Off we went with a week to re-explore the northern end of the Norfolk Broads with another crossing of the infamous Wroxham Bridge without a repeat performance of last time. First we had to get there which means downriver along the Yare and across Breydon Water, catching the tide right to get under the two bridges there.
By the lower reaches of the Yare the storm clouds had gathered and there were bolts of lightning striking the marshes. Fortunately the wind wasn't too strong but we put in at Burgh Castle and visited a friend whilst we let the rest of the tide go out. Late afternoon we made Great Yarmouth, still with some rainy intervals, but safely under the bridges. As the light was fading we thought we'd spend the night at Stokesby. It was FULL. This was the first indication of how busy this part of the Broads still is. On with the navigation lights and press on to Acle Bridge by darkness.
Early next morning we headed for Wroxham. Passing through Horning we spotted this new landmark - the symbol of one of the hire companies. All along the route there were boats, boats and more boats but we reached our destination just after midday. Availing ourselves of some friends moorings we checked out the local knowledge to find that there was too much water in the system at the moment and we wouldn't get under - or - if we did we might not get back. As there's no public moorings this side of the bridge we had to abandone the mission. I know what you're saying!!
What we did spot was a new looking wherry that we haven't seen before. Couldn't make out the name because it was in scroll type gold lettering which was impossible to decipher. Anyone know? This was Sunday afternoon, the busiest part of the week and jostling our way downriver on the Bure we took a diversion to Ranwaorth (Malthouse) Broad. It was by pure look that a familiar looking boat pulled away as we were coming in to moor. Friends with a similar taste to ours when it comes to boats. Thanks guys. It was quite obvious by now that this wouldn't mean a peaceful nights sleep squashed in between the others we we stayed for a while and gained some inside knowledge from a local. Turning up the River Ant, through Ludham Bridge and past How hill and Irstean we made across Barton Broad and eventually found what we were looking for. We thought we'd been on every mooring on the Broads but this one is so secret that we just hadn't noticed it. So we tucked ourselves against the single quay heading under the trees and had a peaceful night after all. A long walk the next day took us across some wonderful open marshland. And that wasn't the only new walk we discovered. The next day we came to rest at Sutton Staithe. This is the eel that came out in the basin. On the surface, a coot took time to give himself a wash and, watching from a convenient overhanging branch was the kingfisher waiting to the next meal.
Another place that we walked past on our daily perambulations was an old farmhouse the gable end of which had decorative work. I think it's called pargetting or something like that. Take a look and see what I mean.
Another grand sight was the Wherry Albion (see the video by searching the name top right of the page) Some other lucky people experiencing the old black sails flapping over the Thurne. Towards the end of the trip, after a pleasant crossing of Breydon water with the tides and wind in our favour, we put in at Loddon for a night and then went round to Langley dyke for the last night. Saturday was the Yare Navigation race organised by Coldham Hall Sailing Club and we walked round to Hardley wind pump. It was their last day of the season so a BBQ and beer tent were on hand to sustain us whilst we watched the yachts race by. They've also now put in the water pump mechanism and got the pipe to return the water to the dyke so next year should see the whole mill in working order as she used to be. All in all a great week apart from when I shook the ketchup bottle and the lid flew off. I'll let you guess what happened next!