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Mon, 11 Apr 2016 7:20 am BST- Light Rain
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May-13-2017 @ 10:08 AM                           Permalink
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After seeing a couple of good reports on this forum we booked two nights (27th & 28th) at the Wayford Bridge Inn: very pleasant, comfortable and with friendly and efficient staff, so I would echo those other reports and we have booked again for July.

The downturn started late on Friday night when Pat went to the bathroom but slipped and fell, bruising several ribs severely – extremely painful and restrictive of activity. My instinct was to get her checked by a doctor and forget about a boating week, but she being a bloody-minded determined lady insisted that she wanted to carry on and have her birthday as planned. My boat-handling was to be put to the test (fortunately conditions were quite kind as it turned out).

We arrived at Barnes Brinkcraft rather early and found Royall Satin looking a little sad: to cover the old Royall livery the paint-job looked rather skimped resulting in a superficially scruffy appearance (however, Velvet II looked much better). Internally she was well turned out (but not quite to Royalls’ standards) and we had no problems all week. All the staff we met at the yard were very friendly, helpful and efficient, which got us off to a good start. When Satin was ready we loaded our gear quite quickly and were  pleased that B-B recognised that after 28 years with Royalls we did not need a trial trip. They could not get us out of the yard fast enough!

At Horning New Inn Gus was ready to moor us as usual and we settled down to a fine sunny afternoon and evening and a good meal: friendly and efficient as ever.

After a very cold night, Sunday was fresh and breezy. At Ranworth we were lucky getting a mooring after a short wait, and very grateful to two other skippers who took out mooring lines from Pat and made it all very easy for me.

Overnight rain left the sky overcast but slowly clearing as we reached Acle and moored at the Inn without too much trouble – I handled the ropework and Pat used the bowthruster to good effect (she became quite adept at that as the week progressed). Phil and the team were as friendly and efficient as always (that phrase is going to come round again) and the meal was first class, all of which helped cheer Pat up on her (big) birthday.

Tuesday was overcast and cool again for the run to Neatishead. A stroll to the White Horse (friendly greetings, etc., etc.,…). Sampled one of their own brews, found it very acceptable. Back in the evening for more, and a very good meal.

The weather being dull, cool and breezy, for most of the week we cruised with only the port-side canopy part-open, which is not our usual style. At the Stalham Swan (an old favourite haunt) at lunchtime we discussed where to go and made a dash back to Acle, arriving at about 5.20 – rather late for us (but I had phoned to book a table). As I was tidying all the mooring lines (I always moor with a spring at Acle), the skipper of a private cruiser that has just appeared asked me to move Satin sternwards a few yards to give him room to get in (there was a huge space ahead of us, but more of that to come). I pointed to the emergency ladder: he said “ Don’t bother about that down here”, which I took to mean he doesn’t bother about them anywhere. I then pointed out to him that the mooring ahead of us was reserved, to which he said I’d still have to move as the boat named was a 45-footer and would never get in ahead of us as things stood. I stared at the space then stared at him, saying nothing. We went into the pub and the fellow went off upstream never to be seen again. I concluded that he was assuming a mere hirer knew nothing and he could bully me into making way for him. The 45-footer arrived later and got in with no trouble at all and about ten feet to spare!

The meal, service, etc., were again excellent.

On Thursday we had blue skies for a change, but with the same old cool breeze. Another easy mooring at Ranworth – it is always pleasing that so many people are more than willing to help. We had not had a high opinion of the Maltsters for the last year or two, but they seem to have sorted their act out and improved the general atmosphere as well as offering a couple of good ales very much to my taste, so we opted for a meal and were very pleased with the result: friendly, efficient service again.

Friday: brilliant blue sky, cool breeze. Gus helped moor us again at the New Inn, where we had a good lunch before heading back to the B-B yard for the evening to load the car ready for an early start in the morning.

We left before the staff arrived, and by the time we got home there was a email asking us to contact the yard about the balance of the fuel deposit. I rang on Monday and repayment was organised direct into my account: very efficient and friendly again (I put it the other way round for a change). In view of the yard’s rather mixed reputation I am glad to report that I could not fault them. Looking forward to our fortnight in July.


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