Sunday 23rd August 1987

Home to Little Paxton and the end of our boating holiday after taking The Lady from Oulton Broad up the Waveney and Yare via the New Cut to lunch at The Beauchamp Arms and moor finally at Brooms of Brundall after which we prepared her for transport, slipped and hitched up The Little Lady for towing and drove back to Paxton where we could disable the alarm and start tackling a huge backlog of work. Douglas Hurd promises to curtail gun ownership after the Hungerford killings, 3,00o holidaymakers are stranded in Majorca in a air traffic controllers’ dispute and Didier Pironi dies in a Channel power boat accident

Di awoke in somewhat better spirits and made the morning drinks. I then thought it best to tell her of the calls that I had made late last night and of the continued disturbance to our neighbours made by the internal alarm siren still sounding. After discussing the full range of options, including me spending a day of travel, there and back, to disarm it, we decided on the only logical course – to make our way home today and miss the last 2/3 days of our cruise. We were both disappointed, but realised it had to be done.

Saturday 22nd August 1987

Rather more conflict on board as our Norfolk boating holiday nears its end on a wet start to the day after a hasty departure to navigate the Bure bridges and make our way across Breydon Water and up to the Waveney Leisure Centre. On to Oulton Broad after fixing another fuel pipe junction that led to engine failure on The Lady. No news today as my papers were discarded precipitately!

A good night’s sleep, then awoken by Debbie coming in to see Di at 7.00am. It was then that I checked the tide tables and realised that, if we wanted to leave for Oulton before late afternoon, we should get under way immediately, as it was already 2 hours past low water at Great Yarmouth and the low bridges and strong currents would soon be a problem. With that realisation, I woke up Daniel and cast us both off and we made it under the Yarmouth bridges with 8 ½ ft headroom. Then a two hour (+) journey across Breydon Water, up the Yare and Waveney to the Waveney Leisure Centre, where we moored up ready to swim etc. I had to have breakfast at the helm and then had still to shave once we had stopped. 

Friday 21st August 1987

A better night at Yarmouth Marina and then I checked my answering machine at home whilst Di and the children used the adjacent play area. Unfortunately, The Hayling View alarm systems had been sounding constantly necessitating fire Service and Police intervention! Off  by taxi to Joyland again on a very warm and sunny day with Diana on the snails and me on the spinning tubs etc before the girls enjoyed the pony rides before we took them to the ‘Windmill Theatre’ play centre opposite, once hosting entertainment stars but now just the children. On to Button’s Pleasurebeach for more grown up and scary rides before back to The Lady at the end of our last day in Yarmouth. The media is still reverberating, however, to the aftermath of the mass shooting with shock that these could soon become commonplace as in America.

We survived the night at the port of Yarmouth Marina without any damage or problems and woke quite early with Di making the morning tea. Quite smoothly through our morning routine and then let the girls go with Daniel to the adjacent children’s playground, whilst Di and I got ready. This is quite a good playing field, with three types of slides, which is one benefit of mooring at the very end of the marina. There is also a pitch ‘n’ putt course, which we have never had time to use. We have had quite a wasp problem here and had to secure the boat doors and windows, even though the weather was quite close and warm again this morning. We had 5/6 wasps in the centre cockpit that had to be removed before we could sit down to breakfast. Poor Debbie was wearing a yellow ‘T’ shirt and they made a ‘bee-line’ for that before we changed it for a blue one. I walked along to the telephone box and Di to the toilets/shower block to wash her hair. The first call I made was to interrogate my telephone answering system on my public number – 0480 215040 – to replay any messages. I then learnt of the problems that had been occurring with our home alarm system.

Thursday 20th August 1987

A walk to Acle Cottage, Market and Church after securing a repair to Daniel’s boat engine and then on to Stokesby to have a look around at the charming thatched Church and shopping at the two village shops after securing a tricky mooring along the boggy water front. Then back using the falling tide to moor at Yarmouth Marina where we could leave the boats and take a taxi to the Marina Centre swimming pool with its exciting wave machine after which the girls uses a play area and I treated the family to dinner at Nicki’s Family Restaurant. The 14 dead victims of the Hungerford gunmen may well be joined by a 15th, The US naval build up in the Gulf goes on and the latest money supply figures were received with something near to panic in the City and share prices entered free fall.

Slept well during an uninterrupted night. The boaters passing or moorings were well settled by bedtime. Di was awake first this morning and brought me tea and got us going on time. We were moored right in front of the Horizon boatyard at Acle Bridge and soon the men arrived and we were able to ask for help with Daniel's engine. We had breakfast and then the engineer assisted us to trace the trouble to a faulty spark plug. Once replaced, the boat ran fine and Daniel looked very pleased and relieved. We left the boats in the yard and walked to Acle for the market, stopping on the way at Acle Cottage for morning coffee. An interesting place that has a number of old implements and objects on the walls, so that one of the assistants dubbed it ‘Acle Cottage Museum’.