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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Holiday Tales / A week aboard Swan Royale
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Posted By Discussion Topic: A week aboard Swan Royale

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aptalsteve
May-14-2012 @ 7:48 AM                           Permalink
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Hired Swan Royale for one week from 5th May and had a lovely time cruising the southern stretches of the Broads. The craft was well presented and available on time and a good one hour tuition period offered by an engineer from the boatyard. Interestingly, the engineer didn't wear a life vest, despite clambering all over the outside of the boat to demonstrate how to take down the windscreen and lower and raise the mudweight.

However he instilled confidence in us and away we went, just a short distance to Rockland St Mary, to the small basin adjacent the New Inn. If there is a better pub or restaurant on the Broads, well, we didn't find it. Mick and Paula are the most affable hosts and it was a delightful evening.

Over the next few days we travelled widely, mooring overnight at Oulton Broad, Beccles (twice), Loddon and Rockland St Mary again.

Our journeys lacked any dramas and mooring was fairly straightforward. The assistance provided by the Harbourmasters at Oulton and Beccles was first class. Loddon was a delight. A fascinating little town with excellent facilities quayside.

Loved watching the nature and we were fortunate to see two otters on the Waveney, marsh harriers and a gorgeous family of Egyptian geese.

Would I do it again - probably but not for a while. There were some lovely moments but several issues which irked me.

Lifejackets - why is it that only people on sailcraft wear them? People on cruisers - on hire and private - seem to have a complete disregard for their safety. We were commended on three occasions for wearing them. During the week we didn't see anyone wear a life jacket while mooring or untying. Worse still, we saw young children literally running around the edge of one boat playing tag. No life jackets.

The Yacht station showering and toilet facilities are in serious need of an update. Unhygienic and impractical.

Final issue of annoyance - speeding. On our first day cruising along the narrow dyke leading to Rockland Broad, we were severely rocked by a private cruiser travelling in the opposite direction - a brash red and white thing. Ignorant! Then on the River Chet, a private and two hire cruisers were going so fast we could have surfed the waves they created! (Well maybe not but you get my meaning). Why does anyone want to rush?

The good points - Swancraft, Harbourmasters, Loddon, New Inn at Rockland St Mary, the nature and scenery, the tranquility and the lovely stretches of river between Brundall and Postwick Bridge. Also very impressed by the stunning designs of Faircraft Loynes fleet and the immaculate cruisers from Silverline (and the people that hired from them).

Worst moment - seeing the back of a hire craft awash with blood after a hirer jumped on to the deck, slipped and appeared to sever an artery. After emergency treatment by paramedics, he was up and about the next morning around nine o'clock with a can of Special Brew in his hand - as he was every time we saw him.

An enjoyable week, despite the rain.

Calnic78
May-14-2012 @ 11:54 AM                           Permalink
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Interesting point about the lifejackets.  I have been boating since I was a child (and was made to wear one when outside the boat) but as an adult you think it won't happen to you.  Wrong.  I fell in several years ago.  It was wet, I slipped jumping off the boat when mooring.  I wasn't wearing a lifejacket.  It could have been a very different story but luckily my brother-in-law had already jumped off so was able to help me, but my husband was inside our dual-steering boat so had no idea of what was going on outside and carried on backing into the stern-on mooring.  It was the quick thinking of my brother-in-law and a rain mac that I was wearing that saved me (it was fastened tightly and filled with air when I went under helping me to float to the top).  But I will never forget the experience and now always wear a lifejacket when outside the boat.  I am taking my 2 young sons boating for the first time in 2 weeks and they will be following my example for sure!!

Pleased you enjoyed your holiday!

Nicola


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