A tranquil holiday cruising serenely along the Norfolk Broads. Well… not exactly! You could say we took to sailing like a duck to water, but we didn’t. While I was looking forward to the experience Jill was terrified.
We started with a guided tour of the boat, and an instructor took us out on the river to show us the ropes. The problem was, he gave us plenty of guidance on when and where to steer, but he fully controlled the throttle and we had no idea until later on how the use of forward and reverse would affect the steering. It led to a few disasters with both of us struggling to control the 30 foot monster we called home for a week.
There were times when everything seems to be under control and we began to relax, occasionally mooring up successfully and enjoying a relaxing drink as we watched the world sail by. On other occasions though all hell broke loose.
Leaving one mooring spot the tide took the front of the boat before Jill had time to unhitch the rear, and as the back rope pulled taught we were left with a boat at right angle to the jetty too far out for us to jump on board. Luckily we were helped out by a passerby who help grab the front rope with the help of a mooring hook, and together we managed to haul the boat in enough to climb on again.
Jill’s nerves got the better of her another day when she got too close to the reed bank and then panicked, hitting the throttle and steering too late to avoid crashing into a boat moored up on our starboard. Thankfully the only damage was a couple of those blue side buoys being burst and ripped from their anchorage. It was it this point that I really wanted to come home!
We did find some nice hostelries in the places we visited at Wroxham and Horning, and we spent quite a few nights cooking for ourselves on the boat and enjoying a bottle of Belgian beer or two. I don’t think boating is an experience the two of us will be rushing back to though.