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Naughty Cal

Swanning Around in Norfolk

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It seems to have been a long time since we have been on the water but this Saturday (05.10.19) we will be making the trip to Stalham on the Norfolk Broads to pick up Swan Ranger, an Alphacraft 35 Highliner from the Richardsons yard.

 

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It is a long time since we booked this holiday and at the time it was booked for a completely different reason. We had hired this boat to find out how it would stack up as a liveaboard boat for the two of us and Sydney. We have of course bought a new house now so that idea has gone out of the window but we are still looking forward to spending some time on the water and this will be the first time we have hired a dual steer boat on the Broads so we are interested to see the difference that it makes to our time there.

 

Now all we need to do is pray to the weather gods for some dry weather so that the water levels can reduce enough for us to escape the River Ant and get under Ludham Bridge and access the majority of the Broads!

  • Greenie 1

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The amount of River Ant you can cruise in a boat like that could be cruised easily in well under a day.  So you'll need the river level to drop.  How many days do you have the boat?

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Yes we are fully aware of that. We are keeping a close eye on the river levels at the minute to decide if we are going to make a last minute switch of boats or not. Richardsons have said they have a few boats we can choose from if we don't want to take Swan Ranger due to river levels.

 

All eyes on the river gauge at Barton Broad at the minute.

 

https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/station/6216?direction=u

 

We have the boat for seven days and were hoping to make some tracks on Saturday as we can pick the boat up at 1pm we were hoping to get to Stokesby for the evening and head to the southern Broads on Sunday morning. 

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I'd swap.  There's every chance you could get stuck on the wrong side of the bridge anyway.  Also, the best bits of the Broads are the other side of Potter Heigham bridge IMO.

  • Greenie 1

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We have been up beyond Potter Heigham plenty of times., don't fancy it this time.

 

With the current high river levels there are not going to be many boats going through the bridge anyway. If we can't get Ranger through Ludham we won't be getting a low level tupperware tub through Potter Heigham!

 

https://www.herbertwoods.co.uk/norfolk-broads/webcam/

Edited by Naughty Cal

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We can confirm that Swan Ranger goes through Ludham with 7'6" showing on the gauge. It was close though and I was optimistic driving from the roof! 

Embarrassing to say I did nudge the side of the bridge as I was concentrating more on not hitting the bridge deck. It was only a minor nudge though no harm done.

After that we had a lovely cruise down to Stokesby where we had an unexpected dinner in the pub. The heating would not work so we waited in the pub for the engineers to fix it. Have to say they were very quick to arrive. They had to go away and come back with some spare parts but all is up and running again and while they were here they sorted the stern gland out which was pouring water in!

Our meal was lovely despite the brief power cut which plunged us into complete darkness. 

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What a thoroughly miserable day. After a very leisurely breakfast at Stokesby we have had a very steady run back upstream to Potter Heigham and it has not stopped raining all the way. 

 

We have grabbed a mooring by the bridge. Probably the last one a biggish boat will slot into with how the moored boats are spread out!

 

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The plan had been to head down to Womack later but given the very limited visibility from the inside helm on this boat we will give it a miss today unless by some miracle it stops raining later. That seems doubtful though!

 

On the plus side Swan Ranger is a very warm and dry boat. Perfect for days like today.

 

We will have to do what we hate doing later and run the engine for a bit while moored up as we really have not gone far today and the batteries were none so clever this morning when we got up.

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At least you have the Emporium of Tat to explore.

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Liam has been to the tat shop earlier.

 

We are now sat with the engine running in the pouring rain watching Top Gear. But do you know what. We are quite enjoying a day off. We are warm and dry, Sydney is wrapped up in bed and we have a nice joint of lamb in the fridge ready to cook for dinner later.

 

Not how we imagined we were going to spend today but really quite enjoyable and a nice change from long days of cruising. 

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It has been a considerably better day today weather wise. A bit grey perhaps but much drier.

 

We have had a steady run from Potter Heigham to Wroxham to do a spot of shopping and have then plodded back to Salhouse Broad for the evening. 

 

We are both surprised how quiet the Broads seem this week so far. Loads of moorings everywhere. Even Horning staithe had a couple of spaces at dinnertime!

 

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Looks like we are having a second visit from the engineers tonight. The batteries on this boat are shot. We did a few hours cruising today and have just had the engine running for a few hours while moored up, which we hate doing, and still they are only showing 12v when the engine is turned off. 

 

Credit where it is due the engineers are on the ball and talked us through a few things it could be. None of which it is but they are now on their way to us despite our less than ideal location for them to get too us.

 

Should be a quick fix all being well.

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Looks like the hire company have let maintenance slip on your boat . Heater not working when handed over  , stern gland leaking , batteries knackered . Not a good advert for the hire company .

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I dont think we have ever hired a boat that has had good batteries when we have picked it up. They do usually improve after a couple of long days though. These have got worse. 

 

I guess you never know how the previous hirers have treated them prior to you picking the boat up.

 

The previous hirers in this boats case clearly didn't report the broken heater (which I'm not sure the yard would check prior to hand over) or the desperate lack of electricity. That should perhaps have been picked up and the stern gland leak which was audible from the stern  cabin!

 

It is the end of a long season for these boats. We didn't expect perfection which is a good job!

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Quick update. Battery bank 1 is shot. Luckily this boat has a second domestic bank, which also isn't in the best condition but better than bank 1, so we have switched to that for tonight and we will be getting two new banks of batteries tomorrow when we get to a more accessible location.

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Hi Rachel,  hope you got the batteries sorted and had a good night on Salhouse.

 

You may recall Grebe was on the Broads for 17 years and we had a place there for 7 years.  Memory, experience plus the knowledge that a friend is taking part reminds me that it is Barton Regatta this week.  In the past it was Blakes Regatta for hire yachts at the end of the season and it is still carried on.  Therefore there will be lots of hire yachts competing on Barton Broad this week  Plus they will all be on various quay-headings en-masse this week.  There is normally a dinner and prize giving event at Sutton on the Friday.

 

Suggest you plan accordingly.

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Thanks for the heads up. We have already encountered them!

 

We are having a take out curry on Friday night. If we can't get on Stalham staithe we will head back into the boat yard for the night.

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Yesterday was an altogether better day. We even had some sunshine. 

 

We stopped for breakfast at Cockshot Dyke before heading to Ranworth for a dinnertime pint at The Maltsters and then onto Acle for our evening meal at Pedro's. 

 

Sydney loved watching the world go by from the fly bridge and barking at the yachts!

 

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We rang the yard yesterday and told them that we are happy to continue our holiday with this second set of batteries as they are much better than the first set were. No point changing these ones.

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On 07/10/2019 at 20:56, tree monkey said:

That's a fabulous looking tree

Have you been up many like that TM? 

On 07/10/2019 at 21:34, Naughty Cal said:

The fanny tree.

I think he prefers to go by tree monkey. 

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YO!,

 

Welcome back, good to catch up and the pics. are good. Bought a motor home yet?, hope new house panning out well. Sidney looks good.

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It looks pretty busy in your last photos even for rainy October. We have been thinking of possibly buying a broads cruiser now that we have sold our barge in France and like the idea of no locks as we are both getting a bit decrepit. Richardson’s have some ex hire boats for sale but after your problems not sure how good their maintenance is. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

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