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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Holiday Tales / A Broads holiday, that's not a holiday............
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Posted By Discussion Topic: A Broads holiday, that's not a holiday............

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Richard
Nov-23-2008 @ 8:15 PM                           Permalink
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This might seem like a strange tale, it seems strange to me just re-telling it.

Now I love a holiday on the broads, the planning, the anticipation, the packing. The lead-up to the holiday is almost as much fun as the real thing.

Well for reasons that I can't go into I found myself in a situation where I was not allowed to be in my house for "a short time" while some government agency tried to locate some paperwork they lost. Just a couple of days they said.

Not a problem I thought, a couple of nights in a motel will do. Then I bugged a friend if mine if I could borrow his boat on the Broads. No problem he says, but the engine is u/s. Fine by me. But after a couple of days I couldn't work out how to get the batteries recharged, or the water tanks topped up.

So then I thought about trying a friendly boatyard. To be fair most yards are very friendly, but there's one yard that is REALLY friendly, Whispering Reeds.

I made a quick call to John and explained my problem. I must admit I really didn't think that he would be able to help, it was half term week and the end of the season was coming up.

Instead, he told me that he had a boat coming off hire in a couple of days and that we were more than welcome.  

A couple of days passed and we turned up at the yard. Knowing the boat had just come off hire and it was the end of the season I wasn't expecting much, and all I really wanted was a roof over my head for a few days.

When we got there John's mum was still brushing away the interior. I'm not joking when I tell you Grey Goose 4 looked as clean as a boat about to start it's first holiday of the new season.

Remembering that I'm putting John and his family out, and he's doing me a huge favor, there is still a bottle of wine sitting on the cabin table.

John did warn me of one thing when I spoke to him on the phone, the water's high. He wasn't joking. When we drove over the new bridge at potter I was a tad bit worried, looking at Hickiling, I knew we had problems.

It was late in the day when we picked up Grey Goose, so I decided that we might as well just spend the evening hanging from the mud plug on Hickling.

This was a good idea in principle, screwed up by myself in practice.

The fore cleat was a bit small, so to make space I removed the forward mooring line, and just did a figure of 8 with a lock for the mud weight. Then we retired for the evening.

Then the wind got up, not too bad, but enough where you could hear the waves on the hull. Sleep came without a problem, but I did wake up at 3am wondering why the waves were louder. I promptly went straight back to sleep.

The dawn was wonderful, I woke, put the kettle on and flung open the awning. The sight I saw was not what I expected, it was all reeds. The same view could be seen from the port and starboard sides. So I thought I'd see what the view was like from the bow.

It was a lovely view, the whole of hickling broad, and two hundred yards in front of me was the place I had dropped the mud weight. I won't repeat what I said, but I think the local wild fowl found it foul.

All was not lost though, as I happened to know where I could "acquire" a replacement. A quick trip back to the yard, and a short drive and we had the problem resolved [ I really hope John is not reading this!].

We took a run down to potter to check out the bridge, oh dear. I think a canoe could have made it through. The sign on the boat said that we needed 6' 6", John said we could scrape through at 6' 3". The indicator said there was 5'6".

Adapt, adopt, improve. So we headed off to Lathams.  
Now I'm not a great shopper, infact I hate to shop, but I was amazed at how much I needed, at very reasonable prices.

Having stripped the store empty we headed back to the boat and our next port of call.

Port of call is a bit of a misnomer when you're on the North side of Potter Bridge, there are not that many ports to go to. On this day we decided to head to Horsey Mere. As we head there the weather is starting to get nasty, it's also getting dark. By the time we get to the mere it's just plain horrible. I've never seen white caps on the Mere before, and with no windscreen wiper it was not much fun. In the gloom I see an inlet and head for it.

We went from a storm to perfect shelter. By the morning the storm had gone and we had the mere to ourselves, our only company was a thatched boat house and thousands of water fowl.

As the water level was not going down we spent a great deal of time watching daytime tv and going between whispering reeds and Lathams.

For a change of scenery we went up to Somerton. Looked very nice but some fisherman there made it very plain that we were not welcome. Shame really as I was hoping to see the village.

I'll move the clock on and we've been bobbing around for about 5 days now, and getting a tad bit bored. So bored that we go into the Broads Haven for a beer.

All I can say is that it's a much better pub in the off season than it is in the high season. We missed their Halloween party, but were there the day after. We met up with another group who had hired from whispering reeds. They had also been stuck on the wrong side of the bridge, but were transferring onto another of John's boats that was stuck the other side of the bridge.

Also in the boozer was the bridge pilot Smile  No worries he say's, I'll get you through in the morning. We did have some conversations on how he was going to get us through, verging on the sublime (open the sea cocks, and hope that John doesn't notice the dampness), to the ridiculous (hammer and a cold chisel).

Anyway the next morning we got through, how I'm not sure. There might have been a small amount of brickdust on the boat, but the pilot did a great job, as always.

At last we were free of potter bridge, and headed south. Guess who had forgotten the tide tables? One quick call to garycantley and a look up on shorebase and we were sorted. An early start - spiffing.

It was early, but a lovely run. Breydon was like glass, and before I knew it we were at Brundall. Another mud weight job over night and then of to Norwich.

It's been many years since I've been to Norwich by boat and I was really looking forward to it. I'd just got out on the Yare and the mobile came to life. A call from a certain government department telling me that I'm allowed to go back to my house. It's 8 am, Gary, when's slack water?

Oh lummie.  I think we can just about get to Yarmouth without speeding by mid-day, but I'm not sure about getting to Potter while it's still low.

The tide was running well and we made it to Yarmouth in perfect time, or so I thought, the tide was still ebbing while while we were going across Breydon, and when we get to the Bure, it's still on the ebb.

By the time I get to Acle Bridge the tide still has not turned. We hit Potter at Slack. I went to see the pilot to see if we could get through. No Problem he says, looks like the tide is a couple of hours late today!

So we're back in the Hicking area for our last night. Well we've got to stay at our favourite place on Horsey Mere. We get there just as the sun sets to see a wonderful stretch of water, now roped off with a string of buoys!

Well I wish I could have called it a holiday, but it was still great to be out on the water. Very few boats around, fantastic wildlife, and scenery that will knock your socks off. This is  time of year that I would recommend to anyone.

Somehow two days after we got back I managed to catch a heart attack from someone, and then today it started snowing. Neither of these events should put you off staying on the Broads Smile






GaryCantley
Nov-23-2008 @ 9:06 PM                           Permalink
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quote:"......
Textas I happened to know where I could "acquire" a replacement.
......."



Mr John, Mr John, I know where it came from. Wanna know? Playful Wink

Bossman. You seem to have forgotten about the television LOL


Gary.

Fat bloke in bright yellow buoyancy aid.

Due to cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off.

rojomo
Nov-23-2008 @ 11:15 PM                           Permalink
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Richard,

Many thanks for this tale...wonderful stuff  Cheers

John and Anne

So you want me to moor stern on here?...in this wind?...and tide?...no probs????

PizzaLover
Nov-23-2008 @ 11:43 PM                           Permalink
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At some point, Admiral, you're going to have to write the full and complete (so far) autobiography.
Chapter 6, "And then I decided to start an internet forum," should be pretty interesting.

roya
Nov-24-2008 @ 11:40 AM                           Permalink
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Great tale Bossman,

now be truthful how many TV antennas did you get through.
Evil Grin

roya

Bittern code 57.

Have you smiled today???
if not why not!!

    

newton7
Nov-24-2008 @ 11:41 AM                           Permalink
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a great tale and wish you a speedy recovery
from your illness Smile

ROBBIE
STINKIES UNITED

BroadAmbition
Nov-24-2008 @ 6:19 PM                           Permalink
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Tks for the Holiday (Not) tail

No more mudweight lifting for you for a while now methinks.

My offer for you and your Lady when you feel up to it is of course open-ended.

Griff

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


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