Broads 2001

Lullaby - Broads 2001

Captain - Chris Rowlands First Mate - Anne Barber Cabin Boy - Andrew Roberts Galley Slave - Neil Sahdev

Friday 14th

Moored: Anne's House

Having finished work early, both the Skipper and the Engineer made their way to the first mate's house. The Engineer took a small diversion and ended up taking the scenic route! Soon after arrival, the 3 assembled crew members bundled back into the car and drove to the local Tescos to buy the weeks provisions.

Since it had already been decided that as many meals as possible would be in pubs - it is a mystery that the total came to more than £93! Still, Anne had a few "bracing" bottles of wine, and chris had his bread.. Roberts was just happy about his Organic Courgettes. Still shaking their heads in bewilderment, the crew returned home and made up tomorrows lunch. 8 sandwiches were cut and filled and then boxed.

Travel arrangements for tomorrows journey were breifly discussed, and it was greed to get an early night as Neil would be arriving at 8 and we would have a long days drive ahead.

The crew retired at 2230, setting alarms for 0745.

Saturday 15th

Moored: Fleet Dyke (just off the Bure)

The three crew members who were bunking at Windsor awoke shortly before 8 - anxious to create a good impession they were almost ready when the 4th hand arrived at 0810. Much to the Chief Engineers frustration, he found the house perfectly - thus proving the Chief Engineer's lack of navigational skills. Not even one phone call - unbelievable!

Once the cars were packed and the skipper moved all the beers to the the Engineer's Car, leaving only Bread and toilet rolls in the Citroen (a clear efort to redress the power shortfall), and then we were off.

With the holiday now offiially beginning, we filled up with petrol checked maps, agreed routes and set out for the M25.

The traffic was light and progress was swift, we drew up at the designated lunch stop shortly before 11. Although ahead of schedule the break was a welcome one, and we ate, drank and made use of the facilities. All crew members acknowledged the ease of the passage thus far and the ideal sailing conditions. Although the skipper was huffing and puffing about "...some old geezer in a Metro who sliced me up on the roundabout back there.. ..he was taking up about 3 lanes..". The Chief Engineer recalls a similar incident 4 years ago with his over-enthusiastic elder brother. We were soon on the road again, and making good progress we arrived at Ludham at around 1245. And although the boat collection was normally 2 o'clock the yard staff said Lullaby would be ready at around 12. They hadn't banked on 1 boat returning holed, and another half full of water, having been capsized. The latter caused by the crew playing "drop the person on the bollard in the middle of the broad" games, when the boat heeled over, and the mainsheet caught round the bollard dragging the boat past horizontal. They were then playing "lets stop our valuables floating off" and "try and find some cleathes for tomorrow". Although frustrated by this immature attitude the boatyard staff didn't seem bothered and were just a bit delayed because they had to dry out the matresses from the boat. This meant we could only really start loading the boat at 1:30 and after a quick reminder of where eveything was, we set out. We got to the end of the dyke and the skippers decision to put a reef in was looking like a wise move. Except we didn't reef correctly - as the guy from the yard, who came running, advised us. We were soon under way, making good progress out of Womack water and onto the Thurne. Although the wind was strong, both the direction and the tide were against us and at times this made for slow progress tacking at times, generally we made good progress to the mouth of the Bure. It was at this point that the tacking began. With the wind coming in from the South West we found that tacking against the tide was both slow and hard work, although in the gusts the sailing was good. Heading down Fleet Dyke towards South Walsham proved to be the nail in the "coffin of progress" and we soon found ourselves loosing on tacks. We agreed to moor and cut our losses. A BBQ was the agreed meal so we needed to make sure we had some bank on which to cook. Having spotted the ideal mooring location we made a passable job (under the circumstances) of tieing up. Later though we noticed another Ludham boat moored down river and looking back maybe the "moor" might've looked a tad amateurish viewed from our sister ship.

With the boat secure, chocolate cake was sliced , and beers popped. Relaxing after the wierd sail was good, as we reflected on the 4 seasons worth of weather we had just come through.

After the barbie's we prepared and lit and the vegetables were prepared we decided to eat indoors. Although the awning was up it was noticibly warmer "indoors". The food was great and a warmed banana finished it off nicely as well as the rest of the wine, and then a cup of tea.

A safe first day then, but i can't help thinking more incidents lie ahead. No-one has ventured into the dinghy yet, and the YTS bosun has yet to helm. Oh boy!!

Sunday 16th

Moored: Opposite the Ferry Inn in Horning