Sunday, 13 June 2010

Polythene Pam, A Broad.

A Heron Keeps an eye on things from his vantage point near St Benet's Abbey

After the success of the Lechlade raid last year people have been nurturing plans to have a similar raid tagged on to the end of Barton Turf.
   Well I say plans but in fact it was the usual ramblings of the disorganisation known as UK-HBBR.
Turns out there are very few camping opportunities in the Norfolk Broads as most people are self contained in their little floating caravans.

So on Bank Holiday Monday morning with the weather not exactly looking promising a few diehards sat in the dinner hall of BTAC and discussed the options.

It is an amazing sign of the times that, by dint of electronic note-book and I-phone we were not only able to summon up the weather report but also the phone number of the campsite at Thurne, give them a call, and virtually book a pitch for the night without even getting out of the chair.

Polythene Pam and Tim's Canoe moored by Ludham Bridge

So, Phil, Paul, Tim and myself decided to give it a go and head down to Thurne for the night.

I threw some food and my camping gear into my dry-bags and headed for the staithe. 

It was blowing up a wee bit as i headed out over Barton Broad so I got a free ride all the way down  to the entrance to the River Ant.

First stop was Ludham Bridge where we helped Paul drop Millibee's Mast.  Cee Dubbs arrived in his "Stinkpot" cruiser and we all watched the fun as the tourists ducked under the bridge. I actually thought I might have to drop Pam's Mizzen as it's only about 7ft clearance.

Tim helping Paul raise the mast on Millibee,

This is Tim giving Paul a hand to raise Millibee's mast, unfortunately we managed to snap the Gooseneck on her boom.

A Little bit later on we caught up with fellow HBBR member Mark Harvey in his Pandora MkI "Bella" so we stopped for a cup of Tea and a bit of Mrs Harvey's excellent Bannana Loaf. This is definitely the way to travel.
Roughing it on the Broads!  More Tea Vicar?

Quite a few Broads Sailing Cruisers passed by after competing in the Thurne Regatta. 
 Or to give it its splendid full title
The Thurne Mouth Open Regatta. 
I am agog! 

One of the Broads Cruisers creaming past Pam.

It wasn't far then to the mouth of the Thurne and Woodside Campsite. Originally known as Boundary Farm this campsite has it's own dyke and a very convenient slipway for pulling out canoes.

A couple on a tandem came and camped beside us and were amazed at the amount of gear and luxuries, particularly the amount of wine and cider we had on board and were envious of Tim's camp kitchen. I noticed they seemed to be sharing one cooking pot which also doubled as a plate.

Camp at Thurne, if you look you can just see Gem the wonder-dog getting her daily dose of pills.  

We spent a pleasant evening sitting by the dyke watching the sun go down and putting the world to rights. 
Next morning we were up and away but not before the farmer reminded us that the office was open and we could pay before we left.  

Paul Ghosting away up the dyke with just a whisper of a breeze.

Tim left us to go and do some exploring towards Hickling Broad and Potter Heigham while the rest of us headed for home.

Paul and Phil (with Gem the wonder-dog) nearing Ludham.  Watch that speed limit guys!

We had a leasurly paddle back up the Ant towards Ludham.  Thank goodness the breeze of yesterday had at least died away although the forecast southerlies which would have helped us home never did materialise.

Paul lowered and raised his mast again to clear the bridge, we stopped for a bit of lunch and then headed off towards How Hill where there are a couple of preserved drainage mills. 
Paul Tilting at Windmills

Another stop at Irstead for a late afternoon tea break and then up through Barton Broad on a  much calmer day than yesterday, and we were back at BTAC.
 A short trip  but really quite enjoyable.

The broads is full of tourists and holidaymakers in their plastic floating caravans. The sight of Polythene Pam was very entertaining for some, and quite a few took photographs, to the point that it became mildly annoying.
Somewhere along the trip, Monday afternoon judgeing by the wind direction,  this photo was taken by Sue Hines, presumably from a boat, I don't remember seeing her.

Anyway turns out she is a friend of HBBR member Greg Chapman and by the wonder of the interweb and thanks to Chris P who spotted it,  here it is.

Sorry I didn't wave Sue!

I think it's brilliant, Pam really looks good even if i do have by usual glum face on.
You can see more of Sue's great photos of the broads including a great selection of Classic Cruisers here.

1 comment:

ChrisP said...

Looks like you had a great trip!
That's a lovely pic of Millibee and Tonawanda not exceeding the speed limit. Of course, if I had been there in Snareleyow I would have been done for speeding no probs brag brag brag....