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Posted By Discussion Topic: Malanka 1953 - present

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Malanka 1953 - present| Malanka 1953 - present| Hearts Cruisers - Queen of Hearts Y408 - 1953| The 1953 Floods| First Overnight Cruise with Malanka|

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fidear45
May-31-2012 @ 2:14 PM                           Permalink
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A “hot’” weekend in May.
We had planned this year to really make an effort to get out and enjoy the boat more than we managed last year. Unfortunately so far the enjoyment of our voyages with regard to the weather  had not really extended to more than observations of steaming hail and late night wild hoolie winds.
This weekend which for us started on the 26th May was going to be different. The forecast was for reasonable temperatures in the early twenties during the days and mid-teens at night, nothing unusual in this you might say except that these minimum night time temperatures were the maximum we had experienced only a few days before. So it was with high expectations that Fiona myself and the very lucky Boris set off on another drive to Calais. As usual we expected to arrive at the Chunnel terminal  roughly two hours after leaving, however,  also as usual this was a tad over optimistic. Queueing through the traffic, Boris was enjoying his freedom of three complete seats to himself and was enjoying sticking his head out of the window to sniff the passing countryside smells.

We arrived in Calais and proceeded to the pet control point, with Boris bouncing along beside us Fiona and I entered the office and waited our turn. After a brief review of the documents and discovery that the expiry dates for the inoculations Boris had received had not been entered into the passport! Fiona and I looked at each other filled with a sense of trepidation as we have in the past encountered jobs-worths in this very office who held us up for at least an hour because she couldn’t understand that Scooby, our other Airedale, was born in Germany and now lived in Belgium so all the vaccination data was in the German doggy passport and not the Belgian one

Our trepidation was misplaced as the very kind gentleman just asked us to make sure they were added for next time. Relief all round we headed to the check in area. We checked into our planned departure and the adventure really became real for us as we were waived directly into the queue for the train.
A mild delay of 20 or so minutes did not dampen our spirits, and in no time at all we were crossing under  the Thames via the Dartford Tunnel.

The navigation lady whom we call Patricia for no particular reason was today advising that the M11 was heavy and the A12 would be the preferred option. No stresses or strains we entered Norfolk and headed as quickly as I could for Long Stratton, the reason being there is a very good chippy there called the Chip Inn, and it closes at 22:00 on a Friday. Complying with the relevant speed limits in their entirety we arrived in Long Stratton at 21:54 and Fiona jumped out and placed our order just in time to get locked in with some rather unsavoury looking types swearing like troopers about this or that perceived defect in the respective management at their individual places of employment.

Boris was busily hoovering up the various chips and other edible items scattered about outside the chippy and normally this would have warranted a reprimand from me as bad behaviour, however, the chips looked fresh, I was starving and wouldn’t have said no to eating them myself I was that desperate, so I let him carry on and clean up the chip spillage.
Two bags full of pie and chips later, much fatter and very contented we headed off to Blue Boar lane 24hr tesco for some late night shopping.
The temperature was chilly but promised much for tomorrow, so I played the game of how many ladies will talk to me if I stand outside the tesco with a good looking furry dog as companion? As usually happens this was any number you like more than if I had been hanging around outside by myself when I would more than likely been arrested.

Fiona eventually returned, this was a long(ish) time as Fiona never, ever rushes shopping, even tesco at 23:25 at night. We all got in the car and headed to Moonfleet to see if our new cooker we had briefly discussed with Phil had indeed been fitted. To our immense surprise and relief this was yes, it looked nice….Sorry folks it’s a cooker and I can’t get all worked up about it.
For an even greater surprise there was a note pinned to the chopping board from Toby our guardian angel from our first cruise with Malanka. “I have fitted the cooker tonight for you and put some Milk for some tea in the fridge and turned it (the fridge) on for you.” "Wow this was going that extra mile or what” we remarked, then we noticed the little extra bit underneath. Toby wrote ”if I had just driven for 8 hours I would want something more than tea after that long journey so I put two cold beers in the fridge for you as well.” Well we were stunned, just wow is all we could say….WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

We quickly unpacked, made up the bed and headed for the land of nod at rapid speed.
The morning dawned very early with ducks and geese making their usual racket and that blasted sun which was turning Malanka’s wheelhouse into a greenhouse.  Not wishing to resemble a tomato so early in the weekend I immediately opened the canvas sides and pinned them back. This was to remain the case for the entire long weekend.
After a quick chat with Toby and Phil to say thanks, and a visit to the high street butcher for some delicious pork and chilli jam pies (try them they are scrummy), we headed downriver and an anticipated meet up with the Corsicans at St Bennets for a doggy play with Dylan the dawg.
The river we noticed was very low, the barometer was reading fair which translates to hot most days and there were few other boats out (Sat26th) so early on. Approaching one third of the way across Barton  I noticed a rather fetching barge with two folks sitting out the back with mugs of tea and newspapers deployed. This was Mal (16E) and Grebe, much waving ensued and we tried to outdo each other with the vigorousness of the waving. Too quickly Grebe was behind us and we entered the lower Ant, approaching Ludham the level guage was saying over 9 feet of clearance which I had not seen for a long time so we pootled on through with no drama, no intakes of breath and only a few surprised looks from spectators expecting a disaster as we approached the bridge with the canopy up.

Soon Bennets was in sight and there was Sonia on the rear of Corsica polishing the windows. A brief mooring manoeuvre completed in a quite tricky breeze(well done Fiona and Simon) the doggies met, sniffed then galloped up and down until it was time to leave for South Walsham broad, our intended destination for a picnic lunch under the trees.
  
We entered the broad and headed to the right to get a little shade and also be out of the wind, on the left just before the entrance to the shallow section there is a little stand of trees that provided perfect conditions of wind and shade. I dropped the plug and Simon glided alongside in Corsica did the same and then we made fast the two boats with lines both fore and aft.
We had a lovely lunch of pies, salad, ham, coleslaw and some delicious Olive bread all washed down with generous glasses of Pinot Gringot……Dolly I know that’s not how you spell it. That’s how we say it ……

We stayed there for what seemed like only  a short time but was in fact several hours then decided to un-plug and head for Salhouse for a barbeque and a play on the beach with the woofers.
The Bure was sparkling as we made our way to Salhouse, Horning looked lovely in the sunshine and we briefly toyed with the idea of a pub meal at the New Inn. Idea quickly rejected we wanted a barbeque with all the lovely stuff we had bought that morning in Stalham. As it turned out that wasn’t necessary as Sonia had made the most delicious barbeque flavour  belly pork and so that was washed down later with more Pinot.
We had a lovely early evening walk with the dogs and a chat with many new people including some famous broads personalities out sampling the lovely weather for a rare day off.
The evening lead inevitably to night, Sonia went for a lie down and we knew we had lost her for the rest of the evening. Simon stayed with us to chat a while in the wheelhouse but the drive and the end of the week had caught up with us all and Sonia had the right idea and she was soon joined in the land of nod by the rest of us.

Sunday dawned very brightly and very early and the new cooker boils the kettle in 3 minutes now so it was shower first and tea later. Sonia provided a delicious breakfast of sausages in rolls with butter and brown sauce…. Mmmm what more can you ask than that?
Simon and Sonia had to get back home to finish off some work and so Fiona and I decided to pootle over to Womack later via a leisurely trip to Wroxham. The idea being to arrive in Womack and then sit out the day in the sun and enjoy the sunset. We decided to wave maniacally at the webcams as we passed just in case anyone was watching. It seems they were and few texts informed us we had been spotted being a bit loony like …

On leaving Wroxham we were approached rapidly from astern by two Richos boats with all male crews who all seemed pretty chilled, all that is except the helm of one of the boats who was addicted to ramming speed followed by slow, slow followed by ramming speed again. This wasn’t giving me any cause for concern until we passed the first entrance to Salhouse on our return journey and a privateer was emerging from the broad with Mr ramming speed very close to our transom and another hire boat passing us in the opposite direction. I couldn’t stop suddenly or Mr ramming speed would be enjoying a close view of our newly fitted cooker in the galley, I couldn’t go left as the other hire boat was there, I couldn’t go right as there was the ice cream boat serving a customer and the privateer was slowly emerging and had not yet seen us. I was left with little choice other than to accelerate out of the way of Mr ramming speed and get clear just in case the emerging boat did not see us. Fortunately for us he did see and did stop but by then we were flashing past his bows with bow wave splashing in all our glory. His face was a picture as he saw us pass but I did wave if only to say “yes I know it’s too fast but it was an emergency”.
  
A little way down the river Mr ramming speed surged past us in the 5mph zone just before Horning and I politely pointed out that “if you are passing me you are speeding.”    He didn’t slow and eventually pulled onto the Island just opposite the Swan Inn.
Fiona and I were enjoying the cruise through Horning and onto cockshoot when we spotted the ranger boat lurking with speed gun in hand. I decided to ask how quickly we were in fact travelling at the 800 revs we were using as we cruised past. “A little over 4mph” was the answer which considering that was with tide but against the wind was a reasonable speed. I hoped Mr ramming speed would get a different answer.

A short distance further down the river we saw Corsica on her way back to the shed at a lazy crawl. She looked magnificent in her new paint job and Simon and Sonia were taking their time getting back to the shed. Who can blame them the day was perfect.

Arriving in Womack, we had our choice of mooring spots and chose well to be not too near the water point, or too near the end near the car park. All settled in we sat on the coach house roof drinking Pinot, chatting with the neighbours and thinking what to do for a late lunch. After a brief discussion the Kings Arms it was, so we set off for the pub with Boris in tow too.  
Lunch was about three pm so more of an early dinner perhaps but hey we didn’t care. Boris had a packet of plain crisps, I had a delicious Normandy Chicken and Fiona had the biggest chicken burger with salad I have ever seen. Having fed the hungry beast, had a pint of Wherry and a nice walk into and back from the village, we settled back onto the coach house roof to wile-away the remainder of the day in a stunning setting with stunning weather and some very nice neighbours.

Before the sun disappeared for the night we decided to cook the remaining barbeque food and eat some now and some on the journey home tomorrow. Mr Weber was employed and soon the aromas of cooking food were wafting over from the grass under the trees where I had set up the barbeque. Does anyone else remember when cars did not drive down past the rear of the boats near the mooring rings? This seems to me a silly thing to allow them to do as 1. There is a road they can use. And 2. It makes it quite difficult to sit out at the back of the boat with cars creeping past air conditioning blazing away. Kind of breaks the tranquillity a little bit.
It doesn’t matter I suppose as we moved to the top of the boat after dinner but it is off putting to have cars so close when you are sitting on a chair.
Eventually the sun set on the end of another beautiful day and Fiona and I remarked that we had forgotten how lovely days like this can be after so many recent days with rain and cloudy skies.

Tomorrow we would pack up and return to the wet shed to leave Malanka for a few weeks before returning for some longer breaks and some sailing with Minimal….
The journey back was slow and uneventful only remarkable as we were so sad to be leaving on such a glorious day. We stopped by the reception at Richos and said hello and paid the invoice for the shed. Then off to Belgium it was.

I was going to add here how Eurotunnel cocked up the train loading and bumped us from the front of the queue to miss the train altogether due to their complete and utter incompetence. But I wont….

                     THE END…..


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on May-31-12 @ 2:47 PM

16E
May-31-2012 @ 3:01 PM                           Permalink
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Nice one Martin.  Thanks for the previous reference to the damage on yourshake-down trip. I had remembered the electrical failures but forgotten the collision incident.

Barge, Barge what's a Barge.  Narrowboat please.  I might even accept floating corridor.



Mal
16E

I am always amazed at the theraputic properties of chocolate digestives.

fidear45
May-31-2012 @ 3:30 PM                           Permalink
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I did say rather fetching barge.. I had completely forgotten they are called narrowboats too.. And me a Rochdale lad....Shame of it..

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

gramarg
May-31-2012 @ 3:54 PM                           Permalink
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Nice one mate glad you had good weather,the hound sounds as though he had a good time especially at the chippy, hope to meet up sometime take care for now.

Graham

YO30
Member of cider lovers united
Forum quiz winner x 3

16E
May-31-2012 @ 4:20 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Martin,

I suspected you were a Lancs lad when the word barge appeared, it's because you lived around the Rochdale Canal or Leeds Liverpool Canal where the boats are usually referred to as barges.  Leeds and Bradford folk also use barge a lot.  You only get a narrow canal from Ashton via Staleybridge Uppermill and Diggle to Huddersfield but to us old uns those places are Cheshire and Yorkshire in old county terms.

Mal
16E

I am always amazed at the theraputic properties of chocolate digestives.

fidear45
May-31-2012 @ 5:35 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Mal,

Dad was a Lancashire lad who married a Yorkie (Billingham and Harrogate don't you know). I remember the Rochdale canal when it was the resting place for bikes and shopping trolleys and before they had raised all the bridges back up so the boats could then use it again.I even helped clear one section in 1975 when I was 13...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

turnoar
May-31-2012 @ 10:50 PM                           Permalink
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http://www.arnoldskeys.co.uk/about-us/

Aboat ur Fidear45; unmastakable. Buoying or sailing? At AK they have a propellor to suit you sir!

fidear45
Jun-01-2012 @ 8:27 AM                           Permalink
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Sorry turnoar,

I didn't pass or even take the civil service exams that's way too cryptic for me.

Now who owns the zebra???



Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

Maffman100
Jun-01-2012 @ 10:13 PM                           Permalink
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Martin,

Allow me-I am a Civil Servant.

When you click on the link provided you get taken to said website. Sometimes said website has the picture of Malanka at Horning Staithe as posted above as it's "banner" picture on its homepage.

Matt

fidear45
Jun-02-2012 @ 2:21 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks Matt its on the HOME section...I hope they realise that the young lady stood next to the boat was in fact a minor at the time.

Curious as to why they would want to use the picture when I don't know them from adam.

As for civil service exams I would have failed miserably.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

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