Another morning with breeze, but a bit lighter so we could shake out our reef. We set off for a sail up towards Salhouse for half an hour before turning back to head towards our chosen destination of the River Ant. Passing Southgate’s yard in Horning there were several notable yachts moored. White Moth is by far the largest of the Pleasure Wherrys.
On the opposite bank were two very old, but beautiful, yachts – America & Lapwing. Both of these were built in the 1890s and have very fine lines. Keep your eyes out for Zoe. She is similar but a bit smaller being only two berth, and her proportions are delightful to the eye.
There was work going on on one of the houses in Horning that had been recently re-thatched beautifully and the boathouse was being rebuilt. The carpenter was nailing rafters in place as our first boat past. As the second passed there was another expletive followed by a splash as the hammer disappeared into the dyke below. When we passed a short while later there was no sign of activity.
We turned up the Ant and tacked gently up to the bridge at Ludham. The mooring adjacent to the bridge was free, which was very handy as the stream was running strongly down. Because we were able to moor there we could pull through the bridge rather than quant. Moored up after a long morning’s sailing. and repaired to the ‘Dog’ for lunch. As usual there was a beer from a local brewery available, Lady Evelyn from Tipple Brewery, Acle. A light coloured, fragrant beer making pleasant drinking for all the crews.
And now for some closeup mugshots
The sun was out after lunch, but the wind had strengthened a bit. As we were heading for the tree lined Irsead stretch we kept the full sail which was quite manageable.
Along the stretch past the moorings for How Hill House the was a large motor cruiser moored which made the tack to get past quite tight, but we made that OK. But then, only a couple of tacks further on we were hit by an unusually strong gust. When we recovered we found that the mop had fallen overboard from where it was secured on the cabin top and was floating resting against the mooring key headings. We turned and ran back to pick it up. As we resumed our journey we then found that we had also lost our quant pole. Looking back we could see it amongst the reeds on the other side so, another turn and run back. Having picked that up, as the boom swept past my head my cap was knocked off and so a third manoeuvre was required. Boy, was our boat handling improving with practice!
Arriving on Barton Broad we celebrated by taking a sail up the length before heading for Gay’s Staithe. When we arrived we found a sad Dennis and Pete waiting for a taxi as Denis had fallen and hurt his arm. A very helpful Allan of Village Cars in Potter Heigham (01692 678775) took them to the hospital and waited whilst Dennis was seen before returning them to the boat and all for a very modest cost.