A bright and windless morning first thing, just beautiful to sit at the end of the dyke in the warm early morning sun looking over the flat calm broad. Around 08:00 the waters ruffled with the start of the day’s breeze and by 09:00 we had a gentle Force 1-2, still from the ENE. The forecast was for it to shift to the SE, which would be ideal for a trip up to Horsey, but not until mid afternoon. So we decided to moor one boat at the mouth of Meadow Dyke and all five of us would go up on Wood Sorrel with two quants. We sailed gently acros Hickling Broad and passed Luna who had spent the night moored at one of the mooring points in White Slea.
Fortunately the wind was not dead on the nose so relatively little quanting was needed for our passage up Meadow Dyke. On the way we were passed by a tour boat called the Lady Ann based at Horsey Staithe, new to us.
We moored at the Staithe and had a long chat with the man from the National Trust and his wife. He was telling us he has been collecting there for well over 40 years, no wonder he recognises us. Then off the the Nelson Head for a great lunchtime break. Another change of landlord, good beer and food. Over lunch we discussed trying a stop at Martham to visit the King’s Arms, which is about a mile and a bit walk. However, with the ebb tide being in the afternoon decided to give it a miss for another time and go for Potter Heigham bridge, so as to have an easier passage, and then on to Ludham Bridge, a long sail.
Returning to the staithe we noticed Lady Ann’s automatic booking system – very innovative!
The wind was blowing down the dyke towards the mere so we decided to set off under jib alone and hoist the main underway – but we were facing the wrong way.
The jib was raised and then the boat was spun on its stern warp with the bankside crew leaping aboard as we pulled away.
The gentle breeze was quite enough to push us down the dyke towards open water.
Once in the clear we prepared to hoist the main.
Heaving up the main when underway with the wind behind is heavy business, fortunately we had additional crew for this.
If you do not have the extra muscle then run further into open water so you can go head to wind before hoisting. Once hoisted trim the sail to get the little ripple near the throat that shows a well set sail.
The wind held and we made good progress, getting through Potter Heigham and all teh way to Ludham Bridge. We moored up on the west bank below the bridge so as to keep a bit away from the bridge and so have a quiet night. A quiet bevvy was enjoyed in the afternoon sun.
Luna, A Hunter’s four berth yacht, was moored up just downstream of us. The Dog at Ludham was disappointing as there was only one beer on, the ‘Jackal’ from the local Wolf brewery, a light summer beer. The night was cold and still.