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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Holiday Tales / Our holiday thoughts to share
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Our holiday thoughts to share

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Phileos
Oct-02-2016 @ 6:17 PM                           Permalink
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The Lord Nelson has some really interesting old stuff on display in the bars, you need to be of a certain age to remember most of it. Things like penny arcade games, various old advertising signs and an old public telephone with button A and button B. One that caught our eye was the “Win a cig” game, if your ball landed in the jackpot hole, you won a cigarette. How times change! Don’t know if it was like that before the reopening as this was our first visit.
We decided that we’d head to Loddon for the night for a few reasons. There would be a few choices of places to moor, it would avoid more yacht action and unbelievably because we needed a shop. I say unbelievably because as we generally eat on the boat in the evening we had enough food to last us all week so didn’t expect to be shopping so soon. But we had run out of milk and the box of wine I bought was not nice, I mean I would drink it if you twisted my arm, actually I would drink it if you didn’t twist my arm, but wanted something nicer. Mrs P did look in the shop at Reedham but refused to pay the prices they were charging. Silly really when you think how much the holiday cost and then complaining over a few pence. I understand the need to “use it or lose it” but everyone reaches a point where they say no.
Drinks finished we head of back to the boat to find it being moved along the quay to allow space for a yacht to moor in front of us. The only reason we had not left a bigger space was to avoid mooring in front of the steps, but they didn’t seem overly concerned with covering access to the steps. I’d love to know peoples thoughts on the steps subject. With the tide now running quite fast we made a plan to leave bearing in mind we now had private boats close behind and in front and knew we had to get it right. It was another one of them moments of worry us inexperienced boaters get, we knew we could do it and had confidence in our ability but you still worry, then as usually happens the nice, friendly people on the quayside come to your aid. As we got off to untie the chaps from the yacht in front came along, told us to get back on board, they’ll do the ropes and gave us instructions on exactly what to do. As he said to me “I have a big interest in you getting this right” obviously not wanting his boat damaged and a few days later when we witnessed some horrors with people leaving moorings at Reedham I really understood his concerns.
So underway again, big thanks and a wave to the helpers, past the chain ferry, get overtaken by a yacht, they do get a move on don’t they and in no time arrive at the mouth of the Chet. There is something much more intimate when you’re a narrow river like this, reminded us of parts of the Ant, except the first bit with the ugly poles. After a while down there we saw what looked to me like a ferret swimming across the river. Now I know it wasn’t one but as my knowledge of water creatures is close to zero you’ll have to decide yourself what it was. We had 3 choices of where to moor. First up was Chedgrave Common and it didn’t look that appealing with the work going on there and was exposed to the wind so we continued. Next up, Pyes Mill moorings. Now this is where something was set off in my head, a feeling that grew and grew and I’ve not experienced anywhere else on the broads. It started with the first two boats moored there. Both looked like they hadn’t been moved since dinosaurs roamed the earth and if you did try and move them they’d fall apart, but one had the engine running. Seemed strange. Further along some adults and children talking up the bank away from the boats and again something didn’t seem right. They seemed out of place, and although there was some space we carried on to the staithe. Moored up, stepped off the back and noticed the electric points were all being used, nothing really unusual with that but it was the boats they were connected to, just too old and tatty to have electric hook-ups. Now I may have totally misinterpreted what I had seen but certainly wasn’t comfortable. We took a wander up to the Co-op to get the milk and more importantly the wine and chatted about what we had seen. Mrs P was happy to stay where we were and tried her best to convince me all was fine. I was coming round to her way of thinking until we arrived back at the staithe. The last mooring had just been taken and were being helped to tie up and obviously knew the people helping them. We could see in the back of their boat and hear them talking. Now you can call me judgemental, snobbish anything you like but my dustbin is tidier and cleaner than that boat and with everything else I’d seen decided we had to move. A quick call to pacific cruisers to check we could moor there and off we went. They were very welcoming, and took care of all the ropes for us. Now feeling much more relaxed and at ease.
Something I should tell you about Mrs P is that she used to be a chef and with those talents it’s amazing what you can cook up with some less than perfect facilities. She’d been beavering away in the galley (why can’t we call it a kitchen?) at various times during the afternoon promising a full on roast dinner that evening and that’s exactly what we enjoyed, with some nice wine! After that effort I’m going to promote her to Lady P from now on.
Our experience at Loddon wasn’t what we expected and I’d be happy for others to tell us we got it wrong but as it stands we won’t be rushing back there. Shame as it looks so nice.
Tomorrow we go exploring.


jess
Oct-03-2016 @ 3:54 PM                           Permalink
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I have booked with Pacific for next year so it's good to hear they were welcoming. I've only heard good things about them.  I haven't spent the night at the moorings in Loddon for years but I've always felt safe enough when I have moored there.  Be interested in knowing other people's thoughts on your experience there.

Paladine
Oct-03-2016 @ 4:43 PM                           Permalink
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"...but they didn’t seem overly concerned with covering access to the steps. I’d love to know peoples thoughts on the steps subject."

The water-level chains and the ladders are obviously for the use of anyone unfortunate enough to fall in, but I've only ever seen them used by people who have been in swimming, voluntarily. Like many other safety devices, they are only important if they are needed, and who knows when that would be?

There is no legal requirement for boaters to leave them clear, but common sense should prevail. If there are options, I always leave the ladders clear. If it is the only mooring left, I might well use it, as, if the mooring is full, there should be plenty of assistance available, should the unfortunate happen. Added to which, I have a boarding ladder at the stern of my boat, which anyone in need would be welcome to use, whether I'm there or not.

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)


This message was edited by Paladine on Oct-3-16 @ 5:44 PM

Paladine
Oct-03-2016 @ 5:19 PM                           Permalink
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"Moored up, stepped off the back and noticed the electric points were all being used, nothing really unusual with that but it was the boats they were connected to, just too old and tatty to have electric hook-ups."

I find that to be a rather strange observation to make. Any boat can have an electrical hook-up, even a canoe. Age and condition doesn't come into it. It can be achieved through a permanent installation, via an RCD box, or via a fly lead with an RCD.

"Now I may have totally misinterpreted what I had seen but certainly wasn’t comfortable...Now you can call me judgemental, snobbish anything you like but my dustbin is tidier and cleaner than that boat and with everything else I’d seen decided we had to move...Our experience at Loddon wasn’t what we expected and I’d be happy for others to tell us we got it wrong but as it stands we won’t be rushing back there."

This isn't the first time I've read this sort of opinion, which is unfortunate, as Loddon is a nice place to visit. The moorings on the left, before the BA moorings in the basin (Pye's Mill), belong to the parish council. Certain long-term boaters, who do not wish to pay for a home mooring, can take advantage of the lack of any enforceable regulation of the moorings, and the PC appears to be loathe to take any sort of enforcement action at all.

Having said that, on the occasions that I have moored at Chedgrave, Pye's Mill or Loddon, I have not had any problems, or felt any 'atmosphere' at all.

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)

Phileos
Oct-03-2016 @ 7:14 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Paladine,
Thank you for your information about the steps and Parish Council moorings. Regarding the electric I guess my surprise was that I had never seen anything like it, I've only ever seen modern hire boats hooked up but I know now.


Phileos
Oct-03-2016 @ 7:20 PM                           Permalink
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I was first up in the morning, actually when we’re on holiday I’m always first up, completely the opposite to at home where Lady P is always up first. Reason being I’m fortunate enough to have a job with no specific start time, something which I often don’t appreciate as much as I should, whereas she has strict start times. So at home she makes me tea, I let it go cold and she makes me another. On holiday it’s the other way round. I’m actually thinking of making her first cup of morning tea the night before, after all, I know she’s not going to drink it and the morning kettle will boil quicker with less water in.
Looking out the window with a morning cuppa a heron decided to land on the front of the boat and just sat there looking around. I had to get a picture of this, but by the time I found the camera he had gone. Having been to the broads many times you think you’ve seen it all so are not prepared for those special moments. The otter on the first morning caught us out, the “ferret” caught us out and now the heron. Lesson learnt.
The sun was just peeking up through the trees, that lovely orange glow and the forecast was good for today again. A swan wanted feeding and given that “bread for ducks” is one of the first things on Lady Ps shopping list I had to oblige.
Lady P was now onto her 3rd cup of tea (second hot one) and we were preparing to leave and I said we’ll just fill up with water before we go and that got me thinking. If I can just go off at a tangent here like Ronnie Corbett used to and explain I do the thinking in our partnership, Lady P does the agreeing, disagreeing, the chastising, the questioning, the analysing and the cooking, as a result we rarely know what we’re doing but always eat well.
My thinking went along these lines, mooring in boatyards might be a good idea, we expect the rivers to be busy which will mean plenty of space in the boatyards and then early morning water and no need to stop and fill up during the day. The only time we had ever moored in a boatyard was at Ricchos and that was to visit Tesco or on one occasion for Lady P to have a shower. We discussed the boatyard option for future moorings, I was thinking space, water, she was thinking shower.
Not long after setting off a private boat was behind us so we let them pass, it was a beautiful morning and we were in no rush to get anywhere, all we had to do today was have a look around and then decide where to spend the night.
I suppose this might be a good point to mention that I have watched most of Robin London Rascal’s videos so kind of knew what to expect but what I saw exceeded expectations, the rivers were nowhere near as bland and boring as I expected, equally they were busier than I expected although not northern rivers busy.
We stopped at Cantley for breakfast and as usual Lady P cooked up a mean muesli. Strange thing about somewhere like this, although it lacked the intimacy of a narrower stretch of river, anyone that did pass by could not see the colour of sauce you had on your muesli. Swings and roundabouts.
After breakfast we just carried on looking around heading up river. Langley dyke, onto Rockland, Brundall…..actually I want to digress again and discus fishermen. I fish as well as hire boats so I like to think I see both sides of any story. There were a lot of fishermen on the rivers on this Sunday morning and they deserve the right to enjoy their pastime undisturbed, especially with a river so wide, but the temptation for a boater, well for me at least, is to cut the corner on a right hand bend,, we are told, keep right …and if a fisherman is there it’s not a good situation. I would suggest, and would adopt myself if ever I fished anywhere where there was a chance of a boat coming close, stick up a big flag like they have at Glastonbury, so boaters know you are there. It may not stop someone ploughing through your £3000 pole but must reduce the chances…… so where were we...passing Brooms at Brundell I mentioned we could overnight there and Lady Ps eyes lit up, shower she thought. We pressed on just checking out all the moorings and about 10 mins past Bramerton Common decided we’d seen enough and needed a plan. A brief discussion and it was agreed, turn back and stop at the Ferry Inn for a pint, stop at Brooms for a shower then on to Rockland staithe for the night, if the staithe was full we could moor along the dyke leading to it.
On arriving at the Ferry Inn we had to moor stern on. With the wind and tide ganging up on us I thought this could go horribly wrong even with plenty of space. Well let’s just say it was less than perfect, struggling to keep the boat at 90 degrees to the bank. Seeing us struggle a gentleman appeared to help and offer some well received excellent advice. I remember he was wearing slippers. We stood chatting for a while and it turned out to be Captain Joshie from this forum. He told us how good the food was in the pub but not being ready to eat it was just a drink for us.
Suitable watered onto Brooms. We thought we’d have a quick look around Bargate and turned down the narrow dyke leading to it. There was a small boat coming towards us right in the centre of the dyke, I moved over to the right expecting them to do the same so we could pass but they stayed in the centre. We got closer to each other and I thought they must move over soon, we couldn’t get any further over. At the last minute they did move over but their boat was unwell, they said they had weed around their prop and advised us not to go any further as it was very shallow and weedy. Not being one to turn down advice we stopped but it was too narrow to turn around, only option was to reverse all the way back to the main river.
Pulled onto Brooms visitor moorings and there was no staff around so Lady P walked off to find the showers, came back and left again with a wheelbarrow full of gels, lotions, potions and some pound coins. While I was waiting a chap appeared wanting to fuel his boat but with nobody around said he’d wait until the morning. Had a nice chat with him about the ups and downs of owning your own boat. What is it about boating that makes strangers want to talk to one another so much.
Lady P returns and we set off in the glorious afternoon sunshine to Rockland and get the last space at the staithe. More chatting to complete strangers on the boat next to us. Three boats arrived after us looking to moor so I guess it’s a popular spot. We leave the boat for the walk out to the bird hide and the dyke. We do need to get off and walk from time to time. On the way back, with the sun low in the sky, shafts of sunlight were coming through the trees illuminating the hundreds of tiny midges buzzing around. Quite a sight.
Tomorrow we go back north.


Phileos
Oct-04-2016 @ 7:06 PM                           Permalink
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Up early again and walked into the village to try and find the post office and get a newspaper. Found it OK but they didn’t open until 9. Ah well, that’s village life I guess.
We had contemplated heading up the Waveney and staying on the south side for another night but the lure of the north was too great plus the tides for returning today were much better. We’d have a slow cruise down to Reedham and wait there for the right time to leave.
Arriving at Reedham there was plenty of space but also two boats preparing to leave so we turned round and waited mid river until they had left. They were both struggling to get away and it turned into a bit of bumper boats before they were finally underway. These boats got no help from the attendant, in fact we didn’t see him help anyone during our two brief stops there so I wonder exactly what his duties are. We were to see worse a little later when another boat leaving took too long to undo their stern rope by which time the tide had swung the boat round and away from the bank and the lady helming pulled away obviously unaware that her partner was still on the bank. Luckily someone downstream got her attention and she reversed back to pick him up. It really reinforced with us how careful you have to be when the tide is running fast.
We had a slow walk around the village analysing people’s front gardens, just being nosy, bought a paper in the post office and chilled on the boat.
Time came for us to leave and I was surprised again by just how much the tide sucks you under the swing bridge. Journey down to Breydon was much less interesting with no yachts to contend with, in fact it was very uninteresting.
We arrived at the yellow post a bit earlier than we expected with still a fair amount of flow coming down the Bure. Not really wanting to moor at Yarmouth and wait we pressed on against the tide telling ourselves, yes it’s more fuel but this way we’ll have more choice of where to moor tonight. Passing Marina Keys we didn’t know what it used to be. Lady P got onto trusty google to find out. It’s a shame that something attractive and appealing can’t be made of it, or even some of it. I suppose it would need a lot of private money and maybe some public money from the council to make it work. The last time we visited Yarmouth, admittedly some years ago, it needed a lick of paint and seemed in decline but the only way to reverse that is to invest and make it attractive for people to visit.
Traveling up the lower Bure was becoming a bit of a slog, the clouds had rolled in, it was grey and overcast for the first time. Something to pass the time was needed and we (thought) we had just the thing. One of our daughters had said we never get any pictures of us together on the boat, so take the selfie stick and get some. Out comes the selfie stick, we were like a couple of kids, I mean come on, a selfie stick at our age. Anyway switch it on and it needs charging, no problem, 10 mins charging should do it. 10 mins later, try to pair it with my phone and no joy, tried Lady Ps phone, no joy, tried switching both phones off and on, nothing. The selfie stick was broken so not only did that ruin our bit of entertainment we now had to find somewhere to get a new one.
We were going to head towards Potter Heigham but look at what moorings were available on the way. Passing Thurne Dyke it looked pretty full, boats were wild moored along the Thurne. Turned into Womack Dyke and the 24 hr moorings were full as was the island so didn’t bother go on to the staithe as we were convinced that too would be full as well. Up to Potter Heigham instead, past all the lovely little bungalows, where there was space on the quiet moorings but we ended up in Herbert Woods yard which was nearly empty.
We walked over to Lathams, hoping it was still open and we were in luck, even more luck was they had one selfie stick left. How can something so stupid bring a smile to our faces at the end of a long day?


jess
Oct-05-2016 @ 3:26 PM                           Permalink
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Keep it coming Phileos, just love holiday tales.

Forresters
Oct-05-2016 @ 5:36 PM                           Permalink
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Yes same here Phileos!

How strange that we just love to read holiday tales!  Can you imagine the holiday abroad blog.

Day 1.  Got up about 9am, had breakfast, sat by the pool til 1pm, enjoyed a beer, too hot, walked along the front, pestered to buy stuff we don't need, had a beer.  Walked back, time for a shower and change, popped out for tea, found a bar, few beers and off to bed.

Day 2 etc.  See day 1

The pace of life down there
suits us

Phileos
Oct-05-2016 @ 8:43 PM                           Permalink
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Jess, Forresters.

Glad you're enjoying it.

Holiday abroad....I'll raise you

Day 1.  Got up about 10am with a headache, had breakfast, sat by the pool til 12noon, enjoyed two beers, too hot, walked along the front, pestered to buy stuff we don't need, had some beers.  Walked back, time for a shower and change, popped out for tea, found a bar, loads of beers and off to bed.

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