Category Archives: Locations

Pete’s guide to the Norfolk Broads

Broad guide Broads guide

Broads guide Broads guide

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In the depths of winter it’s far too early to upset yourself with this kind of thing, but I’m already dreaming about my holidays.

Naturally, I’ve started to think about the Norfolk Broads once again. We won’t get there because my summer’s activities are already focused on the South Coast and the Swale, but it’s a great part of the world, and such a happy place to go sailing with kids. I’ve put up some old film photos for those of you who don’t yet know the area and the stress-free sailing it can offer. Click on them for an enlarged view.

Poking about with the world’s favourite search engine, I found this very nice guide to The Broads, which some of you might find interesting or even useful – and maybe you’ll even consider paying this special place a visit sometime:


Some photos for a busy evening…

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We’re having a busy evening tonight, so I’m going to quickly put three photos up about boats I know little about, though of course I would like to know more. Click on the photos for a much bigger image.

Seen at La Roche Bernard, the first is a heavy-looking cruising yacht that has quite a lot of French fishing boat about her:

Douarnenez sailing cruiser Douarnenez sailing cruiser

Below is a Broads cruising yacht during the Three Rivers Race, steaming along the river from Potter Heigham towards Hickling with a storm chasing up behind. In the last patch of sunlight before the dark clouds catch her, she’s an impressive sight but can anyone tell us more?

Broads cruiser

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They have flat-bottomed boats in France too…

I can’t resist adding a few more shots from Douarnenez. I read long ago that flat-bottomed US-style sailing boats caught on in France in a big way in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, so I was pleased but not altogether surprised to see these two, a scow and a sharpie, in the harbour during the maritime festival.

I haven’t seen any in France since that day, so maybe this was a rare sighting.

French scow French sharpie

I have not been able to discover anything about the scow Katie, but the foresail of the sharpie announces that the boat is operated by l’association Seudre et Mer, which exists to preserve the maritime traditions of Mornac and the le Seudre river.

Click here for more on l’association Seudre et Mer:

Loire river boat

One thing that did surprise me was this river boat, which I was told came from the Loire. It’s a big punt with a live-well and a sailing rig of some kind – there aren’t enugh clues here to indentify it with any certainty. The astonishing thing, however, is that rudder – have you ever seen a rudder better adapted to slipping over a sandbank in a flat-bottomed boat with inches to spare?

Here’s an intriguing photo and some notes about Loire river boats:…/photo566045.htm

A little light Googling revealed this small gallery of photos, including both Pen Duick and Pen Duick II:…/index.html

And this TrekEarth gallery of images of the Douarnenez and its harbour, including some more shots of La Cancalaise:…/Bretagne/Douarnenez/

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