Page updated 1 March 2021
Found in eastern England, the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are a complex of shallow lakes, interconnected by around 200 miles of navigable rivers. They have been a playground for visitors with an interest in boating and wildlife for around two centuries.
It took a bit of persuading to get Mother to accept another boating holiday, after the cramped conditions and baking heat of the Llangollen cruise in 1963, so it was 1965 when we took to the water again on the Norfolk Broads.
My brother Mike, two school friends and I hire "Buzzard", the cheapest yacht in the Blakes catalogue.
The final holiday taken with my parents was aboard the Yacht Spindrift, hired from the Eastwood Whelpton yard at Upton on the Norfolk Broads.
If nothing else that holiday introduced me to Hamilton's Charts and I reveal a little of why I found them such a delight.
On retiring to Norfolk Dad bought a SeaHawk. which the family named "Jemima". He bought it to encourage frequent visits by his children. It worked for me! These are the photographs of a cruise taken with friend, Tim Iliffe, a colleague of mine when a youth worker in Northampton.
After a party at my brother's house, from Hertfordshire, friends Tony and Annette travelled in convoy to my parent's home to come cruising with me aboard Dad's SeaHawk.
See also the separate My SeaHawk section which includes my more recent exploits in my own boat.
Part of the celebrations for my brother's fiftieth birthday involved a trip aboard "Walnut", hired from Martham Boat Building and Development Company.
I use my SeaHawk to capture photographs of the Open Canoe Sailing Group who are visiting Hickling Broad for the second year running.
I send a good number to be part of article in the final issue of "Norfolk Afloat".
I make a second visit to the Museum of the Broads. This time Diana comes too as I again arrange to meet with friend, Ian. This time I take a camera write up an entry on what used to be "the Blog".
In the afternoon, after visiting the Boat Jumble at the Museum of the Broads in Stalham, Diana and I take a walk along the old railway line, now named the Weavers Way, to reach Honing Staithe on the north Walsham and Dilham Canal.
I'm part of a scratch band, assembled by the landlord, that once a month entertains an audience at the Pleasure Boat Inn, Hickling.
Glenn decides we should put on a show at the nearby pub that his partner runs at Horsey. Naturally, we travel by boat!
Named after an old Citreon car that Ian once owned, and painted in matching colours, Deux Chevaux is home-built yacht based on the Selway Fisher Liyx 14 design.
Today I assisted Ian with it's first launch at the Barton Turf Adventure Centre.
Bryn Weightman used to captain a working Thames Sailing Barge and had recently bought a SeaHawk to add to his collection of small bots. He invited me to assist with his shakedown cruise after spending a little time in the yard at Martham prepping the boat for its first launch after his purchase.
No longer a participant in the race and writing long descriptions of all that was involved in preparation and recovery as well as the race itself, Diana and I watch from the river bank taking less than a handful of photographs.
Diana had talked of buying a canoe so it seems sensible to give the idea a try. So late on a fine Sunday morning when she was next in Norfolk we hire a canoe from the closest boatyard to us.
Mike and I take a Canoe from Wayford Bridge and explore the North Walsham and Dilham Canal, including the East Ruston Branch and get to Dilham to see Dad's old mooring.
A call for some assistance with Deux Cevaux from Ian meant I had the opportunity for a short cruise aboard his home built yacht. The job was done in a few moments and it allowed us time for a short trip around Barton Broad, during which we encountered a craft we couldn't identify while on the water.
It's October and Diana and I try to make arrangements to go canoeing with friends Izy and Kevin at Hickling, but it doesn't work out that way.
It was a struggle arranging a date as there were four people involved and poor weather with which to to contend.
Eventually the day arrived and we met at the slipway on the parish moorings at Hickling where I normally launch and recover Just 17
The tale of how Diana and I track down the location of the scene in a jigsaw that Hannah, Diana's daughter, gave to her Mum last year.
Today I visit my friend Ian to see his newly purchased Pirate.
Supposedly, the reason for the invitation was to assist with a two minute job. I didn't really need an excuse!
I get an invitation to assist with the launch of Ian's Pirate at the boatyard just a mile from home and then go on the initial voyage to his mooring at Barton Broad.
Diana and I celebrate her birthday and our anniversary on a dayboat hired from Maycraft at Potter Heigham. Note I say "celebrate" not "spend" as the trip was on the day after those two events.