Showing posts from May, 2013

Distant Horizon 2 - Day Seven

I am not sure about others, but for me the last day of a boating holiday is always one of reflection – where it all began, how the boat which is now your familiar home was once unfamiliar and new. It is also a time for taking things at a slower pace – as it was today.

I woke and after getting read began to do the more tedious of things just so it was out of the way – packing my case and checking I had not left anything in one of the many shelves and drawers this boat has.  After that it was time to depart Womack Dyke and I headed down the river Thurne to where it joins the Bure.  The Broads Authority ‘Thurne Mouth’ moorings were free, the wind was kindly blowing towards the bank so I knew mooring here would be easy – and it was a mooring I had not stopped at previously.  

Once there I remembered why I much prefer overnight moorings on the quieter, narrow rivers – for here on the exposed Bure the wavelets were hitting the bow of the boat and creating the usual racket ‘s…

Distant Horizon 2 - Day Six

I had an appointment to keep this morning, which when you are on the Norfolk Broads is a rare thing to have to do – but I was to meet Lord Paul – photography extraordinaire  and as it turned out pretty nifty with gadgets and electronics and the cherry on the cake an all round good guy and very welcoming too.  So what was the deal with meeting him on this sunny morning?

The previous evening I had a call asking where I was moored and would it be ok to meet and take some aerial footage of me on the river – since I was on the Ant and he was going to be coming down from Stalham it was ideal – in fact he came down just as dusk came and the sky does that beautiful transition from day to night and moored a few corners down the river from me.  I left my mooring and just a few minutes later I spied his trust Freeman moored by Clayrack Drainage Mill and kindly helped with the Rhonde Anchors and ropes and invited on board his boat.

He has taken an ‘off the shelf’ quad copter radio …

Distant Horizon 2 - Day five

The overnight rain had meant for a less settled sleep, the fact that the aft cabin of Distant Horizon has a lower ceiling over the double bed seems to make the noise of the rain hitting the outside deck above all the more loud – or maybe it was that special Norfolk rain.

When I woke and peered out the window the wet scene that greeted me did not make me want to rush to get ready – so I took my time and had breakie and listened to the radio – these two simple things are both things in the morning at home I usually skip – more a case of a slice of toast and out the door to work.  By now the rain had stopped and there were some breaks in the cloud, perhaps today was going to be another sunny day after all.

And so I left the mooring at and slowly headed down the river Ant – my intention being to stop for a top up of water before the bridge and dispose of my rubbish.  Just after I had filled up with water a couple walked past – they asked me about how I found the boat, and a…

Distant Horizon 2 - Day four

Waking up to the sound of rain and heavy grey skies reminded me this was April after all – and made me stand out all the more with my sunburn on a grey day – it seemed quite amazing only yesterday I was in a T-Shirt being gently roasted and yet today it was on with the waterproof clothes and a fleece.

I had a rough plan to leave Acle, stop off at Horizon Craft and pick up an extra blanket for the nights were forecast to be cooler too – and while there get a top up of oil to the bottle that had been provided with the boat – not to say it was out, but at the current rate of use I feared ending up somewhere and not having any to top up with.  As it turned out I did not need use hardly any more oil from this point in – showing that the only reason I had previously was the 7+ hours spent cruising for the last few days.

Horizon Craft really are a great team and asset to Richardson’s if you need anything they are very helpful and when I mentioned about the oil it was a genui…

Distant Horizon 2 - Day three

After a lazy start and a breakfast the sun was soon out and I could tell today was going to be another scorcher.  I toyed with heading into Norwich for it was not too far along the river – but I felt pretty certain if I did this I’d miss the tides for the return crossing over Breydon Water – so instead opted to get something to sooth my now very poorly skin at Reedham.

Brampton Common is a very nice over night mooring and the scenery here is lovely – I however do think that it would be better to hire on the southern rivers to explore this area more than come here from the north to do it justice and soak up the area.  That way one can enjoy without the need of having a long slog back to your boatyard on the northern rivers.

Shortly after I left the moorings I did a sensible thing – went below and used the inside helm almost all the way to Reedham.  It is funny how the night before I was going along here feeling a tad tense wondering if I would get to where I wished befor…

Distant Horizon 2 - Day two

It was an early start – around 5:30am.  I had not intended to be up at this time, but I could not seem to rest easy thinking a lot about the day ahead – when should I leave the mooring to get the ebb tide to Breydon?  Where and how was I going to place the cameras and would the new cables I’d bought work for those who would come and watch live later and where exactly would I be making for as an overnight mooring?
Breakfast was had and after a couple of coffees I was feeling much more clear.  The usual messing about with cables and cameras resulted in the also very common issue of none of them working when they were plugged in and had power – a lot of choice words and configuring software later everything was set and working.  Time to chill out and go for a walk.
It was a glorious morning, but the wind was just as bad today as yesterday.  I walked along the dyle to the River Thurne and just sat down by the river and let all the worries ebb away – a stroll back to the boat an…

Distant Horizon 2 - Day one

So it was time once again to leave London and head to Norfolk – Acle in fact to take over Distant Hoirzon 2 from Horizon Craft – part of  Richardson’s Boating Holidays. 

I had hired with them before, the most recent being in October 2012 and knew the welcome would be first class and the boat tip top.  I’d arranged for a new taxi service to come and collect me from the station, wait while I popped into Budgens and then drop me at the boatyard – great service, lovely Ford Galaxy people carrier and a reasonable price – his name is Rupert and his number is: 07754 327 388.

After completing the paper work, meeting the usual friendly staff (and Paul Richardson as it happened) it was time to set off with the destination of Womack Dyke. 

While the boat class I was used to (having previously hired San Julian) I had no idea what this Distant Horizon 2 would look like internally, since there are no photos of it online or in the brochure.  I was impressed.  Huge windows, tinted too – lovely interio…

It's been fun folks...

So having just completed another live stream, this time off the east coast of England onboard the restored 1960's broads cruiser - Broad Ambition - it is time to hang up the leads and cameras for the last time.
The story began in February 2012 when I wondered if it would be possible to stream live from a boat as it cruised the rivers of the Norfolk Broads.  It worked and history was made.  Little did I know that would lead to other broadcasts since - culminating in the most ambitious which was to show the Queen's Diamond Jubilee from aboard Broad Ambition as she took part in the pageant along the River Thames.
From new cameras, software and ever faster and better dongles to connect it all to the outside world via the Internet we tried to push boundaries and improve the experience for the viewers.  It was a blast, and one has to wonder if it was not for this happening would Norfolk Live (Inner Shed) have placed a webcam on one of the Broads Tours boats...?

But it is a very time co…