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Oct-23-2010 @ 3:54 PM                           Permalink
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It was on The First Saturday in May that we were
married in Gravesend Kent….It seemed we had been saying
it for ages …”we will get married on the first Saturday
in May”…at last it was here  
We had decided that it might be fun to hire a cruiser
for a week and spend our honeymoon afloat.
As we had not expected to arrive until after about
9.00pm on the Saturday evening we arranged with
Summercraft of Wroxham to have the boat left open for
us…and they let us know where it would be and where we
could park the car. They wished us a happy wedding day
and a lovely honeymoon and gave us directions to the
boat yard  
They also told us that the instruction manual would be
on the table ..that sounded a bit odd until we realised
it was the boat instruction manual that they meant …
They also said they would have an engineer aboard about
09.00hrs on Sunday morning to take us out on a trial
We had a terrible journey to Norfolk … The Dartford
tunnel was blocked and we just queued for ages waiting
to get through . It was about  8.30pm before we even
reached the outskirts of  Ipswich with still another
fifty miles to go.
As we approached Norwich it became quite misty and
driving along the Wroxham road we were not sure we were
even on the right road ..then we came to the little
hump back bridge they had mentioned and turned right
and following their instructions, at last we drove into
the boat yard it was now about 10.45pm
Both of us were completely shattered. It had been a
hectic day ..But it all had turned out well. The
wedding service was lovely ..The church was full of
family and friends. The reception and buffet were
We parked the car and  turned on the torch - it was
all pretty dark …and there right in front of us ..There
she was …GALA GIRL ..our honeymoon home for the week ..
We unloaded our cases and  boxes and boxes of food and
bottles of wine …we had been buying up tins and packets
for weeks ..and probably had enough supplies to feed
ourselves for a month. We also we had a large bag with
the wedding bits in it …silver horseshoes …silver
bells…ribbons and the bouquet  and a lump of our
wedding cake …We found the light switch and then had a
quick look at the boat all seemed pretty good …
We filled the kettle ..and tried to light the gas …it
lit and then went out…I tried it a dozen times ..before
“my wife” ..that sounded good …but maybe I will always
call her Jan…. looked at the book and said that you had
to hold the control tap in for a while …..I am sure it
is only women who read instruction books ….Neither of
us fancied much to eat …we had brought with us a good
meal all in tins and packets and a bottle of champagne
to have  on our first evening aboard but the bottle and
those tins would have to wait until tomorrow. We were
both just too shattered .
However we settled for a cup of tea ….and I must say
that first cup of tea aboard accompanied by a piece of
our wedding cake was the best ever ..
We made up the bed and dived in and within minutes
cuddled up together we were both sound asleep …not
quite how I expected our wedding night to be …but
well….. there was always tomorrow …

Oct-23-2010 @ 4:40 PM                           Permalink
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What a lovely start to married life!  A bit late for
congratulations, but Wendy and I wish you many happy
years together and especially here on the Broads


Not missed a year since '79 and
it just gets better

Oct-23-2010 @ 4:47 PM                           Permalink
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Knows that Roys is in Hoveton
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Thanks Aubrey and Wendy

Sunday Day 2
We were up at about 7.00 the next morning and finished
the unpacking …stored all of our food.  Jan decorated
the inside of the cabin with the horseshoes, bells and
ribbons .and we then sat down to a lovely relaxed
breakfast…fruit juice ..cereal ..eggs …and toast with
marmalade…and several cups of fact we were both
still sitting there when there was a gentle tapping on
the door. It was the boat yard guy wanting to know if  
it was convenient for him to take us for a trial
run….He looked a little embarrassed but  showed us all
round the boat ..He carefully explained how everything
worked and asked if we were ready to go.
He started up the engine and cast off the ropes and
slowly and smoothly took us out of the boatyard turning
right up the river towards Wroxham bridge he then gave
the wheel over to me …It was not easy to steer a
straight course at first and I am sure we veered around
a bit… we could see the bridge getting closer …surely
lesson one was not to include a passage under the
notorious Wroxham Bridge  ….He then suggested I
throttled back a bit …turned the wheel hard over to the
left ..wait a bit and  then gently increase the revs
and then straighten up the wheel ..I was quite pleased
I had turned the boat around …no trouble at all ..he
then asked if we thought we had grasped the idea of
controlling the boat …..gave me instructions on pulling
in to the side so that he could get off …and waved us
on our way …It was now  09.30 on Sunday morning  .. …
Our adventure had begun.
For the last month or so I had been looking at books on
boating and The Norfolk Broads…Broadsmanship…How to
handle a boat …Passages thru Great Yarmouth ..Tides and
Tidetables  etc….I had a Hoseasons map of The Broads …
which was now laid on the “dashboard”.? in front of us
together with a few notes I had made…I had already
planned out a course…which would take us down to Great
Yarmouth …over Breydon Water…on up through Reedham
..and down the River Chet to Loddon as our first port
of call .
We pootled slowly along the River Bure heading towards
Horning ..and just past Horning  opposite a big pub we
spotted a nice long ..almost empty mooring ..Just right
for a spot of mooring practice ..  
It was a bit windy and the wind was trying to blow us
off the mooring ..I struggled a bit to get the boat
alongside … eventually Jan managed to get ashore but
she had a job to hold the boat on the rope …it was
lucky that there was a good post in the ground and she
managed to get a turn around the post which held it
long enough for me to get ashore and make front and
back …sorry ..bow and stern fast.  It was then that we
came to a momentous decision …It would be better if Jan
took the wheel, sorry took the helm . I would be the
one that stepped ashore with the ropes …A practice we
followed for the rest of the trip
Whilst we were tied up securely we thought we would
have a shower…the water had warmed up nicely by then having showered and had another cup of tea …we set
off for Breydon water..according to the tide tables  we
would be going through Yarmouth at just about the right
time the time we arrived there it should be almost
low water time  ..
Getting off the mooring was a dream …Jan took the helm
and I untied the ropes I climbed aboard, the wind
which had been such a menace when we tied up …gently
blew us sideways off the bank ..Jan opened the throttle
and we were away ..Hey Jan was good at it ..we went on
down and she steered a better course that I had  ..It
was bit windy and rough as about an hour later we
passed Ant mouth ..but  although cloudy and dull…. at
least it was still dry ..a sharp right turn at Thurne
Mouth and we were on the long run down to Great
Yarmouth ..according to my calculations it would take
us about another 3 hours to reach Great Yarmouth and we
were running down with the tide …perfect ..
Gala Girl was equipped with a double helm seat we
were able to sit side by side and taking turns at the
helm was easy  
We followed our course on the map.
Passing boats noticing our wedding bells and horseshoes
on display in the cabin  all gave us a wave ..or a toot
…it was fabulous ..
We cruised on under Acle bridge past Stokesby and The
Stracey Arms windmill and  arrived at Great Yarmouth a
bit before 15.00 hrs …..yes ahead of schedule …probably
because of the following tide ..
We passed through with no trouble ..and turned sharply
right to head on out onto Breydon Water…it was a bit
choppy but not a heavy tide running….. Whilst I was
carefully keeping between the posts …Jan made us a
sandwich for lunch and we munched it with a bag of
crisps as we cruised on over the vast expanse of water  
…. by about 16.00 hrs were off of Breydon Water and
into the River Yare  and passing The Berney Arms
windmill ..The wind was quite a bit stronger now and it
had started spitting with rain
An hour after that we were passing  under the Swing
Bridge at Reedham … and were soon to witness the rather
weird chain ferry …Couldn’t make out when he was
crossing ….I held back a bit …then thought he seemed to
be waiting for us …only to find that he started up just
as we got there…maybe the  weird black things on his
mast meant he is going …or waiting ….I am sure that he
just likes to try to catch folk out …anyway he didn’t
catch us …and we were looking out for the entrance to
The River Chet …we were only a short distance past the
ferry when we saw on our left the cross at the mouth of
the River
We turned into the Chet and followed its winding path
slowly down towards Loddon .it was now just after 18.00
hrs and we were hoping that we would find a mooring
when we arrived at the end of  the river…
When at that moment we saw a boat yard on our right
..There was a chap working on a boat and we asked him
if we could stay there the night …He said no problem
and helped us moor up …he was surprised I think to see
that Jan was at the helm and that I was the one who
handled the ropes….we were pulled into a stern on
mooring with the front of the boat facing the river …it
was a lovely spot …and later in the evening after the
wind had dropped and the rain had stopped it was just
so peaceful ….
We broke open the Champagne …made up our super meal
..out of the cans and packets …and about 19.30 sat down
to a lovely celebratory feast
What a fantastic honeymoon this was going to be .

Oct-23-2010 @ 5:15 PM                           Permalink
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many congratulations
and a  great holiday tale
looking forwards to the next instalment


Oct-23-2010 @ 5:16 PM                           Permalink
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Sorry, it's me again.  Many thanks for a gripping
account.  It's cheering up a gloomy evening moored at
Paddy's Lane, Barton Turf.  Looking forward to enjoying
later episodes.  


Not missed a year since '79 and
it just gets better

Oct-23-2010 @ 5:20 PM                           Permalink
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Knows that Roys is in Hoveton
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Monday Day 3
Monday Morning was a lovely one …the sun was shining
into the cabin we awoke at about 7.00am after the most
glorious sleep imaginable ..
In the distance we could see Loddon Church ..Gala Girl
was facing it  ..
We made our breakfast and then topped up the water tank
….Getting away was easy ..Jan started up the engine and
took the helm ..I opened up the back door and climbed
ashore …I untied the ropes from the stern climbed back
on the boat  and shouted Ok and Jan pushed the lever
forward and at about 08.30 with the top of the cabin
slid back we made off at a  leisurely pace, slowly
wandering back up the Chet . We didn’t meet a single
boat all the way up and it was a wonderful trip ..we
saw several breeds of duck and one or two swans. We
also spotted the odd Grebe or two who always dived just
as we tried to get a photo . We had a Heron who seemed
to follow us all the way up the river …he would land
about 20 ft ahead of the boat and as soon as we drew
level with him …he would fly on for another  few yards
and land again. It seemed a much shorter ride going
back up The Chet to the River Yare than it had been the
afternoon before when we had been coming down .
The sun continued to shine and just past a pub at
Buckenham ferry we tied up and got the shower running
.we sat there for a while enjoying the sunshine  and at
about 10.30 started up the engine again and made our
way towards Norwich …this was to be our next
destination but we thought we would probably stop
overnight somewhere en route if we found a good mooring  
We noticed on the map that we could make a detour and
travel by way of Rockland Broad...not wanting to miss
anything out ,we turned into Short Dyke ..and carefully
followed the markers across the broad and then turned
and headed towards the other channel …The Fleet ..just
after turning we noticed that another hire craft had
moored up on its mud weight  a little further on …so we
thought we would try this out ..Jan slowed down and put
the engine into neutral and I climbed out and cast the
weight over board …by looking at the banks it seemed
that the weight was holding Ok…that’s what the book
said you were supposed to do … we switched off the
engine and  we enjoyed just being there …The sun was
shining down and the boat was quietly drifting around
..we at last could feel the magic of the Norfolk broads
..and well ...yes ..we did ….and it was wonderful …
after all ….it was our honeymoon ..
About an hour or two later we had a bite to eat …cheese
on toast had never tasted so good  …I pulled up the mud
weight …what a fight that was until Jan suggested that
she could probably pull it free of the mud by putting
the engine into reverse…she did just that and the mud
weight then came up a lot easier…what a gem of a woman
I had married….. not only does she read instruction
books but she remembers what they say
We headed on back out onto the river ,  and cruised
through Brundall .It must have been about 16.30 hrs
when we came up to Bramerton Woods End …It was a lovely
mooring with plenty of space….Just what we had been
looking for  ..Jan slowed the boat right down, bringing
it alongside the mooring  and then just touched the
reverse gear and Gala Girl gently kissed the bank
before stopping alongside the bank and right between
two lovely mooring posts…I stepped ashore and tied
up….My God we were beginning to be expert mariners by
now ..  
It was a lovely evening and we still had boxes of cans
so we had a three course meal ..Tomato soup…Fray Bentos
Meat pie ..Boiled potatoes and carrots …peaches and
custard …and we opened a nice bottle of wine …
It was quite  dark by the time we had finished our meal
…we even had coffee cheese and biscuits to finish it
off ….. It was still so calm and quiet outside ..I
think that only one other boat moored up there that
night at the Bramerton mooring and they were right
along the other end  .It was almost as if we had the
world to ourselves… Just us and a whole carpet of stars

Oct-23-2010 @ 5:31 PM                           Permalink
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Well hello and many belated congratulations!

I've seen quite a few boats with the lady at the helm when mooring, Jan isn't unique, but she is braver than me, though I'm absolutely going to practise on our next visit in November.  However, I do better tie-ing up than "SternMoor", but only through practise again. Smile

I'm enjoying your holiday tale and looking forward to the next installment...I wish we had started on the Broads 33 years ago, but a honeymoon during Christmas week on the Broads would certainly have been a bit chilly!


first "Zero Club" on the quiz 12/09/10


Oct-23-2010 @ 6:18 PM                           Permalink
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What a lovely start to married life.  We had our first holiday as a married couple on the broads and are still enjoying a couple of short breaks a year on the broads 29 years later.  You certainly picked a good boat for your honeymoon, we have hired Gala Girl quite a few times and think she is a fantastic little boat.  Looking forward to the rest of your tale.


Oct-23-2010 @ 6:26 PM                           Permalink
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Tuesday Day 4
Tuesday morning we didn’t get up very early but had
breakfasted by about 09.00hrs and were about to set off
when an old gentleman came up to the boat and asked us
if we would like to visit his house which was just up
to the side of and overlooked the moorings to see his
drawings ..
He introduced himself as George Burrows and we followed
him up to his house….He had several quite nice pen and
ink drawings of Windmills and Herons etc  which he had
framed, So as a souvenir of our trip we bought one of  
Stracey Arms windmill which he carefully pointed out to
us was really Stracey Arms Windpump and not a mill at
all .It only cost us a fiver …We asked him if he would
mind taking a photo of us and then we made our way back
to the boat ..Jan climbed aboard and started the engine
I untied the ropes and we were underway again …this
time at about 10.00hrs …It was a bit cloudy and the
wind had come back again but we cruised on…it was
something like 12.00 midday when we entered the City of
Norwich The river goes right up into the City …and at
the Yacht Station we tied up right behind the Cathedral
and almost opposite the landmark.. Pull’s Ferry ..we
then showered and changed …opened up another tin and
made ourselves a salmon sandwich for lunch  ..we then
filled the water tank … locked up the boat and went off
to sightsee the City …
We walked over the bridge and had only just managed to
find a small shop which sold bread milk eggs etc when
it started to rain .. and it rained and rained …
clutching our purchases we turned round and went back
over the bridge to the boat ..climbed aboard and  just
sat for a while to see if the rain would stop ..It
didn’t in fact it just seemed to get heavier … and so
we just pulled the curtains across and enjoyed our
honeymoon some more  …Yes right in the City of Norwich
I think we woke up at about 18.30 pm and at last it
appeared to have stopped raining …or at least it was
now only a light patter on our lovely yellow roof
.Looking at the map of Norwich which we had in one of
the guide books it appeared that there was  a Chinese
takeaway not far from the bridge …we put on our
waterproofs and  armed with the map set off in search
of it …It was a lot further than we thought …it was
only about an inch on the map but it took us about 25
minutes to reach it..
We ordered up a sumptuous meal …. Chicken and sweetcorn
soup …Spare ribs ..Sweet and sour chicken ..Beef and
peppers in black bean sauce…Roast pork with bamboo and
water chestnuts ..Prawns with Oyster sauce .. Plain
boiled rice ..Prawn Crackers …Yes the works …we started
off back to the boat…and then the  rain started again …
we hurried as fast as we could but despite our
waterproofs we were both soaking wet by the time we got
back to the Yacht station….We climbed aboard …popped
the Chinese food into the oven and got the heater
We got out of  our wet clothes and at about 8.00pm
opened up another bottle of wine and sat down to yet
another feast..
We had taken rice bowls and chop sticks with us in the
hope of finding a Chinese takeaway …so that we could
eat it in style …it was then that we discovered the
mistake …NO RICE …the Chinese takeaway had left out the
rice …everything else was fact there was an
extra dish containing Chinese vegetables which we
hadn’t ordered  …I guess that they had put down the
wrong number when they had taken our order… …The rain
was still hammering on the roof  and it was too far to
go all the way back. It was lucky that there were
plenty of prawn crackers.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed it
very much and there was so much food that we were
eating for over an hour
We had intended to get to bed early that night and make
a very early start in the morning ..but having eaten
late …and having eaten so much we didn’t get to bed
until nearly 23.00 …  

Oct-23-2010 @ 6:31 PM                           Permalink
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Wednesday Day 5
Wednesday morning early getaway …we wanted to get
to Berney Arms which was about  five hours boating from
Norwich .we were up at six thirty and we set off about
07.00 …the weather was a little better…. cloudy but dry
and not a lot of wind ..
It was a pleasant cruise back down the Wensum under the
City bridges and on to the Yare..we took it in turns to
take the helm… passing again “our” Rockland Broad
..then … Bramerton and Brundall and the huge great
Sugar factory at Cantley ..and by about 10.30 we were
back at Reedham …we were lucky here because just as we
arrived …. a big cruiser pulled away in front of us and
we were able to drop into his space ..Jan made an
excellent job of getting us alongside and I  tied us up
..we showered had a nice cuppa and another slice of
toast this time with a boiled egg …We topped up the
water tank and about an hour later we were ready to go
on our way .
This time it wasn’t so easy to get away …another
cruiser had tied up close to our bow and there was not
a lot room at our stern we tried out a stern first
start I had read about this one .. Jan started the
engine …I untied the stern rope and pushed the stern
out …I then walked to the bow and untied the rope and
climbed aboard…Jan hit reverse …and we came out as easy
as the book said we would.. we reversed out for a
couple of boat lengths and then Jan eased us gently
forward and we were away under the swing bridge and
back on course  … we followed the Yare and by about
13.00 hours we were tying up in front of the Berney
Arms …Windmill…Windpump..?? It was a good trip and was
made in good time …we had arrived earlier than I had
thought …we noticed that the Windpump was open to
visitors and we climbed up to the first floor to take a
photo of our Gala Girl  moored up outside and then
whilst having a bite to eat I looked at the tide tables
and decided that as the weather was not too bad we
could probably get back across Breydon Water and make
it as far as Stracey Arms  without any problems …It was
about 14.00 hrs when I quickly untied and with Jan at
the helm we set off…The weather had improved a lot from
yesterday and there were large patches of blue sky as
we set off  on our return trip over Breydon was a
little choppy and Jan loved it ..she opened up the
throttle and we must have been doing about 7 mph ..all
the way across.
In less than an hour we were passing under Vauxhall
bridge at Great Yarmouth with at least a foot to spare
and had started making our way up the Bure ….It was a
good trip over Breydon ..
We arrived at Stracey Arms around about 15.30 and as
the weather was still good we carried on up to Acle
Bridge…we moored up there at about 16.30 …what a
fabulous day’s boating ..we were in Norwich at 07.00
and had crossed Breydon Water and had arrived at Acle
by 16.30 ..
We thought that as our week was now more than half over
we would maybe have an evening out we had a quick
rinse and got changed and having once again looked at
the map we concluded that the railway station was only
just over an inch on the map away from Acle Bridge..
An inch to the mile that would be only about a mile and
a bit ..It was a nice evening and so we set off to walk
to the station…once again it seemed a lot further that
it looked on the map but we at last reached the station
and caught a train to Great Yarmouth arriving there a
bit before 19.00 hrs we had a walk along the seafront
and found a very nice restaurant ..and enjoyed a very
good meal ..and then at about 22.00 made our way back
to the station. where we found we had about a fortyfive
minute wait for the train
To heck with it …we were on our honeymoon and hadn’t
spent much cash so far so we went outside the station
and got a taxi back to the saved us that
walk back and we were back aboard by about 22.45hrs
..and ready for bed …it had been a long day ..but a
very enjoyable one. That really was boating ..  

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