Wednesday 17th/Thursday 18th July Ref: 2019/24

A busy and tiring day, as we had a change of plan and struggled to accommodate it. We had studied Lady Martina’s service manuals and realise that it was a good three, nearly four, years since she was out of the water and so, by now, her hull would be in need of attention. As we were in Lowestoft, I made enquiries and concluded that we would leave the boat here at a suitable contractors, Sealake Marine, to get the boat lifted out the next day and would leave her for a month and drive home. This entailed me going off by train to collect the car and Kathleen loading in anticipation and both proved to be more difficult and envisaged. 

A good day followed, passing through the Lowestoft bascule bridge at 9:45 AM, as requested, and cruising up to the boatyard where the operative Dan met us and quickly and efficiently hoisted out Lady Martina such that we could vacate the boat and leave it in his hands. Then his colleague gave us a lift back to the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk yacht club, where we collected the Range Rover and drove home to Horning.

  • Lowestoft Bascule Bridge opening for us
  • Snuggling into the gantry
  • Examining Lady Martina

After breakfast on this first morning, Kathleen and I got into a discussion about how long ago it was since Lady Martina was out of the water for attention and maintenance for her hull. Kathleen thought it was more recent than it actually was and, when I checked on a maintenance records, I established that it was 3 ½ years ago!

I then started phoning around and enquiring about what facilities that were in the Lowestoft Lake Lothing area for lifting large boats out and, I took the opportunity to phone our cleaner Lucy and then her partner Phil (who was still in the Netherlands) to find out more. He put me onto the owner of the yard who had a large gantry and were tolerant enough for work to take place within his yard once the boat was out of the water.

It was also explained that his charges were more modest than some. I ended up contacting the Sealake Marine yard at his suggestion, after finding the telephone number of the owner. He put me onto his man, Dan at the yard, and it was established that the best thing would be for us to wait until the next day, pass through the Bascule bridge with Lady Martina at the 9.45am lift and then the tidal conditions and his own availability will be suitable for getting the boat out tomorrow morning.

This meant that we were to spend the rest of the day in the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk and extend our overnight stay by a further day. I had to take the train back to Horning and collect one of the cars and bring it for us to load up at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk  and then we would get some transport back from the yard tomorrow and be able to drive home.

Happily, this also meant that, as Ikon and its crew were arriving today, we could have that farewell dinner that we had anticipated but not had the chance to enjoy before. I then set off hurriedly to the station, bought a new Senior Citizen’s Railcard,  together with a train ticket through to Hoveton and Wroxham railway station; all for a price of less than 6 pounds! The connections worked well and I telephoned Horning cars to collect me at the station and take me home to Horning.

In the meantime, I had to cancel the Haven Bridge lift that I planned for Great Yarmouth for 3:30 PM the following afternoon.. My trip home went very well, I found the work had progressed equally well on both my own riverside quay heading and that of my neighbour, Gordon, who I telephoned to exchange notes and experiences. I then went inside Heronshaw found the whole mound of correspondence and things to do with before I then emptied the Range Rover of all of the forestry materials and other clothing such that it could be used for transporting our belongings back from Lowestoft.

The Range Rover was in such a state that I felt I should get it cleaned and I combine this with a trip to my Range Rover garage nearby, as I was also concerned about noise from the exhaust. The engineers pronounced my Range Rover to be fine and so I then went to get the Range Rover cleaned.

During the journey, I then found the air conditioning was no longer functioning effectively and so I then went to the garage next to the car cleaning depot and got that dealt with as well. All this meant it had taken much longer than anticipated to get back to Lowestoft, only arriving about 6:30 PM which was time when our friends had arranged to meet up for a drink!

Kathleen and I agreed that we would have to load the Range Rover afterwards and so I quickly changed and joined her on board Ikon and we then went and out for a meal at a nearby pub. Upon completion of our meal, Kathleen and I then went back to Lady Martina, changed and frantically loaded up a full heavy trailer full of belongings and then struggled up the pontoon slope to load them aboard the Range Rover.

Upon returning to the boat, Kathleen was doubled up in excruciating with digestive pain as she had eaten a large meal. In the end she went to bed leaving me to get on with things and, after printing out some more pages for my log, I completed the job of loading up all of our possessions had been prepared onto the trolley taking it to the Range Rover and loaded them aboard.

To bed, tired but pleased that we were in good shape for the morning

Together with the crew of Ikon, we went through the 9:45 AM Lowestoft bascule bridge lift the following morning and then cruised gently to the boatyard, where operative Dan was there to greet us and direct us through a winding channel to his 26th-tonne lifting gantry.

Together with his assistant, who is based at the boatyard and helps him, he very carefully adjusted the strops and then lifted Lady Martina gently. Once the strops are taken her weight, Kathleen and I got together the rest of our possessions and climbed ashore watching as the lift continued and the transport of Lady Martina away from the Dyke began.

We had a discussion with Dan about what to do with the boat and both noted that the hull seemed to be in a very good condition, considering its recent neglect, but the starboard propeller, in particular, had been bent due to our grounding this year.

They would now clean it off with a pressure washer and transport it to its resting place for the next month, during which time we would agree on what type of sandblasting and re-antifouling will take place and which anodes and other stern gear maintenance would be undertaken. We were grateful for Dan’s assistance in giving us the lift back to the Norfolk and Suffolk yacht club

Dutch Waterways

Inland Waterways of the Netherlands

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Journals of David A Broad

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