Continuous cruising was now a way of life and every day was a new chapter.
One of the first changes that happen when you live on a boat is your perception of the seasons. They appear more like weeks by now. You become calibrated to seasonal changes and daylight hours like a swiss clock. You become synchronised in ways one never would have suspected
Eerie Berney Arms
I was responsible for guarding the Berney Arms for a short while. It had suffered arson attempts, break-ins and had copper boilers pinched for scrap value. The place was a mess and badly needed development and full restoration.
There had been at least three arson attempts and one of which was directly in the old bar section itself, in fact the old clock stopped at a particular time with its now melted hands. I made this video to show just how bad the place was.
There is no doubt about it, the location is a spooky one and on a misty dark night, I found myself questioning what on Earth I was doing there.
I had never really felt any appreciation to Breydon Water and always felt it was part of a journey to get over quickly. That perception was about to change. Breydon Water would normally be rough as hell with grim weather and this left me feeling generally uncomfortable with the place.
I quickly discovered that Breydon Water had totally different birdlife to the rest of the Norfolk Broads. Sleeping on the boat I could hear this most amazing bird chorus which was really most remarkable.
In addition, I woke up one morning to see Breydon Water as I had never before. It was like a millpond all the way into Great Yarmouth.
I walked up and down the estuary riverbank for miles at a time and saw a vastness that really only exists in this area of the Norfolk Broads.
I came to appreciate the location in a totally different way that I had never predicted. Sitting on the river bank watching the fast-flowing waters rise and fall so swiftly with the outline of the old Roman garrison in the background, namely ‘Burgh Castle’.
Right next to the Berney Arms pub is the Berney Arms Mill which was first built to crush concrete and then later converted to pumping water. Behind this is the weirdest railway station I have ever seen and likely to ever see. Berney Arms station is something out of a Harry Potter movie and it is easy to miss it if you moor there but definitely worth the visit.
Receivers Kick The Door In
One morning I did a run to Great Yarmouth Yacht Station to stock up on supplies and get a shower. Due to the aggressive tides, I spent the night there and returned to the Berney Arms the following morning.
To my total surprise, the front door had been booted in and three blokes came marching out. Wondering what the hell was going on, I quickly learned that they were receivers and had taken control of the premises.
Discovering that my time here was now at an end I disembarked and head back up the River Bure to go to the North Broads.
I have always found Stokesby to be the threshold between the north and south broads.
There is not an awful lot to see at this stop over and the mooring is small but it holds a special charm which is hard to describe.
The pub called the Ferry Inn, yes another one, does serve up some decent food but they charge boaters to moor in the high season even when they spend money in the establishment which I felt was unprofessional. It certainly bothered me to the point that I wouldn’t pay to moor there again.
There was indeed a ferry at some point in history but little is really recorded about it.