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Posted By Discussion Topic: First time holiday review

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Our first time on a boating holiday| First time on holiday on the broads | First time in a long time| Holiday review| First Time Boaters Guide|

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richamgpies
Sep-13-2005 @ 8:24 PM                           Permalink
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Hi,

Just got back from a great first time on the Broads. As I posted a few times prior to going asking for advice (thanks to Bill, Richard and others), I thought it only right that I post my thoughts on the holiday - hopefully this will be of help to other first timers - apologies if this rambles on and on and on...!

We hired the Classic Harmony out of Thorpe St Andrew from the Blakes brochure. Not much to look at but assured she was a reliable boat with plenty of power to get through whatever the broads could throw at her!

After about 45 mins of instruction it was "ok, see you next Friday" and we were off! We had changed plan and decided to moor quite close by on the first night as it was after 4.00pm when we finally set off. However, all the free moorings at Bramerton, Surlingham were full so we decided to go with our original plan and go to Rockland staithe by the New Inn. It was getting on for 6.00pm when we chugged into the free moorings to find 2 spaces avaialble - great - unfortunately, they seemed, to my inexperienced skills, to be impossible to maneouver into. I didnt fancy trying to do a 180 degree turn and back in stern on in front of a large crowd or try and reverse and turn 90 degrees into a space next to the most beautiful huge wooden ocean going yacht - there was a look of slight concern on other boat owners faces as they all brandished boat hooks and mops to try and ward off my clumsy attempts to moor up. Fortunately a kind soul intervened and after a 36 (not a 3) point turn we were snugly moored between 2 boats. I had a chat with the owner of the ocean going yacht (they were on a year long tour sailing round Britain) and he said that I should have moored it myself as it was the only way I would learn and everyone was first timer once. He wasnt worried about us bashing his yacht - its what the plastic things on the side are for - looking back he was totally right. We also talked about the lack of moorings and were told that its best to get moored up by early afternoon otherwise you may not get a space where you wanted - we took this on board. About 30 mins later I had a crowd of a different kind watching me as I landed a 4 pound bream on my second cast J.

Unfortuantely the New Inn was fully booked so couldn’t comment on the food but it did look delicious! L

Saturday - cruised down to Burgh Castle to moor at the free moorings just south of the marina for the evening as we wanted to go across Breydon Water the next day and low tide was very early. Had a walk round the roman fort - well worth a visit - the scale of it certainly surprised us. Also visited the church of St Peter and St Paul which has some superb stained glass windows. Two ladies who were cleaning took time to give us a short tour which was very kind. We ate at the Fishermans Bar - standard pub food and big portions - just what was needed!

Sunday - up at 05.45 to get onto Breydon Water in good time. We had no problems crossing and were in Gt Yarmouth by around 7.30. I was quite worried before but if you get there at the right time it is not a problem and we had plenty of headroom under the bridges. As we were crossing we didnt see another boat and it was a beautiful sunny morning - worth the early start! We moored up at the free moorings (for Blakes customers) at the end of Upton Dyke - really quiet and peaceful - and spent the rest of the day lazing around fishing. Had a good meal at the friendly White Horse pub 10 mins walk away.

Monday - leisurely cruise up to Horning where we planned to moor at the Blakes moorings at the Norfolk Broads Yachting Company next to the New Inn. We managed to moor up stern on so as to leave space for others. A chap who worked there appeared and then asked us, in a not particulalry nice, accusing way,  if we had moved one of the yachts that was moored side on in the space that we were now occupying - it was now stern on alongside us. We said no and that it was there when we arrived. He asked "if we were sure"! He then went on "well it wasnt like that when we went for our tea break." I was a bit taken aback by this and I felt like saying, "are you calling me a liar?" Instead I settled for a "well dont look at us mate". At this he walked off without apologising. hhhmmmmm welcome to Norfolk Broads yachting company!  About an hour later we were asked to move the boat and moor at the other side next to the pub so that he could get another yacht out. We moved and so I didnt have to moor again and then move back to where we originally, we sat on the other side of the river until he had got the other yacht out -I didnt want to moor next to the pub. However, once the yacht had gone he simply tied the yacht he accused us of moving earlier side on to the mooring point so that we could not move our boat back to where it was before being asked to move! In doing this he used up about 3 mooring spaces instead of one - this place is in the Blakes info as being free overnight mooring for their customers - well I wouldnt bother if I were you if our experience is anything to go by and maybe Blakes should look at who they associate themselves with.

We decided to go elsewhere and were pleased we did. We moored up in Cockshoot Dyke just south of Horning - lovely quiet, peaceful spot with a stunning nature reserve and bird hide.

Tuesday - we cruised up to Wroxham and took advantage of the free Blakes moorings at Moore & Co to fill up with water and stock up at Roy's shopping centre before heading down to Salhouse Broad where we stayed for the night - mooring fee was £6 but worth it as it was so peaceful. Fishing was superb and I must have had about 70 or so small roach and perch - virtually every cast had a bite. Did the nature walk the next morning and took a walk to the pretty village of Salhouse. Very nice indeed.

Wednesday - Lesiurely cruise down to the Stracey Arms windpump to moor for the night as we needed to go through Breydon Water early th next day. Plenty of mooring spaces when we arrived around 2.00pm but the place was pretty much full by early evening. Had a meal in the pub which is the Pontiac American Diner - strange place for one I thought. Food ok but no great shakes for the price. Can't help but think a nice traditional pub would be better!

Thursday - through Breydon Water by 8.15 without a hitch and then back up the Yare. We moored up at the free moorings at Bramerton Common. Once again great fishing just under the trees at the furthest upstream free mooring point before the pub - only a few feet out but beautiful perch up to about a pound and a half. The broads are stunning round here and had a nice meal in the Woods End pub in the evening.

Friday - home. Boo! Frown  Managed to get £12 of our £50 fuel deposit back - no idea if this is par for the course but its only a fiver a day anyway.

All in all an excellent holiday and we had beautiful sunny days all week which I guess helped to show the Broads off to their best. It was such a nice change from the hectic life in London to just get up, open the boat doors, see greenery, hear the birds singing (instead of bloody mobile phones!) and do a little fishing - all before breakfast! Most people were very friendly and most people on other boats gave a wave (if a woman) or a nod of the head (if a bloke). People on other hire craft were unfailingly friendly and smiley but the same can’t be said for many of those with their own boats. But I guess many of them especially in Horning / Wroxham see us as city folk /weekenders / once a year's as an irritation with out clunky old boats and poor mooring ability - still a smile or wave costs nothing.

I think that any advice I would give other newbies would be as follows:

Dont worry about not being able to moor without having 2 or 3 goes at first- practice makes perfect and others will always help to tie you up as you struggle with the controls! - by Wednesday, even I was mooring side and stern on without a problem and without nearly putting holes in either the quay or boat! Smile

Don't try to cover too much ground - I think the most we did in one day was around 5 or 6 hours and some days were just a few hours.  Broads holidays are for relaxing and enjoying the scenery and peace and quiet - well, we think so anyway!

Plan where you want to go and when especially if you want to go across Breydon Water.

Get off the beaten track and down some of the narrow dykes - some great places to moor and chill out.

Get up real early if you can - the peace and quiet and sun rises are amazing and worth a few yawns later in the day.

Stay up and look at the stars - the views from the Stracey Arms were incredible - being from London it certainly shows what we are missing!

I'm sure we'll be back at some point in the future!

Cheers,

Richard & Annie

steve
Sep-13-2005 @ 8:34 PM                           Permalink
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hi richard + annie ,
glad you had a good time ,enjoyed reading your post,
im glad you hilighted an early morning cruise ,on my breaks there i always do 1/2 early morning starts and as you said see the beauty before the rush starts ,
cheers

steve and vicky

therotman
Sep-13-2005 @ 9:31 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Richard & Annie,
Glad you enjoyed your recent holiday, being first timers is part of the fun you make your mistakes we all do but its all part of the enjoyment. that and the
ability to get back to nature makes us return time after time watch out its a drug.
                   regards

Len Collins

lovejoy54
Sep-14-2005 @ 2:30 AM                           Permalink
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that was a great holiday story thanks for posting it

roy haslam

Swordfish
Sep-14-2005 @ 2:47 AM                           Permalink
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Nice read Richard & Annie, glad to hear you enjoyed your holiday.. Smile

Paul

Richard
Sep-14-2005 @ 2:54 AM                           Permalink
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what a lovely read !

Broads01
Sep-14-2005 @ 11:34 PM                           Permalink
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Richard & Annie - a good read thanks - always good to read deatiled holiday reports.

Alas the advice you received about mooring up early was right some 20 or 30 years ago but now only applies to the busy spots. There's stilla myth (even amongst boaters) that the Broads is an overcrowded place - not so. Depends where you want to moor - stay off the beaten track & you can moor any time you like - even in peak season - especially if you're prepared to moor in boatyards.

Simon


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