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Mon, 11 Apr 2016 7:20 am BST- Light Rain
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fidear45
Aug-02-2013 @ 10:34 PM                           Permalink
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Sssshhh don't spoil it. Helena spent the rest of the week hiding from the sun to avoid being crisped.....Christian got a tan and I spent the week slathered in factor 30......

You hit the nail on the head, her perception had no real connection to reality.....She is a teenager after all.....

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

fidear45
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On our way to meet Blue Dolphin.

The crossing was fun as Fiona was at the helm and Malanka is a far different vessel when she is doing 10mph than when she is pootling along at 4mph. At 10mph she changes from a placid old lady to a screaming teenager who just loves to run. Everything is crisper, more responsive and if you let go the wheel and let the teenager out, all sorts of things can happen.  All this wave surfing and speeding about is quite fun and the boat laps it up and bounds on from wave to wave, she quite seems to love the feeling of energy and spirit given by 10mph and some deep engine throbbing sounds. Funnily enough there is next to no vibration at this speed, just an increase in engine sound and a slightly throatier tone to the bark of the 3.8L Commander. Fiona was grinning like a Cheshire cat as we crossed Breydon in (for us) record speed. A text from Blue Dolphin informs us that Somerleyton moorings are full of boats with 20feet between them and so Charlie, our guide to this summer’s southern cruise adventure , will now meet us at Herringfleet further down the river.
Charlie texts us that she estimates the bridge height at St Olaves to be 8 ft 6. As we approach the bridge I gleefully text back that she was wrong and it was 8ft 5. We drop the masty thing and proceed under the bridge, there is little if any tide now and we are leaving little wake and making excellent time at a steady two donkey power, which translates to roughly 5mph. After the thrash across the pond Malanka’s engine is smoother and has settled into a lovely low noise low vibration thrum which is very pleasant on the ear.  
We exchange texts with regard to mooring availability with Charlie and swap ideas for what to do for this evenings dinner. Myself and the children favour the barbeque option and Fiona and Charlie favour the cook on option. Charlie lets us know that she has moored and that her neighbor has just left and the mooring space for us is there when we arrive. We came slowly round the bend toward Herringfleet and there is the mooring with BD at the near end with space for us just in front by the emergency steps.
There is a slight tide with very little wind and so it’s a straight in approach and as we glide to a dead stop engine running the mooring crew (Justin and Christian) step off and do a great job (as they usually do) of making us fast to the mooring posts. With the large drop here we decide to add some springs and deploy some extra fendage (love that word) in the form of sausage fenders attached to the grab rails.

Charlie demonstrates the “push test” and shows that everything is fine for the night and as it is now well past wine o’clock so we settle down to a well-deserved glass of wine and a natter.
By now the weather had improved and so we decide to go for the outdoor food option and we deploy the wind/rain/sun canopy from the side of the wheelhouse and settle in for a good old feed.
The weather continued to improve with a few sunny spells and the temperature picked up to a respectable 22 degrees, although the wind did increase a little and so we decided to make the most of it and get mini out for a sail. Charlie was the only taker for a trip in the skylark and that with huge trepidation written all over her face. Needless to say the sailing was fun and rowing back against the current when sailing and wind power proved fruitless was even more fun. Martin Nil, River 1.

We spent a few hours exchanging news and swapping boat stores from BD to Malanka that Charlie had bought for us. This was necessary as we no longer have the black tardis bus and now make do with a much smaller car. As we put up the chairs under the awning and settle in for a communal cookout there is a cry from behind me and an “oooops” sound as the chair that Fiona is sitting on disappears backwards into the bushes in a graceful descent to ground level. Not to worry everything is fine as fiona emerges from the bush having not spilled a drop.
The long journey yesterday, and the long drive today has taken its toll on all of us and we are snuggled up in bed for ten. Helena declaring that its always naff weather when we come on the boat, which whilst the weather today was not fantastic it was fine for a long drive. Tomorrow would be another day and by the end when we are in Geldeston will bring complaints of  “it’s too hot someone turn the blow lamp off”.
Coming up… Charlie goes swimming and blues music on the river, what a fine day.  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

fidear45
Aug-06-2013 @ 2:50 PM                           Permalink
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Coming up… Charlie goes swimming and blues music on the river, what a fine day.  

We were woken from our slumber by the bright reflections rippling across the ceiling, hinting at the beautiful day that was just beginning. The sun was up and hot by 06:00 and we were awake, top down and making breakfast for 07:45. It really was a glorious start to the week afloat and we knew that Geldeston was waiting for us later with the prospect of crystal clear water and some decent fishing. What more could anyone want than a lazy trip up the Waveney with clear blue skies and a lovely warming breeze.
Boris the magnificent wanted to go walkies, which is not a word to use onboard with the 100+lb Airedale in close attendance. He brought his need to my attention by bringing me a tennis ball and snuffling down his nose at me whilst at the same time simultaneously wagging his tail and wiggling his backside in a most peculiar motion. The search for the lead and dog poo bags took way too long for Boris and he jumped off, then on, then off, then on again in eager anticipation, all the while adding wuffling (he can’t bark with ball in mouth)  to his growing repertoire of activity demanding noises and motions.
Finally sorted I set off whilst Fiona sorted out the bed and raised the living dead (teenagers) from the still solid realms of dreamland. Bacon and sausage baps (more on those later) have remarkable properties for waking teenagers especially our boys.
Our morning constitutional completed and Boris covered in Burrs, seeds and all sorts of grassy gubbins it was time to check in with BD and see about our cruising orders for the day.
Simply put these were to take as long as we wanted to get to Geldeston bearing in mind when high water was for the Beccles old bridge. Calculations made and PMRs  exchanged we decided to set off and get the party started.
The sun was high in the sky and the river was sparkling, the journey to Somerleyton was just simply beautiful, we decided to keep going when we got to the WRC as it was just such a perfect cruising day. Side by side with Charlie and the water sparkling and the sun shining we did notice that she was turning a rather fetching shade of pink, particularly in the nose area. As we arrived in Beccles with less than 7 feet under the bridge we knew we had to wait and so we availed ourselves of the YS facilities, filled up with water and waited in the glorious early afternoon sunshine for the river to fall.
After less than an hour the water had dropped enough for us to passage the bridge and this we did with everything down and Charlie in the lead, mainly so we could see how much clearance she had which was loads and loads although it didn’t seem like that to Charlie. The slow drive up to Geldeston was only interrupted by finding a very young child on a raft without oars floating in the middle of the river opposite the small holiday cottages there. He was making no attempt to get out of the way as we approached and no-one on the bank seemed to be doing anything to help him apart from asking me to slow down with the usual hand gesture. The use of which was entirely necessary as of course I fully intended to commit mayhem upon the body of a small child with the ten tons on boat sitting under me.
With Malanka halted in the river the small child had by then moved slightly nearer the bank but was still not safe. With a few moments more he was out of our immediate path and we continued slowly up the river towards our destination. All the adults present except those on the bank shaking their heads in bewilderment.

As we approached Geldeston we could hear music from the Locks Inn and as we drew nearer we could see that a summer festival complete with packed staithe mooring was in full swing and a fine time was being had by all concerned. We were not affected by the full staithe at all as we already intended to moor in the field mooring as we had a surprise waiting for the skipper of BD. After mooring and once again marveling at the crystal clear water we sat down on the grass to listen to the music and enjoy the afternoon. After a couple of glasses of a particularly nice rose it was time to inflate our Geldeston surprise for Charlie.
The pump labored under the strain and I heaved and pushed but eventually we got the small fun inflatable dinghy up and equipped with oars and safety rope. “Tadaaaa”I cried in triumph. “What do you expect me to do with that” said Charlie in a somewhat condescending, you must be kidding me kind of voice.  
“we are going for a float aren’t we Justin” said I. “There’s no way you’re getting me in that thing said Charlie”, backing away, glass of rose still in hand. “It’s OK” said I removing the plastic boat glass from Charlie’s hand and smiling in what I hoped was a confident encouraging way. “I may have my swimming costume on (under my shorts and T shirt) but that’s taking the biscuit” replied Charlie as she backed even further away.
“Naa stop being a wuss and get in” I said, as I lowered the inflatable into the dinghy (Minimal) which was moored alongside to facilitate getting in and out of the inflatable.   A bit of pushing, shoving and cursing later I was in the inflatable floating next to mini, an expectant look on my face. Justin soon joined me and we both smiled in that encouraging way to Charlie who we could see was weakening. “Nope not happening, no, not going in no never” said Charlie, having now backed up half way to Beccles. So much for the encouraging smiles.
Justin tried one last thing. “I dare you to get in” he said. The look of incredulity on Charlie’s face and the fact that it was 28 degrees, boiling hot and the water looked so cool and inviting, and we knew she was toast. She got in!  
We splashed around in the dinghy for a while and went upstream of the footbridge for a short distance, then for some reason I kept catching my oars and the other occupants of the inflatable were completely soaked in very short order. Justin simply jumped out and started to swim in the clear crystal and lovely cooling water, I followed suit which left just Charlie in the by now half full of water inflatable. “Aren’t there fish in there” she said. “Ahem, of course there are but they don’t eat Charlies” I said, “OK then if you say so and with that Charlie lowered herself into the clear cool waters of the river Waveney for the first time in her entire life. The sun was high in the sky, the weather was superb and the water was clear and cool, a perfect summer day by the river in fact. We all swam around with the inflatable and watched the loonies jumping off the footbridge into the by now rapidly shallowing river and decided that the reeds were getting too close and it was time to get out. To help us in this Charlie had already put her stern ladder down and we all used it to climb out and sit in the sun to dry out.
After swimming, we showered off and had a most pleasant afternoon and evening listening to music, eating barbeque food and chilling by the river on a sunny Sunday afternoon. What bliss.  


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

BroadAmbition
Aug-06-2013 @ 7:13 PM                           Permalink
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What bliss.

And what a good write up


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

daviddownunder
Aug-07-2013 @ 5:17 AM                           Permalink
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G'day Martin
Quote
"The sun was up and hot by 06:00 and we were awake"

What 15c or 20c?

Martin, that statement did make me smile



Smile  Smile

Regards
Dave Downunder

readyabout
Aug-07-2013 @ 7:16 AM                           Permalink
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quote:"......there is a cry from behind me and an “oooops” sound as the chair that Fiona is sitting on disappears backwards into the bushes in a graceful descent to ground level. Not to worry everything is fine as Fiona emerges from the bush having not spilled a drop......."

It's good to have a wife who can hold her drink....  Wink

Regards

Paul
________________________________________________________
'readyabout' - the first meaningful adult phrase from my childhood....

fidear45
Aug-19-2013 @ 3:13 PM                           Permalink
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Been afloat for twelve more glorious days so no apologies for not updating.....

Slow trip to Rockland St Mary. July 22nd 2013

After slipping our moorings on a delightful  Monday morning we headed downriver to Beccles where we intended to fill up with water, do some shopping, eat some ice cream and generally watch the world go slowly on its way. The plan then was to do the long, slow run up to Rockland St Mary and enjoy another barbeque and watch another lovely sun set in another location blessed with outstanding beauty. In short another day on the Norfolk Broads.

Charlie and BD were however, not co-operating in the festivities in the whole hearted fashion we have come to expect from the pairing of woman and boat. Almost immediately after turning and heading downstream BD started to heat up rather rapidly and it looked like quite a precipitous rise too. Following along in Malanka we did notice the chopped salad approach to handling reeds that BD seemed to be using. Malanka floats quite shallowly in the water and doesn’t tend to interfere too much with the foliage under the surface. BD on the other hand seems to want to create waldorf salad ala broadland reeds as a sideline. Charlie soon diagnosed the issue and some vigorous reversing was employed to rid BD of the chopped, sliced and diced salad items festooning her pretty bottom.

With this maneuvre completed, a huge bolus of surplus to requirements rabbit food floated serenely away as if nothing had happened. BDs temperature returned to its normal range and we floated downstream in no great hurry to get to Beccles.

After traversing beneath the famed “Beccles Old Bridge” with feet to spare, we moored up and the ladies (plus children of all sizes) prepared to assault the shopping mountain required to feed the huge appetites created by such glorious sunshine and holiday activity. Personally, I retired with Boris the magnificent to the coach-house roof with a glass of pink port and ice to pass the time. In fact the whole thing was so horrible I may even have fallen asleep in the sun and had a few Zzz’s…  This was one tough holiday for man and dog alike.

With the return of the shopping (and crew) and the resultant distribution of cold storage requiring items (ice cream, wine, wine, wine and of course some barbeque meat items) we headed off down the Waveney, destination, Rockland St Mary.

The journey itself was a joy, the sun was high in a cloudless sky,  the temperature was in the high twenties centigrade. Charlie entertained us by pointing out nice little dykes that we explored while she plodded on towards Rockland. Malanka has not spent many days in the south until very recently and we intended to learn of as many new places as we could, so whilst BD plodded along we scooted in and out of dykes and public moorgings, jotted down the place names for future reference then slowly caught back up with BD as she was doing a leisurely 3mph all the way to Rockland. She (BD) had stolen one crew member from Malanka every day of the trip and the whole thing was an exercise in how to have a great time doing not very much.

As we approached the turn into Rockland it struck me that I had not actually been there for well over eighteen years and to my senses the narrow nature of the turn at the end of the quay headed section looked very small indeed.

As we slipped easily into the dyke, there appeared something I haven’t seen before. There was an adder just swimming along at the side of the river, quite happy and contented to be doing so by the look of it. I have seen grass snakes swimming before but never an adder. Much conversation from the youngest member of the crew followed about venom, death and dogs and children and so on, typical horrible histories content I thought.

When we reached the turn down to the staithe my earlier view of it was confirmed. My, that is one narrow section! Really very pretty, especially tonight as the sun was still relatively high and there was no breeze at all. The evening sunshine was warming and welcoming as we glided effortlessly into the public staithe our destination for the night.

We arrived a few minutes before BD and the sight that greeted us was not at first glance very welcoming, there were six boats moored in the whole place. Not the most economical use of the available space (or similar more profane words may have escaped my lips but not gone further than the windscreen).   There was one spectacular woody which was moored on the far left and obviously could not move but elsewhere there was plenty of potential for movement and additional space.

I enquired of one of the occupants of the boats now all looking at the immobile Malanka obviously showing no signs of leaving! “Excuse me but would you mind moving up a little to make more room?” I asked, immediately one private owner started to get up from the obviously comfy spot on the bench where he had been reading the paper where the evening sun was making the place look like heaven. “Of course, just give me a few minutes”. He replied.

The boat that could help the most was occupied by a nice lady who clearly didn’t know how to raise the mud-weight or undo the lines but she quickly gathered her crew who set to, and in very short order two additional mooring spots had been made available. The broads spirit made real in the glorious evening sun. I spun Malanka and reversed into the spot next to the huge concrete filled iron posts and deployed extra fendage to accommodate the tight fit. Just after this BD arrived and gently squeezed between us and the other private boat (we lifted our big fenders and used smaller ones for the time being). It was a superb maneuver by Charlie and eventually when the boats had settled we were able to again deploy the bigger fenders and we were then tightly fitted in and everyone was content.

There followed another evening of barbeque, fun board games, laughter and enjoyment of simply being in a beautiful place. Does it get better than this.  

Yes it does but more of that later… Coming up next, Dropping BD at Bramerton and Malanka’s first trip to Norwich. (for many years)


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Aug-19-13 @ 3:21 PM

fidear45
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Bramerton Common and Norwich July23rd 2013

We awoke to very bright sunshine and the prospect of another baps
out (sunny) day. Fiona and Charlie took Boris for his morning
constitutional whilst I made everything ready for the day. This
entailed sitting down to a nice cup of tea with the top down and the
sun on my back…
After this start to the day I knew we were going to have fun, we were
heading to Bramerton to drop BD there then heading off into Norwich
for a shopping trip and because we wanted to. We would then be
returning to Bramerton for some barbeque and staying there
overnight.

To set off, we removed the extra fendage, dropped the screens as it
was stupendously warm (note Helena was nowhere to be seen as
she decided it was too hot!!) and started the trusty BMC. BD edged
out ahead of us and we followed closely behind hoping that we would
not see another boat heading our way. We reached the turn into the
broad without seeing another boat and headed out upriver.

The day could not have been better, cloudless sky warm sun and two
boats in convoy bimbling up the river. It really doesn’t get any better
than this as the getting there is just as fun as the arriving.
Pootling along we were doing lazy S’s behind BD as Malanka’s
comfy cruising speed is about 0.4mph more than that of BD. Charlie
refers to this as mine laying and is a source of huge amusement for
her.

We had a simply gorgeous cruise through the southern system to
Brundal and today we took Malanka back to the place of her birth 60
years ago this year. The preparations for the Broom Anniversary
party were well under way and tomorrow morning we would return to
Brooms for a water fill up and a pump out for BD.
Before passing through Brundal we looked over at Coldham Hall and
decided that later this season we would stay there and sample their
hospitality. It may take me a while to getting round to writing up that
trip so just let me say that free mooring (with meal) and 5 pounds for
the electric hook up was good value and the meal we had there (for
six people) was very reasonably priced, superb in quality, and the
service was absolutely exemplary. The atmosphere for a Monday
evening was vibrant and the décor was tastefully modern, with solid
oak tables and two wood burners for those cool autumnal evenings.
This summer keeping cool was the issue and the interior was very
pleasant with the air outside being muggy. Inside the pub was cool
and quiet. Simply put it was the best meal / mooring/ ambience/
welcome we have had on the Broads for at least the past 5 years.    
Well done Coldham Hall.

Now back to this tale, we cruised through Brundal, saluted Malanka’s
birthplace on the way through and headed for Bramerton to drop BD.
We let BD go ahead and arrive to get herself moored up. We lagged
back and watched, then at a signal from Charlie we pulled alongside
BD and Charlie hopped aboard Malanka for the trip into Norwich.  

Arriving into Norwich by boat is an experience that could be
improved and the developments that are currently underway do
much to improve the overall view from the river. There is still work to
be done but the experience is pleasant and the nearer to the YS one
gets the better the view from the river. Passing the last bridge before
the YS we decide we will forgo the pleasure of passing under
Bishops bridge and moor just in from of the bridge and so let the
shoppers have easy access to their destination.

A quick spin on the spot and we are moored into the rising tide and
alongside. The shoppers depart and Boris and I settle down to an
afternoon of Steve Wright on BBCR2 and a very pleasant Rose on
the coach house roof. We did not intend to stay the night in Norwich
as Charlie wanted to return to BD and the shoppers had planned to
raid M&S food hall on the way back. We would later enjoy the most
amazing barbeque pulled pork, Chinese spare ribs and 1/4lb burgers
with cheese.

Those of you who have met Boris the magnificent will know that he is
a very placid dog (if a little large and intimidating in a huge cuddly
teddy bear kind of way) and he normally loves
people/dogs/cats/guinea pigs/ and yes, even rabbits. Although his
liking for Rabbits would be stretched a little while later back at
Bramerton Common.  So here we were sitting alongside in Norwich
YS and he is wagging his tail to everyone who passes, sniffing every
doggie and generally having a good time. No problems here I
thought and settled back to my kindle. I then caught sight of what I
can only describe as a “naer-do- well” type side stepping along the
path towards us with scruffy clothes, greasy hair and generally
unkempt look about him. The look he was giving Malanka, me and
Boris did not fill me with the joys of spring. I hadn’t spent my teenage
years avoiding trouble not to realize that this guy was potential
trouble and I was determined not to make eye contact and so
potentially provoke a confrontation of any sort. I need not have
worried, Boris looked up stared at the guy and did the most amazing
for him thing. He growled… just a short little growl, no barking, he
didn’t even move, he just growled for about two seconds. I was
stunned, he never growls. I checked out the rest of his body
language, straight out tail and steady head with his eyes staring at
the youth. The guy stopped dead in his tracks whilst at least thirty
feet away, he had obviously been paying us (particularly Boris)more
attention than I could at first see. He then did an about-face and
decided to take the path to the pavement outside the YS instead of
walk past us. As he went up the path I could see he had a smirk on
his face and thought to myself that staying the night at Bramerton
was a good idea. I had only ever seen similar behavior once before
outside Tesco when he was with Charlie and a group of men
approached her.  Boris wagged his tail and greeted three of them
with good humour and his usual enthusiasm, the three guys said
goodbye to her and left and another lone guy approached her. Boris
immediately stood up and interposed himself between Charlie and
the guy. He didn’t growl, he just ignored the guy and didn’t say hello,
wag his tail or acknowledge the guy at all, just stood between Charlie
and the lone guy. Seeing that he wasn’t going to get to talk with
Charlie without getting past Boris first, the guy walked away, to the
immense relief of Charlie.

Back to the tale. The shoppers returned and we made the boat ready
and departed for Bramerton, it was quite late but we didn’t have any
worries about mooring as we could always double moor with BD
should the mooring prove to be full when we arrived. As we were
passing the pub approaching the common, we saw all the new
decking that has been put up and it looks to be a very solid job too.
There was plenty of space on the common (we were at the opposite
end to the electric points)and so we did another spin and approached
into the falling tide and moored up behind BD. As it was well past
wine o’clock by this point, we assembled the barbeque gear and set
to with gusto in preparing a salad, some warm bread and the
aforementioned M&S fare for dinner.

Boris watched the whole thing with his usual disinterest and instead
focused on maintaining his two tennis balls in his mouth party piece
whilst half heartedly running down the odd rabbit brave enough to
emerge from the hedge. Quite what he intended to do with the
creature whilst still carrying two tennis balls in his mouth is anyone’s
guess. We have two pet rabbits at home and he likes to lick them
and cover them in dog slobber so I’m not entirely certain that all of
his hunting instincts are properly connected.
The evening outside drew to a natural conclusion with the
emergence of the small flying, bitey things that were present despite
the deployment of citronella buckets and “off” candles. Boris was not
concerned so maybe a fur coat is useful in summer too sometimes.
After completing a southern broads “push test” we decided we were
sprung enough and had enough slack for the rise and fall and we
retired to our beds  exhausted. Cruising with BD and Charlie at bed
time is a little like the last five minutes of an episode of the Waltons.
Nite Charlie, Nite Justin, Nite Charlie, Night Martin, nite Charlie, nite
Fiona and so on… It doesn’t read too well here, but it was funny at
the time.


Up next: On Wednesday, after a brief stop at Brooms we went to St
Olaves.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on Aug-21-13 @ 9:34 AM

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Up next: On Wednesday 24th July, after a brief stop at Brooms we went to St Olaves.

We awoke on Wednesday morning to more bright sunshine and by 7:30 am the temperature in the wheelhouse had prompted me to consider one of two things. 1. Plant some tomatoes or 2. Get up and open the canopies.
Not having a grow bag to hand I chose to open the canopies and wander about a little outside and let Boris do doggie things on the common whilst I made some tea. Today was to be a lazy day and so with no particular rush we opted for toast and jam today and some more tea.

Breakfast finished we headed off to Brundal and Brooms to fill up with water and for BD to have a pump out. By now the temperature was soaring and the full sun exposure felt like it would strip paint like a heat gun. We liberally applied sunscreen again and donned caps and T shirts to avoid the inevitable pinking should the flesh remain exposed for the whole trip to St Olaves. As the day was so superb we briefly entertained the idea of arriving at St Olaves the long way round, just so we could spend longer getting there. We decided in the end just to use the new cut and make the journey short and arrive sit and watch the world float by. Arriving under St Olaves bridge there was a significant current running and therefore we decided to use the BA 24 hour moorings downstream of the bridge rather than attempt to moor outside the Pub in a very strong cross current. Taking a position on the far left of the river we spun the wheel, fought the sideslip for a few  moments then approached the mooring into the current and gently side slipped into the huge space available. We then quickly made fast and then ran to help Charlie who was doing this solo. She had a moment where BD did not want to turn but then smoothly side slipped directly behind Malanka, she kept BDs engine on to maintain the station as the crew made her fast to the mooring posts. All in all two very good and smooth mooring maneuvers and we were sorted for the night. We connected both boats to the electric post and settled down to watch a most glorious sunset in prospect.
Some of the crew went to the Bell to see if they could book tables and find a menu. We didn’t need to book the sun was still high in the sky and the temperature was still high also and so we decided to leave the boat tops down, just lock the doors and head off to the pub for a drink and some dinner.

We found a lovely table in the pub garden and enjoyed a lovely drink in the sun and ordered our meals. I was going for the sausages, onion gravy and crushed mash which was outstandingly good. Hot, filling and beautifully cooked. The kids opted for their meals to have wedges and or home cooked skin on chips and these were simply to die for, they were superb.

After dinner we went back to the boats and we all sat on the coach house roof of Malanka, chilled out,  chatted, drank some wine and watched the glorious sunset. We did see a few people attempt the mooring stern on outside the pub but we didn’t see anyone do it successfully. A few boats passed us from the crossing the other way and they generally enquired as to where they could moor up, we supplied the names of likely spots and settled back. Tonight would be an early night as tomorrow we had to cross Breydon on the early tide and Fiona would be accompanying Charlie on BD for the crossing.

With that in mind, by ten pm we were in bed reflecting on a super trip on the southern broads, such a different and in many ways much more challenging place than the relatively placid northern rivers. Tomorrows forecast was for the first rain of the week and due to the different speed potentials of the two boats BD would be leaving 40 minutes before us with the aim of meeting up before we arrived at GY YS.
Tomorrows weather predictions were to come true, it did rain but other factors would provide much more in the way of excitement than a few raindrops.

When we arrived for the GY bridges our top up clearance is 8ft, the first gauge said 8ft which is doable, the second said 7ft 6 which most certainly is not. More later..


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

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Thursday 25th July

We woke up early as we had to be gone for 07:00 (well BD did) to catch the tides just right. We planned to leave at 07:40 and catch up across Breydon. Malanka is not as badly affected with adverse tidal flows as much as BD is. Add in the hugely powerful engine and we didn’t foresee any issues . Fiona left us to join BD and there preparations complete they cast off and headed out downriver. At this point in the morning there was a again a very strong current flowing, add to that flow the outpouring from the pumping station next to the 24HR mooring and BD initially had some trouble turning downriver with the flow. The stern just refused to turn into the flow and BD headed straight across the river. Charlie quickly corrected and reversed back safely and then turned and BD was away and moving at considerable speed in the tidal flow. I decided to go solo this morning and let the kids have a lie in and I would let us go and head downriver solo to follow the ladies.
Before any of that of course I had to prepare my morning cuppa. Two mugs of tea later I felt refreshed enough to head off after the ladies who were giving me minute by minute updates as to where they were and what the skies were doing. This was essential as before leaving I had asked Fiona to help me lower the canopy as the sky was still blue and quite bright. This decision (rightly criticized by both Fiona and Charlie before they left)was to return to haunt me as I approached Breydon bridge some time later. But hindsight is great and they were both correct and I wasn’t.

So with regular updates as the two ladies passed all the familiar landmarks and me very slowly closing the time gap between us the day started well and would later end very well but the bit in the middle HHmmm now there’s some tale left to tell.

Passing Burgh Castle roughly 30 minutes after the ladies the height gauges had moved significantly (over 9 inches in fact) which is very fast. I didn’t have any doubts  we could do the trip so late and still make it under the bridges on a rising tide as we had the top down and it was still warm and cloudy with no rain clouds to be seen. What felt like moments later as I could see BD ahead of me on Breydon the heavens opened in a cataclysm of rain that swept in from the starboard side. I was really hoofing it across to catch the ladies before the tide turned and with waves, and wind, and spray and a huge bow wave I was having too much fun to keep an eye out on the sky.  I was getting soaked as we approached Breydon bridge and the kids who I had roughly summoned from their pits were battling with the wind to batten down the sides and keep out the deluge, their pyjamas already soaked through.

I was focused so much on seeing where I was going and telling the kids to hang on and stay inboard that I missed the height marker that showed 7ft 6. This was not good. Fiona and Charlie were asking themselves when he (me) was going to drop the top, soon now, sometime soon, drop the bl**dy top they may have said to the ether hoping the message would somehow get through to me.

Rounding the yellow post I saw the bridge and had the oh dear moment. There was another boat coming down and BD was behind me but I had no choice other than to hold station, let both boats pass and get the top down pronto like.  Suffice it to say BD made it under the bridge (just) we made it under the bridge (just) and we are both now aware that with 7ft on the marker post we can both make it through. There are better ways to find these things out than in a rainstorm punching the remaining outflow but at least we learned what not to do.

The rest of the journey up to Womak was entirely uneventful as the rain dried up, the boat steamed for twenty minutes and by the time we were at Stracey the top was back down and the T shirt was off and everyone had dried out enough to reflect with wry smiles that perhaps a more generous strategy would have been better.

Upon arrival at Womak we moored up, helped save a boat from drifting after the mooring ropes came free of the rings and the boat was then parallel not perpendicular to the staithe and had a glass of wine. We dressed the boat and awaited the arrival of the rest of the CinC flotilla and special guests.
Keith arrived and dropped a huge food donation for the barbeque and then spent a lazy afternoon with us and the crew of RT not doing much but chit chatting and enjoying being in such a lovely place.

Tonights dinner was steak on the barbe with some lovely sausages provided by MM and Keith. Fiona had bought some chipotle butter in Norwich and it was liberally applied to the hot steaks and it was a huge hit.  Quite a few fermented grape beverages later it was time for bed and after a quick clean-up we retired to await the next day and the 2013 NBF CinC. Roll on tomorrow.

A question for all of you reading the tale who moor regularly in Womak. Do you remember when the cars didn’t use the path behind the boats to move this way and that? To be perfectly honest with ten or twelve folks (at least) two tables, three dogs, four children, two barbeques and a whole lot of space taken up, one elderly person thought it would be good, when it was just getting dark, to exercise his undoubtedly inalienable right to drive past us so closely that I could feel the heat of the air conditioning. Whilst I have no doubt this is perfectly legal in the great scheme of things as I am sure the right of way exists. However there of course were alternatives such as the use of reverse gear, or the alternative of going out the way he came in which would suggest that  could, not should have been the thought in his so obviously empty head.  
Another person drove past us much later, but this one with good reason and considerably more care and consideration, especially as his doggie had gone walkabout and he was desperately searching for him.
I am pleased to report that doggie was later found and all worked out in the end.

Tomorrow the NBF CinC 2013… Fun and games in the sun…..And in the water too… Charlie has another swim……


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

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