A total of 14 boats and crews attended our annual Waveney River Centre meet this year. A total of 9 boats travelled from North to South with 7 travelling over in convoy on Friday.
Setting off from Potter Heigham, Free Spirit, Blue Bell, Lanson and Maudie departed around 10:00 hrs for a relaxed and gentle cruise down the Thurne on into the Bure, picking up Veyatie as as we passed Acle Marina, and on towards Great Yarmouth & Breydon Water.
A theoretical journey of time of around 3.5 hrs, riding down on the outgoing tide and intending to arrive at Yarmouth at Low Water Slack (around 14:05 hrs) allowed time for a rendezvous at the Stracey Arms with Regal Safari and Tranquil Time and a short comfort break.
Setting off again at around 12:30hrs we gently floated downstream needing very little power and exited the Bure into Breydon Water at 14:00 hrs. Well timed once again by Alan on Maudie who led the way...!
The journey across Breydon was uneventful and quiet with very little traffic heading in either direction. We carried on down the Waveney past St Olaves and on to Herringfleet for a welcome stop and a cuppa! After that if was off again for the last leg to Waveney arriving broadly on schedule around 17:30hrs. A long days cruising but very pleasant in the conditions.
Friday evening saw us having a group dinner in the new dining area in the Waveney inn - a really good meal and a chance to have a chat over a meal and a few drinks.
On Saturday we were joined by Take 5, Barney, Manheru, Salubrious, and Dungraftin. Later in the afternoon we were also joined by Brian and Jan (founders/revivers of the current Hampton Safari club).
Some crews took the ferry over the rivers and walked the trail to Oulton Broad and back. Others settled in for a chat, tea &, a few beers and later in the afternoon some relaxed fishing off the quay heading with some good catches resulting.
Hampton Safari Club shirts ordered after the Salhouse meet were delivered and distibuted by Zoe (Lanson). Asyou can see from the number of club shirts appearing in the pictures they were a great success.
Saturday evening saw us in the Waveny Inn for dinner again where we raffled some valuable prizes (several "4 free pumpout" vouchers, discounted day boat hire and an engineering discount voucher) kindly and freely donated by Rob Frearson (Sutton Staithe Boatyard) and Toby Cox (Toby Cox Marine).
As a result we raised £90.00 from the raffle plus a further £10.00 excess from Safari Shirt sales making £100 in total which was donated to the Northern Branch of the Waveney Stardust Trust. Thanks to everyone for their generosity.
That evening we comnfirmed that the following morning we would set off in convoy for a trip arounf Oulton Broad, birthplace of the Hampton Safari, before dispersing at the end of another very enjoyable week end.
It was another fine sunny day as on Sunday morning around 10:30 we departed Waveney River Centre on our way to Oulton Broad. 11 boats headed forOulton Broad lining up in neat line astern formation.
As we proceeded down Oulton Dyke and into Oulton Broad itself it became apparent that it was a "sailing day" with many yachts and dinghies tacking and running across the broad.
We made our way down to the end of the broad where on the port side is the area formerly occupied by Hampton Boats - sadly it is now derelict and just has a pile of rubble to mark the spot.
Carrying on round past Mutford Bridge and Oulton yacht station we retraced our track around the outside edge of the broad for the return journey. Reaching the Waveney we waved goodbye to Take5 and Bluebell who were making for Beccles and Geldestone. The rest headed upstream for a stop at Herringfleet for those returning to the North with others continuing to other southern river destinations.
While chatting at Waveney we had mentioned cruising up to Norwich yacht station as we'd not been that far before. Graham (Take 5) handed us a write up of each bridge and it's history from Trowse Bridge through to New Mills Bridge at the end of the Wensum navigation. "Good idea - we must do it" we thought, so waving goodbye to the others stopping at Herringfleet, Geoff & Judy (Moonshine) and Dave & Trish (Free Spirit) headed upstream to Surlingham Broad, where we spent the afternoon and evening rafted up together and mud weighting overnight. The following morning we headed upstream to complete a very interesting and unexpected (to us and people along the foot/tow path) journey into the centre of Norwich by boat.....