With its huge skies, boundless wildlife and slow moving rivers and broads, fringed by whispering reed beds, it has a unique appeal and linked with my enduring love of boats, has constantly drawn me back. Indeed my wife and I spent our honeymoon there in 1966, on a fine vessel called 'Star Glory' from the yard of Jack Powles in Wroxham and when our own family was young we spent happy times just messing about in boats.
|Sunset, Oulton Dyke|
|Moored stern-on in Beccles Yacht Station|
Whether or not their training team had taken to heart my criticism on 'Trip Adviser' following that earlier visit I don't know, but not once did I hear 'Hi-ya y'alright there!' and neither were we referred to as 'guys' preceded by the aforementioned phrase, in the restaurant! In fact any greeting was a civilised hello or good morning which pleased this miserable old git immensely.
|Early morning Worlingham Staithe|
The approach to the boatyard is always exciting. Would our chosen vessel be as gorgeous as we expected or would it have been holed by the bowsprit of a passing yacht or perhaps had its canopy swept aside under a low bridge by an incompetent skipper who was unable to understand the tide tables?
We need not have worried, there she lay at her mooring, resplendent in the sunshine awaiting our arrival. The owner of the yard greeted us and having sorted out the paperwork, the business of unloading our provisions from the Volvo and into the boat proceeded apace.
|On the River Waveney en route for Loddon|
Anyway, following an in-depth conversation with the boatyard owner about the benefits of owning a Morgan as he was thinking of buying one,(he had spotted my MSCC sticker on the car), we set off into the wide blue yonder
|Herringfleet Drainage Mill|
As we only had 4 days it had been decided to concentrate on the southern rivers of the system, the Yare, the Waveney and the Chet and our first overnight mooring was in Oulton Dyke which leads into Oulton Broad, the very place where, as a boy, all those years ago, I had gazed at that lovely cruiser with its varnished mahogany gleaming in the sunshine that was to be our holiday home for a week.Incidentally it was hired from a certain Jim Hoseason who was just setting up, what is now a huge holiday organisation from his small boatyard at Oulton.
The next day we had a leisurely cruise up the River Waveney to Beccles where this ageing 'plonker' made two very embarrassing blunders!
|Moored at Loddon|
|Calm evening at Loddon|
After waving the engineer goodbye, accompanied by many apologies, we walked into the town to top up provisions, buy postcards (my wife and sister love to send postcards) and have lunch and a beer.
This was a situation that demanded the swiftest action to prevent anyone else seeing our plight and compounding our embarrassment. The Commander brought the vessel to a halt, handed the helm to his wife and leapt forward to the bow and hauled the weight on to the deck where he virtually collapsed, having forgotten that he is no longer the sprightly and strong person of his youth!
|Rockland St Mary Staithe|
We moored for the night at a village staithe where we were joined by a group of fishermen who positioned themselves off our bow and talked and fished until 3.30AM when they finally left us in peace....an interesting day!
|Magical last morning, Rockland Broad|
|Journeys end, Brundall on the River Yare|