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Mon, 11 Apr 2016 7:20 am BST- Light Rain
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Wind 2.0 mph @ 40°
48.0°F/8.89°C Humidity 93% Pressure 29.65 (S)

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HarryDaTiger
Aug-14-2007 @ 10:55 AM                           Permalink
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Monday

First panic! Typical!! Me and three females, I have one holdall and a Mondeo with a cavernous boot, but still can't pack all the luggage. OK, with back shelf dumped, negligible rear vision and footwells full, the San Diego summer collection is off and running to Stalham.

Second Panic!! The boat has had an awful review so it's with some trepidation at 3 o'clock we step aboard. Oh Boy, its very big, old and very green, but very clean and sweet-smelling, phew panic over. After being acquainted with all the internal workings, including a very amusing (to a schoolboy) sounding flush pump in the aft head, it's a thorough driving lesson (arf-arf) - once up the river, turn it round, try a mooring manoeuvre (thump!), back it in - that'll do and they're off. Cruising down the Ant at 4mph, roof back taking in the sun ahh isn't life good? Quite a journey planned, all the way to Stracey Arms so we can catch the tide through Yarmouth in the morning. But hey, life is good, the sun is out, everyone is waving, what can possibly go wrong?

Panic part Three!!! Ludham Bridge, need to have the top and screen down to avoid early embarrassment. Guess what? With said obstacle in sight the heavens open, what to do.. find somewhere to stop cover up and wait or go through and mop up?? Hmm, not tried mooring, it looks very close, lets go for it!! Shortly after that I discovered that "Looks very close" and 4mph are not comfortable bedfellows, therefore by the time we passed the moorings and the bridge I looked like Jack Hawkins on the bridge of the Compass Rose, ready for the budget remake "The Cruel Ant". At this point No. 1 in passing through the saloon decides to show off her athletic and insect imitation prowess on the sodden linoleum..... so a triple salchow followed by a slow motion Fosbury flop is concluded with a perfect interpretation of a dead fly. Fortunately no harm done (lino is very hard wearing) and with a very encouraging artistic interpretation mark from the Russian judge we mop up and chug on.

The rest of the day was uneventful, the rain stopped and we reached the moorings at the Stracey/Pontiac/Roadhouse/Dragon/Arms/Mill/Restaurant (delete as applicable). Yes it's open, yes they have a bar, and we go for takeaway instead of the eat-till-u-drop buffet, very edible. The wind dropped, sunshine, wine, gorgeous!



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roya
Aug-14-2007 @ 11:51 AM                           Permalink
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Spot On Harry ,
more please .

If its one thing our site has got right IMHOP its this Holiday Tales bit.
Budding authors or what.
Smile

roya

Bittern code 57.

    

Ellaboat
Aug-14-2007 @ 12:13 PM                           Permalink
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Harry,

Broadland Folklore:-
The weather fairy always sees you coming at Ludham Bridge.
In mid winter that can mean a blizzard (for me it was accompanied by a "refreshing" swim).

Advance Warning:-
The fairy also frequents the Bure (East of Marina Keys), but only if you're heading East.

E/boat Steve

p.s. that's the moorings where American is the first language

E/boat Steve

HarryDaTiger
Aug-14-2007 @ 3:16 PM                           Permalink
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Tuesday

An early start at 6.30 to go through Yarmouth at about slack water and to get a push across Breydon Water intending to lunch in Reedham and pop back to the Berney Arms for some liquid refreshment in the evening. It's a gorgeous morning, so with the top down we head out......

It was at this point, I wished I had my camera to hand for what would have been the comic picture of the week. When passing by a Bahama style boat, moored about 100 yards down river, we were "privileged" to be greeted by the sight of some large lardy bloke who had obviously spliced many, many mainbraces the night before, crashed out on his top bunk, mouth open, facing the window with curtains completely open. Luckily he had managed to cover his nether regions with a quilt (based on the evidence of the top half, the quilt was a blessing opined number 1). So with the sun shining brightly on the beached white whale, we head off chuckling, at the front of a small convoy towards the San Tropez of Norfolk.

I have to agree with a previous posting, Marina Quays needs more than a little TLC to make it an attractive mooring proposition.

I had forgotten just how big Breydon Water is and I loved the way it opened up before my eyes as we passed under the final bridge. I particularly loved the way it was very calm, having bounced across it on my first Broads trip in 1979.

I was keeping a healthy distance from the markers as we approached the right turn past the Berney Arms, because of the wind (is it always that windy there?) and was about to turn in, when a Woods Dyke boat, going hell-for-leather, steamed between me and the markers, like a slower version of Lewis Hamilton outbraking a backmarker into turn one.  Could've been nasty but I spotted him in time. Must've thought I was off to St Olaves.

Its very wild but very relaxing on that stretch of river, indulging in some birdwatching... there's a bird, ooh there's another bird... a bit of a shame I don't know what they're called apart from duck, swan, kingfisher and heron. Actually, forgot to say I saw my first ever Kingfisher on day 1, an amazing blaze of blue streaking along the bank of the Ant.

OK, planning is great, but it does involve other people waking up and bu$$$$$$g-off so you can park your boat. Reedham was full!!! A rowing dinghy could not fit in there. It was mid to late morning by this time so maybe the lunchtime moorers had already claimed their place. Plan B was Loddon. Isn't The Chet nice? And I had forgotten how pretty Loddon's moorings are. Lunch on the boat, water topped up, the other ranks sunbathing on the roof... luverlee.

Back to Berney. A quick turn around in the mouth of the river, to come in against the tide which was rushing towards the sea. We aimed to moor about 50 yards up from the pub, but the wind was so strong we ended up being blown into the very last bit of bank, hey-ho, very handy for the pub and it almost looked like I meant it.

I like the Berney Arms. Its like going back 25 years in time, and the beer is good. Of course being served by rather young and attractive eastern European laydees helps the whole experience.

Did I drink too much? Yes! Did I say hello to Elvis? Uh-huh! Do I regret it? No!! But I felt like a hound dog in the morning.

This message was edited by gill on Aug-14-07 @ 4:38 PM


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HarryDaTiger
Aug-15-2007 @ 9:46 AM                           Permalink
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Wednesday

Whose big idea was it to go to Yarmouth? Damn, it was mine!

Another earlyish off, booting the bow off the side and into the wind, luckily the tide and diesel decided to work together and out we swung, phew!

Another glorious morning crossing Breydon with the top down, waving to the few other early birds, hoping that there is an enormous gap at the yacht station, because up 'til now I had not been forced to do a side-on mooring within 50 feet of anyone else. Why-oh-why did I have to choose a 44-foot boat? Does size really matter?

Of course, Lord Sod of Sodshire's favourite piece of legislation passed into the statute books with its usual timing and behold, only one gap of about 50 feet between two gleaming hire vessels, fortunately I had chosen the brown corduroy that morning, so in we went. Slowly, slowly, gulp, slower, then as if by magic the green monster slid perfectly into the gap, a quick rasp of reverse and we're in. How did that happen? As it turns out, that was to be the best bit of parking all week and I wish I knew how I did it.

I had spotted Asda on the way over and decided that croissants and coffee was in order for brekkie so off I trot, over the bridge round the train station, across the huge carpark, buy the stuff and all the way back again. It wasn't until I nearly reached the entrance to the yacht station that I noticed the little bakers over the road doing a roaring trade, oops.

The whole idea of the day is to have a quick walk up the front, around the funfair and a quick look around the shops and market, before heading back to the boat for the schlep back oop north.

It is not long into our stroll that we happen upon the market and I become increasingly aware that my understanding of 'a quick look around the shops and market' is absolutely nothing like the perception two teenage girls have of the same phrase. Even No. 1 is stunned by our lack of progress towards the front.

Eventually a leisurely stroll along the front to the Pleasure Beach a couple of rides and the other ranks are wanting chips and another bout of shopping. Myself and No.1 can’t bear the thought of more cheap and tacky shops so we retire to a local hostelry while they go off.

In my mind, I had planned a morning in Yarmouth followed by a cruise to the North, maybe even getting as far as Womack Water. As the shopping carried on and on and on I was reviewing the plan… maybe Acle… maybe Stokesby… So in the end, a leisurely chug up to good old Stracey Arms. How on earth women can think footie is boring when they can shop in Yarmouth for hours is beyond me.

Another gorgeous evening at the Stracey Arms, the highlight was an aerial display by swallows or swifts congregating in a swirling mass, more and more arriving until they plunged together to the trees.

Or, the highlight could have been the amazing amount of Chinese “all-u-can=eat” buffet one generously proportioned patron was tucking away, every time we turned round she was back filling her plate. It takes dedication to get that good.



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Cygnet
Aug-15-2007 @ 10:11 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Harry

Lovely Picture

Good Reading so far, look forward to more.

Maxine  Smile

HarryDaTiger
Aug-15-2007 @ 4:47 PM                           Permalink
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Thursday

A glorious day… wall to wall sunshine. Scorchio!

The original idea was to chug up to Potter Heigham and then on to West Somerton. However, that was the plan before the biblical weather of the two months before. So no chance of going under the bridge, but that wasn’t going to stop us enjoying some fish ‘n chips in PH. Also, No 1. and the other ranks were already feeling the pull of Lathams, ho-hum.

I do like the run up to Potter, particularly all the riverside cottages, looking at all the loving care and attention that has obviously gone into them. We chuckled at the two ‘Gooners’ opposite each other, one with an over the top garden (big Arsenal flag on a pole, footballer gnome, lots of flowers) and a tatty(ish) boat and the other with a much more restrained cottage but a very well presented red and white ‘Gooner’ cruiser. Everyone has different priorities I suppose.

With the river levels being as they were, I should have anticipated the concertina effect on river traffic of not being able to go any further. In other words, by late morning, Potter Heigham was packed to the rafters with boats going nowhere, both the public moorings and boatyard were full. No room at the inn. I had spotted one gap back down the river at a grassed bit between the cottages, there was a hire boat there so we’ll risk it being public.

After a bit of to-and-fro, dodging dayboats and giving one slightly concerned looking fisherman a cheery wave so he might believe I was an expert spinner of 44 feet of rumbling plastic (I don’t think it worked) we were back around and soon moored up.

Blimey looks like the river had been high! There were signs that stuff had been washed over the edge onto the moorings.

The crew disappeared into Aladdin’s cave and I bought a paper and retreated to the Broadshaven for a cold one. Now I know there are strong feelings around about the merits or otherwise of the Broadshaven, but it served nice cold lager and had I could sit in the sun, read my paper and watch the scores of white cardies being drawn into Lathams like it was a black hole. Suited me.

Fish ‘n chips, sitting in the sun on the benches near the bridge, watching the world go by… aaah bliss. However, we soon discovered that the combined aroma of chip fat and vinegar is the wildfowl equivalent of Lynx, I’ve never been so popular with the birds. The amount of chips those birds tuck away up there made me wonder whether the RSPB ought to start a local cholesterol testing campaign.

Onwards to Ranworth and the sun is getting still hotter, real holiday weather now.

We just missed the last mooring spot at Ranworth. As we pulled up, it was being filled by a harassed looking hire boat driver who was trying to moor stern on while her husband was bellowing less than helpful instructions at a safe distance from the steering wheel. Fortunately she was rescued by the neighbours who pulled her in. Plan B was mooring at the island and we got over our disappointment at missing out on the Maltsters by mixing and drinking a vast amount of Pimm’s (a good idea at the time, but everything got a tad fuzzy later on).

We stopped at Ranworth Island nearly a whole month after you had The Meet there and even with the improved weather, it was still very squelchy underfoot and the imprint of the tents was still visible in the grass.

Now I don’t fish, so I don’t understand the attraction. Therefore it was with a chuckle that I watched a family group (Ma, Pa, 2 smallish anklebiters) back in next to us. Pa was driving, Ma was on the back waiting to tie-up. I know you fishermen are keen, but I am not sure what came first, the boat stopping or him starting fishing off the front… all joking apart, he was definitely well settled by the time Ma had tied-up and he did not move a muscle all evening.

Due to the ambience, the friendly neighbours and Mr Pimm, the rest of the evening passed in a sunny, warm and happy haze.


HarryDaTiger
Aug-15-2007 @ 6:57 PM                           Permalink
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It appears I have to write something to get the matching pic posted so.... on a totally different subject (and showing me age)...

Eric & Ernie were being interviewed and the host asks

"What do think you'd be if you weren't comedians"?

Without missing a beat, Eric reples

"Mike & Bernie Winters".

Anyway the other Gooner.... if i can remember which one i posted earlier (damn a 50:50)


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HarryDaTiger
Aug-15-2007 @ 7:00 PM                           Permalink
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Dammit, I would like to blame that on comic timing


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HarryDaTiger
Aug-18-2007 @ 9:47 AM                           Permalink
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Friday

Oh dear! Not sure who is feeling groggier, me or No 1. Mr Pimm's excellent beverage has taken its toll and someone has to heave up the mudweight. Trying to free a very unwilling lump of metal from sticky, evil smelling gunk with a pounding head and unsteady constitution is not a pleasant prospect. So we decide to haul it up together egged on by our fishing neighbour and his wife, laughing their socks off at us gagging with the pong.

The weather has changed, unfortunately the forecasters are spot on and towards lunchtime the rain starts.

Today's plan, not very well thought out, was to go to Wroxham, do some shopping at the retail Mecca that is Roy's, get some water, and then maybe chug back to Horning. I say "not very well thought out" because I had not learned from the Potter Heigham experience. In other words, nothing could get through the bridge so the traffic all piled up in Wroxham filling up every available space. Plus it was Friday, so the yards would be full anyway. Well... I'll know better next time.

Yet another plan B... Still needing water we head back to Horning. All the village side moorings are either taken or reserved, so, being dinghyless, we cruise through admiring the wherry Ardea, with its gleaming new golden lettering. Finally we find Woods Dyke and a really helpful chap helped us moor and got the water hose for us.

Whilst filling up, he told us about he and some colleagues had been out the previous week from 4 in the afternoon 'til 4 in the morning refloating one of their boats that had decided to park nose first up a grass bank at full throttle. "Its silly season now" said he. It seems that the driver had decided to leave the wheel to go and get his fishing tackle ready while full ahead on the river. Of course the boat decided to take a sharp left and head for the hills. The only redeeming thing was that it wasn't right at high tide when they did it.

I also asked him about the bunch of numpties who sank the Richardson's boat (Oyster?). He told me that they had been thrown out of every pub in Horning because they could hardly stand. It appears they were off their heads, not just through booze, but also a certain kind of aromatic baccy. He also mentioned that they were going to be sued. I don't know if anyone has anymore info.

After a soggy saunter into Horning for supplies, Plan C takes shape, Womack Water for the evening, good idea, lets roll!

The heavens really open and it is persisting down and blowing a gale, the water stops just being on the outside of the boat and starts coming in at quite a pace where the windscreen meets the sliding roof. No problemo - the ever resourceful No 1. produces a plastic groundsheet from somewhere. She knew all that stuff she packed would come in handy and she had a great time reminding me.

So much for Plan C!!! Womack Water was full too. Plan D - where would there be that would guarantee mooring? Thurne Dyke had looked packed so Acle was decided upon.

I do like sailing Wherries, they are lovely to look at and part of Broads history. However, they are not a welcome sight, belting towards you, on a narrow dyke between Hunters yard and the Thurne, particularly when there is a yacht, also under sail, weaving around just behind it. Fortunately, the guy on the front of Albion pointed to the left to let me know which side to pass. Unfortunately, just as I started to turn, he checked with the helmsman and changed his mind, GULP. If I had been a tad more experienced, or less tentative, I would not have slowed to a stop to let them pass, even though it was like threading a needle. As soon as I lost headway, the wind took over and pressed me gently but firmly into the right hand bank and no matter what we tried, without impetus, we were glued there heading slowly backwards towards some crumbling semi-submerged bits of wood. Looking at the options, potential holing or potential scraping, not knowing what else to do, I went for the latter and gave it all ahead full. Scottie hailed me saying "she cannae take it Captain", but once a little speed had built up we managed to unglue and we were off. Luckily not one scrape, all luck - no judgement!!

Plan D worked and we moored at Acle on the long moorings before the bridge. Shortly after, some clown in a big Horizon Craft managed to miss the 50-yard gaps in front and behind us and side-swiped our off-side bow at quite a lick. I poked my head out and waited for some apology, enquiry about our health or acknowledgement, but nowt! Two of the occupants (both male and middle-aged) hopped out and hopped it towards the bridge, without so much as a backward glance, the ill-mannered, ungracious bleeps! Luckily, once again, could see no damage.

Miraculously, the rains then stopped. The wind dropped and the clouds parted. So we could sit out and enjoy watching all the boatloads of young male "pirates" belting towards Yarmouth in search of debauchery, feed the ducks, have a snifter and appreciate the beauty of evening mist filling the fields and spilling over the banks into the river. The day had been long, wet and stressful, but Mother Nature came to the rescue and gave us a perfect end to it.



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