First trip to the river in 2012

The 8th of January – and as we left the house this morning the bees were out in the sunshine working the white camellia in the drive. They’ve already cleared out their dead at least a couple of months ahead of time.

With the boat out of the water since mid November we decided to drive out to Potter Heigham and walk the path along Middle Wall that leads to Heigham Sound.  We’d no sooner locked the car than we discovered a sign saying the path along the Sound was closed for flood alleviation work.  From the Broads Authority map it still looked possible to get as far as Candle Dyke so we set off along the arrow-straight path with grazing marsh on both sides. By High’s Mill we took a diversion to see if we could get a look at the old mill cottage which was for sale. An idyllic situation surrounded by water – the river Thurne to the south and drainage ditches everywhere else.

We retraced our steps and headed out further along the track only to discover that the boat wasn’t out of the water at all but was sitting quietly on her mooring on the opposite bank. The boat yard has a pretty relaxed style so part of me wasn’t even surprised. It explained why I hadn’t been billed for the lift-out. I suppose I now have to decide whether to leave her where she is or haul her out and take up my brother’s offer of his gel-coat polishing skills.

At the far end of Middle Wall where it reaches Candle Dyke we put up a bittern – my first.  We’ve heard them booming on several occasions but never managed to see one.  Most pictures show them hiding in reed beds, not in flight but I reasoned it couldn’t really be anything else. The wings were longer, thinner and more pointed than I expected but when we got home I found a You Tube video of a flying bittern that was exactly what we’d seen.

I enjoyed the walk. But if we’d know we were still afloat it would have been a sail

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