With autumn fast approaching, this weekend seemed like a great opportunity to undertake a modest ‘bucket-list’ trip from Ranworth to Coltishall and perhaps beyond. It was only really an overnighter, but every trip however small seems to feel like a proper holiday at the moment.
The trip to the boat on a Saturday meant it would be a late start getting to Coltishall around dusk and under navigation lights. We’d never been further up the Bure than Salhouse Broad on our previous boat, so Wroxham was a first with a degree of trepidation on getting under Wroxham Bridge. To play it safe, we dropped the windscreen which actually sits reasonably well with it’s ‘wings’ straddling the coachroof whilst resting on the handrails.
With about 2.1m on the tide gauge, I think it would have been pretty close getting under with the screen up but probably achievable if kept perfectly in the middle of the arch. For me it’s not really worth the risk.
From Wroxham, the Bure becomes much quieter and perhaps wilder. It certainly felt like the river had become our own, passing only one other boat at that time of day which must have been approaching 8pm. Although there was just about space for us to moor at Coltishall Green, we decided to push on to the head of navigation at Coltishall Lock next to Horstead Mill.
Rhond bank anchors were the order of the day with perhaps 70cm depth of water up to the grassy riverbank. For lack of a better term, this mooring could be referred to as ‘casual’ and certainly isn’t serviced in any way although it has a nice gravel path alongside.
The following morning we discovered this spot was very popular with paddleboarders as are most heads of navigation on the Broads it seems. Not a problem of course but some paddlers can be a bit unpredictable.
Having liberally sprayed the boat earlier in the day with spider repellent, there were no creepy crawlies or clouds of mosquitos to speak of.
Following a morning’s unsuccessful fishing, despite huge shoals of roach, we started the return trip, stopping off at ‘The Rising Sun’ pub at Coltishall for a roast lunch which despite the cost of living situation, did represent good value for money with good quality food and portions.
The Bure between Coltishall and Wroxham must be one of my favourites. Once past Wroxham we turned into Wroxham Broad in order to give our aged engine a proper full-throttle blast to try and improve on what may be glazed bores from running at sub 1500 rpm most of the time. With a hull speed of 6 miles per hour, I don’t think we upset anyone given that it’s open water.
Other than popping in to Salhouse Broad ahead of the annual Freeman meet to reconnoitre the moorings, the trip home was beautiful but uneventful.