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Mon, 11 Apr 2016 7:20 am BST- Light Rain
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Wind 2.0 mph @ 40°
48.0°F/8.89°C Humidity 93% Pressure 29.65 (S)

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Dylly
May-08-2013 @ 11:35 AM                           Permalink
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Excellent tale of daring do! I was just wondering what the wine to diesel consumption ratio is?

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fidear45
May-08-2013 @ 11:50 AM                           Permalink
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To be honest we only drank three bottles the whole weekend. But I suppose when I say it like that its a lot.

We had way more tea than wine. Real booze cruisers we weren't.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

BroadAmbition
May-08-2013 @ 6:18 PM                           Permalink
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Another great write up.

Very enjoyable,


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9

Mirage
May-08-2013 @ 6:55 PM                           Permalink
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A Great tale Martin, sorry you weren't able to come along side in Ranworth for a natter.

See you on the river soon
Simon


The Corsicans
Simon & Sonia + Dylan the
Dorg.
"There's a whole new day
tomorrow that hasn't started
yet"


This message was edited by Mirage on May-9-13 @ 12:50 PM

daviddownunder
May-09-2013 @ 5:49 AM                           Permalink
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G'Day Martin

Nice write up

Hopefully we will see Malanka out and about when we are back over in early July

Regards
Dave Downunder

fidear45
May-13-2013 @ 11:33 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Dave,

Hope so too, post your details when you have them and we'll see if we can match up.

Ok coming up in the next episode, the missing boat, the creepy wet shed, night nav down the Ant and mayhem in Horning. All I have to do is write it all down. Just returned last night at 10:45pm, we had a super time, kids came too, but no Boris..

First up the missing boat...

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

fidear45
May-13-2013 @ 2:19 PM                           Permalink
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Wednesday 8th May “The Missing Boat”

Being based in Belgium has some distinct advantages, notwithstanding the weather which as a Brit I can honestly say is truly beastly. One such advantage is the month of May, not only do we get paid twice in May but we also have three bank holidays and an enforced bridging day. This means that Norfolk is our second home in the month of May and HMRC starts to get a bit twitchy for the number of days in country in only the second month of the tax year.
Ascension day is a holiday all over Europe and so Wednesday after work was going to be mayhem on the roads, I was not to be disappointed but the traffic was nothing we hadn’t planned for or could cope with by having flexible plans. Add in the bridge day on Friday, Saturday then Sunday and a glorious four day break was set up beautifully. The forecast for Lowestoft was poor but we set off full of hope that this weekend would confound the Met Office as much as every other one seems to these days. (I was tempted to leave my auto-corrected version of “Met Orrifice” in there as it more closely sums up their current standing and performance, but I digress)

Journey to Calais was boring, the car knows its own way there by now. We arrived with time to spare and so decided to avail ourselves of the offer on the wine that I mentioned from a few weeks ago. It’s still 6 bottles for 16 Euros and so fully stocked with chocolate, wine and other essential food groups we set off for England.

Our preferred method of travel torture that is the UK major road system was to be the A12 this time. Those of you familiar with these tails will of course realize this heralds a stop at the Chip Inn Long Stratton (it even has its own website). The choices had been the Oasis (Stalham), the Chinese take away (Stalham), Tesco warm them up yourself meals from Blue Boar lane 24hr establishment (Chinese or Indian), or the marvelous “we cook in beef dripping”, Chip inn (Long Stratton).  

With our train times the only difficulty I foresaw is that on Wednesdays the place closes its doors at 21:30hrs. Patricia (the navigation lady with the sexy voice) informed me that it would be a tight squeeze but if we could average 80kph (50mph) we should make it with time to spare.

Well I didn’t want to deprive the kids of their chips and so with Patricia’s help we pressed on in the hope of some crisp golden chips with real malt vinegar and a very unhealthy splash with the salt dispenser.

I have described the chips before, so needless to say we made it and I just had to force down a steak and kidney pie to go with the crisp sizzling golden brown chips.

Food break over we headed for Stalham and the waiting old lady. We had arranged (or so we thought) for Phil to leave Malanka at Moonfleet after they had finished with the latest bit of work to the windscreen and wheelhouse roof.
For whatever reason and it really doesn’t matter as we had a fine time anyway we thought we had one arrangement and Phil thought he had another, namely that we were arriving on Friday. Needless to say we arrived, negotiated the locked gate and parked ready to transfer all our weekend stuff to the boat. I must admit to actually walking the full length of the quay heading twice before the obvious began to sink in, the boats not here!
Ah bother dash, its 10:15 and this means Malanka is in the wet  shed. Anyone remember the gate combination lock number by any chance? After we had all shaken our heads a few times we realized we could be sleeping in the car unless we could ask someone we knew the code, who knew us, would still be awake on a work day night  and would tell us the code to let us in.  

Fiona texted Griff who didn’t answer for a while then replied Who RU? Before she could answer that and while Griff was formulating his text Fiona had called our friends the Corsicans, who saved our bodies from an uncomfortable night in the car by telling us the code. Whilst we were unloading the car Fiona was speculating how many Fionas Griff had to have on the go at once as there was obviously more than just her!!
A few amusing minutes followed until we twigged that Griff was being an upright citizen and not just giving out the lock code to any Tom, Dick or Fiona. So whilst we continued to chuckle to ourselves about that one, we settled into the spooky mausoleum that is the wet shed at night. I went down into the saloon and was met by several glum faces, hunched shoulders and one hopeful face. “do we have to stay here, its creepy”? Said Helena. Er, well no we don’t I thought, we could go down to Barton or somewhere and get out of the creepy place.
Just a few minor issues, or as I like to call them, opportunities! Its dark, I have never taken Malanka out of her new Bay in the shed (she was moved a few weeks ago) and her new neighbor is a big old beautiful woody that goes by the name of Broad Ambition.
So decision made we were leaving the set of the incredible Dr Phibes (Hammer house of horror) that is the wet shed at night and we were heading into the darkness and a night navigation down the Ant (another first), destination Barton Turf.
Some minor maneuvering and we slipped out of the shed with just the navigation lights and instruments illuminated. The light reflecting from the green starboard light was sufficient for me to see the bank as the night was cloudy and almost moonless. The biggest aid to navigation was in fact the light pollution reflecting from Norwich on the underside of the cloud filled sky.  Using the orange glow I was able to pick out all the expected twists and turns quite easily and soon began to enjoy myself in a slightly tense kind of way.
All too soon or maybe soon enough for my equilibrium the entrance to Barton Turf was on the starboard side and we entered the last part of our evenings adventure, mooring in the dark.

The first and last time I had done a night navigation we had moored in Ranworth on the staithe, right next to a boat with more LEDs inside than Blackpool on a Friday night during the illuminations. Barton Turf I thought was going to be different. As is not uncommon I was totally wrong and the bright floodlight in the boatyard illuminated everything very well, the only problem was that if we couldn’t moor up and had to go somewhere else my night vision was now totally gone.
As these things have a way of working out , so it was on this occasion, a free spot just big enough for us was available on the end by the pathway. I didn’t want to moor too near anyone else as this was by now 23:15 and very late, and I didn’t want to disturb the sleeping as no lights were showing in the boats moored there when we arrived. Externally Malanka is very quiet (yes she is Jason) with just the little bark of the exhaust to record our passage. So slowly, and without any loud noises we moored at Barton Turf and immediately shut down the engine and relaxed. The two boys were magnificent and did their jobs in total silence. The boat behind us briefly twitched the rear door curtains, but no complaints received and an apology the next morning to the lady from the boat behind revealed she didn’t hear us very much. Job done.

More to come…      


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

BroadAmbition
May-13-2013 @ 6:23 PM                           Permalink
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Night nav-ing the Ant - Well done, now you can do it times many (Assuming it's not foggy - I've done it at night in the fog and it's proper hard work)

The phone txting thing, I'm with 'EE' (used to be Orange) if my mobile is downstairs it doesn't get a signal unless I'm in t back garden or the path next to the front road, neither venue is often exercised at that time of night I have to say.

It does get a signal if I'm upstairs in our 'new office' (Redundant bedroom).  By chance, late on that evening I had taken the mobile up to said new office and then rxv'd Fiona's txt.  Only cause numpty rowlocks here has not put yours or Fiona's numbers in my phone all I got was a request for the code.

That's why I asked 'U R'? still not convinced when the reply 'Fiona' came back as I do know a few 'Fiona's' and it could have been any Tom, Dick or Fiona chancing it as you correctly stated.  My mobile number is out there on various websites, advertising mediums, van etc etc.

Once I realised (Via another txt to a third party) the request was cosher I felt a bit of a heel to be honest. Anyroadup it won't happen again as both numbers now in phone with names too, which is a bonus!

As for the wet-shed being creepy - Not for moi, I've spent dozens of nights in there, often on my tod and I kinda like the near-silence, both the resident otter and kingfishers have scared the hell out of me as much as I've scared them on occasions I have to admit.

Anyway - on with the tale please,


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

www.grifftile.co.uk    DN9


This message was edited by BroadAmbition on May-13-13 @ 6:25 PM

fidear45
May-14-2013 @ 12:56 PM                           Permalink
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We awoke to bright sunshine and the prospect of a lovely day. We returned to Moonfleet for a top up with stinky fuel and a chit chat with Phil about the ongoing work the lads are doing. The crew sauntered off to Tesco and the high street butcher where an appointment with two pork and chili jam pies was on the cards. I asked the guys in the yard to help me put Mini back in the water then rowed her round to the stern of Malanka opposite the day boat shed. I emptied out all the leaves and other wind-blown detritus and proceeded with much joy and glee to wipe off a weeks-worth of accumulated goose and duck poop.

Before too long the crew returned with the booty from their shopping trip and we decided to pootle off and enjoy the day. Before we left we decided to drop the top and head down river topless. In the past this has proven to be an event worthy of Olympic status in the class of the middle-weight  weight lifting variety. However since the replacement of the top with a new one by the guys at the yard the top is now significantly lighter and whilst not a joy to handle it is now merely slightly inconvenient rather than a pain in the posterior. However by now the wind was picking up and we decided that not dropping the top would be the wisest choice. So with top up, food stowed away and a cup of steaming rosey in my hand, we head of down- river with the intention of eventually making it to the Wroxham hotel where we have reserved a mooring for the evening. With the reserved mooring in the bag we didn’t mind how long it took or what happened to delay us on the way we were just enjoying the trip.

The clouds were rushing by and the wind was picking up in intensity as we made it to the entrance to Barton Broad, there were white caps on the broad and crossing in the face of a very stiff breeze directly on the bow led to an interesting few minutes. The waves were crashing against Malanka’s bow and the spray was leaping out to the sides of the boat in a great plume of white frothiness. Occasionally there was a bigger wave and a cooperative gust of the by now howling gale and the white frothiness would splash spectacularly against the windscreen and run down in tiny droplets as the spray met the rain-ex coated screen in a primeval battle of nature versus technology. As the droplets dried in the gale I remarked to the crew that the water seemed to be quite sandy and a muddy colour when dried onto the screen. I made a mental note to wash the screen before attempting to remove the droplets lest I scratch the newly fitted panes of crystal clear unmarked glass. By How Hill the wind had abated somewhat although our experiences so far this season indicated that the wind would return in full measure in the lower reaches of the Ant. Mast thingy dropped and Ludham bridge dealt with we tooted a joyful greeting to the hard at work and very talented eager beavers that is the crew at LBBY.  

As predicted the gale returned in full measure and we entered the Bure with a veritable hooley blowing. Our previous experiences with a gale of this strength and this direction indicated that the proposed stop in Ranworth for a liquid lunch was not going to be the option of choice today and that a gentle cruise to our intended destination would be just fine.
Fiona and I had an appointment to keep in Wroxham and so we just kept going and without any incidents or accidents we arrived in Wroxham at just after three pm. There seemed to have been a slight miscommunication as the name on the chalk board was correct and the date was correct although the length of the boat at 30ft was a tad short. Normally this would not have worried me, but with the hooley blowing and a Monster 48ft Brinks Emperor (beautifully moored by forum member Boat Mad, the man in the pink shirt) in the remaining space on the hotel mooring this was going to be tight. I need not have worried as Boat Mad seeing our arrival, had kindly come out to offer assistance and move his mooring line to another ring to help us squeeze in and get settled. With Malanka’s transom exactly level with the end of the mooring and the day boats able to get in and out we had to find a home for Mini.

We moored Mini alongside Malanka on the port side and attached two bow lines and a stern line to prevent her swinging about and getting in the way. With extra fendage deployed we registered our presence with the nice lady in reception and decided to use the electric hook up and settle in for the evening. Fiona and I headed off for our appointment and left Malanka in the care of the younger crew members whose focus for the moment was on ipads, computers and nintendo this and that. One consequence of this focus on modern technology was that the Trip boat close encounter recorded via the webcam in another thread on the forum was completely missed by the resident and obviously not paying attention crew. Our attention was drawn to the close encounter by Charlie the Mod who sent us a text message asking if we had seen it.
We hadn’t seen it but a quick look at the fendage and Mini was all it took to see that there had been no contact and what looked really spectacular on the webcam had been good helm skill by the trip boat skipper. That moment of excitement over we settled down to enjoy some Blossom Hill rose and watch the world go by.
Our food choices in Wroxham were of course very extensive, although the selected establishment (the Thai place behind the hotel) turned out to be currently closed for renovations, and so the Chinese across the road and the new fried chicken place next door were selected to provide the sustenance for the evening.

We collected menus from both places and settled down in the wheelhouse to make our selections and plan the feast in true Malanka style. Selections made and transferred to paper, three crew members were dispatched to go and fetch the evening’s culinary delights. Helena stayed behind to prepare the table and I decided to sit down and have another glass of wine. In a moment of sheer madness I put down my wine and went to see if we had retained the soy sauce from last season. Whilst rummaging around under the sink to find the aforementioned sauce in a plastic box at the back of the cupboard, made me realize Fiona’s idea of pull-out shelves with an automatic light was not such a  flight of unnecessary fancy as I had at first supposed.
Putting such thoughts aside for now, I warmly greeted the returning crew and the steaming piles of lovely aromatic food being opened and placed onto the table prepared by Helena. We had decided to use the table as a buffet bar and each help ourselves to whatever we fancied from the veritable cornucopia of delights in front of us. We then all retired to the wheelhouse to munch, slurp and enjoy the food.

I have to report that the Chinese food was superb, freshly cooked and not at all greasy, the fried chicken was superb and also very plentiful. All in all a good selection the whole crew enjoyed. After a change of wine from pink to white, the day was drawing to a close and the fresh air and relaxation of being afloat in Norfolk was weaving its magic . We were tired, satisfied, and not a little sleepy and so not much after ten pm we closed the curtains on the world and departed to the land of nod to see what tomorrow would bring.

Friday morning brought the sound of a power washer removing goose poo but more on that later.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

fidear45
May-15-2013 @ 12:33 PM                           Permalink
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Friday 10th May

The sound of a pressure washer broke the mystery of a buzzing noise I was having in my morning dozy dream. I got up to put the kettle on and looked through the galley window and saw the Hotel patio being washed. I assume it was to remove the overnight bird poop, although this morning the entire patio was getting a wash, including the bits next to us. One consequence of the washing was that the atomized bits of dirt and poop were floating around the air and larger pieces flew through the air until they impacted a solid object. The solid object in question in front of the hotel patio would be the ex- pristine white painted flanks of Malanka.
After my mug of tea and having watched the cleaning of the patio I left the boat with Fiona  and headed out to Norfolk Marine to buy a new fire extinguisher and another one of those water boy “floaty thingies.” This one I have attached to the windlass handle just in case I drop it or it rolls of the decks into the water.

Having left the wheelhouse I glanced at the side of the boat to see what the impact of the power washing had been, and lo and behold the side of the boat was a mess of dirt, poo and soggy indescribable gunk, all stuck to the side of the boat. The bits not covered were obscured by the fenders, which were themselves covered in the same glop.
Oh well I muttered to myself as I approached the guy with the washer. “will you do me a favor mate”? I asked. “what’s that”? he replied. “Wash that stuff off the boat please”, I said as I pointed at the pebble dashed side of Malanka. “Oh, OK”, he said as he glanced up to see where I was pointing. The safety glasses he was wearing were covered in the same stuff and I don’t think he could actually see what the effect of the washing had been on the white side of Malanka until I pointed it out.

Anyway he was very good about it and did a fine job of patio gunk removal a few minutes later.
The plan was to head for Salhouse to have a mudweight breakfast, and so Fiona and I wandered round town for a while waiting for the shops to open, then nipped into the little supermarket behind the hotel to purchase some warm sausage rolls for the children to have as a biting on until we arrived at Salhouse where Christian was to provide breakfast. All the children were still soundly asleep and nothing short of a poke in the eye was going to wake them, especially not starting the engine, and moving off.  
We arrived in Salhouse to continuing glorious sunshine and dropped the weight and also the top of the boat to enjoy an alfresco brunch.
After food we topped up the water at the mooring and chatted to Holly (she’s the one who used to wear the hat all the time, and falls out of trees) who collects the fees and looks after the canoes. The plan was not to go anywhere specific today but to end up in Horning so I could treat Fiona and the children to dinner in the Swan. During our chat the sun ran away to be replaced with dark rainclouds that did what rain clouds do and deposited way too much precipitation for us to leave the top down so we heaved it back up again. Of course immediately we had done that the sun pulled its Norfolk trick and chased the clouds away again so it was now quite warm.

We decided we couldn’t be bothered with up down up down, so the top stayed up. One consequence of the tope being up and having canvas sides with clear panels is that the slightest sunlight and it heats up very quickly so our trip to Ranworth as an interim destination on the way back to Horning was just to have some fun and cruise up and down in the warm wheelhouse bathed in sunshine. Only when we opened the side to go through horning did the real temperature of the wind make its presence felt. It was freezing.  
We stopped in Ranworth for a couple of hours or so, and had a lovely drink and chat with the host in the newly renovated Maltsters. After drinks we bought some ice creams in the shop and decided to head back to Horning to enjoy a lazy afternoon not doing a great deal.

When we arrived in Horning there was a public mooring spot available and Fiona initially insisted we moor there as it would be easier to access the pub as she didn’t fancy rowing across in the dark. So we moored up and stood there whilst I scratched my head and muttered to myself that mooring here would be against my better judgment. The look on my face must have spoken volumes as Fiona then asked me if I wanted to stay here. “Er no not really” was my reply. It was going to get really busy later and I would rather not have the concern of being there. “I would rather be over there”, and I pointed to the island. Reluctantly Fiona agreed and we then moved again over to the island and immediately noticed the relative calm in which we now found ourselves, out of the way and out of the biting wind too.

After setting springs to avoid moving we settled down to an afternoon of chatting with the children and general family time which is one of the benefits of coming to Norfolk we really appreciate. A chance to sit down as a family and lark about, chat and generally be a family together and actually enjoy being a family.

After a while we all sort of drifted off to do our own thing and mine was to sit on the coach house roof with a cushion and sun bed thingy and sip wine and talk with Justin.   We were relatively wind free and the sun on us was very comforting and quite warm. It soon became apparent to both Justin and myself that moving was a very fortuitous thing to have done. The spot where we had been was now filled with a Herbert woods boat that had drawn the attention of a large cruiser full of young men who were seeking somewhere to moor for the evening. After several bow in attempts the purpose of which escaped both Justin and myself the skipper of the large cruiser then decided that stern mooring into the dinghy access quay would be a good plan. The poor herby woods boat thus was hit by the bow of the other cruiser several times, sufficient for it to move to the extent permitted by the mooring lines (about half a metre), then the skipper returned and attempted to more stern on in the same location with the same result for the moored boat, which now was straining at the mooring lines due to the pressure from the bigger craft.
I drew the attention of the boat to the fact that parallel mooring only was permitted and that they could double moor to any of the already moored craft. After again ramming the Herbert woods boat in the attempt to get out of the dinghy quay I asked them how they would feel if that moored boat was their car in a Tesco car park. Would they be happy that someone did to them what they had just done.   A sunglasses and beer bottle equipped oxygen thief then responded that they “stayed away from the boat and never came near it”. Such patent lies from one adult to another simply disgusts me and whoever it was should quite simply grow up.

I have no idea of the damage done but each whack was quite firm and audible to the entire community looking on. The crew left the area only to return half an hour later and moor quite responsibly alongside the pub next to the steam boat. They were accompanied in this by sister boat who double moored with them. There were no collisions or fuss and so I surmise that either the helm had changed or was taking this mooring lark a bit more seriously than thirty minutes beforehand.

More sitting in the sun followed and this eventually came to an end when the sun slipped below the trees and the temperature began to drop in preparation for the evening. Justin and I had earlier rowed across to the pub and booked a table for 20:15 so with hair brushed, clothes primped and aftershave applied we rowed across to the pub at 19:45 in preparation for our dinner. Unfortunately someone (me) had forgotten my reading glasses without which I cannot see my dinner, so while the rest of the family sat in the garden and ordered their drinks I rowed back and retrieved my glasses from the boat. I assume Fiona had ordered the drinks from a trainee as drinks arrived at the same time as I did when I returned with my glasses. The fact of which I found quite amusing.

Dinner in the pub is by reservation and is full table service. It is also very good, the service is excellent and so is the ambience and the food. We had a great time and the bill was not very large at all considering what we had and how much fun it was.

We rowed back across the river in the dark and sat in the cosy wheelhouse for a while and chatted about this and that, but too soon the eyelids began to droop and it was bedtime.

Tomorrow we planned to head back to Salhouse for breakfast then cruise up to Acle for dinner, but today had been a great day.

N.B Life jackets were worn for all rowing maneuvers….  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

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