This site was originally created to document the cruising adventures of the superbly-equipped Broom Ocean 42, Lady Martina, from 2002-2007 with its former crew of David Broad and Louise Busby as it cruised many thousands of nautical miles and toured the coasts and inland waterways of Eastern and Southern Britain and the Channel Islands; France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and, particularly the Netherlands, which were, and still are, particularly accessible from the base in Horning on the Norfolk Broads. In recent years, it was then continued under the authorship of its long-term skipper David who, by now had completed nearly 10,000 nautical miles at sea and with the encouragement and help of its new enthusiastic mate, Kathleen Waite, whose first request would be, 'Can we visit the Channel Islands' and so the story continued.. More recently, with the use of red diesel for boating being ended, Brexit and its implication for freedom of movement and the imposition of 14-day quarantines for France and the Netherlands, the future of such adventures are under threat and the author is actively considering ceasing this project.
For news of Lady Martina's 2015 passages visit Lady Martina Schedule of Voyages 2015
For news of Lady Martina's 2016 passages visit Lady Martina Schedule of Voyages 2016
For news of Lady Martina's recent 2017 passages - visit Lady Martina Schedule of Voyages 2017
For news of Lady Martina's most recent 2018 passages - visit Lady Martina Schedule of Voyages 2018
For news of Lady Martina's latest 2020 passages - visit Lady Martina Schedule of Voyages 2020
Images from our previous years' cruises:-
See the latest cruise details by clicking on this link: Wells-next-the-Sea to Lowestoft 2020
Stay in touch with the adventures of Lady Martina by bookmarking our news feed Latest Lady Martina News
The original design and pages were maintained to chronicle these ports and destinations and the many and varied photographs taken. The comprehensive passage plans and detailed logs written led to many instructional lectures and boating magazine articles being requested to inform and educate other about these experiences. Also to the authors founding the Broom Owners Club. During winter periods of lay up based at Limehouse in Docklands, the crew were available to The Cruising Association where David assisted with the incorporation and development of this historically significant organisation as one of its first Directors and Louise assisted with its website and became the Dutch and Belgium regional editor for the CA/Imray Almanac.
This eventually led to their authorship of the standard Imray publication on 'The Inland Waterways of the Netherlands' which remains as the only authoritative work in the English language on the whole of the Dutch network of meres, rivers and canals that represent this wonderful venue for cruising enthusiasts. After that the two co-authors took 'separate tides'. Louise bought her own vessel Lady Alison, a Broom 35 Sedan, which she moored in Brundall for a while until she settled nearby and David still cruises in Lady Martina, initially on the Broads with friends and family from his Horning base, and became a key figure in the Broads Authority, serving as a Member and Vice Chairman of its governing board and Chairman of its Navigation Committee. Following his retirement, he then resumed his passion for off-shore cruising with his new and enthusiastic partner Kathleen Waite, recently had retired also.
The Lady Martina story continues here with David and Kathleen's more recent cruising adventures first around the Broads and nearby East Coast ports and then, more ambitiously, from 2015 on towards the South Coast, Channel Islands and coastal resorts of France, this time with David at the helm of both the vessel and this web site and Kathleen operating the camera shutters! For 2016, we visited The Netherlands for the cruising season after a refit and service at Brooms in Brundall and took the draft of the second edition of 'The Inland Waterways of the Netherlands' for comments and corrections and that is now a very popular 2nd Edition. Last year, in 2018, we were otherwise distracted by working in our extended woodland on an exhaustive lake restoration project but this year, we resumed serious cruising and started the season by completing a few East Coast cruises and then return to The Netherlands, my old stomping ground and subject of my published guide.
After many years of enjoying this liberating vocation, David has become very concerned about the future of British motor-boating in particular with UK-flagged vessels becoming a rare encounter at sea. in 2017, when we completed some 37 sea passages along the South Coast of England and North Coast of France, not a single such vessel was sighted underway with most just moored up as holiday bases and second homes or not used at all. Once freely-available and cheaper red diesel kept costs under control and the modest fees charged by marinas and harbours have been escalating in the belief that owners 'can afford it' when, in reality, the wider costs of licensing, insuring and maintaining vessels are taking their toll on the owners of larger boats most suitable for offshore use.
The sheer business of those in work (with many in zero-hours contracts without the chance of an index-linked final salary pension scheme and prospect of early retirement) has led to less opportunities for potential crew to have the precious combination of time and money for longer-term cruising. Even less for them to find the time for the vital RYA learning courses and experience-gathering opportunities once provided by those such as The Motor Boat Monthly Cruises in Company, within which I gained confidence and learnt so much. Furthermore, the pan-European system that has harmonised regulations, boat and vehicle insurance, phone roaming charges, qualifications, movement of crew and customs is under threat from political policies that could lead the isolation and divergence of regulation of the UK. On this 75th anniversary of 'D-Day' and with the memories of 'The Dunkirk Little Ship' nautical achievements fading, we are left to wonder for how long we can sustain our reputation as the leading nautical nation.
However, there are some encouraging signs and examples to follow such as can be seen in the author's awareness of The Netherlands experience. After the 1953 floods, and the 'Delta Project' which isolated many of the boaters from offshore navigation and they looked in horror when we said we had just arrived across the North Sea. The recent emergence of collaborative organisations such as 'The Sea People' (a poor translation from the Dutch) has encouraged collaborative effort in saving fuel and marina charges and led to a prodigious amount of off-shore cruising for Dutch boats with their ensigns a common sight in East Coast ports. Individual organisations in the UK, such as The Norfolk Yacht Agency has done likewise and my own Broom Owners Club, which I founded, is an example of modest efforts to encourage nervous and reluctant skippers and their crew out to sea. It is left to those of us remaining, who are able to advocate this sporting pastime, make the effort to get out on the seas and help and encourage others to join them to enjoy this unique pleasurable experience. It can often be challenging and time-consuming to find the right combination of wind, weather and tide to ensure the crew have the best-possible trips but it is well-worthwhile and this web site is dedicated to providing the evidence, information and guidance for YOU to do so.
Please follow us every step of the way and encourage others to do so via this web site and the links below.
For information on the Broom Owners Club visit www.broomowners.com, and for information on the 'Inland Waterways of the Netherlands' (available this year as a 2nd Edition), visit www.dutchwaterways.net. For more information about David's life and times, visit http://www.davidabroad.com/ and on the Cruising Association (for which David remains as its Honorary Local Representative for Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and The Broads) visit www.cruising.org.uk
Thanks for reading :-)
May you always have Fair Winds and Favourable Tides ...