Showing posts from December, 2012

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day ten - Final roundup

And so the day began, much as a Sunday would for most people – that ever growing realisation this lovely time was fast coming to an end, the feeling when you know you have to go back to work on a Monday morning is much the same as the taking back of a boat and the things you have done now suddenly turn to memories.

It had suddenly turned a lot more chilly and the wind too had got up so as far as the weather was concerned it was a good thing we had the best of it and were not some of the hirers who had just take over their boats the day before.  An easy start to the day, and a lazy cruise up the Ant, over Barton Broad and on to Nettishead.  This small stretch of water is lovely and has its own feel whatever the time of year – and as the leaves were falling and those which remained were going through their spectacular change of colour it felt like one was exploring a newly found waterway where one did not quite know where it would end or what would be around the next bend…

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day nine

Having met my mother the previous night and spending the evening in the Ferry Inn, we awoke to find most of our neighbours had departed – clearly having to be back to their respective boatyards for the 9:00am hand back on a Saturday.

After an easy start to the day we headed off for Wroxham, and because so many of the previous weeks hirers had now returned their boats the rivers were at peace, very little boats about and with the autumn light and leaves going through their usual spectacular change before the fall, it was a real treat that greeted us.  I was actually surprised how at the beginning of the week only a few of the trees had begun to shed their leaves and now with every breath of wind more fell and the greens had changed to yellows, oranges, deep reds and everything between.  

On arrival in Wroxham we again moored at MC Marine Leisure – by the CafĂ© and wandered off to Roy’s where because of the smoke damaged stock from their recent small fire, meant my mother …

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day eight

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this day with you for although nothing much of any substance seemed to happen, I did go a bit loopy just before the junction with the River Bure as you come up the Thurne.

It had been a relaxed morning waiting for the day to brighten a bit and took time making myself a scrumptious breakfast.  I left the moorings on Womack Dyke and knew only one thing that around 4pm my mother would be arriving at Wroxham to join me so I needed to be either their or at Horning so she could easily get to the boat.  Between now and then however I could do whatever I wished.

As I say just as I approached the River Bure things went a bit mad as I began commentating as if some tour guide to the camera – this went on for a while off camera I confess and then I spied the top of a boat I am familiar with – Broad Ambition which could mean only one thing: The Lad’s Week was approaching. 

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day seven

I was really rather enjoying this ‘easy life’ of less cruising more chilling, but having left the lovely over night mooring on the Ant I planned to head to Acle to take advantage of the free pump out that Richardson’s give should you be hiring a boat for 10 days or more.  I am not sure if other boatyards offer this, but for an average family boat with two toilets this makes for a tidy saving which can be spent on other things.

On arrival at Ludham Bridge it was showing just under 8ft on the height marker, so not wanting to risk taking the canopy off hitting the bridge I wound it down a few inches to be level with the top of the windscreen and all was well.  Then down to the Bure, turn left and head for Acle.

Just after turning at the junction with the River Thurne and Bure I went to throttle up and the revs died.  

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day six

Day six began and where normally this is the point on a 7 night break where you think how nice the holiday has been but that tomorrow is you last full day, I still have 4 days ahead of me.  This made me happy.  Despite the fact it had been a windy night and the rain and grey had lingered into the morning but come about 9:30am calmness had returned, the cloud lifted and blue sky and sunshine made such a difference to things.

I left my moorings at the formal 24 hour moorings for How Hill and headed to Richardson’s at Stalham – where upon arriving was shocked to see just how full their quay’s were and it was only Kingfisher that had some space – yet also of not all the Broadsman and Carousel boats were out – they certainly have proved very popular with the hirers.

I topped up with water and then bought £50.00 of fuel because I’d not been sure how much had been used with the cruising on the southern rivers and if had money to come back at the end would cancel itself out reg…

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day five

And so I left the three boats that had kept me company during Lads Week on a blustery grey morning at Acle and head up the Bure with Wroxham as my destination.  As the grey lifted so the wind strengthened and I knew at this rate mooring in Wroxham would be a challenge.  

There was not a lot to report until I arrived in Wroxham, it was packed – the Barnes Brinkcraft was full – apart from one space in their ‘inner basin’ which would have been a pain to get into in the strong wind, so I decided to try my luck in Faircraft Loynes boatyard.  As I came along to turn left into their yard off the main river another boat was coming out so I had to hold off my turn, then thinking as I was being pushed ever closer to Wroxham bridge (which was showing about 6ft 5”)  I knew I had to do a turn and come in for a fresh approach, just as I was about to do this a Broads Tours passenger boat loomed towards the river.

I could have turned in front of this would have been a foolish manoeuvre�…

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day four

Geldstone Locks moorings are lovely, but I dare say very popular in the summer months with boats and we all had to be up early and underway by 8am to reach Beccles old bridge close to low water to get under.  Today was going to be mainly spent at the wheel, as our overnight mooring was to be the Bridge Inn at Acle.

After leaving the moorings in reverse and turning I followed Jewel of Light 3 – only we went a bit wrong and took the wrong fork in the river, an about turn had to be made and then returned back to where we should have been going with much chastisement from the others.  I had taken the opportunity before leaving the moorings to also lower the canopy and screen on Sunlit Horizon, but knew once under the old bridge at Beccles I’d have to prance about raising the screen and then be a Mercat again on the winder to raise the canopy.  I was getting fed up with these low bridges and everything needing to be taken down and raised again.

It was a lovely clear morning,…

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day three

It became apparent that I was not being able to keep up with my usual ‘Captain’s Blogs’ because whilst on the southern rivers there are great distances to cover and we were covering a lot of them in short spaces of time.  I don’t mind this but it meant that if one was going along all day what could you really say or film?  

Because of this I took the decision to stop doing a 'daily video' so the video that accompanies this will not just over day three'

Instead began to shoot small sections to camera along the way – so this is more day three and day four parts.

Perhaps not enough of these were filmed and indeed not enough notes taken about where we were or what we were doing – but this began to give the feeling of freedom and also oddness.

You see if you look at previous tales I have written up, they are long detailed accounts backed up with long videos of what I did and went on that particular day – in so doing this it can detract from being away on a boat thi…

Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day two

Having packed everything away the previous night it is nice to wake up early to a tidy boat that is already beginning to feel like home.  

Today I was going to head down to Potter Heigham which would be a short trip from the moorings on Womack Dyke, and once in Potter Heigham get a few bits from Lathams and meet up with the two Jewel of Lights that ‘the lads’ would be hiring from Herbert Woods.

Having slipped my mooring at around 8:00am the mist rising from the rivers and over the land made for a study start to the day and as the journey went on along the River Thurne so the combination of mist, bright sunlight and blue sky got better.  It truly was beautiful.

Arriving in Potter Heigham I moored behind fellow forumite ‘Regulo’ – and his boat Sun Bird.  I have to admit I was extra nervous as I tucked in behind just in case I did something stupid like got off leaving the boat in gear and thus crashing into his stern.  Thankfully all went well, and I took things slow.


Sunlit Horizon 2 - 'Lads Week' 2012 - Day one

So I must confess that I did not take too many notes and write up the daily goings on this time around, instead relying more on capturing moments on film – and as you will no doubt see that did not always go according to plan but we begin on Friday 12th October and arrival at Horizon Craft at Acle.

I’d opted not to get the free collection service the boatyard offer for those travelling by train, as I realised there was a large Budgen’s in Acle village and so got a cab to take me there and wait while I got the essentials. Including waiting time and tip £10 was not bad I thought and got to the boatyard at around 2pm.

Sunlit Horizon II was waiting with the cleaners just finishing the hoovering and she looked splendid in the afternoon sunshine.  I was recognised from when I was there in July on Far Horizon and after a warm welcome and quick run through of the boats systems it was time to leave the yard – only as anyone will be aware that Friday was a blustery day and the wi…