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Mon, 11 Apr 2016 7:20 am BST- Light Rain
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Memories

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Memory jog please.| Dim memories| Brings back memories| Brings Back Memories 2| Brings Back Memories 3| Memories of 2005|

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SteveDuk
Sep-14-2017 @ 2:45 PM                           Permalink
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Having just booked a boat for a week mid October, my first time on the broads for nearly twenty years, I was reminded of when I took my then pre-school son on a short break.

It had seemed a good deal when I saw the ad in the paper for a last minute short break. He was due to start school in a couple of weeks and being separated from his Mum it seemed a good idea to get a bit of "guy" time in. So off we went.

At the time I had a motorbike, not a car, and as his Mum had vetoed that we went to Stalham on the train (from London)

We arrived at the boatyard, sorted what little stuff we had taken with us, got him a lifejacket and settled down on the small rear cockpit cruiser we had been given.

Time for me to be grown up and establish some rules:

1 Lifejacket to be worn at all times he wasn't in the cabin

2 Er, I couldn't think of a number 2 so that was it.

We were off.

Pottering down towards Barton Broad I started to think about things that could go wrong.  He could fall overboard but that wouldn't be a problem as I could just stop and pick him up again, but what if I fell overboard? That needed some thinking about and I needed to teach him to stop the boat and get the mud weight over the side. Once we got to Barton Broad we tried it out.

Stopping the engine was no problem but he couldn't lift the mudweight. We solved that one by placing it close to the edge of the deck so he could sit with his back to the cabin and push it with his feet. We practised this, me shouting "splash" and then him doing his stuff untill he had it off pat. He wanted to increase the realism by having me jump over the side but luckily I talked him out of that one.

(to be continued)

SteveDuk
Sep-15-2017 @ 1:18 PM                           Permalink
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Lesson 2 Throwing a rope

I remembered learning this at school for my 'Lifesaver' badge when I wasn't much older than he was and sure enough this was quite easily done. Enough of that, time for dinner.

I now realise how lucky we were finding moorings at Neatishead. Jamie passed the bow line to a helpful dog walker on the staithe and we were moored but it did make me realise that we would need some practise mooring for when there wasn't a helpful third party available. A couple of hours later we were both fed and he was tucked up for the night.

The next morning.

I say morning but it felt like the middle of the night when I was woken by a 4 1/2 year old, wearing a lifejacket, trainers and little else, shaking me and saying "I can't open the orange juice" I shot out of bed, sorted out his juice, made a cuppa, got him dressed and started to wonder why he'd been wearing the lifejacket. It turned out he'd been "playing with Bert". Bert, it transpires, was a Labrador belonging to an elderly couple moored at the top end of the staithe. (we met Bert again later, more to follow)

At least now I'd found Rule 2:

Don't leave the boat until I get up!

(to be cont.)



VetChugger
Sep-15-2017 @ 2:30 PM                           Permalink
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Good to read Steve, thanks, keep it coming! I suspect this part will be familiar to many!

Trevor

SteveDuk
Sep-16-2017 @ 3:29 PM                           Permalink
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Ok so we now had two rules (how grown up was I?) and it was time to sort out the mooring issue. He'd jump off with the bow line, wrap it around the post 3 or 4 times and just hang on while I stepped off in a far more dignified manner and tied the stern line before tying his rope off properly. We were sorted and set off for Yarmouth because I thought, wrongly as it turned out, he might get a bit bored on the boat and would like a day at the Pleasure Beach etc. A stop at the Stracey Arms on the way for him to practise his new found 'wrapping a rope round a post' skills i.e. for me to have a cuppa and we were moored within walking distance of Yarmouth dog track by teatime. Dinner at the dog track and we were in bed by about 10. Funnily enough he didn't wake up at the crack of dawn the next day so we had a nice lie in, ending up at the Pleasure Beach about noon.

By 1pm he was bored "Can we go back to the boat dad?" So it was back on the boat. By now we had the tea making on the move off pat, he would bring cup, milk sugar teapot and teabags up to the cockpit and fill the kettle. Then leaving him at the wheel (naughty I know but it was only for 30 seconds) I would light the gas and go back. He shouted when the kettle boiled and I went and got it to pour water in the pot. Mind you, we still had to stop at the Stracey for him to say hello to his new friends, the goats. That night, our third, was spent at the Lion at Thurne.

(to be continued)



This message was edited by SteveDuk on Sep-16-17 @ 4:34 PM

ADI
Sep-16-2017 @ 7:50 PM                           Permalink
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Great loving it, more  Smile

Regards

Adrian  Michelle

Beck  Braydon and Mere.

SteveDuk
Sep-19-2017 @ 2:05 PM                           Permalink
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After a good meal in the Lion we settled down for the night and woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed for our last full day. Pottering up towards Wroxham we stop off in Horning for some essential supplies (cereal, milk and biscuits) and decide to call into Salhouse Broad for a late breakfast, cereal for him and toast for me. As we approach the moorings he shouts "Look dad, there's Bert". Sure enough I can see a black Lab and it turns out it IS Bert who seems to remember Jamie. Soon a great game has developed which involves Jamie throwing a stick into the water, Bert then performs a really showy leap in to retrieve it, bring it back to Jamie and then shaking himself right next to him, rinse and repeat. They kept this up for about half an hour at the end of which Jamie was as wet as Bert. One change of clothes later we are off to Wroxham for our fish'n'chip lunch.

The rest of the day was quite uneventful and after an early start we were back in Stalham to hand the boat back in the morning.

On the way home on the train Jamie's main question was when can we do it again?

And do it again we did Smile  The next trip that's worth relating was in the spring, two years later when his big sister (my step-daughter) came with us.

(TBC)

SteveDuk
Sep-19-2017 @ 11:21 PM                           Permalink
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Ok fast forward 18 months to early 2000.

Jamie and I have been on the Broads for a short break twice since my last post and he has advanced from being a rope wrap novice to a clove-hitch master Smile

This time he wants his sister to come too. I was a bit apprehensive. There is a big difference between a 6 year old boy that thinks you can do no wrong and a 10 (going on 20) year old girl who thinks you can do no right (she takes after her mother) but he was determined, she wanted to come, they'd talked their mum into allowing it (my last hope) and we were off.

To Potter Heigham this time. I can't remember the name of the boat but it was a three berth sporty looking little boat with a convertible double in the main cabin and a double under the rear sundeck. 2+2=3 it seems in boatspeak Smile Whatever it worked well with the small people in the cabin and me having the other double to myself. This time we had hired a sailing dinghy as well as I thought the kids might enjoy it and figured I'd remember enough from sailing lessons in the Army to get by.

The loose plan was:
Night 1. The Lion at Thurne

Night 2. Gt Yarmouth. We hadn't been back here since the first trip but Jamie decided that Natasha would like it

Night 3 Maybe Ranworth? The next day we were meeting a friend of mine from Norwich, with her daughter (11), at Salhouse where the dinghy would get a work out

Last night would be Thurne again or Ludham.

The first two nights went well. On the way back up from Yarmouth we made the obligatory stop to say hello to the goats and then carried on. Suddenly Natasha said

"Steve, you know the unsinkable dinghy?"

"Yes hun?"

"It's sunk"

"WHAT THE ............"

And it had, the line from the rear of the boat vanished at an angle of about 30 degrees down into the water.

OK think! Now I didn't want to just stop because then the current would draw us back over the sunken dinghy and who knows what could get tangled in the prop and rudder but I needed time to think. Slowing down but keeping tension on the rope I slowly turned toward midstream. Once we were at right angles to the bank it was into neutral and let the current and wind do the rest. Soon we were facing downriver and more or less stationary.

Luckily I had a phone signal. The boatyard were very matter of fact about it
"How far are you from Thurne Mouth?"
"About a mile"
"Can you drag it to there, tie it to the dredger and we'll collect it in the morning. You can pick another dinghy up from Wroxham in the morning if you want"

And this we did although it wasn't quite that easy. The wind had got up and getting the dinghy involved Tash jumping onto the dredger me getting the boat alongside with the wind doing it's best to push it out to midriver and her tying us on. When she got back on board after casting off she looked like the creature from the black lagoon covered in mud from the dredger.

It was at this point that I realised all the worry she'd had before about sinking etc. wasn't fear. She could swim and gymnastics had given her supreme confidence in her own abilities. What she was worried about was getting her hair in a mess (remember the 'going on 20') When it came down to it she got stuck in and was an absolute trooper!

We were lucky and got a mooring at Ranworth, Tash was in the shower washing the mud of and Jamie was boring er I mean telling the people on the next boat about our adventure.

"Where's the hairdryer Steve?" (she had quite long hair)
What hairdryer? My suggestion of towel drying it and tying it back with a scrunchy brought a withering look but the lady on the next boat saved my skin with the offer of the use of her proper 240v hairdryer and even offered to do it!

(TBC)



This message was edited by SteveDuk on Sep-19-17 @ 12:25 AM

daviddownunder
Sep-20-2017 @ 1:38 AM                           Permalink
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Great story Steve
Nice little adventure, thanks for sharing

Regards
Dave Downunder


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