October 2001: “San Francisco 3”, Richardsons of Stalham
This time I chose a 35ft 4/6 berth Aquafibre mould with a central sliding wheelhouse. I think as we were going for a week I wanted a boat we would both like, and maybe the 240v Microwave was part of the appeal too, so at least we wouldn’t starve!
The boat had a poster bed in the rear cabin, which was a bit OTT, but very comfy, a nice ‘L’ shaped sofa in the saloon and two forward single berths in the forward cabin. The low tide times made passing over Breydon Water a little unideal and late in the day. We raced over as fast as possible desperate to get to a mooring spot before dark. We just about did it but had to moor in the most desolate spot ever! No boats or civilisation in sight we had a nice cosy, relaxing night in! We awoke in the middle of the nght to find the boat hanging at an angle! Despite mooring with all the slack the ropes allowed the tide had dropped and we were starting to hang. We must have just caught it in time as I managed to push the boat off the bank, and after some ingenious work with the ropes we could settle down back to sleep again! Thinking that was the fun and games over we merrily cruised to St. Olaves the next day. We lowerre the canopy and cruised along knowing the boat fitted under with canopy lowered. As the bridge nearred I couldn’t see any height gauge and the nearer we got the tighter it looked. I glanced at Alpha Crafts then hire base and notice the water level was that high their jetties were flooded and decided it was time to turn round. Disaster... The current was so strong once the boat was sideways it pushed us along towards the bridge. Several expletives followed and a looked back at my other half, who’s expression kind of said “dont look at me, you’re the expert!” Knowing I now had no time to do anything more bad language followed and we got pushed through the bridge sideways. I glanced back at the highes point of the boat - there was about 1mm clear! As we pushed along, sideways through the bridge I awaited a horrible crunch of fibreglass, but no, seconds later we were out, through the other side of the bridge! Phew! I glanced back at the hirebase and saw a crowd of about 10 people watching us. I put the power back on, pointed her back in the right direction and on we continued! I only hope they weren’t new customers who copied or technique at each bridge!