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    NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 378 November 2022

 

Dear Friends

Attached, please find the last Newsletter of 2022. What a great year it's been!

There's something of interest to everyone here, not least the news that we will be holding an online "Christmas Cracker" event on 16th December. Do have a look inside for all the details. I hope to see you all online, but in case you can't make the event, do have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
 
Very best wishes

 


Mark

Mark Collins, Commodore
Northern Rivers Sailing Club

The Christmas Cracker is back! Friday 16th December, 19:00 – 20:30, via Zoom Look forward to an hour and a half of fun and games via Zoom, with sketches, songs, music, readings and loads more fun and entertainment from your fellow NRSC members. Wish your friends a merry Christmas and sit back in the comfort of your own homes with a glass of your favourite tipple and a brandy snap to hand.

 

Please register with me as soon as possible and let me know your contribution when you can, so that we can work out the programme. In other news, the AGM, Prizegiving and Annual Dinner were a great success. With the Club’s business swiftly and efficiently put to bed, over 40 members enjoyed an excellent meal and congratulated the trophy winners. 

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Don't forget to get your copy of the NRSC 2023 calendar. It costs  £12.00 + £1.75 postage and there are only a few left. Contact Neil Sutherland to place your order.

 

NEW MEMBERS


A very warm welcome to our new members. Simon Strode (new owner of ZigZag), Jo & Steve Jenkins and Richard Stokes 

DATES FOR THE DIARY

16th December, via Zoom: NRSC Christmas Cracker. Book with Mark Collins.

 

21st January: NRSC Festive Lunch, The White Horse, Neatishead, details to follow from Neil and Dierdre.

NRSC TROPHIES 2023 by Nigel Wordingham

 

Warmest congratulations to all those who won racing trophies for their labours this year, and particularly to Jeff Harteveldt for winning the Individual Handicap for best aggregate through the season; Brian Gray for winning the Endeavour Trophy for the best effort without a place; John Blackburne for winning the Past Commodore’s Cup for seamanship; Simon Gould for winning the Saltwater Trophy for coastal sailing; John Redding for winning the Bavaria Trophy for exceptional service to NRSC; and last but certainly not least, Mike Morcher for winning the Photo Competition. All are very well-deserved, and an inspiration to us all.


Trophy                               Helm                 Boat 


Spring Trophy                   T Parkinson      Nemesis

Harvest Bowl                     J Harteveldt     Déjà Vu
Oby Thistle                         J Harteveldt      Déjà Vu

Club Championship          J Harteveldt      Déjà Vu
Emblem Trophy                T Parkinson      Nemesis

Novice Cup                        Not held            n/a
Commodores Cup            M Collins           ZigZag

Individual Handicap          J Harteveldt      Déjà Vu
Green Ranger                     J Redding          My Weigh

Endeavour Trophy            B Gray                Tallulah
Summer Regatta               T Parkinson       Nemesis

Saltwater Trophy               S Gould              Caballero
Inaugural Salver                Not held             n/a

Past Commodore's Cup   J Blackburne      St Helen
Founders Cup                    J Harteveldt        Déjà Vu

Bavaria Trophy                  J Redding            My Weigh
Globe Trophy                     M Collins             ZigZag 

Photo Competition           M Morcher          n/a

RYA EASTERN REGION AFFILIATED CLUBS CONFERENCE by Mark Collins

 

Mark and Nigel took part in this RYA meeting on 26th November 2022 at The Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, near Ipswich, along with about 100 other delegates. We met up with a number of friends from other clubs there, and enjoyed presentations by Robbie Bell, our Eastern Region Coordinator, as well as a number of other RYA staff and experts.

We played an active part in linked workshops on “What are the needs and motivations of your Club members and how can you provide an experience that is right for them?” and “How can you make your club welcoming to a wider range of members.” It was most interesting to hear from other clubs, what their challenges are and how they tackle them, but of course, we didn’t give away any secrets about our naughty members.


We learnt quite a bit about community engagement and worked through a guide called “A toolkit to Enable Inclusivity, which we plan to inflict on other Committee members in due course. This brought us right up to speed on equality policy and monitoring, anti-discrimination statements, designing a membership form, and preventing hate speech. Maybe not problems our club faces every day, but all of us can do better, no doubt about it.

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The Royal Hospital School

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John Redding's achievements celebrated in print

We were delighted with the press coverage we achieved to celebrate John's achievements with the club.

The Eastern Daily Press printed a full page spread on 28th November together with a leader photo on the front page too.

 

Well done James for getting this press coverage organised, and to Jeff for carving the brilliant new sign. John was thrilled to bits with everything – Ed.

Another successful workparty by Malcolm Flatman

Brian, Chris and John T. spent a very successful day at the Anchorage on 24th November. Here’s an account of what was
achieved.


The metal shutter doors were sticking because the clubhouse has been gently changing its position relative to the separately constructed verandah. Brian has moved them up a couple of inches but the Anchorage is in need of a little more nurturing, being no longer vertical and leaning a little tipsily to the north. We’ll be looking at remedies.


Meanwhile, Chris cleaned out the generator’s fuel tank, lines and carburettor, bringing it (literally) roaring back to life. Yes, the exhaust system is totally unsafe, and Chris has plans to upgrade it. Oh, and an oil change too!


John and I raised the elderly (ie knackered) boardwalk at the head of John Redding’s Dyke, and stuffed the space with wood chip bags. We put the remainder of the 97 bags in the front quay. The quay heading has now been filled from the flood defence wall in the southwest corner of the site as far as the upstream corner of the long front quay heading, a total of 300+ bags. We’re planning to get the remaining 300 bags filled in February for another push to the end in front of the start box.


Brian has made an experimental roll-up temporary boardwalk (think duckboard or tank track) for use on the holey and dangerous bank upstream of the Anchorage. This works! Hopefully we have a portable solution to using that bank- we need it on busy race days.


Before I forget - the wooden walkways in front of and beside the Anchorage are very slippery because of all the warm wet weather so do be careful. When walking around. The work party fixed up four “slippery surface” signs on the verandah as a reminder. On the jobs list is to cover the boards with wire netting - we’ve space under the shutters now!


Let me know if you see anything untoward.

WINTERISING TOP TIPS adapted from RYA guidance


Remove anything that could be damaged by freezing and damp, or mitigate against that happening. Boats contain a multitude of systems that hate inactivity – particularly the engine. So, the best way to winterise your boat is to continue to use it.


Vessels left in the water


If you decide to leave your boat in the water, there is potential for freezing and damp and you will need some form of protection such as:


• Run the engine reasonably often, preferably in gear and preferably while enjoying the quiet marinas and anchorages away from 

  your home berth.


• Use thermostatic electric heaters below deck and in the engine bay.


• Set up a dehumidifier draining into the sink (not to a tank).


• Keep an eye on the power supply. This could be as simple as daily visits, or you could set up a monitoring system to alert you of low

  temperatures or power drop out.


• Keep fuel tanks topped up.


• Add extra mooring lines. Adjust them often to change the potential chafe point.


• Clean the outside of the vessel.


• Empty any clothing, bedding and foodstuff not needed.


• Check all through hull fittings for leaks and corrosion.


• Check your stern glands and repack with grease if appropriate. 

Vessels ashore (winterisation)


Many of the points above are still valid, but in addition:


• Angle the bow upwards to enable rainwater to run off covers, decks and cockpit.


• Prepare the engine - read the RYA’s top tips for winterising your engine.


• Cover to keep water out but allow air to circulate to prevent condensation.


• Drain the freshwater supply system including tank, pump, water filters and taps.


• Remove any foodstuffs which may be damaged by frost or attract vermin.


• Store linen, clothing, blankets and curtains ashore. Ensure through-ventilation. Leave cupboards, drawers and lockers open; prop up

  bunk cushions.


• Ensure tight-fitting covers for deck-installed electronics and consider spraying behind electronics with water-repellent silicone. Check

   navigation lights are serviceable.


• Make a list of what you have done so you remember what to reverse in the spring.


• Whether the boat is lifted or left in the water it regular visits will ensure all is well.


• Bilges will still need to be pumped.

BROADS AUTHORITY PUBLISHES PLAN by Mark Collins

The Broads Plan is an overarching document, a partnership strategy representing a joint vision.

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Themes included in the Plan are as follows:


- Responding to climate change and flood risk
- Improving landscapes for biodiversity and agriculture
- Maintaining and enhancing the navigation
- Protecting landscape, character & historic environment
- Promoting understanding and enjoyment
- Connecting and inspiring communities.


The new and ambitious plan is a partnership strategy representing the joint vision of the Authority, its partners and its many stakeholders, set in the context of increasing costs and diminishing public and private investment. Look out for higher
tolls!


There is a strong emphasis on the impacts of climate change, flood risk, nature recovery and, at the heart of the Plan, the importance of managing our navigation.


Check out the Broads Plan on the Broads Authority’s website. It’s well worth reading.
And let’s be fair and share some Christmas Cheer - they do a good job for us!

 

“Ratty” has gone into hibernation & says “See you next year folks!

    NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 377 October 2022

The clocks have been put back and many of us have seen our boats lifted onto the hard for winter. Meanwhile, the sun shines and those lucky few who are staying afloat may have some wonderful conditions for sailing in coming weeks. And it will be so peaceful out there.... no hire boats and, barring force majeure, no more Committee meetings or newsletters until Spring!

Our AGM, Prize-giving and Annual Dinner are fast upon us, with a wonderful menu promised by The Old Rectory Hotel at Crostwick. Don’t miss out on this memorable occasion. Please send your food selection to Neil and Deirdre and your cash to Judy very soon. Come along and celebrate the Club’s trophy winners - Jeff will be wearing out the red carpet again, but there are some surprises too! Don’t forget this last chance to exchange Christmas cards - after all, no one can afford stamps anymore!

Hard on the heels of Christmas and New Year comes the NRSC Festive Lunch on 21st January at The White Horse, Neatishead – more about that in due course. Not to be missed.

Something you may miss in this edition of the newsletter is the For Sale section. This is now transferred to sole ownership of the website, so do get in touch with James to shift your boats and bric-a-brac.

Last but by no means least, we do need a Club Secretary. We know Glyn made it look easy but that’s because it is easy! (Except for the tricky bits of course). Why not give it a try? We are a great team - you will enjoy it.......

With all best wishes

Mark Collins,

Commodore

DATES FOR THE DIARY

 

3rd November, Online: Broadland Futures Initiative. Contact Mark Collins.

12th November, GM, Annual Dinner & Prizegiving. Details already circulated.

21st January, NRSC Festive Lunch, The White Horse, Neatishead, details follow.

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP PURSUIT RACE............ by OOD David Reeve

On the race day, Saturday 8th October, the weather forecast was very promising with beautiful sunshine and 12mph WNW winds predicted. Without the usual presence of high handicappers Chariot and My Weigh the start sequence was moved to 13:00hrs, with the first of five starters, ZigZag, skilfully hovering close to the Anchorage and crossing the line in good time, making steady progress upriver towards the Boundary Dyke buoy. Next was Quartet, affected by the fast-running ebbing tide, but not delayed too badly.

Meanwhile, the three 800s had remained around the downstream corner for far too long and had a real struggle to sail past the Anchorage in the shelter of the trees. Cho Cho San and Nemesis eventually crossed the line over ten minutes late! (Ed: Is that allowed in the Rules?)

About 35 minutes from the finishing time, ZigZag reached the Anchorage with a 100- yard lead from Quartet, but she rounded the mark very badly, was caught by the tide and drifted downstream while Quartet turned smartly on her heels, lifted her petticoats and took the lead.

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The Committee boat chased the leaders and eventually met up with Deja Vu and

Quartet battling it out close-hauled along the downwind bank on the approach to the Boundary Dyke buoy. Five minutes before the finish Deja Vu finally stole the lead to win the race.

Many thanks go to timekeepers Mike and Julia Morcher, and to John Redding for providing My Weigh as the Committee boat.

Overall Regatta Result:


1 st :  Jeff Harteveldt and Mick Bashford in     Déjà Vu
2 nd :  Peter Coleman and Maggie Lomax in     Quartet
3 rd :  Mark Collins and James Bush in     ZigZag


Other   boats   racing:  

 

Tom   Parkinson  and Neil Sutherland in Nemesis ;   Nigel and Sean Wordingham in     Cho Cho San, with Strega DNS.
 

SECURITY AT THE ANCHORAGE...... by Malcolm Flatman

While visiting the Anchorage a couple of “Sailings in Company” ago, I discovered that the back gate leading to the public footpath had been left ajar. The wooden gate had sagged, and the bolt was difficult to push into the metal post. More worryingly, the padlock had been left hanging open, and the code to unlock it was clearly visible. If a passer-by had made a note of the code, they would be able to return at their convenience, open the gate and probably the clubhouse too!

Please be sure to report any problems about the Anchorage to me, to either of the two coxswains, Brian Gray and Chris Evans, or to the Commodore, and make sure you re-lock  all padlocks (even if they cannot be used temporarily) and scramble the tumblers. This will

help prevent a lot of trouble and unnecessary work. Thanks!

PASSAGE THROUGH GT YARMOUTH AT HIGH WATER......by John Blackburne

Having read our Commodore’s interesting account of his passage from the Southern to the Northern rivers through Great Yarmouth (Newsletter 376, September 2022), it reminded me that he and I had done the same trip, but at High Water, just a few years ago in St
Helen. Although the Broads Authority and  Green Book sensibly recommend  that this passage should be timed for slack Low Water, I have always wondered whether we are wedded to the past, when wherries and yachts with no engine would sail across Breydon
Water and stick their bow onto the mud at the Bure entrance to wait for the tide to move them upstream.


This is some time after it starts flooding into Breydon, as the Yare’s riverbed is lower than the Bure’s. Of course, for hire boats and those new to the area and with small engines, a Low Water passage will always be the safest option. But if you are on the Southern rivers or
at Lowestoft and faced with Low Water at 06:00 and 18:00 as we were and want to get home after a long sea trip the day before, a High Water passage is quite safe with a few provisos.  Certainly, you will need a reliable engine with a good propellor, preferably fixed not folding, and three-bladed, not two.  Most of our NRSC boats have folding two-blade propellors for racing, so bear this in mind. St Helen has a strong engine, a fixed propellor and can do nearly 7 knots. 

 

Vauxhall Bridge at Yarmouth has a clearance of 6.09 feet at High Water Springs with a height range between Springs and Neaps of about 2.4 feet. So, with St Helen needing 6.2 feet minimum, a passage on most days at High Water would be all right. I would take into consideration whether the wind on the North Sea had been strong from the North or Northeast for a few days as this adversely affects the High Water. With a good pair of binoculars, you can see the bridge clearance board without having to start your move up the Bure. 


I would also accept that if I arrived to find Vauxhall Bridge clearance  was too small, I might have to wait on the pontoon just downstream from Breydon Bridge, possibly until Low Water in the evening. But with a good engine and large prop, the ebb just after High Water does not run too quickly to start with and a motor up the Bure is possible as soon as the clearance has increased enough for you to pass under the bridge. 


So, if you don’t mind having to push against the tide as you come down the Yare or Waveney and also as you come up the Bure to Acle (where the tide isn’t over-strong) then a High Water passage through Great Yarmouth is quite feasible on many days. If I was travelling the other way, however, from the Bure to the Yare, I would not attempt any passage at HW as there is no safe place to wait or turn as you approach Vauxhall Bridge with your mast sticking out to stern! 

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WORK PARTY AT THE ANCHORAGE 9 th  OCTOBER.................. by Chris Evans


Our Boatswain was sunning himself on Cypriot beaches while the rest of us poor souls struggled on as winter approached. To be fair though, the poor fellow suffers from an exaggerated sense of duty to Northern Rivers SC and he had made all the arrangements for
what turned out to be a very successful and trouble-free day, helped by an ample supply oftea, coffee and the Commodore’s hotdogs handed out from the good ship Owl  by Tom, Mim and Alison.


Malcolm and John T had stalwartly pre-prepared about 100 chippings bags ready for collection from Wroxham, where Brian was ready and waiting for Mark and the trailer. Despite personal attacks on us by Malcolm’s monster garden yucca, all were loaded safely, delivered to Richardson’s workboat Hercules at Acle Bridge and thence, with dodgy helming from the Commodore,  to the Anchorage, where they were stacked on the walkway at the ear of the building, waiting for Malcolm to come back (hint hint).

The northern boundary hedge has had a severe haircut down to a couple of metres and the cuttings were interwoven to fortify it. Twenty or so branches have been left for planting later, temporarily stored with their cut ends gently rooting in the water behind the shed. The reeds at the southern end of the site have also been cut back, in line with the frontage of the building.


Meanwhile, a brilliant team worked inside the clubhouse, doing a great job of cleaning and tidying.  The window grids were removed and replaced after the glass was cleaned, with dead flies removed. Floors were swept, storage boxes cleaned and everything else had a good wipe down. The honours boards were removed and taken back on Hercules for later delivery to Nigel, who will have them inscribed ready for next year.


Quite a lot of rubbish had accumulated in the generator shed and  Brian had previously sorted it out for disposal.  Hercules  was quickly  piled high with old charcoal BBQs (we are only using gas from now on because of the fire risk), surplus timbers, an old tyre and other waste from the store cupboard. It’s been swept out and the floor is now clear. The workboat was full to overflowing for its return journey and transfer to Mark’s trailer, and onwards to a scrap merchant! 

Meanwhile a team of members painted the green marks shed with another two coats of preservative  and we started the generator, but
it wouldn’t run off choke. It looks as if the carburettor and fuel line need cleaning out as there is sediment in the fuel tank. Good news is that the battery is strong and turns the starter easily.


The defibrillator box is now locked, and the clubhouse is secured for the winter. Warmest thanks go to all those who came along to help; it was very much appreciated. And, as ever, a huge THANK YOU to Richardson's for the loan of Hercules .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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COMMODORE’S CALL by James Bush & Mark Collins, with pictures by Mike Morcher

On Friday 28    th   October we had a magnificent  turnout  of more  than 40 members for the Commodore's Call at  the New Victory   Hall in Neatishead.  The event was expertly organised and run by the Commodore, Neil and Deirdre with Julia and an army of   volunteers helping to cook and serve up a delicious  jacket potato and chilli supper. 

The entertainment began with a canter through the anatomy of the brand new NRSC website, constructed by James using the  Wix software in a voyage of discovery of his previously unexplored design talents. James explained that by climbing on the shoulders of our website originator, Mike Morcher, we were achieving new heights in terms of visitors to our pages. In particular, the For Sale section was bringing in many aspiring mariners, looking to pick up a fine bargain from members’ dusty garage shelves and boat lockers.


After a short break, the Commodore treated us to a lengthy exposition on the  history,  geography and environmental circumstances   of Norfolk’s Northern Rivers. There was certainly a lot to take in, and no lack of advice afterwards from those who variously wanted less history.... or less geography ...... and certainly a lot less environmental gloom.  Heads back in the sand everyone; it will all work out just   fine (or will it?).   I  blame  the Romans.


Everyone   present   was   automatically entered into a prize draw with a chance to win an original and beautiful watercolour,
Wells-Next-the-Sea Evening,  a hugely generous donation from artist  Surinder Beerh of the Society of East Anglian Watercolourists,   gently brokered by SEAW  Chair, Mel,  who  was under the weather and  missed  the   presentation. Monica was in purple as the lucky winner and is said to be busy taking down Mike’s Spitfire pictures to make room on the wall over the fireplace at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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“Ratty” has gone into hibernation and says “See you next year folks!”

    NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 376 September 2022

With great sadness, NRSC sends sincere condolences to King Charles III and the entire Royal Family on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The recent passing of The Queen, so soon after the loss of Prince Philip, represents a heavy loss to the world, the country, and the boating fraternity.

Gifted a Dragon for their 1947 marriage, and later sailing a Flying Fifteen, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip both greatly enjoyed being on the water. The Queen supported Cowes Week many times, often aboard HM Yacht Britannia, which also steamed more than a million miles on almost a thousand diplomatic visits across the globe.

 

The Queen was Patron of the RYA, and Prince Philip was President, succeeded in 1987 by Anne, Princess Royal. Our Club remembers Her Majesty with great fondness and respect for the service and incomparable contribution she made to this country.

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Dear NRSC Members,

   
Our work goes on and it’s time for me to remind all members that we need your support in running the Club. At the AGM on 12th
November, we will elect a new Committee and would appreciate your self-nominations. 


All positions are available and are listed on page 3 of the Red Book. If more than one person self-nominates for a position, we would work something out rather than go to a vote. We would also be very pleased to welcome Committee members without
portfolio, but willing to help and learn the ropes. Nearly all our meetings will be by Zoom, thus requiring far less time commitment
in terms of travel. Even if you live some distance away, you can still help the Club. Please indicate your preparedness to stand with the Secretary, Glyn Williams.


With all best wishes


Mark Collins, Commodore


Contributions to the NRSC Newsletter are always welcome. Contact collinsmark@gmail.com

DATES FOR THE DIARY 


8th  October Club Championship, Anchorage. OOD David Reeve

9th  October Anchorage Laying Up. Coxswain Chris Evans

28th October Commodore’s Call, Neatishead Village Hall. £10.00 pp to Judy Jarvey

12th November AGM, Annual Dinner & Prizegiving. Details tba


NRSC APPROACH TO THE SAILING PROGRAMME FOR 2023


The Commodore, Sailing Secretary, Club Secretary and Coxswain, supported by three other members, met on 7th  September to consider the Club’s sailing programme for 2023. The revised programme will be shared with everyone at the AGM but meanwhile, a separate email will be sent to you for comment. Your thoughts would be welcome on the deliberations so far. 


Please do send your responses to Nigel Wordingham cc Mark Collins.


SPRING TROPHY & SUMMER REGATTA.  By Nigel Wordingham


Events took place from the Anchorage on Thursday-Friday 1-2 September using buoys at Acle, Oby and for one race Boundary.  They were cut-down versions of the planned broads-based races, postponed due to excess wind and weed.  The pleasant, sunny weather in an easterly breeze was sometimes quite lively. Thanks go to OOD Nigel, and timekeepers Simon and Brian.


Spring Trophy: Thursday 1st  September


In the first race, none of the competitors could be accused of attacking the line. Quartet (Peter Coleman and Maggie Lomax) made the best start 30 seconds after the starting signal. This proved decisive. Quartet got to the Acle mark without having to tack and rounded it
cleanly.


Nemesis (Tom Parkinson and Neil Sutherland) and ZigZag (Mark Collins and Bob Nicholls) were both caught by the fast-incoming tide and swept back onto the Acle mark, having to do 360s. ZigZag also lost way, was driven into the leeward hard bank by the tide and ended up having to retire. A passing river cruiser hindered Nemesis and Quartet kept her lead until rounding the Acle buoy for the second time when Nemesis got past, but Quartet won comfortably on corrected time.


In the second race Nemesis got the best start and had no problems with the buoy because there wasn’t one! Someone had driven over it and it was nestled in brambles on the leeward bank (Mark and Simon tested their boat handling and collected it next morning). Helms turned at the first moored boat instead. On corrected time Nemesis was first with Quartet 41seconds later and Zigzag 41 seconds later than Quartet.


Overall, Quartet and Nemesis had a first and second, so Nemesis was first on the tiebreaker rule that the boat that does best in the last race is the winner.


Summer Regatta: Friday 2nd  September


Helms had been finishing in under an hour the previous day, so the OOD decided to send them up to Boundary for a bit more exercise. The wind was less predictable than Thursday and conditions were challenging.  Nemesis got the lead and stayed there.     ZigZag (Mark and Brian Gray), which had been third at the start and up to the Boundary buoy, got on the better side of the river and passed Quartet, finishing second even before the benefit of handicap.


The second race was delayed, giving the crew a chance to recover.   Quartet was closest to the line in a nice tight start but Nemesis came up faster and nearly broke through to leeward. Quartet held the lead round Acle buoy and back to the clubhouse when Nemesis got a lift and broke through Quartet’s lee at great speed.  From then on Nemesis pulled away from Quartet who only just beat ZigZag (Mark and Simon Gould).  On handicap Nemesis beat Quartet by 33 seconds whilst Quartet beat ZigZag by just 12 seconds.


Overall, Nemesis came first whilst Quartet and ZigZag each got a second and a third so Quartet took second as she did better in the last race. 

 

Fond farewell to ZigZag after many years in NRSC as she has been sold and is off to adventures in Oulton Broad.


ZIGZAG TAKES THE GLOBE.    By Pio Altarelli


The   relocated   Globe Trophy  took place o  Saturday 10th September,  starting downriver from Cockshoot Dyke. Five craft made the journey there for a downriver race that included rounding a mark upriver of Thurne Mill and finishing at the Anchorage line. The event commenced with a minute’s silence to reflect peacefully on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


Conditions at the start, at the top of the tide and shielded by trees, meant a gentle run at first, but a slight drop in the already light wind caught out most of the fleet, held back by thel ast of the flood.  All made late starts as a result but the single 700,  ZigZag , fared best, serving her well over two hours later at the finish. Five minutes after ZigZag,  the first of the 800s, Quartet  and  Pegamoose  left, followed another five minutes later by  Cho Cho San and Nemesis .


Boats soon had to contend with a headwind and struggled to tack clear of the trees, but later on an 8-knot northerly gave the competitors a complete variety in points of sail, the liveliest beat being from Thurne Mouth to the upper Thurne buoy.  ZigZag and   Quartet  held on totheir starting positions and  ZigZag  arrived first with Quartet  four minutes behind having madeup a minute.  On handicap,  ZigZag  won the race by just nine seconds in the two-hour race, keeping  Quartet  in second place overall with Cho Cho San   in third. Well done to Jim and Kate Stewart, who successfully completed their first race in  Pegamoose.


First place:    ZigZag  - Mark Collins & John Thompson
Second place:    Quartet  – Peter Coleman & Maggie Lomax
Third place:     Cho Cho San     – Nigel & Sean Wordingham

Special thanks to Pio for being both OOD and Timekeeper as well as dealing with the buoyage solo as Sue was incapacitated. Thankfully, Sue is now feeling better.

Editor’s note:

 

After the race, most competitors repaired to The Bridge Inn where Phil and

Vanessa did us proud with the Riverside Room to ourselves. Being joined by

a good number of non-competitors, the. Commodore led us in another

minute’s silence in remembrance and after the meal, in a round robin of

reflections on Her Majesty’s unparalleled life of service to the nation. The

evening concluded with the Loyal Toast to our new King Charles III.  
 

A passage from Lowestoft. By Mark Collins


This journey is old hat for our experienced members, but perhaps these notes might help beginners like me. They are from my first, one-day passage from Lowestoft Cruising Club, up through Mutford Lock, along the River Waveney, across Breydon Water and up the Bure to the Anchorage in my “new” Pegasus 800. 


Firstly, many thanks go to John Thompson for coming along. The journey can be done single-handed, but it’s not easy and it's better to have company – it makes mooring safer and too long on the tiller in a cramped cockpit isn’t good for any of us! We allowed about six
and a half hours in all, including a 30-minute lunch break - we stopped at Somerleyton swing bridge. 


The best starting point for a passage plan like this is at least 30 minutes and preferably an hour or even an hour and a half after low water at Gt Yarmouth Yacht Station. I’m describing the journey in the direction of Lowestoft to the Anchorage, but it works the same the other way. Aim for slack water at Yarmouth Yacht Station whichever way you’re headed. Don’t be tempted to go through before low water unless you need to and have a good engine. The tide down the Bure will be strong against you and moored hire boats can move out and become a hazard to navigation. Conversely, if you are going out to Breydon from the Bure, the tide can sweep you down very fast. You have your mast down and you can't turn around.


Lowestoft to Anchorage                       Relative Time             Notes
Lowestoft Cruising Club                        -4:30 hrs                    Lower mast
Pass under Oulton railway bridge       -3:40 hrs                    Oulton Harbourmaster Ch 73
Footbridge raise; pass Mutford Lock  -3:30 hrs                    Cross Oulton Broad
Through Somerleyton swing bridge    -3:00 hrs                   Channel 12; fast ebb tide
Under St Olave’s road bridge               -2:00 hrs
Arrive Breydon Water                           -1:00 hrs                    Kill some time if early
Arrive Gt Yarmouth Yacht Station        0:00 hrs                    Slack water
Arrive Anchorage                                 + 2:00 hrs                    Remast
Passage time    6:30 hrs


After Oulton Broad, on the Waveney, you pass through miles of reed-bed before coming to the bridges. Once you reach Somerleyton swing bridge, the tide is running out fast with you and you need to be aware of it. To moor at the BA quay here, consider turning round into the tide first. You can’t afford a waggling back end when you have six metres of mast behind you and a boom out to starboard.

 

After passing under St Olave’s road bridge, you will soon see the tall Goodchild Marine buildings near the entrance to Breydon, and the navigation posts start to appear. Do keep well away from all the port and starboard posts on Breydon. I have taken to the mud while single-handed, mast down in ZigZag a good 3 metres inside a port post quite near the bascule bridge and it wasn’t funny! This time we dawdled very pleasantly across Breydon  Water,  killing about 15 minutes so that  we were comfortable going under Breydon bascule bridge and Vauxhall fixed bridge. 


Once you are in the Bure, remember that as you move upriver the tide is still ebbing. Stay in the middle of the river and don’t be
tempted to cut corners – you might regret it. Safely home and lifting out – it was a fascinating journey with lots to think about. Enjoy it but stay alert and look out for the unexpected!

Tales from the Riverbank.  By "Ratty"


Ratty has salty whiskers after a massive tidal surge pushed seawater up as far as Womack Water, killing tens of thousands of fish and undoubtedly causing untold harm to other species dependent on freshwater for survival. The event has been called an ecological disaster, with rafts of dead fish seen up the Thurne to Potter Heigham.


It all started on 17th  September when the Environment Agency issued a flood alert, sayingthat upcoming spring tide heights would be exacerbated by northerly winds. They were right,but the full moon was due on 25th September and trouble had already started on 21st September when northerly winds started to force saltwater up into the Bure and Thurne.  

In Thurne Mouth on 23rd  September an eel fisherman using bottom nets and traps was reporting a lot of crabs while patches of wrack
seaweeds were floating upstream. Unseen, a massive   migration of  fish was underway, rushing  to  escape the deadly saltwater.

Hundreds of thousands of fish swam into lagoons and dykes to breathe in the remaining freshwater, many becoming trapped  and   dying by  the thousand as the oxygen ran out.

At  Womack  Water alone  tens  of thousands of fish died, mainly roach, bream and perch. The Environment Agency netted about 45,000 fish, placed them in a tank of oxygenated water and releasing them into Hickling Broad. But this may have been a fraction of the fish affected and no-one knows how many would survive the experience.

 

The Environment Agency stressed that this surge of saltwater is  “a natural occurrence” that occurs  periodically,  while  the  Broads   Authority spokesperson said   "...while   the Environment Agency is responsible for the clean-up process, we work closely with
them and have provided them with any information about locations of reported dead fish."  The senior flood warden from   North   Norfolk  Council’   called   for   more coordination, better communication and earlier warnings from BA and EA. 

 

There’s a removable barrier at Herbert Wood marina at its confluence with the River Thurne at Potter Heigham, first installed in 1988 when a tidal salt surge killed an estimated 100,000+ fish overwintering in the marina basin, but BBC News reported that it was not deployed for this recent event. The resulting scenes of carnage were widely reported in the official and print media.

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A message from the Commodore

 NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 375 August 2022

A message from the Commodore

There’s such a lot going on in our Club that I hardly know what to  highlight  in  these  few  words  of  welcome  to  the August Newsletter. The racing and cruising programmes have been going well, and there are some great opportunities coming up, including this  week  at  the  Anchorage,  where  we  will  run  the  postponed Spring and Summer Regattas. 

 

There’s still lots of fun to come. Don’t miss the Globe Trophy (now to be run from a start line near Horning), the Harvest Bowl and, of course, the Club Championship (see below). Next week a small group will take a long hard look at next year’s race and cruise programme, taking into account the ever-changing environment on the broads and amongst our diverse membership. Look out for new ideas soon! 


One  suggestion is to map out our favourite sailing areas. Is there a handy GPS surveyor in the Club who wouldn’t mind helping us out by marking up an OS map? This will help to pinpoint areas that might need some attention, such as excessive bankside vegetation in need of clearance (with permission of course!)


An upcoming social event, the Commodore’s Call, will be held at  Neatishead  Village  Hall on 28th October –  look out  for  more booking details in your emails. 


Finally, with just a few weeks left for Sailing in Company, please contact Brian Gray and volunteer to lead a meeting – it’s fun! 


With all best wishes 


Mark Collins, Commodore


Dates for the Diary:  


10th  September: Globe Trophy, below Horning. OOD Pio Altarelli. 
24th  September Harvest Bowl, Bure. OOD Jeff Harteveldt 
8th  October Club     Championship, Anchorage. OOD David Reeve 
9th  October Anchorage Laying Up. Boatswain Malcolm Flatman 
28th  October Commodore’s Call, Neatishead Village Hall. Details tba 
12th  November AGM, Annual Dinner & Prizegiving . Details tba 

NRSC Southern Rivers Cruise 1st - 7th August 2022 by Tom Parkinson

The 2022 Southern Rivers Cruise was originally intended to include a regatta on Oulton Broad but that had to be cancelled due to the lack of replacement masts reducing the racing fleet. As it turned out, very little of  the original plan   survived and Michael Sparrow put together a new plan for the participants: Grebe, Owl, Quartet, Summer Wind, Wagtail and Zig Zag.


We gathered at the Anchorage on Sunday 31st  July ready for the Breydon Crossing but Owl had a high engine temperature caused by weed in the water filter and Wagtail arrived with an engine temperature of 100 degrees for unknown reasons. We put departure back a day to give Bob and  Judy Jarvey time to get their engine sorted and   Sunday provided an opportunity for me to have a sail on Zig Zag and be reminded how fast and agile the Pegasus 700   is. Peter and Maggie passed  on their way to the   dismasting  pontoon nearThree Mile House. 

 

Unfortunately, Wagtail could not make it for theTuesday  
so the rest of the fleet left at 06.30 on the falling tide.    
Michael had discovered that Reedham Ferry Inn doesn't
serve food on Monday or Tuesday so we planned stop

at Reedham to get the masts up and the push on to   

Surlingham Ferry for the evening meal. 

Disaster struck for Summer Wind when the mast  foot broke just short of upright, we believe due to a crosswind that took the mast sideways. 

The mast was two-thirds down when there was a terrific bang and it fell sideways off the boat, just catching Michael and knocking him off his feet as it hit the ground. Fortunately, none of us was injured and the mast sustained no damage.

We reached Surlingham without any more disasters. The river was remarkably quiet with very little traffic so  we   could enjoy the sights of the Southern Broads. We were joined for the evening meal by Alison McDermid, Alison   McTaggart, Sandy Mitchell, Bob and Judy Jarvey and Tracy and Martin Salisbury. 


We had a lay-in and then headed for Loddon where we met Peter and Maggie who had their own adventure,
discovering at Langley Dyke that they had a bilge full of wate  from the engine exhaust feed to a deteriorated gland on the transom. At Loddon, we were able to get into the basin together, but we lost the Commodore, who moored at Reedham Ferry and decided  to  go home the next morning having lost his glasses overboard.  We spent  the evening moving chairs to keep in the shade whilst enjoying the usual beverages.

The plan for the morning was to get Summer Wind into the boatyard and remove the mast as Michael was determined to finish the cruise as a motor boat. 

 

We left Loddon and headed for the Waveney River Centre for a shower. We were  surprised to be the only  visitors in the basin and had a quiet day keeping cool and chilling out. The shock of  the following morning was that the centre had no diesel until a new tank  was installed and that there was none for sale  at Oulton Broad. The nearest  was  Beccles, Brundall or Burgh Castle. Fortunately, we all had enough to complete the journey, but   members should be aware that access to diesel on the Southern Broads is limited. 


Peter and Maggie left early the next morning to get the tide across Breydon and the rest of us went to Oulton Broad. Michael was leading the fleet and when we got near the marina appeared to go to one side to let Owl moor first. It transpired that he had run aground and had to be rescued by the harbour master. Never a dull moment!

Michael had arranged fora visit to the Lowestoft Cruising Club to  see “Simply the Best”  the Pegasus 800 made by Don Beales whilst he was at the Pegasus Yard, but now for sale. The boat was immaculate and looked as if it had come out of the manufacturing yard that day. Don gave us a description of how he built and registered her to Lloyd’s standard. The Commodore’s eyes lit up when he saw the boat and by the time he got back to the Marina he was the new owner!


We had a super mooring at Oulton on some new finger pontoons that faced up the broad so we could see the whole broad and admire the sunset. In the evening we went to  the  Wherry Hotel where a meal had  been  very kindly arranged by Neil and Deirdre Sutherland and we were joined by them, Mark, Bob and Judy, who all came by car. 


As we were left with only three boats one of which was heading back to Loddon, Mike, Julia, Mim and I decided to leave the next morning to head back North. Once again, the river was empty, and we had a super crossing and moored at the Anchorage. Mike and Julia headed back to Upton while we ha  a rest and  later headed back to   our mooring in Horning where we spent the night.


We would all like to thank Michael for the effort he put into planning the trip and all the mooring and meal arrangements he made, we hope that Summer Wind is up and running before too long. Wagtail is now also up and running again.

Founders' Cup - Wednesday/Thursday 24th & 25th August by Mark Collins


The first day of this two-day regatta saw six  boats on Wroxham  Broad, warmly greeted by NBYC Commodore  Bob Payne.  After a briefing from OOD Martin Jones, supported most kindly by timekeepers Andrew Musgrove and Chris Dunster, the fleet set off for the first race in a gusting breeze. Déjà Vu led from the get-go and finished well, chased by Quartet and Peggotty who  finished  within  20 
seconds of each other, but Strega beat Peggotty to third place on handicap. 


In the second race Déjà Vu struggled to get clear of the pack but then took a commanding lead.  ZigZag  also got into her stride and finished nearly two minutes in front of Peggotty, securing second place, but on handicap Peggotty again missed out on third place to Strega, this time by just two seconds!     

Both races were troubled by waterweed. The marks were fairly near the banks, particularly at the south end and our wing keels and rudders were falling foul of it.    


Over an excellent fish and chip supper in the NBYC clubhouse that evening, helms and crew discussed the amber warning weather forecast for the following day and decided to wait and see. Thunder  in the night set off the NBYC alarm and woke us up, but hard-working Commodore Bob came to see that we were safe and switched it off.  


The dawn was spectacular, with greylag geese  honking  and  winging  their way across a golden sky. The storms didn’t materialise and we set off for race three at 10:15 in nowt but a  drizzle and very light winds. The race was abandoned before we managed to complete a single round; not only were we in irons  in the southwest corner, but the weed  got the better of us too. Somewhat demoralised, 
in yet more rain and no wind the consensus was to abandon the fourth race to  and we all headed home. 


In the final analysis, the results were:

 

First Déjà Vu:  Jeff Harteveldt & Mick Bashford


Second Strega: Pio & Sue Altarelliand     

 

Third: ZigZag: Mark Collins & Mike Perkins.


Other participants were Peggotty with John and Ben Thompson; Quartet with Peter Coleman and Maggie Lomax; and My Weigh with John Redding, David Reeve and Bob Nicholls.

 

It was great to see  quite  a few members coming along to watch and enjoy the supper with us too. Warmest thanks to Bob, Martin, Andrew, Chris, clubhouse staff and all at NBYC for heir famous hospitality – we greatly enjoyed the visit.

DISPOSING OF OUT-OF-DATE FLARES (cont’d from last month) adapted from RYA Guidance 

 

Flares contain explosives; once they’re past their expiry date it is essential to despose of them  carefully. David K -T has done a great job at collecting a couple of bucketfuls for safe disposal, but in case you missed that chance, please remember that is illegal to dump flares at sea or on land , and to  let them off  in anything other than an emergency. Breaking these laws would be a serious embarrassment for you and our Club.

 

It was a shock recently to find old flares dumped under the Anchorage. Responsibility for the safe disposal of flares rests with you, so if you have some that you don’t want, please take them to the  Lowestoft Marine Safety Centre. You  can legally put them in your car and 
drive them there.  

TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK by “Ratty” 

Ratty is always a bit wary of the Peregrine Falcon and with good reason, as this is  probably the fastest bird in the world, with a 
recorded stoop speed of 242   mph. See that profile flying over you and  it’s best to lie low!  



But to be fair, Peregrines enjoy eating ducks more than water rats, which is why they are called Duck Hawks in North America. The best time to see them in Norfolk is in winter, when they like to sit on gates in marshes showing of  their 
moustaches while on the lookout for Widgeon and Teal. 



Peregrines are adaptable and successful birds found on all continents outside the polar regions and

willing to breed in urban as well as their favourite wilder, often cliff-side, areas – hence the name

Peregrine, meaning wandering, foreign or coming from another country.  Famously,  Peregrines have

taken up nesting on Norwich Cathedral, where they are monitored by the Hawk and Owl Trust. In the

breeding season you can call in at the Trust’s pop-up in the cathedral grounds and use their powerful

telescopes and CCTV to take a close-up look at these superbly adapted and graceful birds.

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 NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 374 July 2022

A message from the Commodore

 

This hot weather may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s great for sailing! I hope all of you are getting a chance to be out on the 
water, if not in the NRSC races then perhaps you have been joining the weekly Sailing in Company events. To find out more, 
get in touch with Brian Gray and join the WhatsApp group.


We  haven’t  been  having  much  luck  with  our  Broads  regattas lately, with the Spring, Summer and Inaugural Salver  regattas all cancelled or postponed. I doubt whether Black Horse Broad will be suitable for keelboats any longer either.


A small group of Club members is getting together in mid - August to consider  some new ideas for our Club Programme in 2023.
We have been  offered the chance to race outside Horning Sailing Club.


Some good news is that Nigel Wordingham has rescheduled the Spring and Summer Regattas for Barton Broad on 1st and 2nd
September .Contact Nigel to join in.


Well done David Kemble-Taylor for sorting  out the old flares and special thanks to everyone who helped with the Commodore’s 
Cup and BBQ  – great work!


With all best wishes,


Mark Collins, Commodore


Dates for the Diary: 


1 st – 8 th August Southern Rivers Cruise. Contact Michael Sparrow
6 tht – 7 th August Inaugural Salver     CANCELLED
24 th – 25 th Aug Founders Cup, Wroxham Contact N. Wordingham
10 th September  Globe Trophy, Lower Bure. Contact Pio Altarelli.
24 th September Harvest Bowl.     Contact  David Kemble    - Taylor
2 8 th October  Club Championship. Contact     David Reeve

 

COMMODORE’ S CUP AND BBQ: Saturday 23rd July from Mark Collins


Saturday 23rd July  was hot and sunny with a south  - westerly wind blowing 11  - 13 mph up the river against the ebbing tide. The fleet was reduced by two 800s, both still waiting for new masts and there were just four boats in the  fleet, but the Commodore OOD sent them all off together and it was an exciting start.

Heading  upwind  towards  Acle,  Déjà Vu crossed the line too early and had to try again, while ZigZag’s outhaul slipped, and her sail looked like a bag of nails for a while.  Adrenalin was flowing, but the fleet soon spread out and there were no tussles to speak of at the marks, which were downstream of the Anchorage and just below Oby Dyke. At Oby, Swift was unfortunate in  meeting  a motor  cruiser  in  the 
wrong place at the wrong time, stalled on the tack and renewed acquaintance with the reeds for a short while, soon chasing My Weigh again, but the damage was done.


The results were as follows:


1 st : ZigZag with Mark Collins and Nigel Wordingham

2 nd : Déjà  V u with Jeff Harteveldt and Mick Bashford
3 rd : My Weigh with Brian Gray    and John Redding
4 th : Swift with David Kemble-Taylor and Martin Salisbury


Warmest thanks to the Timekeepers Pat Bashford and Margaret Harteveldt, who did sterling work at the start line. And thanks also to all the  many  spectators who make the racing so much more enjoyable. After two circuits and a  race lasting just under two hours, the boats were  moored  up and  the annual BBQ got started for the  35 or  so  hungry  members  present . 
 

The  marquee  had  already  been erected  first  thing  and  everyone was  glad  of  the  shade.  A magnificent  selection  of  salads was provided  by  members and the griddle was soon sizzling with quality  burgers, sausages  and chicken skewers, all finished off with the traditional and delicious strawberries and cream. 


The raffle was a big success with quality prizes donated, raising more than £100 for Club funds. Many thanks to everyone for their generosity.  No-one  could haveput it better than our Social Secretary  Dierdre who gave  “a big thanks to all those wonderful people who rose to the occasion yet again to erect the marquee , prepared  and served the food and cleared away afterwards as if by magic.  I’m always amazed at the willingness of the NRSC to get stuck in !” ’

NRSC Health and Safety Officer, David Kemble-Taylor, has kindly delivered all our out-of-date flares to the Marine Safety Centre in  Lowestoft  and  there  will  be  a  few  bills  to  pay  in  due  course, probably  at  £3  per  item.   The  manager  was  surprised  at  the
number of  flares  that  were  brought  in  and  was  particularly concerned with the ones in the red plastic container dragged  out
from under the Anchorage. The plastic box contained five power rockets  dated 1980 and one buoyant  smoke dated 1978, as well 
as  a  hand  flare.   Considerable delamination  had  taken  place  and although they could in theory have been fired there would have been a good chance of dangerous malfunction.   The Martine Safety Centre  is  checking  with  the Army  Bomb  Disposal Unit to see if our flares can be included in the next batch. Was there a  latter-day Guy Fawkes trying to blow the Anchorage to kingdom come?

  
Green Ranger from Maggie Lomax

 

Sunday morning was hot and blustery. The 3 entrants were started with precision by Margaret H, Maggie L and Peter C. My Weigh had 2 hours of sailing ahead  of them, Zigzag and Deja Vu rather less. As the wind freshened My Weigh's reefed sail was to their advantage  and they kept ahead till the hooter went at 13.00. Déjà Vû pursued them with purpose, Zigzag was not far behind but Brian and 
John were the winners. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make it such a good weekend.

BOWEN ISLAND ROUND THE ISLAND RACE from Tom Parkinson


Mim and I recently returned from our holiday in Canada, where  we visited our son in Montreal and  our oldest sailing friend Trevor , who lives on Bowen Island just off Vancouver.


One of the highlights of our visit was  watching the Bowen Island Round the Island race, an annual event open to production cruisers. This year there were 120 competitors.


The entry form specifies as follows:


2.  ELIGIBILITY  AND  ENTRY  

 

2.1.    The  race  is  open  to  self-righting  cruising  class  boats.  Dinghies and small Centreboard boats are not eligible to race in this event
 

The sailing instructions show that the race was split between classes of different handicaps :The course instructions were the simplest I had ever seen!


We visited another friend on the Island whose  house  decking  had  a  clear panoramic  view  over  the  starting  area which was between the island and the mainland. The wind was light and the tide had just begun to come in, the Committee set a course to the north which meant  a running single start for all 120 yachts –what a sight!

The smallest yacht was 20 feet and the largest was an ex 12 metre Americas cup boat. Those that came closest to the island made the best starts, possibly this was the slackest tide area or the wind was squeezed between the fleet and the island.

We were able to follow the fleet around the island at the various viewpoints including the lighthouse and the golf course where we had a splendid lunch.

The overall winner was a GB42 DARK and STORMY GBR750R helmed by Ian Stark that completed the course in an elapsed time of 4hours 54 minutes.

ENJOYING HICKLING BROAD AND HORSEY MERE from John Blackburne


Having been lucky enough to sail and canoe    around  the Upper Thurne above Potter Heigham Bridge since I was a small boy,  I know not only Hickling, Horsey  and the rivers between but also many of the little secret channels that crisscross the whole area.  I really enjoy being able to take friends and family on St Helen, so they can experience this very beautiful area. 

I have always said that I would chain myself to Potter Bridge if anyone decided to knock it down, and the benefits of the bridge as a barrier to any large boats was demonstrated on Monday 25th July when Brian and I had a lovely day sailing from Martham. We were the only boat on Horsey apartfrom one WayfarerHickling had just one other sailing boat and one or two electric day boats.

 

There have been changes to the area over the years. We used to be able to take St Helen right over to the little mill on the west side

of Hickling and across quite a bit of the area outside the channel. A lifting keel helped of course, but nowadays the largest broad in Norfolk is a lot shallower, despite the rise in water levels. But it's still a great place for a good sail, so long as you keep to the channel, kept dredged and clear by the Broads Authority.

Horsey though remains our favourite place, as all apart from the edges of the broad are clear of weed and it's big enough to be able to sail in all directions. Gliding along Meadow Dyke, on the way to Horsey, under sail with the reeds on either side, and the possibility of seeing a

Swallowtail butterfly, a Bittern or the lovely European Cranes circling above is just magical.

There' also the opportunity to walk to the nearby sea side for a swim or to see the seals. Moor up in Horsey Dyke, grab a beer or meal at the Nelsonor maybe an ice cream at Horsey Mill. The lovely clear water if you sail to Somerton and a peaceful night with no one about is very special but best in spring or early summer, as once the weather warms there are plenty of water plants and any use of the engine is risky.

Getting under Potter is a challenge, but quite possible I think for nearly all the Club boats. try and arrive at low water but with a slight anti-flow through the bridge so you can ease right up to it and are not pushed through. Nearby Richardson's yard will navigate you through for a small fee or, if you would prefer not to try, there is the option of hiring a day boat at Potter or half-decker from Martham Boat Yard for a few hours to explore this very special area

TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK by “Ratty”

July is hot, steamy and quiet on the river – apart from the hire cruisers roaring past... Most birds have finished nesting and the youngsters have fledged, but it’s still officially nesting season, which runfrom February to August according to English Nature, so care is needed.

Ratty saw a fellow Water vole exploring the bank just inside Thurne Mouth the other day. We are secretive fellows so I was surprised to see him, but he was hurrying along on the day’s business, whatever it might have been.

Water voles dig their burrows in the riverbank and there they can raise three or four litters a year. They prefer to be beside slow-moving, calm wateranother reason not to create wash in the Broads rivers. Water voles like to sit and eat in the same place, so piles of nibbled grass and stems may be found by the water's edge, showing a distinctive 45-degree, angled cut at the ends. 'Latrines' of rounded, cigar-shaped droppings may also be spotted here and there.

Water voles are still widespread in mainland UK, but their range and numbers have declined, largely due to predatory Mink, but also

through habitat loss and degradation.

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