Captain’s Log 2011 – Tuesday

For a change the wind died overnight. Not completely, but down to a more moderate Force 2 which was good as, despite the partial protection of the trees, we were fairly exposed to the north easterly wind direction. At 07:00 it began to freshen again and by the time we set off it was up to a Force 3-4. We decided to leave the three tucks in the sail – especially as were were heading for more open spaces.

Branches blowing in the wind

Breezy at South Walsham

We set off easily as the riveris quite wide by the mooring and, being a dead end, there is no through traffic. Up along the river past the outer mooring we reached the main Bure.

South Walsham outer mooring

South Walsham outer mooring

We then took a right turn into the wind to head for the yard at Ludham to pick up Mike D. We made good progress as we tacked back and forth into the fresh breeze.

Sailing in the fresh breeze

Three reef sailing

It was great to see Mike D waiting on the point of Hunter’s Dyke. He had arrived but ten minutes or so before. We took the opportunity to top up the water and then set off back down the dyke to the Thurne. The wind was easing again and we found it difficult to get down the dyke again as one large bush blanketed a tricky bend. But we made it and, as soon as we could find a decent bit of bank, pulled in to shake out a reef as we were approaching the bungalows on the way up to Potter Heigham bridge, and these certainly blanket the wind – especially at the lower levels. We had timed our arrival to coincide with the very last of the flow and managed to make it to time. An upwards current, or at least slack water, makes the quant through the bridge so much easier.

Potter Heigham above the bridges

Potter Heigham above the bridges

Having got through the bridge we met up with Luna, a four berth yacht from Hunter’s yard, carrying two couples and then repaired to the Broadshaven Tavern as we had heard of a change of ownership and improvements. It was warm enough for us to sit outside and enjoy a well kept pint or two of Wherry plus another light summer ale. We noticed a fair amount of redecoration and a degree of smartening up of the service which ensured the award of the ‘Most Improved Pub’ award.

Back to the boats and we set off upstream towards Hickling. The wind had eased some more, then continued to lighten and it was now becoming difficult to make progress through the bungalows so we paused to shake out the remaining reefs and sailng became easier. We watched out for our turning into Candle Dyke with the windmill as a guide.

Candle Dyke entrance

Candle Dyke entrance

The rest of the wind stayed and we had a great sail up river, through Heigham Sound and across Hickling Broad. The approach to Hickling staithe is not easy to spot. Use the thatched sailing club building as a portside indicator and the floating boxes for starboard.

Hickling Staithe approach

Hickling Staithe approach

We were able to sail gently into the pub’s dyke and spin to a halt in a slot kept for us. A group of larger sailing boats from Upton Dyke had also chosen this spot for the overnight stay. We tried the Pleasure Boat for a pint and then Mike C and I headed on down to the village to the Greyhound. Excellent grub as usual, but the place seemed quieter.