Page updated 24 October 2023
Again, I was taken by surprise! Ten Days Ago Diana had fancied having a pizza. Today the excuse for another outing on Singing the Blues was that I had just told her that I had cancelled a band rehearsal due to be held at our place. Chris had rung saying he had cold-like symptoms and felt he ought to stay clear of Diana as her immune system might be below par. It was Tuesday afternoon and the week before her next, and final, chemotherapy session, so she was feeling quite well, having got over the worst of the previous session's side effects.
Within the hour we had packed enough for the night, had arrived at the boat. It took more than the usual second for the engine to fire, which was a bit of a surprise, but it soon fired and and we cast off shortly before 15:00.
I hadn't taken my usual "leaving the dyke" departure image but managed to persuade Diana to take the helm as a image taken from the stern would make a change. I managed to capture the small area where we had seen the Cattle Gather when returning home last time.
My maps don't reveal what the structure on the left is. It appears to be apparatus that takes water out of the river. You find it just above Belaugh
I'd never seen so little activity and only one vehicle at Belaugh Staithe, which we passed at about 15:15.
Perhaps it's because the leaves are beginning to fall from the trees, but I noticed the church much more than before as we passed it this time.
On the other hand there was less change in the boats found at the yard.
It was the first time we had seen work boats on the river above Wroxham, but we had been aware that a pipe, a couple of feet in diameter, was being installed at this point.
As we cruised past Castle Staithe I suggested to Diana that we could stop for a cup of tea, but she was keen to press on as she had some shopping in mind that she wanted to do in Wroxham.
With the sun lower at this time of year you become very conscious of how one bank can be in bright sun while the other is too dark to photograph well.
It was 15:55 before we passed a boat travelling towards us, but there had been a good number of dinghies and canoes about, even day boats, with anglers aboard.
As the river twists and turn on the way to Wroxham, so the sun switches from one side to the other.
By 16:00 we have reached Bridge Broad. Through the other exit you can see a boat on the Hoveton Viaduct moorings on the main river.
We drop our mudweight in a bay the furthest way into the broad. The buoys and railing appear to be intended to stop yachts running into the high voltage cables that dip quite low over the broad. The embankment beyond is topped by the Bittern Line, the railway running between Norwich and Sheringham.
We brew tea and have some of the mince pies we brought with us and decide it's a bit late to go shopping , which can wait till tomorrow. Once again my phone proves it's not good at stitching together a set of frames to make a panorama image when there are hard edges involved.
While we miss out on shopping, we do move the boat to the Hoveton Viaduct moorings so we can have a meal in a local pub. We choose the Kings Head. Diana has to accept third choice. there was no problem with my choice of 8oz Rump Steak.
Although it wasn't our initial plan, we spent the night on the moorings. We were at the very end so there were no passing pedestrians, but by the time we awoke there were anglers close by. Shortly after 09:30 we began a walk into Hoveton on the riverside footpath. There's a boardwalk that passes under the viaduct where there is a structure similar to a bus shelter immediately under the viaduct. I assume that's to protect walkers from those who might be using toilets on a train passing overhead.
After the viaduct the path passes through a "pocket park" sandwiched between Roy's long-term car park and the river. It skirts an inlet that I was unaware existed. Currently, there are buoys disuading boats from entering, but it looks as if work is under way to provide more moorings.
Eventually you emerge onto the river bank. The first part was crowded with boats and anglers, including some that apear to be the homes of liveaboards. We walk on past them, as I have an objective in mind...
... I wanted to get a photo of the gauge showing the headroom currently available under Wroxham Bridge. As you see, it showed less that six feet. With my photo taken, at 09:50, we turn to go in search of the shops in Hoveton.
By 12:15, we'd spent enough time browsing for various items in Roy's department store, café and DIY warehouse and began our return to the boat, taking this photo of the waterside which I later submitted to the BBC Weather Watcher site.
Minutes later I took another photo of the large flock of swans we had passed on the way to the shops. The anglers were still there as were the moored boats, although no quite as many as we had seen earlier. In the distance, by the viaduct, which we're moored just beyond, are two of the Giant Swan pedlo craft we had seen in use when we moved the boat from Wayford.
As soon as we got back to the boat we moved it back to the bay on Bridge Broad where we had moored yesterday and I submitted the photo I took earlier to BBC Weather Watcher site.
I had another go at taking a panorama image with my phone. It does a much better job of stitching together the various frames when there are no distinct lines within the image. This one sweeps through about 120°.
The trouble with panorama images is that they shrink the height in order to accommodate the whole picture within the fixed width of the screen. So while Diana prepares lunch which, as you'll see, was shortly before 13:00, I try a video instead. This one sweeps through about 270°.
It's 14:25 as we cruise past Castle Staithe on our way back to our mooring. I took this picture mainly as a guide. If the water is this high at the staithe then we will know we won't make it under Wroxham Bridge.
As we passed the workboats again, I was hoping to get a view of the pipe that is being worked on. However, the boats are now blocking the view and it remains unclear exactly what you will see once the work is complete.
Once back at our mooring I decide to check the cooling water filter. The temperature gauge had been showing around 74° throughout most of the return to Coltishall from Bridge Board, so it seems that it takes a fair bit of weed to block the filter.
My final photograph shows our boat at its mooring. Storm Babet arrived a few days later and friends on the neighbouring mooring phoned us to ask for permission to loosen the lines. The rising river level was putting too much strain on them. It looks as if I need to subscribe to local navigation alerts, from the Broads Authority.
Next I do some tinkering with the Dipstick Storage.