Brinks Belmore | The Big Tour - Day 5 (Part 2)
So on with part two of the fifth day as I continue the cruise from Oulton Broad to the Ferry House at Surlingham.
Now, if you were a teenager in the 1990's there is some music you will recognise - rather iconic in the club scene of the day, but for those older folks watching you will likely want to hit the mute button lol. Whatever your taste in music, I was treated to some amazing weather - bright sunshine, blue skies and big fluffy white clouds hanging over the beautiful riverscape that the Yare provides.
It is days like this when you are cruising along that time really means so little, and the miles ebb away and new delights are to be seen and in about half an hour of cruising I had passed just one boat - how very different these rivers are to the northern ones.
The sugar beet factory at Cantley grew ever closer, and I have to say I rather like it - a 'cathedral' of industry and full of stuff that at this time of year is quiet and you wonder what does this pipe do or that, yet come in the winter and its chimney will be churning steam high into the air to be seen for miles around.
With Cantley behind us the next place of interest to come up was Rockland Broad - and I cannot pass up on a trip to see it and pass back out to the main river. Having only discovered Rockland in 2013 when I was onboard Mystic Horizon, I have never found it to be quite as idyllic and calm as when I first cruised over its waters -even the light was just perfect. (Video of this here)
Now in 2016 on a bright day with the tide in (but as I found rapidly heading out towards Yarmouth) it seemed a little less serene and secretive to me but none the less a very beautiful part of the world. I pondered how it may be if the Broad were to be extensively dredged and boats could explore it all and mud weight overnight...
Soon back on to the mighty Yare we continued on and doing very good so far as time was concerned despite not pushing the revs and going against the tide to my mind this trip which I feared would be long and leave me feeling a little less fresh was not that bad at all, and we had past several places that many a hirer would stop at - Reedham and the moorings at Cantley or Rockland so this did not need to be an unbroken long cruise by any means showing that the places one can visit 'down south' may be a little more spaced apart but none the less one can do a great deal in a half a day.
With Brundall now not too far away I knew that the Ferry House at Surlingaham would likewise not be a great distance - but before we got there it was time for a quick 'in and out' of Bargate (otherwise known or referred to as Surlingham Broad) . It was as ever it has been, almost like you have found a small lake at the end of a secret garden and very beautiful too with a couple of boas quietly on their mud weight.
Back to the main river, past Brooms it was time to get things ready for the mooring - ropes to hand, lifejacket on, doors open and plan underway as to what to do when I came to moor. As I approached the moorings outside the pub, a section was taped off, so I cruised past to find where usually one stern moors, a couple of boats had moored side on. However, the tape I took to me 'stay away' actually had a sign attached 'moor at your own risk' so I backed up and moored at my own risk.
A group of chaps were having some drinks having hired from Freedom, and as I came into moor and leapt of the boat a combination of my weight and the super soft boggy grass saw me hit the ground with a great 'splat' and my feet were now 3 inches into the mud and my previously white trainers anything but. One of the guys came over and I passed him the bow line. Note: if someone else takes your ropes and ties them, do make sure after they are actually tied to a post.
Once that was done one of the party spotted my sign 'Naughty Rascal On Board' and much laughter was had - a decent group of lads having a good time and ripping up any stereotypes these 'all male crews' may be tarnished with.
You can watch part 2 of the Captains blog above, and tomorrow part 3 will finish this fifth day off as far as the video goes before the next stage of the tour begins on day 6.