Sunday 8th July 1990

Making the trip up the tidal New Bedford River on a gloriously fine and warm (if still very windy) day approaching Denver a bit early on the tide, touching the bottom and seeking out deeper water, and then locking through Erith and St Ives with friendly lock-keepers and under Offord bridge with inches to spate on a hot and sunny day. Arriving in Paxton for a Diana sandwich and tea arrival and then unloading and settling in.

Armed police are clashing with rioters in Nairobi who are demanding the end of one-party rule, Albanian police have sealed off the diplomatic quarter to avoid more defections, the NUM are facing further allegations over their strike funds and The economic summit in Houston is being threatened by expected discord over agricultural trade.

I had called Denver Lock-keeper and decided that we could make the direct trip up the tidal New Bedford River if we left early enough and it was indeed an early start with Steve and I up at 4.30am to get the boat ready and cast off from the mooring buoy. We then set off upstream with Steve cooking us another excellent breakfast en-route as we took it in turns to take the helm. The day turned out to be gloriously fine and warm (if still very windy) and we made very good time with me insisting on taking bridge heights and log distances so that we would have the information available for future trips. We went up to Denver and were a bit early on the tide, touching the bottom and having to seek out the deeper water as we went; then up the New Bedford and out at Earith. The lock-keepers at Earith and St Ives remembered me and the Lady and the one at Earith thought I was mad to part with her. They both knew my new boat from its previous use on the Great Ouse as well.

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Saturday 7th July 1990

After being up at about 5.00am and listening to the early forecasts I decided to try and get round to the Wash in one go. An uncomfortable northerly swell compounded with wind-against-tide effects for the first hour or two and the rain was a constant drizzle so we had to have the hood up which made Daniel and Jason sea-sick as a consequence and Steve was also feeling very queasy but I survived.

We enjoyed the latter stages when we could take the north-westerly swell more head on and it died away to give way to a calm spell in the Wash. Daniel and Jason took over the pilotage notes to find our way into the Kings Lynn channel until we moored up at the No2 GOBA mooring buoy where we watched another world cup match on TV this evening between England and Italy for the third place which England narrowly lost 2-1.

On morning, Steve and I were up very early at about 5.00am and listening to the early forecasts. The winds were going to be coming from the west or south-west today but it only seemed that we would get one reasonable day in the warm sector of a depression. I therefore decided to try and get round to the Wash in one go and quickly calculated the tidal information which showed that it was possible if we got going quickly. We aroused the boys and left as soon as we could and the details of the trip are in the log. The weather was passable with winds of Force 4 to 5 from the west to south-west but there was an uncomfortable northerly swell compounded with wind-against-tide effects that made the boat action very uncomfortable for the first hour or two.

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Friday 6th July 1990

Waiting in Great Yarmouth and planning our sea voyage to Paxton on the Paxton Princess by amusing ourselves bowling and eating out as the weather was looking better for the next day. NATO leaders, have proposed a joint peace declaration with the Warsaw Pact to formally end a decade of East-West hostility.

British Airways are ordering from Boeing, but they are also ordering Rolls Royce engines worth £600m and considering the Airbus A-330 for the next generation. A bomb was found outside the El Al building in Regents Street, Arthur Scargill maintains that the miners' money is intact and there are now 4,500 Albanian refugees in western embassies

Steve Bloom was the first up and had gone off in search of some bacon for breakfast with no success. I was awoken by the Town Hall clock chiming 7.00am and got washed, shaved and dressed whilst he was away and then went off with him again around the shops when they opened at 8.00am and got the supplies. We called back and listened to the 8.35am Bacton Radio weather forecast which was not good enough for us to leave for Wells this morning and so we took the boys to Tooks and all had a nice breakfast there which saved a lot of trouble. For the rest of the morning we paired up in two's and Dan and Jase went off to the amusements whilst we went around the shops.

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Thursday 5th July 1990

The start of our sea voyage on The Paxton Princess after an architect’s meeting about restoring Heronshaw, refuelling at Acle and then cruising on to Great Yarmouth, mooring up at the Town Quay.

Hundreds more Albanians seeking refuge in foreign embassies, US President, George Bush, has proposed that Gorbachev address a meeting of NATO ministers at the end of this year as a measure of the increased understanding between East and West and an Irish peace initiative led by the Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Brooke, has stalled

I slept the night on board with Daniel and Jason and we were all comfortable and slept well. I made the boys morning tea and had my own breakfast before leaving them to their own devices to have a look round whilst I rushed over to Oulton Broad by car to collect my new scrambling net and coastal & life jackets from the Marine Safety Centre. I was disappointed that they had not already fitted the lights to the jackets but they will post them on to me for me to do later. It was a rush because I had to get back to Heronshaw for 11.00am to see the architect, Mr Tennant. This I just about did and I briefed him in some detail about the thoughts I had been having on its restoration or replacement. The outcome was that they were going to contact a structural surveyor to view Heronshaw and take some panels off to see the state of the building. At the same time, a site survey would be undertaken so that I would end up with a comparative report comparing the costs of the two approaches so that I can make a final decision.

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