Our first event of 2017 took place over the weekend of 16-18 June at Waveney River Centre. A total of 11 boats completed Friday and/or Saturday night stop overs with 7 boats from the Northern rivers crossing over Breydon Water in a small flotilla on the morning of Friday 16 June.
Setting off from the Stracey Arms moorings at around 08:15 to catch low water slack at Great Yarmouth at around 09:45 hrs our small group headed off down river led by Keith and Zoe in Lanson.
After an uneventful passage down river to Great Yarmouth, the group rounded the yellow marker post at Yarmouth and entered a slightly choppy Breydon Water. There were relatively few other boats making the crossing in either direction so the group was able to spread itself out across Breydon.
Once across, we entered the river Waveney passing Burgh Castle and The Fishermans Bar and onward to St Olaves. This year, due to an earlier crossing we had more time available for a break at Herringfleet (spaces permitting).
Those who could not get moored at Herringfleet, continued on to Somerleyton for a welcome lunch break and a stretch of the legs.
Arrival and catching up once again...
Having completed lunch, tea, and other options, we resumed the journey to Waveney River Centre, where we found Ken & Pat (Audere), and Phil and Caroline (Tranquil Time) ready and waiting our arrival.
Shortly after the Northern flotilla had moored - uneventfully this year and with no unscheduled swimming or "boarding parties" - (see 2015 WRC event - we must be improving!) - we were also joined by new members/owners Elaine and Bob on Minnow from Brundall and Steve and Barbara on Tabitha 2 from Beccles.
Fortunately we had once again picked a cracking weekend for the event with temperatures rising to the late 20's/early 30's....After "unhitching the wagons" and forming the by now traditional circle of chairs, tables and assorted home baked cakes(thanks Liz!), beer, wine and tea/coffee we settled down for the usual introductions, catch up conversations, and round up of who had been doing what and where etc.
On arriving at Waveney on Friday afternoon we were greeted by a mother duck with a brood of 7 recently hatched fluffy little ducklings (5 dark and two gold) that had been nesting under the live aboard barge gangplank. We were reminded of how hard life in the animal world can be, when a little while later after a swim in the river/mooring basin, Mother Duck returned with only 5 ducklings, having lost one of the cute little golden ones along the way....sadly it was a pattern that was repeated as additional chicks disappeared over time....
Some used the Waveney pool and/or took the short ferry trip across the river for a walk into Oulton Broad and back. The footpath to Oulton is quite interesting and straight forward to follow and leads to a convenient watering hole (cafe/bar) at the end before returning in a loop via a couple of nature reserves back to the ferry point. The whole return walk takes around a leisurely 2 hrs (excluding stops).
Our final members and regular attendees, Geoff and Judi on Moonshine, arrived late on Saturday afternoon joining us after a prior family event and following an epic cross country drive and rapid up river journey from Geldeston. Friday and Saturday evenings were spent in the Waveney Inn with a few beers and group bookings in the restaurant.
All over....and homeward bound....
We had truly picked a good weekend for the event as it turned out to be the hottest period of the year (so far)...the extremely high temperatures and strong sun brought out the folding gazebo for a bit of relief and those who couldn't fit under it, took advantage of some shade under the willow trees...
Sunday morning was spent discussing plans and destinations for the next few days and by lunchtime most boats had departed towards, Beccles, Oulton Broad, and further afield up the Yare towards Surlingham and Norwich. Sunday was a particularly hot day and after a leisurely circuit of Oulton Broad in "Free Spirit" we decided to stop at the emptypontoon mooring to explore the Dutch Tea Gardens. Having completed another circular walk and in temperatures by mid afternoon now well into the low-mid 30's we sought some shade and promptly dozed off in the heat making Sunday a very short cruising day indeed!
Most boats returned back to home moorings at various times/days of the week. Thanks to everyone who attended for supporting the weekend, and for another extremely pleasant and enjoyable event, with a return visit to the Southern rivers and Waveney River Centre completed for another year!