Keep Turning Left Dylan Winter’s film of the Three Rivers Race on the Norfolk Broads

The start of the Three Rivers Race at Horning

I’d just like to say how much we enjoyed Keep Turning Left Dylan Winter’s film of the Three Rivers Race on the Norfolk Broads.

It’s classic Dylan stuff: the rivers, broads and boats look fabulous, his photography and framing are as wonderful as ever, and of course there’s also the usual opinionated and entertaining commentary, including a good mobo rant. It’s a shame you can’t get this kind of thing on the telly.

It costs $4.99 a quarter to sign up to see this stuff via Dylan’s website, and I think it’s money very well spent. However, his enthusiasm for the Three Rivers is so great he’s made his film available for free on the front page of Keep Turning Left. Catch it while you can…

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Impressions of the Norfolk Broads, summer 2011, part I: Horning to Horsey Mere

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My daughter Ella asked to go again to the Norfolk Broads this summer, and I was delighted to be able take her there last week in a 1940s-built sailing cruiser named Twilight, hired from the Broads Yachting Company at Horning.

We had a great time. As local sailor Mark Harvey pointed out, we had some superb weather – at no point were we becalmed and didn’t suffer from too much wind either – and apart from the first night we plenty of sunshine and no rain.

With conditions like these, you won’t be surprised to know that we came back with two cameras full of snaps. This collection are from the first leg of our trip, as we sailed from the business of of Horning to the quaint remoteness of Horsey Mere.

This first first batch include some windmills – one complete with what looked to me like a large and interesting bird, though now I think it was a relatively commonplace cormorant – a brown-hulled Hunter’s Yard half-decker,  a sister ship to Twilight (Twiglet, as one of the yard staff called her, was I’m sure the first of several of the Twilight class built to the same design), a strange house by the River Thurne, and the cut at Horsey.

Zoe – princess of the Broads hire fleet

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Zoe sails by

A few of the Norfolk Broads boats available for hire are celebrities in their own right, and one of my favourites is the 1897-built 27-footer Zoe, which is available from the Broads Yachting Company at Horning.

Originally named Jubilee because she was built for hire in the year of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, Zoe’s amazing working life has spanned six English monarchs. I’d guess that she’s almost certainly the oldest yacht in the hire fleet, and I understand she’s the only one with a counter stern.

I’m told she’s quite small inside – even though she’s 27ft long, she only has berths for two – but she’s nevertheless in great demand. One of the staff at the yard told me that she’s almost always in hire, even at times when the other boats are less busy. I guess the reasons are partly her age and cute looks – but also that she has an optional topsail and is advertised as being suitable only for experienced sailors.

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