Easter on the Norfolk Broads Day 2.

A long day paddle!

On Saturday morning I still felt like getting on the water early in the hope of seeing an otter but it wasn't to be.

It felt cool and there was a mist on the water. I only took a short trip as I knew we were in for a long day.

Nick had planned a paddle from Wroxham to Barton Turf via Horning and Ludham.

We parked at Roy's Long stay car park after unloading boats in the short stay park near the put in.

The long stay car park has recently had a new restriction added in that it closes at 5pm.

This was to prove tricky later. At least the put in is a good one.

On the water it was sunny but there was a breeze to assist with cooling. We made our way past some interesting buildings.

We were soon out of Wroxham enjoying a paddle between banks lined with reeds and Joan had a go with my current favourite paddle. I particularly like its exceedingly comfortable grip and blade that is great for silent strokes.

Amongst the many passing hire boats and plastic bath tubs we were treated to occasional sight of a passing yacht like this one.

As we paddled close to the bank to avoid more passing boats I spotted a Jay.

When it saw me it tried to fly away but then appeared to stop mid flight after flying less than a foot from where it took off. I coninued to paddle on keeping eye out to see if it would fly away when the others passed it but it seemed to be staying in the same place. Thinking this odd I returned to investigate. I found it had a piece of fishing line around one leg the other end of which was caught around a piece of wooden post in the water.

I got my knife out of my bag and carefully cut the line as close as I could to its leg.Unfortunately I couldn't risk cutting the line actually on its leg as I fear it may have broken its leg to do so. At least it was able to fly away and hopefully the rest of the line will work it way free now it is not under tension.

It was very busy, in fact possibly the busiest day that I and many others have seen on the broads so we were glad to find a spot for lunch. Ruby was very interested in Al's lunch.

As trip leader Nick had the only bench and I utilised my Nootka paddle as a hat stand.

After lunch back on the water the wind was up and so sails were full.

After taking the turning for Ludham Bridge the river winds its way slowly meandering at every turn until you reach this boat yard followed by the bridge itself.

We were pleasantly surprised by the lack of boats in the moorings beyond the bridge and because we were running behind we knew we would never get back to our cars in time to get them out of Roy's before 5pm.

Our clever leader had a plan and had already phoned ahead to arrange for Lou and Angelica to arrive in cars to take drivers to the car park to collect cars. We then took cars back to Barton and these superstars then drove us back to Ludham to continue our paddle home. Excellent!

On route we spied some unusual stooks.

and the meandering continued past wind pumps and tree lined banks until we finally reached Barton Broad and big gaps opened between boats in the wind.

Finally the waters were calm again on our final approach to the adventure centre and our put in.

It seemed like a long day and we had been battling wind current and lots of bigger boats. All in all a great day out. Thanks once again to Nick for organising and our two shuttling angels Lou and Angelica.

Cheers

Alick

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