Not so early up today. No wind at first, but the flags were moving as we readied to set off. Very pleasant beat up across the Broad, Two boats were moored up at the entrance to Meadow Dyke and we set off for Horsey Mere with the other two and a spare quant pole giving us double bubble when needed.
The wind was favourable, leaving us with a bit of quanting up a couple of short bits. Arriving at Horsey Dyke we were again able to sail in and moored up for our walk to the Nelson Head. Apparently there were 200 seals on the sands, but the weather was much more chilly so we passed the opportunity this year. Andy & Babs at the Nelson Head made us welcome and provided great value food as well as well kept beers and a huge log fire to banish any signs of chill.
Returning to the boats were were sad to see that the guy who normally collects any mooring fees was not there, he normally never misses us. We set off back down Meadow Dyke to the moored boards and stopped for teat and lovely fruit cake. Protected there by the trees and bank it was quite warm, but that changed immediately we set off and the freshness and chill of the wind was exposed.
Three of us ended up very close together up the narrow part of Candle Dyke as the trees robbed all the boats in turn of true wind. Pete managed to break free and got clean away. We caught Wood Sorrel, but the river was too narrow for us to make a clean passing manoeuvre so had to fall behind and follow them through to the main river.
On the straight part running through to Martham Ferry, with both of us fiddling out way through an intermittent close reach disturbed by some bungalows, we managed to get a boost and got clear through and away. Probably just as well as, after a long fetch up to the sharp bend, the river narrowed and turned into the wind. So for the rest of the journey we were tacking upwind with the river frequently less than two boats length’s wide. It needed some judicious assistance from the quant from time to time.
Eventually Somerton Boat Dyke appeared and Brain came to greet us and helped us the last few yards. After mooring we noted the temperature dropping and so repaired into H2 for a short warmer and a look at the BBC News website where my son Tim was being interviewed about being held up in Bangkok by the closure of European airspace. Such is the wonder of modern technology.
Later, despite the cold wind, some of us walked up to the Lion, only to find it locked shut, but a light on. No one appeared in response to our door rattling, so we, unprecendentedly, returned to the boat for an early night.