Sunday, 4 June 2017

Half term on the boat

We're just back from a lovely half term holiday on board St Hilda.  We went all the way from Beccles to Wroxham and back, and met up with some lovely friends too.

 It's the first time that we've spent four nights on board. Hilda doesn't have a shower, so TheRev and I used expensive ones at marinas and the children stayed grubby until the last day, when we went swimming.  They didn't seem to mind...
Abi enjoyed being tall enough to see out of the hatch! Maybe next year, Jeremy?
 We had mostly warm weather, some blue skies and one torrential downpour.

Jeremy with Nanou's blanket
While the children coloured and cut out almost incessantly in the cabin, I spent my time with my head through the hatch, attempting to get some decent photographs.  TheRev gave me a camera with a super zoom for my birthday last year, and I'm determined to make a well-photographed catalogue of Broads wildlife.

Unfortunately, all the Broads wildlife have got wind of this, and they operate a simple rule.  If they can see the camera, they hide.  Birdsong falls silent.  Even the omnipresent seagulls go to their roosts.  Whenever I am busy doing something essential inside the cabin, however - preventing the children from killing each other, for example, or lighting the gas to make a cup of tea - the skies suddenly fill with marsh harriers which swoop low over the roof of the boat.  Seals and otters swim merrily alongside us.  Grey herons and little egrets pose along the riverbank, flanked by curlews, oyster catchers and avocets.  Reed warblers put on a concert. Kingfishers flash by.  TheRev shouts, "There's a tern out here that has just caught a fish RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!"

This is only the slightest of exaggerations.

Also, TheRev takes a much better picture with my camera than I do.  After all my poor efforts, he captured a marsh harrier hovering above a windmill in a single shot that encapsulates the Broads so well, it ought to be published.  I won't share it here, because it hurts my pride.

We're all a bit sad to be back to school tomorrow.  Roll on the summer holidays!

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