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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Holiday Tales / First Overnight Cruise with Malanka
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Posted By Discussion Topic: First Overnight Cruise with Malanka

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My First Cruise| Autumn Mist's first cruise.| Finally booked our first cruise| Norfolk Broads cruise or P&O cruise| Malanka snuggled with friends in her winter home.|

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fidear45
Nov-05-2010 @ 6:34 PM                           Permalink
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This is my first such effort please be kind.

We left home in Belgium promptly at 17:00 heading a a steady clip towards Rotterdam. Arrival at 19:00 we discovered that boarding had already started which was a change fom previous experience and onto Stena Britanica we went.
After discovering that the paper room keys have to be "rammed" all the way into the cabin light contoller  and failing miserably to do this with any of the five keys we had, we settled for dinner which was pre booked in the restaurant. The food was outstanding and the service good, so after sampling some pinot grigio / proseco and some murphy's (not all by me I must point out) we headed to our cabin for a well earned rest. Lights out at 22:00 and alarm set for 05:00 the next morning.
Alarm call and  breakfast safely negotiated we then played the which of the donkeys parked in front of us won't turn up in time game. Not to be disappointed the car immediately in front of us contained two such donkeys equiped with tweed cap and twinset.

Disembarking we made quick  time to Stalham and arriving at Broads Edge we discovered that the road was up and we would have to go the long way round down a track closely resembling a farmers field. After this little detour we finally arrived at a rather sodden mooring and proceded to unload  the stuff and we were on board for 08:30.
Armed with the ubiquitous list we then set of and assaulted Roys with a precision honed by years of practice. For some strange reason no matter how long the intended cruise or how brief we make the list the price still astounds me at the till. After the sharp intake of breath  and the now compulsory discussion along the lines of "well we've paid x for the boat whats another y in the great scheme of things" , we moved the food stuff to the car and set off back for Stahlam and Broads Edge.

After unloading we did the switch turning, gas enabling and so on and decided to pop into Moonfleet for some fuel and water and to generally say hello to the guys in the yard. We had still not managed to light the fridge (gas and yes its going this winter season) and so Toby, not for the first time in the next few days came to our rescue and lighted the damn thing for us.
We were planning to meet Fred the previous custodian at Ranworth on Sunday morning and so we would have to go under Ludham bridge and head on down to Malthouse. We looked at the sodden ground and the height of the jetty and thought that Malanka with the top still up was going to be a tight fit under the bridge. We have to drop the mast head anyway so we figured we would drop the canopy and enjoy the beautiful autumnal sunshine that greeted us on Saturday morning.
We had of course never done this, seen it done, or given it much thought. This was obviously a mistake as we had absolutely no idea how heavy that canopy was. After much pushing, shoving, no little swearing and some huffing and puffing we gratefully and with no little relief got it down. We were then stuck with the obvious fact that we would have to put it back up again  and boy, that thing is heavy. As it turned out for this cruise that was to be the least of our worries and we set off for Barton.  We made gentle progress down to How Hill and slowly down to Ludham. Jason surprised me just short of the bridge and I must admit I squealed like a mad chipmunk  in reply.   Further on down the Ant, a swift right turn and we headed to Ranworth at a steady and slow pace. There was plenty of mooring available and after a quick appraisal of the situation popped Malanka stern on into the biggest space I could find.
We quickly settled in and headed to the Maltsters to book for dinner . We were squeezed into a completely blank reservation sheet and headed back to Malanka just in time to see a huge Faircraft Loynes boat attempting to moor stern on with a strong breeze blowing them closer and closer  to us. It was obvious they were mooring as several crew members were ashore and the boat was on the angle of the mooring swinging about in the direction of the recently repainted Malanka. I quickly asked for a stern rope and settled them into a nice spot not too close to all that gleaming new paintwork. The family onboard were really nice and grateful for the help as it was their first time boating. We quickly agreed with them that there is nothing quite like a break on the Broads and so i am sure we will be seeing them afloat again soon.  
A little later Grestzki arrived with two boats and we chatted for a while about this and that. A big thank you to him as he provided a dinghy for our youngest to retrieve his football that he had carelessly allowed to fall into the broad, and which was being swifly blown away in the afrementioned breeze.

After  a quick wash we were into the pub and realising we were super tired quickly ordered and had a pleasant meal in the bay window seats. Everyone enjoyed what they had although my Masala could have done with a little bit more yoghurt or cream as it was rather tart and not what I anticipated when I ordered it.

We watched as much X factor as I could manage (not much) and headed back to Malanka to turn in and prepare for tomorrow.

We fell asleep to gentle movement and the sound of wind gently moving the flags on the masthead.

We thought this is as good as it gets, what could possibly go wrong with this. How little did we know.    


Life is too short

M&F

goodfortune
Nov-05-2010 @ 8:32 PM                           Permalink
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Thank you fidear, this is shaping up beautifully (nothing will make me believe this is really a "first effort"), however I hope "what could possibly go wrong with this. How little did we know" isn't going to turn out to be too dreadful.

Looking forward to more,

Lisa

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

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BroadAmbition
Nov-05-2010 @ 9:26 PM                           Permalink
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Great start,

we NEED pics of Malanka in these locations as she is the star of this show  Smile


Griff

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

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

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fidear45
Nov-05-2010 @ 9:47 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks Griff,

That would require more thought than I was capable of first time out of the traps (so to speak). If you can picture it, I was mopping down the side of the boat just in case the heater from the next door boat warmed up the paintwork too much and it blistered. I have never been so proud and apprehensive at the same time. Was a very strange feeling to be sure.
The paintwork got very hot but didn't blister. More I think due to Fred's foresight with the huge fenders than any skill on my part.

Pics will come when I have calmed down and learned to take it a lot more easily than I did this week.

M

Life is too short

M&F

Flamingo
Nov-05-2010 @ 9:48 PM                           Permalink
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Oh no!! I was just enjoying that story. Hope we don't have to wait too long
for the next instalment.

fidear45
Nov-05-2010 @ 12:06 AM                           Permalink
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We awoke on Sunday morning to the delightful sounds of ducks discussing who was king of the castle on top of Malanka. I knew this would mean some washing down later but we just lay in bed listening to the little devils having at it and giggled to ourselves like schoolchildren.
After  listening for a while and realising the hour had already kicked in (add in an extra one for Belgian time) and this meant it was obviously time for dad to get up and start the all day breakfast bar. I took a quick straw poll of desires for breaky and got a crack on sorting this lot out with sausage and bacon on brown, in a bun and on plain please.
After breakfast it was  a quick trip to the post office for papers and then settle down and wait for Fred and Phil (from Moonfleet) to turn up and explain all we needed to know but didn't ask ten days ago.
Fred arrived and was immediately presented with a huge mug of tea. There is something very satisfying listening to a kettle come to the boil and start whistling to be turned off.    I always think of them like demanding toddlers that you just cant afford to ignore.
Fred started to explain the various bits and  pieces we had not thought to ask the first time, and a thoroughly useful exercise it was to. We discussed with Phil the different modifications we would like him to think about and discussed them with Fred. Altogether a very valuable couple of hours in the company of two guys who have forgotten more about wooden boats than I will ever know.

Time sped by and the time soon came to bid farewell to Fred. This must have been a very poignant moment as he has done so much to keep Malanka  in the fine condition she is now. Needless to say there is an open invitation to Fred to cruise with us when we can arrange it.  Thank you Mr Stokes you are a gentleman!!
We had arranged for an old friend (of 44 years standing) to come and visit with us and he duly arrived and walked straight up to Malanka with his lady friend looking very chirpy at his side.
"How did you know this was the one" I asked. "You said it was an old one" he replied.  Logic was ever his strong suite.
We decided to cruise down to Horning to let them get the feel of the winter cruise mentality, and then Debbie( the new lady friend) confessed she was sea sick watching Titanic! Dont panic she had her wrist bands on and she would be fine. Luckily the aroma of bacon and sausage had dissipated by then.
We had planned to have ham rolls on the move but thought better of it at that point so we cruised to Horning and returned to Ranworth to eat the rolls and to drop them off and say our goodbyes.
It was a lovely day so we decided to spend that evening at Womack so we said goodbye, cast off and set off for Womak in anticipation of a huge dinner in the pub later.
The trip to womack was very enjoyable, we waved, hooted and said hello to everyone we saw and the weather was fantastic.
After arriving at Womack and performing a neat little stern on mooring job, I noticed there was quite a significant breeze blowing and so i decided to "deploy the mudweight" off the bow to prevent lateral movement. " Ah then lets get it out" said Mrs Fidear...at this point I was already struggling with the huge behemoth that is the mudweight for Malanka. " I may have identified an opportunity" I said. "What's the problem" replied Mrs Fidear. "I cant lift it" said I. "Oh dear that is an issue" said Mrs Fidear. "Yes" I said. I am one for understatement you see.
After several moments of indecision we decided that I did want to walk in an upright position for the next two days and so decided to move the boat nearer to the DRL marine end of the staithe into the more sheltered area.
So fire the old girl up and move past two boats and about 50 feet further up the staithe. This of course in the full knowldeg that the reverse manouvre would have to be peformed in the morning. Manouvre completed we then noticed that the heating had stopped.
"Heating has stopped" said I, "turn it on then" chorused  the family it's getting cold. So after turning knobs, dials, thermostats and anything else remotely looking like it had something to do with staying warm. The inevitable conclusion struck home. We had broken the heating  in two days!!!! What kind of abuse had we subjected this system to. "All we did dear was turn it on" said Mrs Fidear in a failed attempt at making me feel better.
"We shall go to the pub and think what to do" said I. A few pints of Wherry would soon provide at least the semblence of a solution.
We had a lovely time at the pub and completely forgot about thinking what to do about the heating. So we arrived back and it still wasn't working. OK plan ala 1970's came to mind and we put the oven on and boiled the kettle and decided to call Moonfleet in the morning (mobile signal for the crackberry being available of course) . We played monopoly until we were very tired then retired to sleep in the cosy warmth provided by the now gently cooling cooker. The children of course were sent unceremoniously into the forward cabin to rough it in the cold in their arctic sleeping bags.
Day two had been fun but the heating was still not working and we knew we had to wake up to a boat without heating. It couldn't get any worse could it, little did we know of course it could.

More to follow .


Life is too short

M&F

fendoff
Nov-05-2010 @ 12:45 AM                           Permalink
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Hi
I just managed to grab a couple of pictures of your arrival at Womack. Lovely boat but I do have a soft spot for old wooden Broom Boats. My family own Katinka which is an Admiral, a bit younger than Malanka, launched in 1961. Good luck with your new boat.  Smile



Andrew

fendoff

This message was edited by fendoff on Nov-5-10 @ 11:46 PM


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fendoff
Nov-05-2010 @ 12:47 AM                           Permalink
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Hi
Second Picture.

Andrew

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BroadAmbition
Nov-06-2010 @ 8:56 AM                           Permalink
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Yet another great chapter.

Can't imagine what Fred must have felt like, if we live long enough that same feeling will come to us all one day when we realise that we are 'Past it' to properly look after a boat properly the likes of Malanka (Where does the name originate from btw?)

That proud and aprehensive feeling you had - Been there myself, nowadays the aprehension has gone completly and yours will pass in time too. Nowadays I'm of the attitude that if she gets scratched/knocked then so what? it happens and will keep on happening, it is part of boating, the huge saving grace is that these little knocks on a woody are so easy to fix.

(Unlike our plastic cousins with all that filler, sanding, more filler, more sanding, then gel coat, then polishing, it takes an age allowing for the curing processes)

In our wet shed locker we have a tin of undercoat, topcoat, brushes and various grades of sandpaper, I am now well practised in 'touching up' it becomes not a chore but more of a responsibility to the boat, and can acheive a good finish from start to finish in a couple or hours.

I still get those proud moments even after 3 x years afloat and no reason for them to stop.

Niggles - again part of the 'bedding in' process of owning a 'new' boat (Well 'new' to its owner anyway) and getting to know her intimatly. We keep a hand written log onboard of every day afloat and we ask crews for any suggestions for improvements or upgrades no matter how small that they can think of during their days afloat with us, we take notes and consider their suggestions, this can be a great help in increasing ones comfort and pleasure afloat.
There is always something to do, our snagging list now stands at 16 items but we will get there one day as will you.

Looking forward to the next chapter and even more so meeeting up afloat.


Griff

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

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk

fidear45
Nov-06-2010 @ 10:20 AM                           Permalink
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Thank you for the pictures Fendoff.
The pictures look good. We were about to discover the behemoth mudweight and moved again about ten minutes later. Funnily enough I had forgotten it was chucking it down. I must have a word with the crew for allowing that stern rope to dangle in the water.(Mrs Fidear)

Life is too short

M&F

This message was edited by fidear45 on Nov-6-10 @ 9:35 AM

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