to take our time and enjoy the trip. The rivers were quiet as quite a few long weekenders had now gone home and we didn’t anticipate any difficulties mooring in Neatishead. The trip was slow and really enjoyable as we meandered up the Ant and no-one was going more slowly than us, we were protected from the wind and so it truly was a lazy day, going not far in really slow motion. Bliss. When we arrived at Barton we headed to the left and on we pootled, Boris was standing on the sun pad and sniffing the wind which was blowing his ears up in a very comical fashion. We slipped and slid slowly up the very narrow river to Neatishead and Charlie and Fiona made fast the dinghy to the port side of the boat as we intended to moor starboard side to. We went slightly past the entrance then turned to starboard, used some thruster, and started to reverse down the dyke. When we reached our selected spot just in front of a lovely boat from Silverline (all of their boats must have been out as we kept seeing them almost every day) I used full bow and stern thrusters and slid slowly alongside. Fiona was on rope duty and she stepped ashore tied up and then waited for Charlie to do the same with the bow line. Charlie was on her way back towards Fiona, I was making my way back to the door, and Boris was at the same time making his way back inside and therefore blocking the door. This of course would have been the worst possible moment for Fiona to fall in and so it was. In she went, her foot slipped on the light reflective disk on the quay heading and over she went, turning as she fell and managing to grab hold of the mooring post at the same time. I tried but couldn’t get Boris to understand what I wanted him to do, Charlie was running back and made a grab for Fiona, who let go of the post and slipped further into the water, she was now half in and half out of the river. Charlie grabbed one arm, I grabbed the other and with a mighty heave we hauled her soaking wet from the waist down onto the quay heading. Boris didn’t know what was going on but knew it was something bad as he was dancing in front of Fiona and trying to kiss her face and lick her head in a flurry of indecision accompanied by tiny panicky woof noises.
Fiona quickly dried herself off and put her clothes to dry after rinsing them in the shower as she was warming herself back up.  Charlie and I were quite concerned but a lovely hot shower later and Fiona was soon restored. Her only comment on the whole affair was that “the water wasn’t a cold as I thought it would be”. And we simply got on with the rest of our day.
After the excitement of both Boris and Fiona falling into the river, our dinner later that evening was slightly anticlimactic, but the aroma emanating all evening from MD as we roasted the onions, carrots, pork balls and then made all that lot into gravy was such as to drive angels to despair. Not to put too fine a point on it, the gravy and pie with veg and home-made spicy wedges was superb.
We talked to all our neighbours that afternoon and early evening then just as it was time to let Boris out for one last little walk, the heavens looked like they may open some-time soon and guess whose turn it was to go do the deed? You guessed it, mine.  It was almost dark when Boris and I left the boat and we walked down the road for a few minutes, then suddenly the wind got up and huge ugly black and purple clouds rolled over to completely darken the skies then the noise of the rain falling was quite unbelievable. I was standing half way across a field on the marked footpath and everything including the kitchen sink was falling on my head. I thought it best to just stand still and let the worst of it be over before I walked back. Boris just simply laid down in a farrow in the field and waited with me for the furious weather to abate even just a little bit, so we could go back safely.  
We waited for about fifteen minutes, it was by now completely pitch dark, and so I imagined the ladies would be getting rather worried and the haranguing I would be getting after being out in all that would be far worse than any weather damage that might befall me. So I set off back with Boris glued to the back of my knees as I tried to walk without moving my coat too much to try and keep my legs as dry as I could. I hadn’t gone fifty yards when both my legs were soaked, cold and my knees were hardly bending at all. I knew I was in for a few choice words so I just walked, and walked, getting colder and colder with every passing moment. My top half was toasty warm but my feet, legs and particularly my knees were cold, wet and not appreciating the situation we were in.
Five minutes more and then I could see the lights of MD. The welcoming warmth as I opened the back door was so nice I immediately forgot how wet it was and the howling gale was left outside where it belonged.
We played silly board games until bedtime and listened to the weather that was safely outside when we did finally go to bed. Boris the soggy wet and very tired dog was by this time, more than a little fragrant and fortunately for Fiona and myself, he was still deciding to sleep with Charlie. We said our good-nights and in two shakes of a very wet Boris’s tail we were all fast asleep.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-4-2014 @ 6:28 PM
  The Roy's pie tea.  
It might have been a few hours in the making but it was well worth it.


Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


Perfectlady9    -- May-4-2014 @ 9:02 PM
  I cannot believe you ate all that Charlie !!

Doug.

A Broom is not just for sweeping..


Charlie    -- May-4-2014 @ 9:51 PM
  I most certainly did, and polished the plate!
I can't help myself when it comes to Martin's cooking... he is a bit good.  

Now you might all think that its a little cruel of M&F to lay in bed relaxing all week while I did early morning doggy walking duties but seeing Martin walk in doing a fair impression of a drowned rat made it all worth it!

And the fact that 50 kilos of Airedale make a very effective hot water bottle had nothing to do with my altruistic acts I promise.   Wink  

Being a somewhat pampered puppy, Boris likes to have a cushion or even better a blanket when sleeping.  As this photo proves I did have to fight him regularly for enough space, pillows and covers to sleep with.  

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- May-5-2014 @ 2:20 PM
  Tuesday 8th April

Neatishead to Coltishall

Tuesday dawned clear, bright and very sunny and the
play on the walls of the beams of golden sunlight
streaming through the cabin curtains was a simply
joyous sight to wake up to and one that promised much
for the day. Today we had decided to make our way back
down the Ant and up the Bure to Coltishall. We love the
trip though the bridge and we intended to take MD
through (with the Pilot of course) and enjoy the slow
journey to the Common where we intended to stop for the
night.
By the time we were all fully awake our neighbours in
the Silvercraft with whom I had spent a lovely half an
hour talking about dogs and boats the previous
afternoon had already left. They had done so without
excess revving of the engine and without any fuss or
bother at all. As was revealed during our conversation
they were “live aboard” people in the Channel Islands
and had been coming to the Broads for thirty years or
more.  Certainly the skill they showed in not even
waking us was significant. The sky was blue and so for
breakfast we decided to prepare the food and also eat
with the top down. Breakfast this morning was to be
cereal followed by some toast and some lovely full
fruit conserve that Charlie had ordered for home
delivery. Whatever the provenance it was delicious. We
had the usual discussion about salt and sugar content
of the very large box of sugar puffs which is my
personal favourite vs another very “special” breakfast
cereal that is nothing of the sort, and closely
resembles the look, taste, and feel of cardboard
chippings.
Fiona was in charge of the grill for bread toasting and
also for tea making. Personally speaking, being the
nominal skipper for the duration of the trip I was in
charge of tea consumption, getting in the way and
asking silly questions.
We had a lazy start to the day and Charlie took out
Boris the magnificent and they both enjoyed themselves
and no-one fell in when they came back. A good result
all round. Fiona’s jeans were drying by the air from
the heater vent but her boots were taking a little
longer to dry than her jeans were doing. The heaters
(two of them) were very efficient and we used them most
mornings to take the chill off the air to make putting
on clothes a pleasant experience rather than a hurried
hop from foot to foot whilst cringing as the cold denim
reaches parts other clothes don’t reach. After a wash
and brush up we all commented on how the water in the
hot water tank was still piping hot the next morning
and easily warm enough for a couple of showers. No need
to start the engine at 06:30 on this boat. We also
noticed that the early morning sun had completely
recharged the battery bank whilst we had been lazing in
bed and preparing breakfast. This is something that
happened most days and although the technology isn’t
“green” from the “environmental impact” perspective it
certainly was effective. Whether one outweighs the
other is a personal choice.

Fully refreshed after the breakfast things had been
washed up and put away it was time to leave the
sheltered and idyllic scene that is Neatishead on a
sunny morning and depart across Barton and on down the
Ant.  
Moon Discovery is a very large boat and at very slow
speed she doesn’t handle too well, especially in the
steerage department, but with judicious use of both bow
and stern thrusters she carved a perfect curve out of
the cut and into the river. We planned a very lazy day
today just cruising to Wroxham and a little shopping
for last minute food items for tonight’s feast
(Southern Fried Chicken) and then on up to Coltishall.
The river was very quiet and as we drew closer to
Ludham we did notice the dark clouds gathering and the
suddenly freshening breeze meant that immediately after
the bridge and before we entered the Bure we raised the
top. This turned out to be just in time and as we
entered the Bure the heavens opened and it started to
pour down. This was to be the only prolonged rain that
we encountered all week and the screen demister worked
perfectly and the heaters kept us all toasty warm. We
didn’t feel the need to use the windscreen wiper as the
slope of the screen made it unnecessary. As we were
passing the entrance to Ranworth and following the
river round to the right a flock of ducks flew over us
(something which happened later in the week with wildly
different results) and Charlie who was at the helm
remarked that they were quite low and she turned to
indicate to the rest of us just how low they were. Wham
a duck slammed into the windscreen just like something
out of a road runner cartoon, legs and wings apart,
head to one side and then the picture was frozen for
just a second before gravity reclaimed the unfortunate
water fowl and the Duck slid ignominiously down the
screen to the bottom, whereupon she adjusted herself,
with barely a feather out of place and then sat down as
if nothing at all had happened.
After a moment or two of shock at the crash landing we
had all just witnessed and of course checking to see
the bird was alright, which it did seem to be, we all
burst out into fits of hysterical laughter all talking
and pointing at the same time. None of us could believe
what we had just seen.
The duck, unconcerned by the scenes of human mayhem her
unexpected landing performance had created inside the
boat,  calmly waddled off to the side of the boat where
she sat for the next few minutes as we traversed though
Horning. We have frequently had passengers of the duck
variety on this stretch of river but none that landed
in quite such an inelegant fashion. After that rather
surprising interlude the day just got better and
better, as the rain stopped, the wind died down, and we
were able to once more continue our journey with the
top down and with mugs of steaming tea in hand.
We were following another cruiser on the approaches to
Wroxham and we had already called ahead with roughly
ten minutes remaining to reaching the bridge pilot
quay. The boat we were following started to make all
the necessary preparations for mooring up at the bridge
quay, but without any of the screens or canopies being
lowered. We could see the pilot waiting for us at the
quayside and we waved and he then helped the guys on
the other boat tie up their boat. He later explained
that they were Russian visitors to our lovely Norfolk
Broads and he had a little difficulty in explaining
that as we were already prepared with screens lowered,
and had also called ahead, he was therefore expecting
us and so he fully intended to take us through the
bridge before them. Much arm waving and disgruntled
looks in our direction were the result as we gently
kissed the other boats fenders and picked up the pilot.
I will not say what height the boat can actually reach
but suffice it to say she is very low indeed for a
modern cruiser. Much lower than the 6’, 9”claimed on
the height plate and a credit to the designers. After
dropping the pilot we moored for a few minutes to
decide if we needed anything from the shops and
inevitably we of course did. It turned out the other
crew members wanted to go into Roys and therefore Boris
and I went for a little walk and then sat outside in
the absolutely glorious sunshine waiting for their
return before we all boarded MD and headed off to
Coltishall.
With the top down and the sun getting lower and lower
in the sky it was one of those perfect Norfolk
afternoons as we gently meandered up the river at no
more than 2mph, in fact it may have dropped as low as
1.8mph round the corners. We gazed at the beautifully
restored woodies at Belaugh and marvelled at the lovely
gardens sweeping down to the river. As we approached
Coltishall Common Boris perked up from his, “I am
asleep, leave me alone” Ava Gardner look and his nose
started to twitch this way and that and he made some
strange high pitched wiffle noises. The cause of the
uprated stage of alertness was soon revealed with the
next turn of the river as the last garden before the
Common was the domain of two magnificent golden
Labradors who were patrolling their fiefdom with vigour
this glorious afternoon. The two males one old and
obviously not seeing very well, and one very
enthusiastic younger one who was taking the lead in
welcoming every newcomer up the river with vigorous
tail wagging, jumping when barking movements and
twirling on the spot dancing. Boris the magnificent was
completely enthralled by the sight that greeted him, he
could see them and wooffed back a few times to let them
know he had of course seen them and then he decided
that they were being silly and he just plopped back
down on the sun pad and studiously ignored them. Didn’t
they know who he was, he is Boris the magnificent.
Arriving at the common there were two other boats
present along the entire water frontage and so we
selected the first available spot, moored up and then
sat down, relaxed with a glass of wine and some mellow
sounds from the built in stereo system and then
proceeded to watch the most magnificent sunset any of
us had seen in a long time. We had the top half up as
it was by now drawing in a little but the view was
simply stunning and dog walking (see I said it again)
would have to wait this was too good to miss a moment.
After the sun had finally dropped below the horizon,
there was not the sound of sizzling but somewhere it
felt that surely there must be.  Charlie took Boris for
a “chuck the ball” walk which involves lots of standing
and throwing but not much walking. For the king of
Terriers to retrieve anything is, in and of itself,
quite remarkable, but the best part is that Boris
decides when its home time by the use of the simple
expedient of laying down on the ground and dropping the
ball. You may get another desultory chase, but once he
has done the drop and lie down routine, it must be time
for T.  

We had a lovely evening meal prepared tonight by the
ladies. For myself I was in charge of fermented grape
juice supplies, a task which I carried out to the very
utmost of my abilities.
As darkness finally fell on the almost deserted Common
it was time to reflect upon a day boating that had
contained all that is fantastic about Norfolk, drama,
beauty, and some measure of fun culminating in the most
amazing views.    Another great day.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by Charlie on May-5-14 @ 4:06 PM


Charlie    -- May-5-2014 @ 3:45 PM
  My early morning doggy walk on this particular day took me to a lovely peaceful Gay's staithe.

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


Charlie    -- May-5-2014 @ 3:46 PM
  and an interesting sign about the village shop.

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- May-5-2014 @ 8:45 PM
  Duck hitching a ride. The lady duck was on the front at the time, this
male was fancying his chances.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on May-5-14 @ 9:55 PM


fidear45    -- May-5-2014 @ 8:55 PM
  Boris taking up all the space on the day bed .

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Perfectlady9    -- May-5-2014 @ 10:06 PM
  We stopped at Neatishead on Tuesday lunch time, after a stroll up to the shop to get something for lunch we found they had run out of sandwiches, Not a problem we bought some bread rolls and some ham and cheese and they kindly made them up for us, had great time watching the ladies trying to work the coffee machine. Sat outside in the sunshine and had a nice lunch. Top marks for shop nothing seemed to much trouble.

Doug.

A Broom is not just for sweeping..

This message was edited by Perfectlady9 on May-5-14 @ 11:07 PM


Charlie    -- May-6-2014 @ 7:28 PM
  Boris' favourite position, surveying his landscape.  

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


Charlie    -- May-6-2014 @ 7:34 PM
 
quote:"......
We had the top half up as it was by now drawing in a little but the view was simply stunning...
......."



Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- May-12-2014 @ 1:09 PM
  Wednesday 9th April Coltishall to Horning– Pie Day at the Swan!

The day dawned incredibly brightly and soon the sun was warming the interior of the boat and the battery level indicators were all firmly in the green as a result of the P.V. cells on the roof. We didn’t need to plan where to go today we had decided this part of the trip months ago. Today was pie day at the Swan in Horning and we were saving ourselves to indulge in gorgeous pie eating later on that day. To aid in the saving ourselves to facilitate the gluttony later on we nibbled delicately, at some brown toast smothered in the lovely jam Charlie had bought. We didn’t stint on the tea front though.
Boris ran about for a little while outside the boat before Charlie walked him over to the pub and then round the common all the while throwing his ball and with Boris enthusiastically running after it and leaping about enjoying the fun of being a dog larking about in the spring sunshine. As we didn’t have far to go and all day to get there we had a lovely lazy start to the day and before we did finally depart I had also walked Boris round the common once more and had a really lovely chat with the guys from Dilligaf.
We planned to stop upstream side of the bridge and take Boris to see the very nice lady in the bridge pet stores as she had voiced an interest in seeing a giant Airedale in the flesh. With this plan in mind we already had the top down and so we set off slowly, determined to see how long we could actually take to get to Wroxham. The sun was shining very brightly and Charlie made the bold move to actually expose her limbs, she was wearing a strappy T shirt and a skirt, in fact both ladies were wearing skirts. The simple reason being it was way too warm for jeans and neither of them had thought to bring a pair of shorts. I on the other hand had brought two pairs of shorts and spent the journey down the river luxuriating in the feel of the sun on my Thailand tanned knees. In fact the shorts (plus Bills) were in fact all I was wearing as I had gone semi-monty (full monty is of course reserved for those occasions when completely inebriated, and associated with a total loss of motor control and rational thought capability)
All in all it took us over two and a half hours to bimble slowly down the river, in that time we didn’t see any Otters but we did see two Kingfishers and zilliions of fish. (I know my mum told me a million times not to exaggerate) We also saw several canoeists relieving themselves at the side of the river, oh well not quite the perfect picture.
Arriving at the 24Hr moorings we proceeded to moor stern on right next to Dilligaf and then various crew members wandered into town and Boris and I went for a walk along the riverbank. When we returned to the boat it was well after 13:30 and there were hundreds of people enjoying the sunshine and their lunch by the river. One couple that Boris was particularly attracted to were sitting by the moorings enjoying their fish a chips in paper (can’t be beaten IMO, Styrofoam boxes just don’t do it for me). The reason he was so interested in an otherwise totally innocuous retired couple enjoying their day soon became clear. Sitting or rather lolling down under their bench seat was an absolutely gorgeous and beautifully put together Laboradoodle. He was magnificent and quite gigantic. Boris approached and did the puppy play with me thing of dancing back and forth and doing a little dance. The very regal looking doodle just ignored him in super imperious fashion and sat down, his eyes glued to the fish and chips in front of him. The very nice couple, as a sort of consolation prize, very kindly offered Boris a piece of batter covered fish skin which he gratefully accepted and after swallowing, he lasciviously licked his chops with that “yumms”, that was nice lip smacking sound. Boris won’t normally accept treats from strangers so he was probably thinking he   “got one over” on the very regal doodle.
Unable to get the very regal doodle to play, Boris gave up and wandered back to the boat with me. Just as we arrived so did the other crew members and we headed off to see the lady in the pet shop. On the way to the pet shop walking behind the two ladies I couldn’t help noticing that the backs of their legs were by this time turning quite a rosy shade of pink. I was sure some nose pinkness would also be returning to MD later.  
We arrived at the bridge pet shop to barely contained mayhem in the doorway of the shop. There were dogs everywhere and people patting, stroking and generally enjoying the doggie experience in the shop. There was one fairly large Doberman puppy that seemed to quite like Boris and was scrabbling across the tiles to get to him, his paws “wind milling” in his vain attempts to move from the spot as he was being restrained by his human companions. I dropped Boris’s lead and he went over to investigate the behind the counter area where the lady who runs the shop was waiting for him with a dog-treat in her hand. She offered him the quite strange looking doggie sausage to take in his mouth and chomp away in hungry dog fashion. However, he looked at it, sniffed it, thought about it some more and licked it a little, then rejected it. He obviously felt that this lady didn’t have a doodle and I don’t take treats from strangers. I took the treat from the lady myself and quietly slipped it into my pocket. We had a few more minutes in the shop before it was time to go.
I will definitely take Boris back to the shop it is a little haven for pets and has many lovely treat items for all kinds of animals, and of course a very accommodating owner.
We returned to the boat, called the pilot and waited for him to arrive and take us through the bridge. Once though the bridge, again with many inches to spare, we dropped the pilot and set off on our slow journey to Horning where we intended to stop at Percy’s Island where we intended to enjoy the simply stunning sunshine, watch the world go round and relax by the side of the river for the remainder of the afternoon. We bimbled along being passed by all and sundry, before nipping into Wroxham Broad and opening the old girl up, to be honest this is not really something that MD enjoys and as the speed slowly climbed to 5mph we throttled back and the clamour from the hydraulic drive quietened to the murmur it had been throughout the day so far. Once again we were reminded that this craft may not enjoy some of the faster flowing reaches of the Southern Broads quite as much as it enjoys Horning.  
We approached Horning with Charlie at the helm, we had swapped earlier as it was now my turn to provide the fermented grape beverage service, and I had been diligently observing my duties and both ladies and myself had full glasses as we approached the turn at the Swan. We intended to fill up with water again today and would use the very excellent service provided at the old Southgates yard to quickly top off our tanks. As we passed the island where we intended to stop later, there were three boats moored and so there was no space available for us to slip into after the water stop. Behind us there was a brand new Sealine cruiser getting very friendly with MD’s transom area as we had slowed when we followed the sharp bend in the river, Charlie could see this in the rear view camera as she cupped her hand over the screen to provide some shade. I was standing on the bow of the boat and had alerted Gus to our intention to come for some water and Charlie made an absolutely perfect approach and glided serenely into the mooring spot and came to a stop just as the fenders made the gentlest of contacts with the floating quay heading. There were no bisecting the intended mooring spot manoeuvres on display today, just consummate skill. Charlie jumped stepped off the boat and turned and smiled sweetly at a job well done, and we then celebrated the obvious chagrin on the face of the helm of the cruiser behind us as he realised the possessor of the skill he had just seen was the tiny slip of a thing in purple skirt and matching strappy top grinning away like a Cheshire cat.  On MD we had many such moments on the holiday and we giggled at every one of them, for some reason the 21st century seemed to have passed by some skippers completely. After filling the tanks we decided to pootle up river a little and then turn round to head for the island as it looked like one of the cruisers moored was about to leave. They had returned from the pub via dinghy and there were two or three people fussing with the mooring lines. The space they would leave would be just big enough for MD to slip into using her thruster technology and it would be a good chance to show off. When we actually approached the island another boat had also left and there was more than enough space to tie up and we did so with no fuss or bother at all.
Boris jumped off the boat and ran up and down a few times to stretch his legs and visit Texas on the grassy surface of the island. I picked up and bagged (only one bag) the mini Texas and placed it on the stern of the boat for later disposal. Fiona was wandering up and down the island with her camera wanting to take some close up pictures as there were quite a few geese that seemed quite reluctant to do what they normally do and jump off. As Fiona bent down to take a close up of one plant spilling over the top of the planter barrels on the island, the reason for the reluctance became perfectly clear. There, nestling amongst the grass and weeds were a clutch of goose eggs. They were in a lovely cup of down filled grass and were being heated by the warm sunshine. Fiona quickly backed away and for the rest of the day we kept Boris as far away as we could manage from the proudly nesting goose sitting on her little clutch of eggs.
We spent a delightful afternoon with the top down, sun pad fully deployed as we sat, chatted, sipped some wine and listened to the sounds of Horning. It was a blissfully lazy afternoon and three or four hours sunbathing in the salon seemed a perfect thing to do to prepare us for the pie challenge to come. Whilst the ladies finished topping up their tans, Justin and I rowed across the river to make a reservation at the pub. Table booked we headed back to “get ready” for dinner, which in my case consisted entirely of a brief shower to remove remaining sun cream, putting my shirt on and swapping shorts for jeans. I assumed (wrongly as it turned out) that the ladies would put similar levels of effort into their preparations. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were both, popping in and out here and there, swapping make up tips and generally deciding what to wear for what seemed to me, a mere man, to be an inordinately long period of time. In what seemed to me to be enough time to actually make the outfits they were wearing the two ladies finally emerged and I was flabbergasted. They looked stunning, the hair and make-up was perfect, the outfits looked great, I could overlook the rapidly reddening noses as it didn’t diminish the overall effect, but wow simply wow. I was stunned into a moment of silence. The moment was broken by Justin who stated as only a thirteen year old can. ”You both look nice but we’re only going to the pub”.
The ladies had decided to put on some make-up, do that thing they do with the hair straighteners, and they both looked great. Justin and I looked a little like the delivery men rather than the other half of the ensemble. I had made an effort and some aftershave had indeed been splashed where it needed to go, but the sorry looking polo shirt and jeans was not going to cut it and I was dispatched below to re-think my wardrobe for the evening. I immediately changed jeans for trousers (some pressed ones), a shirt with sleeves, re-brushed my hair and wetted the slightly raised bit that never stays where you put it. I even cleaned my teeth! What more can a man do?
All this took place in the blinking of an eye that it took Boris to consume his dinner. That task completed it was treats on the bed for the dog and into the dinghy for our appointment with “pie night at the Swan”.
If you have never done the pie night at the Swan I would highly recommend it. The pies are excellent the vegetables were freshly cooked and lovely, and the wine selection is also good too. Simply put we had a lovely evening meal that was tasty, very filling and we would do it again in a heartbeat.
My steak and Merlot pie was gorgeous, the chicken and something pie that Fiona and Charlie both ate made my mouth water just looking at it. Justin had the Swan version of Hunters chicken which was enormous and lovely.  The bill was very reasonable and afterwards we sat for a while, soaking up the ambience and sniggering like naughty school children at what had become of our faces after four hours in the sun earlier on. After dinner we rowed back to MD and let Boris have a quick toilet break before we decided that the sun and the lovely meal had both taken their toll and we all quickly realised that after one more glass of wine we would call it a night and head off to the land of Nod.
Before reaching the land of Nod we briefly visited the land of OMG, which was the universal exclamation when the two ladies saw their faces in their respective bathroom mirrors. I on the other hand, always get a red face; it doesn’t make a difference how long I sit in the sun, or which factor sun cream I use, or don’t use, I always get a red face. I could “get a red face in a darkened room” is what my father used to say about me. It remains true to this day. I knew however that, come the morning, the red face will have become a tanned face.  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on May-12-14 @ 2:22 PM


Charlie    -- May-12-2014 @ 8:01 PM
 
quote:"......
The simple reason being it was way too warm for jeans
......."





Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


Charlie    -- May-12-2014 @ 8:07 PM
  Boris with his toy, bought in the Wroxham pet shop, welcoming us back from the pub!

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- May-13-2014 @ 3:40 PM
  Goose eggs on Percis Island

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- May-14-2014 @ 7:12 PM
  They would be tasty with a few rashers of bacon and some mushrooms Smile

Garry


fidear45    -- May-21-2014 @ 1:46 PM
  Thursday 10th April
Horning to Salhouse for breakfast then to Fleet Dyke via Ranworth for sailing

The next morning was again blessed with the most gorgeous sunshine with the day quite loudly screaming at us to get up and head off to Salhouse for breakfast, dog swim and walk in the blue bell wood in the sunshine. We of course complied and with the top down mug of tea in hand we set off. Charlie was the helm for most of today and was again equipped with skirt, strappy top and some darkening pink bits from yesterday’s sun exposure. Fiona also had been touched by the sun and was busy liberally applying the sun lotion to her exposed arms, legs and anywhere exposed by todays outfit that exposed different areas to yesterday’s outfit. This is something us five similar/same polo shirt guys don’t have to bother with.
When we arrived at Salhouse Charlie performed a couple of stern on moorings to have a bit of a practice and then we settled on the last one and we all set off for the beach with Boris the magnificent. Boris loves the beach, he loves fetching the ball and he particularly loves swimming after it and then picking it out of the water like someone bobbing for apples at the village summer fete. One consequence of his apple bobbing technique is that he sometimes doesn’t quite open his mouth wide enough or he misjudges things slightly and the result is the tennis ball is propelled beneath the water at a rather, for Boris, alarming speed. His immediate response is of course, in typical Boris fashion, to dip his head completely under the water and retrieve it. What else is a dog supposed to do when his ball disappears from site into the murky depths of Salhouse Broad.
Today was to be another big breakfast day and we prepared all manner of lovely tasty things to eat. The aroma of the cooking was all around the mooring and as we all sat down to eat we had smug little smiles on our faces. After washing up the dishes Fiona and Charlie went to the Blue bell wood to take some pictures of the emerging flowers and walk off a little bit of the rather excessive or should I say substantial breakfast. Today was to be our last full day on the boat and so we were in the business of eating everything we didn’t want to take home Chez Charlie. Boris was gently steaming in the saloon, Justin had his head stuck in his kindle and I was just sitting and watching the world pass us by. We were only going to cruise to Feet Dyke today and so we were going to make more of a day of it by popping into Ranworth broad for a sail and perhaps if the mooring was available to top up the water on the staithe.
The Blue bell girls returned, hoofed Boris off the sun pad which was by now quite damp and smelling of dog. We had brought our own seat covers so Boris didn’t mess up the lovely upholstery on MD and with him enjoying the spring swimming and ball bobbing, the decision to bring the covers was deemed a success. The sun was warming everyone and the mood on MD was high even if this was our last full day floating. With Charlie at the helm, Fiona and I did the rope thing, Charlie did the lifting the mud weight thing (electric capstan) and we set off very slowly in the direction of Ranworth.
The journey was completely uneventful apart from the weather which was superb. Justin and I were sitting on the top of the boat because not only did we have the top down, we had the screens down too. It really was that warm and we were all looking forward to a lovely lazy day in the sun.
When we arrived at Ranworth there were a couple of other boats which were hanging about and leaving or waiting for a mooring spot. One boat surged past us in an attempt to “get there first” and snaffle a sought after mooring spot. Ranworth is not our favourite mooring spot since we don’t like early morning engine starters, and in our experience the staithe is notorious for them, so were not at all concerned at our ability to snaffle a mooring spot. If none were available we would just go sailing a bit earlier than planned and not worry about the water top up. Charlie approached the staithe and we could see some small spaces on the front which if moved over there would be space, but without contacting six or seven skippers and asking them to move up a bit (which we have done with great success in the basin at Rockland) there was no room for MD. Charlie now had MD parallel to the staithe, with the bows towards the dinghy dyke and I was looking to see if there was space down the side of the staithe. There was a group of sea scouts there today and one of their base boats had just left and so there was a one boat sized hole that just opened up behind us. I told Charlie about the space and she said “ok I’ll go straight in”. Her idea of straight in was to stop, and then reverse across the front of the staithe, this action alone received some stares from the rapidly growing crowd watching. With this in mind and mischief planned Charlie reversed across the staithe, gently and slowly round the corner, and without a single moment of hesitation, or being in any other gear but reverse, slowly and delicately approached the mooring. I rather glibly commented to one of the senior sea-scout leaders, that, “Charlie only did that to show off”, which broke the ice and he just laughed and smiled. Charlie had pulled off a stunning manoeuvre, seemingly without effort, MD was perfectly perpendicular to the mooring and as the stern fenders gently kissed the quay heading, she dropped the mud weight, put the engine in neutral and we tied up. No fuss and no bother. Time for an ice cream we thought. What a good idea that was, we exchanged the now familiar greetings with the guy in the shop, where he informed us that he would have to order more ice cream if sales continued like yesterday and celebrated the fact that things seemed at last to be picking up.
As the glorious morning turned inevitably into almost lunchtime, and the sun grew even higher in the sky it was time for sailing and so after filling up with water, Charlie once more took the helm of MD and we moved off to the right hand side of the Broad to drop the mud weight and have a little snack lunch and then prepare for some sailing in the freshening breeze.
The sun was very warm and as Fiona told us that lunch would be more than a few minutes Charlie and I opted to go for an early sail and then have lunch when we returned. We had chosen Ranworth for today’s sailing as Charlie was determined to give it a go and re-start her education into things involving sticks, rags, tillers and dagger boards. The breeze was fresh but not gusty and the presence of the sea scouts and their plentiful rescue boats was quite reassuring. We put on some warm tops, donned our life jackets, rigged up Minimal then pushed off from MD into the broad. I was at the helm to start and Charlie was asked if she would ballast the boat by sitting near the bow to keep us more level in the water. I am not convinced that Charlie was quite sure she liked being referred to as ballast; in fact she may have made some remark to that effect. I assumed the skippers privilege and reminded her that I had spent a long time bailing the bottom of the boat and then used dog towels and all sorts of rags to make the boat dry enough so she could sit without getting her bottom damp, and asked “what more did she want this is dinghy sailing”, and having the boat as level as possible made us go faster without all that heeling over she was so concerned about. In fact we were quite shooting along and Mini seemed to enjoy dancing in the little waves left by the passage of the many sea- scout craft. My main concern with the ballast issue was to ensure that the stern of the dinghy with me at that end was not too far in the water and having Charlie balancing, (only to a small extent) my bigger weight at the stern made my job much easier. As the day continued to warm up so the breeze continued to freshen and as Charlie was to “have a go” it was now time for the big switch over and Charlie to take the tiller. The necessary movements within the dinghy were easily accomplished and soon it was Charlie at the tiller as we “shooshed” about the broad. Charlie didn’t feel she was doing that well but we managed to go where we wanted, both back and forth across the broad and even up to the island so I think I can safely say that “she gets it”. Well done Charlie.
As Charlie did not have any gloves on her hands they soon began to turn a strange shade of very dark pink, both from the cold air and also the sheet she was holding against the by now quite strong wind blowing across the broad from the private moorings. We decided to have one more trip round the broad with me at the tiller and so it was switcheroo again and then we headed for the island. As we were heading towards the private moorings we noticed that George from LBBY was eying up a yacht moored against the quay heading. Although to the casual observer a shady looking character with scruffy cap pulled down to shield his eyes may look like he would be eying up the yacht, we were sure this particular “shady looking character” wasn’t looking to “nick it” and so it proved as the rags and polish came out and he started to work on the yacht. We sailed over and hailed the “shady character”. The surprise on George’s face was a sight to behold as a huge grin lit up his face and he shuffled from foot to foot and then removed his cap to ruffle his hair. I was fairly sure all that preening wasn’t because I was in the dinghy. George, me, and Charlie had a good chat about the progress of Malanka’s restoration work and when she would be floated and so on. LBBY have been doing similar things to Water Rail as Moonfleet have with Malanka and I really can’t wait to see them both back in their true environment and floating once more. By now we were quite peckish and so we headed back towards MD, as we were approaching a group of ducks overflew MD quite low and immediately there was a kerfuffle and some raised voices from within the saloon area.
We thought perhaps another duck had mistimed a landing manoeuvre and flattened itself against the windscreen (these had been put up to provide some wind protection whilst we were sailing), perhaps Boris was chasing the miscreant all over the saloon and hence the shouting. Erm no, neither of these was in fact the cause of the shouting. The direct cause of the shouting was that a couple of the ducks had decided whilst overflying the saloon of MD to “let loose” with a barrage of duck poo bombs which had landed slap bang in the middle of the boat and had covered everyone in duck poo.
I must admit to you all that both Charlie and I had difficulty keeping a straight face when Justin and Fiona explained what had happened. Fiona even showed us the residual evidence whilst maintaining rampant indignation and a totally straight face which did little to reduce the urge to laugh out loud.   We contented ourselves with eating sausage rolls, delicate little sandwiches, some salad and a rather pleasant white Zinfadel (it’s actually pink) which helped us to hide the silly grins we both had.
We stayed moored in the broad for another hour or so enjoying the sun and watching out for low flying ducks, but soon it was time to head for Fleet Dyke and so we used all the gadgets and pootled off slowly towards our evening destination.  Turning into Fleet Dyke, the view that greeted us was quite sublime, the sun was lower in the sky, the water surface was very slightly rippled the by now very gentle breeze and we quietly and with no visible wake just enjoyed the moment of absolute serenity as we headed towards South Walsham. Arriving at the official moorings, there was one or two spaces available and again we used all the toys available to squeeze into a spot none of the already moored boats expected us to attempt. A family on very nice wooden yacht were enjoying an afternoon picnic and we arrived quietly and without fuss so we hoped we didn’t disturb their late lunch too much. Their heads did turn when they saw where we were going to moor but soon their heads disappeared again, the draw of the picnic greater than our mooring evolution. Once we were safely tied up it was time for Boris to have a walk. Boris had been rather agitated whilst we were sailing and he could be seen to be observing us as we sailed round the broad, his head moving side to side. He didn’t quite understand from his vantage point in the saloon, why he couldn’t come along.
As we were walking Boris along past the “wild moorings” on fleet dyke, two rather boisterous black labs came bounding out of the long grass, one a short distance in front of the other. The first one to reach Boris let out a kind of half bark as the size and disposition of the intruder was revealed to him. A few seconds later the other lab appeared and they both stood, tails wagging looking at Boris who was himself, trying to look as tall and intimidating as possible. The stand-off lasted all of three seconds as Charlie then threw a tennis ball and all three lunatics hared off after it.
Boris played with the labs for a few minutes, by which time their owners had come off their yacht and were busily apologising for the rather rampant welcome their dogs had given to Boris. It was very evident by now that the three dogs were having a great time snuffling about in the long grass in search of the missing ball. Eventually one of the labs found it and then the two labs and their owners headed off towards South Walsham and we continued towards the river. The walk along the path towards the river was quite poignant as this was our last evening on the boat, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
When we returned to MD it was about time to start the feast making and so the same routine for gravy making that we had used before was once more employed and soon the mouth-watering aroma of gently bubbling gravy filled the mooring. Tonight’s feast was to feature another of Roy’s family pies, this time beef and onion, with fresh carrots, green beans and some delicious gravy poured over the whole lot. All this washed down with some more of the Zinfadel. After dinner the evening started to draw in and it was time to put the top up on MD and then watch the sun go down to the accompaniment of the sounds of the Fleet Dyke wildlife, another perfect end to a perfect Norfolk Broads holiday.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- May-22-2014 @ 10:49 AM
 
quote:"......
The next morning was again blessed with the most gorgeous sunshine
......."



Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


Charlie    -- May-22-2014 @ 8:18 PM
  Those of you who know me, will know that it has to be pretty hot for me to consider sunbathing. I am the original lizard!

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


fidear45    -- Jun-4-2014 @ 2:13 PM
  Friday 11th April
Fleet Dyke to Ranworth for sailing then to Stalham, off to Sea Palling and then Oasis for tea.

Friday was to be our last day in Norfolk and we intended to make the most of it. The early morning sunshine had once more completely recharged the batteries of MD and so the little green tell tales were flashing away on the dash. As the boat had a huge capacity for hot water there was plenty available for showers and washing up alike. We had a fairly light breakfast and let Boris out of the boat for a quick walk about and to let him once more visit Texas. With the sun high in the sky, the top down and the wildlife twittering overhead we set off in the direction of Ranworth for one last sail before we gave the boat back to Phil and his boys.

The plan was to stay in Ranworth for a few hours, have some lunch and then drop off the rubbish at the rubbish skip and then head back up to Moonfleet in time to get to the beach at sea Palling mid-afternoon. The forecast said the weather was going to be superb all day and for once it looked like someone had actually looked out of the window instead of a computer screen.
When we arrived in Ranworth, we quickly dropped the mud weight over to the left of the staithe and prepared mini to be the MD garbage scow for a few minutes as we removed the rubbish from the last couple of days. Charlie and I were designated as the garbage guys as Fiona and Justin started on the packing thing. As we sailed about the broad with the garbage in the boat, the thought struck us that if we did the garbage run first then we could enjoy the sail without smelling like a dustbin for the rest of the day.  As we approached the dinghy dyke there were several motor cruisers in close attendance, kind of hanging about the entrance. The reason for this soon became clear as we glided gently into the dyke trying to judge the timing to drop the sail early enough to not be travelling too fast and late enough that we were travelling fast enough. As we past the entrance we saw one of the motor cruisers approach the end of the dinghy dyke and moor up to use the water hoses to fill their water tanks. This struck us as a little odd as there were many spaces available on the other side of the mooring, but hey ho each to their own I suppose.
Charlie made the dinghy fast and then we each walked over to the bins carrying bags of rubbish in each hand. Our industrial task completed it was time to enjoy our last minutes left sailing and so with some pushing and quite a few curses we edged Mini past the still moored cruiser and into the broad. There was a fairly brisk breeze and Mini sails very well in anything above very light winds, so we skipped across the broad just enjoying the freedom to go where we wanted with the wind in our hair and the sun on our faces. Too soon it was time to head back to MD and so it was with a heavy heart that we moored back alongside MD and took down the rigging and then tied and stowed all her sailing gear for next time. It was time to say goodbye to Ranworth and head back up the Ant to Stalham and our appointment with Boris and the beach.
The journey up the river was quiet, calm and simply wonderful, the sun was high in the sky at midday and with the top down and sunscreen applied we loved every minute of it. One moment of mirth was being hailed by Paul (Richardson) as he took out one of the new Carrousel boats on a trip to horning. It was ammusing because we sort of both realised who the other person was as we waved at and then looked at each other more closely. Paul was accompanied on the new boat by what I will describe as a suite in a pink shirt and tie, we assumed (later confirmed) this was a big cheese from Richardson’s group. Well he couldn’t have had a better day to see what boating was all about than that one, well done Paul.  
Too soon we were pulling up at Phil’s place and tying up the boat. Tying up when you know you’re not going to be untying it again is a kind of bitter sweet poignant moment for me, only lightened by the prospect of having some fun on the beach with Boris the magnificent. We closed up the boat, had a quick chat with the guys in the boatyard and then got into Svetlana (car) and headed off to Sea Palling. We parked the car in the car park by the chip shop and resisted the glorious smells emanating from the establishment. It wasn’t that we didn’t fancy the idea of some chips but later that evening we had arranged to go out to the Oasis with Diane and Phil for a good old chinwag.
Boris by now could of course smell the sea and he was keen to be off. He hadn’t seen the sea since we stayed at Lound Cottage when he was less than a year old and so we were looking forward expectantly to his next briny encounter. We had the ubiquitous tennis ball, poo bags and harness and so we set off in the beautiful sunshine heading for the gap in the flood defences and the beach beyond.
Was we crested the ramp in the defences we could see that the tide was in and the beach was fairly busy with holiday makers all as intent as us in enjoying themselves. It was a lovely sight and one that was probably repeated on any beach anywhere in the UK on such a fantastic day. Boris and I headed straight for the firmer sand nearer the water as he danced about on his hind legs wagging his tail enthusiastically wanting to run but not yet receiving the approval to go. I retrieved the ball from my pocket and launched it into the air over Boris and into the sea. Boris hesitated for almost three milliseconds before he charged straight into the gently churning surf in search of his ball. This was a little “taster throw” and didn’t require any swimming, but Boris was soon running back towards us as we headed down the beach away from where he was emerging from the waves. Boris liked this game and suddenly decided that this was much more fun than Salhouse, and so he ran up, dropped the ball onto the sand, and then waited for it to be tossed into the waves. This toss, run, retrieve drop routine continued for most of the next two hours as we walked up and down the beach in the warm afternoon sunshine. We had an amazing afternoon with Boris on the beach and we will definitely be doing that again, although restrictions on dogs do apply to the beach in the summer months.
Boris met lots of doggie friends on the beach and made a few more human ones, once people had got over the fact that he is so big. Gentle he is! Careful where he puts his head and paws he is not! Soon it was time to go and so we headed back to the gap in the flood defences and decided to stop at the ice cream place for several 99’s with flake and a packet of bacon flavour dog treats for Boris.
By the time we returned to Svetlana, Boris was damp but not soaking wet, however he was covered in sand. Some remedial action would be required when we returned to Moonfleet.
We sat in the glorious sunshine eating our ices for a few minutes more before it was time to head back to the boatyard, wash Boris and prepare to head out to the Oasis with Phil and Diane.
When we arrived back it was clear that a few minutes under the hose was not going to remove all the sand that Boris had brought back from the beach with him. So decision made I casually tossed the tennis ball into the river just by the wetshed. Nothing, Boris didn’t even move or look vaguely in the direction of the tossed ball, he just sat down and closed his eyes, obviously this was one sleepy tired pups.
OK, taking my life in my hands I grabbed Boris by the harness, lifted him off the ground and then heaved him into the water where he landed with a huge splash and a completely indignant look upon his sad, puppy eyed face. When he scrambled out of the river, I again grabbed him by the harness and guided him towards the hose where Fiona and Charlie were waiting to help me wash him down. Some minutes followed in which profanity may have been used on more than one occasion as Boris wriggled, squirmed and generally disagreed with the chosen course of action in any way he could that involved moving, shaking, wriggling and generally trying to get away.
After this we knew he would sleep like a baby when we left him to go for dinner. Boris stayed awake long enough to eat his dinner then he collapsed onto his place of honour on the sofa, he only smelled a little bit like a dirty wet dish rag, but still enough to notice.
We headed out to the Oasis where we had the most wonderful Indian meal once more. We chewed the fat with Phil and Diane and generally passed a very pleasant three hours in their very relaxed company.
Back at the boat we slept the sleep of the exhausted knowing that tomorrow we had to finish packing and leave MD for the last time. In the morning the ladies arrived to clean the boat so after breakfast we cleared all our stuff off the boat and packed Svetlana for the journey home. The top was down as the sun was again shining brightly in a clear blue sky. As we walked away for the last time we almost left the CD in the player but Charlie sent me to go get her CD and soon we were on our way back to Essex for a brief shopping interlude and a meal at Charlie’s before we headed back to Belgium on Sunday afternoon.
All in all it was a marvellous week, on a great boat from Moonfleet, and the weather was brilliant. It doesn’t get better than this.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


Charlie    -- Jun-7-2014 @ 6:12 PM
  My last early morning walk with Boris

Fiona's pictures of Sea Palling will be much better
than mine. I'm sure she will be along shortly to
illustrate the last section of 'Five go adventuring on
Moon Discovery'

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
Anorak


This message was edited by Charlie on Jun-7-14 @ 7:13 PM


fidear45    -- Jun-7-2014 @ 10:30 PM
  Just thought those who are interested May like to know that Malanka is back in the water after her restoration. She had a few days in the straps to enable her taking up,but now she is floating by herself with minimal seepage.
I will be down to have a look see next week and anyone is welcome to pop along and say hello.

M

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


garryn    -- Jun-8-2014 @ 7:12 AM
  I did notice her in the background on Richardson's Facebook page with another good looking broom captain.

Garry


BroadScot    -- Jun-8-2014 @ 11:55 AM
  Said pic ....Ok its only half a Pic! Playful Wink

Iain.

Lower your windscreen!!! Ooops
too late!




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