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Posted By Discussion Topic: Malanka 1953 - present

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fidear45
May-16-2013 @ 1:49 PM                           Permalink
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Saturday 11th May

After a hearty breakfast in Salhouse with the now customary wheelhouse roof dance, we decided to leave roof up and cruise up to Acle and just enjoy the day. We set off from Salhouse and immediately picked up a BA river patrol in front of us. This was very welcome news to me as the previous day we had seen numerous day boats with huge wakes racing about here and there. So we settled in behind the patrol boat and quite contentedly pootled along at BA speed.  
It wasn’t long before the little red lollipop stick emerged from the patrol boat and was waved in front of a very crowded day boat with several bemused looking occupants obviously never expecting to be stopped by the rozzers so to speak. We cruised gently passed and alongside a single level design boat with effectively defective steering as it was wandering all over the place. The patrol boat had already had a word something along the lines of please steer a straight course and preferably on the right hand side of the river, however as soon as the BA patrol was behind them stopping and talking with the speeding day boat, the meandering started again.
It must have been something of a surprise for the gentleman helming the boat when the bow of Malanka appeared in his peripheral vision as the immediate response was to move violently over to the right hand side of the river where the rangers had asked him to be in the first place. At a steady 4mph we slowly passed the cruiser just before entering the 4mph section on the approach to Horning. The wind was still quite cool and so the sides were down and we were toasty warm in the wheelhouse. Just through Horning and past Cockshoot who should come steaming the other way but our friends the Corsicans, after executing a 180 degree turn and cruising alongside for a few moments we exchanged greetings and plans for the day and for made plans for Sunday morning sailing with Simon in Malthouse Broad. Another 180 degree turn and we were on our way again. Only a few minutes further down river and just before the turn into the Ant, we saw a rather dashing looking boat by the name of Brilliant with two occupants grinning from ear to ear obviously enjoying their lovely new shiny paint job and restoration miracle courtesy of the eager beavers at LBBY. Another 180 degree turn and poor Malanka was beginning to wonder where the heck we were taking her as we turned to catch up with Pauline and Phil for a quick chin wag and to say just how magnificent Brilliant looked on the water. Pauline decided that we needed to help with the Brilliant celebrations and so she passed two glasses (yes they were safe plastic ones) of Champagne over to Malanka as we ran alongside the gleaming Brilliant. The champagne was lovely and very quickly consumed, the glasses were passed back and after exchanging yet more oohs and aahs over the lovely Brilliant (she really does look good folks), we executed another 180 turn and once more set forth to Acle.
As you can see we weren’t actually making much progress towards Acle and lots of turning was actually quite fun. Anyway now we were on our way again and we would take our time and head steadily to Acle in anticipation of a lovely meal that evening.
We were just passing St Bennets when who did we see but Demerrara Born and his lovely lady wife accompanied of course by their not so fat Labrador (Jake). Ok so the gods were trying to tell us something by now as you can surmise. So another 180 and we decided to moor up and talk to our new old friends from a lovely afternoon in Womack Water. This time it turns out that they have friends over from New Zealand and so of course a tour of Malanka was called for. We had a lovely chit chat about not a lot and of course thoroughly enjoyed it. By this time we really had to be going and so with vague hopes of a meet up with Aubrey and friends this weekend on the cards we again performed another 180 and again headed towards Acle.

We arrived at Acle to find there was no room at the bridge and not very much room on the river bank mooring either. After a brief cruise down to Stokesby in the hope that someone would leave, we returned and still no room being available we decided to head for Womak Water as the weather was fast deteriorating and dark rain clouds were gathering above us. The boys on board wanted to watch the cup final and so too did dad, so we increased speed to the limit and headed back up the river. By the time we arrived in Womak the weather was once more blowing a hooley and so we wanted to moor in a relatively sheltered spot, luckily for us there were many mooring spots still available in the middle of Saturday afternoon.
Just after we had moored and secured Mini to the port side of us to prevent her floating about too much, two of the boats we had been hoping would leave Acle bridge appeared and wanted to moor next to each other in the space between us and the next boat to our port side. There were other options for mooring that would not have required me to don my storm coat and get soaked but having been asked nicely if I could move mini, who was I to be churlish and refuse, or offer alternative mooring options. So coat on I went outside to move mini to the bow position I really preferred not to use in such windy conditions. In the pouring rain I deployed extra fendage and hoped that she wouldn’t move too much in the gathering storm.

On our starboard side was a le boat cruiser which then moved closer to us, I presume to move out of the last thirty feet of the quay heading which in Womak that day was where the windy mooring spots were located. Having completed their move, this left a good 5 feet between them and us, the mooring rings defining where they could be. This then would be a good spot to slip mini back alongside and out of harm’s way.   So coat on again, out I went into the teeth of the howling gale to once more move mini. By now the rain was really coming down and my newly purchased extra grippy deck shoes were combining with the newly fitted trackmark to produce by far the best grip Malankas decks have seen the wet condition for many many years.  

After all this we then settled to watch the cup final in the vain hope that Wigan could turn over the big spenders of the premier league.

A few hours later and miracle achieved it was time for the pub. We had a fine meal in the Kings Arms as we knew we would have and retired early to bed in anticipation of a quiet Sunday morning cruise to Ranworth with the aim of meeting up with Simon to have a sail in Rondonnay.

Sunday dawned bright and not too breezy so a good day for sailing, we cruised to Ranworth and then pulled off an outrageous looking mooring maneuver to terminate stern on right up next to Simon after pulling a ridiculous 270 degree spin turn. This is Malankas party piece and I was so pleased to be able to show off just a little what and old woody can do.  

Simon and I had a delightful, if way too brief sail about Rondonnay. However time was not on our side and we had places to go and trains to catch and so we said goodbye (until next weekend) to Simon and Sonia and headed up the Ant to Stalham and home.
At Stalham we performed another first in putting Malanka into her new berth in the wet shed right next to BA, and so with this behind us, boat shut down, gas turned off and leccy connected we departed Stalham and headed home to Belgium. A brief stop off at Tesco to fill up with fuel and essential food supplies very expensive or not available in Belgium then off we went. It was 3pm.

We arrived back at our front door at 10:45pm tired but content in the memories of a fine weekend afloat.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

BroadAmbition
May-17-2013 @ 8:04 AM                           Permalink
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but content in the memories of a fine weekend afloat.

Me too after reading your write up.

Thanks


Griff

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Regulo
May-19-2013 @ 10:57 PM                           Permalink
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Martin,

Good to see you and crew on the river today (Sunday). Malanka looking grand, as usual. Impressed by your 180 degree, spin on the spot turns! I can do that, but only with the assistance of the bow-thruster.

Thanks for the warning about the yottie racers at Horning, we were on our way to Salhouse for lunch, but we stopped off at Cockshoot instead. Then we continued after, assuming (correctly) that the morning's racing would be over. Can do without that hassle!

Regards, Ray.

If it's neither here, nor there,
then where is it?

fidear45
May-21-2013 @ 10:33 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Ray,
It was good to see you too. We now enjoy the benefits of a perfectly balanced prop for the first time, so she stays on the straight and narrow now too.
Horning  was manic and quite a few inexperienced skippers were stopped mid river on the upstream approach to Horning wondering what to do. There were a goodly number of yachts out enjoying themselves and it was a magnificent sight. If a little (ok a lot) intimidating for the uninitiated.



Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

fidear45
May-21-2013 @ 2:16 PM                           Permalink
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Friday 17th May

This weekend was going to be a little different to our previous weekends this season as only one junior crew member would be with us and Boris the magnificent would be coming long too. One additional change to the normal routine would be the presence of Charlie, a forum friend and all around jolly good laugh. The older two crew members were staying home to study for their exams in June.
We had arranged for Charlie to help us out and “do the shopping thing” for us so we didn’t have to worry about it. Charlie thought this would be a good idea as it would allow her to arrive early miss all the traffic and also give her some time alone on Malanka so she could do the homework she would normally spend the weekend doing. So all round a win-win for everyone.

Those of you familiar with Malanka tales will know that things don’t always go according to plan, well this trip was going to be no different. This all started a few weeks ago when the head of our school asked me to participate as a parent advisor in the schools review of its five year strategic plan. This was quite a surprise as I had not up to this point taken much of an interest in things financial and strategic at the school. Never the less I was honored to be asked and agreed to participate.
Our first meeting was on Thursday 16th May from 5pm until 9pm and the second meeting was from 9am Friday until 5pm Friday afternoon. The time on Friday was going to cause us a problem to get to Malanka before midnight, which would be one am for us on CET. I need not have worried as the moderator lady from the International schools governing council was super- efficient and very centered on finishing at 15:30. So plans made, I turned up on Friday morning and the meeting went very well and we all had a good time during the meeting. The slight hiccough that was introduced into the proceedings was my phone vibrating with a call I just had to take.
“Justin has been hit on the head by a football” said Fiona. Oh I thought, that’s not unusual he is a boy after all. It started to be a bit more ominous when Fiona told me the school nurse had called her, and that Justin was seeing how he was and they would ring later with an update.  At 1pm Fiona called me to tell me that she was going to School to pick up the “bash on the head boy” as the school thought he should come home and we should watch for any signs of a possible concussion.  
Just the thing to start a 7 hour journey.
The precaution shown by the school was to their credit but Justin was fine if a little dazed at receiving a football, full force, directly in the face from only a few feet away. This had of course precipitated a full, both barrels nose bleed of the kind that Justin is only too familiar with from his already frequent nose bleeds. Fiona and I knew he had one earlier in the week and I know from personally having the same issue at the same age that two big ones in three days is not ideal, coupled with a footy ball to the beak and his week was complete. Anyway the point of all this was that Fiona’s and Justins preparation’s for the weekend was somewhat disrupted but they both came through and were outside the meeting venue promptly at 15:45. The only downside which emerged later was that in all the kerfuffle Fiona had forgotten to pack my shorts. I was inside waiting to be able to leave, the weather was simply horrible with heavy rain and dark skies everywhere so the shorts wouldn’t matter one way or the other, wellies would be more useful.
We updated Charlie with regular texts as we made our way to Calais, dog check in, then the QEII bridge and past various other landmarks on our journey. The effect of these updates was heard as I walked along the quay heading towards Malanka and heard the kettle just starting to boil! How’s that for timing?

Our food for the evening was to be Lasagne that we had made the day before and almost cooked, so some minutes in the oven with some tear and share bread, accompanied with some fresh salad and some nice pinot and we would be sorted.

Charlie helped us with the unloading and unpacking then we settled down to play catch up as we hadn’t seen each other since January. After a fair few minutes the smell from the kitchen was driving us into a frenzy of salivating and so we tucked in to dinner like starving men.
We had not had chips from the chip inn quite deliberately in an attempt to reduce the inevitable weight gain from the trip to manageable proportions. We were fairly certain the wine consumption would make up for any shortfall in calorific intake deficiency driven by the absence of chips and pie on Friday night.

Fiona and I have come to the inevitable conclusion that in the wine stakes Charlie is a bit of an expert, not that she falls over at the sniff of the barmaids apron, but quite the opposite in fact. Wine does not seem to have any discernible effect on her. This of course is rather disconcerting, when the same cannot be said for Fiona and myself. Later that evening after dinner, and probably half way through some important discussion on propellers or knot tying, we both suffered from wine induced narcolepsy. Honest your honor.

Saturday morning dawned to the sights and sounds of Boris recognizing exactly where he was and him wanting to go out, play fetch, walk about and generally strut his stuff in Stalham.  This kicked off at roughly 05:15, which translated to CET is his normal wake up time. I resisted the inevitable until 06:50 then gave in. Equipped with tennis ball and doggie poo bags by the score, I headed for the parking field over the road from Moonfleet to watch a loony airhead chase a ball about for half an hour. He loved it.
After bagging and binning the inevitable effects of the exercise we walked up and down the staithe as Boris was obviously still full of beans and I fancied going back to my toasty warm bed for a few more Zzzzs.

Charlie had last night volunteered to walk Boris the magnificent. When I had left the boat she was still soundly in the land of nod as evidenced by the lumberjack sounds emanating from the front cabin.

Our return to the boat woke everyone up but Boris decided he would like to have more sleep too and he fell under the Norfolk spell once more and nodded off to the sound of ducks and geese on the still mist covered river. I returned my soggy cold feet to my toasty warm duvet and shortly thereafter joined Boris and the rest of Malankas crew in enjoying the early Saturday morning from the inside of my eyelids.

What seemed like a few moments, but from the clock going tick tock on the cabin wall, was approximately 90 minutes later, sounds of rising were emerging from the front cabin and Boris was doing his best to con Charlie that he desperately needed to go out for another walk, play with his ball, and any other doggie type stuff he had missed the first time. I was sure there were some ducks he had ignored on hist first walk, that simply wouldn’t do! It doesn’t matter if he succeeded in his deception or not, or if Charlie just wanted to take him, but out he went for his second walk in less than two hours. A dog could get to like this you know.  

Charlie returned an hour later having circumnavigated the entire yard at Richardsons, and explored every quay, nook and cranny for interesting doggie smells.
The rest of the crew were emerging as Charlie returned and after very little fuss but several mugs of tea we headed into Stalham to visit the butcher for assorted porcine meat products we would need for the coming days. Boris came along too and so in a little over three hours he had three walks- a dog was liking this very much.
I stood outside the shop whilst the ladies decided which of the excellent options available we would be trying today. Boris was very interested in the contents of the shop and his nose was twitching like Tabitha from bewitched in a frenzy of spell making. One of the butchers announced they had marrow bones that Boris may like, and went away returning with a huge bone that whilst we were sure Boris would appreciate, we were equally sure the furniture and fittings inside the boat would not.

Fiona suggested they cut it in half and so equipped with human and doggie treats we headed back to Moonfleet.  
After returning to the boat and consuming his breakfast like it was the first one he had ever eaten, Boris nibbled at his bone for a few minutes then promptly flopped down on his wheelhouse doggie bed and proceeded to fall fast asleep. A state in which he remained for the remainder of the morning and most of the afternoon. This travel lark really takes it out of a dog you know…  

We put the food away, fetched mini from her location at the yard and decided to head off for a late brunch on the go and just set off and enjoy getting where we were going as slowly as possible.  We had plans to head for Horning and the Swan for dinner, but we didn’t care this is Norfolk and we were floating.

More to come including; night nav to Salhouse, raucous party boat and first time mudweighting.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

Charlie
May-21-2013 @ 6:11 PM                           Permalink
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Now hang on a minute...  Don't believe him please people there are a few small but significant inaccuracies here.

Firstly... I was not snoring! I was awake!

Secondly...My poor baby Boris clearly hadn't been walked properly.  This was obvious because he was soooo full of beans that it was completely necessary to check out the whole of Richardson's yard, count the boats being turned around, nosey in the back doors of those which were empty and visit the field twice.

And finally... The wine issue, I did drink less than them, I did manage to stay awake but ... I learnt from the best!   Playful Wink

Charlie

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fidear45
May-21-2013 @ 6:39 PM                           Permalink
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Hmmmmmmm


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

fidear45
May-22-2013 @ 3:27 PM                           Permalink
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Saturday 18th May

Setting off downriver with the Boris fast asleep on top of the engine compartment, a cup of tea in my hand and the lovely smell of breakfast emanating from the galley, along with suitable clanking and rattling noises reminded me of the gold blend adverts of years ago, you know the ones where they hid behind the curtains and make percolating noises. Fiona wasn’t making sizzling noises it was just a moment that passed through my mind as we glided softly down the river at a steady two donkey power, nothing at all in my head hence the gold blend moment.  

Today we were going to do something new for one of our crew members. In fact we were going to do three new things all in one day. We were going to have dinner in the Swan in Horning whilst mooring the boat on the Island, we were going to night navigate down to Salhouse after we had dinner, and we were going to drop the mudweight and stay mid-broad overnight (well slightly off to one side actually). All of these things would be firsts for Charlie, even after coming to the broads for the past 25 years and owning her own boat for the past ten years. Being based on the southern side means these opportunities are not always as easily achieved on the highly tidal and sometimes fast flowing regions of the southern broads.

So with these goals in mind and not really minding when we were going to arrive we just decided to head down and see what’s what when we got there. The weather was not stellar today, but a steady cool breeze with intermittent sunshine meant that the cruise down the Ant to Ludham and the cruise along the Bure to Horning was completely enjoyable, made even more so by the fact that I wasn’t at the helm. I was in fact sitting back with wine in hand totally enjoying the moment.
In fact the only time I did take the helm was on the approach to Ludham bridge as there were some rather uncertain maneuvers taking place in front of the bridge and three boats were queuing to go through. Justin had already dropped the mast thingy (silly mast thing in Charlie speak) and we were waiting our turn to go through the bridge, we watched the last in the queue of boats go through and just as they did I caught sight of a blue sea going vessel which was obviously over height approaching the bridge from the downstream side. We had our canopy up but as the gauge was reading over 9ft of clearance and we require 8 with the top up I was not concerned at all. The first boat to have gone through the bridge had moved to the right hand side of the river after transiting the bridge, just as one would expect. The second boat had followed suit on a slightly straighter trajectory and was moving very slowly but had completely cleared the bridge. By this time I could not see the blue sea going vessel at all. We sounded our merry toot and proceeded through the bridge, what we saw when we emerged on the other side was a scene of complete mayhem. Jason was just exiting his office with yellow jacket on and was attempting to direct the traffic and encourage  the second boat through the bridge to stop reversing back towards the bridge without looking what was behind,  which was us. The blue sea going vessel was on the far right hand side of the river and was nose to nose with the first boat to have gone through the bridge. They were not nose to nose for long as the blue vessel was in the process of turning after obviously deciding not to attempt to pass through. I could not believe anyone would attempt this maneuver so close to the bridge and right in front of vessels emerging through the bridge.  We were moving slowly but to avoid an impact with the concrete we had to clear the bridge and then immediately stop before we hit the stern of the still reversing vessel in front of us.

I took advantage of the space in front of Jason’s yard and stopped there as best I could.

The boat which had been nose to nose with the blue vessel was showing no signs of moving and came very close to hitting three or four moored boats on the farm moorings, the blue vessel itself had completed its turn and was now merrily heading away down river without it seemed the slightest recognition of the mayhem their late decision making had caused. The boat immediately in front was moving slowly but was cutting the corner and this was of course just where we needed to go. The large vessel first through, eventually sorted itself out and headed off, which left us and the second vessel to sort ourselves out . I was without options and simply pulled alongside the boat and indicated they should keep moving and not please cut the corner any more than they already had. Eventually things sorted themselves out and we simply held station whilst the second boat through moved very slowly down river. Apart from the reversing back under the bridge part the skipper did really well to not hit anyone and not to be hit by anyone, he didn’t hit any moored boats but obviously shaken by events he took it very slowly (and who could blame him) down the remainder of the river to the Ant mouth.

After these events we simply decided to head for Horning and moor up and enjoy the rest of the day sitting on top of the boat or in the wheelhouse for the crew members less game to experience the fresh breeze, and watch the world go by.

For some reason (I made a boo boo)I had to have two attempts to moor up in Horning but I thought it best to go back and start again than to try and improve on a poor initial position of the boat to moor against the wind onto the island moorings. The main difficulty was I was doing it in between two boats with Malanka and dinghy attached and I didn’t want to mess it up. Mooring completed we let Boris explore the island and sat back to enjoy the remaining afternoon and early evening chatting in the wheelhouse. The sun was out every now and then and the day definitely improved as it wore on toward evening time. Eventually we had to go inside and decide what time for dinner. Time decided was 20:15 and so Justin and I rowed across to the pub to make the reservation. Just after we had returned a yacht wished to moor into the space behind us and in front of the vessel behind us. For this to happen we had to move Malanka almost nose to nose with the very attractive private cruiser moored in front and move mini parallel to the transom. As mini is 12ft 6 this meant that she would stick out quite a bit and isn’t my preferred method at all.

In the spirit of the broads we moved Malanka and mini and all the while the helm of the yacht was patiently holding station waiting for the space to be big enough. This was a piece of great skill and made me feel much better about the whole situation. He slid the yacht to a dead stop in just the perfect position and we took his lines and tied him up. He even left sufficient gap that I didn’t have to leave mini sticking out. Well done sir, well done.

I knew the vessel now behind him was going to leave and I knew we were also planning on leaving later so overall everyone was a winner today.

Dinner in the Swan was of course superb, especially with the free drinks offer we collected last weekend and used this weekend (what a good idea that is). We all thought the meal was superb and soon it was time to leave and head off to Salhouse, so we walked slowly to the dinghy enjoying the ambience of Horning on a Saturday night and giggling to ourselves at the boats with their curtains open, as all of occupants were watching the political farce that is the Eurovision Song Contest.

With everyone on board, I let loose the lines and pushed out Malanka’s bow into the slight remaining breeze, I left the stern line attached just in case as the bow slowly moved away from the quay heading. At this point I fired up the engine let the stern line go and headed slowly out into the river. All at once there was a flurry of curtain twitching and head bobbing worthy of Mrs Bucket as everyone wanted to know what was going on. All our nav lights were on and correctly illuminated and the paddle boat had just returned so we were not providing any additional disturbance, but still folks wanted to see. So we waved goodbye to Horning, the twitching curtains and Eurovision and headed slowly off to Salhouse.

Charlie took the wheel for most of the short  trip to Salhouse, I only took over to locate the entrance to the broad and to drop the mudweight. We cruised slowly and very quietly into the broad and located our favourite spot, which was unoccupied. There was a Herbert woods boat within 40 metres or so but not close enough to cause any stress.

We drifted to a stop killed the engine and dropped the mudweight, then moved mini round to her overnight mudweight position (which is alongside) and settled down to some chilled white wine and a chat. The time was roughly 10:45.

We had been chatting for almost an hour when the peace and quiet of the broad was rudely shattered by shouting and screaming coming from a very large hire boat crossing the broad from the moorings reserved for tomorrows green boat festival. As the boat got nearer the zst zst zst of a heavily distorted and very loud stereo system reached us first. The boat proceeded to drop the mudweight on a very long length of rope, we speculated it was just attached not really pulled tight  as they moved a huge amount in the next 60 minutes as we listened to one bangin club tune after another.

At roughly half past midnight someone in the broad requested the noisy inconsiderate Barstewards to turn that F*****n Sh*te off and let us get some sleep. However this had precisely the opposite effect and they lowered the canopy and continued to party with running about the decks and more screaming and shouting. Eventually we felt that someone was going to fall into the broad and Fiona, Charlie and I were genuinely concerned for their safety. I was just considering going over to them in mini and suggesting that they close the canopy for safety if nothing else when quite abruptly, the music was turned down and although we could still hear screaming at least the bangin club tunes were less intrusive now.

The herby woods boat near us had just turned their lights off and gone to bed so we thought we would do the same. The party boat continued for a while but the stay up late, long meeting and long journey of Friday was catching up on us all, and so with Charlie’s three new things done in one day the land of nod consumed us easily.  

Coming up next. We need the sunscreen and did you pack me any shorts?


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

Spider
May-22-2013 @ 7:02 PM                           Permalink
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quote:"......
The herby woods boat near us had just turned their lights off and gone to bed
......."


You may have seen our lights go off but how on earth could you tell whether we had gone to bed........?

Charlie
May-22-2013 @ 9:34 PM                           Permalink
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Ooh, were you our neighbours Spider?


What Martin has not let on is that there was also a first for him on Saturday.  
Its seems typical that we never visit the places closest to us.  When at home I rarely visit the beach despite working within a couple miles of the seaside as the seagull flies, when on the boat I don’t visit Geldeston nearly often enough and it seems that being based in Stalham, Malanka and her crew don’t spend much time on the Upper Ant.  
I was surprised to find that the Malankans had never been up to Wayford, so we took a small detour enroute to Horning just so they could see how pretty that part of the Broads is.  There were several oohs and ahhs and ‘never knew this was here before’ comments.  And I think I may have convinced them that it is a good area to stop in the middle of nowhere and chill out.  
A kingfisher was spotted by Martin and I was excited to see a pair of cranes.  Having never been north of Potter Heigham (which I believe to be their normal stamping ground), I’ve never seen them before.  We did a quick and yes, ok ... it was impressive (but don’t tell him) spin just in front of the bridge and then bimbled back again to continue down the river.  


Charlie

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