First Safari Sleepover - Hampton Safari Boat Club

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First Safari Sleepover

Salhouse meet June 2015 – our first Safari "sleepover"

Although being around boats from an early age buying a Safari in the autumn of 2014 was the first dabble with a boat with “facilities”. We spent a long time looking at a lot of boats for sale, and annoyingly some boats were sold before we even knew they were for sale! “Bluebell” was one of these having been sold without being advertised. 

Upon having a moan to the brokers, we were pleasantly surprised to get a telephone call from Lynne at Waterside Marine saying that the new owners of “Bluebell” had changed their minds (deciding they needed a bigger boat) and she was back on the market. 

After a quick look round and we put down a deposit subject to survey and a few weeks later we became the proud owners. We had a few day trips to familiarise ourselves with the handling and our new surroundings at Potter Heigham. We still have a lot to learn about water systems, heating, cooking etc.

We have seven grandchildren who have marvelled (not all at once I hasten to add!) at having a kitchen, toilet and shower on board. One grandson, ever with one eye on what’s to eat, suggested that Grandma could probably manage to cook a meal while we were underway! But as autumn turned to winter, and with the boat winterized, trips to Potter Heigham became less frequent. (What do other owners do over the winter – do you winterize or carry on using the boat?)
After spotting the owners club online we joined up and put our names down for Salhouse. This proved to be our first overnight stay and our eldest grandson Henry was to join us for a sleep over (his words). I made a trip on the Friday to Potter to deliver bedding, table and chairs etc ready for the weekend. Saturday broke to beautiful weather and we collected an excited Henry and set off for Potter Heigham. Eventually we arrived and unloaded the contents of a small supermarket! Oh where to put it all. The fridge is tiny! Henry dons his life jacket and it’s time for us to get the bunting tied on despite the strong gusting wind. We made the recommended checks prior to setting off (thanks to Brian for his help via email). I had calculated that we should need about 60 minutes or so to get to the rendezvous at St Benet’s Abbey, all was going so well until we caught up a small convoy of hire boats stuck behind a couple of tacking sailors. So, we arrived a little later than anticipated and I was trying to gauge whether to moor up or if the assembled boats were ready to leave. Typically I decided to moor just as the boats started to leave! With the strongish wind keeping the boats pinned to the bank it was quite a test to get going, but all got away with us bringing up the rear together with Tony and Liz in “Veyatie”.
We made it through Horning and were soon moored at Salhouse. Note: still need to practice stern on mooring – there must be a knack to it!
We explored the woods and tracks close to the broad – what a lovely place it is, we are very lucky to have all this on our doorstep. We walked as far as the village and enjoyed ice cream from Radleys. 

We noted the public phone box as mobile reception is pretty much non-existent. We finished up, as most did having a bbq and trying out our new picnic table and chairs (that fit nicely in the tall cupboard in the galley area). The boat proved to give a very comfortable night’s sleep and it was ducks dancing on the roof that woke us about 7 o’clock, although Henry slept through until 8 o’clock.

We took a bag of rubbish to bins in the car park and returned to the boat for some breakfast – there is something special about cooking breakfast whilst nearly outdoors! 

We made an uneventful trip back along the Bure stopping again at the same rendezvous for some lunch before mooring up and unloading the boat back at Potter Heigham. 

So our first overnight – will we do it again? You bet we will! See you on the Waveney next month!
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