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WendySimco
Sep-19-2010 @ 2:07 PM                           Permalink
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Learning The Ropes
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An introduction first!!
Royall Oak's crew for the week consisted of Keith (my partner), my parents (Jan and Alan) and myself. We've had a week on the Broads every year since 1999 and have experienced many boatyards - Barenes, Conossieur, Silverline, Herbert Woods, Moonfleet and Swancraft (sorry if I've missed anyone out).

Friday 3rd September
As Royalls have an early handover time we decide for the first time ever to make the trip over from the Midlands on the Friday evening. Keith and I leave work in Birmingham at 4.40pm and make it (non-stop) to our hotel in East Dereham by 7.20pm. The hotel was the Hill House Hotel and we can thoroughly recommend it to anyone else needing a good value hotel in Norfolk. The rooms were clean and spacious and we had a good meal in the hotel restaurant before retiring to bed after our long day.

Saturday 4th September
Up nice and early for our excellent full English breakfast at the Hill House. Left at 10am to visit Tesco's for our vital boat supplies - beer, wine, bacon, eggs, etc!!! Arrive at the boatyard around 12.30, everyone running around trying to finish the boats ready for handovers. Royall Oak is not quite ready so we take the opportunity to have a quick pint at the Wroxham Hotel, the sun is shining so it's good to sit on the patio and watch the boat activity. The boat is ready when we return at 1.15 and after an excellent tuition/guide to the boat Keith takes over the 'reins' and we're off down the river towards Thurne. Canopy down and the sun is shining.
Our first impressions of Royall Oak are that she is top class; she's a little smaller than some of the boats we've been on but everything is spotless, there's loads of storage space for all our gear and she has all the equipment you're ever likely to need including an iron and a vacuum cleaner!!
We arrive at Thurne at about 4.15 and there's still plenty of room for us to turn the boat around and moor on the left hand bank. Within an hour though the dyke is pretty much full.
We eat out most nights whilst we're holidaying on the Broads so I hope you'll find our pub reviews useful. Tonight it's the Lion at Thurne. Keith and I ate here some years ago and our recollection was that the food was basic but of a good standard. Two of us loved our meals and rated it one of the best meals of the week but mum received the wrong potatoes with her meal and didn't rate it so highly. Ranked 3rd equal of the six places we ate in the week.

More to follow shortly.



Regards,
Wendy & Keith

WendySimco
Sep-23-2010 @ 9:49 AM                           Permalink
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Sunday 5th September
Up at 7.45am, eager for our first full day's boating. But not before we have our first full English cooked by Keith; he takes breakfast so seriously we always bring our own frying pan so that the breakfast tastes just right!! Quick walk up to the Lion to pick up the Sunday paper (useful that you can pre-order your newspaper in the bar the previous evening).
We've got a long day planned, hoping to moor up at St Olaves for the evening, so we leave straight after breakfast. Sunny trip down past Acle, Stokesby and Stracey before the long run in to Yarmouth. Just before Yarmouth we spot Twilight which looks as if it's grounded on a bend (looks like he thought it was a mooring but as the tide is rapidly going out he's now stuck). The tug is in attendance sorting out a very sheepish looking crew.
Yarmouth Yacht Station is very busy, in fact the waterways are generally very busy (much busier than when we were here last June).
Arrive at the BA morrings at 3pm, plenty of room as a Richardsons boat moves off as we pull up.
Quick walk over to the Bell to check they're serving food tonight, table booked and it's back to the boat to chill for a while. One of the quietest stretches of water on the Broads.
The evening meal at the Bell rates highly (though knowing it's under the same management as the Bear and Bells in Beccles we had expected a more extensive/imagnative menu). But the Sunday roasts are to be recommended and the treacle sponge and custard also went down a treat.
Couple of pints then it's time to turn in for the night - I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Regards,
Wendy & Keith

martinb
Sep-23-2010 @ 11:22 AM                           Permalink
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Keep it coming as i've booked Royall Oak for next June

Martin B

WendySimco
Sep-24-2010 @ 12:50 PM                           Permalink
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Martin
She's a beautiful boat - you'll just love her!! If I can get Keith to upload some photos I'll put them on my next post.

Monday 6th September
Up nice and early. Dry and sunny, looks like another good day's boating. Breakfast brings our first techinal issue of the holiday (don't worry Martin it's nothing serious!); Keith can't get the tin opener to work, it's a far more complicated beast than we're used to, breakfast without his Heinz baked beans would be unbearable, 15 minutes later the beast is overcome and the beans are on the hob, panic over!!
We leave St Olaves at 9.40 heading for Oulton Broad, plenty of bridge clearance under St Olaves and the bridge at Somerleyton is on one of it's three daily 'open' sessions and the engineers are already hard at work.
The wind is getting up as we approach Oulton Broad moorings but the harbour masters are as helpful as ever and we're soon tied up. Have a walk up the High Street to shop for provisions and a visit to the lovely Gift Shop (it's a real Aladdin's cave). Wander over to the Wherry Hotel where there are some classic cars in the car park (but no signs to say what the event is).
What was supposed to be a quiet lunch on the boat became anything but when a private boat (Bladerunner?) has difficulty mooring alongside us in the ever increasing wind and gives us a big bang across the bow - we suffer no damage but their boat will need a bit of touching up. Very apologetic skipper.
Leave after lunch to take the trip down to Beccles. It's one of our favourite and most visited towns on the Broads; it's a tranquil cruise down once you've passed the Waveney. The weather has definitely turned, much more cloudy.
The moorings at Beccles are very populated, last year when we visited there were maybe only half a dozen boats in but today it's very nearly full (though there are less public moorings now with the increase in number of private moorings). Up to the office to pay our mooring fees; the harbour master makes us laugh when he says the last chap in the office wanted to know how he could stop the noise of the water lapping against his boat at night??!!
Dinner in Beccles is to be at Prezzo in the old cinema building. Those people who shop at Tesco's will know that you can exchange your clubcard points for Prezzo vouchers so our clubcard points are put to good use. Highly recommended, great food and a buzzing atmosphere.
Leaving Prezzo we find the weather turned quite foul, heavy rain and blustery winds. It's a good job we came out prepared with rain coats and umbrellas. Quick dash back to the boat and it's time to turn in for the night.


Regards,
Wendy & Keith

goodfortune
Sep-24-2010 @ 1:58 PM                           Permalink
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Really enjoying this Wendy, please carry on...

Lisa

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

BITTERN CODE 15A

inky
Sep-24-2010 @ 8:59 PM                           Permalink
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hi wendy
great tale, though the person requesting how to stop the lapping beggars
beliefe. that noise is what i go there for brings back 50 odd years of
memories. he should have hired a caravan.
ian  

us in the wind when the boat broke 2008

my son haydon at the wheel


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LEECHY41171
Sep-25-2010 @ 10:49 AM                           Permalink
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We have been on Oak for the last 3 years..Great boat ..

Heres a pic of her moored at Pyes mill just before Loddon

I must be posh because i always holiday with the Royalls...


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WendySimco
Sep-25-2010 @ 12:28 PM                           Permalink
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Glad you're all reading our diary and not falling asleep yet!!

Tuesday 7th September
We wake up to a glorious sunny morning and the highlight of our holiday - an al fresco breakfast (cooked breakfast in the sunshine with the boat canopy down). Unfortunately it was the only one we managed this year.
Had a walk around Beccles; apart from probably Wroxham it's the only place to go for us shopaholics.
Leave Beccles at around 12.15 heading for Reedham. Still lovely and sunny, this is what boating is all about. The moorings are fairly busy at Reedham Quay but we manage to squeeze in just outside 'Cupcakes'. If you moored up in Reedham you must try their home made cakes, delicious!! Reedham is one of our favourite overnight stops. there's always something going on, lots of passing boats and trains but it's also nice and quiet once it's time for bed.
Our evening meal was at the Ship; we've been there several times over the years and were looking forward to something special but I don't know whether we caught them on a bad night but the menu/specials lacked imagination. There was nothng wrong with any of the meals but it just didn't live up to what we'd eaten there before.
Back to the boat for a game of cards and listen to the England footie on the radio then it's off to bed.


Regards,
Wendy & Keith

inky
Sep-25-2010 @ 6:24 PM                           Permalink
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shopaholics!!!
try going to norwich or if you can stand it how about gt yarmouth
ian

my son haydon at the wheel

WendySimco
Sep-25-2010 @ 11:18 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Inky

Even the most ardent shopaholics scale down their ambitions when on holiday - Beccles just has the perfect shop/mooring location.
Have done Yarmouth many times but can't seem to find a decent pub for evening meal. We do Norwich on the train when we cottage holiday in Reedham.
Anyway too many shops = lots of purchases and nowhere to store them on a boat!!

Regards,
Wendy & Keith

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